An Introduction to Online Word Processing

(Repost from 12/04/2009)

This video provides a great overview of the concept of online productivity tools (word processor, presentations, spreadsheets) in under 3 minutes.

Click to take a look at Google Docs and Zoho Writer.

See this tutorial on collaborating with others with web applications like Google Docs.

Consider how these kinds of technologies could be integrated with teaching and learning and leave your ideas in the comments section below.

Office Productivity Tools

Published by

Clif Mims

Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

53 thoughts on “An Introduction to Online Word Processing”

  1. I like using Google Docs as well. I use Google Slides instead of PowerPoint for my class presentations. I still use Word for some things because Google Docs doesn’t have everything Word does. But Google Docs is best for collaborative projects.

  2. I love using Google Docs and Slides in the classroom. It is so great to be able to collaborate in groups or even as a class. It is nice to be able to provide real-time feedback before students go to far in. One of my favorite assignments is to assign groups a specific topic, have them research it, and create 1-2 informative slides to present and “teach” the class. Google Slides makes it easy to have multiple groups/individuals working on a single document. At the school level, Google Sheets and Google Forms is used for our infraction and tutoring systems and works really well!

  3. While commanding the 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment I was introduced to Google Drive and Google Docs. During a training exercise the day shift was using butcher block paper, notebooks, and bulletin boards to track information in our Tactical Operations Center. Once I came on as night shift, I could not stand the clutter and antiquated tracking being displayed in my office, so I told the shift sergeant to make a better product. My Soldiers delivered! They used google Drive and other tools to make a Dashboard for information. To take it a step further, another Soldier suggested we project it onto the wall. With this one consolidated bank of information, productivity and continuity of messaging improved exponentially. Day shift came back really excited to drive the machine night shift created. I could see using this same set up for running a school newspaper or outreach newsletter.

  4. I have found Google Docs very useful over the years. When I was assigned group work as an undergrad, my groups would frequently use Google docs to collaborate on our papers and presentations. It is definitely more efficient than emailing back and forth and ending up with several copies. It is also an efficient way for teachers to manage their class assignments. It is good for collaborative writing or brainstorming, or even a way to gather information on your students. Parents never remember to return forms? Set up a google doc.

  5. I love using Google Docs. It makes sharing so much easier. I love the idea of using Google docs for a project in a classroom. The students could be in groups, and could share the project with the teacher. The teacher can monitor the project while the students are doing it, and can even leave comments. This makes it a lot easier than receiving a lot of emails from multiple students.

  6. I LOVE Google Docs. I will actually be using it soon with my students: they are going to write a personal narrative. They will work on it both at school and at home, and instead of having to ask them to bring in flash drives to save their material, I will have them create google accounts so that they can access the same file from both school and home. This will also allow them to turn it in electronically, and not have to worry about whether they have a printer at home – especially with lower income children!

  7. I have been using Google Docs and Drive for a long time now. I am mostly using it as a way to have all of my materials saved to the cloud, and can easily access them for printing and sharing. I am interested in seeing how I could incorporate Google Docs into the math classroom. When I assess students with short-answer questions related to our topics, I could see it being useful.

  8. Google doc is a very important tool to organize your files in one place which can be conveniently accessed anywhere, anytime. It is a good tool to collaborate with colleagues. I have used this in the past as collaborative tool. I would want to incorporate this in my classroom too for students to participate in group projects online. The teachers can easily access their work without having to go through all the loads of paper. Exemplary work can also be printed out for display.

  9. In our previous module, I thought it would be wise to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create a slide show. I wanted each child to create a slide and email it to me. As mentioned in the introduction video, this creates a problem. We would have copies of these slides on all the computer as well as my own. I would be using more time and effort to search through emails and compile the submissions by using a slide program that wasn’t online. If I were to use Google Slides I would be able to monitor the work of the students and immediately receive their submissions. Everything could be handled online, in real time. It seems to save time and clutter. I am extremely excited to have been introduced to this program. I look forward to incorporating the apps and using them more often.

