Tech for Teach

“HopTo”: A free 3rd party solution for Microsoft Office on the iPad.

Let’s face it, Apple’s recent attempt to “harmonize” the iWork user experience

HopTo: an app for managing Microsoft Office files on the iPad

across all devices is nothing short of a digital disaster.  Just read the Apple Support Communities message boards and you’ll learn very quickly that dumbing down Pages (Apple’s answer to Word) and Numbers (supposed to be like Excel) and Keynote (Powerpoint) not only enraged power users of iWork but has reminded us why Microsoft has been and will continue to be the industry standard for office software.

While iWork’s recent growing pains have given Microsoft shareholders much to cheer about, Skydrive’s monthly payment plan to use Microsoft office in the cloud has not taken off as expected. It just feels like a money grab (which might explain why Apple released iWorks for free). With Steve Ballmer stepping down rumours are flying about that Microsoft Office may yet be made available for the iPad. Until that day happens (if ever) there is a free cloud-base alternative to managing your Microsoft Office PC/Mac documents on your iPad. If you’re interested, read on.  Continue reading ““HopTo”: A free 3rd party solution for Microsoft Office on the iPad.”

Tech for Teach

SkyDrive? Or Google Drive?

Apple users may not be familiar with SkyDrive at all; but Microsoft and Google have been in competition for a while now trying to control the cloud computing experience with SkyDrive being Microsoft’s offering, and Google Drive being, well, Google’s. As a PC user, I am not up to speed on what Apple is doing on this front, but last I checked iCloud was not as much of a peer-peer collaborative environment as SkyDrive and Google Drive are attempting to be.  In any case, cloud computing has opened up tremendous new possibilities for teachers, both in the areas of collaborative learning and teacher development of web based materials. So, let’s try and sort out these two major players in the game.

Both SkyDrive and Google Drive have downloadable folders for file sharing which can be placed right in your explorer window (that’s like Mac’s Finder), and fit in seamlessly with your typical PC environment. Both can be used on multiple devices to share files with yourself on multiple platforms, Android, Mac OS, and Windows. Both can be accessed from web browsers on any device. Both use the same login password you would use for your e-mail and are directly tied to your e-mail (G-mail or Hot-mail/Outlook/Microsoft account). Both offer web app versions of popular software such as word/document and excel/spreadsheet. However, there are some major differences.

Continue reading “SkyDrive? Or Google Drive?”