Tech Tip Tuesday – Teaching Revision & Google Templates

By MaryFran Lynch

Revision

Last week we introduced you to Google Docs and gave you some ideas of times you might want to use the text feature to collaborate with your colleagues and times you might like to have your students use it. This week, we’d like to introduce you to one of the great features of Google Docs, Revision. The Revision feature keeps track of changes, when they were made, and, if the document has been shared with collaborators, who made them. It also gives you the opportunity to compare two versions of the document, and to revert to any of the previous versions. Whether you’re working on your own, or working with others, having a history of the different versions can be really helpful.

As a collaborator revises, their changes and comments can be made in different text colors. As a teacher, this gives you a great record of who has done the work, and when it was entered. You’ll need to be sure your students invite you to the Document as a collaborator so you have access to it and can revise it or leave comments on the document. And the great thing about leaving comments is that when you are ready to print, and click the Print link, none of the comments will show.

You’ll find this feature under File > Revision History
Teaching students how to revise is an important skill, especially when they are working collaboratively. Recognizing the need to teach that skill, Google teamed with Weekly Reader to help you teach revision skills in your classroom. Here you’ll find downloadable PDF files you can use with your students to help them learn collaborative revision skills.
Screen shot of Google Templates for Teachers and Students

Templates

Google has made it so easy to use Google Docs! They’ve even thought of a number of times you might like to use Google Docs and have made a Template Gallery with over 300 templates that are ready for you to use! You’ll find Templates under New > From template…

There you can perform a search for the kind of template your might like. There’s even a section devoted to Students and Teachers. You can find templates for your students to write a paper or for you to write a lesson plan. There are templates to help you make an online math quiz or templates to record grades.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll find templates for all kinds of things! Here are just a few examples of the kinds of templates Google is there to help you with:  calendars, invitations, gas mileage calculator. Take a look, more are becoming available all the time.

Just as with any Google Doc, you can share your template with others to collaborate or view, using the steps outlined last week.

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

3 Replies to “Tech Tip Tuesday – Teaching Revision & Google Templates”

  1. Thanks for posting. I like seeing how others are using Google Docs. At the moment I just use it for collaboration with other teachers, but I like the idea of using it more in the classroom. How have you dealt with the issue of student accounts?

  2. @Joe. We use Google Apps for Education and every computer student has their own email account. I administer the email accounts and have access, if needed. Having the Google Apps accounts has not only been great for docs, but we use the custom start page, Sites and the shared Calendar in class. I also set up email groups for each class so I can send mass emailings – which is great for communication and clarifying directions.

  3. Everything Colette said is exactly how I ran the use of Google Docs last year. However, this year we have changed the way we are running things and we actually have a Google site. This is way more useful as it gives the students an email account with our Google site as the domain. This domain is somewhat ‘invisible’ and everything the students add to the domain is under the umbrella of the site (make sense?). This gives the students the freedom and safety to have blogs, contribute to wikis, and to share freely within our own domain. I did not set up our account, but I’m sure if you go to Google and look for Google Site, you’ll see how to get set up. I can tell you that this year has been much easier for me keeping track and monitoring student online behavior with the Google site.

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