Google Docs is no longer just a powerful collaborative tool for students and professionals, as teenagers now use the software as a messaging app in the middle of the classes.
Teens have reportedly upgraded from passing notes written on small pieces of paper to sending digital messages through Google Docs, and unsuspecting teachers have no way of capturing them, as laptops become ordinary middle and secondary luminaires, according to The Atlantic.
With their phones sitting away in the classroom, a teenager told the Atlantic that they were moving to Google Docs to talk to each other. Sometimes they use the software's live chat feature, which is not open by default and is not known by many teachers. The service also allows users to highlight specific words or phrases that students can comment on via pop-up boxes. If a teacher shares a file, they will clone it and chat in the comments to make it look like they are taking notes. If the teacher is nearby, they can click the Resolve button to delete all traces of their conversations.
Teens also sometimes creates a common Google Doc file where they can chat all day in school, even when in different classrooms, using different fonts to differentiate who says what. So at the end of the classes they can simply delete the file and start a new one the following day.
Google Docs as a secret messaging app is also supposedly used at home, for teenagers who are banned from their phones or social media, while their homework is not finished. Parents can see what appears to be a school project, but they do not know that their child is also in a chat room with friends.
Google Docs allow users to create documents and collaborate with others, with the files stored online for easy access, and experienced teens have impressively found their alternative use as something like Snapchat for classrooms. The software has both a built-in grammar checker and grammar, so hopefully, Google Docs will at least help students write their secret chats with proper grammar.