No Fear Sharing: Controlling the Audience with Google Products!

When school systems first started adopting GAFE (Google Apps for Education), in our county one of the most popular concerns was privacy.  Many teachers expressed fears that students, staff, or other unknown persons, would be able to access, copy, and/or change their work without permission.  Besides personal documents, there was also fear that any assessment created students would be savvy enough to make a copy or download it, breaking down privacy barriers and causing more hassle than help.  However, last Spring Google announced that an update coming would allow users to control who can view, share, download, print, and copy!  I waited anxiously, and I think I missed the launch… but it’s here!


  • Student work and assessments can now be shared without the ability for any person or student to make a copy, download, and/or print the document.
  • Publish work you would prefer not to be altered by viewers/commenters.
  • School and personal documents that can now be shared without the ability to have them altered in the future.
  • Security and control!
  • Since this is a feature that must be activated, not a default setting, it doesn’t affect anything you already freely and openly share!

How to Control Sharing Documents:

  1. Open the document you are working with in Google Drive.
  2. Click on the blue “share” button in the top, right corner


3.  From the share settings, choose “advanced.”


4. Finally, check either of the options you prefer with your document. Remember: this is not an “either or” option, it is an “all or nothing” option… so you can’t stop downloading without also disabling the rest.


5. Choose done and share!



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