Google Docs has had a commenting system for almost a year now. That system is a good one that I use for commenting on my students’ writing. In fact, I just finished commenting on half a dozen essays.
Today, Google announced an enhancement to the Google Docs commenting system. The enhancement is being called “discussions.” Discussions will allow document collaborators to have threaded conversations in the margins of a document. By including the @ symbol before a collaborator’s name you can reply directly to that person. Another option in discussions is the option to be notified via email of replies to your comments in Google Docs.
Right now discussions in Google Docs is only available for new documents. If you created a document prior to this morning, it won’t have the discussion feature enabled. Watch the video below to learn more about Google Docs discussions.
Discussions in Google Docs could be a great tool to use when editing students’ writing. Discussions could also be very handy for groups students that are working together to create a document. Students will be able to track each other’s changes and comments and reply directly to each other.