Thursday, July 14, 2011

Windows Live

Last school year our school as well as the Highschool began to use Windows Live. Primarily for two reasons.


1. 25 GB of free data storage for every student that is accessible from any where could not be passed up

2. Moving our students into the 21st century with email access (ie direct link to their teachers outside of the classroom)

Now, within these two notes there were a plethora of other reasons why we chose to use this tool (one being that we are a PC based district and it seem the next logical step in simple tech integration for giving the students accessibility to their own work all the time at any computer.


This summer will be bringing the installation of Office 2010 to all PC computers in the district. A huge step up for us as we have been operating with Office 2003 for many many...many years now. That being said, I had my hopes that with 2010 and Live there would a simple means to connect  each student computer and student login to automatically or with the click of a button sync their data from their computer to their Live account, thus granting them a harmonious means to work on a computer and then have access ot that work on any computer with out having to use an external storage device.

I just happened to log in to Windows live now when I cam across a message that stated "Sync your computer with Windows Live, download the essentials pack"...Click...downloaded...install.

Time to play.

Google +

As a standard now, I have Google Chrome brought up anytime I have a laptop opened, the main reason: Google +.

Why have I found Google+ so fantastic primarily stems from that fact that I have found great conversation and connections within Google+ which is what I felt I have been missing or lacking with twitter of late.

Don't get me wrong my Twitter PLN is such a fantastic source for great ideas, new technologies, etc, but what I was missing was the conversations.  The cause of the lack of conversation is no ones fault per say.  I imagine that everyone's twitter follow list is as long or longer than mine and being constantly bombarded with great tools that you want to investigate further causes any person to spend their time just reading, so there is no time to have conversation, we are all to0 busy reading and planning how to implement what we are learning about.

Google+, in it's current infancy, has produced a concentrated version of my PLN, sure people are still posting resources, but after a single post you get conversation connected to said post. A person comments on it or adds to the source that was shared. Then I as a reader of the post and comment finds another person to add to my PLN.  Not only have I found this useful but I have also been able to ask a question and get an almost immediate response. In my early days of twitter I tried this and even tried to start a hashtag. #AskTheMasses, which never took off, I used it a couple of times and never got a single response.

Perhaps over time this may or may not change, but for now I am enjoying the simple, clean, conversation rich, platform that Google+ has offered. Never fear faithful twitter followers, I am not leaving Twitter. I like any other tech enthusiast will continue to spread myself over the newest tools that exist and find some sort of happy medium.