” Down the Rabbit Hole ” and into the Wonders of Zoho

Zoho Dashboard Greg Noack just posted his first blog post and he relates a great story of efficiency and the utilization and experimentation of new tools specifically Google Docs and Zoho Writer

I left a long comment and it got me thinking about my use of Zoho's myriad of applications and how they might be better used in conjunction with embedding, for classrooms projects and collaborations.  For those of you who do read my blog, you already know that I am a big fan of the folks at Zoho and all they have done "in the cloud." But, I am also a big fan of Microsoft and all of it's products and the interoperability of their tools set.  I am a huge fan of Office 2007 and OneNote 2007 is about the the best resource any individual and group can have. However, Greg's post stirred my creative thoughts, and I am currently warring with a paradigm shift my brain is trying to undergo.

At one point in his post Greg made the comment:

Today, I had a chance to try to embed a Gdoc (word file). No luck. Google doesn’t give you an embed code, only a link to a webpage. I wasn’t happy with this  as I want everything inside the security of Moodle. So, I tried Zoho.com, and they DO provide an embed code, not only for their writer, but also their spreadsheets (they may do this for other types,  I haven’t tried it out yet). My co-teacher was really excited about the spreadsheet because when you embed the spreadsheet in a Moodle web page, students can enter data right there online, and there is a link to download to excel right there.

Regarding Zoho… ALL of their apps have an embed feature. every darn one of them!  Anything that you can create in Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, Creator, Projects, DB, Notebook, Planner, and Chat can be shared, collaborated upon, and embedded into other resources … That is an amazing set of interoperable tools that are all "in the cloud."  Additionally, last December (2007) Zoho leveraged  Google Gears giving Writer the ability to edit offline as well as online.  This allows you to take 15 documents offline, edit them, and when you are back online, they will sync back to Zoho's servers. 

I  really like the ability to move into and out of all of the applications with ease, as well as the ability to bring some Zoho apps into other Zoho apps…

Switch to... in all appsZoho Wiki embeds Zoho Embeds in Notebook

With Zoho Show you can even conduct remote presentations where your clients / viewers can "login" to the presentation anywhere in the world and you can conduct a presentation controlling the slides for everyone at the same time. Pretty cool.

Let's look at a some educational opportunities:

With Greg looking at Moodle for security options I will use that as a springboard for the ideas below.

Think of this for a class activity. Have your class collaborate in groups in Zoho writer… then they can embed the doc in Moodle… Now what they are collaborating on is a review guide for each of your units… each person in each group takes turns updating each day and if they want they can be in the doc at the same time. Now at the end of the unit, all groups have a tailored review sheet. The best part is:

  • With the shared doc you can see the additions/edits/changes by each with history…
  • With the embed each time there are changes the entire group sees it immediately
  • If you want you can set up the groups to restrict or allow access to the others “view” to compare.
  • With the google gears link they don’t even have to be online to access/update. Next time they are online it will automatically update.

Note: you can do the same thing with a Zoho wiki when you show them RSS etc… (no Google gears yet but they do allow backups to local drive)

Now, do that with presentations as well… with the embed you can watch the presentation grow and then make the Moodle page active when your students are active presenting… no “projects” left at home / bad disk / etc

Now, considering a digital portfolio for your kids for the year? Step into the world of Zoho Notebook… You can embed all of their docs, presentations (Show), sheets, plus text / video / audio / ENTIRE LIVE WEBSITES / research for building each of those… EDIT AND UPDATE Writer, Sheet, Show RIGHT FROM WITHIN THE NOTEBOOK!

What to hear a really cool twist. Once everything is in a Zoho Notebook, you can “share" the notebook with read or read/write access (group editing / review)… and you can embed the entire darn notebook into Moodle! How about that for digital learning, archiving, portfolio management… and the best part update any of the originals and poof the Notebook and all else is up to date!

Here are a couple of examples of Zoho Notebook's capabilities.

My Notes from IL-TCE 2008 Lucy Grey's "Going Global" Presentation Notebook

Here is a Notebook I created: Think of the Possibilities

Can Google Docs do that? 

Zoho Rocks… oh and some of the Zoho apps have Skype and or chat capabilities built right in… You need any help or ideas/thoughts just drop me a line.

Scott

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3 thoughts on “” Down the Rabbit Hole ” and into the Wonders of Zoho

  1. Scott, Thank you for using and promoting Zoho. We are really happy to see you dig into the details of every Zoho app.
    There are many integration points across Zoho apps. Perhaps, I should talk about it in my next blog post on Zoho Blogs.

  2. “…then they can embed the doc in Moodle…”
    How? I’ve been looking (overlooking?) for awhile and can’t find this info.
    You can embed from Zoho Writer into Moodle, then anytime you update in Zoho Writer the text updates automatically? Sweet!
    Is the embeddable code copy & paste-able, or just the HTML code?

  3. Mike,
    I am going to leave a reply on your site as well. But in answer to your question. Within Zoho Writer you need to create (or upload) your doc. Now publish it. From there it will give you a script embed code. Now go to moodle and create a new Resource > Compose a webpage. Here you will need to enter a name for the resource, and then then brief description. Then go into the main window for the resource and switch from wysiwig to html view, and paste in the script. then click Save Changes.
    Poof it is there 🙂 Now when you update the doc in zoho, it will automatically update in Moodle!
    Scott

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