Last week my students were given two assignments in communication arts. One was a short story called a "Potato Plot" and the other was a poem called "What If?" Students were asked to perform this task by using Google Docs. Google Docs is a free web-based word processor and spreadsheet, which allows for users to share and collaborate online.Students were asked to compose their assignments online using Google Docs and invite me as a collaborator. By adding the teacher as a collaborator, it allows the teacher to add corrections or comments to a student's paper.
Google Docs is an amazing tool for teachers. There is a little bit of work involved in the beginning. In order for this to work, students are required to set up a e-mail account g-mail is preferred, less problems. Also it will take about a week or so to train your students on how to correctly sign-in and operate the program. It is well worth it. There are several benefits to using this program, first off there is no more carrying papers around from school and home and you can access the papers from anywhere. Second, giving immediate feedback is made simply through the collaborator process. Also I actually had a student turn in a paper on a SATURDAY....I was shocked to. Lastly, who doesn't want to save a tree or two?
I would highly recommend that everyone at least check out this program and consider ways this could be tied into your instruction, this is a very powerful tool.