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Overview of my Google Drive workflow for NCEA PE

I have been using the drive for several years, but this year I am teaching and collating all work from all 3 of my senior classes in the drive.  This is a basic overview of what I do and some of the advantages I see from using this method.

1) Senior classes are organised into a folder for each class, and a folder in each class for each standard, all work is filed that way so it is relatively easy to find.  You can also colour co-ordinate them!!

2) Inside each standard folder (eg. 2.2 Train to gain) the relevant work/resources are stored, it is easy to see if it is shared or not.  I usually have a separate folder for homework.  If I am sharing resources with students that they need to write on and submit back to me I name the document and then add 'insert name here' at the end of it - I share the document then direct students to this post to make sure they copy it and save it before writing on it.

This does 2 main things - saves me from having to share a document 25 times or however many individual students there are in the class, and also gets the students used to sharing documents and working within the drive system.  It has gone wrong in the past where students have written on the original document and stuffed it up for everyone - but it is easy to tell who made the mistake and it only usually happens once in a class and then boys are aware how the system works.  A couple of them always think that they can submit work that someone else has done, but it is so easy to spot duplicates that it just takes an email to tell them that they have been found out and they need to do it again!

##  At this stage I just want to highlight the different types of documents you can share and how I am using them at the moment.......

a) Document - I usually create a master doc with a table - or some open questions, perhaps a list of vocabulary that needs to be defined and then share it once as described above.  Final reports and assessments are usually done through normal documents,  It is the same as sharing a word doc, but you can create a formalised template with instructions or advice on how to complete the work.  I am also using it for small groups to collaborate on for 2.2 training programmes - I can see how the planning is going, so can the 2 other people in the group - but no-one else in the class has access to it.

b) Presentation - I have a couple of presentation that I have converted from powerpoint to 'google presentations', mainly for my level 2 class - I share these with boys to 'view' after the lessons so they can take any extra notes they missed out on.

c) Spreadsheet - I have just started to use these to share with students and parents to track progress during the term - Homework handed in, online reflections completed etc.  I usually put it on the whiteboard at the start of the lesson and let them know how they are going - or I might get my phone out during the lesson, open google drive, and speak to a boy individually about their progress.  It is good that the boys can 'view' the document, and parents I have emailed the link to are really impressed to see live updates of their sons progress - I update it each week after homework is due.

d) Form - This has made up most of my 1.5 and 1.1 work so far this term.  The boys can submit as many personal reflections as they like from the same link and they are all stored in a table/spreadsheet, I can then arrange the table by date - to see who has completed one this week, or by name of student to see how many they have completed in total, I then transfer the data to the progress sheet above so they can see how many more they need to do.  The data can also be used in graphical form and was really useful at parent teacher evening and for this social responsibility activity, click the blue bits to look at the relevant blog posts!  I have also used it to ask revision questions and to give me feedback on my teaching from the students.  At the start of the year I let the level 2 students have some choice in what they wanted to study this year by filling in a form - Te Kotahitanga feed forward etc.... I enjoy using forms as there is so much you can do with the data!

e) Drawing - I havent used this yet, but you could probably use it for collaborative mind mapping or something - I am sure it would be useful in other subjects.  I might do something with labelling a physiological diagram in the future....?

3) After I have created the appropriate docs that I want to share with the students I set a hand in date and on that day I check if it has been done.

With forms you don't receive notification if it has been completed, but if you go to the form it will tell you the number of responses that have been completed, and you can view all responses in graphical or table form at any time.

When a student copies and shares a document with you an email will arrive in your inbox, you can follow the link to look at it right away - but I usually wait until the deadline and do them all at once.  The best way to copy the modified documents back into your drive is to go to 'shared with me' and you will see a list of all the documents that students have submitted.  If you have several classes it can get confusing so it is good to be organised with file structure and naming of documents.  In the picture below you can see that I have filed and marked the bottom doc, but the top 3 are still not filed or marked - I will wait to do that next week (note the name structure).

You will also see that work or documents that I have clicked on are normal font - and those not looked at are in bold.  This is essential for marking work as you can easily see what you have marked from looking at all documents and not opening each individual one up!

4) Marking homework/assignments - You have the ability to comment on all pieces of work, you can comment on paragraphs, words, pages or the document as a whole piece.  ctl+shift+m is the shortcut to put a comment into a student document, just highlight the piece you want to comment on!

The great thing about comments is that when you leave one on some work the student is notified through email, so they have the chance to resolve or respond to the comment and update the work (all modifications, and comments are time stamped so you can see what they have done and when.  You can also print the work out with the comments on the document if it needs to be moderated or if you like to keep paper copies?!

All work in google documents can be printed out at anytime and filed, or downloaded and copied to hard storage.  Above is just an example of how I am using google drive at the moment, feel free to comment or let me know if you have any other thoughts or ideas on how it could be changed!

I am not going to go through and list the advantages I see from using google documents in this post, at the moment I feel a greater amount of work is being produced by a greater number of students, my marking and organisation has improved and is easier to account for and the ease that students can complete the work at anytime and anywhere is great to see.  I have had positive feedback from students and parents, it has been good to see students rushing out of the class at interval to complete homework on their phones using their own 3G data.  Hopefully in the future we will have policies at our school that will enable the boys to use the wireless connection and allow them to BYOD.....


  1. Hi Tim, This is an amazing workflow you have designed. Is there a reason you use this instead of Teacher Dashboard (Hapara)? How does implementing it with the rest of the department and other staff go?


    1. Hi Dorothy , thanks for the feedback! I did look at the Hapara teacher dashboard but was scared off by the 1hr set up time!!! After hearing from you and Jason I have been in touch with them and will set it up over the holidays. I am the only one really using apps at our school at the moment (800 boys) so working against the flow. If I was to encourage others to get to grips with it do you think I should implement dashboard school wise - does it make it that much easier? Thanks again - Tim


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