Google Docs is free. The word free is always something that makes me pay attention and listen closer! Google Docs is an office suite platform that is useful for group collaboration. Spreadsheets, word processing, templates, folders (I like that I can stay organized by putting what I am working on into folders), drawings, forms and presentations are all available. It is extremely easy to compose, create and edit. I love that it is compatible with Microsoft office products. There are also dictionaries and translation programs there. Because work is saved to Google Drive, everything is available anytime, anywhere. I don’t have to be worried that work will be lost because it is not backed up. This great if you have attention issues or are just busy!
Google Docs makes it easy for large or small groups to work together on projects and papers at the same time. While working with a group in a wiki recently, we discovered it was hard to work at the same time! Working with a different group project, we noticed how unwieldy our responses got to be. It was hard to keep track of who said what even after we tried to impose our own individually assigned colored coded system. Google Docs allows for easy simultaneous collaboration. Workers don’t even have to think about if they are Mac or PC users because there are not formatting compatibility issues. Since I am a strong visual learner, I totally appreciate the color coding that lets me see who is editing what. Other visual learners will appreciate this also.
Students can easily get ideas from others and benefit from just putting ideas out into the mix to stimulate and spark the creative ideas of others with Google Docs. This great if you have difficulty getting your voice into the mix. Teachers can easily see who has contributed by checking the revision history section. Students with much to say can check to see if the work is a balance of ideas from the group. Like wikis, if something is deleted, it can be retrieved. An added plus is that for those of us concerned about being greener and going paperless, Google Docs can help us achieve this goal. Also, no more lost, misplaced, ruined papers to lug around!
What apps are you using to make your life and the lives of your students easier? Are there apps that you feel are perfect for certain learning styles or preferences?