Table of Contents
I. History and Development
Google Writer appeared in 2006, originating from a word processing program called Writely, which was run through a company called Upstartle. In 2005, Google bought both Upstartle and its program as part of a conceived project so as to compete with word processing giant, Microsoft Word. The following team of individuals helped create and license Google Writer: Magnus Adielsson, Richard Barnes, Peter Kupfer, Iain Roberts, and Jean Hollis Weber. These individuals made it an exceptional competitor against other word processors, especially Microsoft Word. In addition, the official licensing team of Google Writer has also obtained legal rights to use copyright software from other developers for the program. The following list consists of copyrights that the licensing team got permission to use in different aspects of the program, such as the spell check dictionary list: Copyright (c) 1995-2003 International Business Machines Corporation and rights reserved; Copyright 2000-2004 by Kevin Atkinson; Copyright (c) J Ross Beresford 1993-1999; All Rights Reserved Copyright 1993, Geoff Kuenning, Granada Hills, CA. Since its introduction, Google Writer has been successful in expanding its use, capabilities, and storage space for users. 2 3 4 5
II. How Does Google Writer Work?
Google Writer works like any word processing program. Users can type, save, and share documents and use them for anything they deem necessary. Google Writer allows users to store up to 7 GB's of information through their G-mail accounts. The truly unique thing about Google Writer is the ability to share with other users. After a user is finished typing their document, they can go up to the right-hand corner and decide if they want to "Share" "Save" or "Save & Close". If one decides to "Share" they are brought to a screen that allows them to do many things such as e-mailing the document as an attachment, publishing the document as a website, or sharing/collaborating with other Google Writer users. This can be especially helpful for group projects. As long as one has their group members' e-mail addresses, he or she can decide whether or not to allow the other group memebers to collaborate on his or her document (meaning that the other user can actually go into you document to make changes) or one can allow the other users to be viewers of the document (meaning that they can review the document, but cannot make changes). This process can greatly increase efficiency and productivity, whether it be in the classroom or in the business world. 6
III. How Can I Sign Up to Use Google Writer?
To sign up:
1. Type http://docs.google.com into a web browser.
2. If you have a Google account, you can log in and get started immediately.
3. If you do not have a Google account, click "Sign up" to create an account for free.
IV. Google Writer and Education
Google Writer can be used in a plethora of ways in the classroom or even outside of the classroom for educational purposes. In today's schools, many students rely on sending emails to their teachers in order to turn in homework assignments or to ask questions about the class. Furthermore, students work together in group projects and use email to attach drafts of their work to each other for editing purposes. While email has proven to be an invaluable tool in helping students communicate with their teacher and other students, Google Writer can be used to make the communication process more time efficient and less confusing. Many students often attach homework assignments in their Google document, such as sending research papers in emails to their teacher. Then, the teacher can look over it and make revisions and comments about their papers. However, many problems can occur when students attempt to send their precious work via email to their teacher. For example, attachments can be too large to send over email, so the student is unable to send his or her work to the teacher. In addition, students and teachers often use different types of word processing software (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.) and/or different types of document formatting (.txt., .pdf, .docx, etc.) that may be incompatible with each other, which means that a teacher cannot open an attachment sent by a student. Another very common problem is that students and teachers send so many email attachments back and forth to each other with revisions and different versions of writing assignments, that it is very easy to lose track of which version a student should work on. Fortunately, Google Writer can solve all of the problems mentioned above by making the communication process more streamlined and efficient.
Google Writer does not require students and teachers to constantly send email attachments back and forth to one another. Instead, students can type up documents on any word processor like Microsoft Word, and then upload the document onto Google Writer in order to share the file with the teacher, or even other students, for editing purposes. Once the document is placed on Google Writer, the teacher and other students can edit, make corrections, and add comments to the same online copy of the file. This eliminates the need to send emails back and forth with multiple versions of assignments. In addition, teachers can use Google Writer to monitor the work of students in group projects, because teachers can look at the revisions history to see how students contributed to an assignment and at what time they contributed. The revision history can stop arguments between students and teachers on whether or not they completed a writing assignment on time, because all of the student's work will be documented on Google Writer. Students can use Google Writer and no longer be concerned about their attachments being too large for their inbox, since Google Writer posts documents over the Internet rather than through email. Incompatible software is also not a problem for students on Google Writer, since all work is posted on the Internet and can be easily accessed on any computer. Google Writer is a wonderful tool that can be used in the classroom to solve the problems of e-mailing attachments from student to teacher. 8 9
In addition, teachers can use Google Writer to create lesson plans or a course syllabus by using a Google Writer template.22
Lesson Plan Template
Students can use Google Writer to create project reports, research papers, and presentation checklists by using a Google Writer template.
