Amanda Alford uses Applied Digital Skills to build community, confidence, creativity in her classroom

Amanda Alford is a seventh-grade science and Google Education teacher at Switzerland County School Corporation in Vevay, Indiana. She uses Google's free video-based curriculum every day in her classes.

How does this curriculum help you meet student needs?

With Applied Digital Skills, each student can move at their own pace. A student who absorbs material quickly can move ahead, while one who needs to hear and see something several times to comprehend it doesn’t fall behind.

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[Applied Digital Skills] teaches [students] to work together not just as a class, but as a community.

What is the greatest benefit your students gained from Applied Digital Skills?

The consistent feedback between peers is such a vital benefit. Students can collaborate and leave comments digitally, and they don’t have to raise their hand and worry about what someone else will say. This teaches them to work together not just as a class, but as a community.

How have the units you have taught complemented other classroom initiatives?

Plan an Event works fabulously with the students’ Genius Hour projects. I used Pick the Next Box Office Hit to teach the scientific method--students made hypotheses from the different movies and learned how to graph their data. Technology, Ethics, and Security is great for Eastern Social Studies because students could research different countries, then add their research to the project for the unit.

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With Applied Digital Skills, each student can move at their own pace.

Which unit is your favorite to teach?

Plan and Budget is my favorite since it allows the students to think through real-world situations, such as car loans, cell phone plans, or rent vs. mortgage.

Follow Amanda on Twitter at @alford_science.

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