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Quickly create a shared document in Google Drive - "How to guide"

I recently blogged about the advantages of using an online collaborative document to develop your curriculum area here.  This quick guide shows you how to set up and share the document!

1)  When you are logged into your google account click on the 'drive' button by going to the 9 tiny squares at the top right of the screen.

2) This will open a new window and take you to 'My Drive' the wonderful place where you can create a plethora of documents, forms and spreadsheets!  Click on the large 'Create' button on the left of the screen.

3) You are now given 6 choices - for this exercise we want to create a 'document' - it is very similar to a 'Word' or 'Open Office' document and has similar editing and presentation attributes.

4)  A new window will open with a text editor in it.  To change the name of your document click on 'untitled document', a box will appear with the option to type a new name.  The rest of the options and buttons will be familiar to anyone who has used a word processor before, a main difference that you might need to remember is that drive saves it automatically every few seconds, so you don't have to stress about 'file'-'save' every few minutes - that is unless you are a veteran secretary with a typing speed faster than 150 wpm - so create away and make your document!!!  (if you have existing documents or tables you like to use I have found it easier to open them in their original text editor and then copy and paste them into google drive.  When you upload to the document you don't seem to have the editing capabilities that you have with a document created freshly in the drive.) 

5) When you are happy with your document and are ready to share it with your colleagues or students click on the 'share' button at the top right hand side of the screen.  A new box will pop up and give you the options to share and collaborate with others.  Either enter an email address or contact group name and it will then give you three more options - 'can edit', 'can comment' or 'can view'.  If you want your collaborators to be able to write on the document you need to ensure that they can edit.  This option is flexible and can be changed at anytime.  It is quite easy to see who has access to the document by clicking the 'share' button, you can also add anyone at anytime.  When you type in the email addresses you also have the option to write a quick email about the document - this is a good way to communicate what the document is for and how it should be completed - I always send an email out with the document when setting homework (wether the students read it or not is another thing as they are usually link clicking happy!)

6) Sit back and watch everyone else do the work for you!!!  Another great feature of the drive is that you can also see who is looking at the document at the same time, and send them messages by clicking on their name - I have used this in class with the whole group adding into a table about the disadvantages and advantages of different training methods.

The sharing and creating method is similar across most of the Google apps for education platform. 

If you are still having trouble or are more of a visual learner - have a look at these great clips from +chad cafka


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