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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.
Inside of Google Drive, I have the ability to create something known as Google Docs, or Google documents. These are a variety of file types that are actually run directly in your web browser. This can be a nice feature, because we start creating documents, and spreadsheets, and presentations. If someone doesn't have the appropriate software in their computer, they don't have the ability to view it. However with Google Docs, anyone that has access to Google can actually view this particular document. There are several types of Google Docs that are available to us. To access them, the first step is to go ahead and log into your Google Drive. From your Google Drive we can go ahead and create docs by clicking the Create button on the left-hand side.
Here I can chose to create a document which functions a lot like a Microsoft Office Document. A presentation which functions a lot like PowerPoint. A spreadsheet which works a lot like Microsoft Excel. I can create forms which are a graphic way for people to enter information that is then stored in a spreadsheet. And I can also create drawings. In addition to creating these various documents, I also have the ability to create folders to organize these documents. Now, Google Documents act a little bit different than their Microsoft counterparts. For example, let's go and click on Document. The first thing you probably notice is if I go to File, there's no save option.
So the question becomes how do I save this file? Well Google, because we are working in a web browser, is actually going through every couple seconds and making changes to it. So for example, if I start typing something, you can notice at the top of the screen it says saving and then flips over to all changes saved in drive. Anytime you make changes to this, for example just typing a period, is going to cause Google Drive to automatically save this document. That way just in case my web browser were to crash. This document will be automatically saved. All I'd have to do is log back in, open it up, and all the changes I made would be there for me, ready to move forward.
If your school has a laptop card or you commonly use laptops with students, I highly recommend having students type or work in Google Docs. That way, just in case the laptop battery dies. All the student work is automatically saved. And now a word of caution. Please be sure that you still teach your students how to go in to do File > Save, periodically and frequently as they work in regular documents. Otherwise, when our students move away from Google Docs back to a Word document. They may forget to save. Another major change between Google Documents and Microsoft Word is the document title. Here at the the top of the page I actually see the document title.
To change this I can simply click on it, type something in and then click OK. You'll notice that the title's been changed, as well as the changes have already been saved to the Google Drive. When you're done editing a particular document, there's no need to save. All you have to do is simply close out of it. When I come back here to my Google Drive, I can see that the document has been automatically added.
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