Use Google Docs For Powerful, Collaborative School Note-Taking

Students are probably already familiar with Google Docs' collaborative tools for projects, but weblog HackCollege shows us how great it can be for simple note-taking during class, too.

It's so simple, yet so genius, that I'm shocked I didn't see any of this when I was in university. Lots of people will get together and compare notes to create massive study guides, but since Google Docs lets you collaborate in real time, why not just take the notes together in the first place? With a few different people working on the same set of notes, you can get a lot more written down than you could by yourself (especially if you have a fast-talking professor). The key, they say, is giving everyone a job:

The hardest part about this is keeping everybody from writing down the same thing at once, so get together with your partners before class and assign some responsibilities. The fastest typist can be in charge of copying whatever's on the board or Powerpoint, while someone else fills in the details from the teacher's lecture. You can even have someone in charge of scouring the internet for vocal terms or other easily-searchable information that comes up, and drop links into the document. The goal here is to divide and conquer, because with distributed note taking, you can focus all of your energies on doing one task extremely well, and rely on your partners to fill in behind you.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but could be quite a boon for your studying. Hit the link below to read the full post and see a video of it in action.

Use Google Docs to Tag-Team Class Note Taking [HackCollege]


    If everyone's going to be a cog in a machine to get notes down quickly and accurately, you have to wonder why the school/university/college doesn't just issue everyone with printed notes in the first place.

    Sadly the school system is anti google. At least on school issued computers. I wanted my high school student to use google docs but when we tried to access it the NSW Dept of Education had it blocked along with gmail, google talk, and the usual social sites and tools. I guess they thought the collaborative ability gave kids the chance to chat instead of work.

    I use this tool. Very useful in collaborating your reports to clients. Sharing docs is simply very convenient saves time in attaching and sending emails!

    The point of note-taking is usually retention. By writing down notes, you will be able to recall the content with more ease later down the track. Group note-taking defeats the purpose of note-taking, and many universities already provide audiovisual recordings of every lecture, plus the power-point slides.

    But in saying that, almost every other collaboration task Google Docs is indeed the way to go!

    what if you have no friends in university?

    My Uni (UQ) uploads the powerpoint slides onto the internet a few days before the lecture and even then, records most lectures and uploads them to the internet with a video feed as well. Do other Universities not do this?

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