Google Drive Docs on iPad and Computer                                                        Morrill


Scope of these instructions: using these instructions, you will be able to help your students create a Doc on their iPad, name it correctly, and share it with you.  Then, you will be able to organize the Docs they create into folders, then either comment on them electronically :- )   or else print the Docs to comment :-(   Last, there are a few suggestions for maximizing screen real estate if you are trying to comment on a Doc on a small screen.

  1. Open Google Drive app on the iPad (install app from App Store app if you don’t already have Drive). The Drive app will display the folders and files you already have on your Drive:

The “Shared with me” and “Recent” categories are useful, in addition to “My Drive,” which shows everything.


  1. For you (or your students) to create a new document, click the plus sign in the upper right and get this menu:

You will get a menu allowing you to name a new document, then the blank document will appear.  Require that students use a specific naming convention (Like: Period Letter, Last Name, Assignment Name). The editing features on the iPad are less robust than when viewing the same Doc from a computer, but it will be sufficient for in-class work, and the Doc can be fine-tuned from a computer later if needed.

Click “Done” then “Close”. Your ( / your students’) new document will be the top one in the “Recent” selection (see above). To share this Doc (for example, for your students to share their in-class writing with you), click the hash arrow to the right of the Doc’s name (below).


You / They will get this display (left), which shows a preview of the document, tells when it was last modified (useful if you did an in-class essay that wasn’t supposed to be modified after class), and, by

  1. clicking the + sign to the right of “Who Has Access,” you can share a Doc with your students or vice versa. That person’s name and email will now appear in the “Who Has Access” column.

Now, whoever created the Doc can determine the level of editing privileges the other people who have access to the Doc are given: Can Edit or Can Comment or Can View.

Students working on a project together would need “Can Edit” (which includes “Can Comment”), but teachers viewing student work and other situations probably only require “Can Comment”.

Hash-arrow click on any Doc, then click the actions button (three bars in upper-right of screen)  in order to:

  1. share it, rename it, move it to a folder, or delete it.

Okay, now all of your students have shared a Doc with you that they created on their iPads. You want to view their work, make some comments about your evaluation or else about how to revise.  Here’s how to proceed on your laptop:

  1. Open your Drive, then create a folder or sub-folder for this assignment (right).

Whatever you name the folder will now appear under “My Drive” in your Google Drive.  It can be dragged and dropped into other folders.


  1. Click on “Shared with me” and drag and drop your students’ new work into the folder you created for this assignment. You may need to click the triangle beside “My Drive” to show the folders in My Drive.

Now you are ready to engage with your students’ work (or, they can engage with each others’ work).

  1. Open a student’s Doc and highlight text you wish to comment on. Hold down Option and Command on your keyboard, then type an M. (Or, Insert from the pull-down menu, then Comment.)

A comment box with your name will appear to the right of the Doc. You can type feedback, then hit “Comment” (image left) or hold the command key and hit return (faster). These comments will appear for whomever has access to the document if they hit the “Comments” button (on the upper middle of image below).


Your student can then either “Resolve” your comment after making changes (upper R of image here):

Or, he or she can “Reply” to your commet with an explanation or question, which you then get an email alert about.

With a little practice, you may find this a great way to go paperless and facilitate dialogue with your students about their work.


There are a few reasons why you or your students might want to go to the File pull-down menu, then See Revision History. Google saves your doc multiple times per minute. You can click on different revisions of the doc to see what work was saved at what point.  Below, you’ll see that at 12:40, I added the words in green to the doc you are reading right now. You’ll also notice that I can click on “Restore this revision.” That way, if I have made mistakes (or, as one president put it, if mistakes were made), I can revert to the earlier version.  Furthermore, if you have students do an in-class essay or otherwise hand in work via Drive on a deadline, they know that you can see if they add anything after the deadline.



You can use the stars in Drive to mark work you have already responded to:


Finally, there are a few ways to get more screen real estate for viewing docs if your computer screen feels cramped. Under the View pull-down menu in your doc, be sure that Show Ruler is un-checked; on the right-hand end of your doc’s editing tools is a double-hash arrow. Clicking it when it points up will hide the doc title and pull-down menu items, giving you more room. Last, when you’re in the Chrome browser pull-down menu, you can go to View and Enter Presentation Mode. This hides the Browser tabs, etc., so your Doc takes up the whole screen.  Just move your mouse arrow up to the top of the screen for a second in order to reveal the browser content again. Press the Escape key on the upper-left of your keyboard to exit Presentation Mode.