I actually started using Google docs earlier in the summer when a co-worker wanted someone to practice collaborating with. It offers most of the facility of regular Microsoft documents, but with the added benefit of being online and shareable. I can see it being particularly valuable for students commuting between parental households or for those who struggle to get their homework to school. The collaborative benefits seem endless. Of course some of the bells and whistles that we’re accustomed to with software suites are sacrificed. I’m still not clear on how its benefits would align with those offered by a wiki. I’d love to hear more about what uses are better suited to one or the other. It seams like spreadsheets wouldn’t work with a wiki, just as lists of websites could be handled better with social bookmarking. Similarly, how does Google forms compare to some of the polling/quizzing websites? Is it all about means of access? I know that PollsEverywhere let’s students respond by cellphone, but I think there can only be one question asked.
Here are some initial thoughts on ways to use Google documents:
- Google form requesting seating preferences in the classroom
- Google spreadsheet for students to sign up for meeting times with me
- Google doc with a list of professional development opportunities for history department members that history teachers can expand