Friday, January 23, 2009

Google Docs in Education

I recently used a Google spreadsheet in my studies (first time, because I finally feel as though people would rather use it in collaboration) this week. We had a long list of terms to study in a Human Physiology class and therefore I created the spreadsheet and shared it all of my friends. The definitions required by the professor are very demanding and need to be thorough, so I figured with many eyes on it we could all get a good set to study from. We pulled from old exams, books, class notes, and PowerPoints. Finally we ended up with a nice set. Even better for me, I used previously mentioned gFlash to load them as flashcards onto my iPhone and study whenever I had the chance to. With some citation features, this would be great for my current journal paper, as I have about 5 people contributing and editing it. But alas, its still in beta... What would be great, and I look forward to in the next iteration of Word, as part of Office 14, is to instantly throw a local copy of a document into the cloud. This would be able to work regardless of my sharing profile in Windows, as I feel like that would complicate things. From there I should be two clicks away from choosing my friends in Google/Yahoo/Outlook Contacts, and having them collaborate on it just like Google docs. But then, I want the functionality of pulling it back down from the cloud/using sync tools so I have the regular functionality of Word too. Hint hint....

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