Goolaboration Series Part 2: How To Create & Share Collaborative Google Files

In this installment of the Goolaboration series, you will learn both how to create a Google file and the various ways you can share said file with your students.

Create The File

Creating your Google file is the easy part of this process. Simply go to your Google Drive, click on the red "New" button in the top-left corner (see image to the right), and choose the file type you would like to utilize, either Docs, Sheets or Slides.

Here are some examples of how to use each file type:

Docs- shared note taking & brainstorming

Sheets- discussion questions, collaborative math

Slides- group presentations, vocabulary with pictures

These are only a few examples of how to use each file type. The options are almost endless and, although there are less effective ways to use each type, there is really no wrong way to use a certain file type. Later in this series, I will share some best practices related to each of the three files types.

Share The File

Google Classroom- Once the file has been created, you will need to share the file with your students. There are numerous ways to do this. I use Google Classroom to share my Goolaboration files with my students. In this manner, I first create the assignment and then I attach the proper file. Once the file is attached, I then choose the sharing option "Students can edit file" from the drop down menu next to the attachment. You must allow students to edit the file- this is critical to the success of the activity. Click here to see how to do this.

Share the link/QR code- Another way to share the file- without Google Classroom- is to simply share the link (or QR code). This method requires a few more steps.

First, you must change the files editing rights. To do this, open your file, and click on the "Share", then click on "Advanced" in the bottom-right corner of the window. You will see the file is currently Private, you need to change that. Click on the blue word "Change...". From there, click the button next to On- Anyone with the link. You will see the word Access: Anyone (no sign in required). Click on the blue words "Can view"- change it to "Can edit". Click "Save", then click "Done". Now, anyone can edit the file. Click here to see how to do this.

Next, you must share the link with students. I recommend using the Google Extension URL Shortener. This extension makes sharing files & websites much easier. With your file open, you can simply click on the extension to get a shortened url (link) that students can type into their browser to access the document. The extension also offers a QR code that you can share with students using mobile devices. Click here to see how to do this.

Click here to view Part Three of the Series: Best Practices.

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