Google Docs as a linking mechanism

Lately, I have been working with students using eFolio MN, a free site which allows people to put together professional quality portfolios and related sites, which can become sites to show off resumes, school work, or presentations for future employers or for consideration in edcucational programs. I find it works very well with Google Docs.

As with most similar sites in which a person may want to upload or store files such as papers or resumes, there is usually the option to upload a Word or .PDF file. But why? Once it is uploaded, it is set in stone. If you make any changes, even to add a few characters, you must delete the current file and upload the new one, even taking the chance of uploading the incorrect version of the document.

Since these sites are online already, there is every reason in the world to use internet-hosted content as much as possible.

That’s where Google Docs comes in. By linking the document to your original instead of uploading it, you may make live changes in the document whenever you wish, with no need to update the site. Same goes for online calendars. Use Google Calendar, and link to the calendar to use it live on the site.

Both of these are easy to do. All that is needed is to go into “Sharing” in Docs, and “settings” in Calendar. You are going to “Publish as a web page.” Once this is done, you will get a URL (web address) you can paste into the appropriate space on the host site.

Other similar ideas for host sites like eFolio, blog sites, or do-it-yourself web sites:

  • Link favorite articles and resources
  • Link pictures to Flickr
  • Link to YouTube versions of presentations you have done
  • Link to Google Spreadsheets for data sharing
  • Link to Powerpoint slide shows through Google Presentation
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