Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week #8 Productivity Tools & Google Spaces

Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom by Shelly & Cashman is a great text for anyone looking for an introduction to all sorts of computer and web terminology. Reading this text has been interesting for me as it is a review of much I already know about how computers work, but then Shelly includes details and an update for me about some "technical" things that I don't have experience with or that I didn't understand fully.

Chapter 3 Application Software Productivity Tools for Educators went along nicely with our 23 Things task this week. I just wish it had some information about scheduling applications as I would like to learn more about what is available on the web for scheduling employees. However, I do realize this is a text for educators and not for student managers like myself. If anyone knows anything about scheduling applications like "When to Work," please drop a line.

That said, I decided not to experiment with Zoho Writer, but instead, to post about my experience with Google Sites. Last year I decided to set out on a mission to put our Information Services book of instructions online so that the library staff could more easily locate information needed while working the desk. Our "literal" book (which everyone called "the black book" as it was a black three ring binder) had an index, and noone could ever locate "how to" docs when they needed them. I enlisted the help of our library systems specialist. After looking at several different options for this project, we decided that the best forum for our book was Google Sites.

Google Sites is a very basic webpage publishing application. However, what makes it better than Zoho Writer and other apps is that you can create a bunch of pages (probably over 60 documents for our library desk procedures!) and then you can search your webpage to find what your looking for. Since it is created by Google, it works just like it. For example, I have a couple of pages that cover how to check in and out laptops and what to do with laptops that are damaged. The staff member need only search laptop, and those one or two documents will show on a list. It is really easy to use and is a major improvement to what we doing...thumbing through a notebook looking for a page that we needed.

Google Sites also reminds me of a wiki without the collaboration factor. All staff members have access to our Google Sites pages, but I am the only one who can edit them. I did this so as to keep page maintenance at a minimum, and I didn't have anyone jumping up and down at work for a collaborative effort.

Another web publishing application I have used is a Geocities space through Yahoo. Yahoo is no longer supporting webpages so I will have to find a new place for the Gettysburg Riding Club page for which I am the "webmaster." Well, I hope this post was not too long or boring. I am signing off for now. ~Steph


  1. What a great idea to have your manual on google sites! I will suggest that to our librarian!

  2. Your welcome. Google Sites is really simple to use, and it is hard to beat that smart Google full text searcher. I will be keeping the Google Sites for our staff, but I am considering migrating my student training stuff into Blackboard since we have it here, and I at least know how to use it from a student perspective. ;)

  3. I forgot to add that the main issue with libraries right now is cost, and thank goodness for all the free tools out there. I will be using a PBWorks wiki for scheduling next semester but was a little disappointed to see that they are charging if you upgrade to more than 2GBs of space. It will work for me, though.