Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #18 Online Productivity Tools

There were two online productivity tools I explored for this activity. The first one is Open Office, and the second is Google Docs.

I have experience with Google Docs every week. My cooking group uses a spreadsheet on Google Docs to keep track of who is in charge of what part of the meal when we meet each Monday night. We keep track of who may be absent on a particular week, and who will be hosting as well on this shared spreadsheet. It works out great for our group.

Using shared office documents online can be helpful in many ways. Like in the case of my cooking group, it helps eight ladies keep organized with one shared document. Any work related or school related group can use these tools to stay on the same page, and each person in the group has the ability to edit information as needed.

Another good feature of using these online office tools is that if your computer blows up or fizzles out, you have not lost your files. You can access these files from any computer, so it has good back-up storage capabilities.

A pitfall to consider has to do with the availability from another aspect. These tools can be password protected and only certain member can be set to access a particular document. But, when considering reality, do we really know who is behind the scenes of the web page's creator or think about the fact that hackers can get into the documents? I may be a bit paranoid, but I definitely would not be setting up a list of internet passwords or banking information on a document being held online.

For most documents used for educational purposes in the classroom or library though, this would not be a concern.

Both of these open office web sites would be a great tool to use in uploading documents your students will use in your classroom for assignments or study. It is another way you can electronically share lesson materials in your classroom if you set up a class username and password for your students to access.

Google Docs will continue to be a tool I use on a regular basis.

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