There is no question about it. College courses involve tons of paperwork. From quizzes and notes to term papers, what if there were an effective way to trim the amount of paperwork while still being a quality resource? Recently schools have started a movement towards simpler ways to teach and have lessons and lectures more accessible to students. What could be simpler than online? Every college kid spends quite a bit of time online anyway, so a transition to teaching in this medium was a natural progression. There are a few companies that offer education suites, but Google Docs has become a favorite, especially since it is free, which makes it a favorite among college students who have enough debt already.
Probably the best feature, aside from being 100% free, is the fact that it is online. You do not need to install anything on your computer. Anywhere you can access internet, you can access your classes. So theoretically you can work on an assignment while hitting the dollar menu!
Another very helpful aspect of using Google Docs for school is the feature that allows your instructor to join you within your project to review it with you while your work is in progress. This is valuable to student and instructor because it provides both parties a way to catch any problems up front. This helps you correct them before you turn in the project helping you get a better grade and increasing learning. One on one time is difficult for an instructor in a classroom setting, so this feature is especially important for students with questions that ordinarily would not get addressed in a class full of other kids and other questions.
More great functions in Google Docs include:
- Online reading response journals
- Translation tool for multicultural classes
- Flash cards
- Reading records online
- Video chat for lectures or face time with instructor
Sorry guys, but snow days are now just a memory. Your instructor can use the video chat to conduct classes remotely. While you can attend class in your pajamas, you will still be attending class! There is an up side to this though. You will finish school on time. No more dragging school terms trying to make up lost days.
The dreaded reading journals are now all online in Google Docs. Carry your laptop instead of all those journals. Your instructor will be able to access them easier as well without the headaches of trying to decipher your handwriting.
There is also a chat feature in docs that lets you invite others into a conversation that are working on the same document you are. Just keep in mind, the instructor has access to any communication within the document regardless of whether you try to delete it or not, so keep it project oriented and discuss plans for the evening after class!
Picture Courtesy from GappsTips
This is helpful when in a large class and you have a question about a specific part that you may have missed. Another student may be able to clarify it for you, or if it’s a problem you are stuck on, a fresh pair of eyes could help. This is extremely handy as well if you are partnering with another student on a project. You no longer have to find a convenient place to meet up for collaboration. Now you both can work on the project together and not even be in the same town.
Picture Courtesy of TechWack.
Taking a quiz is now as easy as logging on. You take the test in forms, and since the answers are already loaded in the system by the instructor, as soon as you submit, it automatically grades. No more stressing while waiting for your test results.
Google Docs makes it easy to publish your work to your blog or wordpress if you would like to from the share link at the top of your document.
Once you click share, the drop down list will walk you through the steps. Need to show your sources? No problem.
You can easily add links to your paper also.
Were you sick and missed an important assignment? Your instructor will add it to the files and you can receive a notification to be able to view it in real time.
As you can see, there are a multitude of bonuses to using Google Docs for school. It can increase student efficiency and grades while reducing instructor workloads making them more available to students. Everyone wins.
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