Where to Get Google Docs Lesson Plans: Missing in Action? Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on May 10th, 2017

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Where to Get Google Docs Lesson Plans: Missing in Action?

Computer Applications | Google Apps | Google Docs

If you are embracing all that is modern in the classroom, you are probably using Google Docs in some capacity.

But what about your students?

Increasingly, state and local standards for computer applications and business technology now include student mastery of Google Docs and Google Applications in general. 

But teachers tell us there's a disconnect between those standards and the materials that help them meet the standards.

So where can you find Google Docs lesson plans?

Where to Get Google Docs Lesson Plans

Where to Find Google Docs Curriculum Resources

Clearly the use of Google Applications is on the rise.

That's why students need to have an understanding of and some experience with it.

But the problem remains that there are still few places to find Google Docs lesson plans and activities. 

So where do you start?

Google Docs Resource #1. Business&ITCenter21


Pros: Automatic, all-inclusive, foundational.

First, you can start with Applied Educational Systems. Our digital curriculum Business&ITCenter21 has a whole section on Google Docs, and we've even expanded it to cover all the major Google Apps. 

Our most popular lessons are all included in our modules on Google Docs Essentials and Google Docs Fundamentals

These lessons take students on a tour of the Google Docs layout, its different fonts, and a fun quiz to wrap everything up. 

We also have lessons on how to perform simple tasks, like creating a list. There's even a short portion at the end that shows students how to tie it all together on a designed party invitation. 

Analysis: Business&ITCenter21

This introduction to the essentials and fundamentals of Google Docs establishes product familiarity. Once a student understands how the product is organized, they'll be able to identify, locate, and create docs that suit different needs. 

This is very intentional. We wanted our module to show students how to use Google Docs — not spoon-feed them what to use. 

As a result, our teachers have found our Google Docs lesson plans to be helpful in the classroom. 

It helps that our program comes with everything you need to execute every lesson plan, too. Plus, grading is automatic. 

Some even build whole curricula about Google Apps with our introductory lessons. 


Because they set the foundation for students' to learn more in the future. 

But we're not the only game in town, and we're not a 100% fit for every teacher. 

So where else can you get Google Docs lesson plans?

Google Docs Resource #2. Boise State University

Google Docs Resources from Boise State University

Pros: Free, comprehensive, collaborative.

While it may seem odd for us to have a resource here from a university, every age group needs to learn Google Docs. 

Boise State's Google Docs lesson plans are designed for adult learners. 

They cover a wide variety of tasks and tutorials to show students how to do as much as possible. 

The lesson plan is broken into activities, which involves creating an account, creating a new document, and sharing that document with others. 

Then, students learn to collaborate with one another on editing a document. This is one of Google's most famous features for its Docs application since multiple people can access and revise a document at any time. 

The third activity requires students to view videos and work on a group project. 

The Boise State lesson plan wraps up with a grading rubric so you can easily see who's passed and failed. 

Analysis: Boise State University

Boise State takes a more comprehensive approach to Google Docs lesson plans than Business&ITCenter21. 

It covers a lot more ground, and it's designed for adult learners. Both of those are helpful in CTE scenarios. 

But the grading is manual, and the lesson plan doesn't actually come with the resources you need in order to use it. 

So really, you're just getting an outline. You'll need a good grasp of Google Apps as a whole to really unleash the potential of this lesson plan. 

Google Docs Resource #3. Lynda

Lynda.com Google Docs Resources

Pros: Professional, thorough, sequential.

Lynda is the Internet's foremost authority on software tutorials. They have everything from PhotoShop to documentary formatting and everything between. 

That includes Google Docs

Lynda's tutorials are exclusively focused on videos. For teaching, that means you can have students learn this at home or play the videos in sequence during class. 

Either way, it's probably best to split the tutorials into segments. The entire duration of the tutorials is an hour and a half. 

That's pretty short for a classroom setting unless you teach a class every other day. 

Still, Lynda is a great resource for any school that wants to use it. 

Analysis: Lynda

Lynda's Google Docs lessons aren't necessarily for use in school, but you can modify them to work in a pinch. 

