My “can’t live without”
Google Docs features:
  1. Share.  Collaboration is key!

  2. Search, upload & organize in Drive.

  3. Insert Comments for assessment & feedback

  4. Use the Research Tool to search, add images & citations within the Doc

  5. Recently I’ve use Add-Ons add extra functionality

Ideas for using Google Docs with your staff or for  yourself:
  • Staff meeting agendas and follow up notes
  • Grade level or subject area team planning
  • Share a template for classroom observations
  • Weekly Announcements
  • Shared listing of upcoming school events
  • Revise long documents where each teacher edits one particular section
  • Back up important documents or download Google Docs to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip files.
  • View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
  • Create a SHARED FOLDER (a folder is also called a Collection) and encourage staff members to place documents there instead of printing copies and placing them in everyone's staff box.  Your secretary will love it!
  • Save a tree and turn in an assignment using Google Docs instead of printing (or in shared folder).  Easy for the teacher to make comments - just go to Insert / Comment.
  • Planning for the staff party!!!
  • Upload images, videos, pdfs, pptx, psd and more - You'll have 15 GB of free storage for files you don't convert into one of the Google Docs formats

Ways you could use Google Docs with your students (Remember, students 13+ can use their own Google account but for younger students you should use Google Apps for Education w/ parent consent):   
  • Write a collaborative story.  One student writes the beginning and then another add the second paragraph.  The third adds to it and so on and on (consider having each student write in a different color).
  • Group planning for projects or lab report documentation become simple and transparent.  Each member can contribute their information and the teacher can view the revision history anytime.
  • Google Docs is great for collaborative brainstorming - every idea is included. Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators.
  • Instead of saving Word files onto a jump drive or emailing back and forth, the student can work on a document on Google docs and access it from school and home.  They will always have access to it and as a teacher you won't hear "I forgot it at home" or "I have a different program at home".  Plus, if you ask your students to share their documents with your email - you can peak at their progress anytime (would only do this for major projects - not every Google Doc).
  • Have your classroom create a class newsletter.  Invite various students to work on the document at the same time.Then publish it and send URL to the parents. 
  • If all students have access to the same document, you could use it for class announcements or assignments.  This is much easier than making and maintaining a class webpage.Or place the announcement doc in a class shared folder.
  • Collaborative note taking
  • Never print out reading assignments, poetry, or essays for the whole class to read again.  Create a shared folder and place the documents (doc or pdf) in a shared folder for viewing only.  You can also upload folders but if you're working in a browser other than Chrome, you'll need to enable Java in your browser and install an applet in order to upload folders to Google Docs.
  • Upload a document to the Template Gallery and have students grab a copy of the document for their own files.
  • Insert photos onto a Google Doc to share with classmates
  • Translate a document to a different language.
  • Collaborate on lyrics for a song or poem and then record in tracks in GarageBand or Audaciity.
  • Managing Student Portfolios with Google Apps -
  • More Docs Resources from the EdTech Team -

Excellent Google Apps workflow presentation by Frank Pileiro

Reference links from Google Help:

A handy simple-to-use reference guides from Google Apps Learning Center

Resources from Google Docs support page:
Updated August 2014

Google Docs Background Info

Google Docs makes creating, editing and sharing documents so easy and best of all - it's FREE!  Your documents are stored online and you can easily access them anytime and from any computer. Do you know what that means?  No more keeping track of jump drives ... no more emailing documents back and forth from home to work ... no more worries about incompatible software programs.
First of all you need a Google account. You'll be able to use your Google Account to use many of the tools Google has, and you don't need to sign up for a Google e-mail account to have one. You will, however, need to provide an e-mail address and a password while filling in a short form.  Once you receive your verification e-mail, you'll be ready to try Google Docs.

