Forcing Users to Make a Copy in Google Drive

If you’ve been using Google Drive for a while, you have probably come across a common task when sharing a template with others. Very often, a template is first shared as view only, and then users are expected to make a copy of their own. In a classroom setting, often students are trained to do the “make a copy dance” (especially if not using an LMS like Google Classroom), but if you need to share a document template with a group that isn’t as accustomed, it can become a little cumbersome.

This is process most folks follow.  Typically, you would share the document with others as a view only link, and then send that link on to others (email, short link, QR code, or other method).

Then, when the url is shared to others, they are expected to first to go to file and make a copy to make a copy of their own.

This works, but sometimes folks unfamiliar with the process can get a bit lost, especially after seeing the document but not being able to edit it

Here’s a better way!

Take the view only URL and change everything after the final forward slash “/” to “copy.

Now, share that link as you usually would, whether that be in an email when someone visits that link, they’ll be automatically forced to make a copy immediately:

I hope you find this helpful!

Getting the Most Out of MassCUE Winter Camp: Featuring Google Apps for Education (or any conference for that matter.)

We’re looking forward to this year’s Google-themed February break workshop, MassCUE Winter Camp. Building off of last year’s Googlepalooza, we were struck with the overwhelming response by educators excited to take a day from their February break to dive into using Google Apps for Education to enhance and transform teaching and learning.

Spending a day at a workshop is an investment – how do you ensure the day is a success?  How do you maximize your experience at Winter Camp, or any workshop?

Here are just a few things to keep in mind to get the most from Winter Camp:

1 – The Law of Two Feet

Too often we feel trapped to stay in a workshop or session that’s not meeting our needs due to the fear of seeming rude by exiting the room. The law of two feet, one of the core aspects of the EdCamp model, frees everyone to keep learning at the heart of the day. If you aren’t actively learning or contributing to learning, it’s your responsibility to respectfully find a place where can do one or both of those things. If you get into a session and it’s not the right fit for you, quietly find one that is! Don’t worry about seeming rude – the session facilitators expect and encourage you to find a space that works for you, and the seat you vacate will likely be filled from someone leaving another session.

2 – Learn by Doing

Be selfish in your learning and experiment with new ideas during the workshop. As teachers, we work to create hands-on experiences for our students to learn, as we know that active learning is the most successful. But when given the space to get active in learning new methods, techniques, and models, it’s easy to become passive. The sessions at Winter Camp are designed to be hands-on. Take advantage of it! Try out a new tool, start planning a new project, or start acollaboration. You can’t improve your student’s experience by listening – get doing!

3 – The Smartest Person in the Room is the Room

One of the best parts of a conference is being surrounded by other teachers who are passionate about improving education. Strike up conversations, follow each other on Twitter/Instagram/Voxer/etc, and make some connections. While Winter Camp has an experienced group of Google Certified Teachers and Trainers, the wisdom of the crowd is the most valuable asset of any conference. Don’t be afraid to share – what you’ve found in your classroom is likely really valuable for others.

During Lunch, join the Demo Slam, where attendees give fast-paced 2-minute tricks, tips, and more. Short, to the point, and potent, these slam sessions are always a highlight.

4 – Different Strokes for Different Folks

Learning is not one size fits all. We know this from our students, but with PD we too often give every educator the same experience. Winter Camp has something for everyone, with sessions designed for a wide range of topics and levels. Facilitators also work to provide hands-on experiences in each session so you can find something that’s right for you. Customize your day – make a schedule that works for you, challenge yourself, and find what works for you. And if you ever find yourself in a session that’s old hat or over your head, follow the law of two feet.

We’ve been working hard to design a Winter Camp that works best for you. By following these tips, you can help ensure your time results in better learning for your students.

Originally posted at OnCueOnline, Feb. 10, 2016