I have been using Google docs exclusively this weekend in an effort to figure out how it works.  It does have its own way of doing things and is different than M/S Word 2007 or 2003.  Actually, I think that if you haven’t used some of the other word processors it would be much easier to use Gdocs.  Just about all the other W/P’s are similar in many respects (except for Word’s 2007 Ribbon).

I think though that I have had a break-thru as far wrapping my head around Gdocs.  I simply had to “just use it” to figure it out.  Some things that I did learn was that:

  1. When you embed a document into a blog, if you make changes it changes within the blog too.  I really like this feature – probably old news to most users, but something I didn’t know.  I really liked that I didn’t have to go back and change the Presentation that I embedded into my Classroom Expectations Slideshow, which using my previous process I would have had to which leads to extra work and the possibility of not having an exact duplicate.
  2. I had to get used to the ideas of printing to PDF, then printing from my PDF software.  At first I didn’t like this, it was very clunky.  But as the day went on I came to get used to it more and more.  It does make me look at the copy before printing and see mistakes before printing – which should save some paper.
  3. If you want to create a document with lots of boxes (i.e. table), you may be better off using the Spreadsheet instead of the document function.  I created some rubrics and other weekly status forms and they didn’t look right in docs when it came to printing, but when I re-did them in  the Spreadsheet they looked great.  I do miss the ability to copy from a table to a spreadsheet and have it render properly (Gdocs just copied everything to column A).Writing Rubric or Weekly Planner.
  4. But it still is a pain to have to convert so many of my forms over to Spreadsheet, there must be an easier way.
  5. Unfortunately Gdocs does not render 100% on Word to doc conversion that enables me to use it for forms that I have created in Word or that others have created.  I will be interested to see how the rendering of Word docs, etc. will improve as we get closer to Microsoft coming to the cloud with their Office 2010?

After using it exclusively this weekend I can see that Gdocs will do everything that I need for the classroom.  If I had to use only Gdocs in the office environment, I don’t know how well it would do?  It still has a lot of development left in order to catch up to Desk Based Options such as Word or Open Office, but for what I am looking for it to do, it does what I want.

I want to see how it works tomorrow when I don’t have internet with my HP (to start the day), it will be the true test.  Then I have to get to the interesting part…sharing and setting things up with my students, which will be a different set of opportunities.

FTC Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation or consideration of any kind for completing this review.  It was an unsolicited review of an applications that I have started using more.

Powered by ScribeFire.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.