6 – Google Docs & Drive


Google Docs is used to create documents, Google Sheets for spreadsheets, and Google Slides for slidesets  – individually or collaboratively.

Google Drive is the cloud storage service, where you can also up host other files.

Website: google.com/docs
Cost: Free
Availability: Online

Rankings in the previous surveys: 

2021: 6 2020: 7 2019: 6 2018: 6 2017: 4 2016: 5 2015: 4 2014: 2
2013: 2 2012: 3 2011:  3 2010: 3 2009: 5 2008: 17 2007: 14

Comments on Google Docs & Drive in 2022

“I used Google suite tools both for teacher-created content and student-created content. I used Slides as a direct teaching tool and for instructions, and had students use it to make their projects. Our grade-level newsletter was on Google Docs, as were student writing samples. All of these items were saved and organized in Google Drive. This is on the list because it was used on a near daily basis in my classroom in one way or another.” Teacher, USA

“Google Slides: Fewer features than PowerPoint, but makes up for it in simplicity and ease of use between multiple facilitators with different operating systems. Getting fonts or formatting to save between multiple presenters was a nightmare.” 2022

“the specific application here is word processing, and I use MS Word a lot as well, because the interface is nicer, but I’m listing Docs here because I’m able to share current versions of my work, and because of the potential for collaborative editing. This readers can share with me my work as I develop it. That said, it’s far from where it should be; I can’t manage references with it, there’s no real editing capabilities for larger works, internal cross-referencing is a pain, and I can’t connect it to a graph or database of resources.” Stephen Downes, Canada

“I consider this to be a top tool for learning. It’s where my team and I keep all of our documents and all of our projects; we can work with each other collaboratively, we can comment on any document at any time so that we can learn how to get better, and sometimes, so that we can learn what our client wants to see more of or less of in a project. So if one of us is on a call with a client, but other people are working on the project, we can all use the Google Drive to see kind of what the client’s thinking.” Brian Washburn, CEO Endurance Learning, USA

“Docs is my ‘go to’ for writing and sheets for managing data. Lots of helpful, time-saving addins worth checking out depending on what you’re working on.” Mike Taylor, Learning Design & Technology Consultant, USA

Previous comments on Google Docs & Drive

“I found it hard to leave Microsoft Word behind, but the ability to simultaneously work in a joint document is just so nice” Stefan Drenth, Content Creator, Netherlands, 2021

“Collaborative work; seamless upload and integration with other apps and programs; prevents tech excuses” Associate Professor, USA

“Docs is my ‘go to’ for writing and sheets for managing data. Lots of helpful, time-saving addins worth checking out depending on what you’re working on.” Mike Taylor, Consultant, USA, 2021

“Our team lives on Google Docs. As a collaborative virtual team, we can effortlessly share documents and integrate them with all our other tools seamlessly. In my role as Learning and Development Manager, I do a lot of writing and client relations work. I love how Google Docs makes it so easy to share documents internally and externally, and track versions, edits, and suggestions touched by several people.” Lauren Westcott, L&D Manager, USA, 2021

“Still the best for collaborative writing if formatting is needed. Use at university is also possible, just make sure that no sensitive data are shared/used.” Andrea Ghoneim, eDeveloper & support for digital teaching, Austria, 2021

“it’s still perfect for collaborative student activities if you need them to collaborate with ideas, concepts or similar activities” Lecturer, Lithuania, 2021

“Google Drive: The place to save everything and have access to it anytime you want on any laptop or computer.” JP, E-Learning Specialist, Suriname, 2021

“Google Sheets: Analysis of research data” Mags Almond, Researcher, Ireland, 2021

“Google Slides: I do all the interactive presentations in this tool, I adore it” Regina Vukasović, Biology and chemistry teacher, Croatia, 2021

“Google Slides is on my list at number two because you can do so much with it. I have created study guides linked to other websites or videos for students to learn from. I have shared the presentation for all students to edit and assign each student a slide to collaborate on. There are many possibilities when using Google Slides. Interactive lessons for students to work at their own pace are something I would like to try in the future.” Darren Vance, Middle School Math teacher, USA, 2021

