Collaborate with Google Tools
By Barbara Bray
Are you looking for an online program for
collaborative peer editing and revising?
Most of us are using programs that reside
on our laptop or desktop like Microsoft
Word. When I want to collaborate with a
colleague, I have to attach the document
to an email, send it, and wait to receive
the changes. I have been looking for a
wiki type of program that is similar to
Word that allows revisions and saving
Found it: Google Docs is an easy-to-use online word processor that enables you to
create, store, share, and collaborate on documents. You can even import any
existing document from Word and Simple Text. You don’t need to have the same
program on your computer. You can work from anywhere to access your documents.
You do need a Google account (or Gmail account--both are free) to log in and use Google
Docs and Spreadsheets.
Click New Document
Start typing – really - it’s that easy.
• As soon as you start typing the document is saved. Whatever your first few
words are, they are listed as the title of your document. To change the title,
go to File > Rename > type in your new title.
• The document is saved every 20 seconds so if you make a mistake and want
to go back, click on Revisions. You can always revert back to an older
version. You can compare versions and see what others (yes - you can
collaborate with others!) have added or changed.
You can insert pictures. What is
cool is that you can define how
you want images to appear in the
document. You can also insert
links, comments, tables,
bookmarks, separators, and
You can add up to 20 people to
collaborate (they need a Gmail or
Google account) on this
I see the possibilities for collaboration for teachers or administrators as a
professional development opportunity. Just imagine planning a workshop
together or revising the agenda while sipping coffee in front of the fire in your
pajamas. That's what I'm doing right now. The idea of anytime anywhere can
happen with Google Docs.