Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thing #18: Online Productivity Tools

I played with Google Docs in Thing #7 and didn't really enjoy it at the time. Now that I took some time to play around with it, I like it a little bit more. I also played around with Open Office Writer. It is fairly easy to use, and it had a lot of neat features that I don't think you can use on Microsoft Word unless you know all of the secrets. For example, I was able to easily draw pictures and add symbols to my document. (I'm sure you can do that on Word, but I just have never figured it out after years of use!)

I really don't see too many disadvantages to either platform other than the fact that you may have to take some time to explore and use tutorials to create documents, drawings, spreadsheets, etc. I think there are many advantages to these platforms:

* You can send people to a link of a document or presentation instead of having to remember to attach the document to an e-mail.
* Ease of use
* You don't have to spend outrageous amounts of money on Microsoft Office.
* People who don't have Microsoft Office (or maybe have outdated versions) can view your documents and presentations. This is especially helpful in my situation. Many of my students have a computer or access to a computer, but they do not all have the Microsoft Office suite, as it is very costly. They can create documents or view documents from me without having to purchase expensive software.

Here is the very basic presentation that I made using Google Docs.

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Hi friends! Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!