This is a wonderful example of how the Web 2.0 or The Read/Write web as Will Richardson calls it, can transform education by eliminating boundaries. The latest issue of MacWorld lists the top 10 trends of 2007. Number 4 is “The Net as Computer” by Lisa Schmeiser. She discusses Office 2.0 and by this she means what happened when Yahoo offered free e-mail accounts and how it started to change where and how people worked.
Check out a database of web-based Office 2.0 aps. Three notable ones include gOFFICE and Zoho and Joyent. All of them offer on-line tools that could replace local applications if users have constant on Internet access.
How will this impact our educational program in 2007 and beyond? Some students already use Google Docs so the future is closer then anyone thinks.
Since I first posted this in December of 2006, more students are using these tools. In fact, I am trying to get all students setup with a Google account so they can use them.