How To Overcome 4 Big Challenges When Creating Google Lesson Plans Blog Feature
Jim Schultz

By: Jim Schultz on September 1st, 2016

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How To Overcome 4 Big Challenges When Creating Google Lesson Plans

Computer Applications | Google Apps

Are you in search of Google lesson plans, but stuck trying to juggle everything else you need to accomplish? Computer applications teachers face many challenges when trying to create engaging, interactive lessons. As a curriculum developer we hear from hundreds of computer teachers about their struggles. In working with these teachers, we hear many different stories like these:

"I just found out I would be teaching the class, and we have no curriculum and school has already started!"

"Our current computer applications curriculum is terribly outdated... it includes information on floppy disks so I am attempting to re-do the class so it is more relevant."

"It takes SO much time to find what I need to cover my standards, and then of course comes the grading."

Now computer teachers have another challenge to add to the list…. Many schools and districts are adding Google Applications as part of their computer curriculum. Computer teachers are feeling the pressure, since they need to find Google lesson plans to include with their other content.

Incorporating Google Applications lesson plans in your computer curriculum is very important, but how can you do it while also facing everyday challenges like:

  • Student Engagement is Lacking
  • Trying to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners
  • Keeping Up with Changing Standards
  • Not Enough Time

Here I will explore each of these challenges in relation to adding Google lesson plans to your computer curriculum. But don’t worry, there will also be information on a possible solution to your struggles.

Challenge 1: Your Google Apps Lessons Aren't Keeping Students Engaged

Looking for a different approach to teaching Google Docs in the classroom

Keeping students engaged is a struggle for any elective teacher. There could be a number of reasons your middle school technology lesson plans aren’t keeping students interested. When adding Google Applications to your curriculum, did you reuse the same lessons, but substitute Google instead of Microsoft Office?

If that’s the case… how old are those lesson plans? If you have been using the same outdated textbook and the same years-old projects, that might be a cause of boredom in your classroom. Finding Google Applications lessons that are current and relevant is one way to create an engaged class.

As a curriculum developer, we find one of the best ways to engage students is by embracing blended learning. As our Product Development Manager, Ken Richard says: “The key to student engagement is in varied instruction.”

However you go about adding Google lesson plans to your classroom, be sure to vary your teaching. Mix things up with lecture, online content, textbooks, group projects, and other ways to educate your students on successfully using the Google Applications.

Challenge 2: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Even after successfully blending different techniques into your lessons, there is (unfortunately) another hurdle. Many computer teachers struggle to differentiate lessons to meet the needs of their diverse learners. As an elective teacher, you are bound to have a wider variety of student abilities and learning styles than core classes.

When looking to add Google lessons to your curriculum, differentiating lessons is probably not at the top of your mind. You already have to create brand new lessons… but then taking those lessons and further adjusting them 3 or 4 times, talk about a pain!

Finding ways to differentiate can seem to be impossible, but this teacher has found success with his middle school technology lesson plans: 3 Easy Ways to Include Differentiated Lesson Plans in Computer Classes

Challenge 3: Changing Standards & Outdated Curriculum

My biggest challenge is keeping up to date with changing technology

Teachers are accountable for covering education and industry standards with their curriculum. Though textbooks and other instructional materials can help with this, what happens when the standards change? Computer applications teachers also see this challenge come up as technology changes. The rise of Google Applications in course standards is a perfect example.

Even after you have the perfect Google lesson plans and have mastered teaching Google Docs in the classroom… things will change! Google is bound to make updates to the applications, but your static textbook won’t reflect those updates.

This ties back to the first two challenges in a vicious cycle. Once you have found or created new lessons to meet the changing technology and education standards, you need to be sure they are engaging and relevant to your students.

Challenge 4: Not Enough Time!

The challenges mentioned above, and most other issues a teacher encounters in the classroom is rooted in this problem: Computer applications teachers don’t have enough time! Because elective teachers are teaching 6 or 7 classes per day, they don’t have much “down time” to plan lessons and grade projects.

The most common replies I hear from teachers looking for new middle school technology lesson plans and activities sound like this:

Computer textbook lessons become outdated and I have no time to create new ones

Is a lack of time really the biggest challenge for computer teachers? Let me put it this way:

  • Creating or finding new Google lesson plans takes time
  • Ensuring your lessons are engaging takes time
  • Creating differentiated versions of your lessons takes time
  • Learning about new standards and updating your curriculum takes time

Should I go on?

Don’t lose hope just yet, as I haven’t shared how some computer teachers are finding a way to easily add Google lesson plans and face these challenges head on.

How To Overcome Challenges When Adding Google Lesson Plans to Your Classes

I’ve talked about the challenges that you are bound to face when adding new lessons for Google Applications to your curriculum. Now I will share how you can easily overcome all of these challenges by using Business&ITCenter21.

Business&ITCenter21 is a great alternative to help a teacher that wants more than a traditional textbook when they want to cover Google Applications. Computer teachers often contact us when looking for Google Applications curriculum because they are struggling with the challenges discussed above.

We help these computer teachers by providing a blended learning curriculum for Google Apps that is:

  • Continually updated to meet changes in technology and standards
  • Easy to use and incorporate in existing lessons
  • Customizable for your classes and students
  • Time-saving, with automatic grading and ready to use lesson plans

Here’s what some teachers are saying about our Google Applications curriculum:

The AES Google Apps curriculum helps solve my issues

The Google Docs and Sheets lessons are perfect

If you’d like to learn more about our Google Apps curriculum, check out these articles:

Google Apps Lesson Plans Every Teacher Should Own

How To Teach Google Apps in Your Technology Curriculum

Get Business&ITCenter21 >

 

About Jim Schultz

Jim is an entrepreneur with a love for empowering life-long learning in all people. As the Founder and President of AES, Jim engages in and shares an interest in helping make teachers' lives easier so they can focus on building lifelong learners. With his passion for learning and education, Jim lives the values and purpose of AES daily in his work with educators. Beyond the day-to-day, Jim balances life at AES with running, sports, and staying up with his wife Tracy and their five children.

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