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The Paperless iPa...

The Paperless iPad Classroom with the Google Drive App by Jonathan Wylie

Based on “The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs” By Eric Curts


Table of Contents

Overview

How to name documents and folders

How to choose sharing options: Edit, Comment, and View

How to share a document with specific people

How to share a document as a link

How to use folders

How to create folders for your documents

How to put your documents and other media in folders

How to share a folder

How to use folders as staff handout folders

How to use folders as student turn-in folders

How to upload photos and videos

How to rename photos, videos and other files

How to send documents from other apps to Google Drive

How to use comments in the grading process

How to add teacher comments with files that are not Google Docs (E.g. PDFs, movies, images etc.)

How to make files available offline

How to Access the Template Gallery


Overview

Google Drive provides many ways to go paperless through sharing and collaboration options. There is not just one single right way to use Google Drive for a paperless classroom.  Rather there are many tools and features that can be used on their own or in combination to meet your varying needs. This guide will cover many of the most common ways that Google Drive can help teachers and students move away from paper and into a digital-only environment.

While you can recreate much of the desktop experience on the iPad through the Safari or Chrome browsers, it is not always an ideal scenario because it is not optimized for touchscreen devices like the iPad. Google sought to change this when it introduced the Drive app for iOS.  It does not offer all the functionality that the desktop version does. For instance, right now you can only create folders, documents and spreadsheets. You cannot create Presentations or Forms. However, the iOS app still offers many of the most important features needed to function as a paperless classroom management tool, and new features, like commenting, are being added on a regular basis. Note that Apps for Education accounts now share 30GB of space between Mail, Drive and Google+ photos.


How to name documents and folders

Since many students and staff may be sharing documents and folders with other students and staff, it could get confusing quickly when seeing all of the shared files in Google Drive. One thing that can help is to agree upon a common naming scheme for files and folders. A good name should tie the item to a time (year), a class (perhaps period), who created it (your name), and what it is (a certain paper, projector, or turn-in folder).

You may want to come up with your own specific way for files and folders to be named, but if not, below are some helpful recommendations:

For documents and folders, include in the name:

For example a document may be named: 2011-07-Smith John-Research Paper

A shared folder may be named: 2011-02-Doe Jane-Turn-in Folder

The most important aspect of a good naming system is that the files and folder names should make sense to both the person who created them, and the people they are being shared with.


How to choose sharing options: Edit, Comment, and View

When you choose to share a document through Google Drive, you get to decide how much access that person has to your document.  Typically you can choose up to three different options for the level of access you give. The access you choose will depend why you are sharing the document with the person.


How to share a document with specific people

Probably the most common and simplest way to go paperless is to share a document with another person or group of people using the share options for your document. This is a good option to use if you are sharing the document with specific people or groups of people that can entered by email address. This is also best for a one-shot or unique sharing need, and not for when you do plan to share a lot of documents with the same people over a period of time. For those situations, see how to use folders for sharing instead.

  1. Locate the document you want to share inside the Google Drive app and tap the circular i (info) button.

  1. In the pop-out Details panel on the right, tap the Share button, or the plus sign next to “Who Has Access
  2. Tap in the box under “Add People” and type in the people or groups that you want to share the document with. This can include individual people or groups of people identified by a Google Group email address.  The address book will find matches based on what you type.
  3. Next choose whether the users can edit or comment on or view the document.

  1. Finally, tap the blue check mark in the top right hand corner.
  2. All of the recipients will now get an email message indicating that the document has been shared with them
  3. For individuals, the document will also automatically show up in their Google Drive list of documents.
  4. For groups (Google Group email addresses), users will only get an email notification. Note: The document will not show up in their Drive list until they open it for the first time.

In the future you can always return to the “WHO HAS ACCESS” window to change or remove people...

  1. Tap the info button again to open the Details panel and return to the “WHO HAS ACCESS” window.
  2. Next to each user’s name will be an indication of their document permissions - “Can edit”, “Can comment”, and “Can view”.
  3. To change the permissions or remove a user’s access to a document, simply tap on their name and adjust the permissions accordingly.


