Connecticut’s 23 Things

A Learning 2.0 Program

Week 9: Online Collaboration/Applications Tools

Posted by kabery on November 28, 2009

The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) greatly increases our ability to collaborate!  Consider these benefits:

  • Users have the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications.
  • Web-based applications eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC.
  • They easily accomodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and let users easily save and convert documents as mutiple files.
  • Some tools such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs can be used to author and publish posts to your blog.  It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that makes them so appealing.

Examples of some web-based productivity tools

For creating documents:

Write-Share-Collaborate. After you create an account with Google, choose the “More” options drop down menu and you’ll get to GoogleDocsCheck out Google Docs in Plain English, a Commoncraft video on YouTube

For creating flow charts:

Are you a freak for flowcharts? They can make concepts easy to grasp and solutions easy to find. When describing complex relationships or presenting a variety of choices and outcomes, they’re wonderful at keeping important points from getting lost in translation.

Create and share flowcharts, floor plans, network diagrams & SWOT Analysis. Take a look at the Gliffy example on the main page of this blog.

For creating Mind Maps:

Mind maps (an offshoot of flowcharts) are similarly useful, though they work better for the creator than the reader. They’re good at uncovering the relationships between multiple ideas and are not restricted to linear concepts like time and work flow

Take a look at the bubbl.us chart on the main page. View the Mindmeister Mind Map created for this project

Other Resources/Examples:

There are many other ways new internet technologies and websites are empowering users with the ability to create and share content.  Check out:

  • A short list (from Zoho!) of web-based productivity applications
  • Winners of the Web 2.0 Awards. At this site, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you (like Books or Personal Organization) and then simply select a tool/site to explore. Be careful to select a tool that is Free and that doesn’t require a plug-in or download. The majority of these free, so this shouldn’t be a problem

Web-based conferencing

Web 2.0 technologies also provide opportunites for conferencing from your desktop.  Take a look at

6 Free Conferencing Tools that Librarians will Love.

In addition check out WebJunction’s Quick Guide: Web Conferencing DLD uses WebJunction’s Wimba Classroom for meetings and Horizon Wimba for training sessions.


Learning Activities:

1.Take a look at Zoho Writer and GoogleDocs, choose one and sign up for an account.  Create a simple document and maybe invite some colleagues to collaborate with you. Document your experiences in your blog. If you’re up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it to your blog.
2.Choose a flowchart,or mind map tool and set up an account. Consider using (or at least testing) one of these tools with a real project that you may have coming up.
3.Explore some of the Winners of the Web 2.0 Awards

Considerations for your blog: How have you used these tools before?  Did you find any other fun web based application tools in your travels? What did you like or dislike about a tool? What did you create?  Can you see any application for these tools at your library?

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One Response to “Week 9: Online Collaboration/Applications Tools”

  1. kabery said

    Gliffy
    MeetingWizard
    MindMeister
    Online Collaboration Tools Guide
    Text2MindMap
    Zoho

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