Google Applied Digital Skills


Does anyone else remember reading choose your own adventure books? When I was in elementary school, I used to love having control over what my character did in a book. I was never much of a reader when I was younger, but those books were great.

Last semester I stumbled upon Google Applied Digital Skills (GADS... because I don't want to type that out every time). There are tons of ready to go resources for teachers of all kids there (not just us STEM folks.) I had one grade level be my guinea pigs, and take the plunge. It was fantastic... with just one or two minor hiccups.

Hiccup #1. We are in the process of adopting Schoology as our system LMS. Being that I'm a part of the team learning the ins and outs of Schoology, I figured I'd try to run GADS through Schoology. It integrated fairly well, but I think it would have worked better through Google Classroom. This semester I'm going to make some tweaks to how I roll out the unit to see if I can get better integration with Schoology.

Hiccup #2. There was a planning document included in the unit from Google that did not want to open correctly for my students. I made a copy of it in my Google Drive, created a link that would create new copies of the document for anyone that clicked on it, and shared that link with the students through Schoology. It was a very minor thing that took about four minutes to fix in class, and I think it may have been a problem because I was trying to do all of this through Schoology instead of staying with Google the whole way through.

Did you know you can make a link in a Google Slides document that will take you to any other page in the document? It's super easy to do. Type the text you want for the link. Highlight it. Hit ctrl+k (or right click and choose link, or click on insert, then link.) Once that opens the link dialogue box, you will have the ability to choose slides in that show. There you go. Now you have everything you need to make a choose your own adventure style story in Google Slides.

Create your characters, your setting, your problems, your results. Get creative. Get funky. Put each page of the story in a slide show. When you come to a choice, provide the user with links that will take them directly to the part of the story that has the result of their choice.

I got some great work back from my students, and I'm sure you will too.

Thanks for reading, and remember, make the world better every day.


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