  10. I used Google Wave back in ’09, when Google was toying with real time collaboration, but haven’t really used any other Google platform since. This semester when I learned that I was going to be required to use Google Docs, I sighed and I’m sure did an eye roll. I’ll have to admit now, I love Google Docs. I’m at a work conference this week and traditionally would be taking notes in OneNote, but this the first day I just opened Google Docs and started typing without really thinking about it. I think Google has finally slipped into my consciences!

  11. This is my first semester with using Google Docs and Google+, really anything besides G-mail. It didn’t seem that easy at first, but I am glad that I have become more familiar with it. It’s so much easier to keep up with your documents; the fact that it saves automatically is really nice. Just yesterday, I was editing a project and my computer decided to do updates without my permission. I was freaking out, but after I got back into the document, I saw that everything was still there and updated. I was so relieved!!

    I think this could be definitely used in the classroom. Instead of having the students keep up with their USB drives, it can be saved to their Google Drive. Google is free, and we all love free things especially parents. If students happen to not have internet access at home, they could access their work at their local library. Hopefully the teacher knows if the students are able to access internet at home or not.

    I think Google Docs is effective because you don’t have to download any particular program to use it. You just have to log in with your email address and password. In the future, I hope to have parents create the account and then give the child the information. I would want the parents to monitor their child’s account and keep up with their class work, homework, and projects. In my future classroom, I hope to implement using Google+ because it can benefit everyone in my opinion.

  12. I have already been blessed by the introduction of Google Drive in my life. It has become quite useful in my teaching duties. My very first day as a teacher I had my pages introduction activity typed up (from my Mac), went to a desktop in the the library to open it and of course the PC was unable to open the file. It has now become the sole word processor I use now (I tell no lie!) I don’t have any idea how to do anything much other than basic processing and I am quite intimidated about completing these assignments with it as my time is limited and I don’t have hours to spend trying to get pics and graphs to fit just right (among others issues.) I plan on using YouTube to try and keep the hours down on working out the kinks as I do better with videos then written directions.

  13. This is a wonderful way to have someone proofread your work. In the past, I have used the track changes in Word to add comments, they upload and email the document. This makes the process much simpler.
    As a future Biology teacher, I can see myself having students write lab reports in Google Docs, and share them with me for grading. It will be easy to create charts and graphs. I’m sure Google Docs can simplify many tasks in the classroom!

  14. As a Google Docs beginner, I felt very intimidated by the fact that we would use it in my class. This video has helped me understand that Google Docs is useful and helpful.

    I believe that it should be used in the business aspect, but I am still not set on it being used in the classroom. It is great to know that people can collaborate on one document all at the same time.

    My students do not have computer classes, so they’re behind already with using Microsoft Word. I have a long way to go before actually implementing Google Docs in my classroom.

  15. Using platforms like Google docs in classrooms provides teachers and students a sense of ease, especially if they are comfortable with technology. Teachers can utilize it by grading individual students papers that they have typed in google docs without the headache of turning in multiple printed papers and also grading group projects. The only issue I could foresee if accessibility for some students.

    As most schools have computers available for access, the problems arise when students go home. Some students to not have 24/7 access to computers so they would not be able to benefit from this tool.

    Another idea would be incorporating this tool into the younger students curriculum to give them access and comfortability to new technology. They would benefit from the exposure in the long run.

    I believe tools like this are a must in all classrooms and I know when I have my own I will use Google Docs!

  16. Being forced to used Google Docs turned out to be a good a thing. I always have people look over my work. I have a habit of leaving out words in sentences that I type. Plus, I am slow on using new modes with technology. This will help in the near future.

  17. I have used Google docs personally since high school. We used it to edit each other’s work, most often in my AP english classes. I think it is the best way to peer-review because you can all work on it simultaneously and see who contributed what. However, since I hope to teach biology, I think this would be best used for portfolios. In my freshman biology class, we had paper portfolios that we would contribute to weekly pertaining to which kingdom/phylum/etc we were working on. We had descriptions, pictures, examples, etc. in them. I think if these were instead made online, you could add to it over time and not have to deal with multiple papers.

