I’d like to begin with a shout out to fellow classmates Allison, Shelby, Jocelyn and Daina for a great presentation on the history and uses of presentation tools and productivity suits!
The presenters discussed and used a number of different presentation tools including, but not limited to PowerPoint, WeVideo, Adobe Spark and Prezi. If your looking for some additional tools that were discussed during the presentation check out the following link: https://www.predictiveanalyticstoday.com/top-presentation-software/
In addition to presenting on a wide array of presentation tools the group discussed productivity tools and suits. One productivity tool that stood out for me as a true game changer for both education and the business world was the Word Processor. The Word Processor was and still is a computer application that is used for the “composition, editing, formatting and possibly printing of any sort of printable material”. According to the article, Computer History: Tracing the History of the Computer- History of Word Processors, the term “word processor” has been around since the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that word processors began to be utilized by the masses in general.
Personally, I don’t remember a time where the word processor or as some may more commonly know it as “Microsoft Word” didn’t exist. I remember early on in my elementary schooling using Microsoft Word to type up and create reports in a variety of subject areas. It has only been within the last three years that my school division has moved away from Microsoft Word as a desktop tool and other desktop Microsoft tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel, to the online productivity suite called G Suites.
I won’t lie, it took me awhile to get used to G suites. I still feel that I can do more, and have an easier time using Microsoft tools verses the Google Suite tools (however, this may be due to my familiarity with Microsoft tools for such a long time). What I do really like about the G Suite is that students can collaborate and work together on a single doc or presentation. This feature is not available on the desktop version of Microsoft products. However, I recently learned that Microsoft has its own productivity suite called Microsoft 365. During the presentation we spent some time comparing the two productivity suites. In terms of collaboration, it seems as though the Google Suite might have a bit of an edge on Microsoft 365. However when comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the video conferencing features of Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, I would have to say in both privacy and user ability Microsoft Teams wins out. If your on the fence about which suite to use for your business or classroom check out the following article G Suite vs Office 365: What’s the Best Office Suite for Business?
A lot of these tools have been created to help make working online easier. These tools allow us to do multiple tasks online, and with the ability to have multiple tabs open, with the potential to do multiple different things at one time. But, can you actually complete multiple tasks online at the same time, or do we simply become more distracted? James Hamblin points to this dilemma in the following video.
I can relate to the video, in the sense that at this very moment I have seven other tabs open, and I just paused writing this blog to answer an email. To me this isn’t necessarily multi-tasking. This is stopping one task to focus on another. I know as a teacher there are multiple tasks that I do in a day, often at the same time. For example, while my students are completing work, I have answered the phone, dealt with a bloody nose and answered questions about the assigned work. I must say, I am much more practiced at multi-tasking during a regular school day than online. I found the extensions that Daina pointed out in her blog post to be very helpful in limiting distractions that can arise while working online.
In conclusion, I think that as a whole, we need to find time to be present in the moment. To focus on what we are doing rather than on what we could be doing, or what we need to do next. I think this applies to both when we are working online or offline and to our everyday lives. Something I am continuing to work hard at is making sure to separate my job and my home life; to leave school at school and be present at home. Recently with the new Covid-19 guidelines and limited hours I can be physically at the school, this has proved to be even more challenging.
One thought on “Presentation Tools, Productivity Suits and the Question of Multitasking”
Great post Alyssa. I remember the BW (Before Word) days haha. A gamechanger indeed. I made a reference to the earlier word processors and dot matrix printers I had access to in high school and into university. We are a Microsoft school so I’m pretty much used to these tools but dabble with google and apple products as well. Pros and cons to all, but overall where there is a will there’s usually a way to get the job you want done. Teachers wear many hats and make many decisions through the course of a day (not sure if there are many jobs that require as many choices big and small we just do – I’d say we are more productive than we are given credit for :-))
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