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Using Google Apps Templates to Make Your Life Easier

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Technology
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January 3, 2017

Where Google used to lose to Microsoft Office

I don’t think it’s a secret that I love Google Apps and that we’re big users of their tools here at the OPSRC. Schools all over are buying into G Suite for Education because it’s effective for teachers and students but also because it provides incredible savings for districts.

Although people love what Google has to offer, one knock I consistently hear from schools is that Google doesn’t offer quality templates for teachers, students and central office staff to use when getting started on projects. Google has a template directory that’s existed for a long time but is far from quality. They were all user submitted, and it was difficult to find templates that would actually work for you.

Google Templates

Google now has a great set of templates that are high quality and will more than meet your needs. If you use the Google navigation menu and go to Sheets, Docs, or Slides, you’ll see a bar toward the top of the screen that allows you to start a blank document or it has a few suggestions on templates available for you. There is also a button that says “Template Gallery.” When you open up that gallery, you’ll see some amazing templates. There’s even an education category available. Below is an example of what’s available.

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There are reports, notes, lesson plans, formal letters and so much more. The spreadsheets template gallery even has a really incredible grade book.

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Internal templates just got a whole lot easier

One thing that I hear complaints about is regarding templates for your school’s central offices or for your classroom. You can set up documents, but then you have to make sure to create a copy of that document, rename it and then begin editing. It’s not too difficult for just one person but when you begin sharing with others, things can get difficult. Sometimes users forget to make a copy of a document before using it, and that means constantly reformatting docs so others can use them.

Google now allows you to have a template directory JUST for your school. You and other users can make a doc and then submit it to the directory. Then when people go to use your templates, it automatically makes a copy for the user and your template never gets destroyed or altered.

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This will make life so much easier for those of you who constantly use the same document over and over.

If you need help or training with templates in G Suite for Education feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to come help you get the most of of Google’s free tools!

About the Author

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Ben Parker

Director, Technology

Ben serves as Director of Technology for the OPSRC. In this role, he will provide support to schools on technical issues and training on pressing technology topics. Ben will assist partner schools with trainings, comprehensive technology plans, e-Rate applications, technology purchasing consultation, and other school and district technology decisions.

Prior to working with OPSRC, Ben was the Director of Technology for the Locust Grove Public School District. Ben implemented a 1:1 tablet program in Locust Grove that saw 6th-12th graders go paperless in the classroom.

In his free time, Ben likes to read and play the drums.