What a great feature that, until now, I knew nothing about and it's free! Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a web-based word processing and spreadsheet program. A user can allow other users to make changes to the documents from their work or personal computers.
A user can use Google Docs & Spreadsheets to create new files or upload existing files from a word processor or spreadsheet file. It is extremely easy to navigate, it's as if you are using your old trusty word processor. I love that I can choose who can access my files. This will be a wonderful feature when collaborating with teammates at work. We can upload our existing files that may include lesson plans and reproducibles. This will allow each of us to edit these documents. An even better feature is that we can all do this at the same time! I would also use Google Docs & Spreadsheets to share my sub plans with my teammates.
My students can use Google Docs & Spreadsheets to submit papers to me. It would be an easy way for me to edit a draft and provide input to my students so that they can make changes from home. I can even upload papers from previous classes to use as examples in the future.
Another great feature about Google Docs & Spreadsheets is that it allows you to organize information in folders and save the documents in your own files on your computer. A user can publish their work as a web page (and control who views the page) and use Google Apps (there is actually an Education Edition!) to publish only within a group. I can use this feature to create a web page accessible only to my students and their parents. I can also publish newsletters this way to save time on copying and distributing.
For more information on the Education Edition of Google Apps you can visit the following web site: http://www.google.com/a/edu/.
I used Google Docs to upload a newsletter that I used in my third grade classroom. I plan to keep this newsletter on Google Docs & Spreadsheets so that I can modify it to meet my needs in Howard County. This newsletter can be found under the Web 2.0 Examples section of my blog.