Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Ways I Tried To Enhance My Classroom This Year With Tech: #6 Google Docs

#6 Using Google Docs to collaboratively edit our writing in Writers’ Workshop

It's interesting reading the small debates that pop up from time to time about the pros and cons of Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word. 

For example this year The Thinking Stick had this article supporting Google Docs over Microsoft Word. 

IT Babble shot back this response. 

For me, my interest in using Google Docs for our writing boils down to only these three points:

  1. Collaborative Editing. We have laptop carts at our school. It's a great asset to arrange the children in groups, with each child having their own laptop, and then collaboratively editing a single document together.
  2. Organizational Support: No matter what machine we're on, it's easy for all of us to find all of our stuff, and it's easy for me to find and manage everyone's work since I'm the owner of these documents
  3. Simplicity of Choices: Google Docs used to not have a lot of formatting options. Which was a good thing from a classroom perspective, because it meant that students would spend less time mixing and matching the right font combination and more time editing their content. Well, that seems to be a thing of the past. 
So in reality, there are really only two points I can stick by. Of course Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office almost makes both my arguments moot, except that it's not available for the mac platform yet. As the link states, Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft office, "adds simultaneous collaboration, revision history, cloud sync, unique URLs and simple sharing to the Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint applications."
But until it's available for the mac, our classroom will stick with Google Docs.

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