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Google Documents

Page history last edited by Andrew McCarthy 12 years, 7 months ago




Google Docs are an attempt by Google to create an online word processing application. The application has a similar feel to other word processing tools, such as tables, fonts, colours and a spellchecker. It has some step-up features that make is an excellent tool to use in the classroom. The key feature is that the document can be altered in real time, and that contributors to the documents can chat with each other using a side bar and collaborate. Any student or teacher from UWCSEA can access the Google Docs using their email address.






Practical examples to support learning


Extended Writing Responses in Economics  Small class used this document to plan an extended response question. I directed the class discussion first using the document on the projector. As I brought up the main points they needed to type in a rough plan as a group. Once the plan was created, the members of the class picked separate paragraphs to explain and elaborate. In the following lesson the class used the highlighter function to identify pieces of the work that they did not understanding. I could ask the writer to clarify their point.


Internal Assessment Articles As a class we want to record articles which are of interest to our current teaching. These could be used a later date. Once the student has referenced an article they add a small synopsis to the document.


Here are just a few other ingenious ideas to support learning

  • Promote group collaboration and creativity by having your students record their group projects together in a single doc.
  • Facilitate writing as a process by encouraging students to write in a document shared with you. You can check up on their work at any time, provide insight and help using the comments feature, and understand better each students strengths.
  • This is especially good for reflection in the Visual Art subjects and to keep a journal in TOK. They can share the link of their google doc with the teacher, or even share a collection of Google Docs with a teacher.
  • Google Docs could also be useful for Extended Essay and Personal Project work, where the teacher has a link to the evolving piece of work.




Exercises to try



  1. Watch the Google Docs in Plain English video above.
  2. Open Google Docs by using the link here http://docs.google.com/a/gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg 
  3. Then sign-in using your normal school username and password
  4. You will need to click on inbox, then document at the top of the next page.
  5. Open any Google Doc that has been shared with you.



  1. Complete all of the novice tasks above.
  2. From left menu of Google Docs on Create New button then choose New Document. 
  3. This will open a new tab and a new document for you to use.
  4. Name the file by clicking at the top - "Untitled Doc"
  5. Copy in some simple text and try to change font and colours.
  6. See if you can create a URL link to a website
  7. Drop and drag a picture from your desktop into the Google Doc.
  8. Choose the sharing button at top right of your Google Doc 
  9. Then you will see the window below. Click at the bottom box to add another person's email address and send an email notification.
  10. You can also click on the change button to change permissions for this document.




  1. Complete both the basic and apprentice sections above
  2. Find out how to Export the document as a PDF or Word Document to your computer.
  3. Click the Insert menu -> Comments next to a piece of writing
  4. Go back to your Google Doc Account. Create a Collection using menu on left and then drag your documents into these folders.
  5. You can also create tags for documents to help you remember what lesson or topic these relate to.
  6. Try create a collection of documents. This allows keep documents with the same tag in a group. One document can be tagged numerous times and therefore be more than one collection at the same time. The tagging functionality is slightly more advanced than simple folder hierarchies.



  1. Complete all of the sections above
  2. Choose the file menu of an opened Google Doc and find See Revision History - this will allow you to track how students are changing the document and when they are doing this.
  3. Choose the Tools menu at top to Translate the document into a different language.
  4. Export the translated document to your desktop (this could be added to StudyWiz later as a PDF)
  5. Play with automated forms using Flubaroo see instructions here and video here http://dave.abouav.com/flubaroo-demo/ 
  6.  Play with automated Assignment Submission using Google Sites - instructions here




Further reading/exploration


This is a really good overview about the difference between a wiki and blog and Google doc. The differences are very subtle and hard to articulate, but this document does an ok job at contrasting the three options https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddnzwcn8_15g3jrbpdf


See here for a very indepth view of Google Docs (documents, spreadsheets, presenter, drawing)



Below is a good step by step worksheet on setting up Google Docs



The following link if for a Extended Course run by Google on using docs in the classroom




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