Google Docs is a word processor, it’s as simple as that. It is included as part of a free, web-based Google Docs suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service.
The others you may be familiar with such as Google Sheets and Google Slides. Google Docs is a powerful tool by tech giant Google used to create, edit, and share documents seamlessly and efficiently. You can share the documents in various formats. These include word, doc, pdf, and epub, to mention a few.
Google Docs does not just allow for document creation, it also allows for collaboration on documents. It works offline and is available both as a web and mobile application.
Beyond being just a word processor, Google Docs can also be integrated into the learning and education process. When introduced into the classroom environment, it can make learning not just more fun and engaging but more captivating and easier. Below are six captivating ways to use Google Docs in the classroom.
Ways To Use Google Docs In The Classroom
One of the captivating ways to utilize Google Docs while teaching is to use it as a feedback mechanism. Learners tend to be more engaged when they feel they are included in the lesson and their thoughts and opinions are not just heard but considered.
You can ask students to send you written feedback using Google Docs rating how they feel concerning the lesson, and if they were able to follow you through the lesson. To give the students some level of anonymity, you can simply create a document titled “feedback” and share the link with your students. The students are to type in their thoughts concerning the lesson and include just their initials if they chose to.
With Google Docs, students do not have to close down the word processor whenever they need further information on a certain topic. To access the ‘explore’ research tool in Google Docs, you simply have to click on ‘Tools’, then click on ‘Explore’.
You can also access the explore tool by simply clicking the explore icon at the bottom right of your document. Once the tool is launched, type in your keyword in the search box. If students are confused by a particular text in the document, they have the option of copying that text and pasting it into the search box.
The explore tool presents them with results for their search via a list of resources which includes images and web results. The explore tool also makes it incredibly easy for students to insert their results into the document for reference purposes. They simply have to choose to “cite as footnote”.
One of the most captivating ways to utilize Google Docs in the classroom is through collaboration. Google Docs makes it easy for students to collaborate on written projects and assessments.
Google Docs allows for simultaneous collaborations and makes it possible for even the whole class to work on a document at the same time. It allows learners to work in a shared workspace.
The tutor can decide to allow students to collaborate on homework and assignments using Google Docs. For example, several students can work on an essay or a project that is to be submitted in a doc file. Google Docs makes it easier for them to update the file from wherever they are with easy access to group results without having to meet outside the classroom.
Another option could be for the tutor or teacher to let learners use Google Docs to edit their writing. Students can be paired in twos and threes and made to edit each other’s essays or assessments. They simply need to share the document with their partners.
The teacher can also be included as a collaborator as this makes it possible for the teacher to constantly assist and monitor the process even before it is officially submitted by the student.
Collaboration among learners makes learning a lot more fun and engaging, and Google Docs makes collaboration a breeze.
Google Docs provides well-designed templates for teachers and students. These templates can be used to plan a project, design a lesson plan, create teaching notes, or design an assessment.
The teacher can instruct students to make use of a certain template or they can draft one. The tutor has the option of doing this if he or she would prefer the submissions to follow a certain pattern. The tutor simply has to create a template on Google Docs, share it with their students and instruct the learners to make use of that template. The students on the other hand, only have to save the template as a copy.
The tutor can also permit students to browse through the different categories of templates and make use of anyone. There are over a hundred templates in the gallery. Templates make learning and the creation of documents easier and more captivating for both the teacher and the student.
Google Docs provides the user with educational add-ons that make the word processing and editing process more captivating and simplistic.
To aid students in using the word processor, the teacher can direct them to utilize the Google Docs Education Addons. To access the ‘Add-ons’ they simply need to go to the menu -> Add on store -> click on add ons.
A drop-down list will appear. They are to click on ‘Education’. Google Docs then presents them with a huge number of extensions they can use to aid their writing and study process.
Most of these add-ons are free. One of the Addons that make research and writing less boring, easier, and more captivating is Easy Bib Bibliography. This addon allows the user to generate citations quickly without having to go through the rigors of doing it themselves.
When used within the classroom, Google Docs is often used in the creation of documents, assessments, writing of essays, and projects.
One way to make the learning and creation process easier for the learner is for the tutor to be a part of the process. The tutor can collaborate with the learner while the assessment is in the middle of being created. Google Docs makes it easy to make simple suggestions or changes, without editing the document.
The teacher just has to use the suggestion tool. This allows him or her to monitor the process and make comments and suggestions when necessary.
Google Docs possess a voice typing feature that allows the word processor to convert speech to text. The Google voice recognition feature in a recent update was given the ability to recognize punctuations from speech.
This makes it incredibly easy for the teacher to connect with his or her students without them having to manually take notes. All the user requires is to externally connect a microphone to his or her device or use the inbuilt microphone.
The next step is to activate voice typing and choose their preferred language. Google Docs voice typing feature can be used in the classroom for taking notes. Oftentimes, during lectures, students must deal with the hassle of taking notes and paying attention to the tutor at the same time.
The voice recognition feature of Google Docs takes away that hassle. The student simply must tap on the microphone image to activate the feature and it will convert whatever speech the teacher made into text.
When the teacher is done with the class, the student taps on the microphone image once again to turn it off. The notes can be reviewed by the learner later.
Google Docs can be used to do a lot more than just the creation and sharing of documents. It can be introduced into the classroom to aid the learning process.
Google Docs features such as the template gallery, explore research tool, suggestion and commenting tool, voice typing, and education add-ons make the learning process in Nigeria engaging for the students and easy for their teacher.