Google+ Teachnology: How to use google templates to improve workflow

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How to use google templates to improve workflow

At the end of last term I surveyed my students to find their feedback on how my plan to digitise NCEA PE was going for them.  Most of it was positive, but some of the boys were getting frustrated when I shared a document with the whole class and someone didn't save a copy (and just hijacked the original) - making the original document that I shared locked - this was the current way I was organising my workflow and I knew there must be a way around it.  This was frustrating for me as
well as I kept on having to re-share the document.  I wanted to eradicate this barrier to learning so I tried to come up with other ways of sharing the documents.  The answer was right under my nose in the form of templates!

Google templates allow you to upload any google document (presentation,sheet,form,document - etc) and create a 'template'.  From there you can share it with your class and it is automatically copied into their drive without any complicated permission business - this is how you go about it.... (you must make sure that your domain has templates turned on)

1) Create the document you would like to share with the students in your drive - make sure it is named clearly - eg 'biomechanics homework week 8' or 'NCEA 2.1 Internal Assessment'.

2) Copy this URL and paste it into your browser; (or just click on the link)!

3) This will take you to the templates page, and from there you will be able to upload your document to turn it into a template by clicking on the text on the top right of the screen 'submit template'.

4) After a few minutes (it is not immediate) your template will be uploaded to the 'gallery'.

5) To share it with students you need to click on 'preview' and then copy the URL in the web address bar when the document appears.  Email the students the address or create a link on a web page - if you are feeling adventurous you could even turn it into a QR code!!

6) Once the students click on the link to the template they must then click 'use this template'.  It is then copied to their drive.  They are free to edit the copy - they must still share it with you if you require to look at it and mark it.

This link will take you to the chrome web store where you can download the 'create from template' plugin which makes things easier by taking you straight to the templates page.

Have a look at this page for more examples of public templates

This tutorial will demonstrate another easy way to add to template gallery straight from the drive;