Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Turn An Entry Doc Into A Launch Pad For A Google Docs Workflow Solution

Ever want to use Google Docs with your younger students, but there's just too many steps to get them in and working? How would a single-entry document work for you? Just one link to share, and you've got your students working! But how? It's really not too difficult, just create an Entry Document.

The steps to create this Entry Document workflow are as follows:
1. Create a document for your students on which they will be creating content.
There are two options here:
  • Create one document for students to copy. (Click here for an example.) Make sure you set the sharing permissions to VIEW ONLY or you can guarantee students will inadvertently mess it up.
  • Another option is to create a document for each student. Just create the first document and then make copies. This works best for the self-contained class and for very young students. One thing to think about here is creating a student portfolio by utilizing Google Presentation. Change the slide set up to 8.5"x11" and consider each slide as a new "sheet of paper". Continue to add slides or sheets of paper to the document and develop a student portfolio of work. (Click here to view an example.) 
2. After you have created the document for student work, change the share settings to ANYONE WITH A LINK can EDIT, afterall, they will be doing all the work on this document as opposed to creating the one document that they will copy! Once you have set the permission settings, grab that link. This is what you will use on the "Entry Document."

3. Create your Entry Document which is actually just a spreadsheet. (Click here for an example.)
  • You will type each student's name and paste the link in the cell beside their name.
  • You can actually type the student's name and hyperlink their name to their document with the addition of a script.  (Click here to see a short tutorial video of this procedure.)
  • Also consider using multiple sheets within the spreadsheet to include assignment directions, tips and tricks.  (Click here to view an example of this; check out the additional sheets at the bottom of the Entry Document.)
  • You can also use this document for collaborative group assignments; you can assign the groups or have students add their names to the group they select.
4. After you have created your Entry Document, you need to set those share settings. If YOU are adding their names to the document, you will select ANYONE WITH A LINK can VIEW ONLY; however, if you are going to have the students add their names, you will need to allow them to EDIT this document. This is the single link you will share with the students...hence, the name, Entry Document.

I know this sounds like a lot of work on the front end. That's why I like the idea of creating and utilizing Google Presentation for a portfolio of student work. That makes the set up worthwhile because it will be used over and over. 

Below is a quick reference guide for the basic steps.

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