Saturday, September 28, 2013

Collaborating via Google Docs

Google.  Not only is it a fun word to say but it is a powerhouse of resources for educators, students, businessmen/women, amateurs, etc.  You can use the site as a search enginesocial networkmapping and much more.  However, one of the biggest resources for me as both an educator and a student is Google Docs.

For those who aren't familiar with Google Docs, it is a free, internet-based word processor, powerpoint, spreadsheet and form service that is offered by Google.  The users are able to create documents online and access them from any internet accessible device.  Creating a google account is free and will give you access to these resources that I will be talking about in this post.

I love using this site for anything and everything.  There are endless ways to use this site for not only working on your own personal projects but to collaborate with peers.  In fact, I'm such an advocate for the site that I don't even have Microsoft Word or any type of program on my computer.  I do all of my work solely on the site because it is convenient to have any past or current projects on file whenever or wherever I need to access it.  It has also eliminated the need for a flashdrive, which has saved me from the constant worry of wondering where it is.
Google Docs Application

Through this post, I wanted to talk about some of the features that Google Docs offers and what you can do with them.
1.  Document:  Just like a regular word processor, Google Document lets you do everything that you can think of:  change fonts, spacing, colors, margin sizes, tables, etc.  It is a great resource for typing u assignments, syllabus', papers and more.  The biggest difference from Microsoft Word is that you can choose to share it with other google account holders fi you want.  When you share it, you have the option to let the other party edit, view or comment on it.  A perk of this service is that you can download it as a Microsoft Word document or even a PDF.
2.  Presentation:  This feature is exactly like what you would find in a Powerpoint application.  YOu can change backgrounds, fonts and create new slides for any type of presentation that you might be giving.  This is a great system for group projects because group members can all work on their own slides and not have to worry about emailing a file back and forth with each change that they make on it.  I personally have used this for many group projects.
3.  Spreadsheet:  Google Spreadsheet is just like an Excel sheet.  It allows you to document data, perform calculations on a data sheet, use as a scheduling system, etc.  I have seen it be used for anything from business assignments to scheduling for different campus organizations.
4. Form:  Google Form is a really cool way to conduct surveys online.  This feature allows you to have a form to ask any questions that you might be curious about and get answers from certain readers. It can either be anonymous ro you can know who gave you the answers.  Out of all the Google Docs, this is the one that I am the least familiar with and want to learn more about.

Overall, I love using this website because of the opportunities it provides for online collaboration.  In today's age, it is so important to have this type of a system that eliminates the need to save and send.  Anyone can access whatever they need with ease and what is better than not having to worry about forgetting to save a document?

Now my question for you is, what do you all do with Google Docs?

2 comments:

  1. Hello Nicole,

    I absolutely love the flexibility Google Docs has afforded me as a working and learning dad and husband!

    Just yesterday we did an impromptu trip to a family member's house on the river. It was a fantastic and restful time - However, I had a collaborative meeting that I had push somewhere deep in the back of my mind when packing and forgot to bring my laptop. Now, had I been using stand-alone software for my work with these colleagues I'd have been out of luck! Alas, Google saves the day! I was able to use my phone to join the Google Hangout and my iPad to join them in collaboration on the document we were working on.

    All this to say that in our connected lives we can be anywhere and be productive and step right back into our lives thanks to Google!

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  2. Good for you, Nicole, in your success to only use Docs. That is such a change of habit for many of us and I'm glad you are able to find success. I try to lead by example and use Google Docs whenever I can. My mouse is starting to go to my Drive before it goes to Microsoft Office. With some of the changes to Chrome recently and how Apps can now be found in your toolbar the habit is a little easier. I love forms! They are so quick and simple to set up, can be shared, and provide awesome charts and graphs that you don't have to set up to see results. Great for online assessments! They've just added some new cool features too! http://goo.gl/OIkYgP

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