Google Docs: The New Social Platform for Teens

The latest trend for communicating during school hours is to use Google Docs to chat with their friends. The app has become a staple in the workplace and in schools, as the program offered through Google offers easy sharing, collaboration and automatically saves the users work.

Furthermore, more than one person can be working on a document in real time. While many parents and educators are familiar with Google Docs, they may not be as familiar with the chat or messaging feature. The feature appears to the right of the document and can, in a sense, turn into a chat room.

According to The Atlantic, students tend to use Google Docs to chat anytime they need to put their phone away in school. Many teachers are not aware of the live-chat function, nor are they aware of the "highlight" function that allows words or phrases to be highlighted and commented on in a pop-up box on the right side of the document. To the casual viewer, it would appear the student is taking notes. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the Resolve button, and the entire thread will disappear.

Ask your students if they have used Google Docs in class. Do they feel it is used appropriately by other students? Have they witnessed cyber-bullying through the Google feature?