Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blogs and Googledocs

Blogging in the Classroom
As technology becomes an increasingly lager part of our society, teachers must find ways to incorporate it into the classroom. One effective technological tool for learning is the blog. Blogging (short for web logging) is a way in which students can express their thoughts and opinions to the rest of the class. It is a helpful educational tool because it allows all students to respond to teacher questions and the thoughts of their classmates in an atmosphere that is not constrained by time like a normal class period. This allows all students an equal opportunity to make their voice heard by the teacher and their peers.

Some ways in which blogs can be used in the classroom are:

  • Having students post what they learned from a homework reading assignment
  • Having students post their research findings
  • Having an open blog where students may post any information that they come upon that is relevant to the class (possibly for extra credit)

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to using technology in the classroom.

  • Internet is a forum where all students may participate and have their opinions heard
  • Informal writing (in blogs and other online posts) students will embrace blogging more than essays
  • Gives students more experience working with computers/technology
  • Gives the teacher more resources to use in lessons
  • Students may not have Internet access or own the required technology
  • Informal writing habits may be carried into formal writing
  • Technology that is not functioning properly can ruin a lesson

Googledocs Word Processor

Googledocs Word Processor is a free word processor that can be used by anyone that has a Google account. It makes use of cloud computing, making documents available anywhere you can access your account. It contains many of the features that other popular word processors (such as Microsoft Word) have. Documents that are created on Googledocs may also be downloaded in many different forms (such as Word and PDF files) ans therefore can be saved to an individual computer.

One of the most popular features that Googledocs Word Processor possesses is the ability for collaborative work. Users may send Googledocs files that they are working on to other Google users. The other user may then edit or add too that document. This feature creates many new possibilities for group projects, as group members may work cooperatively without having to meet in person.

It is inevitable that a word processor that is gaining the popularity that Googledocs is will be compared to other popular word processors, most notably Microsoft Word. Listed below are some advantages and disadvantages of choosing Googledocs over Microsoft Word:

  • You can access your documents anywhere you can access your Google account. No need to carry around your laptop or flash drive
  • Allows for group work without the group having to meet
  • Continuous auto-save means you'll never lose your work
  • Works with any operating system
  • No need to buy new upgrades
  • Can have formatting issues when being converted to a Word file
  • The list of features is not as extensive as Word
  • Requires Internet access to use
  • Certain system requirements for Cloud Connect

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