Google Docs, Presentation and Forms

Google Docs is the suite of apps that includes Documents, Spreadsheet, Presentation,  and Forms. These documents are designed to be very user-friendly and largely mimic Microsoft Office procedures and capabilities with the very important difference that these documents are accessible at all times from any Internet-capable device and multiple users can collaborate on documents in real-time.  

Cool features you may not have known about 

Is your documents list on your Google docs/ Google Drive home page getting too long? 
  • Create a "Collection." It's like a folder. You can sort your documents into collections that make sense for the different types of projects you and/or your students are working on. In Google Docs, click "Create" then choose "Collection". Give the collection a name. Then go to your list and select the items you want in that collection. To further organize your document in-box, you can also opt to remove the document from the home screen once it has been placed in a collection.
Add charts and even "motion charts" to data in the Spreadsheets. Motion charts compare the results of two data sets over a specified period of time. They play like a movie.
  • Here's a sample: 
    • Hit the "play button" below the chart. Ignore the code below the chart--you don't need to know code to do this. Instead, you have to carefully set up the data entry on the spread sheet, then from the "Insert" menu, choose "Gadget" and then choose "Motion Chart".
    • Here's a more complex sample. Note that in the list on the lower right, you can select countries to highlight/compare and replay the chart.
    • Want to make one? Step-by-step instructions here. 
Add a footnote in Google Documents: 
  • Students can go to "Insert", choose "Footnote" and type in all of the information required by the teacher's style guide as they are typing up the information to which the footnote relates. Then, when they print, the footnotes are automatically at the end of the document and in the right order.
Add research with an automatic, MLA footnote in Google Documents:
  • Go to Tools in the top menu.
  • Click on "Research".
  • A new window will appear on the right. Look toward the bottom of that window and choose what type of result you want: Images (including what licensing), Quotes, Scholar, Dictionary, and more.
  • Type your query into the search box.
  • Choose the result you wish to include in your paper.
  • Be sure your cursor is where you want the new information to appear.
  • Click "insert" in the research window.
  • Now, check your document: the quote, image, or other new item will have been inserted along with a superscript number. Scroll to the bottom of that same page, and you will find the properly-formatted footnote for reference-citing.
You can also use this technique to properly attribute something you are citing (but not directly quoting) by searching "Everything" and then choosing "site" when you find the Web page that had the information that is the basis for the statement in  your paper.

Share finished presentations in "Presentation View" so they can't be edited by the viewer. 
  • Go to your presentation. Click on "View". Click on "Start Presentation". 
  • When the window opens, copy that URL and share it. 
  • Alternatively, you can also use the normal "Share" button in the upper right hand corner while editing but change the invitation status from "collaborators" to "viewers."

Google Forms
You can create a form to get survey data from students and/or parents; to do quick "checks-for-understanding" or practice quizzes; to create a place for students to submit responses (as a homework assignment) or even to provide a quick way for students to share work they have done online so you have all of their links in one document when you want to grade them or show their work to the class--no more need for PowerPoints loaded onto slow (or virus-laden) flash drives!

Now, you can also embed YouTube videos into the forms. This affords some great opportunities to teachers and students, because the form can include the video and the questions you want them to answer about the video, all in one document.

Forms are also a great way to have students submit assignments they create online (such as presentations they create in Google or Prezi, movies they upload to YouTube, or when they create wikis, Web sites or blogs). In the form, just ask for their last name, first name, period and the link to the public version of their online work. You will get a spread sheet that can be sorted by period, or by name, with links to all of their work in one document.

When you create a form, you first select a template, then you prepare your questions. When you're ready, be sure to click on "View live form" and copy that link to share. If students are going to use mobile devices to access the form, be sure to shorten the link and/or create a QR code (scroll down on this page for information). 

As individuals respond to the form, their answers are automatically recorded in a spreadsheet that Google created when you made the form. To see the responses, go to your Google Drive, open the form and at the top, select "View responses."

Google Forms Tutorial

Here's a quick video tutorial to get you started

Are you really advanced? Try using question logic in your form by having respondents directed to a specific question based on the answer they gave. This is particularly good for surveys. You will need to put questions onto different "pages" (insert a new page by clicking on "add" and selecting "page" below the various question types) in order for the form to be able to direct students to a question that wasn't the next one in the sequence. 

For example if you have a yes/no question as question 2 and questions 3 and 4 are really only appropriate if the respondent answers "yes", you would put questions 1 and 2 on one page, 3 and 4 on the second page and 5 through the end on a third page. Then, when editing question 2, you would designate that a "no" response goes to page 3 (questions 5 through the end). You don't have to designate a "yes" response as continuing onto page 2 because page 2 would come next anyway.

Jazz up your spreadsheets, presentations and forms in Google Docs with pre-designed templates. 
  • Those who feel ready can also design their own templates to give their work a unique look and those templates can be shared with others to use. You also have the option to choose a pre-made template.
Flubaroo: a script to grade assignments students complete in Google Forms. 
  • It will tell you how individual students did as a whole, including exactly which questions they missed, and how the class did. It even highlights all of the questions on which less than 75% of the class got the answer correct. 
  • Go to Scripts for Ed for more info on how to access and install this script or watch this tutorial . Note that you may need to scroll while viewing to see everything.

Embed your Google Forms in your Web site

This allows your students/parents to go to your Web site and answer directly on that page (they don't even have to click on a link: the questions, as well as the blanks or choices for responding are visible on the page.
  • Go to your form
  • Make sure you are in the mode to edit the form (otherwise, you may just embed the spreadsheet with the responses)
  • Go to "file" at the top left
  • Choose "embed"
  • Copy the code
  • Go to the page on your Web site where you want to embed the form.
  • If necessary, switch your view to "html". 
  • DON'T erase any existing code!!! You will make undesired changes to your Web site.
  • Carefully read the code. Look for the sentence above where you want to insert the form.
  • follow the code until you see <br> or </p> (the first means "break", like a line break and the second means "end paragraph").
  • I like to insert a return at that point (after the <br> or </p> so I can see what I am doing. The return is not a code so it won't effect your page when someone views it.
  • Copy the embed code you pasted.
  • You can insert <br> if you would like to add a line of space after your form.
You can also set up your form to email you each time a new entry is made in the form.
  • Make sure you are looking at the spreadsheet where the responses will go.
  • Go to "Tools"
  • Choose "Notification Rules"
  • Make selections in the window that appears
  • Click Save

Short URLS and QR codes
Use to provide short URLs and QR codes so students can access your Google Docs quickly and easily from mobile devices
  • Especially good for having students complete Google Forms (for surveys or formative assessment) on their phones, tablets or other wifi-enabled devices, such as iPod Touch. QR code

  • QR (Quick Response) codes eliminate the need to type any text in order to get to a Web site: just scan the QR code using the QR code reader (downloadable from the device's app store--I recommend Red Laser for Apple and Android devices and NeoReader for Blackberry). Launch the app and point the device at the code. Once it reads the code, the device will ask if you want to go to that page. Click yes and you're on the Web site linked to the code.
  • It is still a good idea to give the short URL as well so that those without cameras on their devices can still type a shorter URL than they would have had to if the code had not been shortened.
    • Go to (no need for http://)
    • Paste the long URL
    • When the shortened version appears, click on "Details" and you'll get a QR code too.
      • NOTE about short URLS: they are case-sensitive!!!
    • Another benefit to Google's URL shortener: all the links you have shortened are saved, so if you have certain ones you use repeatedly, you don't have to recreate them. 
  • Here's a video tutorial: