Friday, 19 August 2011

CPD23 Thing 13

Thing 13: Google Docs, Dropbox & Wikis  

Image taken by Chrissinjo 
I’ve never used Dropbox or Google Docs before. Always meant to, just never got round to it. I don’t know much about it, but I find cloud technology very intriguing. So, with CPD23 in mind, I’ve used Google to creat a document and shared it with our Graduate Trainee based at another location. It worked quite well actually and I was impressed. It simple and user-friendly. Likewise, she also shared a doc with me and receiving it was very straight forward. Both of us viewing the doc at the same time was quite amusing, although it turned a little messy when I 'comandered' the cursor and inserted text into the very sentance she was already working on. A little problematic, but perhaps there are ways around this when you know how to utilise Goofle Docs properly. Definitely a useful tool and one I'd like to explore further.

Dropbox looks like it may take a little longer to master. Don’t really have time at work so I’ll grab a look at it sometime at home. I am the queen of memory sticks and always have one on my person at almost any given time. In my last employment post, my memory stick was stolen by a pupil and I lost several documents. I can see Dropbox providing a convenient alternative to the perils of memory sticks.

The other element of Thing 13 is wikis. Finally – something I do have a little experience of! I’ve never had cause to establish a wiki myself, but I have added to various ones in the past:

The library routes project

If anyone knows of any others please drop me a comment to let me know. I enjoy adding to library-related wikis, it’s nice to participate and make a small contribution to a library initiative. These wikis have brought to my attention several blogs which I now regularly follow and a large proportion of BtB’s traffic is directed from these three sites. It’s an easy way of sharing experiences and I really do recommend joining in. Wikis = FTW!


  1. Re: Google Docs - I don't think you can 'commandeer' the cursor, though you can both edit the document at the same time - this can be a blessing or a curse of course! I like the fact that you can track the history of a document with Google Docs though I have to confess I rarely use it.

    Dropbox is really simple however. All you do is download the software and then save any documents you want access to into your Dropbox folder. That way you can access them from home, work, mobile, internet cafe etc. I use it to save almost all my work documents so I know I can get access from wherever I need to. The great thing about it is that it automatically syncs - no worrying about making sure you have saved the latest version to a particular memory stick. I'd definitely recommend giving it a go.

  2. I've read loads of posts praising Wikis - definitely something I need to get to grips with!

  3. Thing 14: CiteULike
    Just flicking through my CPD23 posts and I realise I’ve forgotten to comment on Thing 14! So here it is, briefly squeezed in as a comment after Thing 13.

    I’d never heard of this website before. Never, ever. I played around with it for a bit and decided that whilst I have no use for it personally, it seems good enough to recommend to our learners. Since the start of term (and even after the October half term break it would seem) I am spending a hefty portion of my time running information skills sessions for learners. One of these covers Harvard Referencing and I now take the opportunity to mention the existence of tools like this.