Our district is moving towards full GAFE integration, mainly because its cost effective and the collaboration piece is mind blowing. We’ll be using Chromebooks in the classrooms and are in the process of becoming Google Drive experts. (haha) Google Apps are great, but occasionally something gets lost in the translation from Office Apps to Google Apps. Converting Microsoft files to GAFE is easy, yet, a bit of the functionality of the “ole work horse” of the word processing industry is still lost in that process. I’m sure Google is working on that, but in the meantime, the issue is bothersome for many.
Several of my co workers have years worth of Power Points filed away on their flash drives, hard drives, and clouds and have been trying to convert them to Google Slides with varying success. Frustrated with losing a lot of the bells and whistles they’ve spent time building into their presentations, they’re the ones that aren’t that excited about the move to GAFE. This, naturally, got me poking around to see if there was an alternative for them (and me, as I have a few ppts that I hate to convert). I think I found something.
Microsoft Online is “Papa Bear’s” bare bones answer to cloud collaboration. Set up in a similar manner as Google Drive, several of the more popular Office Suite apps are available online and if you have an One Drive account, your office files are easily accessed with a couple of clicks of your mouse. Even on a Chromebook. This is, for us, very important, because some Office Suite files just need to remain… Office Suite files.
Check out my little video tour of Microsoft Online, below.