Home >> A Awards >> 2011 >> Site Review: Google Docs

Search form

Site Review: Google Docs

Site URL:  Docs.Google.com     

Content:  Perhaps the most well-known cloud computing service, Google Docs allows users to create word processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets for free on any up-to-date computer with an Internet connection. The software never downloads or actively resides on your computer. Instead, everything happens on the Web site – much like when you check your email on a Web-based interface. Customers simply create a Google Docs account (a very simple procedure) and then can access the site from nearly any computer with an Internet connection in order to use it to create, edit or even share files.  

Design:  Google Docs has a stripped-down design that looks like a cross between a word processor screen and an email interface. There are very few buttons, so it's easy to start, open or save a document. The controls are all very intuitive, and anyone who can use a computer-based word processor or spreadsheet program will have no trouble using this. 

Review:  On the plus side, Google Docs gives you access to some pretty powerful document/presentation tools. The site also makes it very easy to collaborate or post documents in a place where a group has access to them. The only drawback with the service comes when it becomes time to print a document or download it into Microsoft Office or OpenOffice. In many cases, exporting to another program or printing leads to formatting errors and other oddities. The printing problems tend to be hard to resolve unless you download your file into Office first, which is easy to do. 

Bottom Line:  Google Docs offers quite a lot for free, and the fact that your documents are not tied to a specific computer makes the product very convenient. The site works very well as a supplement to traditional software like Office, and despite document formatting woes, it's simple to go back and forth between the two systems.


Article by Daniel B. Kline, Education World Contributing Editor
Education World®             
Copyright © 2011 Education World