Google Docs is a cloud-based word processor that can be accessed directly through any web browser. Documents are automatically saved to Google’s servers (Google Drive), and a revision history is automatically kept so past edits may be viewed (although this only works for adjacent revisions, and there is currently no way to find and isolate changes in long documents). Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes.
Docs also gives users the ability to share the document. Typically when a normal document is shared the recipient accesses a copy from one point in time. With a Google Doc the document is shared in real-time, so recipients can always access the most recent version of the document. Doc owners can also grant permissions for the recipient to comment on the document, edit, or revision. This introduces real-time collaboration, where multiple users can be editing the same document simultaneously, see each others’ edits, and even chat with each other in a sidebar. There are many other powerful features in Google Docs.
UNCC has the basic Google Apps suite available for all faculty, staff, and students.