What is Google DocsGoogle Docs is a free Web-based office suite, and data storage service offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users (Wikipedia, 2011, para. 1).
History of Google DocsRecognizing a NeedGoogle Docs is a cluster of technologies that was developed from previous innovations: Writely and Google spreadsheets. The Google corporation purchased the company that delivered the Web-based, word processor- Writely, and combined this innovation with its own Google spreadsheets in 2006 (Wikipedia, 2011).
History of Google DocsBasic and Applied ResearchGoogle combined Google Spreadsheets with early technologies to produce Google Labs Spreadsheets in 2006.
History of Google DocsDevelopmentGoogle developed the innovation by adding program presentation capability and launched a new version of Google Docs in 2007.Google further developed the innovation after purchasing DocVerse which enabled the innovation to incorporate and allow, multiple user online collaboration on Microsoft Office compatible document formats such as Word, Excel, and Power Point (Wikipedia, 2011, para. 10), and launched its most updated version of Google Docs in 2011.
History of Google DocsCommercializationGoogle first made the innovation available to users of Google Apps.Google then marketed their innovation by advertising that, Google Docs would allow any file type, including 1GB of free space and $0.25/GB for additional storage (Wikipedia, 2011, para. 9). Google Docs is now available online, as open source technology, free of charge.
History of DiffusionDiffusion and AdoptionGoogle Docs has experienced popularity among businesses, students, and educational institutions due to no user fees, easy accessibility on the Internet, and its enhanced sharing features (Wikipedia, 2011, Features, para. 4).
Benefits of Google DocsGoogle Docs facilitates online collaboration in real-time, allowing users to open, share, and edit documents simultaneously. Google Docs basic benefits can be divided according to what the innovation allows users to do with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
Benefits of Google DocsDocumentsUpload and convert Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML, text (.txt), Open Office (.odt), and StarOffice Writer (.sxw) files (or create documents from scratch).Easily format your documents.Invite others by email to edit or view your documents.Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators.View your documents revision history and roll back to any version. Publish documents online to the world, as web pages or post documents to your blog.Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML, or zip.Email your documents out as attachments (Google, 2011, p.1)
Benefits of Google DocsSpreadsheetsImport and convert .xls, .csv, .txt, and .ods formatted data.Export .xls, .csv, .txt, and .ods formatted data and PDF and HTML files.Use formatting and formula editing so you can calculate results and make your data look the way you want it.Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet.Create charts and gadgets.Embed a spreadsheet, or individual sheets of your spreadsheet, in your blog or website (Google, 2011, pp. 1-2).
Benefits of Google DocsPresentationsShare and edit presentations with your friends and coworkers.Import and convert existing presentations in .ppt and .pps file types.Download your presentations as a PDF, a PPT, or a TXT file.Easily edit your presentations.Insert images in videos, and format your slides to fit your preferences.Allow real time viewing of your presentations, online, from separate remote locations.Publish and embed your presentations in the website, allowing access to a wide audience(Google, 2011, pp. 1-2).
The Innovation-Decision ProcessKnowledgeGoogle Apps users had knowledge of Google Docs on February, 2007. Google Docs introduced their new feature of the presentation program product on September, 2007.
The Innovation-Decision ProcessPersuasionGoogle started testing their latest site docs.google.com on January, 2011 to advertise their benefits to potential adopters: Potential adopters could access documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without going to various sites or using separate software. Potential adopters could also access their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations anywhere they can find Internet connection. Potential adopters can share their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with others.Potential adopters can engage in collaborative activity using Google Docs to allow group members to co-create, co-edit, chat, and present knowledge.
The Innovation-Decision ProcessDecisionBojanova and Pang (2010) developed an study regarding the use of various Web 2.0 and 3.0 technology to enhance graduate level courses and engage graduate students. They selected Google Docs, because of its collaborative features (p. 229), and found that 68% of their respondents preferred using Google Docs for the reasons the researchers chose to implement the software.
The Innovation-Decision ProcessImplementationStudents seem to prefer the multiple editing capabilities of the Google system (Rienzo & Han, 2009, p. 125). The adopters of this innovation prefer this software to its competitors due to the simultaneous editing capabilities of Google docs and the more versatile organizational possibilities of the Google system (Rienzo & Han, 2009, p. 125).
Communication ChannelsInternet Communication ChannelGoogle Docs is cloud computing software that is available online and as such, the Internet is a major communication channel. Bradley (2010) commented that, Google is virtually synonymous with the Web and thus has the advantage when it comes to online collaboration.
Communication ChannelsInterpersonal ChannelsSince the software is used for business and educational purposes, interpersonal communication channels, both local and cosmopolite are factors in the spread of the benefits of this innovation. Jensen (2010) wrote about how she touted the benefits of Google Docs to colleagues and students and influenced the learning community to adopt the innovation with great success. Jensen (2010) trained some students to use the software for a project and after completion of the project, she interviewed the students.
Slide 17:Communication ChannelsLine 1:Interpersonal ChannelsJensen (2010) shared, None had heard of Google Docs before their teacher and I introduced it in class. Students liked Google Docs better than trying to use email or flash drive. All of the students felt that it was a very useful tool and could see themselves using it in the future (p. 53).
