See New Changes

The past 7 days comprise my best week ever.

  1. I got engaged!
  2. I got asked to be an ignite speaker at NEOTIE!
  3. Google Docs added a See New Changes feature on the precise day when it was useful to me!

Although #3 is in dead last considering the excitement factor, it is still pretty sweet and also the most useful to you, so that’s what I’ll write about tonight.

Last week, I opened my students’ partially finished assignments through Google Classroom to give them feedback. The next day, when I opened those same assignments to check on their progress, I noticed this:

See new changes blue

And in a couple seconds it changed to this:

See new changes grey

I was intrigued so I clicked. There I found something similar to the See Revision History option that is in the File menu. The new changes that the student had made since I last viewed the document were clearly marked. All of the new words were denoted by green text, and green lines struck through what had been deleted. There were options to see the full history and a counter of how many edits had been made. This saved me a lot of time, because I could focus in on exactly what was different from the last time I’d evaluated their work. It also made me feel like I had superhuman memory. Some academics are worried about the long term effects of humans using computers like external memory banks, but there’s no way I could have memorized all the assignments like this.

changes history

Knowing that this feature is a part of my toolbox makes me more likely to spend time giving feedback on partially finished work because I know I can pick up where I left off in an instant.  This will benefit my students and enhance the learning process for them. I hope that you will be able to use this feature to be a better teacher for your students too.

And I very sincerely hope this week is as good for you as last week was for me.

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