I hope by now most people have at least heard of Google Docs, if not dabbled with it a little bit. Google Docs is a great tool for script writing in drama and it’s a cinch to use if yourself or your students are not familiar with it.
Back in 2005, a company called Writely was busy creating a new browser-based word processor that attracted the attention of Google. Being the cash cow that it is, in March 2006 Google acquired Writely and employed its founders (as they did with YouTube six months later), so that the Writely product could evolve into what we know today as Google Docs. In the beginning I recall Google Docs as a simple application with only a few options. Today Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that can be accessed from any web broser, irrespective of device or operating system.
Here’s why Google Docs is the perfect tool for students to write scripts in your drama class:
- The editing window looks just like Word with a wide array of formatting tools.
- More than one person can edit a single document at the same time, meaning a group of five can all be contributing to their play script simultaneously on different devices in the classroom.
- If more than one person is editing a document, their name and cursor position appears on the document for all shared members of the document to see.
- Groups can even chat about the developing play script in a chat sidebar as they write the content. Web 2.0 to the max!
- Who said the classroom is the best place to be? Because Google Docs is online and browser-based, group members can write a drama script at the same time in different locations (eg. at various homes between lessons). All they need is an Internet connection.
- You can share any document with just who you want to, but this can also include students sharing a script with their drama teacher, too.
- Documents can be edited by up to 50 people and shared with up to 200 people.
- Permissions can be set for different users to read or comment only on documents, but not edit.
- Documents can be downloaded and saved as doc, odt, rtf, pdf, txt, html, zipped.
- Documents can also be printed, published to the web, emailed or have images inserted.
Google Docs represents real time collaborative learning. Almost every day I have drama students at different year levels share a Google Doc with me as their teacher; everything from scripts to master props lists to rehearsal schedules.
In order to use Google Docs, a free Google account is required.