How I Use It
I used this recently for the first time, to have my 4th grade students type up and share their argumentative essays. After typing their essays, they shared it with a peer editor, and corrected their partner's essay, along with making comments. This worked well, as I did not have any complaints about not being able to read their partners handwriting. Also, it made correcting so much easier for the students, and they loved leaving comments in the margin. Usually there are so many questions and complaints about erasing and space to make marks or to give suggestions. All of that was eliminated with Google Drive. Even the lower literacy students and those who have very messy handwriting were enabled to produce an essay.
I am very impressed with the ease that even 4th graders picked up typing an essay through Google Drive, sharing it, and then editing and making comments on another peer's essay. Additionally, it is great that I have a copy of each essay, shared with me on my drive. The word processor is very friendly to use and has most of the same basic options as Word. I would caution to teach students how to make a copy of a document, in addition to the original that they are working on, just in case something gets deleted. There were a few instances of students typing on Chromebooks, who accidentally highlighted more than they thought, and then hit delete. In those cases, even the back function could not bring back what was lost. It is also idea to have students write the rough draft and then type the final draft. Overall, I would highly suggest using Google Drive for essays and anticipate this being how my students do essays from now on.