The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past two years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree; web-based applications ("apps") have their place.
One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Google Drive, to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.
For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at Google Drive and a similar tool, Zoho, create a simple document, and then write about your discoveries in your blog.
- Watch this video about Google Drive, and take a look at the apps described on this page.
- From your Gmail account, click on Drive at the top of the page.
- Explore all that Google Drive has to offer, and create a test document, drawing, spreadsheet, presentation, and form.
- In a a Google Drive document, create a blog post about your discoveries.
- Follow these directions to post a link to the document on your blog.
- Create a document, spreadsheet, or drawing and share it in your blog
- Discuss in your blog how your students might work collaboratively using Google Drive.
- Compare Google Drive to another web-based application, Zoho. Which do you prefer? Why?
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/374276243/