  18. At first i was unsure about using google+ because i had never used it before. I have had a google email for years but only used it for emails. Now that i have started to explore these different components of a google account I like how easy it is. This type of technology would work brilliantly in a classroom. It allows teachers to have a fewer amount of papers in the office. Typically for a students paper teachers require a outline, resources, a draft, peer reviews, and the final paper. Google allows for teachers to see these different papers and sent them to other students if necessary. Some students cannot afford to buy the Microsoft office packages. Having a google account costs nothing and allows students to use multiple word processors in order to get their work done. It would be an asset in an educational setting and should be integrated more in a classroom.

  19. Google Docs is the answer to group projects. Students that are required to create a group PowerPoint Presentation can contribute, collaborate, and edit at any time, in and out of the classroom. Students do not have to stress about coordinating meeting times after school to put a presentation together when using Google Docs.

  20. I was previously aware of google docs, mostly spreadsheets used to order items, but I never considered how I could use them effectively in the classroom. It provides a great opportunity for peer review, as I could sort students into groups so they can easily share their work. They can collaborate on projects such as PowerPoint presentations while holding students accountable for their share of the work. I can easily monitor progress, answer questions, and distribute feedback all while never having to print off a piece of paper. As a history teacher, one way to use google docs could be to create a timeline throughout our class by having different groups work on a different time period. It uses collaboration in a new way, and it will all be safely stored on the Internet with easy access both at home and at school. There are numerous ways that the google community can be implemented in the classroom, and I am anxious to learn more.

  21. This could not only be helpful for students working together on an assignment or presentation, but this could also be helpful for teachers who are creating something. This makes it so much easier to work with others on assignments as there is no need to worry about whether everyone has the current copy of the document or not. Even if you decided you wanted to use it yourself, you no longer have to worry about emailing a copy to yourself to save it and you can work on an assignment whether or not you own Microsoft Office. In a teacher-student relationship, a teacher could post the PowerPoint online for students to be able to see and even have a part of their homework to contribute to the next day’s questions. For example, there could be a page that says: Questions about the Reading. Students could all be required to come up with one question, being sure not to duplicate another’s question, and the students could be required to answer them in class the next day as part of an assignment. These are just a few ideas. There is truly so much that could be done.

  22. Online collaboration tools could be useful in that they allow students who don’t have access to their own computers to work collaboratively with classmates that do. Students living with economic disadvantages could access class projects from computers at school or the local library, and not have to worry about purchasing and keeping track of their own devices or flash drives. An additional advantage is that students are able to learn applications that are similar to the Microsoft Office Suite without having to purchase the suite itself.

  23. I wish I knew about all the benefits of Google Docs while I was completing my undergraduate degree. It makes collaborating on projects super easy. So far, I’ve completed two assignments using Google Docs and I am really getting the hang of it. The flexibility is absolutely amazing, I can even edit things on my phone. I could create a Google+ community for my classes and have students join at the beginning of school year. I could post homework assignments, discussion topics, post project guidelines, etc. The possibilities are endless. Google Docs and Slides could be used to design lesson presentations or brainwork activities. These could be posted online in our community on the days they are introduced in class. I am really excited about all the tools Goolge has to offer and cannot wait to use them during my first year as an educator!

    1. I have been hesitant about using Google Docs, until now. Since this class requires its use, I have been gradually uploading Word documents that I use during the school year into Google. I am realizing that I can access my material from anywhere. I don’t have to make sure I have my work computer to get things done. This is an excellent tool and I wish I had realized this sooner. I create a spreadsheet each year to track all of the data for our students. I have already created my spreadsheet for next year using Google Sheets. Just like I learned Excel, I will have to learn all about Google Sheets. My Spring 2016 semester started my conversion to Google. The class was successful due to many of the features of my Google Drive. Before this class, I would create a Word document and upload to Google. Thanks to Dr. Mims I am no longer a Microsoft person and I am enjoying the transition. I am learning new uses for Google daily.

  24. Before our class, I had rarely used Google Docs. However, I’m not sure how I lived without it now. Google Docs will be a great tool to use with education. Group projects can be done even if the group can’t meet. Students who may have questions about a paper can share it with their teacher faster than ever. It eliminates the chance of a student submitting the wrong draft of an assignment. However, it also allows a student to look at previous version of their paper. It can also eliminate the need for USB drives. Students before may work on a project at home and bring the USB to school to work on during class. If they forgot their USB then they wouldn’t be able to work on the project. Now they can work on the project from anywhere. This is a great tool that I will be using in the future!

