After his divorce, Gregg La Montagne found it hard to help his 15-year-old daughter with her schoolwork since she lives in another state. So for her Spanish class recently, Mr. La Montagne told her to write her assignment in an online word-processing application made by Google Inc.
Mr. La Montagne, a sales manager in Austin, Texas, then accessed his daughter’s homework online, using the same software through his Web browser at home. A native Spanish speaker, Mr. La Montagne was then able to suggest grammar changes, which he typed in at the bottom of the paper. His daughter, who was online at the same time, was able to see her father’s notes almost instantaneously as her screen refreshed, and then in turn correct the document for him to see.
“It makes it easier to participate,” says Mr. La Montagne, 50 years old. “It’s not the same as being with her, but it’s at least a step in that direction.”
Mr. La Montagne is one of a growing number of parents now using Web-based applications to review and aid their children’s educational work. Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which Mr. La Montagne used, provides word processing and spreadsheets that a consumer can access using just a Web browser.