Tips for a Successful Google Apps Training Session

This evening I wrapped-up the final section of my Google Drive and the Common Core webinar series. (I’ll be offering it again in March). Some of the participants in the webinars were people who will be going back to their schools to train others. Toward the end of the webinar I offered some tips for setting up those trainings. I’ve published these tips before, but it never hurts to share them again.

Get everyone using the same browser (preferably Chrome).
Not all browsers support every feature in Google
Documents. Not surprisingly, Google Chrome does support all features of
Google Documents and Google Drive. For that reason it is preferable to
have all participants in your training sessions use Google Chrome.
Google Chrome automatically updates whenever a new update is released by
Google. A day or two before your training session send an email to all
participants asking them to install Chrome if it’s not already installed
on their laptops.

If getting all
participants in your training session to use Chrome is not an option for
you, at the very least stress to them importance of having the latest
version of their preferred browsers installed. Not only is this a
browser security issue (older versions of browsers are more susceptible
to security threats) it is a Google Documents functionality issue. The
latest versions of browsers support the most functions of Google
Documents. For example, as of this writing Google has officially ceased
supporting Internet Explorer 8.

regardless of which browser you ultimately have participants in your
training sessions use, have them all use the same browser during your
training session. Initially, this might be uncomfortable for some
participants, but by the end of the day most people will be comfortable
with a different browser. Having everyone use the same browser will make
your day easier. When everyone uses the same browser if there are
unexpected glitches or problems they will likely be the same for
everyone in your training session. Solve the glitch once and you’ve
solved it for the whole group for the day.

Laptops vs. iPads vs. Android tablets

Unless your training session is specifically about
using iPads or Android tablets, the best way to introduce new users to
all of the Google Documents features is to have them use a browser
(again Chrome is preferable) on their laptops. You can certainly have
people bring their iPads and or Android tablets to your training
session, but make sure that they know that not all of the features
available in a desktop browser are also available in the iOS and Android

When I have participants bringing iPads or Android
tablets to one of my workshops, my preference is to have people try all
of the features of Google Documents in their browsers before moving to
their tablets. This way they have exposure to all of the functions of
Google Docs. Then when they move to their tablets they can clearly see
the differences between the browser experience and the tablet app

Five essential Google Drive skills to teach:
1. Open and Edit Word Files in Google Drive.
If you’re just beginning to transition to Google Apps from Microsoft
Word, the chances are good you will have old files that you want to
bring into and work on in Google Drive. Click here for the detailed directions on how to do this.

2. Create PDFs in Google Drive.
Sometimes you don’t want a document to be easy to alter. Or you plan on printing it and want it as a PDF. Click here to learn how to create a PDF in Google Drive in three easy steps.

3. Use Google Documents Offline.
For those times when you don’t have an Internet connection and you want
to work on a document, having offline access enabled is the only way to
go. Click here for directions on how to enable offline access to your Google Documents. 

4. Give Yourself More Room to Work in Google Documents.
If you’re using a laptop that has a screen of 13″ or less there will
probably be times when you want more white-space to work in. This little trick will give you about another inch of viewable document.

5. Create and Organize Folders.
Do you want to have more organization in your Google Drive account? Then
you need to know how to create folders and move files into them.


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!