Google Docs may seem like just an imitation of Microsoft Word. While it does lack a little in the formatting (though Google is always coming out with new features, quickly closing that gap), it offers plenty of snazzy features that facilitate collaboration, time management, and student (and teacher!) success. Here are a few of my favorite uses:
Simultaneous editing–from a distance
Whether you are assigning group work to students, or doing “group work” yourself, it is oh-so-easy to create and share a doc for easy access later, when all group members may be at their respective homes or places of work. No need to coordinate a time and place to meet up, when you can simply log in and access the document using any WiFi-enabled device.
Make the most of meetings
Before you start a meeting, create a Google Doc that lists the agenda or notes, then using Google Calendar, simply “add attachment” to the event:
During the meeting, you can use the agenda to stay on task, assign action items to specific people, and keep it short.
To assign action items, simply highlight a specific phrase or item in the agenda/notes, and using the + sign, tag the person. Once you do, Google will suggest that you assign the item to them:
Easy as that! Once your meeting is finished, everyone has their work cut out for them. Simple organization so everyone is ready in time for the following meeting. Use this simple strategy along with Robert’s Rules of Order to keep meetings to a minimum, while still being effective and efficient.
Google now makes citations even easier for teachers or students. Using the “Explore” feature in the bottom right hand corner of your window, you can easily find other related research on your topic, and can even search the web–without leaving the browser window!
I love, love, love using Google Drive in my day-to-day, and with students. Interested in learning more about these great tools? I’m now offering this mini-course on G Suite. Check it out!