Hooray for printing! Our division office team has had me do some testing with printing from the Chromebooks and it seems like they have chosen/implemented an effective system. From a student user standpoint, Google takes this one again, as there are just fewer “clicks” to get a document printed. Having student print capability is so important for humanities classes where students benefit greatly from having a paper version to use for revising and editing (especially when they don’t have to wait in line for the teacher to print it!)
In our current environment there is one advantage to having students use Office 365, at least at this point. Currently when a student begins a project or essay in a Google Doc with our Division login they cannot complete out of class on their iPad or cell phone, as our current settings do not allow us access to the Division’s Google environment on a handheld device. On the other hand, students can access their essays on their hand held device using the Office 365 login or apps. This has delayed some students from my Google test group from finishing an assignment as quickly as they might have otherwise because they have to physically come to my class to use a Chromebook or be at home or school on a desktop to finish their assignments. I’ve noticed it as a teacher because I have been able to read/mark/comment on student work done in Office 365 from my iPad and Android phone, but I cannot login to our .prrd8.ca Google account on those same devices due to “restrictions”.
So, for the time being, Office 365 scores in the cross-platform category. However, I do have hope that at some point our overworked Division Office Technology staff who are trying to implement Chromebooks and learn the world of all things Google will at some point have time to tackle this issue. I fully empathize with the fact that handheld device access is probably not a current high priority in the Chromebook rollout that our division is envisioning, and they have done amazing work so far in this Chromebook/Google world that is unfamiliar territory to them.
Besides, Office 365 had to have an advantage sooner or later!