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Google docs


Google docs


10 people can edit a presentation simultaneously
10 people can edit a document simultaneously
50 people can edit a spreadsheet simultaneously

Comparison of different Google Docs

Google and COPPA information

Posts are available here and here.

Google Docs is more than just a document. It is also:

  • Presentations
  • Forms
  • Gadgets
  • Spreadsheets
  • Templates

Google document

  1. Sign into your google account or go to http://docs.google.com
  2. Click on New and then document.
  3. or Click on New and the From template to choose already made templates
  4. Many of the tools available in a word processing program are also available in Google Docs.
  5. Toolbar:
  6. Other tools under "Insert" 
    and "Tools"

Collaboration in Google Docs

Click on Share in the right hand corner and then Share with others.

You can invite people by email address as collaborators who will be able to edit or as viewers only.

What makes Google Docs incredible

  • Ease of adding footnotes table of contents, etc.
  • Insert comments: Commenting allows others editing to comment on sections - invaluable to educators
  • Can now insert drawings
  • Can now look up words
  • Ability to work offline using Google gears. Install Google Gears. Go to your Google Docs List Page. Choose Offline > Get Gears Now. When asked to "allow https://docs.google.com as a trusted site" check the box next to "I trust this site. Allow it to use Gears." Click the Allow button. Whenever you use this feature, it will sync the files (be patient, it may take a few moments to do this.) Now you can use your documents anytime without being online.
  • Can see who is online on a shared document and see all changes made using the revision history.

Changing languages

One annoying problem that crops up from time to time: The language will change in documents but not in any other Google product. If this happens, clear the cookies and the cache. Shut down the browser and restart. Bring up google docs and be sure that the language is set to English.

Using a Template

Open a new document by clicking on New: From template

Under Category section on left, choose Student and Teacher


  • Research paper
  • Long book report
  • Schedule (Student theme)
  • Course syllabus
  • Math quizzes
  • Grading sheets
  • Scientific report
Other categories:
  • Holiday
  • Albums and flipbooks
  • Labels and business cards
  • Statistics
  • Cards and certificates
  • Presentation designs
  • Gas mileage calculator
Great templates for teachers
  • Flashcards - remove cards from the deck once you now them, shuffle cards, change languages, use with all subjects
  • Word study
  • Word search
  • While in spreadsheets, go to "Insert" and then "Gadget" to choose
Using Google docs to create short url's

Using math equations in Google Docs

Firefox addon for installing math fonts to create equations

Open Google documents from a gmail

  • Using gmail allows you the option of opening attached email document in google docs.
  • At the bottom of your email you will see:
  • Click on the options to open as a google document which will be saved in your google docs account.

Changing the ownership of a Google Doc

Check the box next to the name of the doc in your Docs list. Then click more actions and select change owner.

Google Presentation

You can:

  1. Create a new presentation by clicking on New and then Presentation
  2. Upload an existing powerpoint (will not upload Office 2007 powerpoint - will have to change to .ppt format instead of .pptx)

Great features in Google presentations
  • Students can use the chat feature and ask questions during a presentation
  • Not all formatting appears when uploading (no animation as well)
  • To be able to use chat - must publish and viewers must log on to google account to chat
  • Use the embed code to put into a wiki or blog or website for viewing

Themes for presentations

Choose the themes in Google presentations or check out the many themes in Templates. Choose New ----> From template to find and open a new theme. Choosing a theme gives you examples you can follow and change the wording (read the wording first, they have many great ideas and hints about design and using presentations.)

