Tag Archives: Google Docs

Suggested Edits – My Favorite Tool in Google Docs

Suggested Edits MenuIf you assign writing assignments to your students, then be sure to learn how to use “suggested edits.” Suggested edits is similar to “track changes” in Microsoft Word. To turn it on, simply click on the Pencil (with the words “editing” next to it) and select “suggesting.” The menu will turn from grey to green.

Now, when you make changes to a document, they will show up as “suggestions” rather than direct edits. Users can even write notes to one another on the “suggestions” comments. This is a great way for multiple users to edit the same document or for students to do a peer editing exercise.

Suggested Edits

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How & Why Educators Should Use Revision History in Google Docs

Revision History

One of my favorite features in G-Suite tools is “Revision History.” This features allows you to see what changes were made, when, and by whom. It’s a powerful tool, especially in education. If you have never accessed the revision history, you can do so (so long as you have “editing” rights on a document) by going to File –> See Revision History.

This brings up a pane on the right hand side that allows you to see what contributors edited the document and when. If you select their names, it will highlight their changes in the marked color. It’s a pretty cool feature! There are numerous reasons why and educator would want to use Revision History in the classroom.

Ensure that Collaborative Projects are Collaborative

Group assignments are common in the classroom. However, it’s not uncommon for a group assignment to be monopolized by one or two students (either out of necessity or willfulness). By using revision history, you can ensure that group members are all participating in an assignment.

Restore a Previous Version

A student may inadvertently delete a section of an assignment or a contribution. One of my favorite features of revision history is that you can restore a previous version. Just find the draft that you want and click “restore this version.”

Ensure that Daily Assignments are Completed… Daily

A lot of teachers assign work that is due daily but checked sporadically. For example, English teachers often require that students keep a daily or weekly diary, social studies teachers ask for students to reflect on assignments, or science teachers require daily recordings of experiment results. The revision history can tell you when something was added to a Google Doc.

Watch the Evolution of a Student’s Writing

When I assign a writing assignment, there are several iterations and revisions. By using the revision history, I don’t need to worry that a hard rough draft is lost or damaged in a student’s backpack or locker. Instead, I can watch the evolution of a student’s writing over several days, weeks, or months. This a powerful tool when teaching writing.

Facilitate Peer Review

If you encourage peer review, revision history can help you to see the feedback and suggestions that students make on one another’s work. This way, you can ensure that they are reading and meaningfully providing feedback.

There are many other ways to apply revision history, but these 5 are a great way to get started with the feature in your classroom.

 

How to email a Google Doc (Without Leaving Google Docs)

The best feature of Google Docs is the ability to collaborate with others. Sometimes, you need to send a copy of a Google Doc to someone who doesscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-08-10-am not work in the Google atmosphere. You can easily email a Google Doc as an attachment to someone right within the document! To do this, click on File –> email as an attachment.

Next, in the pop up window, select the form you would like (PDF, MS Word, Rich Text Format, HTML, Plain Text, Open Document, or just paste it into the email itself! Enter the email address, include a message, and your email is sent! This is a feature that works even if your domain does not have gmail enabled (although you should tick “send a copy to myself” if you would like a confirmation of the email).

This is a great way to send off finished drafts or to share material with individuals who do not work within the Google platform.

Free Interactive & Directed GAFE Training Tool

Synergise has been a long popular training tool for Google Apps. It provided interactive training and walkthroughs for organizations at a nominal fee. Last Spring, Google acquired Synergise in order to offer this support to a broader audience – for free. Now, your institution (Google Apps for Education/Work/Non-Profits) can roll-out this in house training system for free under the rebranded “Training for Google Apps.” It’s a great resources for your users and allows them to expand and self-direct their training.

Screenshot (1)

Courtesy of Google Chrome Store

To use this feature, your Google Apps administrator will have to install it using Google’s Marketplace Apps. Next, they can either force-install it as a Chrome Extension for the institution, or direct users to install this tool via the Google Chrome webstore. Training for Google Apps also allows you to shape your organization’s support system by recommending lessons, adding your own content, and running reports. This is a great way for you to provide scaled and relevant support for your school or workforce.

5 Uses for Google Forms in Schools

Over the last year, Google has showered Forms with a lot of attention and, as a result, has enjoyed numerous, productive updates for educators. I use Google Forms regularly in my school and now more than ever, it’s become instrumental for both my academic as well as administrative duties. Here are five ways that you can use Google Forms in your school.

Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket

I’m a fan of bell ringers and exit tickets. Bell ringers are a great tool to check for understanding and to get my students in the mind-set of the class. Exit tickets are a great way to check for understanding at the end of a lesson. With Forms, you can post an assignment for students to complete when they walk in the door or a quick quiz to assess them at the end of a lesson. If your students are in a 1:1 environment, you can email the form to them. You can also distribute the form with a shortened URL (using a tool like Google’s URL shortener, goog.gl) or even post a QR code for students to scan with their smart phones. New Forms now includes a “quiz” options so that students can be assessed once they hit “submit.” To activate this feature, click on settings (the gear icon) and select the “quiz” option. You can then select whether or not students get feedback right away, what answers they see, and more.

