The web application that I chose to explore is Google Docs. It’s probably hard for some to believe, but I had really never heard of Google Docs before this course started. Since then I have used it for a variety of things and I really like the idea of it. I like that it is pretty much an alternative to using Microsoft Word, but provides even more or just as many tools as Word does. What I really like about it is the simplicity. Instead of having to worry about constantly saving a document to a pen drive or to your computer, Google Docs does the thinking for you and saves all documents to the same location. This eliminates the issues that can arise when working on documents such as losing a pen drive or forgetting to save a document.
Although I see students in middle and high school really benefiting from Google Docs, I also feel that my 2nd graders could work to learn how to use certain aspects of the application and benefit from it. One of the skills in Language Arts that we cover throughout the year is comparing and contrast. We work to compare and contrast stories, characters, settings, etc. This is a fairly easy topic to understand, but a lot of my students are visual learners and like to be able to see a visual of this concept. I tend to use Venn diagrams to show them how to compare and contrast. I think it would be really beneficial to have students use the Google Drawings tools to have my students create their own Venn diagrams to compare two ideas. This could easily be done on a piece of paper or on the chalkboard, but by creating it on Google Docs it brings the concept of comparing and contrasting to life. Also, it would be a great way for me to assess my students on their ability to compare and contrast by having them submit their finished product to me. Also, if they were not able to complete their assignment in the time given, they would know that it would be saved for them in a location that would be easy to retrieve once they were ready to pick up where they left off. As my students become familiar with different aspects of this application, they will then be able to see all of the possibilities that Google Docs holds for learners.