About two years ago I was working as a publicity intern for a boutique PR firm. It was there that I discovered the wonderful world of Google Docs. I never had to purchase MS Office, yet I still could reap the benefits of owning the Microsoft program.
What is Google Docs?
Google Docs is an online replacement for a word processor. In fact, it does everything a word processor can, but since it’s an online application, it also adds compelling perks!
By being an online application, Google Docs has the ability to share resources, collaborate on documents, store material online, and access work from any computer.
There’s nothing to download with Google Docs either. Users can access documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from any computer with an Internet connection and a standard browser. And the best part of all this, it’s free
Advantages of Google Docs
Since it’s the same familiar set-up as MS Office and affiliated word-processing programs, editing and creating is a cinch.
For a classroom environment, Google Docs is especially helpful. Multiple users who have been invited to access and share the document by it’s creator can view and make changes to it at the same time. Or, if the creator of the document (the teacher in this case) doesn’t want it to be updated by other users, he or she can easily control who sees the document, or simply un-publish it.
Although this may sound hectic, with multiple users updating the document at the same time, communication between users is actually easy. There’s an on-screen chat window for spreadsheets, and document revisions to show you exactly who changed what, and when.
Some More Advantages of Google Docs
One of the best parts about Google Docs is free storage. With Google Doc’s online storage and auto-save, losing work is never an option–no matter how terrible your luck is.
Users can upload existing files onto Google Docs too. Since Google Docs accepts the most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc., users can export their entire library of work onto the web. Or, if the user creates a file in Google Docs, he or she can easily save the work to their own computer.
With all these files on Google Docs, organization is key. Luckily, a user can easily find documents by organizing them into folders, and searching for specific files via a search engine.
How Google Docs Assists with Online Learning
- If a student or teacher is giving a presentation, anyone can automatically follow along with the presenter by opening up the presentation on Google Docs.
- Multiple students can work on the same document, proving useful for group-related, and collaboration activities.
- Cheaters can’t cheat, and teachers can remain in the loop of student progress since Google Docs keeps track of who updated what on the document, and when.
- Google Docs is a painless way for students to make web pages, without learning anything too challenging.
- Teachers and students can easily post the information they created or uploaded into Google Docs onto their blog.
Links to Check Out:
- Google Docs online tour: http://www.google.com/google-d-s/tour1.html
- “Google Docs for Class Notes, Group Projects”: http://www.ericmacknight.com/wordpress/?p=67