#CPD23 Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

I’m glad I had chance to look at Google Docs – it proved very useful at a meeting when everyone was unsure how to deal with sharing confidential documents for everyone in the group and debating whether we needed a special password protected website.  It was slightly scary to put my hand up and say “what about Google Groups or Drop Box?” but satisfying to feel that I had something useful to contribute!  And at a much lower cost then a specialised website.

Many of the people present had limitations on their internet access placed by their organisation so Facebook certainly wasn’t an option for them.  Google hadn’t been blocked by anyone’s IT department yet though so we went with a GoogleGroup so that everyone can email files as attachments to the group with two of us moderating the members of the group and dealing with invitations.  So far, so good with it, although a few people are struggling to login to Google with non-gmail accounts.  As we clearly needed an easy solution, I thought Google might be more familiar to more people than Dropbox.

So from a professional development point-of-view knowing about Google docs certainly made me look up to date and knowledgable in the meeting (for which I thank CPD23!) and also got me onto the working group for the project (I’ll curse CPD23 for that too later…)

Sharing documents in progress is always an issue in every workplace.  We largely use a network drive however this limits people to accessing the file in the building when they want to work from home.  There are also system crashes to content with which knocks the drive out of commission from time to time.  Using an online, access from anywhere option is certainly tempting but I’m not sure how many of the older trustees could be trained into using it!

You could write about your first impressions of any or all of these tools, or you could explore their potential uses within your library. If you are already using one or more of them, you could write about the kinds of projects for which they have been useful. If you wish, you could also compare and contrast the value of each of these different tools and consider how they could be used to further your own professional development.


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