Working with TRIO programs and their students has illustrated the need for providing students with application software for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software to meet their instructional and learning needs. A review of what’s currently available for free has shown wide use of a couple of different Office suites. Check out the following online applications that also allow for online collaboration and sharing.
GMail and Google Apps – Sign up for a free GMail account and get access to Google Apps for free. Google Apps includes online wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentation and graphics manipulation applications that are easy to use.
Hotmail and SkyDrive – With a free Hotmail account you also get Microsoft Web Apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for free. In addition you get 25GB of free online storage. These Microsoft Web Apps look just like the regular Microsoft Office applications but with a slightly limited set of options.
If you don’t have a GMail account or a Hotmail account, sign up for one and take a tour of the free cloud applications that can help you to create and share information with your program staff and students.