How to share a document as a link

If you have already shared a document with someone, or made it “anyone with the link” on a desktop computer, and the person you shared it with can’t find it or remember what it was called, you can copy the link to the document from the Drive app and send it via email, or paste it into another document. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the document you want to share the link to and tap the circular i (info) button, (see above).
  2. This will open the Details panel.

  1. Tap the Get Link icon to copy the link to the clipboard.
  2. Navigate to the email or document you need and paste the link


How to use folders

If you need to share documents frequently with the same people over a period of time, you will find that using folders will make the process easier. First, we will cover what folders are and how to manage them, and then we will look at how to use them specifically for sharing documents.


How to create folders for your documents

In Google Drive, folders can be used to organize your documents. However unlike the normal idea of folders. To create a folder in the iOS app, do the following:

  1. Open the Google Drive app and tap the + (plus) button in the top right hand corner.
  2. Tap on New Folder, and give your folder a name.
  3. Or, if it will be a sub-folder of some other folder, first drill down through your folders until you have opened the one where the new folder will go. Then tap the “+” button in the top right hand corner.
  4. Either way, you will now go to a screen where you can type in the name of the new folder.


  1. Tap “Create” when done and the folder will be created in the location you chose.


How to put your documents and other media in folders

Once you have created folders, you can now put your documents and other media in the folders to keep them organized.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Google Drive app and locate the document.
  2. Tap on the circular info button next to the item that you want to move to a folder.
  3. Next, tap on the Move to... button

  1. Select the folder you want to move the item to and then tap the blue “Move here” button at the bottom of the screen.

Note: If you try to move a document or file that is already in multiple folders, you will be prompted to go to Drive on a computer to organize that item.


How to share a folder

Instead of just sharing individual documents, you can also choose to share an entire folder with others.  If you do this, then everything inside the folder will be automatically shared with those people.  If later you add a new file to the folder, it will automatically be shared to those people as well.

Sharing a folder is useful if you plan to share multiple files routinely with the same person or group of people.  For example, this could include a project you are working on, or a handouts folder, or an assignment turn-in folder.

  1. Open the Google Drive app and locate the folder you want to share
  2. Tap on the circular info button next to the folder.
  3. In the pop-out panel on the right, tap the Share button, or the plus sign next to “Who Has Access
  4. Now follow the same instructions for how to share a document from earlier sections. This includes sharing with people and email groups, changing privacy settings, and giving rights to view or edit.
  5. When you have finished sharing the folder, the folder will show up for the users under “Shared with me” on the left side of their Google Drive screen


How to use folders as staff handout folders

One good use for shared folders is to create a handout folder for your class. This would be a folder where you can put any documents you want your students to have access to, but not be able to change. These would be read-only documents for your students. Examples would include handouts, study guides, and templates that they could make a copy of to edit their own version. To make a handout folder, do the following:

  1. Create a normal folder.
  2. Name it something that will make sense to both you and your students. A good format might be “year-period-teacher-handouts”, such as “2011-03-Wylie-Handouts”.
  3. Now go to the sharing settings for that folder.
  4. Add your students to the “Add people” section at the bottom, and give then only “Can view” rights.
  5. Your students will now receive an email with a link to the shared folder.
  6. Have your students tap that link to open the shared folder, making sure it has added the handout folder to their list of shared folder.
  7. Now anything you add to the folder will automatically be available to the students in the shared handout folder.


How to use folders as student turn-in folders

Another good use for shared folders is for students to create turn-in folders for a teacher. Then to turn in an assignment, the student simply adds the document to the turn-in folder and it will be available to the teacher. Here is how turn-in folders are made and managed:

  1. Have each student create a normal folder. You may want to do this all at once at the start of the year.
  2. Have the students name the folder something that makes sense to them and to you. A good format might be “year-period-student-turnin”, such as “2011-03-SmithJohn-TurnIn”.
  3. Now the student goes to the sharing settings for that folder.
  4. The student needs to add their teacher in the “Add people” section.
  5. To allow the teacher to provide feedback, notes, suggestions, grades, and such, the student should give the teacher “Can comment” or “Can edit” rights.
  6. This is a one-time process the students will need to do to share their turn-in folders with you.

