Google Docs for Educators
Greg Benedis-Grab

Google Docs is a set of powerful tools that can transform the educational environment in the classroom and beyond.  It is a web-based service that allows you to create, edit, share, and publish text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and data collection surveys. Google Docs fosters collaboration, effective assessment and clear communication.  It is an important step towards 21st century learning and teaching.  This session will address the functionality of Google Docs in a school setting.  Real examples will be presented and explored as participants experiment and inquire with this innovative tool.


What is Google Docs?
Overview of Google Docs (with Links to Help Pages):
(note: I will introduce myself and talk about my approach to teaching) (5 min)
(I think I will create presentation notes for the red text)

Activity 1: How do you collaborate?  How do you encourage collaboration? (25 min)

  • Add yourself to our class work group (fill out form on the right side of page) --->
(we will add comments, then discuss the experience of collaborating)

Using Google Docs at The School at Columbia University (35 min)
  • bullet out some of the ways we use Google Docs

Activity 2: How can Google Docs be used in your classroom? (in pairs)  (50 min)
  • Example answers include:
    • Using a document for students to collaborate, give each other feedback, or get feedback from the teacher.  You could also focus on how Google will facilitate your collaboration with colleagues.
    • Using a presentation to communicate with students or have students communicate with each other.
    • Using a spreadsheet to organize data about your students or to allow students to share data.
  • Create a document, presentation, or spreadsheet to illustrate your answer.
  • Mock up a "proof-of-concept" to illustrate something you might actually implement.
  • Put the document in our shared folder by dragging it to GWE August 23-24 (link) to share it.
(They will look at each others’ ideas and then we will discuss what worked and what questions they still have.)

Google Docs for assessment and data collection (15 min)
  • How we use Google Forms at my school
  • View results from our survey from before (a few things to try like a number question and a right and wrong question)
  • Demonstration: View summary.
  • Demonstration: Create and publish a chart.
  • Demonstration: Self Grading Quiz (Your answer to the last question on the survey will be graded!)

Activity 3: How can you use Google Forms to assess students or have students collect data? (pairs 50 min)
  • Example topics include:
    • Exit Card
    • Quiz
    • Student Preferences
    • Survey Data
    • Advanced: A Self-Grading Quiz
  • Create a form for collecting data.
  • Mock up a "proof-of-concept" to illustrate something you might actually implement.
  • Send the "live form" link to colleagues so they can fill out your form. (use the shared document)
  • Share the results with colleagues or publish them as a web page.
  • Optional: Create (and publish) charts of the results.

Try more after the workshop:

CHALLENGE: Create a self-grading quiz!

BONUS: Using Google Docs and Forms on a Mobile Device Taking Google Docs to the Next Level (15 Minutes; if enough time)
Google Docs Mail Merge using Scripts
AutoFill & GoogleLookup
Template Gallery  (add link
Google Apps Training Videos

More Resources...

(I would love to add Cory Pavicich's Links at the bottom here including Tutorials, and Teachers Toolbox)

Examples of Google Docs for Learning (from Google Certified Teachers)

Examples from GCT Sallie Hill
Example from GCT Thomas Cooper
  • Vernal Ponds project uses Google Docs. Students collect data on the vernal
  • ponds around their school over a period of time, and then use Google forms
  • and spreadsheets to upload and share the data between student groups, and
  • then docs to collaboratively create data charts and write reports.

Example from GCT Nic Finnelli
  • A first-year teacher at one of my elementary schools has just jumped on
  • board with Google Docs and is trying this with her class. Students in
  • specific reading groups are to read their chosen WWII historical fiction
  • book (each group was given a different choice of books within their reading
  • level), work together to make a presentation about the book. They are to
  • include the following: book title and author, short summary of the text,at
  • least one multimedia file (video, pictures, audio, etc.), what you
  • learned about World War II when reading the text, whether or not you would
  • recommend this book to others and why
  • She just started this on Monday, but it is neat to see things in action and
  • the process. This is definitely a work in progress.
  • Her school site with directions and links to docs made by students

New Examples from GCT Angela O'Dowd
Using Google Forms for Peer-Assessment (For Frequent Assessment with Immediate Feedback)

Example from GCT Katie Morrow
  • Providing authentic assessment in project based classrooms is challenging. Google forms has allowed for the self and peer evaluation process to be much smoother, faster to tabulate, and has provided much more authentic feedback to all students involved in the learning projects. In addition I have found that when I use a google form for peer assessment, that the students' NEXT projects improve by leaps and bounds as opposed to just receiving feedback from me (it seems the kids listen better to their peers than their teacher!) Here are a couple of examples.
  • First the form is created with the assessment criteria
  • Then the link to the form is shared with students (I personally love how easy it is to embed within an iWeb site). Google Apps for Ed allows me to share with the entire domain at once, also.
  • Students submit their peer and/or self assessments and refresh their page before the next presentation
  • After the results are tabulated in the Google spreadsheet, I sort by student name and add an average formula if I need a numerical grade. The most valuable part, however, is sharing the honest, anonymous feedback with the students who created each project-- either digitally or just printed on paper and cut apart.

How can Features of Google Docs be used for formative assessment?

Manage Student Behavior and Behavior Data
  • See the sample templates and examples below.
  • Many of the following features are also valuable for tracking student behavior.

Manage Student Work and Group Work
Manage Assessments and Assessment Data

Eric Castro: instructions for in-class learning activities, I project onto screen via Keynote. Written directions clarify/ reinforce verbal (Presentations)
Elizabeth Calhoon: Create a student interest form to start class. (Forms)

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