Discovery 11 – Online collaboration – Online Docs and more

August 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment


It’s time for another movie! Grab your popcorn, sit back, relax and learn about Google Docs.

The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past few years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree: web-based apps have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC or Windows to Mac! You can create a document at home, but work on it anywhere that has an Internet connection. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and PDF). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.



For this discovery exercise, take a tour of Google’s version of web-based word processing, Google Docs, register and create some simple documents. 

There are many more web-based apps to play with and explore, so if you are already familiar with Google Docs, try another one like Zoho which offers a range of applications.  Zoho Writer is the word processozoho-writer-logo1r. It allows instant collaboration, inline commenting and chat facilities. It allows multiple users to work on a document simultaneously, you can import Microsoft Word (DOC), OpenOffice text (ODT & SXW), HTML, RTF, JPG, GIF, & PNG files. Options include sharing documents only with your colleagues/friends or you can publish them for public view. Take the Zoho Writer tour.


1. Sign up for an account in Google and/or Zoho.
2. Create a document. Upload an existing document to your account. See if you save your document as a PDF or another file version.
3. Publish the document (Public) and post the link on your blog for others to view and/or edit. (*Note: the important part of this exercise to learn and play with web-based apps. If you don’t want to put your document in your blog or link to it, you do not have to, just make sure you blog about your experiences.)
4. Blog about the tools’ ease of use, potential in the library, and other thoughts


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Discovery 10 – Online Collaboration – Wikis Food for thought

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Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. Content and style for CityLibrariesLearning has been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons License
CityLibrariesLearning by CityLibraries Townsville is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.
Content has also been borrowed and duplicated under Creative Commons Licenses, from All together Now by the School Library Journal and Michael Stephens and 23 Things on a Stick
August 2009
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