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Team Writing: Google Docs
Team Presentations: Google Docs
Multi-Stage Writing: Google Docs
Publish Student Writing: Lulu

GOOGLE ACCOUNTS: First thing I do in the year is to have the students create a Google Account if they don't already have one. Students can use any e-mail address (Yahoo, AOL, school email) to create an account. If students have Gmail, they can use that as their account. I do this first because their Google Account gives them access to most Google services like Google Docs, Blogger, Sites, Page Creator, Groups, and Calendar.

STUDENTS UNDER 13: If your students are under 13 and can't create their own accounts, you can consider creating teacher run student accounts under free
Google Apps.


For Use With: Student essay writing, team reports, slide shows, group presentations, spreadsheets, project tracking, and collecting information.

Work WITHOUT Google Docs: Students and teachers may struggle to keep track of paper documents. Students may lose their documents. Students have to coordinate their schedules to meet for a group project, swapping documents by email or flash drive. Teachers are unsure who completed which parts of a group assignment and when they completed it.

What is Google Docs?
Google Docs is a free online word processor, presentation maker, and spreadsheet program that allows students to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets without having to download or buy any software. It permits multiple students to collaborate in real time on the same document in different locations, or in delayed time. It makes cooperative learning so much easier.

What use is it to teachers?
a) Automatically records all revisions (can’t be erased) every 5 minutes, with a time stamp. Allows teachers to compare drafts and verify progress.
b) Revision history color codes the document to show who did which part of the assignment when there are multiple collaborators.
c) Allows students to work on collaborative projects without having to all be by a computer or transfer files to work on the same document or presentation.
d) Allows teachers to track  and comment on student work from anywhere with Internet access.
e) Allows teachers to collect information through online forms that are pre-sorted and easily managed.

Google Docs Video Tutorial for Teachers:

Watch Google Docs for Teachers Introduction in 5 Minutes in Family  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Google Docs Video Tutorial for Students:

Watch Google Docs for Students Introduction in 6 Minutes in Family  |  View More Free Videos Online at


Google Docs Document Sample Image:


Google Docs Revision History Sample Image:


Google Docs Presentation Sample Image:


Google Docs Spreadsheet Sample Image:


Google Forms Video Tutorial (Reminder to see results in chart form, click "Show summary" under "Form" toolbar):

Watch Google Forms for Schools Introduction in 8 Minutes in Family  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Google Docs Spreadsheet FormsSample Image:


Google Docs Instructions:

1) Go to:, you do not have to download anything (Apple users are recommended to use Firefox or an updated Safari browser).
2) If you do not have a Google Account, you’ll be asked to create one using any email address. Those who use Gmail will already be registered. Any email address can be used to register a Google Account.
3) To create a new document, click “New” (make sure pop-up blocker is off for the site). If it's a group project, appoint one person to create the group document.
4) To rename the document, click the "File" on the menu bar or click title “Untitled” to rename. Teachers should have students name their documents very specifically, because an organized file naming system will keep the teacher’s Google Doc account organized (Such as renaming it to be: "Period4Team2RoughDraft").
5) To add collaborators/group members, click “Share,” type in the email addresses of the collaborators, including the teacher's email. Google Accounts connected to those email addresses should be activated prior to inviting those collaborators (Make sure the teacher has activated their own Google Account).
6) Under the menu bar, "Edit" is where you find your common work tools and where you'll do most your work. Under the menu bar, "Insert" brings up tools to add images, tables, page breaks, notes, and special characters.

Importing/Exporting Your Work: To import, go to your main Google Docs page, click "Upload" on the menu bar. To export, click "File" on the menu bar and you will be able to save your Google document as a Word document, PDF, or HTML. Clicking "Publish" on the menu bar will export your document to the web, and it will create an unique web address for your document.

Overview of Using Google Docs in Education by Google:

Link to Google Docs Tips for Teachers by Teacher Esther Wojcicki at Palo Alto High School:

Link to a Detailed Google Docs Guide by Teacher Bill MacKenty at the Hunter Campus School:

More Specific Google Doc Lesson Details:
When creating group reports, I have the students use Google Docs to create their written reports and slide presentations. I have them create an outline first with their names by their respective sections, so they know where to work within a document or presentation. I'll check in with them by visiting their documents online (since I'm added as a co-collaborator), and check the revision history to verify their progress. I also leave notes on their docs when needed. They have to print out their written assignments for me to grade. I grade presentations as they present. To make rubrics online see Rubistar.

Know Who is Who:
Under account settings, students can type in their full name under "Display Name," this way their name will pop up next to their username which can be something unidentifiable. 
Check Student Progress:
Using Google Docs spreadsheets, share a spreadsheet with the whole class and create boxes for them to check in their progress on certain due dates.

Prevent Cheating:
Ask students to do their typing inside Google Docs and not copy and paste from an outside word processor. This allows Google Docs to record their progress. The revision history automatically records and time stamps their work so you can resolve anything unusual. Remember by comparing the histories of two different revision dates, the color coding will show you who made what changes. Google documents can also be downloaded to be submitted to

Make Team Communication Easier:
Students can leave notes for each other on the top of their doc or on the 1st slide of a group presentation. They can delete their notes later. If they are logged on at the same time, their name will appear on the side, allowing them to chat.

Save Time, Use Forms:
Google Docs has a very easy form creator found under "forms" that lets individuals respond to forms online without needing to log-in or have a Google Account. The data is automatically placed in your spreadsheet for easy sorting/use.  I use this to have students send me info for surveys or rubrics. I then have the spreadsheet sort their names for easy grading. It's saved me so much time. Reminder to see results in chart form, click "Show summary" under "Form" toolbar.

Designing Presentations in PowerPoint:
Design within PowerPoint and import into Google Docs. Use the imported slides as your template is easier then designing complex backgrounds with in Google Docs.

Making Presentations Look Larger and Better:
Clicking the very small triangle midway on the right side of the screen expands the viewable area. Presentation remotes work with Google Docs.

To Determine How it Looks on Paper:
Clicking the "Preview" button. Then go to the "File" menu on your internet browser and click "Print Preview" to see how it looks on paper. You can also export or copy and paste your Google document into a traditional word processor. Having students follow word count limits versus page count limits reduces this problem. Word count can be found under the the "File" menu.

Need an Offline Free Word Processor:
If your students need something free to use that doesn't require the Internet (other than the initial download, it can be burned to CD). Open Office is an alternative to Microsoft Office that is completely free: Open Office.  

Want to share your PowerPoints to a wider online audience:
You can publish your slides under "Share" and share the unique web address Google creates for your site or you can upload PowerPoints to SlideShare or create a audio guided interactive slideshow through Voicethread.




For Use With: Publishing student work so that students, families, and the community can purchase their work.

Work WITHOUT Lulu: Teachers have to pay upfront expenses to reproduce student work for others. It would be cost prohibitive to publish student work with the the craftmanship of a real book.

What is Lulu?
Lulu is a free website that lets you share work whether it be a book your student wrote about their family or poster they designed. There is no cost to upload their work. The student will set a price to sell their work at, which Lulu will take a portion. If anyone wants to buy a copy of their work, they just buy it, Lulu will produce it, and ship it to them. No upfront cost and no requirement for anyone to buy any copies. Students work just that much harder knowing their work will be published and will look and feel like a real book.

Video Introduction: not yet posted

Video Tutorial: not yet posted

Lulu Sample Image:


Contact Chris Chiang at: govandlaw@gmail dot com
(sorry no technical support questions please)