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Student Responses to Google Docs

Written by Kristi Bancroft
March 26, 2011

At the end of the second quarter, I asked students to write a journal entry describing their experience with Google Docs and the pros and cons. Here are some sample responses, but overwhelmingly students prefer Google Docs to Microsoft Word and Open Office, and many of them have started to use Google Docs for all of their written assignments and presentations; they really like it as a method for not only submitting work, but organizing and keeping track of all of their work. Here are a few of their reviews of Google Docs:

I like using Google Docs because the advantages “outweigh” the disadvantages. Some of the advantages are that you can hand in a document at say 3 a.m. If you want to. All you have to do is share it with your teacher! Another advantage is that you can share it with them when you first start a project. Then your teacher can comment and give you ideas on it while your working on it. Another advantage is that Google Docs automatically saves your document on its own every few seconds. You can also access your Google Docs account from any hard drive, so you don’t have to worry if your laptop breaks or crashes. One con is that not everyone has Internet at their houses. Most kids do, but I know one teen in my class that is incapable of accessing Google Docs from their house.
Ethan E.

I think using Google Docs is really cool and I like it. It’s an advantage because instead of printing things, or writing it all down, you can just share it with your teacher and there you go. Also it’s easier to keep in touch with your teacher, like if you were working on something and you weren’t doing something right your teacher could just go on and look at it and correct it. Both of you could be working on it, instead of continually printing or what not. The disadvantages are that it’s really slow, or it is just our computers. I don’t really like the slide show presentation thing on here. Key Note, last year has way more options and it’s a lot easier to use. Google Docs Presentation is really hard to get used to if you used Key Note or something before. Also Google Docs doesn’t have many font options.
Katelyn B.

Google Docs is generally a very good tool. Google Docs allows many things that standard typing programs do not. For instance Google Docs allows you to work on your documents from any computer. This is a great tool because you don’t have to worry about bringing your computer anywhere. Google Docs also lets you share the documents with other people instantly. The only disadvantage I have found with Google Docs is that it is like any other website and you have to rely on Internet. This means that your documents will freeze occasionally and you will have to wait for them to load to continue working. Also, if you close your laptop and then open it later, it can take a very long time for Google Docs to reconnect.
Zach H.

For me, Google Docs has has its ups and downs. It’s WAY easier than writing by hand or on a word processor then printing it out and handing it in. It’s a much easier way to get work in, but, there are some things that really frustrate me. Sometimes I’ll forgot to title some of my documents or forget to share with my teacher, and then it gets really hard to find them, or my teachers will just not even tell me I haven’t shared something with them and then all of a sudden my grade’s lower than it was before and that makes me mad. But, in the end I do like using Google Docs more than handwriting or using a word processor and handing it in; it is easier to keep track of things because they’re on Google Docs.
Julia F. 

This year, so far, has been a little easier to get through using Google Docs. Some pros are that we can turn things in at a a click of a mouse, and you can have multiple people working on the same item for group presentations. I guess there’s really only one con, that’s if someone does not have Internet access or their Netbook is dead or broken. If that happens, they’d have to write and write and write. I like using Google Docs, because it’s safe; it’s secure; it’s fast. I love the “Equation” function; it helps with math work and such if I type it out. Another pro for Google Docs is the bandwidth usage. It doesn’t have much video, images, or many moving items. It uses up minimum bandwidth and it’s easy to use on such a large network being accessed by so many students.
Jeff C.

I like using Google Docs. It saves automatically and I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about losing my paper or about printing it off before my next class. I get annoyed with Google Docs because it kind of is slow and has malfunctions. The cons of Google Docs are that if you don’t have Internet you can’t share a project with someone or you can’t work on it either. The pros are that you can upload your project if you have the time and someone can work on it with you, but you don’t have to make plans with them to work on it. I am a little unsure about how much I like it, but I need to get used to it. Give it time and I might come to like it a lot.
Frankee T.