Now as the teacher, all of the students’ shared folders will show up in your list of shared folders under “Shared with me” in Google Drive. If you have a lot of students, this can be quite a mess. So the best thing to do now is to organize the students’ folders. This is a one-time process you will need to do at the start of the year. Although it can be done on the iPad, it is quicker to do on a computer because it allows you to select multiple folders at once. The following directions are for organizing student folders on a computer.

  1. Click in your “My Drive” section and make a folder for the current school year, such as “2013”.
  2. Select that folder and now make sub-folders under it for each of your class periods, such as “Per 1”, “Per 2”, etc.
  3. Now open up your “Shared with me” section where all your students’ shared folders are listed.
  4. If the students have named the folders as you instructed, you can sort them by name to get them in order by class period (tap the “Sort” button in the top right).
  5. Now select all of the students for a particular period, and then drag and drop their folders into the period folder you created for them.
  6. Repeat for the rest of your students and the periods they are in.
  7. When done you will have all your students’ turn-in folders arranged nicely within period folders inside a year folder.

Anytime a student needs to turn in an assignment on the iPad, they simply add it to their turn-in folder for your class period and the document will now be available for you to access.

NOTE: The process of setting up shared folders with students can be automated with the use of gClass Folders on a desktop computer. More info on that can be found here.


How to upload photos and videos

If students have photo or video projects that they would like to share with you via Google Drive, they can do so by uploading those files via the Google Drive app.

  1. To Upload photos of videos from the iPad, open the Google Drive app and tap the plus icon in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Upload Photos or Videos”. If this is the first time you have done this, you will have to confirm that you want to allow Google Drive to have access to your Camera Roll.

  1. Next, choose the media you want to upload. You can select multiple images or videos by simply tapping on the ones that you want to upload.
  2. When you have selected the files you need, tap the blue checkmark button in the top right hand corner of the screen to begin the upload process.
  3. After the files have been uploaded to your account, they will be visible in your Drive and in the “Uploads” section on the left hand side of the app.
  4. To share these files with others, follow the directions above to alter sharing permissions or to move items to a shared folder.


How to rename photos, videos and other files

Although you can choose the names of folders, documents and spreadsheets when you create them in Google Drive, you will notice that videos and images uploaded from the iPad do not always have a very user-friendly name by default. Here’s how to change the name of any document in your Google Drive.

  1. Tap on the circular info button next to the file you want to rename
  2. Tap “Rename...” to open a prompt that lets you rename the file.

  1. When you are done, tap Rename to confirm the change.


How to send documents from other apps to Google Drive

Many apps will allow you to upload the finished product to your Google Drive account. From here the file can be shared with the teacher or student via the methods described above. The procedure to do this varies from app to app, but it is usually done via the app’s sharing menu in one of two ways:

  1. Open in Another App: Many apps have the option to open your final product in another app. Tapping this option will give you a list of compatible apps for that file format. Swipe through these apps until you find Google Drive. Tapping the Drive icon, will open the Drive app and ask you which folder you wish to upload the document to. Choose the folder, and the file will be uploaded to your Drive account.
  2. Send to Google Drive: Other apps, like Notability, give you the ability to link your Google Drive account to that app. This allows you direct access to download and upload files to your Drive without leaving the app you created the document in.

For other projects like online screencasts, Padlet boards, or multimedia posters from Smore.com, students can copy the link to their work, paste it into a Google Document, and move that Document to their turn-in folder so that the teacher can access the assignment. This also gives the student the opportunity to write more about the creation process, or the steps they took to accomplish the task.