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Collect Emergency Contact Information

If you take field trips or want to keep an emergency packet, Google Forms can be a great way to collect emergency contact information from parents and guardians. Simply create a Google Form that asks for names, phone numbers, and email addresses. As Google Forms collects this data into an aggregated spreadsheet, you have access to all of the information in one place. If you have teaching assistants, parent volunteers, or chaperones, you can share out this information using “view only” mode in preparation for field trips or emergency planning.  A nice feature here is that phone numbers collected in spreadsheets serve as a “hot-link” on phones; click the number and it will auto-dial!

Collecting Feedback

Feedback is an important tool for both students and teachers. If you are trying out a new lesson or project, wanting to hear how students feel they are learning, or otherwise collect feedback, Google Forms is a great way to do this. Using Forms, you can make the feedback anonymous or collect user data, give open ended options or scale responses to a list or a grid. I periodically collect feedback just to take the pulse of my classroom and to improve on my teaching methods.

Sign up for Project Topics

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.30.11 AMI love to make students teach in my class! Often, I will break down a large subject into various, smaller topics. Using Google Forms and the add-on Choice Eliminator, I can not only ensure that my students sign up for a project, but that they each select a unique topic. To use this feature, be sure that you have the add on Choice Eliminator (you can access it in the Chrome Web Store). Choice Eliminator will remove question options (check box and multiple choice) once a user has selected it. To access your add-ons, click on the Add-On button (it looks like a puzzle piece) and select “Choice Eliminator.” Select “configure” and then choose the questions you want use Choice Eliminator on. If you need a little extra help, check out the Choice Eliminator tutorial below.

Volunteer sign up

Do you need to find volunteers for prom, to count votes for an election, or chaperone the class volunteer trip? Google Forms is a way to collect volunteer information, have them sign up for shifts, or indicate that they can volunteer to carpool. The flexibility of Forms and add-ons make it a great tool to wrangle in your volunteers. For example, if Prom is a particularly popular volunteer activity, you can use the add-on formLimiter to stop accepting sign-ups after you have hit your maximum. If you want to divide the form into shifts, you can combine formLimiter and Choice Eliminator. The flexibility of Google Forms make this a great tool for wrangling your volunteers, collecting contact information, and organizing them effectively.

Google Forms is one of the most flexible tools within the Google platform. Not only is it useful as a classroom tool, but for administrative tasks as well. These are only five options, however I encourage you to play with this and find ways that it can make your life easier. Post your suggestions below!

10 Google Docs Hacks Every Teacher Should Know

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Google-Apps

Google Docs is a popular word processing tool because it allows ready access to your documents and files from any internet connected device. It permits users to readily share documents and easily collaborate on materials. If you are already familiar with Google Docs, try out these 10 hacks to up your Google game!

CONVERT A WORD DOC TO GOOGLE DOCS

Microsoft Word is still the most popular word processor in the business, educational, and private world. Even if you have fully jumped on the Google Docs bandwagon, undoubtedly you encounter a Word document on a regular basis or perhaps you have a repository of older Word Docs. You can readily import and convert Word documents into Google Docs. There are two ways to accomplish this. First, you can set your Google account to convert files automatically to Google Docs. Select the gear icon → settings → general and tick the box “convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format.” Second, if you prefer to convert files manually (to keep a copy in Word), leave this box unticked and upload a Word document as is. Next, right click on the word document within Google Drive → Open with → Google Docs. Your document will open as a Google Doc; it will keep your Word document intact.

Convert uploaded files to docs editor

OFFLINE EDITING

You may believe that Google Docs is solely available online. However, by enabling offline editing on your devices, you can access and edit your documents even when you are away from the internet. The next time that you connect to the server, it will sync your changes. For offline editing to work, however, you must enable it on your devices. On your computer or Chromebook, open the Chrome browser (note that this will only work within Chrome) open Drive → gear icon → tick the box next to “Offline” to enable syncing of your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings for offline editing.

If you would like to access your files offline on an iOS device (iPad or iPhone), it’s a little different. You will need to enable offline editing for specific files you would like to access. If you haven’t already, download the iOS Google Docs App. Open up Google Docs and locate the file you would like to use offline. Click the three dot menu next to the file and click on “Download & keep in sync.” Your device will then download the file and make it available for offline editing.

If you use an Android device (Smartphone or Tablet), open the Docs app → tap and hold the document name for two seconds. When the pop-up box appears, touch the white pushpin icon, when the icon appears a solid black, the file is available for offline use.

