Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lesson #16: Intro to Web-Based Applications

This week we are exploring web-based productivity applications. Basically, these are tools that allow you to do things like word processing, creating presentations, and building citation/reference lists (to name a few possibilities) -- for free, online, without having to purchase software! Downloading is sometimes required, but most of these applications do not even require that level of commitment or energy. ;)

There are a LOT of productivity applications out there, and some folks predict that they will eventually spell DOOM for products like Microsoft Office. Maybe, maybe not, but the $0 price tag and the sense of experimentation and innovation that characterize these programs may make them especially appealing to cash-strapped, tech-savvy young college students.

The librarians at the University College Dublin recognize this and in May they created a blog -- UCD Library 2 go -- designed to introduce students to web applications they might find useful during their college careers. Each blog entry focuses on a different type of application (tools for annotating websites, survey tools, office tools, etc.) and usually highlights several different options within that category.

I think this is a pretty cool idea, so for this lesson's discovery exercise, I'd like you to:

1. Browse through the blog posts on UCD Library 2 go, reading about the different applications these librarians have chosen to highlight for their students.

2. Write a post to your own blog with your reactions. Which of these applications (if any) sound interesting to you? Which of them do you think EKU students might find useful? How important do you think it is for library staff members who work in higher education to be aware of web applications such as these?

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