  25. My experience with Google Docs supports what was said in the video. Google Docs are a great tool and very convenient to use once you become familiar with them. In college, I used Google Docs on several occasions to complete group projects. In some cases, our group didn’t even meet in the same location. We all worked on the assignment at once within a Google Doc without having to leave our dorm rooms. It was perfect because we were able to independently research our own sections of the assignment at our own pace and also see the progress other group members were making without the hassle of figuring out a time when everyone could be in the same place. The bit about eliminating the need for attachments is also a life saver. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve received an e-mail with too many attachments. Google Docs eliminate the need for saving attachments and having to sift through a folder full of them at a later time.

  26. These technologies are extremely useful in the classroom. In this technology integration class the utilization of google docs has been effective so far. The product is super convenient, and as mentioned is able to be accessed from any device online. Also, in a previous class that I had, classmates and I were able to collaborate using the online doc. It really made the editing process much easier!

  27. I think that the products of the Google suite have a great potential in changing the way that teachers and students use technology together for learning. As Megan Piker mentioned, USB drive failures and different computer operating systems can practically destroy all of a student’s hard work. However, since Google Docs are stored online, the format will always be the same, no matter the computer. I also really like how Google docs make it easier for teachers and students to communicate when editing or commenting on assignments. However, I think my favorite feature, as mentioned in Tom Barrett’s blogs, is the ability to see the entire history of changes made to a document in one go and allow the user to revert back to a previous version. I used Google docs as an undergraduate student for group projects and they really enhanced our ability to work together at the same time. This negated the need for a group “writer” and allowed faster and more effective communication between group members. I think that I will best be able to integrate Google Docs into assignments requiring group work or for projects that need multiple drafts or extensive processes of reviewing and rewriting.

  28. This would serve as a excellent tool for lessons that involve group work and peer review. Because of they way Google Docs works, all students have access to the document. Teachers do not have to worry about the student not having an email for papers to be sent to. All involved students can give individual effort towards the assignment and share with others in real time. Also when there are time limits on assignments, this takes away from waiting on all copies to be submitted and revised. This works well for the teachers also. Teachers can make changes and corrections. Students then know how they can adjust the assignment. Again, this can be done in a timely manner. Google Docs improves on effectiveness of a lesson. This is a great tool for students and teachers.

  29. Great video! I can see how this type of sharing could be used effectively in the profession and in learning for students. As with the example in the video, professionally, teachers can share documents that require input or critiquing with their peers or administrators. We use this method at my place of work, most recently for an grant proposal response. A Google doc is created and shared among each other. Then each of us can add our own comments or edits. For students, an assigned group project could be shared for the same reasons; to effectively allow all involved to edit and comment on the same document.

  30. I think students can use Google Docs to turn in one presentation that is based on research they have done. Many times USB drives do not work in different kinds of computers and it takes time to try to troubleshoot the issue. Google Docs works on Microsoft and Macintosh computers very well. I, as a teacher, can also help them to build a professional-looking presentation before they have to present it in class. I can also see who has added what and make sure the work was equally delegated.

  31. I started using Google productivity tools last semester and I am still not familiar with all of the capabilities of the apps, but I am learning. Google Docs could be used for collaboration on essay writing or creating a collaborative multi-media presentation. The ability to make changes to a document and comment in real time is what is most interesting to me. These productivity tools could potentially assist educators that are overwhelmed by grading papers and help the unorganized student maintain documents for various classes. For instance, today I organized my drive into course folders which allows me to access those documents quickly without scrolling through all of my saved documents. There are many benefits associated with using these tools, but I am worried that it may present a problem with students or professionals without readily available access to the Internet. This makes me question whether Internet access will become a requirement of future classrooms replacing three-ring binders and backpacks.

