Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Give Me a Sign #edtech

I often am looking for a nice image of a word to add to a slide in a presentation.  Because, I try to always use Creative Commons licensed images it can be a challenge to find that one specific image.  So, Sometimes I just create it myself with CoolTextCoolText has thousands of fonts and numerous settings for each which allow you to choose and customize your own word art.  I've been using CoolText for sometime now and they keep improving their free service.  It used to be that you had to right click the final product and save it as a gif.  Now, they have multiple options from which to choose, including grabbing html code for you site, blog or wiki.  They also have links that allow you to create logos, buttons and download fonts (all for free).  Some times simple can be powerful.  Just check out the CoolText I created below and added to this post in all of 20o seconds!
Zenodotus.net

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own Logo

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Get Organized and Connected #edtech

I've been focusing a lot lately on the fact that it is the beginning of the school year for many of us.  And if you haven't already, now is the time to get organized.  I have Jerry Swiatek to thank for tonight's tool.  If you are not familiar with Jerry, make sure you find and follow him on any social network you can.  Speaking with Jerry at FETC the past two years has been one of the major highlights of that conference for me.  O.K., enough name dropping - tonight's tool is Lessonopoly.
Lessonopoly is a great online community for sharing and organizing lesson plans.  The first thing you will want to do at Lessonopoly is familiarize yourself with their lesson planning search engine.  And if you read this blog, you know, I'm going to tell you to click the advanced search options. You can then search by "subject, grade, keywords or author" Additionally, there is an option to search for lesson plans that include California State Standards.  Once you find a lesson plan you like you can add them to your library.  You can then add these lessons to your Lessonopoly calendar.
Once you have "listened" and explored the resources, it's time to "pay it forward".  There is very nice form within Lessonopoly that allows you to share your best lesson plans.  It's time to get "engaged" and share your knowledge.  That's how communities like these grow.
As with any community, the power of Lessonopoly is that you can connect globally with your peers.  Not only can you connect with individual teachers but you can join groups as well. Make sure to make those connections!


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Lorem-Ipsum #edtech

No, it's not a character in a Dr. Suess book.  Rather it's the random text that you see splattered all over the internet.  Lorem-Ipsum is "dummy text" and is used by the web design and typesetting industries to create mockups of what a final product might look like.  But seeing the same text over and over can get boring right?  So, why not mix it up a bit with the number of options available from Blind Text Generator.  With a number of different options for language, fonts and overall layout, Blind Text Generator can give provide you with a simple way to generate text for you as you design your new wikis, blogs, sites and more at the beginning of the school year.  Blind Text Generator allows you to easily copy out the text and accompanying html code.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Be Safe Out There! #edtech

I spent my day with "Thomas the Train" and about a gazillion young children and I started thinking that this next generation of students is going to be more tech savvy than ever before.  I am so tired of the digital native / digital immigrant debates.  Here's the thing we are all in this together, right?  So, we have a responsibility, no matter our comfort level with technology to do our best to train students to be responsible digital citizens.  In fact, many states require a yearly refresher course for their students.
As I climb down off my soapbox, I want to tell you about an amazing site that can help you do just that.  Netsmartz is full of incredible resources for parents, law enforcement, educators, teens, tweens and kids.  Netsmartz has a multitude of pre-designed lesson plans, presentations, videos, quizes and games that can facilitate conversations.  And that's the key to raising responsible digital citizens is to talk about how to use technology responsibly.   Netsmartz is a site developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children so you know the resources they provide can be trusted.   There's no better time than the beginning of the school year to start thinking about how you will help educate students on the importance of digital citizenship and Netsmartz can help you get there.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Record WebVideo Online #edtech

