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Google Docs: Why Teachers and Students Should Be Using Them For Course Work

by Kelly Walsh on November 17, 2010

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… or at least considering it.

Guest post from writer Brian Jenkins.

Google Docs, an increasingly popular technology with teachers and students, is free! Google Docs includes an online word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation editor. Students and teachers can use these tools to collaborate on assignments, projects, newsletters, and blogs, among other things. In this way, Google Docs can promote teamwork.

Google Docs allows more than one person to work on a particular document at the same time. Students can develop and/or edit documents online, while working with others. Group members no longer have to wait for other group members to update their portion of the presentation. There is no longer the need to upload and download files multiple times or email files back and forth. Also, students don’t have to be concerned about using different software at school and at home. And, by the way, there is no software to download.

Here are some of the many ways in which students and teachers can use Google Docs to make learning easier and more efficient: 

  • Teachers have the opportunity to check student progress and make sure students are following the guidelines. They can provide feedback in the document. Teachers can offer advice which may lead to higher grades.
  • Teachers can use the revisions history to find out who has actually helped on the project and evaluate individual participation and content.
  • Teachers can discover who is not participating and have the opportunity to correct the situation.
  • Teachers can use Google Docs to inform students about upcoming assignments.
  • Google Docs is popular for teams that are developing an essay or a presentation.
  • A team of students can create a spreadsheet which includes assignment details and deadlines. All the team members update the spreadsheet which allows students to see who is getting their work done on time and who is falling behind.
  • The revision history feature allows students and teachers to see a history of the revision process of a particular document. Sometimes previous ideas and information that were removed actually deserve to be in the document. With Google Docs, this deleted content can be restored.
  • Students from all over the nation can work on the same project in real-time and get involved in brainstorming sessions.

To use Google Docs, you just need a (free) Google Account. Click here to set one up if you don’t have one already.

Guest post by Brian Jenkins, a member of the BrainTrack.com writing team. He writes about a number of education and career topics, including high school teaching careers.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Collaboration & Brainstorming (part 2 – collaborative document editing tools)
10 Internet Technologies that Educators Should Be Informed About
30 Posts About Free Education Technology Tools & Resources

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded EmergingEdTech.com. As an education and instructional technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Kelly also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by kwalshmusic.com and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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