A wiki spreadsheet.

I have to say that up until recently I didn’t see what was so great about spreadsheets. I have been using them for years to analyze student achievement data and present findings to others, but the didn’t seem like the “killer-app” that so many others seem to be thinking about.
On the other hand, my wife speaks in spreadsheets and she can really make them sing. She can have fields reference across fifteen different sheets and set up a budget in a matter of moments.
This is extremely cool if all you want to do is present information or figure out what makes sense in terms of data, but as a collaborative process, I just didn’t see it.
That was until Google Spreadsheets started opening up anonymous access to spreadsheet using forms and protected links. I started using google forms in order to record interest in our district’s online school (http://edcsd.org). This proved an effective way of collecting specific information and storing it in a place that could be accessed from everywhere. So, in this sense, it was a mass collaboration that was added to with every entry. No one really is able to see the scale of the collaboration, that is, except for me.
Well that was a neat trick, but it is nothing compared to the idea of a spreadsheet wiki. One feature that was just added to google spreadsheets is the ability to share a link with others that will let others edit it without having to sign up for a google account.
This means that students could record data on the same spreadsheet without having to sign in. It means that achievement data (not on specific students, though) could be aggregated in one place, all without having to teach an entire staff about a new service. It means that you could keep track of all of your school’s goals with everyone adding their notes, never having to go through the extra hoop of remembering a password.
Perhaps best of all, it would allow all of those who do not yet see the value of massively-collaborative projects to participate in one without ever knowing about it and by using a tool they already recognize as important: spreadsheets.
Perhaps I am making too much out of this. Perhaps there are other tools that do this already, but as I am on a search for ways to eliminate as many logins as possible, this is one great step in the right direction.
Do you see any new ways of using this? Are spreadsheets more valuable now?
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Posted via email from olco5’s posterous

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