Google Docs for Collaboration
Using Google docs to create documents is easy. It especially works well when a document is being created by a small team, with each user the document is shared with able to make suggestions or edits.
Create a New Document
Open up Google Docs (http://docs.google.com)
Click on the plus + in the bottom right corner, or open an existing document.
Make sure that you change the name of the document! Click on the name of the document and rename it. Click OK to save the name change.
Sharing Google Docs
The first thing you will want to do (possibly) is share the document with others. To do this simply click on the blue share button in the top right corner.
Then just simply enter in the email addresses of those who you wish to share this document with.
You can change these permissions after you add them by clicking on the words below the “People” input box which says “Shared with……………”
You are always the owner of any document that you create.
Can edit are able to completely change the document with the same level as owners
Can comment allows people to make comments on the side of the document, but are unable to change anything in the document itself.
Can view allows people to see the document, but not make any comments or edits.
Some common uses for these roles:
Can edit: Another teacher that you are collaborating with.
Can comment: Sharing a unit plan with another education professional who you want their feedback on. This may also include BLENZ Teachers, RTLB, Van Asch Teachers etc…
Can view: Students who have logged on and you want to show them an assignment that they need to work on the Chromebooks with.
Sharing is available for ANY Google Doc, not just the Unit Template.
Commenting and Collaborating
The great thing about Google Docs is the ability for others to contribute and edit a document. Doing this can take different forms depending on what you want to do.
On the right hand side, below the share button is the style of ‘editing’ that you can use.
- Editing: This is for editing the document in place. This is the default editing mode and makes the changes to the document.
- Suggesting: This is very useful when collaborating with others. Using this mode, users can make suggestions of additions or changes to the document. Upon doing this, it puts it in a different colour, and puts a ‘comment’ box to the right of the document. It also shows an “Accept” or “Reject” tick box system, in which the other collaborators can either accept the ‘suggestions’ or remove them. This is very useful as it shows up in a different colour, and also allows for draft entries, especially for when you’re not sure or want to put forward an idea for others.
- Viewing: Quite simply, this removes all editing capabilities, and just allows you to read and print the document.
In addition to this, if you have a “Can edit” or “Can comment” status when the document is shared with you, there is a Comments section next to the Share button.
These allow you to leave a comment for the other editors and commentators that you have shared the document with, or with documents that others have shared with you.
Comments can be applied to specific parts of the document by first selecting the text, and then clicking on Comments → Add a comment as above.
The really important part of Google Docs is that it keeps EVERY change you make. It saves automatically, and keeps a record of those saves.
This means that any changes you make are kept in a log.
Click on See revision history. A window will show up on the right which will have a list of major changes and save dates. You can click through these to see the changes.
If you need a more detailed view of specific changes, you can click on ‘Show more detailed revisions’.
This will show just about every auto-save in the history of the document.
Clicking on each revision will restore that version. This allows you to go back to a previous edit of the document, if you or any of your collaborators have made a mistake you wish to go back and remedy.
Other than that, Google Docs pretty much operates as any other Word Processor. Feel free to explore the menu’s to find out more. Google’s Help menu has a lot of good information about how to use it.