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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

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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

Click Here to watch an introductory video on Google Docs. 20



To see a blog about Google Writer click here.24

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III. How Can I Sign Up to Use Google Writer?

To sign up:
1. Type 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.



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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


Syllabus 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?

Click Here  to see how teachers are using Google Docs in their classrooms. 21

Click Here  to hear why teachers and principals use Google Docs. 18

Click Here  to watch a tutorial for teachers.19

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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

Unique Uses

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

Newsletter Template

Letterhead Template

Google Writer On-The-Go: iPhone/iPad application or accessed through Blackberry




 To learn how to use chat within Google Docs, click HERE 26


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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


Microsoft Word

Google Writer

  • All basic tools (font size, style, color…)
  • More advanced tools
  • Only available on computer
  • All basic tools (font size, style, color…)
  • Easy to use, with less tools
  • Much easier to use for younger people
  • Makes it much easier to share with others
  • Easily accessible with any internet source



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

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VII. International Uses

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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, 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.


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VIII. Google Writer Lesson Plans

Elementary School

Rhythm Baseball

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.

PROJECT 2 lesson paln edci 270.doc

PROJECT 2 lesson paln edci 270.pdf

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.

How to care for a dog lesson plan.doc
How to care for a dog lesson plan.pdf

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 Plate.docx

My Plate.pdf

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.

 lesson plan chapter books and google docs.docx

lesson plan chapter books and google docs.pdf

Google Docs Lesson Plan

High School

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.  

 Let's Get Healthy

 Let's Get Healthy PDF


Description: This is a lesson plan that has children interact with foreign speaking countries.

Interacting with Spanish Native Speakers

Interacting with Spanish Native Speaker.pdf


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.

 project 1 college lesson plan.docx

project 1 college lesson plan.pdf 

College lesson plan.pdf

College lesson plan.pdf


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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18"" August 05, 2008.

19"" February 01, 2008

20"" November 11, 2007

21"" December 22, 2008

22"" Retrieved April 21, 2009

23"" Retrieved February 16, 2011

24"" Retrieved February 16, 2011

25"" Retrieved February 16, 2011

26"" Retrieved February 21, 2010

27"" Retrieved February 21, 2010

28"" Retrieved February 21, 2010

30"" Retrieved February 21, 2010

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  1. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hi Group 13! My name is Rachel, and I am your project manager.  I am really excited to be working with all of you, and I hope that we can create a successful project!  Since we will all be working with each other during the upcoming weeks, please introduce yourself to the group.  I am a sophomore, but I am a transfer student so this is my first year at Purdue. I am a Social Studies Education major.  I enjoy playing tennis, and I have spent the past couple of summers working as a tennis instructor for my city's park and recreation department. I hope to become a high school tennis coach in the future.  I also enjoy playing the piano and soccer.

    If any of you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment here. Also, do not hesitate to send me an email:     

  2. Unknown User (pnewton)

    Hey everybody! I'm Patrick and I am one of the writers for the website.  The researchers of the group can send me their research at my email so I can type it up on the wiki.  I am majoring in Social Studies Education and also like playing tennis and basketball.  I look foward to working with you guys, and if you have any research for our wiki just tell me what subject on the table of contents it relates too and email it to me ASAP.  Thanks! 

  3. Unknown User (kgunning)

    Hey! My name is Katie Gunning, I am a freshman this year majoring in Elementary Education. I am from Seattle, Wa and I am obsessed with dance and cheer! I will be working with Rachel on the visual side of the website, if you have any questions or comments please email me:

  4. Unknown User (ssneary)

    Hey Group!!!!  My name is Steve and I am going to be a researcher!  I am really looking forward to working with everyone and getting above a 66 on this project.  I am a sophomore and I plan on either teaching social studies or physical education.  I love sports and I played basketball in highschool.  I want to be a basketball coach if I become a teacher some day.  My email is if anyone ever needs to contact me.  Don't hesitate to ask me any question either.

  5. Unknown User (bmcollin)

    Hi!  My name is Brooke and I am a freshman at Purdue.  I'll be one of the editors for the project.  I am working towards an Elementary Education major and transferring into the College of Education.  I love to read, play volleyball, and go hiking.  I'm from a very small town in southern Indiana and hope to go back there and teach someday.  I would eventually like to become an Elementary Guidance Counselor or the Principal of a school. 

