20 Powerful Google Docs Uses

GO TO: DitchThatTextbook.com/Google for ALL of today’s materials!

PRESENTATION FILES

Handout file: Click here (PDF)

PowerPoint presentation file: Click here (PDF)

FREE Connected Educator Guide: Click here (PDF)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. Sharing
  3. Teaching
  4. Managing files
  5. Assessments
  6. Conclusion

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Matt MillerMatt Miller (@jmattmiller) is a high school Spanish teacher at Turkey Run High School in Marshall, IN. His students engage in Spanish through educational technology regularly, including tools like blogs, digital videos and photos, QR codes, Google Voice and more. He blogs regularly at Ditch That Textbook, which is dedicated to teaching with less reliance on the textbook with an emphasis on technology and creative teaching. He can be contacted at matt@ditchthattextbook.com.

Matt is a member of the Indiana Department of Education’s eLearning Speakers Bureau and is available to present at your school or event. His sessions are known for being conversational and engaging. Participants leave with new ideas and incredibly thorough digital handouts with numerous links, videos and articles.

Possible session topics (among others) include:

  • Ditch That Textbook! The Paperless Classroom
  • Teaching with Google Apps
  • Social Networks for Teachers/Being a Connected Educator
  • Educational Technology the Right Way
  • Connecting Classrooms to the World
  • Blogging for Students and Teachers
  • Broadcast with Podcasts

For more information about Matt, visit the About page. For more information about Matt’s presentations, visit the Conferences page.

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 INTRODUCTION

What are Google Docs?

WHAT ARE GOOGLE DOCS? Video from presentation:

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SHARING

1. DISTRIBUTE FILES

In a Google Doc (Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Drawing or Form) that you want to share with someone else, click the blue “Share” button. In the following window, click “Change …” to alter who has access to the document. It can be as available as “Public on Web” or as private as ”

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2. COLLABORATE GLOBALLY

Anyone all over the world can work on the same document as you at any time. Just load up a file at the same time and watch as others make changes — in real time.

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3. SHARED PRESENTATIONS

A quick, easy way to do collaborative writing/creation in class: Create a Google presentation with a slide for every student. Make your sharing settings “Anyone with the link” and “Can edit.” Give each student a slide and start creating! Student work is easily shared with the class by showing the presentation on a projector or having students read through the slides.

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4. EMBED DOCS IN SITES

Any Google Doc can be embedded (i.e. placed on a page and still interactive) in another site. Click “File” and “Publish to the web …”. Then click “Start publishing” and “OK.” Find the “embed code” and copy all of it (highlight and Edit > Copy or Ctrl+C). Paste that code into a “Custom HTML” or “Embed” area and the file should display!

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TEACHING

5. CREATE PDF FILES INSTANTLY

Turn any document, presentation, spreadsheet or drawing into an easy-to-access, easy-to-send PDF file. Go to: File > Download as > PDF Document.

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6. SIGN-UP SHEETS

Create a spreadsheet and make slots for people to use to sign up. Use the “Share” button and click “Change …”. Select “Anyone with the link” and “Can edit.” Once everything’s set, copy the blue link and share it with those who need to sign up.

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7. GET STUDENT OPINIONS

Use a Google form survey to gather student opinions, interests or ideas. Add questions to a form (and add a place for their names if you’d like). Use text fields to have students type their answers. There are also multiple-choice fields, scales (“on a scale of 1-5 …”), checkboxes and more. Share the survey with students using the blue “Send form” button at the top.

When they’re done, you can view their responses with the “View responses” button or Responses > Summary of responses.

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8. COLLABORATIVE NOTES

Students — AND teachers! — can share notes and edit them at the same time. It’s great for group projects, researching, lesson planning and work in teacher committees.

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9. I-AM-STUDYING EXTENSION

The I-AM-STUDYING Blocker extension, when activated, is a self-imposed blocker of your distracting websites. Turn it on and it will stop you from checking Facebook, YouTube or any other site you choose.

To activate: Use the menu button in the top right. Select “Settings” and go to “Extensions”. At the bottom, select “Get more extensions”. Search for “I-AM-STUDYING” and add it by clicking “FREE”.

Use the same Menu > Settings > Extensions to find I-AM-STUDYING to change options and add new sites to block while you are working.

