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Google Docs for Teachers: Classroom and Lesson Plan Management

By The Room 241 Team October 23, 2012

Google has wasted no time creating cloud-based products that are designed to make staying connected with others an easier process. Google Documents is an example of one such product, which has become increasingly popular among teachers and professors. Not only does Google Docs help teachers and students create online word processing documents, but it also makes it easy to form presentations, spreadsheets and other documents online with nothing more than a log-in name and password.

How does Google Documents work?

Google Documents works similarly to other popular word processing programs in that it allows for customization and editing within the document itself. What it does not require, however, is a software purchase, software download or a zip drive to save information to. Instead, all of the content is saved to the cloud, which is an easy way of referring to secure servers at remote locations accessed through the Internet. That means that saved content can be accessed from any computer or Internet-enabled device from anywhere in the world.

Perhaps one of the best features about Google Documents is its ease of use. Many students and teachers are familiar with traditional word processing software programs. Google Documents takes a cue from those programs to create a simplified way of creating documents. To create a file, simply select whether it will be a document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing or form, and follow the prompts that Google provides.

How can teachers benefit from Google Docs?

So in what ways can Google Documents help teachers and students? The answer lies primarily in its accessibility features. Teachers can easily create class documents and lesson plans from home, save them to the cloud, and then access them from the classroom when needed. The documents require a password, so only the teacher controls who can view the documents at any given time.

Google Docs can also help students and teachers streamline homework assignments and class projects. The sharing features allow teachers to provide group access to the same documents, which can serve as at-home study guides. Even homework assignments may be assigned and accessed through Google Documents, which will cut down on paperwork. Gone are the days of students being able to say, “I did my homework, but forgot it at home.”

Learning through Google Documents

Google Documents also provides a unique learning opportunity for students and teaching opportunity for teachers. Google Docs has a distinctive feature that allows teachers to monitor each student’s development and improvements. The feature allows teachers to see the types of revisions and drafts that have been created for a particular document, as well as which students made edits to each document. That means that when assigning group projects, one or two students can no longer carry the majority of the workload for the entire group. Instead, all students are accountable to their responsibilities within the group.

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