How Can I Bring Google Apps and Project Based Learning Together?


If you are in education, it’s likely you encounter terms and abbreviations for just about everything possible, everyday. One of the more common ‘buzzwords’ in education today is the idea of project-based learning, or PBL. Today we're going to discuss how to bring together Google apps and project based learning.


Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!What exactly is project-based learning? It is a specific teaching method in which students explore real-world problems and their challenges. It is a student-centered approach. The students are given an extended period of time to work together on investigating and responding to a question, challenge or problem.

Project-based learning sounds great, but how do I do it? I am glad you asked! PBL is broken into a set of processes, or elements. 

Six basic steps include:

  • Start with the essential question

    • A real-world problem, it poses a problem or situation that will require in-depth investigation, must be relevant to their lives to capture their interest.
  • Design a plan for the project

    • Students need to take ownership in the planning process, integrate as many subjects as possible when designing a plan
  • Create a schedule

    • Create a timeline in which specific project components are due, helps keep students on track but also allows for some flexibility in case students wish to pursue another possible project direction.
  • Monitor the Students and the progress of the project

    • Allows the teacher to facilitate the project process, help students work collaboratively, oversee students’ specific roles within the collaboration group, provide guidance, and assess the team and the project through the use of rubrics.
  • Assess the outcome

    • Enables the facilitator to provide constructive feedback to students
  • Evaluate the experience

    • Allows for self-reflection of the project by the students- Students can share feelings and their collaborative experiences. Teachers should promote the opportunity to constructively discuss what went well, what they could do differently next time, and share new ideas that may lead to new ideas, questions, or projects.

You can read more about how project based learning works here.

Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Whoa! That sounds SO confusing! I don’t get how I could do this in my class! No worries! It's easier than you may think to bring Google apps and project based learning together.

Don’t worry. There are two events that are currently taking place within school districts that demonstrate project-based learning perfectly. These school-wide initiatives are:
1) Genius Hour and 2) Makerspace.


"Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions. It encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school." (GeniusHour.com, 2016) 

Genius Hour can take place every day, once a week, or twice a month. As the teacher you decide on how much time you set aside. This creative time is totally student centered. Your students not only choose what they want to learn about, but they also choose how to showcase what they've learned. 

Picture this - an entire marking period or semester dedicated to one project. At the end of the project, your students will present their findings to either their class, grade level, a school wide fair, or maybe a worldwide online broadcast.  

During the entire process, the teacher acts as the facilitator. Maintaining deadlines and providing opportunities to obtain resources is really important.
Makerspaces, or STEAM labs, provide hands-on and creative ways that encourage and support students’ in their interest in designing, experimenting and and building in the areas of science, engineering and ‘tinkering’. A makerspace is not JUST a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room. It most likely will contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. It must be designed to accommodate a wide range of activities, tools and materials. 

"Diversity of activities are critical to the design, making and exploration process, and they are what set makerspaces and STEAM labs apart from single-use spaces. Some possible areas of interest students can pursue are woodworking, electronics, sewing and robotics." (Edutopia, Designing a School Makerspace, 2016) 

Okay, I understand project-based learning a little better, but how can I incorporate my love for Google Apps and Project Based Learning together? Easy! Let me tell you more!
Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!


For students’ inquiry, the use of Google search would be most beneficial. As with anything, you can ‘google’ basically any question or problem you have! Through the basic Google search engine, students can find images, videos, news articles, browse through books and explore the world through Google Earth.


PBL encourages that students work collaboratively in teams. Google provides many apps that allow for easy and stress-free teamwork. Students can e-mail files and images back and forth through active G-Mail accounts. Students can meet together ‘virtually’ through the use of Google+ and Google Hangouts. Most importantly, through Google Drive, students can work on documents simultaneously with their teammates.
Looking for ways to bring Google apps and Project Based Learning together? This blog post can help! You will learn two hands-on ways to incorporate PBL into the classroom by using technology. Both ideas can be incorporated into your classroom today with just a little effort on your part. These ideas will work great in your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade classrooms. Click through to learn more!

Student ownership is such an important aspect of a successful project-based learning activity. Students can utilize the use of Google Forms if they wish to poll their classmates or others outside of the classroom. They can create a website for their project with the use of Google Sites, which multiple people can have access to for easily collaboration. Google Groups also acts as a discussion board where students can pose questions and allow for ‘forum’ style feedback.

The last part of any successful project-based learning activity includes sharing, presenting, feedback and assessment. Again, Google provides multiple tools that students will find beneficial. Google Drive allows for seamless sharing of documents between group members as well as to facilitators. Google Slides is perfect for presenting their ideas and designs to other classmates or facilitators. Google Drawing is an excellent tool to demonstrate any artistic work and Picasa allows for the manipulation of such artwork and other images.


Overall, project-based learning may sound really confusing and some teachers might be discouraged from trying this in their classroom. However, Google provides excellent tools that students and teachers/facilitators will find easy to use and stress-free. When you combine Google apps and Project Based Learning, amazing things happen in the classroom!

Genius Hour and Makerspace are events I strongly recommend checking out and participating in at least once. They truly demonstrate what successful project-based learning looks like and how successful and important it is to the learning of our students!

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