Ever since I discovered Google Docs' forms, I must confess that I’m obsessed. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about all I can do with forms: grading and testing and quizzing and polls and information collection and books-read-this-month and surveys and sign-ups. . . . It goes on and on until I fear my head may split.
To put an end to the madness, I picked one option, put fingertips to keyboard and came up with a simple quiz on rhetoric:
Currently, our students are using Google Spreadsheets to enter data collected from water samples from a nearby stream, measuring the pH level in the water and also looking at different types of chemicals present. They then use Google Documents to chart the data they find, and share it with each other. This keeps them all on track, and means that they can learn from each other and draw on a much larger pool of data than if they were simply keeping notebooks, not shared until the project's end, if ever.
We love Stephen's brief account of using Docs to facilitate science learning, and it got us wondering, who else is using Google Docs for science? Are you? Ornithologists, paleontologists, astronomers and armchair biochemists...we want to know how using Google Docs has helped your scientific pursuits.Write us a note and let us know what you're up to, or submit a video, showing us how you use Google Docs for your science projects.
Besides hating to read instructions to anything, I tend to always zero in on just a few capabilities of any Web-based application because I often feel overwhelmed by the options and possibilities. First, I test out an application at the moment I'm in desperate need of a viable solution. Then if it isn't easy to use without a manual, I continue to use it until the crisis is over. If it really makes my life and work easier, then it becomes second nature to me.
I gave in to my Docs resistance, the dark clouds parted, the sun shone through, and suddenly, there was order in the chaos.
Some of you might be wondering what CSS is and how it can help spruce up your documents. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. In essence, CSS is a type of style sheet markup language which enables you to create a personalized look for your web page or documents. For example, using this markup language, you have control over font type, colors and sizes. CSS's most common use is to style HTML for web pages. How is CSS different than HTML? HTML is a markup language that focuses on document content; CSS focuses on document presentation.
A picture's worth a thousand words, so take a look at the example below of a styled doc created by our very own webmaster, Melissa Louie (aka "The CSS Master"). You can also make a copy of this example for yourself, with all of the CSS in place.
Here's how you can get started in becoming a CSS master like Melissa:1. Check out inspiring examples of styles that you can create and apply by checking out Melissa's tips and tricks page.2. Engage with other Docs users in our user group community. There, you can share styles with each other and help each other create new styles.3. Try it out for yourself by adding some CSS code to your own document.We can't wait to see what you create. Interested? Go to any doc, click on 'Edit CSS' in the 'Edit' menu and style away!
We're thrilled to have Gill as a guest blogger. Through the evolution of Google Docs, she has been one of the most courteous and helpful members of the Google Docs Help Group, assisting users with all manner of questions.