I can honestly say that I have been working hard at "trying new things," which I now have plenty to report on. First off, I have my 16 students, as well as another advisor using Google Apps. I purchased the domain edvisionsonline.com (which will have a web page soon) for the standard $10. All of my students have an email account, Google Docs/Spreadsheets/Presentation, a calendar standard. They can access any of the other applications with their username by going here.
Reason number 419, I am a Mac user, but use Windows on a daily basis (I have a Macbook Pro with an Intel chip). Instead of logging into the separate computer operating systems for documents or storing files in my email, I just save it in my Google Docs, and it is always there.
Being that our students use project based learning, Google docs has been effective as a checkoff tool. If I need students to get certain tasks done, I put them in a spread sheet and "x" off when they get things done. I just resend the spreadsheet (no attachment needed) in an email until they get it done. I have even trained a few students to keep me in line, telling me "give me an x, I have that done."
The cool new development is that Google has added a Presentation creation and upload capability. And, of course, it is web based.
Let me lastly say, in this post, that I am merely sharing my viewpoint and experiences with Google's products as and educator and a technologist. I do not receive anything currently if you click on links (although this is something I can do in the future, but Google is very peculiar about placing links in a dishonorable manner).
So what does this mean? Organizations do not have to pay expensive software fees that (cough, cough) some companies have had a "so called" unfair advantage in customers. No more Microsoft Office for those willing to take the leap. All of the Google programs allow the user to save things in many formats, including Windows formats.
If my explanation doesn't work, just check out this video:
Thanks for reading/watching,