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Published October 15, 2007

On-line Applications - A Resource for Students and Yourself!

No charge on-line software offering multi-user accessible memory for the creation and modification of documents, multimedia presentations, and photos is now a reality.

These applications can be accessed directly using your browser with no need for installation on your hard disk and allow you to save your work directly onto the Internet. They will also export documents that are compatible with computer-resident applications. Traditional files can be opened in the on-line programs as well.

This type of software can be advantageous if you often use a USB key or other solutions designed to provide access to work at multiple locations such as Internet cafés. You can connect and work wherever you find yourself!

Google Docs in Plain English

The principle advantage of this type of application, however, is the opportunity that it offers for virtual collaboration. Students and teachers can work together on the same document. The protocol of progressively numbered versions of a file is passé! Google has created a presentation on YouTube which quite cleverly explains this phenomenon. Don't forget to read the comments that follow the video.

Several sites offer on-line applications which can allow you to create a document or edit an image or video. Generally, available on-line storage is voluminous enough to accommodate a good number of documents. At this time, however, no on-line application is as fast or as complete as its in-computer equivalent (ex: Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

Word Processing

Word processing is one of the most popular on-line functionalities. You can lay out illustrated documents and use complex backgrounds and formats. There may only be ten font choices, but there is a lot of variety possible using paragraph alignment, indentations, bullets, and Internet links.


Spreadsheets are among the most commonly available applications on-line. The most common functions in this type of application include copy/paste and sorting by column and row. Discipline-based, predefined formulas are available for fields such as mathermatics, logic, finance, statistics etc. To get more information on this category of internet-based application,link to this review from the Linux blog.

Presentation Software

Several sites allow you to create slideshows and similar kinds of presentations on-line. As stated above, however, you must satisfy yourself with the basics. Often including multimedia content or images is not possible. You are limited to text and achieve a degree of variety by playing around with fonts, colours and backgrounds. To get more information on this category of internet-based application, click here to view a blog about Google's new presentation software.

Photo and Image Editing

On-line photo editing is very popular. Certain sites allow you to edit your photos within on-line albums! Automatic adjustment is available as well as image resizing, luminosity and contrast adjustment and certain special effects. Link here to see a site for on-line photo editing.

To learn more, click here to go to' home page which explains on-line applications in general. The user examples page is fun!

On the other hand, if you have suggestions for the academic use of pedagogical applications, Profweb would like to hear from you! Use our reader response feature below to share your ideas with the cégep community. A summary of your suggestions will be published.

About the Author

Nicole Perreault She began her college career as a Psychology Teacher and Education Advisor at Collège André-Grasset. She was then the Director of APOP and the CLIC newsletter before becoming an Education Advisor at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit. Since 2005, she is pleased to be the Community Manager for the Réseau des REPTIC (IT Representatives Network) which brings together ICT Education Advisors from across the college network. She has written numerous articles and given many workshops on the pedagogical use of technology. Their integration within the context of student success is a subject that she finds particularly interesting.

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