Via Will Richardson (as well as many others).
Readers outside of my district have undoubtedly already seen this, but I'm reposting it for my folks. I - as well as a couple of other people in my district - have been pushing our district to start exploring options as alternatives to Microsoft Office. It's not that I'm anti-Microsoft Office, but we currently pay somewhere around $56 per year, per machine. (I'm not sure of the exact figure because it's bundled with an anti-virus license fee for a total of $65 per year, per machine.) That includes (I believe) licensing for Windows OS, client access licenses to servers, etc., so it's not just Office. District-wide I'm betting that comes out to over $300,000 per year. When you combine that expense with the - currently - limited collaboration features (at least compared to online options like Google Docs or Zoho), I'm not sure it's the best choice either from a financial standpoint or from a preparing-our-students-for-a-flat-world-global-collaboration-use -and-understand-social-media point of view.
Zoho Notebook is still in alpha stage, and I don't know if it will be free or not (most of their other offerings at the moment are free), but it certainly offers a look at what I think our students should be using now or in the very near future. Whether it's Zoho, or Google (maybe they'll buy Zoho?), or Microsoft or whomever, as broadband access become ubiquitous and online collaboration becomes even more seamless and necessary in a flat world, our students need to be using these tools from the get go.
The demo movie below is 3:10 - I highly recommend you watch it.
Wow—it seems to have aspects from many of the programs I like: online collaboration like Google Docs, a three-ring binder-type interface resembling OneNote, and the graphic representation tools of a Gliffy.com. What elevates this product, in my opinion, is the embedded Skype connections. Most impressive. I feel like I’ve seen the future.ReplyDelete
Okay, just when I feel like I am finally getting on track with technology it gets away from me. Skype? Gliffy? Just to understand all of the capabilities of this Zoho I had to go research more so I could try to really understand it all. Sound good to me, just get some staff developement ready :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post Karl.ReplyDelete
Zoho Notebook will remain free for individuals.