Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thing #18 Productivity Tools

When my computer at home crashed a couple of years ago, everything was restored except for Microsoft Office. That is when I learned about Open Office. It was a little odd to use at first, because it does look a teeny bit different than what I was used to with the Word document, but it worked the same, so things were fine.

EXCEPT... I had to remember when I saved a document to manually save it so that it was compatible with Word. If I wasn't thinking and automatically hit save, then friends would have trouble opening the document.

Other than that, Open Office worked great and the best thing is that it is FREE! That beat paying $150 to buy Microsoft Office.

So I have spent time exploring Google Docs. Two of my students last year did an assignment on Google Docs. I like the fact it can be accessed from anywhere. In fact, when I got on Google Docs for this assignment, their project is still there.

Some of my students had trouble last year e-mailing information to each other to complete a group project. If they had done it on Google Docs, that could have solved that problem. I didn't think to tell students they could use Google Docs.

It seems that Google Docs is similar to creating a Wiki. Both allow a group to work together on a project at one site and everyone can contribute and edit the assignment to get the project in its final form.

What are the differences between Google Docs and a wiki? Are there situations when it would be easier or more efficient to use one over the other? Are there features that are unique to one, but not the other?

Maybe Google Docs would be a site that an individual student could use to put Interactive Notebook assignments on. Some students who prefer working on their computer instead of pen and paper might want that option. Would Google Docs be appropriate for an assignment that would be added to every other day, such as a notebook?

I'm definitely interested in becoming proficient at Google Docs. A big advantage for me is that I could access student assignments at home after my daughter has gone to bed, instead of having to stay later at school looking at assignments in their school folder.

No comments:

Post a Comment