Live Documents is a Web 2.0 application which is used to create, edit, and share documents. The types of documents that can be created include Live Presentations, Live Spreadsheets and Live Writer. The purpose of this application is to create choices and flexibility in the way you create, edit, share and collaborate your documents, whether you are online or on your desktop. Anyone who uses Microsoft Office, Open Office or a browser-based Office suite such as Google docs can benefit from this service. Live Documents gives you the choice and flexibility of working on the desktop or on the browser without having the document saved on one computer. (1)
LiveDocuments has a lot of collaboration features. For example documents are able to be shared with other users and the user is protected because there is a good permissions system in place (users or groups of users can be allowed to read, print, copy, or edit a document). Each document has a to-do list and a log of changes associated with it. Currently, these features only appear to be 100% working in the Writer program therefore the programs such as Live Presentations and Live Spreadsheets needs more work. (1)
As far as the programs go, other than the collaboration stuff it's pretty much exactly like working in Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint.
Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail, released Live Documents in November of 2007. "He formed a new company, InstaColl, and is joining Zoho, ThinkFree, Google, Yahoo (Zimbra), Adobe and lesser know others in the effort to squish Microsoft Office with a new suite and complementary collaborative component, Live Documents" , states Dan Farber author of Live Documents Enters the Office Suite Ring and editor-in-chief of CNET News.com. (5)
Sabeer Bhatia Creator of Live Documents
The founder created Live Documents because he really enjoyed the idea of being able to work on your desktop but also have the availability to work online with a browser to create documents and colloborate ideas. Live Documents is not affiliated with Mircosoft or Google in any way, but with this program you get the best of both worlds.(1)
Live Documents does have a free version. With this free version, you can still work with all three products (Writer, Spreadsheet, and Presentation) but there is a limit for the amount of storage you have for the documents.(1)
You can choose to upgrade your account from a free account to a paid subscription, in which you can continue to keep all of your documents and continue to work. The other option would be to delete some of your documents and continue using the free version.(1)
Live Documents is a program designed to immitate Microsoft Office and parts of Google Docs. Live Documents looks and responds in nearly the same way as Microsoft Office. A difference is that not all of the features of Microsoft Office appear in Live Documents, but there are added features in Live Documents. In Live Presentations you are able to automatically search for images in Flickr and upload them to your presentation as a background. The backgrounds available for your presentations are different than what Microsoft Powerpoint offers. In Live Spreadsheets there are many more formulas and options than what is offered with Microsoft Excel.
One of Live Documents main attributes is the ability to use the program while you are online or offline. This is a major advantage over other web-based Office programs, many of which you can only use while your browser is online. The browser is beneficial because it lets you access your documents at any computer, with internet, without having your personal Microsoft office on that particular computer. Every change that you make towards your document is automatically updated to the other part, whether going from desktop to browser or vice versa, without having to manually change them. The goal for this program is to take desktop applications and merge them with the sharing aspect of the internet. The main feature of this program is that you can switch between any modes and not have to worry about updates or versions. Another advantage is the security is managed by the user. The user allows and controls the permission settings on who is allowed to view and edit the created documents. As stated by Michael Arrington, a writer for Tech Crunch, "The creator of a document sets permissions of other users (read only, read-write, print permission, etc.) and emails out the file to them as they normally would. When the other users open the document all instances of the document across all users are syncronized regularly when users are online."(4)
What will happen with my documents when I transfer them back and forth from Live Documents to a different Office application?
Since all office applications aren't the same, there will be a loss of accuracy between the two programs, but Live Documents works so that the document is preserved the whole time. If you upload a document that has a special coded item, Live Documents may not be able to show the item, but if you transfer your document back to the original program, the item will be visible.
How can Live Documents compete with Microsoft Office if it doesn't have all of the features that Microsoft has?
Live Documents does not have all of the features that Microsoft Office offers, but the reason that Live Documents is a competetor is because of its simplicity. Live Documents helps the user complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently. Working off and online is its most beneficial use.
What are International Benefits of Live Documents?
Live Documents has many international advantages and benefits. Within Live Spreadsheets you are able to convert currency within the program. With Microsoft Excel this is not an option. Another great way Live Documents can be used internationally is within companies. For example an employee traveling may be reporting on an overseas factory branch. He could be writing a report about the conditions in the factory or the factory yields. His coworkers back home would be able to access the document and add other relevant information needed or add information comparing and contrasting the factories at home to the overseas factory. Live Documents would be very beneficial in this case because the coworkers would not need to send each other emails or Word Documents back and forth multiple times a day. Live Documents would be much more convenient and easy to use.
How Does Live Documents Relate to Other Software Applications? Do I have to download anything?