I'm cheating a bit tonight and am covering a site that I mentioned in passing during the first month of this project.  But, with good reason.  Some days ago I had promised my good friend @tomgrissom that I would get back to him with a utility that you could use to record video with your webcam (it didn't matter if it was a local application or one online).  I had initially mentioned Jaycut.  That online video editing tool allowed you to record video from your webcam. Sadly, they are now closed to new user accounts.  I couldn't remember the name of a utility that I had used in the past that could be downloaded and installed to record similar video clips.  That utility was SuperWebCam and is also no longer available. Which is why I didn't get back to Tom sooner.
But, I had not forgotten that conversation.
So, I know it's a few days late, but Tom (or anyone else for that matter) may want to give Viddler a try.  Viddler like Vimeo, Dailymotion and YouTube allows you to upload, share and later download your own videos.  They also allow you to pull up your webcam and record your video directly to their servers (of course you have the control to download it later).  You also have control over the design of your player that you can embed into websites using designs they call vidgets.  But here's where it gets extremely powerful, you can add comments, tags or even video comments to your own videos (similar to the way ads pop-up on other video sites).  And with a few simple setting changes, allow others to do the same.  It's truly a social video sharing tool! In their paid version you can even add your own watermarks and select which advertisements appear on your videos, helping you earn some revenue from your videos.
Viddler definitely deserved it's own post and not just a quick mention in passing within another post.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I May Have Forgotten How to Smile #edtech

The first week of any school year is hectic.  But when you're rolling out Windows 7 and replacing Novell with Active Directory - whoo boy! I'm one tired individual and I think for a split second today I actually forgot how to smile.  Fortunately for Fun Friday I thought I'd share a site called HowtoSmile.  HowtoSmile is a repository / community of  over 2040 Math and Science activities.  I say it's a community because every user has an opportunity to create a profile and build lists of activities they find useful at the site to share with other users.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like many people are taking advantage of this feature yet.  HowtoSmile has a great search engine that let's you search for activities that are well laid out.  Some of the listed activities are linked to online games and interactives.  Others are simply directions and lesson plans for hand-on in classroom activities. So, what are you waiting for - go learn HowtoSmile (all except @JenWagner - we all know, she never forgets how to do that!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

E-Portfolios Made Easy #edtech

The beginning of the school year is the time to start thinking about whether you want your students to start building a portfolio.  You don't want to be scrambling in March or April to collect student work.  Sometimes when you think outside the box, you come up with some simple and creative solutions.  I recommend giving FlipSnack a try.  The concept is not necessarily designed to be an e-portfolio. Rather, FlipSnack seems better suited for creating an online book or a catalog.  But, remember I said to think outside the box on this one. With up to 500 pages you can add to your FlipSnack.  And adding pages, is as simple as saving your document or artwork as a PDF and uploading and adding it to your book.  As a bonus, the FlipSnack you create is embedable to just about any website.  I'd love to hear how you're already using FlipSnack.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where Have I Heard That Before #edtech

This 365 project is getting harder day by day.  Especially now that school is back in session.  I'm hoping to get a double post in this week so this doesn't turn into an "almost" 365 project.  But for now I want to share, WhoSampled with you.  Yesterday, I was listening to some "Hip Hop" to get me through the day and one song was sampling something that I knew I recognized from the 80's but I couldn't put my finger on it.  I threw out a request for help on Facebook and  within a few hours had my answer it was a sample of Yazoo's: Don't Go. "Remember that?  So, I started thinking I probably could have "Googled" the name of the song I heard the sample in with the word sampling and come up with my answer.  But there has to be an easier way, and there is!  It's called WhoSampled.  This is an amazing site. You can search for any artist and discover if they have any songs that sample or cover other artists or if they have been sampled or covered themselves.  The best part is they tell you exactly where in the song the sample starts and where in the original it can be found. WhoSampled also shows a youtube video of each song for easy access.  WhoSampled is a great tool for music history classes but may also spark conversation about copyright law.  So, can you use WhoSampled to find what artist sampled Don't Go?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What ifttt? #edtech

Day 2 of a bad migraine (which is why there was no post yesterday - yes, I owe another double day) and this post will be fairly short.  However, I did receive my invitation to ifttt today and wanted to tell you a bit about it.  ifttt is based on logic for the web. ifttt has what seems like two simple components, if this (and you can select events for everything from YouTube, to Yahoo Stocks, Gmail, Instagram, RSS, DropBox and 29 others) and then that (picking again from over 30 options) to create automated tasks based on your activities on the web.  Let's say you want to add a post to your Tumblr account every time you favorite a YouTube video.  ifttt can make that happen automatically. ifttt seems to be a very powerful tool with a lot of potential - but for now I need to bury my head under a pillow and try and sleep off this pain.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Get a Boost for Learning #edtech