  32. Whether or not is is easy for the teachers and students to keep track of who made what changes and when, I don’t know yet. But, if a record of the activity could be kept on a spread sheet, students can use it to put peer pressure on slackers (cf. Gabriel Edwards comment from 2014/2/02), and teachers can use it for giving credit. This idea is piggy-backed from the comments of Tammy Clark (2015/2/06) and Jon Lanter (2015/02/06).

  33. Since I have just started using Google Docs in IDT 7061 I do not have a wealth of experiences to draw from. What I do have is the parent-of-the-student experience. It has been terribly frustrating to watch my daughter navigate through yet another group project in which each group member has a responsibility but they cannot view or edit each other’s work very easily. Google Docs and Google Slides would have been a godsend last year!

    That said, I can see great applications for Google Docs (and Google Slides) when students are working on group projects. I can see using Google Docs to create worksheets for students to access at home or to create answer keys to homework problems. Students could use a Google spreadsheet to enter real time data and stay current with data postings. I am sure I will come up with other ideas and I have no doubt I will learn much from everyone in IDT 7061!

  34. Ideas for using online word processing technology in the classroom-
    Students can use Google Docs and other sources such as Google Slides for group work. This type of technology makes it easy for the students to share their work within groups and for the teacher to grade (online grading). As an English teacher I could use this tool for students to peer edit essays. The students could also create presentations and access their work from anywhere (as long as they have Internet access). I love the idea that it saves your work along the way. Other things to consider would be paperless work, downloading, and sharing. Students can add videos and teachers can keep track of who is doing what. All of your work is saved in the cloud and no one has to worry about downloading or saving info to a hard drive. Students can also use Google Docs to enhance their vocabulary as it provides a thesaurus. I know that we talked about how students could use Google Docs but it is a great resource for teachers. The spreadsheet will work perfect for grading. Parents are also able to see their child’s work and receive grades through the software.

  35. I am COMPLETELY new to Google+. The Drive, Docs, Community, etc. is all new to me. Google Drive was very nerve-wracking at first (and still is) but I feel like I am getting the hang of it. Even though I am new to the Drive, I can already see the multiple benefits it provides for teaching and learning. I never realized how complicated it was to send various e-mails back and forth, making sure you have the final or most up-to-date copy of a specific document, etc. until I experienced the Drive. It is so easy to collaborate with others, share you work, and this process saves us so much time! In my current teaching position, I am collaborating with many other instructors and staff members on a daily basis. When one of us is expected to make changes, review, or edit a document, it becomes complicated trying to remember which individuals received the updated document, who commented or edited last, etc. Team teachers, co-teachers, editors, and many other individuals in the teaching field would greatly benefit from using Google Drive and Docs. On the other end of the spectrum, Google Drive and Docs provides benefits for students during the learning process as well. For example, a sixth grade Social Studies class may have to make a table that consists of different events and battles during The Civil War. With Google Drive and Docs, the students can easily create the table, insert helpful images, all while having their changes being constantly saved in the Drive. If the teacher wanted the students to then split into groups and work together while reviewing/editing their classmates document, they can do so all on the Google Drive. There are many different ways to use Google Drive and Docs in your classroom that will benefit you and your students.

  36. This is my first time using Google docs and I am impressed how many things you can do with it. I am discovering through this course many things but the two ones that I really think have been the most beneficial are; first, every modification that you do in any document is saved and you can have access from everywhere. Therefore, any student, classmate or teacher that has access to that document is always updated. I am always struggling with documents in my flashcards, laptops at home, at the office, I am always looking for the most recent document one.Second, this documents has the same format that Microsoft office documents. For me this was great.
    I am really glad to have been introduced to this technology tool. I am going to safe a lot of time and I do not know about you but I am always thinking that I need more hours during the day; 24 is not enough time for me!

