Thing 16: Collaborative Tools

Chain made of colorful paper clips on white background

Chain made of colorful paper clips on white background

Tools like Google docs were just about in existence during my time at university though it was the very early days where caution and suspicion we’re exercised before “signing up” to things and “creating accounts” willy nilly. I could count on one hand the sources that were incoming to my inbox and for as long as I could I stubbornly clung on to this ideal.

Things have changed however and as I acclimatise to the increasingly invasive nature of maintaining any sort of digital presence, I finally feel that the exchange of a few of my basic details for the advantage of clever collaborative tools and online resources is almost fair (when I put the fact that these basic details are being aggressively culled into one big melting pot of data which will inevitably be used to my own disadvantage by corporate companies for the perpetuation of the capitalist machine – yes when I put that to the back of my mind I can just about deem it a fair enough exchange).

Google Docs has been hot in the press recently with its new features set to rival Microsoft Office. I read a great article here  about Google Docs’ easy to use templates, spreadsheets and voice typing – it all sounds like pretty eciting stuff. I like how the platform works seamlessly with word to allow interchange between the two applications and I feel that as my University course gets underway I will find this an invaluable tool. As a distance learner I imagine that collaborative applications will be my best friend and as a stringent believer in everyone pulling their weight in team projects, it’s good to know that there will be no excuses for flakes! Dogs can only eat homework in paper format thanks very much! I’m looking forward to using some of the templates which I think will be helpful for some of the less traditionally academic aspects which I am less accustomed to like report writing and audits.

Scarily I was the first one to comment on the Rudai 23 collaborative document so I hope I’ve got it right!

I’ve used Docs twice before in a acollaborative way; I once added a question to a UKLIBCHAT discussion and I’ve also used them in the context of a lifestyle blog I used to contribute to; each week the list of article titles would be available for all the writers to access and each perosn would choose two or three titles that they would cover. It worked very practically in this way and I would certainly use it again for projects in the future.

Doodle looks like another convenient tool though I assume you have to have an account in order to use it. I have created an account but aren’t sure if you would be able to invite people to events if they don’t have a profile. If I ever do need to organise a proffessional event in the future I will bear it in mind but I doubt it would be useful at work as the company already has its own collaborative share point and all meetings are scheduled on Outlook calander. It’s all useful stuff to know though!

 

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