Live Documents updates the old Microsoft applications by adding the component of the internet. This component allows users to share spreadsheets, presentations, and word documents directly into the internet, rather than saving them as different files and then connecting those files to emails, web pages, or other internet sources. Similarly, Google has created ‘Google Docs’ which also automatically connects word documents and other applications to the internet. Live Documents claims they have an upper hand though due to their vast amount of features that the user is more familiar (closer to the traditional features in Microsoft Office) with than those features of Google Docs. Also, Live Documents claims they are more capable of transitioning your existing Microsoft Office documents into their program than Google Docs. (10)
If all you are looking for is accessing your documents in the browser, no downloads are required. There are no programs to install. All that is needed is an internet browser and a flash player installed on your computer. (1)
There is an option to download the desktop version so that you can work on your documents offline. (1)
What are the system requirements?
To access the browser version of Live Documents, you only need an Internet connection and a Web browser. Live Documents works on any system and browser that supports Flash (Flash 9 is required). (1)
To view your Live Documents on the desktop, you can download the software version on any computer that supports Adobe AIR. (1)
Can the desktop version of Live Documents work on the Mac?
Yes, Live Documents can be installed on both Microsoft Windows or Macs. The only system requirement is to have the Adobe AIR runtime. (1)
Is Live Documents available in other languages?
It is only available in English. More languages are expected to be added in the future. (1)
How Can Live Documents be Incorporated into Education or the Business World?
LiveDocuments has a lot of collaboration features - documents can be shared with other users, there's a good permissions system in place (users or groups of users can be allowed to read, print, copy, or edit a document), and each document has a to-do list and a log of changes associated with it.At the moment, these features only appear to be 100% working in the Writer program. (2) This can be incorporated so their can be group projects and multiple people can work on the same project without being in the same place. They can notice what needs to be done and see what has already been accomplished.
Live Documents can be used in numerous settings. Not only can the business world benefit, but also the educational world. Today there is such a demand for collaboration and sharing of documents. The international business can benefit from Live Documents by having their employees share presentations and spreadsheets across the world.
Educators can benefit by having their students collaborate and share ideas with their classmates. The opportunity to have more group work but without the inconvienance of having all the group members in one place. This type of technology is created to make the convienance and availability easy for anyone to use.
Here are some lesson plans made using Live Documents. They demonstrate how useful a tool Live Documents can be for teachers. Teachers can use Live Documents to create lesson plans any where and on any computer.
Elementary Lesson Plans
Natural Disasters - The Natural Disasters Lesson Plan will educate students on four major natural
disasters: earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Students will be asked to work in groups and make a presentation on Live Documents on one specific disaster to present to the class.
Classifying Shapes and Numbers - Students will work together and improve their mathematical skills, as well as computer skills, using Live Documents. They will count, separate, and group the different coins throughout the activity. Most importantly, they will have to navigate in Live Documents throughout the activity
Let’s Talk About Opposites - Students will review opposites that occur around them every day. They will practice this at the end using an art project to show their understanding.
Secondary Lesson Plans
Using the Interent to Enrich Group Exercies. Students will be placed in small groups and use Live Documents to word process a worksheet on seperate different computers. Live Document's will give them the ability to work together, simultaneously on the same document.
The Advantages of Using the Internet - Students will work in groups of 3-5 and create a collaborative PowerPoint using Live Documents. The project will be based on the advantages of the internet in classrooms. The students will research this project and combine their information about this subject on separate computers.
Using Graphs to Communicate Information Using Various Live Document Applications - Students will learn to use Live Documents and the various uses while collaborating with classmates in creating a graph and converting the graph into numerical data on a spreadsheet and communicating findings on a document.
A History of Science - Students will collaborate in groups of 2-4 students to present information to the class about a scientist of historical importance using the LiveDocuments web application.
Grapes of Wrath- Students will refine their writing skills while becoming familiar with Live Documents. Students will be divided into groups of six, with each student having to collaborate in writing a six page paper. Project will be completed outside of class.
French Revolution - Students will divide into four groups. Each group is responsible for a 'phase' or time period during the French Revolution. Each group will create a presentation using Live Documents and will later present their lesson to the class. ?
Post-Secondary Lesson Plans
Rube Goldberg Competition - The Rube Goldberg Competition Lesson Plan has students working in groups, simulating an international connection in the real life. It requires a lot of communication and brainstorming through Live Documents. Students will construct a machine to make a hamburger with at least 3 toppings.
Live Documents and Math - In this lesson, students will use the spreadsheet function on Live Documents and make a spreadsheet that will have formulas programmed into them and all the students have to do is insert the numbers, and it will show the answer. This will help you quickly get answers so students don’t have to sit around a plug and chug answers.