Google Drive Templates - Friend or Foe?


Friends don't let friends use templates. Usually.



By now, some of you may have noticed an "enhancement" (quotes added to denote sarcasm) Google rolled out a few weeks ago where a number of templates are available when you are making a new Doc, Sheet, or Presentation. If you haven't, it is possible that some of the click happy scholars under your tutelage or the more digitally adventurous among us have discovered these templates and have tried to razzle dazzle us.

Be warned! Don't let yourself, your students, or your colleagues fall into the trap of vile template pushing peddlers everywhere - where templates are used for everything and you are swallowed up in a cold, dark, abyss wondering how your projects got so drab and similar.

Can these templates give us ideas? Maybe they could serve as a starting point so students can see what is possible? Perhaps templates may be more appropriate to support some of our students? Yes of course to all three, but we always want to push our students to be original and creative - which we should expand beyond the use of a dozen templates.

Google has plans to make templates a more obvious feature to users in the future. In the meantime, try going directly to these sites to see what I'm talking about:

sheets.google.com
docs.google.com
slides.google.com

You can also get there from inside a Google Doc you are working on - go to File Menu, New, and select From Template. This is the more likely way you or your students would discover it.

You will see something that looks like this (the graphic shows Google Sheets templates):



Naturally, clicking the arrows next to "more" will show you more templates to select from.

Now, I think many of the spreadsheet (Google Sheets) options may be useful for teachers and students - like schedule and gradebook - so check those out.

If you have a differing opinion, we'd love to hear it. Leave a comment.

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