Review: Google Primer

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When you say the words “Google” and “education” in the same sentence, most people think of the way that Google Classroom and Chromebooks have invaded public k-12 schools at a rapid rate. What they should think of, at least if they ever plan on working in business, is Google Primer. Google Primer is an app, now available for download on both Apple and Android, that was beta-launched in 2014 with lessons on only 3 subjects. Now they have many, MANY more than that; you can find a lesson in almost any practical subject related to running a business, whether online or as a brick-and-mortar. And they add more lessons every week! For example, running up to the holidays, they published and promoted lessons related to stocking your store for the Christmas rush, and advertising for Black Friday.

Each lesson takes around 5 minutes, and most are part of larger lesson sets that group together like subjects. The lessons are formatted on cards, and quite frankly remind me of a children’s book in a couple of ways. First, in order to boost the entertainment value, each lesson centers on a fictional character who also owns a business, and has illustrations to match. Second, each card usually contains only one or two sentences, and one of Google Primer’s objectives is to keep the lessons completely jargon-free. Anyone at any level of education can understand these lessons.

One you may want to keep in mind, before I continue with the many cool things about Google Primer, is that there is only so far that it can take you and your business. It’s meant to be - go figure - a primer. Once you have the basics of whatever skill you need with it, it will be time to move on to more in-depth tutorials on other websites, which will inevitably have some jargon.

A feature I found mildly interesting is the ability to share your progress and skills on the platform: once you finish 4 lessons in a certain skill, you “earn” that skill (there are currently 18 possible skills). Here are some examples:

  • Business Planning

  • Brand Building

  • Email Marketing

  • Social Media

  • Business Management

  • Content Marketing

  • User Experience

There are lessons aimed toward the dreamer who hasn’t yet begun, and lessons aimed at the owner who has been in business for years, but wants a boost by going into digital marketing. Long story short, no matter where you are in business, chances are there’s something you need a primer on.