All about Google Docs – Thing 7

A light bulb moment! Copyright free image

About the tool

Google Doc’s are word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programmes that are available free to anyone with a Google account. A cloud based system it allows access to a document either saved to or created in the cloud from any device anywhere after logging on to your account.  A feature is the ability to share the document between other relevant people who can have varying degrees of access.  This access can be view only through to full editing and creating rights.  Microsoft Office documents can be stored on Google drive and opened using Google Chrome with a plug-in.  A detailed explanation is available from this link.

What are some of the advantages of teaching using this tool?

As it is free to use it is accessible to all so can be considered inclusive.  With the ability to collaborate or view a common document it can be used for students to work collaboratively on set tasks or projects.  Teachers can communicate with the class as whole, students as groups or individually. Instructions or lessons can be posted so that they can be retrieved at any time. Parents can be included both to inform of progress and to become involved their child’s learning. Reluctant students can be motivated with the use of technology and can find some of the perceived barriers to writing/learning are removed or lessened.

And the disadvantages?

Requires access to a device either a BYOD or school device which often need to be shared.  Internet access is required which can be interrupted at the most inconvenient of times with some areas are more prone to this than others eg country vs city. Home use can be limited for lower socioeconomic students who often do not have the internet available.

How could you use it when you are teaching or to support you professionally?

As a tool to collaboratively plan in a syndicate, sharing ideas, recording   comments, feedback and  feed forward to each other.

Presenting for Teacher Inquiry sharing within the school and in the wider community – in fact the whole wide world could be accessible for comments and ideas.

As a communication centre with the class, the teacher displays information students need for the day, week, term that can be referred back to and questioned etc.

Students working on an Inquiry project present ideas on recycling in their community to each group member with feedback collaborating to produce a presentation.  The Teacher creates forms to assist in the inquiry;  monitors, comments and provides feed forward and feedback through out the project. At the end the teacher has evidence of the student’s involvement in the project from beginning to end.

Researching this Thing 7 has encouraged me to consider using Google Docs as more than a handy way to store the day’s lesson.  The sky is the limit in using this for teaching and learning.


Everything and more about Google Drive or Writing in a cloud -Thing 6 catchup.


88x31Fluffy Clouds by Sherrie Thai of

Saving to the cloud was a confusing concept until I had my phone stolen.  Luckily the Nokia had an auto backup function to their cloud storage system so all photos and important contacts were retrievable – a life saver in these modern times. My next introduction to the cloud was at school with students using Google Drive to communicate with teachers, each other, for writing and all manner of things educational and social.

Using Google Drive has simplified my teaching at school – easy to save to the Drive and retrieve at school using a school Chromebook.  No need to lug lots of cumbersome papers and it has made communicating lesson plans with absent teachers a breeze.

Here is the link to the document I created for Thing 6 illustrating my learning journey and the helpful tips I found and used.


Thanks to the wonderful people at Google who provided lots of quick easy to understand instructions – no question to simple to answer!

Melissa Murphy’s articles on using Google Docs for education

A redo


88x31 Sid Mosdell

I was not very happy with the large and untidy link in the previous post, so here I am redoing it.  And I am much happier with the link now.

Term 3 has been a busy  term relief teaching and applying fruitlessly for jobs.  Spending time in the classroom in front of students has kept my spirits up as each job deadline passed with often not even an acknowledgement of the time taken to write a tailored application letter.  For those fortunate enough to secure a positive response rejoice, to those of us still trying keep going.

I love this photo of the tuatara and used a line drawing from this photo in a recent Zentangle inspired Art Unit.Tuatara2_0001

A pdf file is available Tuatara_0001      88x31   Jacqui Hooper.

It was a fun activity with both this and a map of New Zealand with the provinces filled with patterns based on Zentangle, Here is a sample of a student’s work.

Zentangle Tuatara
Zentangle Tuatara

Thank you for reading.


Creative commons images 

For further information about Zentangle

The importance of copyright

Thing 4 (from opened my eyes to the complicated issue of copyright.  The blurb prohibiting the showing of a DVD on an Oil Rig was of interest to our children and I because that was where my husband and their father worked.  Little did I realise that the practice of putting a DVD on for wet lunch hour at school was also prohibited.

Creative commons licences now make more sense prompting me to consider the need for one for blogging content.  I am still not sure what category would be applicable but detailed re-reading will, I’,m sure, fix this.

Student’s using material from the internet need to be aware of the restrictions of copyright – when I discussed it with the class (Year 7 & 8) I was in today, most knew about plagiarism.  However they were not so savvy regarding the use of images and how to search for copyright free ones.  Finding a suitable image and incorporating it into their presentations was an important part of the task so a mini lesson ensued.

by Sid Mosdell
Tuatara by Sid Mosdell

The beginning.


The impetus for beginning this blog is the 23 teaching things programme.  A long time reader of blogs featuring my favourite hobby, sewing, I have only recently branched out into Education blogs.  I was excited to read about this programme via Facebook

“This free online course will help you to :

  • use digital tools for teaching and learning
  • find and make online resources for learning
  • include e-learning in your teaching practice”  (From

A lot of the schools I relieve at are either BYOD or in the process of becoming BYOD.  I am confident in the use of ICT in the classroom as my teaching degree was gained online through Waikato University’s  Mixed Media Program but am always searching for more ways to develop my teaching practice.  I am looking forward to learning more about e-learning and resources for this.

An area that I would like to focus on is extending my knowledge of the use of digital tools for teaching and learning.  As a casual reliever keeping up to date with technology can be challenging especially when the demands of earning enough means working long hours at any paying job.

The issue of winning that full time job as a teacher is one that I plan to write on.  I am in my  eighth year of searching for a full time permanent teaching job.  Securing this goal has proved elusive but persistence will pay off I keep telling myself.


Teaching is my second career, my first was as a Food Microbiologist.  I loved working within the food industry, but with four children returning to this career would mean relocating back to the big smoke.  Playcentre  with its study programs was followed by volunteering in the classroom which I became passionate about.  Discovering the Online study program through Waikato University meant that I was able to continue raising the children while studying at night.

After gaining my Degree (Hons First Class) I began applying for jobs – at a time of a glut of teachers which has continued until today. Originally I focused on local jobs and gained interviews but as a mature beginning teacher lost out to younger more experienced teachers.

I love being in the classroom, my favourite thing about teaching is building relationships with the students; getting to know them, working with them and seeing their understandings of their world grow.