Innovation-Decision ProcessThe Confirmation StageJensen (2010) added, Over all, we are very impressed with Google Docs. It saves time and headaches for all of us (teachers, students, myself included). I have requested that my school district sign up for Google for Schools (p. 53).In this situation the early adopter/change agent introduced, taught, and persuaded other teachers and students to adopt the innovation. The adopter decided to continue use of the innovation over time, and also recommended that her school district, a large decision-making unit, adopt the innovation as well.
Rate of Adoption
Adopter CategoriesInnovatorsInnovators of Google Docs might be educational specialists and media specialists. These individuals have more cosmopolite networks and attend conferences and seminars outside of their local school districts where they would learn of the innovation. As gatekeepers of the flow of new ideas into their local school districts, they would introduce the innovation to the teachers in their schools (Rogers, 2003).Least resistance would be an effective strategy for this group, since change agents could impress these professionals with the ease, flexibility, and no cost option of Google Docs and rely on the innovators to release the innovation in their local school districts (Rogers, 2003).
Adopter CategoriesEarly AdoptersEarly adopters would be instructors who use technology in the classroom to enhance their pedagogical styles and engage learners. These individuals would learn of the innovation through interpersonal communication networks that consist of tech savvy faculty from their school and local districts. These individuals would receive training to use the technology in their local areas. The adoption of the innovation by these early adopters would trigger adoption by their colleagues and cohorts as they are respected individuals known for adopting effective best practice methods in the classroom (Rogers, 2003).These adopters would be most persuaded by their networks to adopt the innovation- diffusion is a social process with an innovation moving through interpersonal networks (Rogers, 2003, p. 297).
Adopter CategoriesLaggardsThe individuals most likely to reject this innovation would be teachers who do not trust the open nature of Google Docs and feel that the application may not be secure enough for use. These instructors may feel that the innovation has no relative advantage over the Microsoft Office suite. The strategy of greatest resistance could be used with this demographic, by targeting these rejectors specifically through local seminars and workshops designed to illustrate the many benefits of the innovation at no cost to the user.
Perceived Attributes Google Docs is characterized by certain perceived attributes that could help the innovation meet critical mass in the realm of education. The relative advantages of Google Docs is that it is free to users; it possesses interoperability in that the software supports other formats; the software supports multiple browsers- Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome; and the program affords and facilitates collaboration as it allows users to share, edit, publish, and therefore co-create knowledge (Lynn, 2009).These advantages render Google Docs compatible with the needs of the instructor who desires to build and maintain a 21st century classroom where activities are designed to be engaging, enthralling, and to meet the needs of a diverse learner population. The innovation is relatively simple to use, and its online accessibility gives it trialability and observability. It is easy to observe ones cohorts utilizing Google Docs in their classroom and it is simple to try it ones own classroom to get a feel for the program and its usefulness for creating, editing, and publishing collaborative learning projects.
Centralized and Decentralized Diffusion SystemI believe that a combination of a centralized and decentralized diffusion process best suits this innovation. Teachers who can benefit from the adoption of Google Docs are a relatively homogenous group in terms of their needs. The innovation can influence pedagogy by facilitating collaborative group activities. The innovation is also not a technologically complicated to use, however, it would be useful to have training and exposure to the product from a technical expert who can show the teachers all that the innovation could contribute to the practice of teaching and learning.
The Roles of Key Change Agents in the Diffusion ProcessKey change agents in the diffusion of Google Docs could be the schools Media Specialist or Educational Technologist. These experts would assume the roles of the change agent which reflect:Building an information exchange relationship where the change agent supplies adequate information about how Google Docs would suit teachers needs and solve problems they may be experiencing in the classroom regarding facilitating collaboration.Motivating the teachers to develop a desire to learn more about Google Docs and they ways in which the innovation could influence pedagogy.Assisting teachers in translating their desires into action. (Rogers, 2003).
Critical MassThe slight S-Curve indicates that Google Docs would have achieved critical mass somewhere around 320,000 users.
References:Bojanova, I., & Pang, L. (2010). Enhancing graduate courses through creative application of cutting edge technologies. International Journal of Learning, 17(3), 225-240.Bradley, T. (September, 2010). Collaborate in real time with Google docs. PC World, 28(9), 30-30.Google. (2011). Google docs basics. Retrieved from http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=49008&hl=en_USJensen, T. (May/June, 2010). No student email at school? Google docs to the rescue! Library Media Connection, 28(6), 52-53.Lynn, S. (November, 2009). Microsoft office Web apps vs. Google Docs. Retrieved from http://www.crn.com/news/applications-os/221601298/microsoft-office-web-apps-vs-google-docs.htm;jsessionid=qyuItYhPmOqR1N+WQXTFvA**.ecappj01Rienzo, T, & Han, B. (2009). Microsoft or google Web 2.0 tools for course management. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 123-127.Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. New York, NY: Free Press.Schonfeld, E. (December, 2007). Google spreadsheets edges out google docs in usage. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2007/12/07/google-spreadsheets-edges-out-google-docs-in-usage/Wikipedia. (2011). Google docs. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Docs