RESTORE AN EARLIER VERSION OF A DOCUMENT

One of the great features of Google Docs is how readily you can collaborate on a document. However, sometimes a participant makes changes that don’t quite work. Revision history is a handy tool to not only keep track of changes made and by whom, but it readily allows you to revert to an earlier version of your Google Doc. To access revision history, click on File → See revision history. A revision history will pop up on the right-hand side, listing when changes were made and by whom. You will note that each participant has a color assigned to them. Any text or formatting changes they made on the document will match that color. If a document has numerous changes, Google Docs will provide a condensed record. You can access a more detailed account by clicking on “Show more detailed revisions.” Once you locate the version you would like to restore, click on “Restore this revision.” This change will also be recorded in the revision history so you can always undo it! Google has also added a “See new changes” pop-up that will alert you to recent edits on a document. This is a great feature when you are actively revising a document in real time.

email as attachmentEMAIL A GOOGLE DOC AS AN ATTACHMENT

Not everyone you work with will be a Google Doc user, or perhaps you want to send a finished file to a client or a publisher. You can email your Google Doc as an attachment within Google Docs and Drive! To do this, go to File → Email as attachment. In the pop-up window that appears, enter the email address of the recipient, a subject, as well as a message. You can also tick the box to send a copy to yourself. Next, select how you would like to attach the document from the dropdown menu; you can send your document as a PDF, Word Document, Rich Text, HTML, Plain Text, Open Document, or paste the full document into the email itself. Click “send” and your document is off!

TYPE WITH YOUR VOICE

One of the newest features Google has added to Docs is Voice Typing. Now, you can type hands-free (a great tool when nursing an injury or for a student who struggles with motor skills). To enable Voice Typing, open your document and go to Tools → Voice Typing. A pop-up window with a microphone icon will appear, click on it to speak (you may need to grant permission to Google Docs to access your Microphone). You can add punctuation and even correct typos using Voice Typing. To learn how to navigate the system more effectively, check out this tutorial from Google.

EMBED A GOOGLE DOC TO A WEB PAGE

You can embed a Google Doc directly into your website or blog. This is a great way to share resources (such as a syllabus or a newsletter) or even engage in discussion. To get the embed code, go to file → Publish to the web. Once you click on publish, the document will create an embed code that you can use. If you would like to make the document editable by others, edit your share settings to “anyone on the web can edit.”

USE RESEARCH TOOLS TO UP YOUR GAME

Google has built-in research tools that allow you to do a number of neat things. For example, you can define words and even look up synonyms within Google Docs. To access the Thesaurus, right click (2-finger tap on a Chromebook) on the word that you would like to change and select “Define.” A research pane will pop up on the right-hand side with a full definition, including synonyms; you can click on a synonym for a definition of the word, ensuring an accurate usage of text.

You can also easily do advanced research on the go within Google docs. Go to Tools → Research. A research pane will pop up on the right-hand side. You can then engage a search using Google, Google Image Search, Google Scholar, Google Quotes, your personal documents, and data tables. You can access any content that the research pane pulls up by clicking on it. If you would like to cite it in your document, set your citation format to MLA, Chicago, or APA. Next, select “Cite as footnote” or insert (to insert the full citation text).

Table of ContentsCREATE AND ORGANIZE A TABLE OF CONTENTS

Google Docs will create and organize a table of contents for you automatically! Go to the beginning of your document and place your cursor at the very beginning. Next, select Insert → Table of Contents. Each time you add a new Heading, Google will insert a new section in your Table of Contents with a live link; when users click on this link, they will be directed to the specific location within your document. I was able to quickly create one for this article! This is a handy feature to facilitate users navigating a lengthy document.

EQUATION TOOLBAR

Math and Science teachers now have a handy tool to allow them to draft equations within a Google Doc. To access and enable the equation toolbar and editor, click View → Show equation Toolbar. Next, click “New equation” and enter your equation using the accompanying tools. If you would like a quick tutorial, check out this support document from Google or check out this tutorial:

TRANSLATE A DOCUMENT INTO ANOTHER LANGUAGE

If you have a multilingual community, students whose parents speak another language at home, or want to engage with an audience in another country, then translate your documents into another language using Google Doc’s “Translate Document” tool. To access this feature, go to Tools → Translate document. You can then select from a list of languages and Google will convert your document into a new copy in your chosen language.

Google Docs has a lot of great features that can help you be more productive. By learning these hacks, you can master all of the features that Google has to offer, beyond word processing!

4 Math Add-Ons for Google Docs

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers.

Google Docs is a popular word processing tool. However, many people don’t realize that there are 4 great add-ons for Math that allow teachers and students to harness the power of Google. You can add any of these features to a Google Doc by selecting Add-ons → Get Add-ons.

g(Math)

g(Math) is a popular tool for Math students and teachers. It allows you to create robust expressions and graphs that you can insert directly into your Google Doc. Input expressions using LaTeX, select pre-built formulas which gMath will convert to LaTeX for you, draw your own formula, or even speak to insert math equations (in Chrome Only). Check out the g(Math) guru for extensive tutorials.

Calculator

Sometimes you just need a simple calculator to check your work or perform calculations. Add a calculator to any Google Doc by adding… read the rest of this article at FreeTech4Teachers.