With many schools already in session, others starting tomorrow and at bare minimum in the next few weeks, now is the time to start thinking about organizing your classroom life (O.K., that probably should be done by now).  But, if you are still using a paper gradebook you ar misssing out on some great opportunities.  Many schools have online gradebooks that intertwine with their student information systems.  If you are not in that situation you may want to check out LearnBoost.  Because, I am not in the classroom, it is difficult for me to judge it as an application.  However, I am impressed with all the bells and whistles LearnBoost seems to have.  You can setup gradebooks and calendars for all your teachers.  Students and parents can also receive accounts.  The accounts can be created simply by importing a CSV file to LearnBoost.  In addition to setting up gradebooks, you can maintain attendance records, create and share lesson plans and use it to communicate.  The best part about this is it's free and this is the one time free concerns me.  When you are dealing with sensitive information how secure can a fee system really be.  On the upside the have a fantastic help section that may help you decide if LearnBoost fits your needs. Finally, there are features that not only sync to Google but also to many existing SIS systems.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Bad Thing About Double Posts Is...#edtech

...that they tend to make the posts less in depth than I would like.  Or on sites that I am just stating to explore in order to give a quick overview and get out of the post with my dignity intact! :-)  The second post happens to be one of those and is another SEO tool (sort of - I think).  It's Empire Avenue.  Very similar to Klout, except much more robust and a heck of a lot more fun.  You can use Empire Avenue to find your Social Networking net worth.  After attaching your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, LinkedIn and others, Empire Avenue evaluates your worth on these sites and creates an IPO value for YOU.  This is where the fun begins.  You can buy stock in your peers!  Using a fictitious monetary system called "eaves", you can buy and sell each other, hire analysts who will help make suggestions to improve your ranking and even purchase items for "your company" - everything from planes, to homes to expensive watches (using eaves of course).  There are not a lot of Education / Education Technology specialists listed (yet) at Empire Avenue.  So what are you waiting for? Go sign up, connect your social network accounts and buy some stock in the JGubbins207 ticker (please!?)

GIS what you were looking for? #edtech

I owe a double post tonight.  The first is about a utility for a subject I'm not all that familiar with - but have always wished I was. GIS stands for "geographic information system" and allows you to "visualize, question, analyze, interpret, and understand data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts." and GIS.com has an application called the GIS Explorer and I'm only going to touch on the exploring portion of GIS Explorer tonight. While the GIS Explorer utility allows you to create your own GIS presentations, I'm not even going to pretend I know what I'm doing with it.  You have to options to use the explorer.  There is a desktop version and an online version.  Obvioulsy, I'll be focusing on the Silverlight version that you can use online.  It is a 365 web 2.0 project after all.  There are literally thousands of presentations to search and explore within the GIS Explorer utility.  Everything from historical reports tracking the birthplace of prominent figures to more traditional information like a Chicago 2010 Supermarket saturation map. This is really fascinating stuff and I hope one of my readers finds it useful.  For me, it's a different way to present information and of course because it's visual, I am extremely impressed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Never Forget to Remember #edtech

Insanely busy week.  I know I missed yesterday's post - Double post tomorrow, promise.  But for tonight I wanted to lead you towards an interesting calendar/reminder/journal application called Nyabag.  I'm always looking for a way to keep up with my busy life and remember what I had done during the day.  Nyabag looks like it's going to let me do all that and more.  Not only can I track and plan my day with reminders via enail or SMS, but I can also journal about what I did during the day.  I'm going to give Nyabag a shot during this extremely busy time and will get back to you regarding how organized Nyabag has helped me stay.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is Why I Let My Woice Be Heard #edtech

