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Grading Students' Papers with my Surface Pro 2


New Member
I like to give personalized, hand-written feedback on students' papers. I realize it's an outdated way of doing it, but I teach at a rural school, and it's kind of expected here.

All of my students created and shared Google Drive folders with me. They turn in their work by uploading assignments to these shared folders.

I download each student's paper to my desktop from the Google Drive folder he or she shared with me. I mark the paper up with my stylus using the ink feature in Microsoft Word (it's available under the REVIEW tab). I save the changes. I upoad the paper back to the shared Google Drive folder for the student to review my comments. If students open the corrected paper with Google Docs, it just looks like a bunch of crazy marks. However, if they right click the document and open it with Lumin PDF Viewer, which is one of three options Google suggests by default, the corrected paper looks pretty decent.

This takes a little longer than I'd prefer. It would be much easier if Google Docs had an ink feature like MS Word. It's the downloading and uploading that makes the process tedious. If I could mark up word documents in Google Docs, it would save a tremendous amount of time.
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Staff member
I don't think you will see this from Google, so far all of the Ink enabled Apps for the Google Ecosystem have come from Samsung or Microsoft. I don't think Google would want to pay Microsoft for the patents to enable the Office Ink API's into Google Docs.

I get really bummed seeing the educational systems adopting Google Docs because of the compatibility and overall creepiness of Google, my 13 year old has waged a war at his school against the district trying to force the Chromebooks on students (he has used a Surface RT, Surface 2 and now a Surface Pro 3 in school).
Isn't OneDrive free? I think you can open google docs within it. You could use that as an editing option instead of office. And all your studient should be able to open the file in OneDrive (its free on the google play store as well as on windows and mac i think) as well once you have put your scribe on it and saved it back to Google Drive.

Not sure. I'm just guessing at the moment as I've not used google drive for a while. I didnt enjoy my time with google drive when I was on Android but have been impressed with OneDrive since I got my SP2 a few weeks ago.


New Member
I would just save the MS file as a PDF first, then upload it back to Google Drive.

Also, if you save the file as a PDF first, then you can annotate it using the various PDF apps in the MS store such as Reader and DrawboardPDF (I think that's the name).


Would it be too much of a hassle to have the students convert their work to PDF before uploading?

I'd guess there's a Bell Curve on student ability: a few will say, "Save as PDF instead? No problem!" and be done. A bunch will have to be shown a couple times but then will (mostly) have no issues. A few will constantly have difficulty. At least, that's the way it is with adults in corporate environments. :S

Probably easier for the teacher to "Save As..." out of Word and upload the corrected PDF.