If you have a gmail account, you can get to Google Docs by clicking on Documents usually found at the left-hand top of the page. Or you can go to and click on the NEW button (upper left) to create a document, spreadsheet, presentation or form.  You can start from scratch or upload an existing document that you already have on your computer.
Google Docs has basic editing features like font effects, images, tables. If you're interested in more advanced publishing features, you can easily export the files to other programs (hint:  you can download your docs in a variety of formats:  HTML, OpenOffice, PDF, Word, RTF and more).
So why use Google Docs?  Your document is stored online. And now you have a document online, you can access it from any computer at home and work (or Starbucks!) but here's the best part ... you can invite others to view or edit the document online (use the SHARE button on upper right side) and everyone can make changes to the document, EVEN AT THE SAME TIME!!! 
Just think .. no more emailing drafts back and forth to team members ... everyone can add their own revisions to the same document and watch it improve.  Google Docs encourages collaboration and keeps the documents organized in one location.  You can view the revision history to see who made which edits or even revert to a previous version.

The Revision feature keeps track of changes, when they were made, and, if the document has been shared with collaborators, who made them. It also gives you the opportunity to compare two versions of the document, and to revert to any of the previous versions. Whether you're working on your own, or working with others, having a history of the different versions can be really helpful. As a collaborator revises, their changes and comments can be made in different text colors. As a teacher, this gives you a great record of who has done the work, and when it was entered. You'll need to be sure your students invite you to the Document as a collaborator so you have access to it and can revise it or leave comments on the document. And the great thing about leaving comments is that when you are ready to print, and click the Print link, none of the comments will show.

You'll find this feature under File > Revision History

Teaching students how to revise is an important skill, especially when they are working collaboratively. Recognizing the need to teach that skill, Google teamed with Weekly Reader to help you teach revision skills in your classroom. Here you'll find downloadable PDF files you can use with your students to help them learn collaborative revision skills.


Google has made it so easy to use Google Docs! They've even thought of a number of times you might like to use Google Docs and have made a Template Gallery with over 300 templates that are ready for you to use! You'll find Templates under New > From template...

There you can perform a search for the kind of template your might like. There's even a section devoted to Students and Teachers. You can find templates for your students to write a paper or for you to write a lesson plan. There are templates to help you make an online math quiz or templates to record grades.

But it doesn't stop there. You'll find templates for all kinds of things! Here are just a few examples of the kinds of templates Google is there to help you with:  calendarsinvitationsgas mileage calculator. Take a look, more are becoming available all the time

Here are a few ideas on how we use Google Docs in the classroom:

Teacher collaboration examples by Mary Fran Lynch
Recently, my third grade colleagues and I downloaded the principal's Action Plan Word-template into Google Docs. We worked on a draft at a meeting. I worked on the Language Arts section while another teacher worked on the Math section. Still, it was a draft, and needed more work. But then I went out of town. After another meeting back in San Jose, I opened the shared document in my Google Docs account, added my edits, and my colleagues back home instantly had my revisions. When it was time to send it back to the principal, it was Downloaded as a Word document and sent it back to her so she could easily add it into the Word doc she had.

Student collaboration examples by Colette
Students in the Journalism classes write articles for the school paper.  Students write their drafts using Google Docs and then share them with the teachers and the student editors to review their work and make suggestions.  Its easy to make corrections at the same time or insert comments in the writing.  This process goes back and forth for a few drafts.  Once the article is finalized, the student writes FINAL on the top and send a link to the specific page editor to let them know its available for publication.  That editor opens up the document and places the story in the paper.  We all work on the same document - we don't email back and forth - and there is no confusion which draft to publish.  Its an efficient and smooth process.
Middle school students were searching for articles about online safety in small groups.  Instead of just creating a list of all of their sources, I decided they should collect all their articles into one document.  Once a group member found an article they wanted to share, they opened up a Google shared document and entered their name, URL of the website, copied the entire article into the document, saved and shared the document with group members.  When the next student was ready they repeated the process.  The students then turned in their sources when the group completed their research.  The best part is that now all of the students have access to all of the articles found and I have the full text of their sources.