Compare Cloudon, Google Drive, Skydrive.com (via Safari), and Pages/Keynote

Before you decide on an "Office suite" for the ipads, examine them closely. The Devil is in the details, and there are details everywhere. Here are some VERY basic tasks that the word processor and presentation tools should be able to do. Does YOURS? When you're finished (and you MUST fully complete the tasks), refer to these ideas and questions below. Your answers to these questions will help you decide which app is right for you.

  • Word/Pages Document
    • Type some text - How does it handle spelling errors?
      • What formatting options do you have?
      • Can you add a comment?
    • Make a hyperlink - Can it be done easily? (Type the word Google and turn it into a hyperlink. Don't just paste a hyperlink)
    • Paste some text from another app (From a webpage or even a Note)
    • Add a photo
      • How easily can that be done?
      • What formatting options do you have?
    • Add a Table.
      • What formatting options do you have?
    • Share it with yourself via email.
    • Does it have dropbox support?
    • Can you "correct" it and email it back?
      • This is an important piece. DO THIS STEP.
      • How are "corrections" made?
      • How can you get it back to the student without other students having access to it?
    • How is this app different in a shared environment s 1:1?

  • Powerpoint or Keynote Document
    • a title slide - How does it handle spelling errors?
    • Make a slide for bullets - Any issues?
    • Make a slide and paste some text
      • Make a hyperlink from some text (Don't just paste a hyperlink)
    • Make a slide and add a photo
      • Can you make the photo a hyperlink?
      • Can you rotate, adjust the photo
    • Share it with yourself. What formats are available?
      • What do you need to have in order to view it?
    • How is this app different in a shared environment vs 1:1?

spigoo.jpg
Creative Commons: Flickr: spigoo




Food for thought


You've compared four of the oft-cited "Office" packages. Each had its pros and cons, so which one will you choose? Here are some questions and observations that might figure into your decision.

Cloudon (free - the price is right)
It requires an account, but it does store files in the cloud. Will that work in your district? But, it requires students to log in, and they must also log out. As long as students remember to logout each time there won't be a problem with students deleting the files of others. Right? Are files available from a laptop if the ipad is not available?

Does Cloudon allow for multiple editors? Can it open Word and Powerpoint files? Is it OK that we won't be able to have kids collaborating on documents?

Google Drive (Also free)
There's no question that it is very limited in terms of functions. Is it important that it cannot insert images? How important is it that files CAN have multiple synchronous editors, thus enabling real collaboration? This, btw, solves the issue of how students submit work. they simply share their files with the teacher. How important is it that there is no presentation tool? How invested in your school in the Google Apps already? How important is it that files are stored online and can be accessed and editied from anywhere? Would this work in a shared cart environment?

Skydrive.com (Also free)
What is your overall reaction to this site? How important is it to be able to access the camera roll from the app? We CAN have multiple editors so students can again share their files with the teacher, thus solving the issue of how to return files to students. What other features were show-stoppers or non-starters for you? Would this work in a shared cart environment?

Pages/Keynote (NOT free!)
How would these apps work in a shared cart environent? How important is it that files cannot have multiple editors, and thus, no collaboration? How does the workflow function? How would you suggest that teachers collect work from students and return it? There's no doubt that it was the easiest to use. How important is that for your students and teachers? Does it outweigh the logistical issues?