Sunday, March 3, 2013

Google Apps for Admins: Drive & Docs

When rolling out the Google Apps for Education Suite to educators, Google Drive is easily in the first three application shared. And why not? It’s different yet familiar, it’s collaborative and you can do some neat tricks with it. Like a puppy. But with less mess.
Google Drive is great to show teachers and they will come up with some great plans to use with their students instantly. Check out Sony Education Ambassador, Kyle Pace’s blog series for Google for Teachers for more information. But Administrators have tasks that are specific to you, and here are some quick ways to use Google Docs and Drive in those Administrative tasks.
  1. Google Presentations for Community Reports Use Google Presentations when creating presentations that need multiple stakeholders’ input. My suggestion is to create a presentation with a common template, title each slide ahead of time and when you share it with others, indicate to them which slides are theirs to edit. You don’t have to single-handedly create every parent or community presentation, and the finished product looks seamless and collaborative.
  2. Google Spreadsheets for Conference Scheduling I’ve used Google Spreadsheets to assist in the scheduling of Conferences at the Middle School (grades 6-8) level. Import a Grade Report Excel file (or .csv) into Google Spreadsheets. Remove any extraneous information and leave only the student name and their grade(s) that need improving (don’t forget to include which classes may need remediation, as well!) Share the spreadsheet with the appropriate teachers or advisors. 
  3. Researching with Google Docs In creating reports and research for BoardReports or other needs, using Google Docs and use the “Tools”, “Research” feature to instantly research directly from the same tab or window in which you are creating your content! No more do you have to switch between tabs or windows between your content and your research. The “Research” function also allows for instant MLA, APA or Chicago footnoting, and searching filtered by licensing rights.
  4. Surveys, Surveys, Surveys! As both a high school and a middle school site administrator, I was seemingly creating surveys all the time. With Google Forms, your surveys are instantly timestamped and the form input goes immediately into a spreadsheet, which you can then sort, add formulas and use gadgets galore to tailor your results to make them most comprehensible to any audience.
If you're not quite ready to create your own, and want to be inspired by teampltes already in use, check out this list of templates I've created for an administrator's life, or you can check out Todd Roth's templates, also a practicing administrator.

  • This post was cross-posted from the resource-building that I do with Sony, Inc., located at - please visit there for more information and great suggestions from other ambassadors across the United States.