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Digital Curation: Google Apps/Google Drive

Google Tools

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is one of Google's lesser-known tools. Google Scholar is a search engine designed to search scholarly journals, Supreme Court records, and patent records. In some cases the results will link to abstracts of books and articles that you will then have to obtain from a library or book retailer. In other cases results will link to fully viewable documents.

Google Scholar

Google + Streaming

Google Doc Tips - Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google Docs

Who knew you could do so much with these free tools?

  • Comments/chat/presence – Comments are made on the right side of the document but you are also able to reply and create threads of comments within comments. In addition, you can chat without having to toggle between windows and know who else is in the document with you in the upper right hand side of the window.
  • Translate - You can translate words within a document, or an entire document, into over 40 languages. To translate an entire document, simply click Tools > Translate document, and select the language into which you’d like to translate the document. Google Docs translates the document using Google Translate. Once the translation is ready, you can choose to replace the original document with the translation or create a new document with the translated version.
  • Auto-saving – While there is a “save now” button up at the top, you don’t actually have to use it. Google documents automatically save changes into the cloud.
  • Mobile editing – Now you can edit that important memo while you’re on the bus or train or create and collaborate on a group proposal from the bleacher seats of the football game. To get started visit in a broswer on your iPhone, iPad or Android device and select the document you want to edit. Then when you’re viewing it, press the Edit button to switch to the mobile editor. Check out this video for more details.
  • New charts – The charts editor is designed to help you create the chart you need in just a few clicks by suggesting recommended charts, matches your data labels and headers, auto selects colors, has a full size preview pane and more. Annotated time-lines, organizational charts, gauges, our popular motion chart (which makes it easy to visualize data changing over time) and more to are now available in Google Docs. Give the new charts editor a try at and check out this video.
  • Revision history – In the new revision history interface, changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, making it easy to tell what has been added or deleted.. To see it, go to File > See revision history. Click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions. To see a finer-grained list of revisions, click Show more detailed revisions.
  • Drawings inserted into presentations – You can use Google drawings to enhance my Google presentations by building dynamic and informative images in drawings and copying them over to the presentation you’re making. Once you’ve finished using drawings to create your visuals, you just go to the Web Clipboard in your drawing and select Copy entire drawing to web clipboard. Once the drawing is in your web clipboard, go to your presentation and select the slide you want to drop your drawing into. Then, click on the Web Clipboard icon and select the drawing from the list.

Step by Step Instructions

Google Apps for ePortfolios

Descriptions of all Google products

Schools and universities can set up free Google Apps accounts with their own domain name, where they can give all student and faculty acces to a variety of tools, including a GMail account, iGoogle portal, Google Groups for collaboration, and Pages, for creating websites. Each user can also use their GMail account to activate other Google services, such as GoogleDocs.


Students and teachers have email accounts, with more than 2 GB of storage per account. Gmail is the web-based or POP-mail account that is also the common ID for other Google applications.
Students have a portal with links to all of their Google files, applications plus other tools.

in Google Sites 

Students can maintain a reflective journal (blog) of their learning activities and reflections with feedback through the commenting function that is a part of any blog tool.

Since websites are often blocked on school websites. As an alternative to a traditional blog, there is an "Announcements" page type that can be added to a Google Site (below) that could serve as a reflective journal of learning activities. Students can maintain a reflective journal in the form of "Posts" which can later be used as a link to reflection on a specific entry from a web page.

Students and teachers have space to discuss their work.

Students create word processing, spreadsheet or presentation artifacts in GoogleDocs. All GoogleDocs files can be shared for collaboration with other students in collaborative projects, or with teachers for feedback.

  • Documents are the standard word processing files, where students can create online, or upload from an existing Microsoft Word or Open Office word processing file.
  • Spreadsheets are the standard spreadsheet applications which can be imported from an exisrting Microsoft Excel or Open Office spreadsheet file.
  • Presentations are the standard slide show application which can be imported from an existing Microsoft Powerpoint or Open Office presentation file. Other people can be sent the URL for the presentation, and they can view the presentation in real time.

Here is a short YouTube video about GoogleDocs that discusses the process. Here is a brief description of how to use Google Docs Spreadsheet to facilitate feedback from small group breakout discussions.

Students store their video clips online to link into their Docs or Pages.

Students store their images in online albums. These could be scanned images or pictures taken with digital cameras.


Students have a tool to keep notes about their navigation on the WWW.


Teachers can follow student work by subscribing to individual student blogs, docs, etc. (RSS feeds)
Here is a very clever YouTube video clip that explains RSS and uses the Google Reader as an example.
Teachers and other students provide feedback through the Share function, which is available in all three GoogleDocs applications. Comments are available in Documents (not in Presentations).

Students create presentation portfolios at different benchmarks to showcase their achievement of outcome, goals or standards. This tool is a web page creator, where students can link to different documents created in GoogleDocs or uploaded as another document type, such as PDF. There is a limit of 100 MB of uploaded files, which should be plenty of space, especially if images are stored in Picasa and videos are stored in YouTube.There is also no data management tool, to aggregate assessment data. There is not an interactivity feature to this program, such as found in a blog or wiki. Therefore, this tool would work for a presentation portfolio but not for formative or summative assessment.This tool is being discontinued by Google, replaced by Google Sites.