  37. I have used Drive for about 7 years now, and I continue to find new uses for it. While earning my undergraduate degree, my study groups would utilize google docs to create study guides. This helped us to share knowledge even when we could not physically meet. Several of the student organizations I was involved with would utilize the form function of Google Sheets. This serves as another tool for teachers to save time. How often do teachers have to collect forms (e.g. permission slips). Last year while teaching physical education, my colleagues and I would monitor equipment inventory with Google Sheets. If we wanted to use equipment for an activity, we reserved it on the spreadsheet, and the other teachers would know exactly what I needed and when I would be finished with it. It is the equivalent of classroom teachers signing up for the computer lab. The collaborative possibilities are wonderful as my mentor teacher and I would frequently work on lessons (Docs and Presentation) together. It allowed us to team teach frequently, as well as ensure that our content remained consistent throughout the department when we were not team teaching. Drive gives your schedule flexibility. I would have basketball practice after school, whereas she had cheer practice before school. Drive allowed us to work at our leisure, and the other was always informed of the changes. As a teacher who did not have a classroom, Drive allowed me to take my work from class to class as I changed rooms easier than a flash drive. My personal computer is a Mac and the school’s computers were PC (and very old). Rather than worry about formatting between computers and different versions of Office, I could pull up Drive on any computer in the building. It does really help eliminate a few headaches for teachers, which is always beneficial.

  38. I was introduced to Google Docs about a year ago and it is amazing. I am the nursery/pre-school coordinator at my church, and my director and I work together using Google Docs everyday. We use it for scheduling and payroll. I cannot imagine not using Google Docs– it really makes communicating and working with others a lot easier.

    I think Google Docs would be a great tool to have in the classroom. Let’s say you are a 3rd grade teacher, and there are three other 3rd grade teachers. You could use Google Docs by documenting progress, grades, and classroom roll. A teacher can also use Google Docs to provide parents with knowledge of their child’s grades or attendance. Keeping one working document for the whole class would be easy and sufficient for many needs and purposes.

    I also think Google Docs would be a great tool for group projects and assignments. This would allow one document for everyone to work on and participate.

  39. Like most of you, I think that Google Docs is a great tool. I think that it’s particularly useful for working on group projects. With Google Docs, you don’t have to worry about someone doing work and then forgetting to email the new document to group members. Everything is saved as you go in Google Docs. Also, because everything is saved right away, you don’t have to worry about your computer crashing before you save your work. It’s also easier to share your work since you just have to add group members access to the document one time, as opposed to adding their name every time that you send out an email.

    As some of you pointed out, there can be some issues with students having or not having access to the internet. Overall though, I think that the pros of Google Docs outweigh the cons. I can definitely see it being used more often in school in the future.

  40. I believe that the possibility of sharing the information through google docs makes the access to the information as simple as getting to the Internet. Many people point out that possible access to the internet could pose a problem to this being productive. However, with the availability at schools, home and local libraries most everyone will not have a problem gaining access. This could help teachers to keep in contact with their students and give them a better way to use these tools to prepare better lessons and lesson plans.

  41. I think platforms such as Google docs are integral to preparing students for higher education and the workforce. Though many students face access issues, if they are going to be competitive in the workforce, it is necessary for them to get as much exposure to the process and etiquette of digital communication. Gone is the day of pen and pad, today it’s iPad and stylus.

    The question becomes how and when to you integrate this type of technology without taking away from a student’s ability to build functional skills such as sentence structure, teamwork (from a social perspective), correct grammar usage and spelling conventions. Also, how do you utilize these resources when there is limited access in the classroom/school itself. Many of the online technology that is available is blocked due to adult content that there is limited ability to access.

    As an older learner that has more control of the direction of my education I think it is wonderful. I no longer have to go through the panic that strikes when I have misplaced my hard drive. The flexibility of it all is beautiful.

  42. The video certainly paints a clear picture of the benefits of Google Documents. I have used Google Slides once for a group project with positive results. I still prefer to use Microsoft Word for my daily activities, probably because I am more fluent with the program and so I can accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. The main obstacles I see with using Google Document in Elementary and Middle Schools is the need to have email addresses and Internet access. I suppose the kids could have parents set up Gmail accounts for them, but I think you have to be 13 years old to have your own email account, not that is stopping our youth.

  43. Showing the editing process is super helpful in foreign language learning. Students need to know why I am changing items on their paper. I actually had my students submit a project using Google docs this week and it was super helpful. No messing with emailing back and forth the same thing with slight changes. Most importantly, it was obvious to the students what I changed, so they could see when they were repeating the same mistake over and over again, identify the pattern, and change it.