No, there is no typo there.  I meant Woice.  And I'll get to that in just a minute.  But, I want to give you some background about why tonight's post will be about the website Woices.  Earlier today a member of my PLN (and hopefully yours as well), Jason Schrage, A.K.A @oswego98 sent the following question via Twitter: "Hey  - Is there a way to record geo-tagged audio clips while out on an adventure?" Always curious what Jason is up to (he's a very creative outside the box kind of guy), I took a look at @everytrail.  Turns out it's a mobile app that allows you to write guides and review hiking trails you have done. Pretty Cool!  That got me thinking about a similar Web 2.0 app that I had talked about earlier in the year and that seemed to get a lot of people excited.  The problem is I couldn't remember the name of the site.  I searched my social bookmarks, my twitter feed and then my blog (certainly I had posted about it there). Nothing! It was on the tip of my tongue, I could see it's pink page and new it started with a w - but the name escaped me and the site was lost to me forever.  This is why I try to blog whenever I think I find something useful (and why you should too).  I know I can always search and find what I'm looking for because if I've written about it, it's more likely to stay in the memory bank.

Eventually it hit me that there was one last place to look, a Web 2.0 presentation I had given last year at ICE. Bam, there it was Woices, a very simple yet powerful Web 2.0 crowdsourced concept.  On the service it's a mashup between Google Maps and a podcast host.  You are able to record up to 10 minute "echos" using either the web based application or a mobile device (IOS and Android - gotta love anything cross platform) and lay them over a Google map.  But where Woices becomes amazingly powerful is in the ability connect a series of "echos" into a walking tour (e.g., your neighborhood, a tourist destination, the local zoo or museum) or historical events (e.g., maybe your students create podcasts and route Lewis and Clark's travels or battle's of historical significance during the Civil War).  These echos can be listened to on the web or downloaded as MP3s to a listening device.  Best of all, when your done - You can embed the Woices  project into your site, wiki or blog.  The one below is one of my personal favorites.  I'm a huge fan of going to zoos and the 8 minutes of this walk can give me a quick escape without having to leave my house!  I'm actually thinking of trying something similar except for the local golf course (maybe recording tips for each hole).  I must apologize for the parenthesis tonight, sometimes my inner woice just gets the best of me and I need to use them to break my thought process. :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping Up With Your PLN Just Got Easier #edtech

The larger your Personal Learning Network (PLN) becomes and the more spokes (networks) you add makes it harder to keep up with the amount of information you need to filter to get to the good stuff.  Enter Summify, which will digest the information for you and generate a daily summary of the data for which you're most interested.  Summify currently connects to your Google Reader, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  It then analyzes those feeds for what is getting the most likes or retweets and creates a daily summary of the information that Summify thinks you will find most interesting.  I'm actually still waiting on my first summary as I just signed up for Summify tonight.  I'll post a follow up in the coming month once I am a little more familiar with Summify.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Short Clipboard #edtech

Today I found myself using Twitter as a clipboard. In other words, I posted something to Twitter that I easily wanted to have access to as I went from computer to computer making changes as I set up machines for the coming school year. On the drive home i started thinking "is there an online clipboard I could have used. Indeed there is and it is called clip.  Basically, clip allows you a notepad type file that you create a short url from.  It's an interesting idea and I will continue to look for a better model.  But, for now, clip will be my online clipboard.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Are You Impressed With Empressr? #edtech

I am always on the lookout for new and exciting presentation tools in the cloud.  I can't believe how many people are still using PowerPoint.  And nothing against Prezi, but I'm shocked by how many people are still enthralled by it.  Prezi is an important cloud based presentation tool because it was among the first to break the PPT mold.  However, for a product that many tout it's ease of use, I personally have always found it a bit "klunky".  I much prefer the sleek design capabilities of SlideRocket, but that's a post for another day (way to much to share about that one tonight).  Instead, I wanted to share Empressr with you.  After signing up for a free account you are able to Create your first presentation and you are given three options right off the bat: Start with a blank slide, import an existing PowerPoint (not sure how well this works), or use Empressr Express to upload a number of photos as your base presentation.  Once you start building your presentations, Empressr  works a lot like a  basic PPT.  You can add images, flash, audio and video.  You can iport assests from resources such as Flickr, Photobucket, Google, and Yahoo or even record your own.  There are some nice features like transitions, charts and tables.  You can even set the duration of your transitions or set them to be automatic.  Once you have completed your presentation, you can publish it easily to the web (not something you can do with PPT.    Empressr  gives you all the code you need to embed your presentation into many different kinds of social networks and blogs.  I've provided a sample below.  Empressr doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Sliderocket.  But, it's a great place to start.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Judge the Strength of Your Online Presence #edtech

