Google Docs in the Classroom


I’m trying to convince myself that it’s time to get to know Google Docs, and I’m using the excuse that it’s time to revamp my classroom.  I’m starting my 10th year of teaching this fall and it is time.  It’s easier to remain stagnant, but if humans were meant to stay the same their entire lives, I wouldn’t be buying regenerist serums by the gallon.


Anyway, I have started fiddling around with how to make Google forms with my personal account.  I am going to be meeting weekly with my department members and I want to streamline the process as much as possible.  Here is the final product:

Meeting Minutes

I can open this form on my iPad during the meeting, fill it out, and then have the results accumulated in a spreadsheet for my convenience.  I also figure out how to have the results directly emailed to me for easy sharing with the individual teachers.

It was a little tricky getting used to the format and platform, and because I’m still working the kinks out, I won’t attempt to explain the process.  I’ll leave that to the experts.

It got me to thinking about how I can use Google Docs in the classroom.  I am completely envious of teachers who work in a 1:1 school or where technology is more consistently accessible.  What I do have control over is the use of my iPad in the classroom.  I can also provide Google Docs/Forms for students to use at home if they cannot access them on their smartphones or tablets.  So here is a list of uses that I intend to implement this year:

  • Behavior Logs
  • Individual/Group meetings with students
  • Surveys
  • Spot Checks
    • This has become the nomenclature at our school to replace the term “quiz.”  It will ensure me that students have read their assigned reading.  Through our PLN, we have decided that the first question must always be, “Did you complete the reading assignment?”  At first, we thought students would automatically respond, “yes,” but eventually as students became more comfortable, their honesty improved.  It helps the teacher know if there is a comprehension problem or if it’s Christmas treeing.
  • Lesson planning
  • Rubrics – I’m still new to this usage, but I definitely plan on getting better acquainted.

Question of the Day: If you use Google Docs/Forms in the classroom, what is your favorite method?  If you haven’t started, what is holding you back?


4 thoughts on “Google Docs in the Classroom

  1. Amanda! You will LOVE getting to know Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides…… Oh, so many ideas you can use to make your classroom more efficient! Last week (?) I attended USMSpark in Milwaukee, and learned of two FABULOUS tools I’ll be using this next year. They are both on Michael Matera’s (@MrMatera) website. Here they are –

    Postmaster Plus and SuperGrouper were the ones he shared in a session – copy and make them work for YOU! All the directions are on there – it’s a bit overwhelming at first, but they WORK! and they’re AWESOME!!

    As for normal, everyday Google Doc life at my school, we are really liking Google Classroom. We upload one document (template) for students, and Google Classroom shares it with all of our students in the group (they have to sign up the first day with a code). They work on their docs, all stored in one place for them and one place for you. You can use the grading options, as well, but we haven’t done that. We like revisions! 😉 I also ask them to never “turn in” assignments anymore, too, as it’s hard for them to revise once they turn them in, and it takes more steps for all of us.

    I could write a TON more, but I’ll just let you explore – great start with forms! Get one ready for parents to add their names, emails, etc. so you can use the mailmerge from Michael!

    • Thank you so much, Joy! I cannot wait to get started and explore all the new options I will have. My goal is to go as paperless as possible this year. I will be implementing a blogging component again this year.

  2. Amanda, there are SOOOOOO many things you can do! I love to collaborate and hope you’ll try lots of new things and share what works and what doesn’t – those are the best (seriously). From there, you learn what DOES work!! Here are some of my activities that I do with my 5th graders. Best of luck to you!!

    I’m trying Google Classroom next year and can NOT wait!

    • Thank you so so so so! much for this feedback.

      I have explored Google Classroom, and maybe you can help me with this, but my impression is that an individual teacher cannot use it; a school or district must “subscribe” or “enroll.” Is this true? I would LOVE to be able to utilize Google Classroom if I can.

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