    Also, just for my personal use, Google drive is incredibly helpful. Like Jessica mentioned, all of the computers in my school don’t always work, so I never really know if I’m going to get to print my materials. With all of my documents saved to the Internet, I can print from anywhere. And like Maxim mentioned, I don’t have to spend money on an external hard drive to keep all of my painstakingly developed materials safe. I just keep them in Google drive, and hope the internet doesn’t break.

  44. The great thing about the Internet is it’s infinite nature. Al Gore should have named it the “Infiniternet.” Doing it all on line of course gives equal access to all students involved and the teacher alike but even better it gives everyone access to the same resources via links.

    That makes it easier for fellow group workers to double check references or dig deeper for understanding and allows the teacher a faster way to check for plagiarism and just as important, the use of bad /subjective sources.

    That access to sources may make mid work check ups far more productive simply by facilitating the process and letting the teacher catch mistakes early to improve learning and reduce frustration from kids overworking a bad idea and having to restart from scratch.

  45. With the ever growing classroom, teachers are given more and more responsibilities each and every day. Integrated properly, online documents empower teachers to follow the progress of their students with very little confusion and relieve some of this stress. Teachers can comment on, edit, and grade student assignments without the chaos of multiple e-mails per student or stacks and stacks of papers to keep in some sort of order. Online documents are a great step forward in technology that will allow teachers to manage their classes and assignments much more efficiently than in the past.

  46. I agree with Jessica that there is still a great number of students who can only access computers in school. But even if they only access computers at school, Google Docs is a tremendously useful product. First, unlike computer-based software of the past (MS Suit), Google docs is free and can be made available to every student, teacher, and staff member at virtually no cost to schools. Second, Google Docs is a cloud based application, meaning that no documents are stored on a hard-drive. That eliminates the need for large capacity hard-drives, which interprets into large savings when purchasing computer equipment for schools. Now, instead of spending extra $100 for additional 16Gb of memory on a tablet, schools can purchase the least expensive models with low memory capacity. Lets just hope that the internet access gets cheaper, then we can really implement all of the benefits of Google Docs that others discussed on this blog.

  47. All of these awesome web tools assume that kids have access to technology. While computers are present in schools, they are not a resource that teachers (at least in my previous schools) have constant access to. Not to mention students’ ability to access the internet outside of school, which is a whole different set of potential problems.

    Assuming we’re in a perfect world with constant access to technology, I feel that there is enormous potential in online programs such as Google Drive. Since students that can’t drive have limited mobility/ability to collaborate in person with each other on outside-of-school projects, Drive provides an opportunity for classmates to work together on something without the need to travel.

    I also see great potential in having more long-range projects be assigned for class. With the ability to access the same documents from home or school, students could undertake significantly more rigorous research projects, for example. They could work on them at home, at the library, or if the teacher has free time/additional research time in class.

    On top of those benefits, students are able to track document changes without saving multiple drafts of the same project. This allows students to pull from past drafts if the decided that something needs to be added back that was deleted in a later version without needing to recreate anything.

    Last, teacher feedback on projects saved to Drive would be much easier to manage than having to keep up with hard copies of each student’s work.

    1. Access is certainly a problem but what I’ve noticed at my particular low economic school is that despite getting free lunch and wearing the same clothes multiple times a week, almost all of my kids have I phones with Internet access and online x-box gaming. Still, the few that do not have access are out of the game.

  48. Assuming all students have access to the internet, Google Docs will make group projects outside of the classroom much easier. The students in a group could use this to post links to any research they have done, so other students will not waste time trying to find the same information. Google Docs can free up students and parents by not forcing them to meet with their group every time any work is done on an out of class project. This could speed up an entire project tremendously. Google Docs could also be very useful by keeping all students files in the same place. Also, it would allow teachers to provide feedback sooner. This app could allow parents a greater insight on exactly what their child is doing in class, therefore creating a more supportive and interactive life at home. I see tremendous upside to Google Docs in the school system.

    1. I haven’t played with it enough to know, but there must be a way to track who made what changes to the document.. that puts a lot more pressure to perform on the slackers that just kind of ride the wave of their hard working peers.

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