Beginner’s Guide to Google Apps for Education

Introducing Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive.

Google Apps for Education is a powerful suite of online applications and tools that enable twenty-first century productivity, sharing and collaboration. With Google Apps available to all teachers and students in NSW Department of Education schools, now is an excellent time to become familiar with the tools and explore how they can best be used to enhance learning in your classroom. This course is intended for beginners with little or no experience in using Google Apps for Education.

“The number of available applications that rely on cloud technologies has grown to the point that few education institutions do not make some use of the cloud, whether as a matter of policy or not…”

2014 Horizon Report, K-12 Edition, p. 36

Participants are introduced to the most common applications – including Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive – in a supportive environment where beginner-level skills are consolidated through hands-on activities.

These activities include the use of Google Docs to scaffold brainstorming and collaborative writing, Google Sheets for recording, sharing, interpreting and visualising simple datasets, Google Slides for media-rich class presentations and Google Drive for storing, organising and sharing data in the cloud.

Participants examine and build upon case studies of best practice across a range of Stages and KLAs.

This course consists of two parts. A workshop day (5.5hrs) and a follow-on component to be completed in your own time after the workshop (4.5hrs). You must successfully complete both parts in order to gain the 10 professional learning hours.



The follow-on component for this course (4.5 hrs) is described below. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Information about due dates and instructions will be emailed to participants after the workshop day.

Design and deliver a lesson using one or more of the Google Apps for Education. Plan your lesson using Google Docs. Participants share their lesson to an online community where they will get to interact with the other teachers in the course. Participants complete a personal reflection piece and a course survey.

Read more about follow-on components, and see the criteria for successful completion in the FAQ below.

Audience: All teachers.

Keywords: Digital Learning Design, Digital Literacy, Collaboration.


This course can help me improve students’ technological literacy and enhance their 21st century learning through collaboration, developing new skills, and fostering higher order thinking skills through creating items in Google Apps.

It has given me the confidence to use Google apps in the classroom, even if it is only a small start. I am now thinking about ways I can incorporate some of the apps into my lessons rather than avoiding it altogether.

It will help me make my lessons more interactive with the students. I teach all the students in the school and to be able to have access to the work they prepare (via Google docs, etc.) will be invaluable. It will also mean that collaboration will truly take place between students and myself because I now have a better understanding of how to use these digital technologies for their purpose.


Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson

Researcher, Developer & Facilitator

Dr Michael Stevenson is a lecturer in the School of Education at Macquarie University. Since commencing his teaching career in 2001, he has taught English, ESL, Music and Technology in secondary schools across northern and western Sydney. In addition to teaching, he worked as Leader of Learning Technologies in the secondary Catholic system Diocese of Parramatta, facilitating the implementation of learning management systems, technology mentoring, 1-1 programs and ICT-curriculum alignment. He has also been chiefly involved in developing and implementing an integrated curriculum program that incorporates Project-Based Learning and cross-curricla team teaching in open plan environments.

In 2013, he joined the School of Education as Convenor of the English Methodologies program, working with preservice teachers in areas that include Secondary English, ICT and pedagogy. As a researcher, Michael has worked on a range of technology-related research projects with Education Services Australia, the Australian Independent Schools Network (AIS) and Department of Education (DoE). His doctoral study explores the role of technology-enabled Personal Learning Networks in teacher professional learning.


Unfortunately there are no plans to run this course again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


How do I enrol?
Enrolment is through the MyPL system. Click on the Event ID provided and it will take you to the enrolment page. NSW Department of Education (DoE) teachers can log in using their credentials. Non-DoE participants need to sign up for a MyPL account in order to enrol. Click here for instructions, and click here for more information about MyPL for non-DoE participants.
How is payment taken?
If you are from a NSW DoE school, payment will be via direct debit and appear on your school's Sundry Tax Invoice Statement. Non-DoE schools and individuals will be invoiced. Please contact us to confirm your billing details.
How do I get there and do I need to bring anything?
There are many transport options. See our Contact page for more information. We will send out an email to all participants with parking information two days before the event. Please look out for this email and read the instructions carefully. All equipment will be provided unless otherwise advised.
What if I cancel or don't show up?

You can delete your own enrolment through MyPL, however keep in mind any cancellations made within 2 days of the event or no-shows will incur the full cost, charged to your school. Please contact us if there are any issues with your attendance.

What's a follow-on component?

Some of our courses include a follow-on component to be completed by the participant in their school context with the aim of transferring the new practice to their teaching and learning repertoire. These deliverables are included as part of the course hours and are designed to engage teachers in real ‘learning through doing’ leading to improvement in the skills and capabilities of teachers. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Details of the follow-on will be emailed out to all participants. The deliverables must meet the following Criteria:

  1. Product (this may refer to lesson plan, unit of work or other digital product)
    1. evidence of creativity;
    2. planning and/or design;
    3. incorporation of key ideas in the course;
    4. integration of technology; and
    5. a published/shared product that is appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
  2. Online Interaction
    1. peer feedback; and
    2. community building.
  3. Personal Written Reflection (200 words):
    1. Reflect on the learning experience gained by participating in this course, including the deliverables, OR reflect on your classroom practice (including a description of the pedagogical approach, delivery and implications for the future); AND
    2. Reflect on how you achieved one or more of the specified professional learning standards.
More questions? Contact us.

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