Google Sites is Google's version of a wiki, released in February 2008. Students could create presentation portfolios at different benchmarks to showcase their achievement of outcome, goals or standards. This tool is a web site creator, where students can embed different documents created in GoogleDocs or uploaded as another document type, such as PDF, or embed video (from Google Video or YouTube).The only data management tool is the GoogleDocs spreadsheet, to aggregate assessment data. There are lots of interactivity features to this program, such as the capability to subscribe to changes in sites or individual pages, or collaborate on pages in the same way as GoogleDocs. Therefore, this tool would work for both a presentation portfolio and for formative or summative assessment.

Best Google Shortcuts

Google Search Commands

Google Docs Tips & Shortcuts

Creating Quizzes in Google Docs (Richard Byrne)

Create and Publish a Quiz in Google Docs
Below I've embedded a slideshow with directions for creating and embedding quizzes using Google Forms, but here are a few points that should be emphasized.

1. Make sure the first question is "student name." Otherwise you won't know who submitted which answers.
2. You can mix question types (multiple choice, short answer, paragraph) but if you have too many types and too many students, the spreadsheet can become difficult to navigate.
3. When embedding the form into a blog, make sure you edit the width to fit within your blog's main column. You can use the same principles of editing the size of a YouTube video for editing the width of a spreadsheet.

Create a Quiz using Google Forms

Google Books

Google Books. Google Books is a great place to find all kinds of books and magazines that you can preview and or read for free online or on your ereader device. You can use  Google Books to create lists of free books for US History students to access for research assignments (for example). Search for a topic in Google Books, filter results to show only "free Google eBooks," putting the titles on a Google Bookshelf or embed into a webpage or LibGuides site, then share the link to the shelf or site. Students can then visit the bookshelf to see the recommended books. The slide presentation will walk you through how to use Google Books for the purposes of locating free books that can be read online or downloaded, searching within a book, and creating shelves to share with others.

Google Searching Tips

Search Tools and Tactics Teachers and Students Need to Know

 Stop Googling "What" questions. Googling "what were the causes of x,y,z?" or "why did Mr. X do x,y,z?" or Googling any similarly phrased question yields results that start with that phrasing. Often the results of searching with those terms leads to poorly written, inaccurate content on question and answer services like Yahoo Answers and Wiki Answers. Students who search using those terms quickly grow frustrated before ultimately saying, "Google doesn't have anything about this." One solution to this problem is to teach students to search for the subject of question, not the question itself. The better solution is in item #2 below.

 Stop assigning research questions that can be quickly answered with a Google/ Bing/ Yahoo search.

 Use the overlooked Google "advanced search" page. Previously located at the top of the page, the link to the advanced search page recently moved to the bottom of the Google results page. 

Create Google Alerts. If there is topic that you or your students frequently search for, consider creating a Google Alert for that topic. You can create a Google Alert using any combination of search terms. Each time new content matching those search terms is indexed, the content or link (depending on your selection), is delivered to your choice of email or RSS reader.

Lesson Plans from Google Search Education

Picking the right search terms

Pick the best words to use in academic searching, whether students are beginning with a full question or a topic of just a few words. View lesson

Identify unique search terms to locate targeted sources and to use “context terms” to uncover appropriate evidence.View lesson

Explore “firm” and “soft” search terms, and practice using context terms to locate subject-specific collections of information on the web.View lesson

Understanding search results

Learn about the different parts of the results page, and about how to evaluate individual results based on cues like web addresses and snippets.View lesson

Use the results page to check the quality of a search process, and explore specific strategies students can use to improve their searches and their results.View lesson

Engage additional search strategies, such as generalization and specialization.View lesson

Searching for evidence for research tasks

Draw stronger terms from preliminary search results, identify evidence, and explore using various media to locate specific types of evidence.View lesson

Investigate different page formats (blogs, news articles, wikis, etc), and how to identify the right format for the type of information students are seeking.View lesson

Examine Google Scholar, and learn how to find specific collections of information that will contain the best evidence for students’ research task.View lesson

Evaluating credibility of sources

Consider, tone, style, audience, and purpose to determine the credibility of a source. View lesson

Consider, tone, style, audience, and purpose to determine the credibility of a source. View lesson

Track information to a reasonable source and recognize and consider the impact of bias in assessing the credibility of information.View lesson

Google Docs Gets New Research Page (Donald Melanson)

Google has already brought a pile of new fonts and templates to Google Docs this month, and it's now back with another fairly big new feature. Open a document today and you'll find a new Research tool on the side of your page (which can be toggled on and off), offering the ability to search for any topic and get results without having to leave the document you're working on. Those results can include images, quotes and other basic information that's delivered right in the sidebar -- and, of course, the usual search results that you can open in a new tab or window if you want to dive deeper on a subject. Hit the source link below for all the details on how to use the new tool, or simply fire up a new document to try it out for yourself.

Google Research - about

Google Maps 3D Content

Google introduced 3D photo tours of famous landmarks in Google Maps. If you haven't had a chance to check them out yet, Tekzilla gives you a quick overview in the video below. The 3D photo tours in Google Maps is a great option for geography teachers and history teachers as well as literature teachers who want their students to explore places mentioned in the books their students read. 

from Technology for Teachers Blog

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