How to use comments in the grading process

The Google Drive app allows you to add comments to a Google Document.  This is a useful way to share ideas with other collaborators, or to give feedback to a student on a document you are grading. Comments that you leave on a student’s document, can be commented on by the student as well, and back and forth. This provides a way to have a conversation about the progress of a term paper, to get clarification from a student about a question, or simply to provide feedback.

  1. To insert a comment, tap in the document or select the words where you want the comment to be linked
  2. Next tap the comment button next to the title of the document at the top of your screen, or select “Comment” from the pop-up box above selected text.
  3. A comment box will appear in the top right hand corner, where you can type in your comment
  4. This comment will now be visible to others who share the document (such as your collaborators or the student who turned in the assignment) although the comment(s) will not display when the document is printed.
  5. Collaborators (students, you, etc.) can reply to any comment by typing in the box labeled “Reply to this comment...
  6. You can also tap the pencil to “Edit” your existing comment, or to “Delete” it.
  7. Finally you can tap “Resolve” to close the comment from further replies.
  8. Note: You can also leave general comments that are not tied to a specific part of the document by taping the “Comments” button in the top right corner of the document.


How to add teacher comments with files that are not Google Docs (E.g. PDFs, movies, images etc.)

Although comments are currently restricted to Google Documents right now, there are other ways to leave comments on assignments that are not in that format.

  1. To leave comments on movies, artwork or other images that the student has uploaded to their shared folder, you may want to consider creating a separate document inside the student’s shared folder to type your comments on. Name the document after the assignment, and include Teacher Comments in the title so that the student knows that this relates to their recent submission. E.g. iMovie Trailer 6-15-13, Teacher Comments.
  2. For PDFs, open the file in the Google Drive app, and tap the menu icon  in the top right hand corner. Select Open in... and choose a PDF annotation app like Notability or PDF Notes Free. This will open the PDF app and let you add digital annotations to grade the assignment.

  1. When you are finished, tap the share icon in the annotation app and send the graded copy back to the student’s shared folder in Google Drive.


How to make files available offline

Sometimes it is useful to have access to your Google Drive files when you are offline. The Drive app on the iPad does not currently support offline editing, but it does let you have offline viewing access. This could be useful for students who may have limited access to the Internet at home.

  1. Locate the document or file you want to have available for offline access, and tap the circular info button.
  2. In the Details panel on the right, find the menu item Available Offline, and slide the switch to the On position.
  3. Tap Close at the top of the screen to close the Details tab.
  4. Offline files can be accessed via the Offline menu on the left hand side of your screen.

Note: Offline files are stored on the iPad, so the more files you make available offline, the more space the Google Drive app will take up on your iPad. If you no longer need a file offline, tap the Offline menu on the left hand side of your screen and repeat the procedure above, but this time, slide the Offline switch to the Off position.


How to Access the Template Gallery

If you have ever struggled to access the Google Drive Template Gallery on the iPad, you may have run into errors or other issues. The Template Gallery is only available at http://drive.google.com/templates, so it is not accessible from within the Drive iPad app. However, you can access templates on the iPad and have them open in to the Drive app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Google Chrome iOS app and navigate to http://drive.google.com/templates
  2. The Template Gallery will probably not load and you will get a 404 error. However, if you tap Settings in the top right-hand corner of the app, and select the option to Request Desktop Site, this will reload the Template Gallery in the desktop view you are familiar with on a Mac, PC or Chromebook.

templates error.png

3. Now you can search for templates you need or want to use. Tap Use this template when you find the one you want, and the template will automatically open in the Drive app as a copy you can edit and share as you please.

NOTE: Any templates that use tables will not display properly in the Drive app because the iOS Drive app does not yet support tables. Bear this in mind if you are creating templates that you want students to access on the iPad.


Copyright 2013 - Jonathan Wylie, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer - email: jwylie@gwaea.org,

web: www.jonathanwylie.com, twitter: @jonathanwylie

This document is based on The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs by Eric Curts and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 United States license.  For more information about this license see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (In short, you can copy, distribute, and adapt this work as long as you give proper attribution and do not charge for it.)

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