Sharing Access to Docs in Google Classroom

As a user of the Google apps for education (G-Suite tools) I am a pretty heavy user of Google Classroom and Google Drive in my school classroom. They are tools that work well for what I want to get done with my students.

A question I frequently get asked about Google Classroom; what is the difference between giving students permission to view a file in my Google Drive (Students can view file) and the other option of “Make a copy for each student”.

The best analogy I have is that when you “make a copy” for each student you are basically making a photocopy of your original document and giving the student that copy. This “works” especially if you want the students to work right on the document you have provided them.

However, if you make any changes to your original document, the students will NOT see the changes or updates you have made to your original. If you are okay with the students having a Google Doc that you can not update, then that is an acceptable way to share a document.

The method I prefer is to give students the ability to view a file. They can NOT write on my original document. They can NOT alter my original document in any way, but they can read it. And the best part of allowing students to view a file? If I want to update the document or if a student gleefully finds a typo, I can quickly and easily fix the typo.

Two equally useful and effective ways of sharing access to documents in Google Classroom.

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