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What is it ?

Goole docs is a free online suite of tools provided by Google including a word processor, slideshow maker, spreadsheet program, and a few other tools. These are bundled with the "Google Drive" service, such that all documents created are stored in a user's google drive. Documents can be shared with other google users as well, this allows for quick group collaboration. If a student "shares" a document with you then you have the option to provide comments which the student can see and ultimatly revise.

What it Ain't

It is not a replacement to traditional desktop software, all files are stored online. This is a good thing because it lets students work both at home and at school, however it doesn't work without internet. Some of the more "advanced" tools found in a traditional suite (like Microsoft Office) aren't available, but most tools a student would need are present.

How do I get Started?

Visit [link] and log in using your gmail account. If you don't have a gmail account then it is free to create.

Teacher reflections

Posted at Dec 01/2016 02:17PM:
Ben DeJonge: I use google docs in my AP physics course. Students write their formal lab reports using Google Docs, when they are satisfied with their rough draft they share the document with me, granting me write access to their file. I then highlights and make suggestions, which they revise. When they are done they share the file with me again, this time as their final.

Posted at Dec 01/2016 02:18PM:
Ben DeJonge: Sometimes one person in a lab group (or project group) creates a Google Doc file to store lab data and images in. This can then be shared with other members of the group, allowing all students to access the data. All members can also comment and make revisions, must like how this forum works.

Posted at Dec 16/2016 09:04AM:
sidari: I have not had much interaction with this technology. I have mostly used it for English for the student I am tutoring on Home Instruction. I think that it would be a great way to share notes/worksheets for absent kids. I am going to try to start it next semester.

Posted at Dec 16/2016 09:59AM:
Mr.Gannon: I make students submit both a physical copy of their AP term papers AND a digital copy. Google Docs is the preferred method, because I can just create a folder each year, and store all of that year's papers in there. I like having past papers in storage, because it lessens the chances that a younger sibling/friend will just try to re-use a paper that a former student already handed in, and it makes it easier for me to check for plagiarism (cutting and pasting as opposed to typing in a suspicious sentence).

Posted at Dec 16/2016 10:00AM:
Mr.Gannon: I also know other teachers who, on the Close Up Trip, have students submit papers from their home states to GoogleDocs so they (the teacher) can grade them while on the trip to D.C. which to me is just plain crazy, but to each his/her own

Posted at Dec 16/2016 10:02AM:
Mr.Gannon: It's also a great way to share video...I can upload video and create a shareable link so others can see the video, without worrying about running out of email space/etc. (I haven't used it for school projects, but we have sent videos of Taya to her doctors to enhance their research.)

Posted at Dec 22/2016 02:48PM:
Kristin Roche: I am having my students submit essays through google docs. It is easy and convenient. I actually find myself editing and grading their papers much more frequently and their writing is improving. I would not say that they are excited to do work, but they are much more willing to revise when I use google docs as opposed to print versions of their papers.

Posted at Dec 23/2016 10:02AM:
mfahy: I mainly use google drive to transfer worksheets from my home computer to school. It works as an unlimited cloud of storage. I would be very interested to see how we could use this to share material with students. Amber brings up a good point that it could be used to share material to students that are absent. On top of this getting students used to online learning will be an advantage for them as they move into college.

Posted at Dec 23/2016 10:22AM:
Newton: I have been hearing a lot of positive things about google docs. I would also be very interested to see how we could incorporate this technology into our math classrooms!

Posted at Dec 23/2016 12:23PM:
mpeterson: I know of many schools who use Google for all staff and students. At the moment I think the English department is utilizing that technology quite nicely. I encourage anyone who might be interested in it to see Kris, Emily, Roxanne, Karen, or Susan.

Posted at Jun 14/2017 02:41PM:
rbieler: There is certainly some management involoved in using Docs as a submission tool, but the access to student work and quick feedback is great. Students can even be looking at an assignment while you are editing/evaluating it. It also makes deadlines very clear (since everything is time stamped). This was helpful with accountability and responsibility.

In addition, students found it very convenient to work on group assignments as they could share doc or slides with each other and they could all work on them at once. This allowed for a more equal distribution of work on these group projects.

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