Sunday, 27 October 2013
Learning about Google Drive and Open Office
This was a great assignment as I had only every received documents from people via these tools but never created. Google Drive (formally Google Docs) can be created via the web and no downloading is needed. Pretty fast and easy really. I immediately created a variety of folders i.e. computer and tech course. Zoe had already sent the syllabus via this mode so I transferred that document into my new file. Definitely, I see the potential as shared files can be available anywhere and anytime to students, parents, colleagues and they can be worked on and reviewed simultaneously. Great for a group project. As students add things others can see their changes. As I am learning, many are using "cloud computing" to store and share documents. As many articles have mentions the this is only as good and fast as your internet connection". Which at our school is extremely slow. In researching this topic I see that many school boards in the states are shifting from Microsoft Office to Apache Open Office for obvious financial reasons. Open Office is a free open source software with no downloading or licence fees and updates are free. Apache Software Foundation is actually a non-profit organization whose "charitable mission is to publish open source software for public use". This software can be used on a variety of operating systems both windows and mac and can also be run on a USB stick. The "free" component allows parents and students to run this program from home and it can be installed on a variety of computers at no charge. Similar to Office it offers a variety of programs such as a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation editor. In looking through the program I appreciated the design templates specific to education such as venn diagrams, rubrics, graphing sheets and presentation backgrounds. I can see the communication and collaboration value in the classroom, and I look forward to reading further examples of specific uses within the classroom and school community.