Google Docs is an easy-to-use online productivity suite including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form applications provided free by Google. Google Docs has gained popularity in schools over the past couple of years because it is a simple but powerful application for teachers and students to create and/or edit documents online and collaborate on projects over the Web. Teachers and students can create or upload their own documents, invite others to share them by email address, edit documents online with anyone they choose, publish the documents online to the world or only to whom they choose, and post their documents to a blog. Google Docs allows more than one person to work on the same document at a time, though they can work on the collaborative document at different times. Students no longer need to e-mail files to other group members and deal with the confusion that often occurs regarding software compatibility issues. The documents are stored on Google’s servers, and multiple students can collaborate on a document simultaneously. Also, Google Docs includes a chat window to allow collaborators to communicate about the documents as they edit them in real-time, without the delay of waiting for others to update their portion of a document or presentation.
Martha Abadie and I just did a presentation “Promoting Creativity & Collaboration in Your Classroom with Google Docs” at the 2010 MECA Conference in Jackson this afternoon. Below is our presentation. We welcome comments and suggestions for our presentation.