Snap to Grid

Snap to grid makes it easy to auto-align text, images, shapes, and tables within your slides. This is automatic already. Try out these handy keyboard modifiers:

[ALT] while dragging turns off the grid and gives you smooth drag (use [OPTION] on a mac)
[SHIFT] while dragging enables vertical and horizontal dragging guides
[SHIFT] while moving an object with arrow keys enables 1 pixel nudge
[SHIFT] while resizing preserves the aspect ratio of the object
[CTRL] while moving leaves the original object and drops a duplicate in the new location

Google Spreadsheets

  1. Choose New and then Spreadsheets
  2. Check your locale and time zone in order for date stamps to be correct
  3. Upload an excel spreadsheet
  4. Name your spreadsheet.
  5. Enter formulas or highlight fields and insert formulas to calculate data for you
Example Google Spreadsheets:

Making a dropdown menu in a spreadsheet


Cool Gadget in Google Spreadsheets

To insert a gadget, click "Insert" and then "Gadget." Some great gadgets:

  1. Click featured for great options such as "Word Cloud," "Word search," "Timeline," and "Flashcards" among others
  2. Click "Finance" to find "Pile Chart"
  3. Click "Diagrams" to find "Tree Map Gadget"
  4. Click "Charts" and then scroll down to find "Bars of Stuff"

Google Forms

  1. Create a form and edit the fields easily.
  2. Choose the question types for each question.
  3. Question orders can be changed easily by simply dragging and dropping
  4. Save and then "publish" the form, "Email this form", or from "More Actions" to get the embed code.
  5. Embed the form into  a wiki, blog, or webpage to collect responses or email the form out directly to the respondents.
  6. A spreadsheet is formed with the responses.
  7. Can select data and create charts and gadgets easily.

Creating a self grading spreadsheet/form

A screencast to follow on creating a self grading form: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cjXeqwnDe

Alternately, use this great website to make a self grading google form: http://www.flubaroo.com/

Adding an image into a form


Ideas for Google docs

  • Reading responses. Why use a journal where you ask questions and then they are never answered? Use a Google doc as a journal that requires an ongoing entering of information (and answering your questions)
  • Peer edit reports or other work
  • If working on a project. keep up with their progress by creating a spreadsheet of work that needs to be done. Students enter information when done or color code a square to show they have finished the item.
  • Collaborate with spreadsheets
  • Collaborating with a document can be a problem unless you devise a table or headers where students know they should be working.
  • Use word count function to identify the Readability Index of the passage. This encourages writing to grade level or writing to the audience.
  • Use footnotes to identify sources.
  • Collaborate on collected data
  • Publish the document for sharing. This stops editing on the document.
  • Have students ask questions in the presentation. Classmates can use the backchannel to comment and answer the questions. This teaches appropriate communication and is engaging. Videos and images can be shared in the chat window.
  • Use any number of templates available for an unlimited amount of class and other uses.
  • Learn to use folders and colors to organize your documents.
  • Mock elections
  • Grading collaboration or other rubrics
  • Class votes or surveys
  • What did you have for lunch?

Example Projects


Google forms examples

Group evaluation 
Self evaluation of podcast project

Monthly report for principals
Rubric for video pre-production
Parent IEP input
Teacher survey about behavior problems

Organizing your Google Docs

  • When you are working on many items, your list of google docs can easily get messy
  • Create folders as you are working. You can mark the item you want moved into a folder and then click move, or simply drag the name of the item into the correct folder.
  • Creating color coded folders makes finding folders easier

Backing up Google Docs


Video resources

Google Docs YouTube channel

Importing files into Google Docs

YouTube Video

Sharing in Google Docs

YouTube Video

Using forms in Google Docs

YouTube Video

Chatting while collaborating in Google Docs

YouTube Video

Using the Revision history in Google Docs

YouTube Video

How to use Auto Fill in Google Spreadsheets

YouTube Video

Exporting files from Google Docs

YouTube Video

Using pivot tables in Google Spreadhseets

YouTube Video

Other resources

Check out the pdf's below for some great resources on using/teaching about revisions and collaboration
Google docs tour
Google docs help center
Google forms
Google docs templates

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Louise Maine,
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Louise Maine,
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Louise Maine,
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Louise Maine,
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