What is Google Docs?Google Docs lets people create web-based documents (word-processors), presentations, spreadsheet, forms(or surveys) and drawings, and it’s free! You can control with whom you share your docs, and there arethree visibility options:(1) public—the entire world(2) anyone with the link (3) private—no one except you“(2) Anyone with the link” lets people who know the web address of a doc to view it. If you also select the'Allow anyone to edit' option, anyone with the URL will also be able to view and edit your document. Sign-in is not required, so viewers/editors may show up as anonymous. (I believe the spreadsheet we used for project 4 was set to this setting.)There are limits on the numbers of synchronous collaboration on each Doc type. 50 people can edit adocument and a spreadsheet at the same time. 10 people can edit a presentation at the same time. There is alimit of 200 viewers/collaborators for all three Doc types. If other people are editing a documentsimultaneously with you, you’ll see their edits in real time, and you can chat with other collaborator aboutthe changes you are making within a document. Since documents and spreadsheets of Google Docs allowyou to collaborate with up to 50 people, there is plenty of room for a whole class to collaborate.You can download your files on your own computer in various formats such as DOC, XLS, CSV, ODS,ODT, PDF, RTF and HTML and also upload existing files such as DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT,etc., to Google Docs.Other great features of Google Docs are probably online storage and auto-save features. Once you create aGoogle account, you can get 1GB of free space and $0.25/GB for additional storage. Auto-save featureenables you to save the current version automatically at a regular interval. You don’t have to worry aboutlosing your data due to hard drive failures and/or forgetting saving, etc. Google Docs save “revisionhistory” so you can see by whom and when those changes were made, and you can revert to the older version if you want. This feature might be very useful if a student messes up something on collaborationwork, the teacher can easily track and fix it.In order to use Google Docs, students must be 13 or older in compliance with Google's Terms of Service.Also, students have to have either G-mail account or Google account. Creating a Google account is easysimple steps, and students can use his/her existing E-mail account.How can we use Google Docs to teach English/Language Arts?
Students can do peer editing by simply adding their peers as collaborators. Brainstorm, draft, revising,editing and publishing can be all done on Google Docs. They can also add the teacher as a collaborator to assist their writing in the process.
By publishing their writing, students can share their work with students at a worldwide level
Students can publish their writing to Google Sites as a classroom newsletter.
Google Docs can be used to facilitate collaborative writing since students can work on their writing project either synchronously or asynchronously, at different locations, and all students in class or several students could participate in one homework assignment.