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Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum
and COABE Partnership

Google’s Applied Digital Skills    Register for Boot Camps   Boot Camp Schedule   Share Your Success Story   Webinar Series

Introducing an exciting new partnership between Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum and COABE where you can:

Participants of the upcoming COABE/Google Applied Digital Skills webinars will receive the typical 1 CEU per 1 hour of Professional Development.
All webinars will be uploaded to our repository for future viewing.

Get an edge in the job market with Google’s Applied Digital Skills training

Share your story of how you use Google Applied Digital Skills and be recognized

Want to deliver trainings on Applied Digital Skills? Fill out the form below.

Share your Applied Digital Skills story

Are you using Google’s free, online digital literacy curriculum for adults? Applied Digital Skills uses video-based and project-based lessons to walk students through projects like making a résumé, applying for a job, or making a business plan from start to finish. It uses free G Suite apps that you can access right from your Gmail account. 

Submit your story of how you’re using the curriculum with adult learners for a chance to be featured at COABE’s national conference.

Success Story Winner–May 2019

Our program is a multi-generational program with a particular focus on African American low income families. Most of our parents have little or no college education. Most have a high school diploma or GED and we have some that are in the process of securing their GED. In Louisville there is what we refer to as a Digital Divide that exist in West Louisville. African Americans make up 27% of Louisville’s total population with 85% of those African Americans living in West Louisville. The median income for residents in West Louisville neighborhoods is $8,000 to $14,000 annually which puts those families at or below the poverty line. Many are working poor. As an African American Male in technology for over 30 years I am fully aware of the under-representation of African Americans in Technology. Technology is 68.5% White and a staggering 7.8% Black. I am also fully aware that entry level jobs in Technology begin at a living wage of $40,000 annually.

This takes me to Google Applied Digital Skills. I mentioned earlier the Digital Divide in predominantly poor and African American communities. There is a fear of technology as well as a shortage of access to and education about technology. We discovered through a partnership with the National Center for Families Learning that we could close the Digital Divide and simultaneously tackle the issue of concentrated poverty in our African American communities. Google Applied Digital Skills was the perfect entry point for our participants. It gives them the level of comfort with its project based approach to learning. Once students have completed the Google Applied Digital Skills they go on to the Google IT Help Desk Training. We have been able to create partnerships with three major corporations that offer jobs in technology. Employees that are responsible for hiring from Humana, Best Buy, and Nuestar meet with our parents weekly to educate them on how to be prepared for careers in Technology. They review resumes at the beginning and midpoint of the twelve week program and just prior their graduation. They also conduct interviews with our graduates with the intent of hiring them.

Dave Christopher, Executive Director at Non Profit.

Success Story Winner–June 2019

As the Technology Coordinator for the Adult Education Department at Triton Collegethe technology coordinator for Triton College’s Adult Education Program, I was looking for curriculum that would enable my students to gain skills necessary for post-secondary and workplace placement.  Google’s Applied Digital Skills affords students this opportunity. My students are working independently with no prior coding background, and the majority have English as their second language. This curriculum has helped them to develop maps with locations using coding.

Additionally, these students have very limited computer backgrounds, some of whom had no prior computer experience before taking classes with me. Now, these students are writing papers, and working in small groups to complete projects that they would in the workforce and in post-secondary education. Everyone is amazed at how adept these students are at creating something from nothing just by using the Applied Digital Skills curriculum and with minimal assistance from me! They have increased their confidence with computers and their self-efficacy is evident from their stories and presentations.

Michelle Schallmo at a community, technical, or vocational college.

What is Applied Digital Skills?

Applied Digital Skills is Google’s free, online digital literacy curriculum. Applied Digital Skills has lessons for a wide range of students, from late elementary-school students to independent adult learners. Instead of teaching digital skills with an instructional manual, the curriculum uses a series of videos to guide students through creating a project from scratch. This means that students who complete a lesson leave with a useful project such as a resume, a monthly budget, a project plan, and more.

Why Applied Digital Skills?

  1. Applied Digital Skills has over 40 lessons—some that take only 45 minutes to complete—and are aligned to your community’s needs. Office workers aren’t the only ones who need digital skills; employees in restaurants, hotels, and warehouses, among others, are increasingly in need of developing digital literacy. The lessons we created are based on the extensive research and focused testing of the in-demand digital skills needed for today’s evolving workforce.
  2. Digital literacy, problem-solving, and creativity are often cited as essential skills for jobs of the future, but a report from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit reveals that among 18- to 25-year-olds, less than half (44%) believe that their education system is providing them with the skills they need to enter the country’s workforce.*
  3. As technology becomes more integrated into our modern lives, it’s important to understand how digital skills fit into a wide range of workforce positions and how they will help students succeed in their current jobs and future careers.

*Reference: 2015 EIU report, “Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future”

Applied Digital Skills Resources

Applied Digital Skills was launched in 2017, and we were delighted by how many teachers began using the lessons right away in many different types of classrooms. As the curriculum has grown, we have received many requests for a list of best practices for integrating the lessons into the curriculums of adult education organizations. Below is a list of resources to help answer these requests.

  • Grow with Google—A one-page information sheet shows you how to bring Applied Digital Skills to adult learners in your community.
  • Basic Skills Guide—Whether you are new to computers or would like to refresh your knowledge, this guide covers the basic skills needed to complete Applied Digital Skills courses.
  • This is a 9-page guide on how to Get Started with Applied Digital Skills. It’s everything we think that adult educators need to know to get started, and we customized it for COABE.
  • Quick-Start Guide for Teachers—Step-by-step instruction to help you start teaching Applied Digital Skills.
  • Presentation—This presentation is a resource for you to learn more about Applied Digital Skills’ college and continuing education curriculum.
  • The Keyword—Discover all the latest news about Google’s products, technology, and Google culture on our official blog.
  • where you can see all the free Applied Digital Skills lessons for the G Suite certification (Link)
  • Adult Education Guide where you can get a step-by-step description of how to get started with Applied Digital Skills (Link)


Troy Continuing Education ran a pilot program, TRAC, out of Troy, Michigan for the 2019/20 school year. We have 30 adult ESL students completing integrated ESL and job certification training. We will double the size of our program next year and would like to use Google Applied digital Skills as a micro-credential with our business cohort students. We only completed a few sample lessons this year since our students must complete credentialed programs per our grant.

We find the program perfect for our students. The activities are neatly arranged and provide most of the resources needed, so our ESL students don’t get lost in trying to figure out expectations and/or researching information.

The program is also very communicative. The student must learn new vocabulary and reproduce the language in order to interact with “colleagues” and complete the work-based tasks.

Katie Thompson, TRAC Coordinator