This morning, Google announced that smartphone users could use its Google Docs site to edit documents on the go, says Rob Pegoraro of Faster Forward. Make that some users, on some smartphones, editing some documents. The addition of mobile editing capabilities to Google Docs’ word-processing component (its spreadsheet application gained that feature in February 2009) is subject to limitations that shut out much, if not most, of its potential audience. First, you need to run the right device. Google supports most iPhones and iPod touches, as well as the iPad. But if your phone runs Google’s own Android software you need the latest, 2.2 release. The Mountain View, Calif., firm’s latest numbers show only 36.2 percent of active Android devices have this version. Second, the document in question has to have been created with the new editor Google launched in April. Older files, even if you’ve worked on them since April, are ineligible for mobile editing. On top of this uncoordinated mix of functionality and the lack thereof — something I’m more accustomed to seeing in other companies’ web efforts — you need to have this feature turned on in your account……Read More
A small-scale backlash against Google’s free eMail service and applications has included at least three prominent universities this year, after many colleges had begun moving to the outsourced Gmail system to save money and simplify support.
The cloud-based eMail system has appealed to college students since Google launched its campus Gmail pilot in 2004, educators said, and Google officials maintain that colleges continued to adopt Gmail even as negative headlines circulated this spring.
K-12 schools and colleges are adding extra layers of security to web applications that are being used for everything from eMail service to group assignments. The extra security is particularly desired as administrators use the applications to store sensitive information that could compromise student and faculty privacy.
Google Apps has risen to prominence in education’s move toward web-based tools that store massive amounts of data and allow for collaboration. Google announced in February that 7 million students—about half of all college students in the U.S.—now use the company’s applications, such as Google Sites, Google Docs, and Gmail.
With invaluable information stored online and vulnerable to any hacker who can figure out a single password, administrators are looking for ways to ensure that student and educator data are kept safe with more complex security methods.…Read More
Combining text, audio, and video chat with features like drag-and-drop documents and interactive polls, Google Wave is a free web program that could add unprecedented depth to student interaction, many educators say.
Programmers who designed Google Wave, a tool still in development and only available through limited invites, started with a question: What would eMail look like if it were invented today?
The answer is a format that merges social networking with multimedia in an online meeting space where students and instructors can see each other type in real time, conduct private conversations, and edit documents simultaneously.…Read More