How I Use It
I uploaded all of my Word documents to Google Drive so that I can have access to them from anywhere, not just my school computer. I no longer have to carry a flash drive between home and school. Google Drive makes it very easy for you to share documents with others, but the more documents you share, the messier your "Shared with me" drive gets. I like to try to keep my Drive as organized as I can, so instead of having all of my students "share" their documents with me, I have them send the link to their document to me via Google form. Also, beware: every time someone shares a document with you, a notification email is generated and sent to you, so if all 130 students are going to be sending me something, it clogs up my inbox for a bit until I can delete all the notifications.
In every chapter, my students are required to type a rough draft paragraph on the theme we are studying in class. By typing it in Google docs, they can "Share" rights to the document with me at different permission levels, from me being just a viewer, to an editor, to a co-owner. With Google docs, I can provide in-line comments for my students at specific parts of their paragraph. If I don't want to provide written feedback, Google Docs also allows me to give audio feedback, which the students prefer. They can play back my feedback and correct their paragraph as they listen to my comments. Students also write pair skits in my Spanish classes. By using the sharing feature of Google Docs, both students in the group can work on the same document synchronously or asynchronously. My students love this because they no longer have to arrange rides and find a common time to get together face-to-face to work on group projects. When the students are finished working on their joint skit, they Share the document with me. Google Docs has a "revision history" feature that allows me to see how much each student contributed to the project and when he or she worked on it. Students often complain or worry about one group member doing all the work; with the revision history, my students know that I will be looking to make sure workload was balanced between the partners and I will be assessing them accordingly.
Google docs is an online word-processing site similar to Microsoft word. It's similar in that students can type up word documents and change fonts, sizing, bullets, etc with similar functioning to Word~ in terms of functioning, Google docs is not AS nice as Word, BUT it makes up for that ten times with it's ability to share ownership, editing rites, and viewing rites with others! Students can "Share" their document with you instead of having to turn it in. Students can also work collaboratively on the same document synchronously or asynchronously and the teacher can check revision history to see who contributed what, at what time, for how long, etc. It's a dream for collaborative projects where students can't meet face to face!! No need to email documents back and forth~ since both people are the owners, the document is always there for both to see. Also, Google Docs updates and saves automaticaaly. No need to save anymore. Everyone will automatically have the most recent, up-to-date version waiting for them!