How to Teach G Suite in Middle School

G Suite — short for Google Suite — is one of the world’s leading collections of productivity and collaboration software.

G Suite includes all of the applications that were previously in Google Apps, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Keep, Drive, and more.

All of these applications are designed from scratch for two purposes:

  1. Easy accessibility
  2. Seamless collaboration

Today, companies around the world use G Suite to power their internal processes and customer relationships.

That’s why it’s so important for today’s students to learn about G Suite and what it includes!

On this page, we’ll dive deep into why students should learn G Suite, what it includes, and where you can start!

Why Do Middle School Students Need to Know G Suite?

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Unless something catastrophic happens with Google’s line of applications, G Suite is going to be around for the foreseeable future (and probably long after).

Every kind of company from local small businesses to Fortune 500s have flocked to G Suite for its convenience and relevance.

All it costs is a monthly fee, and any company can set their employees up for success.

With all that success, you can bet G Suite is slated to continue growing well into the next decade.

That makes it crucial for students to learn now.

That way, when they go for their first real job interview, they can discuss their experience with G Suite and the applications it entails.

But that’s a far-off benefit. Do students get anything from learning G Suite in the short-term?

They actually get a lot! For some middle school students, a computer applications course could be their introduction to the world of computers.

If that’s true, then they’re blank slates when it comes to digital technology and what it can do.

G Suite is a great way to help them learn while they learn fundamentals like keyboarding, how operating systems work, and more.

That way, G Suite will become second-nature to them, just like finding home row on a keyboard!

They’ll also learn how to use word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, and other basic software in the classroom.

At the end of the day, you’re not just prepping students with information that’ll help them in the working world — you’re helping them build a skillset from the ground up.

And if a student discovers that they love computers in your classroom, that passion can take them to whole new levels of success in the future!

In that regard, G Suite is equally an investment in your students’ present capabilities while giving them a leg-up for their future careers.

There aren’t many programs or concepts you can teach that’ll let you do both of those at once!  

So how does G Suite manage to help your students so much with only a handful of applications?

It’s because of the powerful, commonplace applications that are included in G Suite.

What’s Included in G Suite?

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In total, G Suite includes the following 18 applications:

  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Google+
  • Hangouts Chat
  • Hangouts Meet
  • Hangouts Meet Hardware
  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Forms
  • Slides
  • Sites
  • Keep
  • Jamboard
  • Drive
  • Cloud Search
  • Admin
  • Vault
  • Mobile

Each one is contextualized in terms of how useful it is to a business or team. That’s also a great context to use when you’re presenting G Suite to your students, so they approach each application with the mindset of an employee.

Still, even with the right context, it may still take several weeks for you to get through all of G Suite with your classes.

The key element to remember is that all of these products integrate together to make it easier for members of a team to communicate.

Team members can also access the same documents, spreadsheets, and other online files simultaneously.

They can even edit the same files at the same time — one feature that makes a huge difference compared against Microsoft Office products. 

Still, this collaborative element doesn’t apply to every single app. For example, the Admin and Mobile functionalities are more about application management, as opposed to application use.

If you wanted to focus on the collaborative element for G Suite, you can teach the apps that feature collaboration:

  • Calendar
  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Forms
  • Slides
  • Keep
  • Drive

If you want to cover communication apps as well, you can add three more apps to your curriculum:

  • Google+
  • Hangouts Chat
  • Hangouts Meet

All of these applications ensure students can learn the G Suite applications they need to know to be successful both in the classroom and their future careers.

But that still leaves one big question.

Where do you get the materials you need to actually teach G Suite?

Where Can You Find Lessons for G Suite?

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This is one of the most common questions in computer education today.

Everyone knows Google makes products that students need to learn.

But how do you teach them?

Fortunately, you can use a handful of roundup resources to find the lessons that’ll work for you:

These are just to get you started. After all, these are the most popular G Suite applications for businesses, which makes them that much more important for students to learn.

At the very least, students should learn how to use Google Docs and Google Sheets.

These two applications form the backbone of the G Suite experience, much like how Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are the most-used Microsoft Office programs.

You can find free resources for the remaining applications by looking up Google for Education’s G Suite mini-curriculum.  

This program comes with a built-in administration tool that lets you keep an eye on students. However, Google’s system doesn’t work like a full-fledged learning management system.

Instead, it lets you add students, manage devices, and configure different settings to protect students’ data.

There’s nothing about automatic grading, student progress checking, or curriculum integration that’d mesh with the rest of your class.

That means instead of helping you manage your current curriculum, Google for Education will actually wind up being an additional program that you need to track yourself.

Depending on your current workload, that could be a lot to add for one small part of your curriculum.

Then again, G Suite is so popular among businesses that you know your students will learn valuable skills they’ll need for their whole careers.

That means you’re not just teaching them computer applications skills — you’re teaching them career readiness, too!

That’s a win-win that pays off for your students and looks good to your administrators.

So there’s one more question we still have to answer.

As a teacher, where should you start?

Where Do You Start with G Suite?

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