Let’s work together (Thing #11 & Thing #12)

(This post was composed some time ago, but I just realized it was saved as a draft and not published. Oops.)

I can see how Google Docs would be useful for some collaborative work, e.g. students in disparate locations working together on a group project could edit in real-time while chatting with each other to to discuss the document they are working on together. But, as others have pointed out, the lack of formatting options means you still have to convert the document for further revision using a more robust desktop word processing program for academic papers (for example, in order to provide footnotes). BTW, Microsoft has gotten into the game now too and offers a similar service with Office Live Workspace. And MS SharePoint has offered this for some time, but I don’t know if Marymount has a subscription. Don’t know if the new free online service offers the same palette of formatting options as Word does, but if it does, it would be a step up from GDocs.

On sharing docs, I received an invite to view a GDoc, but I was unable to access it. the invitation was sent to my work email address, not my GMail address, so I’m wondering if that is why I could not access it. If that is the case, that is another major drawback of GDocs — you should be allowed to share with anyone, not just those with Google accounts. And the people wanting to invite you should not have to remember your Gmail account if they are more accustomed to using a different account.

Other than that, I like the service for personal use; being able to access certain files from anywhere w/out having to remember to save it on a USB stick and then remember to take the USB stick with me has been very handy indeed.


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3 Responses to “Let’s work together (Thing #11 & Thing #12)”

  1. melissaautumn Says:

    Have you tried Open Office? I’ve heard of it, but not tried it. Since you are the resident expert, I’m wondering what you think.

  2. knowledgenomad Says:

    I have Open Office, but I don’t really use it. It is basically a freeware productivity suite competitor to MS Office. As far as I know, though, it does not have the same collaborative features that GDocs and Microsoft’s Office Live service have. Where I think it is GREAT is for people who cannot afford propriety software like MS Office — so it can do something to help bridge the digital divide if you want to outfit somebody with a low budget computer.

  3. McMillan Says:

    I had not thought about the potential use of these online productivity suites for those who may not be able to afford the proprietary software. What a great idea! I often think of the patrons I used to assist at LBPL, many who had very limited (if any) discretionary income and these tools could be very useful for them.

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