Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Docs: Dropdown Your Status

Google Docs: Dropdown Your Status by adding a dropdown menu to your Google Doc. This helps you when you're collaborating with others. It is also very easy!
Google Docs: Dropdown Your Status

Digital documents today are more dynamic. There is an assumption you will interact with the document, not just print it. Looking at the new features in Google Docs you realize that this is a place for collaboration. I am loving the new dropdown features to help people I collaborate with know where I’m at on a project.

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ToDo List

It is not unusual that when you are working on a project with someone that you discuss elements of the project within a Google Doc. You have tasks you take responsibility for. Collaborators, however, are unclear where you are at in getting that task completed.

I am loving the feature in Google Docs where you use the at symbol (@) to quickly add elements. I start typing @ta and a dropdown appears to offer me the option to add a table (or table of contents.) So much faster than going up to the insert menu.

Tables you know about. What you may not know about is DROPDOWNS for your Google Doc!!

Start typing the at symbol and the word drop to give you the option for a “Dropdown.”

Default Project Status Dropdown

When I am reviewing a Google Doc that has action items embedded within it, I will hit the at symbol (@) to insert a dropdown next to the task.

The preset dropdowns are for “Project status” and “Review status.” I find these to be very helpful. However, you can use “New dropdown” to define your own.

Google Docs: Dropdown Your Status

I add these @dropdown project status throughout the Google Doc. Then when anyone is working on something, they can simply click on the dropdown and indicate what stage that task is at. It is really easy, and color coded!!

Screenshot of a drop-down that starts with not started. but when you click the little arrow expands out and you are able to see options of blocked, in progress, completed

Note that the “New dropdown” that you create in a Google Doc does not transfer over other Google Docs. For this reason, I will create a “New dropdown” with feedback options in a Google Doc template BEFORE I make a copy for each student.

Suggestions for Teachers (Via Google Bard)

Dropdown lists are a powerful tool that can be used to simplify and streamline many tasks in Google Docs. For teachers, dropdown lists can be used to create interactive and engaging learning experiences for their students.

Here are 10 ways teachers can use dropdown features in Google Docs:

10 Ways Teachers Can Use Dropdown Features in Google Docs

1. Create quizzes and assessments.

Dropdown lists can be used to create multiple-choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank quizzes and assessments. This is a great way to assess student understanding of a particular topic.

2. Provide feedback.

Dropdown lists can be used to provide feedback to students on their work. For example, you could create a dropdown list with options such as “Excellent,” “Good,” “Needs Improvement,” and “Not Yet Complete.”

3. Create checklists.

Dropdown lists can be used to create checklists for students to follow when completing a task. This can help students stay organized and on track.

4. Offer choices.

Dropdown lists can be used to offer students choices about their work. For example, you could create a dropdown list with options for different activities that students could complete as part of a project.

5. Personalize learning.

Dropdown lists can be used to personalize learning for students. For example, you could create a dropdown list with options for different levels of difficulty for a particular task.

6. Scaffold learning.

Dropdown lists can be used to scaffold learning for students. For example, you could create a dropdown list with hints or step-by-step instructions for a particular task.

7. Collect data.

Dropdown lists can be used to collect data from students. Track student progress with the data. Identify areas of need, or make decisions about instruction.

8. Create interactive documents.

Create interactive documents that students can interact with. This can make learning more engaging and fun for students.

9. Add flexibility to documents.

Use Dropdown lists to add flexibility to documents. For example, you could create a dropdown list with options for different units of measurement that students could use in a calculation.

10. Save time and effort.

Dropdown lists can save teachers time and effort. For example, you could create a dropdown list with commonly used phrases that students could use in their writing.

These are just a few of the many ways that teachers can use dropdown features in Google Docs. With a little creativity, you can find many other ways to use this powerful tool to enhance your teaching.

Here are some additional tips for using dropdown features in Google Docs:

  • Use clear and concise labels for your dropdown lists.
  • Make sure your dropdown lists are easy to access and use.
  • Use dropdown lists to provide students with options that are relevant to their learning.
  • Use dropdown lists to collect data that will be helpful for you and your students.
  • Be creative and experiment with different ways to use dropdown features in Google Docs.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to use dropdown features to create engaging and interactive learning experiences for your students.

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