Welcome to our collaborative project for 539OL, Computers in Education, at Franciscan University.
Online collaboration serves several important purposes in educational practice. Online collaboration, facilitated by the proper tools and technology, helps to build active communities of online learning. It facilitates the integrated mastery of course content, collaborative technologies, planning and communication skills, and appropriate online interaction. It also serves to engage both students and educators with leading communicative technologies.
In this project, we will be discussing three tools that facilitate online collaboration: Google Docs, ooVoo, and Voxli.
The first tool that we will be discussing is Google Docs, which offers online collaborative document creation and sharing.
Google Docs is a free, web-based service offered by Google. It uses cloud-based storage, which means that files are created and accessed locally, but stored remotely on Google’s servers, rather than on a user’s computer. Google Docs provides many services, including file creation, storage, and collaboration.
It offers simultaneous, real-time sharing and editing of files by multiple users. Users can access their files at any time, from any computer that has an internet connection. In addition, users can access their files from mobile devices, including Android, iPad, and iPhone applications.
Google Docs offers a variety of services, including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation/slideshow, form/data collection, and drawing tools.
Files can be stored in a variety of formats, such as html, pdf, .doc (which is Microsoft Word compatible), and .xls (which Microsoft Excel compatible).
The first 1 gigabyte of storage is free. Users can purchase additional storage at the price of five dollars per twenty gigabytes.
Google Docs is ideal for collaborative projects. It allows for self-paced editing by all team members, and instructors can review the contributions by each individual, as well as the whole group. Google Docs allows for peer editing and collaborative review of essays and projects.
It offers a variety of document templates, and a familiar interface that is similar to Microsoft Office. It allows for file storage in a variety of standard formats and encourages group collaboration and participation. Users can upload pictures, video, and other document types, and the Google Docs interface allows users to select the language of their choice.
Although it is a very usable program, there are a couple of areas for improvement with Google Docs. First, the ability to create, access, and edit documents is dependent upon having a consistent internet connection. Also, the interface is not always as polished as the Microsoft Office suite.
Overall, Google Docs is a solid and stable program that is worth trying. It is user-friendly and easy to learn, and it enables users to collaborate on both the creation and editing of their documents. It is accessible from any computer or device with an internet connection, and it is easy to organize projects by grouping documents together in different folders.
Google Docs is an effective competitor and complement to Microsoft Office. While some of the tools may not be as polished as those found in the Office Suite, Google Docs offers free service, and new and improved features are added regularly.
The second tool that we will discuss is ooVoo, which is a real time instant messaging client.
ooVoo offers real-time communication by text, voice, or video. Additional features include desktop sharing, which allows a user to provide remote viewing of their desktop and open applications, and secure file sharing. The ooVoo Business Suite offers additional features and applications, including increased security protocols and full-featured reporting functions.
Features are offered in a mix of free and pay-for-use options. Video chats are free for up to three users, and, for a fee, up to six video users and six voice users can participate in a conference. The additional services are offered at the price of ten cents a minute on a per-use basis, or up to $26.55/year for a defined use ooVoo Pro annual plan. In addition, if one participant in a conference has a plan with additional permissions, all of the participants in the conference, even those participating via a free registration, can see all of the active call windows.
ooVoo is an easy to use conferencing solution. It is appropriate for parent-teacher conferences, student-teacher conferences, and communication between educational professionals, including both teachers and administrative staff. ooVoo helps to overcome barriers to virtual learning by facilitating the virtual classroom experience.
It is easy to install the software and create an account, and prompts for set-up are helpful and straightforward, including the use of webcam, speakers, and microphone. ooVoo allows users to import their existing contacts, and it can be used for voice and video communication, and with email and Facebook applications.
However, full installations may require the adjustment of some local firewall settings, and banner advertising may be intrusive.
ooVoo is useful for three way video conferencing needs, and it is expandable up to 6 simultaneous users. It is a useful alternative to Skype, but users must be comfortable with the presence of banner ads.
ooVoo installs toolbars and changes to your homepage without requesting user permission, and it has been criticized for its susceptibility to malware, spyware, and viruses. Overall, ooVoo receives very low ratings from its users.
Finally, we will discuss Voxli, which is an online voice chat application.
It provides simultaneous voice chat for up to 200 people in a given session, and users can have multiple sessions open simultaneously.
Voxli is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and it operates directly in a web browser, so there is no need for large downloads or complicated server setup. Users simply email or instant message the URL of an active conference to a desired participant. No registration is required after a user receives an invitation to participate in a chat, so the chats are accessible immediately.
By installing a proprietary browser plug-in, users can access Voxli in HD audio. Voxli is compatible with all gaming headsets, and users can access the Voxli Push-to-Talk walkie-talkie style feature outside of their web browser, directly in a desired application.
During its ongoing open BETA signup period, Voxli is free for all users and may be used for conferences of all sizes at no charge.
Voxli is appropriate for meetings that take place after usual class hours. Its function is similar to an Elluminate office, which promotes the “open classroom” model. Voxli is useful for collaborative distance education groups, and can be used for meetings or informal chat groups.
Users can add videos to watch with other members of a chat group, and users can send links to anyone, with no registration required. Many chat rooms can be opened simultaneously. Voxli is compatible with all gaming-style headsets, and the Push-to-Talk option is available outside of the web browser, directly in a desired application.
The interface is not as intuitive as some other programs, and no directions for use are included. Support services are only offered via email.
Voxli offers group chat that supports up to 200 simultaneous users, and each voice conference has a URL associated with it, so it can be easily shared with friends via email, Instant Messaging, forums, or blogs. It is popular with online gamers and gaming communities, and is compatible with all gaming style headsets.
Voxli allows users to create voice conferences quickly, directly inside of a web browser. It supports Push-to-Talk capability outside of the browser, directly in another application, and the echo cancellation technology improves sound quality and helps to remove background noise.
We have discussed three online collaboration services: Google Docs, which is a cloud-based document creation, editing, and storage service; ooVoo, a real time instant messaging client; and Voxli, which is an online voice chat application.
These technologies help to facilitate the creation of, and student participation in, online learning communities.Each service has its strengths and weaknesses, and there is not necessarily a “one size fits all” service to cover every need and every application.If used properly, online collaborative technologies help to integrate effective presentation of course content, the development of teamwork, and engagement with leading communication technologies.
Thank you for watching. We hope that you found this presentation helpful, and that you have continued success in your integration of online collaborative services into your educational practice.
Computers in Education EDU539OL Collaborative Project Professor Bill Rhinaman Presented by Team 1: Doug Costa, Brittny Malinowski, Hiedi Smith, and Laurie Wrona
For a fee, up to six video users and six voice users can participate in a conference
The additional services are offered at the price of $.10/minute on a per-use basis, or up to $269.55/year for a defined-usage ooVoo Pro annual plan
If one participant in a conference has a plan with additional permissions, all of the participants in the conference, even those participating via a free registration, can see all of the active call windows.
ooVoo in the Classroom
ooVoo is an easy to use conferencing solution
It is appropriate for parent-teacher conferences, student-teacher conferences, and communication between educational professionals, including both teachers and administrative staff
Helps to overcome barriers to virtual learning by facilitating the virtual classroom experience
Easy to install the software and create an account
Prompts for set-up are helpful and straightforward, including the use of the webcam, speakers, and microphone
Allows users to import their existing contacts
It can be used for voice and video communication, and it interfaces with email and Facebook
Full installations may require the adjustment of some firewall settings