Project Report Template
Research Paper Template
Presentation Checklist Template
How is Google Writer currently being used in Education?
V. Google Writer Outside of Education
Google Writer can be very helpful in ways other than just education. The aspect to be focused on will be Google Writer's positive influence on business. The area that separates Google Writer from other word processing programs is its ability to share the same document among co-workers. Say for example, a big report is to be worked on between a five- to six-man team. Google Writer could be very beneficiary because employees could send the same report back and forth to each other using Google Writer. Each draft of that report would have changes/ideas from each employee, creating a much more efficient work atmosphere. What if the project was started on a program like Microsoft Word? Can an individual still import and save it in Google Writer? The answer is...yes! Google Writer allows the user to import and export files from all sorts of word processing programs. Finally, Google Writer can benefit business because it allows the employees to publish their document into a web site. Now, the report they have been working on can be posted on the World Wide Web and can be accessed and seen by everyone on the Internet. Google Writer is truly an application that benefits from each person that uses it, no matter what the situation.10
Google Writer has hundreds of templates that can be easily modified. Templates range from business cards, labels, newsletters, recipe cards, letterheads, and more.
Business Card Template
Address Label Template
Google Writer On-The-Go: iPhone/iPad application or accessed through Blackberry
VI. Related Applications
Applications similar to Google Writer
A similar application to Google Writer is an application called, Zoho Writer. Like Google Writer, Zoho Writer also allows their users to share their work with others, edit the document and save it on the web page. Both applications are also subsets of larger applications. For instance, Google Writer is a subset of Google Docs and Zoho Writer is a subset of Zoho. A large difference in the visual affects of the applications is that Zoho Writer is actually set up to look like a word document on the internet unlike Google Writer which appears to look more like an e-mail. The Zoho Writer is easy to access because Google has allowed it's users to use their account information to access the Zoho application. 11
Can Google Writer Be Used in Conjunction with Other Applications?
Google Writer can also be used in conjunction with other applications as well. People can import documents from word processors like Microsoft Word or Word Perfect onto Google Writer, and they can also export written documents on Google Writer into different word formats such as PDF files or Microsoft Word documents. The import/export function of Google Writer is one of its most beneficial features, because people using different applications can all post their work on Google Writer. Anyone who uses Google Writer can invite only people they want to see their work over the internet, and they do not have to worry about the hassles of using multiple applications with different people.12
In addition, there are many programs that allow users to backup Google Writer documents. One such program is from Greasemonkey and is called Google Docs: Download. Using this program, users can select individual documents to be downloaded or can simply use the "DownloadThemAll" function in order to download all documents saved on Google Writer into the backup program at the same time. Other programs, such as Syncplicity, can be used to sync documents written on Google Writer with Microsoft Office documents. The program is free for up to two gigabytes of storage, as well as support on two computers. Also, for $9.99 per month, the user can have 50 gigabytes of storage and use the Syncplicity on an unlimited number of computers.13 14
VII. International Uses
Google Writer as an International Tool
Google Writer is a free online word processor that can be used by anyone worldwide and functions the same way as it does in the United States. Many times people from different parts of the world have trouble reading documents emailed to and from each other, because either their computers use different formats of documents or simply are not compatible to read certain types of word documents. Fortunately, Google Writer uses the internet which can be accessed worldwide without the worries and concerns of opening or reading different formats of documents. In addition, Google Writer can be translated in dozens of different languages simply by changing one's Google Account settings. All a person needs to do in order to change the language is click on settings in the top right hand corner of the screen and then select what language they want. 16
How International Teachers benefit from Google Writer
Teachers from all over the world can benefit greatly from the efficiency and easy-to-use communication Google Writer provides (See section IV Google Writer and Education) A great example of this is a teacher in Sweden who put his students into teams and told them to use Google Writer to work on essays and presentations. According to http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html, the teacher from Sweden said this about Google Writer, "It helps me, as a teacher, to be able to participate in the process, not just see the final product." This is very true since any teacher can look up a student's work over Google Writer at any time during the whole construction process. Google Writer helps teachers and students worldwide, and not just from the United States, to accomplish educational tasks.
