Using Google Docs in the classroom: Tips and Tricks

This guide provides some six tips and tricks for teachers who've mastered the basics of Google Docs. It covers how to keep student work organized, revisions and revision history, and how to publish student work.

Tip #1: Use standard document names and folders to keep organized

Ask your students to name their files using a common naming scheme. For example, all students can use: [class period] [last name] [first name] [assignment name] Then, you'll be able to sort your document list by 'Name' and have all of the documents sorted nicely by period. Also, create folders for each assignment or class period and place documents in folders.

Tip #2: Timestamps help keep track of student work

When you sort your document list by 'Date' and see each of your student's documents sorted by the last time they edited their document. You'll see documents ordered by "Today," "Yesterday," "Earlier this Week," and "Earlier this Month."

It's a great way to check, at a glance, which students have completed their assignments and which ones still need to do their work.

Tip #3: Use revision history to view previous versions of a document

Google Docs automatically saves your work as you edit a document. Each "Save" becomes a new "revision". You can review all revisions, revert back to past revisions, and even compare two revisions.

Tip #4: Have your students collaborate on projects

Each document can have multiple collaborators. Students can add as many collaborators as needed for an assignment. Ask your students to add you as a collaborator so you can comment on and grade their work.

Tip #5: Encourage the use of "comments" for peer feedback

IShow your students how to use the "Comment" feature for peer review. Ask your students to pick a color for their comments so you can easily see different people's comments.

Tip #6: Publishing documents for parents and others to view

Until you "publish" a document, it's only visible to collaborators and viewers. To make it visible to anyone on the Internet, go to she Share button and "Publish as a web page..." This will generate a URL that can be sent to others by email or even linked to from a blog.

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