Collaboration Tools

  1. GoogleDocs enables groups to collaborate online on documents (including docs, spreadsheets, presentation slides, forms). Strength: simultaneous (online) editing. Weakness: relatively simple formatting options. It should, however, be sufficient for most word processing requirements. GoogleDocs are integrated in UVLe; meaning, documents done on GoogleDocs can be pulled directly from UVLe. (See also "GoogleDocs in Plain English" video)

  2. Dropbox is an alternative to GoogleDocs. Strength: you can use your favorite word processor. Weaknesses: serial operation; does not allow simultaneous editing without causing conflicts of versions; requires your own word processor (offline) compatible with the ones used by other collaborators. Dropbox documents or files can be pulled directly from UVLe.

    Tips: When using Dropbox, use older, more common document format to help avoid incompatibility. For instance, use Word 97-2004 Document rather than the more recent Docx. When Dropbox is used in tandem with an RSS Reader, one is able to monitor who did what on the documents.

    It is also recommend that Dropbox should be supplemented by rsync or some mechanism to periodically archive data in order to to leverage the setup against gaffe-prone individuals. An arrangement (internal to the sharing group) has to be made to allow certain dependable members to curate certain critical directories or folders. Huge inactive files should be taken off Dropbox and archived elsewhere after a certain period.

  3. iskWiki! is a wiki partly for collaborative documentation of projects and for quickly publishing documents online. On the other hand, UVLe already has a wiki that students and teachers can use. By default, iskWiki is publicly accessible; UVLe's wiki is for class consumption only.

See Also