In high school and in higher education there is a high demand for paper writing, presentations, collaborative group work, and using online excel sheets. There are two main technology resources that students and school districts can use. There is Google Drive and Microsoft Office Online.
Both of these technologies are very similar and provide much of the same services. Both of these technologies are completely free and do not require any kind of plug in, or external hardware or software to use. As long as you have any web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, etc, they can work.
Google Drive is an online file storage and file creating tool. It is a free Google created website that allows for online collaboration on many different tools such as:
- Word Document
- 15Gb of storage
All these can be accessed online, as well as allow for online, real time collaboration. Students can work on presentations, word documents and more online together. The document also saves for you every second so you can leave your document and not be worried about losing your progress. You can share you documents and other files with others by sending them a link or a downloaded file, you can send links to allow others to edit, comment, or view. The only real difference between Google Drive and Microsoft Office Online is the Google Drive has an offline version if you are not somewhere with internet that does not save automatically and does not allow for online collaboration. The document can be saved and then later used when you are someplace with an internet connection.
Below is a short screencast that shows some of the features of Google Drive and its functions.
Microsoft Office Online
Microsoft Office Online is very similar to Google Drive. It is an online free version of its desktop version Microsoft office. It allows users to create documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint’s, and calendar online. Many of the functions look similar to that of the desktop version but is trimmed down and has less options. These options do not inhibit the tool from being helpful and is exactly what most people need to use that are the average family, student, or teacher. Like Google Drive it is also an online collaboration tool that allows people to create Microsoft accounts and work collaboratively on different projects as long as they have an internet connection. The only thing that Microsoft Office does not have is the offline free version. If you would like to work on Microsoft Office documents offline you will have to purchase the desktop version that can be around 100 dollars. Some schools and higher education programs provide this software for free.
Below is a screencast that shows some of the functions of Microsoft Office Online.
Both of these tools mostly do the same thing when it comes to online document creation that is collaborative. Most people are familiar with Microsoft office the desktop version but Google Drive online has been around much longer then the relatively new Microsoft Office Online. In the end it is up to the user which one they feel more comfortable with. If you are used to Microsoft Word and have a Microsoft account then Microsoft Online may be a better option for you. If you like to collaborate with lots of people and have a Google Account I would use Google Drive. I personally like Google Drive because I have been using it much more then Microsoft Office Online. Most people I know have google accounts for youtube or email so it is easy to share links with them that they can work on. Not as many people have Microsoft accounts. I personally say Google Drive is the best option for me because of how much I have become familiar with it and who I collaborate with, but it will come down to personally which tool you like to use. The best part about this is they are both free, so there is no worry in trying out both technology resources to see is a better fit for you
If you would like another view about these two tech resources you can visit this website