How to use Google Apps in the classroom

Rick Fisher and Kaijsa Calkins will start the final day of this great technology bootcamp with how to use Google Apps in the classroom.

Kaijsa and Rick will talk about their use of Google Docs (including Docs, Forms/Spreadsheets, and Presentations) for various classroom objectives. We’ll describe the benefits of Google DOcs for feedback, collaboration, informal process assignments, community building, and programmatic/departmental use.

Kaijsa shows off Google Docs
Kaijsa shows off Google Docs

Kaijsa started the presentation by asking us how we collect information or feedback from students. She also opened up a Google Doc to add comments. Kaijsa showed us how to use Google Forms and Spreadsheets for surveys to collect anonymous data. The data collected from the form feeds to a spreadsheet. The director takes the data and prints out a report to the instructors for their T&P packets. The link to the form can be placed anywhere on the Web. Rick posts links to course announcements. Kaijsa mentioned that the library also collects information about the workshops they teach. They find it important to track what they teach to whom and how well. There are no version control issues with Google Docs. There is a summary of data capability.


  • Web-based
  • Easy to deploy/link/embed
  • Downloadable in multiple file types
Rick Fisher talks about Google Docs
Rick Fisher talks about Google Docs

Rick asked us to talk about how we do collaboration in our classrooms currently. Karen Williams likes Google Docs is easy to use and the results are immediate. You can see the results of the document editors. Rick had used online discussions but did not have good results, he started using Google Docs. Rick posed a question in Google Docs and the students responded. The students were open to how to respond. They used color to delineate responses and began adding their own direction to the conversation. Students make the connection to use Google Docs for group projects. Note: Wyoming uses Google Docs at the government level.

Rick also talked about Google Presentations. He built a presentation where students can add their own bio information. Being able for students to add a photo is a great way to help build community. Students can build collaborative presentations.

Kaijsa closed with Google Drive. Google drive allows you to work online and offline. It is very easy to drag items into a folder and then have access everywhere.

Good discussion about different sharing rights for documents.