Disadvantages of Google Writer as an International Tool
Google Writer can only be used where there is a good internet connection since it is web-based; since Google Writer requires the internet, that means it also requires money to pay for the internet connection. 17
Google Docs used in Australia (by Michael Humphries - SQIT)
At my workplace - SQIT (Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE), Google Docs is used as a collaborative online tool to allow users over a diverse geographical area to participate and contribute to the development of everything from students completing an assignment to teachers developing teaching resources. When combined with blended delivery strategies (using various methods to delivery training) this can be a powerful tool in creating a virtual classroom environment. Given that SQIT has a delivery footprint covering a geographical area equivalent to Great Britain, this can be a powerful tool to bring people together. In this way, Google Docs resembles any other learning and delivery platform.
Another benefit of using Google Docs at SQIT is that because of our previously mentioned huge delivery footprint a great amount of time and money can be saved in delivering training to our learners. If a teacher based in Toowoomba had to deliver training to learners based in Charleville and only had the option of face to face delivery, then he/she would have to drive eight hours to deliver this training! By using Google Docs a great deal of valuable human and physical resources can be saved and these savings can be used in other areas.
VIII. Google Writer Lesson Plans
Description: This lesson plan is designed to teach students basic understanding of rhythm and a few rules of the game of baseball. The teacher will clap a beat with his or her hands and the students will try to repeat the beat.
Basic Ways to Care for your Dog
Description: This lesson plan is designed to teach students on the basic ways to care for their dogs. The teacher will bring in his or her dog to demonstrate some of the things that are needed to care for the dog. The students will then type an essay about their favorite breed of dog and how they correctly care for it. This file will be done by using Google Writer.
My Food Journal
Description: This lesson plan is designed to teach students about eating healthy. They will record what they have eaten for an entire day on Google Writer. They will then share the document with a fellow classmate and have them assess what they have eaten the day before. They will then reply to the document and tell the other student ways in which they can improve their diet.
my first novel review
Description: This is a lesson plan is designed to encourage students to begin reading chapter books and learn to voice their options about what they are reading.
Let's Get Healthy
Description: This is a lesson plan designed to help students eat halthier and workout. Through Google Writer they can create logs for both eating and exercising and share it with their group memebers. Then their group members can offer suggestions, provide encouragement, and make comments to one another.
Description: This is a lesson plan that has children interact with foreign speaking countries.
Description: This lesson plan is designed to help students get a better understanding of ecosystems by designing their own and maintaining it for eight weeks. Then they will get experience with writing a lab report and keeping data recorded.
Description: This is a lesson that will allow college students to dig deeper into history and learn about World War II while using Google Writer.
Description: This is a lesson plan for using Google Writer in business.
For a fun and simple way to learn about Google Docs, please visit:
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6"http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/5134415" Retrieved April 12, 2009.
7"https://www.bcc.ctc.edu/business/assets/students_w_computer.gif"Retrieved April 6, 2009.
8"http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/collaboration_value.html"Retrieved April 12, 2009.
9"http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html"Retrieved April 12, 2009.
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11"http://writer.zoho.com/home?serviceurl=%2Findex.do"Retrieved April 12, 2009.
12"http://lifehacker.com/software/lifehacker-faceoff/zoho-suite-vs-google-docs-315256.php"Retrieved April 12, 2009.
13"http://1st-soft.net/gdd/"Retrieved April 12, 2009.
14"http://mashable.com/2009/02/02/google-backup/" Retrieved February 20, 2009.
15"www.world-map.nl/maps/political-world-map-2006"Retrieved April 6, 2009.
16"http://docs.google.com" Retrieved April 12, 2009.
17"http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html" Retrieved April 12, 2009.
18"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYPjJK6LZdM&feature=channel_page" August 05, 2008.
19"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urrvY0YQWE4&feature=PlayList&p=E8733CE0D5664691&index=4" February 01, 2008
20"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-m-4Hmxspg&feature=PlayList&p=E8733CE0D5664691&index=1" November 11, 2007
22"http://docs.google.com/templates?hl=en" Retrieved April 21, 2009
23"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAr5VoYdVBo&feature=player_embedded#at=14" Retrieved February 16, 2011
24"http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/03/google-writer.html" Retrieved February 16, 2011
25"http://notebooks.com/2010/11/17/edit-google-docs-on-the-ipad-iphone-android-and-other-mobile-devices/" Retrieved February 16, 2011
26"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3TO6Wz7Cek&feature=PlayList&p=372A76C86AF35D52&index=2" Retrieved February 21, 2010
27"http://www.quantumofgeek.com/2010/03/blog-publishing-using-google-docs/" Retrieved February 21, 2010
28"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJT3pagjd8s&feature=relmfu" Retrieved February 21, 2010
30"http://www.hightech-edge.com/free-microsoft_works-vs-google_docs/1028/" Retrieved February 21, 2010