It's worth noting that Lynda's lessons also aren't designed by a teacher — they're made by a technology consultant

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Technology consultants have a lot of valuable information about cutting-edge applications like Google Docs. 

But you probably won't be able to take everything from Lynda's lessons word-for-word. It'll take some refining and realigning to really get it right for your classroom. 

Depending on your specific classroom needs, you might wind up spending as much time building lesson plans around Lynda tutorials as you would've spent creating lessons from scratch. 

In that case, Lynda probably isn't for you. 

Fortunately, the other two options on this list may still help! 

Why Do Teachers Need Google Docs Lesson Plans?

Why do teachers need Google Docs curriculum?

Not sure why you should start teaching Google Docs and the other Google Apps in your computer classes?

Just ask teachers in the state of South Carolina why they want Google Docs lesson plans!

South Carolina teaachers don't have many curriculum and instructional resources.

So why are schools starting to require teachers to cover Google Applications?

And why is it such a struggle to find curriculum to teach those courses?

It's been out there in some format since around 2007. Why is it suddenly in such demand?

In the article "Why Schools Are Turning to Google Apps," Greg Ferenstein says:

"The case for Google Apps in education is compelling in many ways. We interviewed the architects of this plan, as well as others who use Google in the classroom, and we've highlighted the three major benefits: 1) It saves schools money; 2) It boosts academic performance and motivation, and; 3) It prepares students for digital communication in the real world."

The combination of these three points, and the fact that Google is constantly updating the applications is HUGE and schools are catching on.

And when I say catching on, I mean that fewer schools are including traditional Microsoft Office applications use and training in their schools.

As early as 2012, I had a health science teacher contact me in stunned horror after finding that her school would not be providing devices loaded with Microsoft Office for the coming school year.

But time has passed, and she and her students have survived the transition to Google Apps.

Here's a great video about teachers and students using Google Docs in the classroom:

Why Do Students Need to Learn Google Docs?

Materials designed to teach computer applications and business technology have up to this point focused all but exclusively on the Microsoft Office applications.

Which makes sense, since there are fantastic certifications that students can work towards in Microsoft Office. The same doesn't hold true for Google Docs.

However, if we are focused on making sure our students are prepared for their futures, it seems an oversight to leave out Google Docs lesson plans.

If students want to be competitive in the job market, it certainly can't hurt to have some experience using Google Applications.

The Community for Information Technology Leaders' gave an update saying: "Google now claims over two million businesses using Docs with “thousands more” signing up daily."

That article goes on to give 10 reasons why businesses are embracing Google Docs:

google docs lesson plans

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It does collaboration better
  4. You don’t need the features Google Docs lacks
  5. Free up IT to do higher-value work
  6. What me worry about security?
  7. Google Docs are polished tools
  8. Any device, anywhere
  9. Free off site back-up
  10. Google will integrate telephony into Docs


While the majority of workplaces still cling to Microsoft Office applications, there is a significant trend towards cloud-based applications like Google Applications and Office 365.

Business&ITCenter21 eLearning Curriculum


Another place to find Google Docs curriculum is within Business&ITCenter21.

In 2016, we released new modules for teaching Google Applications because we saw the struggle of teachers like you:

These lessons and activities teach your students the basics of the Google Applications by providing hands-on, project based lessons.

They're fine-tuned to help students of any age and experience. That means individual students can work at their own paces without the stress of feeling like they need to "keep up."

In other words, every student gets to work at the speed that lets them succeed. 

In the meantime, you have all of the lesson plans and information you need to take the edge off of your out-of-class planning. 

In fact, we've had teachers tell us that they've saved "countless hours" just by using Business&ITCenter21 for their students. 

When you want to teach Google Docs, we've got your back!

Start Teaching Google Docs

Do you want to start teaching Google Docs in your classrom?

We have the lesson plans all ready for you!

Just sign up for a free trial of Business&ITCenter21! It only takes two minutes. 

Start Your Free Trial >>


About Sarah Layton

Sarah is a contributing author to the AES blog. She is committed to helping instructors and students succeed both in and out of the classroom.