Google Apps Basics for Hamsters

While I have heard many teachers say,

“My students know technology better than I do.”

– Teacher who is often incorrect.

I have often found this not to be the case when it comes to Google apps. I’ve often found that students sometimes don’t want to admit that they don’t know Google apps, assuming that everyone else does.

No hamsters were available so I used my guinea pig

This is the first in a series of lessons for either teachers or students who may not be extremely familiar with Google apps.

For many years, I taught statistics in graduate programs in education, psychology, business and engineering. On a conference planning committee, we had a request that read,

“I would like a session on statistics, but not statistics for dummies. I want a session so easy that a hamster could understand it.”

So, that was the origin of my session, “Statistics for Hamsters.”

Now, maybe you are a Google apps guru and you don’t need any of this. Yay for you. Seriously, yay! Let’s hang out. Still, you may find these resources helpful to share with your students. Just copy the link into your Google classroom, which, of course, you know how to do.

If that is not you, keep reading, and we can still hang out. Especially if you bring coffee.

⏰ Lesson Time

25 minutes

📲 Technology Required

Device with web-browser – Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, iPhone or iPad

📚 Lessons

Google Drive and Google Doc: Super-Basics

All the Google apps lessons follow a similar format of a series of 15-30 second videos on simple tasks like opening the app, creating a new file and sharing. The lessons are 6-7 minutes but by the time your students get their computers open, log on and start the lesson we estimate around ten minutes of class time.

We have had more success with having students do these activities in class prior to an assignment that will use the app.

This is our favorite basic–basic lesson on Google Drive. From Google for Education, takes six minutes and ends with a quiz where you can test your knowledge.

Introduction to Google docs – The total lesson should take about 7 minutes.

Use what you learned

Follow up this lesson with a simple assignment in Google docs. This provides three prompts students can choose from to answer a question. They will practice creating a doc, copying and pasting from a doc (or, alternatively, saving to their drive), editing a doc and sharing it.

Note to the teacher: You should save the assignment in your Google classroom or other system and be sure to edit it to include your email before assigning to students.

3 thoughts on “Google Apps Basics for Hamsters

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