Goo-goo for Google.docs: Awesome tool for building shared documents
Without a doubt, all of us are aware of the ease of obtaining email connectivity with G-mail through Google. Many of us use this tool daily and never take notice of the other awesome features on the G-mail home page. Allow me to introduce those of you who have not had time or opportunity to examine this page to GOOGLE.DOCS, a tool that can make you the most popular teacher-librarian among your faculty and students!
If you are looking for a tool where groups of people need input in document development, GOOGLE.DOCS is the perfect solution! Groups that can benefit from creating documents in this manner include students, teachers, committee members, departments, community groups, any set of people who need a voice in a particular project. GOOGLE.DOCS allows anyone (upon invitation) to access a shared document and make changes that will be saved so that everyone in the group can contribute to the document creation. It is, basically, a living, breathing document!
The process for setting up a google document is quite simple. The first step is to secure a G-mail account. Click on the Document link at the top of the page, and you are ready to open an existing document or create one for your group. The screen shots below demonstrate how simple it is to create a document, email to group members’ G-mail accounts, and then contribute to the document in progress.
Everyone has access to the latest changes on the document, and each participant can even choose a font style or color so individual member contributions are easily identified:
It is even possible to insert photos into a document or spreadsheet. Once everyone has amended the document as they wish, the project is complete and everyone has had input through this exceptional method of communication.
Uses of this tool are many and varied. It is simple to use, versatile in application, and brings a group together with no expense or travel required! A few ideas for this application include:
- Student projects where a group is preparing a brochure or travel guide
- Media Committee is working on a budget or order form
- Community group is brainstorming about goals for a particular project
- Teachers in a Department are working on a unit of study for a semester
- Club Officers are designing an agenda for the year
- Middle school students are preparing a spreadsheet of major Civil War events
Very little, if any, training is necessary in mastering the GOOGLE.DOCS tool. With such easy access and instant document building capability, this proves to be an excellent way for teachers and students to communicate and work together on countless projects and assignments. Happy Googling!!
Phyllis R. Snipes
University of West Georgia