In 2006, Google introduced a new way to complete team works on internet. It was then possible to work in teams at a distance. Indeed, Google Docs was an innovative way to write like you would do on a Word document but on internet and with the contribution of all team members simultaneously. According to www.challenges.fr, in 2009, more than 1.75 million businesses used Google Docs. Nowadays, Google Docs is being replaced slowly but surely by Google Drive.
These Google writing and sharing tools are extremely efficient for classroom use. Instead of usual note-taking on lose leave sheets that you will probably lose after a few weeks when comes the time to study for the final exam, taking notes on Google Docs can be a great way to make sure you keep your notes until the finals week but you can also share your documents to get everybody’s contribution in your notes. What if you and another student want to study together? All you have to do is to open a document with Google’s tool and share it with your friend. Then, both of you can write on the document at the same time and see what your teammate is writing.
From a teacher’s point of view, Google Docs can be an extremely useful tool. As David Read mentions in his blog, Google Docs allows students to send all their work without overwhelming the teacher with e-mails or papers. As student share their work with the teacher using their Gmail address, he will be able to see everything from one web page. Furthermore, the ability to put comments next to the text, as it can be seen with Microsoft Word, avoids the necessity to send back the papers to the students as they can check the comments directly on Google Docs. In addition, Google Docs can be used in so many ways in a classroom. It can be used to create questionnaires and surveys that can be shared to students so they can complete them.
Nowadays, almost all students have a cellphone, an iPod or an iPad so the fact that all Google tools are easily accessible via intelligent phones gives another argument in favor of the use of Google Docs. By having all students create a Gmail address and use Google Docs, you will be sure that they will always have access to their work and that they will be able to see new documents in a very short lapse of time.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my article, Google Docs is slowly being replaced by Google Drive. With Google Drive, of course you can share all your documents created on Google Docs but you can also use it as a storage tool. As both tools are becoming one, Google is definitely setting the bar high for other competitors such as Office 365.
Even though Google does not do much to advertise this great product, here is a great article created by Google itself that mentions how Google Apps, including Google Docs, can be used in a classroom. Other websites also do the advertisement job for them!