Do we really need Microsoft Office anymore?
I’m not far from feeling the same way as Charles Cooper (@coopydoop) in the linked article. Many features of MS Word were created to give users an EZ mode, so to speak. With built-in letter and research paper formatting settings, and quick-macro citation editing, MS Word has been a go-to for educators and students for years … decades even.
However, I think we need to move away from EZ mode creation and move towards EZ collaboration. I believe Google products are one way to do this. Now, I’m a huge iFan, but even there, I am seeing less and less often a reason for sticking with Microsoft Office basics. Even my database use, for which I really like Access, can be done with other products.
Also, I can’t tell you the number of students I have to help convert documents when papers are due, because they have five other types of word processing programs at home that won’t convert easily into .doc format, or at least, they’ve never been taught to do so. I think if we let students know that Microsoft is not the only option, and we work with resources that more economically allow for transferring and collaborating, they may not fall into the Microsoft rut as they head off to college and enter the workforce. But that’s just my 2 cents.
With resources like Google Docs and Open Office available for FREE, not to mention the number of other presentation and project creation options available, why are we still leaning on Microsoft Office for student content creation?