Common Craft: Google Docs in Plain English

What are online applications?

Online applications are the web’s version of software previously
required to be loaded on your computer (think Word or Excel). These
applications are housed on the web and can therefore be used from any
computer with Internet access and without the need to download or
upload any software (insert IT staff smile here!). And wait……it gets
even better. Many of these applications are free and can easily be
edited and shared by several users!

While there are many kinds of online applications, this week’s
two-part activity will focus on productivity software –word processing,
spreadsheets, etc. and online scheduling tools.

Class Resources

Part 1

Explore one of the following productivity software application suites.

Part 2

Explore one of the following online meeting schedulers. 

Class Assignment

Part 1

Create an account and a document (word processing, spreadsheet, or
presentation) in one of the productivity suites mentioned above. Then discuss your experience.
Here are some things to think about during your experience: what are the cool features? What features that you regularly use in your existing productivity software are missing from the web-based application? How might you use this at your library? Could this be used in a collaborative manner? 

Part 2

Pick on a couple of your fellow learning pals and schedule a meeting using one of the schedulers listed above. Then discuss your experience.
Here are some things to think about: Is this easier than using email to set a meeting? When might you use a meeting scheduler? What are the drawbacks and positive features to using this type of scheduler?

Extra Credit


Articles: access through your library’s LiLI connection

  • Gordon, Rachel Singer, and Michael Stephens. "Promoting productivity (tech tips for every librarian)." Computers in Libraries 27.5 (May 2007): 30(2). Available via Academic OneFile from Gale.
  • Abram, Stephen. "You can take it with you: online apps help road warriors; Google and newcomer Zoho offer suites of office and productivity software you can use anywhere you have a connection to the Web.(INFO TECH)." Information Outlook 11.11 (Nov 2007): 37(4) Available via Academic OneFile from Gale.