March 8, 2014
Google Drive is a powerful productivity suite with an increasing potential in education. From storing documents to creating stunning presentations and drawings, Google Drive empowers you with the necessary tools to enhance your productivity and augment your workflow. I have been sharing several guides and materials on how teachers can tap into the power of this platform and this section aggregates all I have shared in this regard so far.
Today I want to introduce you to some basic features integrated in Google Docs and which your students can use to help them with their research projects and also boost their collaborative workforce.
1- Research feature
While composing in Google Docs students can very easily conduct a research on any highlighted word or phrase without having to change tabs or open new windows. To do this, they simply highlight the phrase they want to research and right click on it then select "research". A window pane will be displayed on the right hand sidebar with the search results of their query.
2- Search for scholarly articles and images
Besides doing a web search for their queries, students can also search for images, scholarly articles, and quotes related to the phrase or word they highlighted.
Using the comment feature provided by Google Docs, students will be able to leave feedback on each others work. They can also include audio feedback using these tools. To add a comment, just right click on the line where you want your comment to be added and click on "comment".
Another useful feature in Google Docs is the ability for students to correct their spellings and check for errors. If even they have doubt about how a word is spelled all they have to do is to highlight it and click on "tools" then select " spelling" and small window will pop up displaying the correct spelling of that word.
4- Word count
Verbosity is not a healthy element in students writings and often times students are asked to write within a given number of words. Using the "word count" feature, students will be able to monitor how many words they have written. To use this feature, students need to highlight their text and click on " tools" then on " word count".
There is a dictionary embedded in Google Docs which makes it easy for students to define a word by simply highlighting it and clicking on "define". Alternatively, they can click on "tools" then select " define".
This feature allows students to easily translate any given text into several languages.
Besides text, students can also insert a wide variety of multimedia materials into their documents. They can add images, tables, footnotes, videos, bookmarks, table of content, headers and many more.
This functionality makes it easy for students to embed specific signs and shortcuts into their documents.
After they are done with composing their documents, students can share their works with each other via email or through a generated link. They can also download their documents in a number of formats including: PDF, Microsoft Word, Plain Text, or Rich Text Format.