Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not ready to learn one more platform?

I remember Dr. Sanchirico mentioning how much of what we do with Google Docs can be done with Windows Live. And since our students all have live e-mails, here is an article for those of you that want to make their lives easier by working with technologies they already know:

Windows Live As Alternative to GoogleDocs

March 16, 2012, 3:00 pm

It should come as no surprise that we here at ProfHacker use GoogleDocs for a great many tasks: see, for example, Jason’s “E-mail is Not a Tool For Revision,” Mark’s “Editing GoogleDocs On The Go,” Heather’s “Writing Equations in GoogleDocs,” Ryan on running a writing workshop, Amy on creating writing portfolios, and my own post describing real-time crowd sourced notes.
Many campuses make use of the “Google Apps for Education” program to give faculty, students, and staff access to Google’s suite of online apps, and on such campuses GoogleDocs makes for a semi-official solution to the challenge of online collaboration.
Other campuses, including my own, might use Microsoft’s competing platform Windows Live (which I first wrote about almost two years ago). Recently, Microsoft began promoting Windows Live by specifically taking aim at GoogleDocs with a rather strange television commercial and a dedicated promotional website.
I’ve been hesitant to dive into using Windows Live because I’ve already become so familiar with GoogleDocs. However, there are good reasons for me to start learning. For one thing, my students and colleagues are, for the most part, already using Microsoft Office in their work, and Windows Live doesn’t require them to learn yet another interface. (Yes, I know that GoogleDocs isn’t really that different, but I’ve frequently found that people consider the need to switch interfaces off-putting.)
Another reason to make the change, however, is that Windows Live now has several tutorial screencast videos that rival the screencast tutorials about GoogleDocs that I’ve been able to share so easily with others. (I’ve embedded an example below.)
So as I prepare for next year’s courses, I’m going to consider using Windows Live for the assignments that currently require GoogleDocs.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a hard call, most of the students I work with seldom use their school emails and likely are not real familiar with Window Live. They are likely more familiar with Google then they are with Windows Live as they use Google probably daily.