What are Productivity Tools?
They are things like online documents, spreadsheets, calendars, surveys, and personalised web pages. We’re going to use the Google suite of these tools because you need a gmail account and you’ll already have that from Thing 2.
My personal favourite, as I said in the webcam interview, is Google maps – I use them to work out how to get somewhere and I can embed my own maps in blogs and wikis and other web pages. I’ve also seen Google maps of New Zealand downloaded to a mobile phone so the owner could find his way around while he was on holiday there.
Another personal favourite is iGoogle – I can create a personal page and pull onto it all the websites I use frequently so they are in the one the same spot.
You make up the page from little gadgets. We even have a library gadget that you can add to your own igoogle with one click. It lets you search library resources.
However, today we’re going to start with Google Docs.
Why are we learning about productivity tools like Google Docs?
They’re great for working collaboratively with other people to create and work on documents with other people. The docs are on the web so you don’t need access to intranets, shared drives etc. You can work with the person down the corridor or with a friend on the other side of the world. You don’t end up with different versions of the same document in your email inbox. And it’s not just text documents – there are also slide presentations, spreadsheets or surveys.
It’s all explained in this CommonCraft video, Google Docs in Plain English .
What you need to do to complete this Thing
Create a Google document about anything you like – your next holiday, latest movie you saw, your pets, your garden, your hobbies – whatever you like. Or something to do with work or study if you like …
Invite someone to share it and ask them to edit it.
Write a post in your blog – what do you think of Google Docs? Would you use it? When would you use it?
How to create your Google Doc
- Log into gmail
- Click on Documents (third option from left at top)
- New > document (or try a spreadsheet if you want to get fancy)
- Describe whatever it is you want to talk about. Play with features – formatting fonts, inserting a table,adding headers and footers, etc. Also check out the options on the File menu such as revision history and the ‘download file as’ options. Remember to save!
- Select share
- Find someone to share with - for today please use a gmail address – or share with email@example.com
- Enter the email address of your collaborator.
- In the message, ask the collaborator to add their bit and to email your gmail address when it’s complete.
- Select “send”
- Click on “Docs home” or close the window.
If you want to try more….
- If you want to do more … you can publish your doc so it becomes a web page and anyone can view it. This is my published doc.
- Do you need help? Just ask, or check out the help on Google
- You can also read about it - see Seven things you should know about … Google aps from Educause
4. Create your own iGoogle page.
Think about it … would you create your own iGoogle page? If yes, what would you put on it and what would you not put on it?