I'm all in when it comes to Google Docs! Google Docs will do about 99% of everything a student will need to do (including brochures, tables and other types of specialty formatting).
Google Docs is FREE and cloud based. Even if a student doesn't have a computer they can still access it at school or anywhere they have an Internet connection. Just a few years ago we used to have so many issues with students trying to print a document that originated on a home computer. Either we didn't have the software or the versions didn't mesh. That is not an issue with Google Docs. Files aren't corrupted and students don't have to stress over trying to upload a file from a flash drive.
The second but perhaps most important reason I like Google Docs is because it's collaborative. For instance, we're in the midst of updating the Counseling Center website and putting the "Junior Plan Book" online. It will live as a google document, shared with department chairpersons and any changes will automatically be updated, live.
For those of you that keep portfolios, this is an opportunity for a student to have an electronic portfolio and for you to view their work from one year to the next. Imagine being able too see what a student's writing was like in 8th grade compared to 10th grade.
If you don't think that collaboration is real, think again. I'll use a project that my husband is working on right now as an example. It's for a large military installation with over 21 consultants. Each consultant is responsible for a separate piece of the project and required to submit a final report. The final product contains 97 spreadsheets. Imagine if every consultant sent their work in using a different tool. By using the same tool they are able to collate the document into a unified product.
Try something different on your next assignment. Ask students to use the "share" feature and allow them to peer edit their work with classmates. Alternatively consider giving them your feedback or their final grade, using the comment feature.
Stop by if you want to share ideas and develop a strategy to help your students!