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Google Apps has been embraced by millions of schools and campuses, but is your classroom getting the most from it? Join educator Aaron Quigley as he shows K–12 teachers how to use Google Apps for Education to streamline communication, save time, and increase content mastery. Administrators can learn how to set up Apps for Education, verify your domain name, and add users, while teachers learn how to sort personal from school email, set up email signatures, add events to calendars, and create lesson plans with Google Drive. Administrators and teachers alike can learn how to set up custom Google sites for collaboration with parents and students, and extend Google Apps with apps like YouTube and Google Scholar.
As educators, it's really important that we learn to collaborate with our staff members. But, time is always against us. There's not a lotta time during your planning period to go and sit with another teacher and to work on a project. Well Google Docs, because they're located on a central drive and we all have access to them, including the ability for more than one person to edit them. They actually create the perfect collaboration environment. To model this, we're going to go ahead and use a fictional field trip planning session that's going to be collaborated between two different teachers. Here in Google Docs, I've created a very basic field trip planning spreadsheet.
The only thing I've done is I've added the title for field trip planning, and I've added a column for to do. At this point, what I'd like to do is to actually bring another educator into the process of helping me create a to do list. To do that, in the document, I'm going to to go and click on Share in the upper right-hand corner. At this point, I'm going to go ahead and invite the person I'd like to collaborate with me. I know that Jessica's on her planning period, and said that she would help me, so I'm going to go ahead and invite Jessica and click Share and Save. And if I'm done inviting people, I can go ahead and click Done. So at this point I've sent an invitation to Jessica.
What Jessica now needs to do is she needs to find that invitation and go ahead and open up the document. Once Jessica has opened the document, I can tell that she's viewing it by looking in the upper right-hand corner. Here I see that I have one other viewer. If I hit the toggle button next to one other viewer I can see that it's Jessica. In addition to that it actually opens up a dialog box where I can type messages directly to Jessica inside the document. So for example I could say something like can you help me complete this to-do list? Jessica then has the opportunity to view that message on her web browser as well as respond to it. And when she responds her responses simply come in to the running dialog box.
In addition to responding to messages I also have the ability to send individual notes about individual cells. When Jessica's clicked on a cell, I can tell where her cursor's at, because she'll actually have a colored box directly around the cell that she's highlighting. I can tell that it's her cell, because it matches her color in the upper corner. If I had four or five viewers, we'd all have different colors. And what cell is highlighted would depend on the color of each individual viewer. Let's say that I want to retitle this to do. On my computer, I can go ahead and highlight it, and I can go to insert and I can choose to insert a comment.
You'll notice that the comment is coming from myself, and I can say something like, should we retitle this. I'll go and click the Comment button. Now if I click away from the cell I can see that there's a small yellow triangle in the upper left hand corner. If I hover above this triangle I can see any comments that have been added. On Jessica's screen she'd have the opportunity to click and view the same comment. In addition to that she can also choose to respond to a comment. So here we have a running dialogue that's about a specific cell, not just about the document in general. This way we can keep records as we make changes and when we're collaborating a document, we know exactly what it is that we collaborating about.
In addition to Jessica and I working on this, we can always save these changes and then send them to someone else. Someone else would be able to open this document. Take a look at the comments and see exactly the changes that are taking place so far in this document. Using documents to collaborate is a great way to help us save time because we don't even need to be working on the document at the same time. I could go ahead and open up a document, add the comments I'd like to add and then when Jessica's able to she can open up the document and respond to my comments. I hope this tip is something that helps you collaborate with other educators and saves you time in the classroom.
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