Google Docs has been very helpful to me as a student and as a teacher. As a student, I use Google Docs to generate the majority of my text-based documents for assignments, projects, and blog posts. Being able to access these documents from any computer at any time has been a major convenience. More importantly, however, I have been able to use Google Docs to collaborate with fellow students. Whether it is engaging in collaborative research projects or developing/maintaining coursework calendars, having the option to simultaneously update the document has been so helpful. As a student, this is one of very few web-based tools that has been helpful individually and collaboratively. In addition, Google Docs has been helpful to me professionally. One way I have used Google Docs is to create a grade level spreadsheet of students and their quarterly benchmark assessments. My team members and I can access this spreadsheet from any location, on any device, at any time. We have also created documents with lists of resources (like links to FlipCharts and PowerPoints) that are constantly being expanded and edited. It promotes collaboration by allowing us to share/pool our resources. Again, the ability to simultaneously update has proven to be invaluable with these practices.
One of my technology goals this year is to engage students in collaborative editing of writing. With Google Docs being so easy to use, I felt that this would be the best resource for the task. For the past several months, my students have been exploring collaborative editing through Google Docs. While the content and quality of their editing and revisions isn’t of the highest caliber, it reflects their growing comfort with this web tool. I look forward to further expanding the usage of this resource with students.