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Google Docs

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 1 month ago


Google Docs

Melissa Hof and Chris Ryan


What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a web-based document processor. It can be used to create, share, and manage text documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, and PDFs. The programs are all scaled down for Internet use, but the user can control who sees and edits their work. Changes can be made while multiple users are connected and viewing these documents. Users can even upload pre-existing documents, spreadsheets, or slide presentations for use in Google Docs.



History of Google Docs

Google Docs was created in 2006 when Google acquired Upstartle, the company that designed the web-based word processor used in Google Docs. Google combined the Writely program made by Upstartle and their spreadsheet program Google Spreadsheets to form Google Docs. Later in September of 2007, Google acquired Tonic Systems which wrote the program for creating web-based slide presentations.



Why would I use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office or iWork?

Have you ever had trouble turning in an assignment because it was the wrong file type? Some professors can only open .doc instead of .docx or .pages. Since Google Docs is entirely web-based, a person using any operating system can access it. It makes it so filetypes don't matter at all. Not only that, Google Docs allows for easy distribution or sharing among constituents.


How can Google Docs be used for education?

Peer editing - Students can share papers with the rest of their classmates with Google Docs. It allows for comments to be inserted for the students to read. Students can learn from constructive criticisms from their peers, and Google Docs is far more effective than passing around hard copies of essays.


Group work - The difficulty in connecting with others for group projects is diminished with Google Docs. Multiple people can work on the same document at one time. Students can work on a slide presentation or a group essay all at once, without the hassle of meeting someplace outside of school and assigning roles.


Communication with parents - Parents will be able to review their work and other students' work with Google Docs. Also, newsletters and spreadsheets can easily be created to keep parents involved and informed about the goings-on in your classroom.


Document placement - Since Google Docs are all stored online, the same files can easily be accessed from anywhere. No need for CD burning or thumb drive usage. One can access his or her files from any location with an internet connection--even from most mobile phones.


Worldwide perspectives - Google Docs is used all over the world and people publish their documents all the time. Students can view others' work and gain new insights. Or, they can publish their own work so people all around the world can view their ideas and comment on them.


How do I use Google Docs?

Anyone with an e-mail address and the Internet can access Google Docs. First, go to their website and http://docs.google.com and sign up for service. You can either use an existing e-mail address, or create a Google Mail account to keep your mail and documents in one neat little package. After that, you can create documents easily. You can view one of our many information websites for tutorials and tips on the nuances of Google Docs.


I don't believe that this could be useful for classrooms!

Well don't take our word for it, Google Docs is sweeping the education world right now as an amazing new tool for connecting with one another.

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Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYPjJK6LZdM








Return to EDU 214E: Preparing Teachers to Use Technology - Fall 2008

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