Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Searching Google Docs For AISD Content

The more we use Google Docs in AISD, the more we will find some of the advanced features more important. For example, I create the world's greatest Literature Group lesson in Google docs and have shared it with AISD.  Later, I meet Mr. Smyth at a meeting downtown and he said he would be interested in seeing my lesson. How will he be able to find it quickly?

Make It Visible
To the right, you see how I made my Doc visible. I chose to not make it viewable to the entire world, but just to all 7,000+ AISD employees and 80,000+ students.

By marking the top AISD button, any teacher/student will be able to search Google Docs and find my document. 

*WARNING: This is a good and bad thing. Don't share any confidential material like this as someone could search and find it by accident.

Now that my document is saved with some unique name and I marked the document as visible by all AISD searches, my colleagues can find this document and open it WITHOUT  me having to share it with them specifically.

Use The Advanced Search
The more documents you have in Google Docs, the more you'll use the search box. Typing and searching for keywords will quickly go through your own docs and show suggestions for your search.

Basic Search

However, I can also search the vast amount of docs that live inside the AISD Google Docs domain. By using the advanced search drop-down, I can use the 'Search AISD' link at the very bottom. My search results now will come from my Docs as well as all other user-created docs in AISD.
Using this with students can be quite useful.  For today's problem statement, I want my students to open up my document, add their thoughts and submit at the end of the week for a grade.
  1. Create a Google Docs and name it something unique, like "MartinP5PhysicsandPolitics". Share that document with AISD, as above.
  2. Students will login to the Cloud and do the advanced search for that file name, and open the file.
  3. Because I want this file to be a template, I didn't give anyone edit rights.  So my students' first action will be to go to the Google Docs File menu and 'Make a Copy' of this document. They now have their own copy and can edit it to their heart's content.
  4. By the end of the week, they can share their document with me. (They won't change any privacy settings because they don't need anyone to find their work.) The share with me, giving me edit writes so that I can leave comments on their work.
There are a number of different ways to share with others, but I'll put that in a later post.  Leave a comment if you have done this with your students. Did you find it useful? What did you do differently that worked for you?

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