One of my biggest gripes about Google Docs the past year has been how miserable it was to use on an iPad. Some of you may have read that I heard from a Google engineer that they were updating the apps over the summer to allow editing on the iPad. Well, when summer came and went without an update I became skeptical. I am glad to report that now, as some of you may have found, editing is now a native function on the iOS apps for Google Drive.

On both the iPhone and the iPad, editing a Google Document is a pleasant and productive experience. You can tell that editing docs was not an afterthought in this version of Google Drive – it was intended from the beginning. This is great because if you had used the mobile version of Google Docs in the past, you are fully aware of how terrible it was.

This has tons of uses in your classroom, especially if you are in a 1:1 program. So many of our teachers have wanted to use Google Docs since we have a Google Apps for Education account for the district. That said, the experience up to this point has been so laden with errors it just hasn’t been realistic. Now, students can view, create, edit, and share documents from the Drive app directly on their device. This is a major update.

Here are some of the features of the Drive app:

  • View, Create, Edit, and Share Docs from iOS
  • View all types of documents (spreadsheets, slideshows)
  • Make documents available offline (awesome!)
  • Determine who has access (sharing) directly from the app
  • Move documents to new folders from the app (helpful if you want to move a document to a homework folder to signify the student ‘turning in’ an assignment)
  • Upload photos or video directly from the camera or camera roll in iOS


There are tons of uses for Google Docs in the classroom. How do you and your students use Google Docs?