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in the classroom

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Get the tool: http://docs.google.com

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What is it?

Google Docs is a free suite of applications that allows you to create, store, share, and collaborate on documents with students and colleagues. Docs has the features you would expect, such as word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation applications, but also includes robust tools for creating student & parent surveys, quizzes, and mind maps. Real-time collaboration is easy with Google Docs’ built in discussion features, commenting, and document versioning. Extend the classroom beyond the computer lab by getting started with Google Docs today!

Why use it?

Students can use Google Docs to:

  • Work on assignments and projects from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • Collaborate and publish group presentations to the web.
  • Collect observation data through Google Forms.
  • Improve writing skills through peer-editing and feedback.
  • Develop 21st century skills through creation, analysis, and evaluation of authentic digital artifacts.

Teachers can use Google Docs to:

  • Go paperless by having students create and share all docs with the teacher.
  • Use comments to quickly give students feedback on their work or start a discussion to help students through writer’s block.
  • Create self-grading student assessments and then create multiple ranged charts for rich graphs that can be published to show the class how they are doing.
  • Use a Google Form to have students turn in their assignments with a link. Then use the filtering ability in Google Spreadsheets to sort by class period and student name to make quick work of grading.
  • Collaborate and plan curriculum with colleagues.
  • Use your mobile device to edit your documents on the go.

Administrators can use Google Docs to:

  • Use Google Forms to collect data on a classroom observation walkthrough. Administrators can share the spreadsheet with the teacher and revisit and add to throughout the year.
  • Use Google Docs to send out meeting agendas before hand and use the Discussions or edit features to solicit comments, questions, and feedbacks on agenda items.
  • Use Google Presentations to store, organize, collaborate with, and easily share PTA, board, or faculty meeting presentations.

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Expert Tip #1
Do you have a document that would make a great template? Share your template with others by going to http://goo.gl/PJmk and completing the form or use templates with your students to quickly get them working on an assignment.

Expert Tip #2
Working with data in Spreadsheets? Go to Insert>Gadgets and look at fun ways to analyze and share your information!

Instructional Ideas

Elementary/Primary. Students collaborate as a class to develop a nutrition/diet survey in Forms. The survey is completed online by students, family, and staff, and results are graphed by the teacher in Spreadsheets and analyzed as a class.

Middle/Early Secondary School. Students use Documents to create both real and fake websites that are published as web pages and are accessible on smartphones and mobile devices. Teacher compiles all of the sites into a single Document and students determine which sites are real or fake.

High/Secondary School. Pairs of students select a Victorian poet from a list, conduct Internet research, and collaborate using Documents. Students then create a mind map in Drawings showing what they uncovered in the research process and then publish to a Google Site or class website.

Additional Resources

More Examples

Complementary Tools

  • Google Sites: embed your Forms, Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations directly into a Site for a one-stop shop of resources

In order to comply with federal law and the Google Terms of Service, students need to be over 13 years of age to use any product which requires a Google Account. Students may participate in product use if the account is owned by a parent or teacher and that parent or teacher is present when the product is being used.