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10. GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS

Use drawings to create graphic organizers. Save them as picture files to include in documents. Embed drawings in websites, like e-portfolios of student work.

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11. FLIPPED INSTRUCTION

Flipped instruction takes teaching that you normally do during school and assigns it to the student outside of school. The work that normally was done as homework is done in class, giving the teacher more opportunity to help students one-on-one.

Google Forms are a GREAT tool for delivering videos for students to watch with a simple assessment tied to them.

The Google form collects student responses in a spreadsheet. Grade them manually OR let Flubaroo do it for you! (See No. 20 below!)

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12. CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE STORIES

In Choose Your Own Adventure stories, the reader makes choices for the characters in the story, and the characters’ outcome depends entirely on what the reader decides.

Create a Google Form and use multiple choice questions. They will depend on the “Go to page based on answer” option a lot. Check out an example here.  And feel free to check out my example (which you can copy!).

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MANAGING FILES

13-15. ACCESS DRIVE EVERYWHERE, OFFLINE AND FROM DESKTOP

You can store practically any file you want in Google Drive (home of your Google Docs). Think of it as your computer’s hard drive — but accessible anywhere with Internet access …

… or anywhere without Internet access too! See a video about accessing files offline here.

There’s no need to go online to find your files once you’ve installed Drive for your desktop. Use the link in the menu along the left side of your Drive to install Drive for your desktop.

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16. DOCTOPUS

Doctopus is the greatest invention to organize student work turned into the teacher and manage how files are shared between student and teacher. It also distributes files into students’ Google Drives.

Doctopus creates four folders for each of your classes:

  • A set of assignment folders (one for each student)
  • A “view” folder where students can only view the documents in it
  • An “edit” folder where students can edit the documents in it
  • A top-secret “teacher” folder for all of your top-secret teacher files :)

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17. NAMING FILES

Sorting documents in folders is a great organizational tool. But it may not be the fastest way to find a file you really need. For that, you need the search bar!

How I name files so I can find them FAST:

  • Code for each class (I, II, III, AP)
  • Code for each unit (U2, U4, U5)
  • Code for each chapter/week (S1, S3, S4)

Example: “I U3S1 Guía de estudiar” (Spanish 1 Unit 3 Week 1 Study Guide)

Why use these naming conventions: It’s more than twice as fast! It takes me about 15 seconds to dig a file out of folders while it’s just over 6 1/2 seconds to find a file using a search.

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ASSESSMENTS

18. RETHINKING ROUGH DRAFTS

Rough drafts of the past (and present) use printed-out copies of reports/papers. Now, rough drafts can be an ongoing process between student and teacher. As students write, teachers can check in and use the “comments” feature in Google Apps to give feedback to the student immediately.

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19. QUICK, EASY DO-NOWS

A fast way to figure out if students know your content: a shared spreadsheet. Create a spreadsheet and use the “Share” button (“Anyone with the link” and “Can edit”). Have students open the spreadsheet and choose a line on it. They answer a question on their own row but don’t hit “Enter” until you tell them to. When they hit “Enter”, everyone’s answers appear on the screen for instant feedback.

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20. ASSESS WITH FLUBAROO

Flubaroo is a script that will grade assessments for you instantly. To start, create an assessment using a Google Form. (Make sure to create a text field where students can write their name.) When students take the assessment, their answers are transferred to a spreadsheet automatically. (Make sure you take it too and use “ANSWER KEY” as the name!)

When students are done with the assessment, go to the spreadsheet with student responses. Click “Tools” and “Script gallery”. Search for “Flubaroo” and install it. When it’s installed, there will be a new item in the top menu called “Flubaroo.” Select “Flubaroo” and “Grade Assignment.” Follow directions on the screen. Flubaroo will create a report showing individual students’ scores and information about how the whole class did!

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 CONCLUSION

Become a Google Apps master! Google Demo Slam: Epic Docs Animation

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 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Mastering Google Apps for the Classroom: A good primer on Google Apps and what it’s capable of doing. It’s a bit outdated, but the basic explanation on what Google Apps do and how to use them is still solid.

Google Apps for Education: Tips for Teachers by Teachers: A free ebook by Backupify giving practical advice from teachers who use Google Apps in the classroom.