  6. Unknown User (bdbennet)

    What's up Group 13! My name is Bryce and I'm helping out with the writing portion of Project II. I work at Purdue Sports Information writing feature articles on athletes, so I think writing is probably the best way I can support this group. I'm a freshman this year majoring in Secondary Social Studies Education. I'm from Indianapolis, IN and some of my hobbies include sports, music (I play guitar, piano, banjo), and hanging out with friends. I'm looking forward to an awesome project and hopefully we all can do well enough to not have to take the final!

  7. Unknown User (aakemp)

    Hey everyone!! My name is Alyssa and I'm helping out with the research part of Project II.  I am majoring in Elementary Education and so far I am absolutely in love with it! I like to hang out with my friends and act crazy/silly like there isn't a care in the world, just to get the stress of school to go away. I'm a freshman by the way if anyone cared to know and well that's about it. If you have any questions or anything like that my email is: Im excited to work with everyone here because I have a pretty good feeling that we all know how to pull our own weight and make this project awesome! See ya guys on Monday! (smile)

  8. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hey Group!

    Please be sure to look at the new Rules and Responsibilities page! Remember to post any questions you have or send me an email!

  9. Unknown User (bbarber)

    Hi i am Brandyn and i will help with the research with this project.  I am majoring in math education.  I work as an intramural supervisor at the corec. i love sports and hope to coach and ref along with teaching.

  10. Unknown User (ssneary)

    Is google writer and google docs the same thing?  I am confused because our title is google writer but the website on here has to do with google docs.  Can someone please clear this up?

  11. Unknown User (baguayo)

    Hey Group! My name is Beatrice but you can call me Bea. I'm a sophomore and I'm studying to become a Spanish teacher. I'm from St. John in Northwest Indiana. I'm going to be the editor for this project and I'm excited to be albe to work with everyone and have an amazing project. My e-mail is  (tongue)  

  12. Unknown User (ryee)

    Steve and to the rest of the group,

    Google Writer is a component of Google Docs. If you go to Google Docs, you can see that there are 3 different types of documents you can create. You can created a word document (which is what our group is focusing on!) a presentation, or a spreadsheet.  I hope this clears up your confusion. If it doesn't, then let me know.

    Also Steve, two of the topics that you want to focus your reasearch on is already being researched by Alyssa. Can you please choose two other topics?   

  13. Hi everyone. My name is Paula Hughes and I am a Hairdressing Teacher at a College in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. I have three boys aged 10 months, 5 years and 7 years ... so busy is my middle name! I am completing a further degree in education, but technology and computers are my weakest area ... so i hope you all can bear with me as i struggle through it all. I am working through my husband's email address as i am just completing my last month of maternity leave so feel free to contact me at

  14. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hi Paula! We are really excited to have you as part of our group! Have you been getting my emails? It sounds like you are really busy, but if you can find time we would really like to schedule a chat session with you via AIM, Skype, or Google Talk.  If you do not use any of these services, I would be happy to help you set up an account. We could schedule a time that is conveinent for you (well, as long as it's not 1-6 o'clock in the morning our time). Please give us some possible dates and times, and hopefully we can make this chat session work! 

  15. Hello everyone. My name is Michael Humphries and I am a Retail Teacher at a TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Institute in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.I have a lovely wife,two grown up sons and a spoilt labrador dog.I work two jobs and I only have three more units, including this one, to complete, in order to receive my degree.Some of you may have seen the movie " He's just not that into you" ,well to be perfectly honest I am not that into computers and the technology that goes with them. So i don't look at facebook or AIM,Skype etc and shock,horror i don't even text. So i find this whole experience very confronting and challenging!! However, i do enjoy learning and I am looking forward to participating and contributing to this project.

  16. Unknown User (ryee)

    Welcome to the group Michael! We are all looking forward to working with you. I am hoping that our chat session on Sunday will work out. Please let me know if you have any questions!

  17. Unknown User (bdbennet)


    I'll take the I, II, III, and VI in the table of contents if you don't mind...


    1. Unknown User (pnewton)

      Hey Bryce I just saw this post sorry.  Do you mind if you can do number five in the table of contents.  That is the last one we need!  For number Three we can simply post the pictures that Rachel and Katie sent under the How Does Google Writer Work link under the heading Children on the main web page.  I tried to paste those pictures on the website but it didnt work for me.  Sorry about the late communication.

