Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Edit Google Docs on a Field Trip

Google made a couple of noteworthy announcements today (here and here) regarding Google Docs. The most noteworthy of the two announcements is that new version of the Google Docs editor (the version launched last spring) now supports editing from Android and iOS powered devices including the iPad. To edit from your mobile device just go to Docs.Google.com then while viewing the document you want to edit press the "edit" button to switch to the mobile version. This feature will be rolled-out over the next few days. Watch the video below to see the mobile editor in action.


The second announcement Google made today regarding Google Docs is an enhancement to auto-correcting typing mistakes and an enhancement to the equation editor. The auto-correct feature allows you to specify which words Google Docs will correct for you. The equation editor now allows for LaTeX shortcuts to type out equations.

Applications for Education
When I read about the option for mobile editing of Google Docs my thoughts immediately went to field reporting. Mobile editing of Docs means that students can on a field trip, outside collecting data, or riding the school bus and working on their documents. Here's what I'm thinking about, a common field trip for New England area students is to go to Boston and walk the Freedom Trail. While walking the Freedom Trail students can record observations and make notes directly into a working document that they then elaborate on when they return to school.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google for Teachers
Twenty Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers
Google for Teachers II