Online productivity tools - SILS20090

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Summary of online productivity tools both single function and suites, both for individuals and for organizations. For UCD Dublin SILS 20090 module

Text of Online productivity tools - SILS20090

  • 1. Ros PanHead of E-Strategy and Innovation, UCD Library Web 2.0 & Social MediaOnline Productivity Tools

2. Links(will also be in Slideshare)

  • This presentation
  • The workbook
  • Bookmarks for this class http://

3. Coverage of the class

  • Scope of the topic and its defining features
  • Starter trying out a couple of simple stand-alone tools.Practical 15minutes Workbook 1 These do one thing, no registration, nothing to download.
  • Nature of these tools summarised for the individual and the organizationCase Study 1 use in universities
  • The bigger picture into which this fits Cloud computing, Rich Internet Applications, Web applications, AJAX, Software as a Service, Hardware as a ServiceCase Study 2 use in business and Video
  • What is available for you at the individual level and why and when might you want to use it? Practical 5 minutes Workbook 2
  • Practical work on your own Online Cloud Practical 30 minutes Workbook 3
  • Reminder blog entry Workbook 4

4. Scope of the topic

  • Already looked at whole range of things, blogs, wikis, social networks, RSS
  • Is no easy boundary WIKIS are certainly online productivity tools
  • General the focus today is a bit less on the sharing and collaboration side of Web 2.0 and more on the technical aspects than enable you not just to share stuff via the internet and the web but to PRODUCE things using entirely web-based applications
  • But they do enable sharing and collaboration as well

5. Scope of the topic

  • These tools can be used by the individual OR they can be taken up by the organization which is a very major shift that we are in the early stages of. Your own use will focus on the individual, a couple of case studies introduce the implications at the organization level
  • These tools can be little things typically they just do one thing like a spreadsheet, or scheduler or note taker OR they can be very large suites of applications aiming to take market from Microsoft Office in the main first practical covers little things and second main one looks at one of the big suites

6. Scope of the topic 7. 8. 9. Practical 1

  • Single function tools
  • Easy to use
  • 10-15 minutes
  • Recommend you bring up the workbook in ZOHO so the links can just be followed without keying as a bit long in some cases

10. Summary of some key features

  • frees you up to pick what YOU liketo use though may be problems if cannot save into a fairly standard format
  • Can complement the UCD offerings of software OR
  • Replace them if you wish
  • Carry on with them when you leave UCD
  • e.g. use ZOTERO rather than Endnotehttp:// /


  • Library examples of colleagues using these things include applications for bookings and MAILCHIMP for creating a graphic newsletter and creating a mailing list to send it round in both cases filling gaps in the IT solutions being offered to us in relation to what we need
  • We cannot get frequent access to UCD mailing lists to reach all students and staff
  • When we DO get access to it we cannot send out any mailings that include nice graphics and layout in them
  • So we have looked elsewhere

12. Summary of some key features

  • Can use them anywhere more or less Some of the higher end applications require download of extension to browser or a client and this does limit where you can use them
  • Merge of work and play time Tend to use playtime things at work but also because of the portability of these tools tend to carry on with work-related things at home, so work-life balance perhaps being replaced with work-life melding and bleeding at the edges

13. Summary of some key features

  • save on infrastructure, staff support, kit, data storage
  • For the ORGANIZATION, there are potentially very large savings in making this move to web applications, here is one businessman quote:
  • . says he has slashed Serenas IT bill from 500,000 a year to 25,000 by signing up to Googles cloud.

14. Advantages

  • As Randall Stross, the author of Planet Google, puts it: The headaches weve wrestled with in the past, for example, I edited that document at the office but I didnt bring a copy home with me, will disappear. Moreover, we never need to buy any software updates because these are tested and constantly sprinkled into the cloud by operators. There are no licence fees to pay. Best of all, we never have to worry about losing our laptop or mobile phone or backing up their contents because no important data is stored on the devices.

15. Case Study 1 in workbook

  • Google apps available since 2006
  • Offer education packages
  • Universities have concerns about security, future-proofing
  • Are slowly switching over
  • The cautious approach is to just move e-mail and calendar (Diary) over
  • More ambitious places are shifting over to replace any local offering of Microsoft Office altogether

16. The bigger picture CLOUD COMPUTING

  • Today, most of us use electronic devices with closed systems. Each device creates and stores certain types of information. We store Word documents and spreadsheets on our laptop and PC, contacts and e-mails on our mobile, TV and video on our television and set-top box, and music on our iPod. The cloud reverses that model. Cloud-based devices create and store nothing. They are merely connecting devices that draw down the information we need.Computing best illustrates the shift. In the cloud, the internet becomes our operating system. We use online software that runs in our browser to create the files we need. The files are stored in remote data centres . Are our heads in the cloud? Times Online August 9 2009
  • Also good - 7 Things You Should Know About Cloud Computing -

17. A mention of some key terms

  • Follow up delicious bookmarks if interested
  • SaaS Software as a Service
  • HaaS Hardware as a Service
  • Webapps or Web applications
  • RIA Rich Internet Applications
  • AJAX

18. A mention of some key terms

  • In software engineering, aweb applicationorwebapp is an application that isaccessed via a web browserover a network such as the Internet or an intranet. It is also a computer software application that iscoded in a browser-supported language(such as HTML, JavaScript, Java, etc.) and reliant on a common web browser to render the application executable.
  • Web applications are popular due to theubiquity of web browsers , and the convenience of using a web browser as a client, sometimes called a thin client. Theability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing softwareon potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent supportfor cross-platform compatibility .
  • (From wikipedia)

19. A mention of some key terms

  • AJAX
  • This is a suite of various technologies, the term coined in 2005, that you may want to be aware of which enables many of these internet based applications to run so smoothly.
  • Gmail (2004) Google maps (2005) are just a couple of examples of web apps that use AJAX
  • If you are in a hurry go to Don Dodge blog clear explanation, all you need to know.

20. AJAX

  • From Don Dodge blog:
  • AJAX is not a product or a platform. It is a set of technologies used to build interactive web applications that don't require constant page reloading each time the user takes an action.The AJAX engine and associated snapshots of files and data are downloaded to your browser in the background asynchronously without you knowing about it.AJAX has re-energized web based applications

21. Case Study 2 in workbook

  • Google apps available since 2006
  • Offer business packages
  • Businesses certainly have concerns about security, future-proofing this example company maintains financial and accounting information to a local system

22. Concerns about web applications

  • There are strong advocates for the Cloud but also significant resistance to the concept of private data in public spaces.
  • As well as the advantages theyshare the worry t hat a lot of the web hosted things do will they endure, are they backed up, will they stay free, who can look at my data and so forth.
  • Notwithstanding that some university IT managers are choosing to shift over to these tools because they save so much resource and money.

23. Concerns about web applic