  18. Unknown User (ryee)

    Things are looking fantastic guys! Excellent work! (big grin)

    Patrick, I think I've solved the problem. I believe that Katie needs to attach the pictures to the main page. I'll let her know!

  19. Unknown User (baguayo)

    Hey guys, I added my lesson plans but something came up above that? I have no idea what it is or how to take it off? Does anyone have any idea?

  20. Unknown User (baguayo)

    Okay, sorry i figured it out!  (big grin)

  21. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hey Group! The first draft looks amazing! I believe that all of your hardwork this week/weekend has really paid off!

    Great job everyone!

  22. Unknown User (bmcollin)

    i finally was able to find some more info about my topic!  it's the second paragraph under "Can Google Writer be Used in Conjunction with Other Applications" section so whoever needs to can look it over.  Thanks!

  23. Unknown User (ssneary)

    Page looks awesome!!!  Everyone did a great job!

  24. Unknown User (ssneary)

    Page looks awesome!!!  Everyone did a great job!

  25. G'day Rachel and Group 13,

    Apologies for the late introduction, better late than never I suppose.

    I attempted to post this comment on Saturday 04/04/09 however, this comment did not appear.

    My name is Mike Hawley and I teach Metal Fabrication/Welding at the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE. I have three courses left to complete my Bachelor of Further Education and Training. Unfortunately, my 'I.T' experience is limited, but I look forward to learning about Web 2.0 and Google Writer.

    I have a question regarding participation in this project. What does the group require from me? Kind regards, Mike

  26. Unknown User (ryee)

    Welcome to the group, Michael!

    Since you are from Australia, I believe that our group would really benefit by having you help answer the question, "How is Google Writer used in other countries? Are there unique features of Google Writer that may be more relevant to those outside of the US?"  If you have information to share, please click on this folder (located under the heading that says 'children') and edit that page. If you have any questions, please ask! We look forward to working with you!  (smile)

  27. Unknown User (ssneary)

    Hey Everyone!  I went to the TRC after class and was a little disappointed with what they had.  All they have is the paper in the rolls and the letter cutters.  They did not have any construction paper to make the letters and we deff. need that.  The other paper will not work to well if we try and make the letters out of that.  So yea all they had were the letter cutters and the rolls of paper in white, blue, green, red, yellow.  We need to figure out what all we need so we can get all the materials for Thursday.  I know we will for sure need construction paper.  Thats pretty much it. 

  28. Unknown User (ryee)

    Thanks for going to the TRC today Steve!

    I say that we get the paper from there and use it for the background. I believe that we can make the letters ourselves out of construction paper. We can print out the letters on the computer and then trace them onto construction paper and cut them out. Does this sound like a good idea?

    I have created a new page entiteld "Group 13 Presentation." If you can bring any of the items, then add your  name to the list!

  29. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hi guys!

    I just wanted to remind you that we are having our second chat session tonight at 7 p.m. (9:00 a.m. in Australia). on AIM. Please send me an IM at mavtennismenace so that I can send you an invitation to the chat room! Talk to you guys tonight!

  30. Unknown User (mlechlit)

    Hey group 13! Just wanted you to know we attatched our evaluation to your page.

    Looks good!

    -Prezi, group 16

    1. G'day Mackenzie,

      Where can I find your evaluation?

      Kind regards,

      Mike Hawley (Australia)

  31. Unknown User (ryee)

    Hey Group!

    I uploaded the brochure that I created onto the wiki page. I also added PDF and Word Documents of all of the lesson plans. Please review the page carefully before tomorrow and make any necessary changes! I will see all of you tomorrow! (smile)

  32. G'day Group 13,

    The brochure looks great.

    Rachel, can I contribute more to this project?

    Where to from here?

    I have loaded AIM, not sure what to with it.

    Kind regards,

    Mike Hawley

  33. Unknown User (ryee)

    Michael, the American group members are finished with the project. I understand that you are still supposed to be working on the project? Please feel free to make any changes or add any information that you wish. If there are any specific tasks that you need to complete for your course, then please let me know how I can help you reach your goals.

    Group, it has been really great working with all of you! I appreciate all of the hard work that you have put into this project! (smile)