Thursday, February 7, 2013

Top Reasons to use Google Drive

Why do I use Google Drive?

  1. Cloud storage with files available from anywhere, using any (web-enabled) device.  I have not had to use a flash drive (Thumb drive/USB drive in a long time).
  2. Avoid sending large files by email - just share the file or send a link.
  3. Ability to have offline files (when there is no Internet access) and still edit them - even on a tablet that does not have specific word processing software
  4. Collaborative editing with any device - earlier today, my laptop battery drained and I used an iPad to co-edit a meeting notes.
  5. Ability to share and edit files collaboratively synchronously during a hangout
  6. The commenting feature is terrific - you can carry on a conversation around a document by responding to comments - if you @name someone it notifies them via email
  7. The auto save and versioning means you never lose any data 
  8. The spreadsheet allows for custom scripts which have been used for many purposes, my favorite is a auto-scoring online quiz.
  9. The ability to create online forms and surveys that save the data to the spreadsheet.
  10. You can publish documents to the web essentially creating web pages

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Digital Divide - Redivided! Score yourself on the Digital Divide Scale!

By now (almost) everyone has seen the video of the Grandpa using the iPad as a cutting board.  It made the rounds of social media about mid-last year.  If you want to see it again (or for the first time), here it is:

It is a great example of the Digital Divide between the generations.

Well why this blog post now?

Just this morning, I got a forwarded email with an attachment from a bright and well meaning colleague with the subject, "Needs immediate attention" and the body of the e-mail talked about how we could use this video as an example of a digital divide.

Attached to it was a 2 MB file of this video!
I was struck by the irony of it - how the manner in which we disseminate a digital video on Digital divide reveals our own digital status.
(This colleague is actually what I would classify as a long-term well-accommodated digital immigrant - uses social networking, Dropbox, manages web sites etc and sent this more due to time constraints).

Here is a set of 2 cases - score yourself on where you stand

1.  You want to share a large file with a group of people
  • You email everyone and attach the file - 0
  • You write a brief summary of the file in the body of the e-mail and folks can request the full file from you by replying to the e-mail + 1
  • You use "yousendit" or "transferbigfiles" and include a brief summary of the file in the message + 2
  • You put it on Google Drive/Dropbox and share it with them. + 3
2.  You get a funny video as an attachment in a chain e-mail
  • You forward the email as it is (showing the e-mail addresses of every previous recipient) -0
  • You forward it after stripping off the emails of previous recipients +1
  • You search and find the video online and send a hyperlink to the video by email with a an apology to those who may have already seen it a hundred times +2
  • You embed the video in your blog or social network and share +3
    • BONUS point if you post on Google+ and share with appropriate circle!
5-6Digital Native
3-4Digital Immigrant
0-2Digital tourist

Disclaimer: This is written purely in jest and has no scientific basis ;-)