“For Live Audiences/Presentations – Google slides has a built-in QR code generator, slide recorder allows for inserting videos quicker. Interact with the audience with Q&A which allows them to ask questions and get answers.” Linda-Jo Graham, Quality Assurance Consultant, USA, 2021

“IMO still the best way of making a collaborative slide show. Use at university is also possible, just make sure that no sensitive data are shared.” Andrea Ghoneim, eDeveloper & support for digital teaching, Austria, 2021

“A common tool for easy co-creation of content with colleagues or clients. Also supports collaborative planning for projects (sheets, for instance).” Catherine Shinners, Advisor, Consultant, USA, 2020

“I was going to put MS Word in here, and I do use it a lot, but over the last year I’ve found Docs to be a lot more useful, if for no other reason than that I can easily share documents in progress. As a result, I’ve put a lot of my research activities up on Docs and you can see as I putter away at various projects over time.” Stephen Downes, Canada, 2020

“Google Slides: Best web-enabled presentation Best embeddable presentation Multiple variations on link variables serve up slide deck especially for certain needs” Tonya V Thomas, Principal/Chief Effectiveness Officer, USA, 2020

“Google Slides: Creating hyperdocs or digital notebook for sharing.” Eunice, Adlut Educator, Singapore, 2020

“Google Sheets: Best online concurrent collaboration Rearrange columns/rows with drag/drop that Excel still doesn’t do Clean, simple, not overblown like Excel” Tonya V Thomas, Principal/Chief Effectiveness Officer, USA, 2020

“Google Drive: The file organization that rules all cloud-based platforms. Free and safe.” Jared, Visual Art Educator, USA, 2020

Google Drive: This is my go-to for storage. I literally store nothing on my laptop’s hard drive, but everything is located in the Drive so that it can be accessed anywhere. The offline work feature is a lifesaver when I may be somewhere with limited access to wifi. Overall, this is an excellent one-stop tool to organize myself with.” Librarian, 2020

“I can store any type of document on Google Drive and share it with others. The multiple sharing formats is helpful too (view only, suggest, or edit). It is also nice to be able to access the stored files from any device” Teacher, 2020

“Everything I write starts in Drive.” JD, LearnGeek, Canada

Quick Guide to Google Docs & Drive

Here you will find some basic guidance and links on how to use Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and Drive for teaching, training, learning and development.

  • Many individuals make use of Google Docs as a writing tool for personal and professional purposes, for drafting blog posts as well as for thesis writing.
  • In education it is a very popular tool for creating lesson plans, student guides, worksheets and handouts. It is also a very useful collaborative tool in the classroom.
  • In the workplace it is a useful tool to short job aids (checklists, quick reference guides, etc), simple training materials (like worksheets) as well as more complex (multi-page) instruction manuals.

To design attractive worksheets and other similar documents, the layout of the worksheet will benefit from the use of tables.

A checklist that consists of a list of items that can be checked off as an individual works through a task might be created using a table, or through the use of checkboxes.

For longer documents, you will need to make use of Google Docs’ more sophisticated features, e.g. clickable Table of Contents. This video shows you how to create a table of contents and other internal links within a Google Doc.

Although you may create a document in Google Docs it is very easy to then convert it into PDF format at this video shows.

Google Slides 

  • Individuals use Google Slides to create their own personal and professional documents
  • In the workplace and in educationGoogle Slides can be used create a very social (presentational) resource. Users can be invited to view, comment and/or edit slides (and even their own slides to the resource). This might be useful to capture (i.e. crowdsource) a collection of reflections or experiences around a topic or task.

Here’s an example of a Google Slides presentation that was originally started by Tom Barrett. I have made a copy of it, and it is now commentable and editable. You can access it on Google Drive here

Google Drive

Google Drive makes it very easy to share files at work or in education as this video shows.

Further resources

Last updated: August 27, 2022 at 16:17 pm

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