Friday, February 15, 2013

Google Docs - Checking Your Revision History

Google Docs is a powerful tool for sharing files and working collaboratively.  One of the fears that most teachers (and students) have when sharing, though, is the destructive editing in a document by another Google user.
Simply put, any time you give another user editing privileges on a Google document, they could (for good or for evil) delete the work that has been completed to that point.  Now, sometimes this is EXACTLY what you want to happen.  In fact, in can be the goal of the day's lessonAt other times, this can result in loss of student work, momentum, and inspiration.  

Thankfully, there is a built-in solution for viewing the history of changes made to the document (provided the document hasn't been deleted/trashed entirely...that is an issue that cannot be resolved).  It's called "Revision History," and it can save (or ruin) the day, based upon your perspective.

Revision history marks all of the changes made to that document.  Not only do you get to see the specific edits made (which can be a GREAT way to mark progress or see the writing/creation process after the fact), but you can also see, with color coding, which user made the changes.  Never again wonder if everybody participated equally in creating that final product.  Just look at the revision history to see how many, and what kind of changes each user made.  (remember, if the kids all logged in separately, this will work...if they all used the same person's account, it won't help much).

From here, I'll let you watch the experts in action.  This is a pretty basic, but clear, explanation of how to access Revision History in Google Docs.

So, how do YOU Google?