Google Docs is one of my personal favorite applications in Google. Honestly, it is hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to...it would be Google Docs. I use this application for just about everything work related and personal use! Why do I love it so??? With Google Docs I have the ability to upload any document, presentation (Power Point) and spreadsheet and collaborate with others on that same document. For example, my husband and I do our budget on Google Docs so that he and I can access it from any computer. I also create new courses and write in Google Docs so the rough draft is always available for me no matter what computer I use. I can access it on a PC and on a Mac. I can access it from home, work, church, library...anywhere I can get on the Internet. I can upload a Power Point into the presentation area and tweak, add to it and change it and then embed it in my blog...opps I forgot to do something, go in and change it and it changes it on my embedded presentation on my blog.
I can share documents with co-workers, family members and friends to collaborate on a document. I have personally used this document for every aspect in my life. It helps keep my documents organized and not tied to one computer.
How can you use Google Docs in your classroom?
Elementary - My son who was having trouble writing typed a story in Google Docs. So, use it as a writing & collaboration tool in the classroom. You can also graph using the spreadsheet and you can create graphs to show the detailed information within that spreadsheet.
Middle & High - Allow groups of students to collaborate on a document! Make sure they share it with you also so you know who is contributing and who is sitting in the group and not participating. And show them that you can check! Have them share their presentations with you and embed them into your blog.
Administrators - Use this with your teachers to collaborate on projects, teams & ideas. You can give collaboration rights to those on the team, but give viewing rights to all staff members. You can also use this to collaborate on your SIP. One caution here...I did do this with a school and they became overwhelmed because of bandwidth issues and the size of the document. If I was to do this again, I would break the document up into pieces that were more manageable for them.
And, I have not even told you about my favorite way to use Google Documents...as an online survey! Yes, you can create a Form within the spreadsheet area that people can fill out on your blog and the results will populate a spreadsheet for you to use! This is very easy to use and very user friendly for your survey takers!