Google Docs

If you haven’t become converted to Google Docs yet, take a minute to create an account and play around. Google Docs is more than just a word processor, it is a tool that has the ability to change the way we interact with others. Google Docs was built from the ground up as a collaborative tool. Here are two examples of how Google Docs can enhance collaboration.

1. Think of how many times you’ve written a document and attached it to an e-mail to send to a friend for feedback. If you’ve ever co-authored a paper you’ve probably done it 100 times. Even if you are using Track Changes in Word, you can only really collaborate with one person at a time before the versions get out of sync (and you can’t work on the document yourself until the feedback has come back). With Google Docs you can simply drop in the e-mail address of someone you want to work with and they will have access to view or edit your documents.

2. Once you’ve written something, the next step is to share it. By using the “Publish” feature in you can also publish any doc you’ve written to the web. Google Docs connects directly to just about any blog so you can actually post to your blog right out of Google Docs (in fact that’s how this post ended up on my blog).

For more information, visit Google Docs.

MERLOT :: The “Napster” of Multimedia Content

In his blog, Rick West metions the new learning options that can happen thanks to the enormous amount of content that is now available on the internet. We no longer have to re-create the wheel everytime we want to use media-rich content in our classes. Other than the staple sites (like Google images), I’ve found several other sites that have great educational content. One of them is called MERLOT :: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching. It’s sort of like a Napster for educational materials. If you aren’t familiar with the site yet, check it out. The e-Skeleton project is one of the coolest examples I’ve found thanks to MERLOT.