Applied Digital Skills

Update 11/21/17: All signup slots have been filled, but for those teachers who have already signed up we encourage you to continue working with your students on one of the Applied Digital Skills units.  If you've already completed a unit with at least 25 students, you'll receive a gift code from our team by November 29.


Thanks to support from our friends at Google, the first 6th-12th grade public school instructors who complete a unit of the Applied Digital Skills curriculum by November 22nd can earn up to $300 in funding for their classroom.

Digital literacy, problem-solving and creativity are often cited as essential skills for jobs of the future, but a recent Economist study reveals that among 18-25-year-olds, less than half (44%) believe that their education system is providing them with the skills that they need to enter the country’s workforce. Applied Digital Skills is a new curriculum from Google that helps to address this need. It is designed for a self-paced blended learning environment where learners practice life skills while collaborating and creating projects. The lessons are completely free and the video-based tutorials provide learners with the critical thinking and digital skills they need to succeed. Instructors facilitate the course using provided lesson plans and can track learner progress along the way.

The first instructors who complete one unit of Applied Digital Skills with 25-49 of their learners can earn $150 in credits, while those who complete a unit with 50+ learners can earn $300 in credits.

How to qualify for a reward:

1. Visit this page and create your Applied Digital Skills Instructor account. You'll need a gmail email address to sign up. (Don't have one? They're free and easy to create!)

2. Fill out this one-minute rewards interest form. You need to sign up both on this form and on the Applied Digital Skills site to be eligible for rewards, and you’ll need to use the same gmail address on both forms.  The first instructors to sign up will be eligible for rewards, and we will update this page and close the signup form after all available spots are filled. Once you complete the signup form, you are all set to move on to the next steps below - no need to wait for a confirmation email.

3. Back on the Applied Digital Skills site, follow the prompts to create a class and enroll your learners with your unique class code.

4. Click on the Curriculum tab at the top of any screen to peruse the units available. To be eligible for rewards, you should complete any one full unit (though of course you are welcome to do more) with at least 25 learners. The units vary widely in instructional time required.


If-Then Adventure Stories

2-3 Hours

Research and Develop a Topic

3-4.5 Hours

Plan an Event

6-8.5 Hours

Guide to an Area

4-5.5 Hours

Plan and Budget

5-7 Hours

Technology, Ethics, and Security

3-5 Hours

Create an Editing Tool with Programming

6-8 Hours

Pick the Next Box Office Hit

6-8 Hours


5. Teach the unit! Be sure to wrap by November 22, 2017. The week of November 27, we’ll send you your gift code along with an optional feedback survey to fill out. If you’re one of the first 100 teachers to complete the survey, you’ll also be eligible to win a $1,000 gift code.

6. After November 22, Google will let our team know how many learners completed a unit with you, and the staff will email you a $150 or $300 gift code by November 29, 2017.

Note that if you received funding credits for Applied Digital Skills last spring, you’re welcome to complete additional units but won’t be eligible to receive additional funding credits.

FAQ on Applied Digital Skills

Q: I've started teaching students the unit but some are not showing up on my Instructor Dashboard. How do I add them into the class after they started?
A: Please have your students rejoin your course by following these steps:
1.) Go to
2.) Sign into their account
3.) Once they've signed in, have them go to this link:
4.) Then reselect "I am a learner"
5.) Type in your course code


Q: My students are completing the videos and activities but they are missing checkmarks next to some activities in my Instructor Dashboard. Will I get credit for them completing the unit if there are not checkmarks for every video?
A: Don't worry about every student having checkmarks for every video and activity on your instructor dashboard. If they are added to your course and show some activity progress, they will count toward your total for the reward credit.


Q: I've signed up on the form but cannot find where to sign up with the same email address on the Applied Digital Skills website. Where do I go?
A:There is no form on the Applied Digital Skills site to complete. You only need to register ("Sign in") on the site as an instructor with the same email you used when you submitted the form for DonorsChoose.


Q: Multiple teachers at my school are interested in teaching Applied Digital Skills units to our students. Is there a way for student accounts to add more than one instructor's class code? 
A: We're glad to hear that multiple teachers would like to participate in this reward program! Unfortunately, there is not a way for one student account to be associated with more than one instructor account at the same time. One work around would be to have students use a different email account for each instructor who is teaching a different unit of Applied Digital Skills. If this is not an option, you can still individually qualify for rewards. Please have one instructor reach out to us with the emails of all the teachers in your school that are teaching units of Applied Digital Skills and we will work with you to ensure our records are accurate. 


Q: Why is my Learner tab showing different completion rates than my Data tab in my Dashboard?
A: For the purposes of qualifying for this reward program, don’t be worried if learners are missing a check mark or two here and there. In the Learner tab, checkmarks indicate your students finished those videos. If you know that they have completed the final video but it doesn’t show as a check mark, pick any other video and start playing it. The system will register the “checkmark” only after learners have moved past the video. The Data tab shows whether students completed the end of activity reflection which exists in some units. These reflections are optional.

For all other questions, please visit the Applied Digital Skills FAQ's doc