Google Docs: A Case Study
I’m right smack in the middle of finals week, and that means I am more prone to distraction and procrastination than ever. But let me show you a little something before I get back to writing my last paper of the semester.
I’m enrolled in the honors program here at LMU. The LMU honors program is a little different compared to most colleges. There are only about 30 people from each class year in the program, and we all take the same humanities classes, regardless of our major (or how much we beg and plead). I had to take a class called “Republic to Prince” for the honors core.
“Republic to Prince” is a western civ class. I am not interested in western civ.
To keep myself interested in this typical lecture/discussion honors class, I would bring my laptop to class. I took notes on it. The professor’s delivery tended to deliver a crucial nugget of information about every 3 minutes of this 75 minute class. He also handed out an outline/agenda for each class period.
I quickly copied these outlines into a Google Docs at the beginning of every class. I would then fill in his sparse outline with his lecture as the class went along. Because a lot of the information was not particularly noteworthy all the time, I could safely surf the net or work on something else.
The final exam for this class is tomorrow with a final paper as well, and I think I will do well enough. Writing the paper has been pretty easy, thanks to Google’s kick-ass searching. If I think I’m stretching a point, I can instantly bring up that point in a lecture without having to thumb through a notebook. This is great for both studying for the exam and writing the paper.
Did I also mention that I published all of these notes online for my classmates? That probably scored a point or two somewhere. Because they’re all online anyway, I made a simple HTML page that just lists all of them and uploaded it to http://www.hackcollege.com/honors/. Not only can I help myself, but I can (hopefully) help my classmates as well.
The point I’m trying to make here is that Google Docs is awesome and cool. The downside is that you need a laptop and a wireless connection, not something every student and school is going to have.
I hope this helped, but I’ve got get back to writing about Bartolome de Las Casas.
A Side Point to be Made:
Any professor who does not appreciate there notes being published online needs to reconsider which century they decided to live in. But be careful, some curmudgeons may pursue you for “cheating.” God forbid we share information!