One of my sessions at IETC this year, deals with building a strong PLN.  Part of the process is evaluating your footprint on the web.  Your online presence is a vital part of who you are in today's society.  Tonight I came across MyWebCareer that ties into your LinkedIn, Facebook,  Twitter and Quora accounts.  Once you ave authorized access to those accounts MyWebCareer performs some type of data scrapping and runs algorithms to generate a "Social Score".  This is based on a combination of how "well connected and respected" you are within your networks, your profiles and posts and finally your general Internet Search Footprint.  Personally, my social score is 679 - well above average but no where near where I want to be.  Fortunately, MyWebCareer makes suggestions about how you can increase you score.  Another thing I like about MyWebCareer is the graphical map that shows how your companies and people interact.  It's fascinating to look at the six degrees of separation you have with a number of people.  After spending a few hours at MyWebCareer, I feel comfortable recommending it as a resource to will assist you in building a strong web presence.

Do you NOAA what I NOAA? #edtech

I missed another Friday Fun night post.  I had to take sometime for myself last night after an extremely long week.  So, today will be another double Saturday post.  Let's start with something that has always fascinated me and that's weather.  Had I not gone into education and technology, I probably would have gone into geology or meteorology. I love a good storm.  In fact, going on a storm chase with professional chasers is on my bucket list.  One of my favorite sections of the Chicago Tribune is the Ask Tom Skilling section, where people ask Tom about different types of weather and when specific events occurred.

That was a lot of back story for this post which is basically a search engine that you can use to search for information on previous storms in the US going back to the early and mid-50's.  Provided by the National Climactic Data Center in conjunction with NOAA, the Storm Event search engine allows you to search for information on weather varrying from waterspouts (who knew we had waterspouts in Illinois?) to your average wind storm.  The Storm Event search engine also let's you get very granular with your search with options for wind speed, hail size, damage estimates and deaths.  Storm Event is great for students conducting research and writing reports on weather events that may or may not have made the headlines.  Particularly since you know the source can be trusted.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Deliver Your Content #edtech

You work hard to publish your blogs or share information on a website.  So, why should you work even harder to make sure the people who follow you on various social networks know about it?  Dlvr.it can be configured to make this happen for you automatically.  Simply sign up for a Dlvr.it account and select your source page from which you want to share your information.  Then tie that site to the social networking sites of your choosing (including Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr, etc...).  Dlvr.it will now pay attention to your base site and whenever there is new content will automatically post to the social network sites you specified.  Dlvr.it also provides analytics to help you understand what is driving your audience to the site in question.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Save Yourself $10 #edtech

O.K., so I'm breaking two rules today.  First, I'm writing this post on my lunch break (since I probably will be working until midnight tonight).  Second, I'm going to tell you about a utility that requires a downloaded client.  Normally, I reference only sites that are purely in the cloud.  But if it saves you $10, you're game, right?  My good friend Helen Lazzaro recommended I look into MiMedia.
While MiMedia gives you 7 Gb of cloud storage, it does require you download a client.  Personally, I'm over flash drives. I have a ton ranging from 265 Mb to 16 Gb and I'm always misplacing them and never can find the one I really need (I'm terrible at labeling media - going all the way back to the 5 1/4 floppy).  With cloud storage like that from MiMedia that's a thing of the past.  You can easily upload your files and organize them online.  Once there, you no longer have to worry about grabbing that portable storage device because it's available and backed up in the cloud.  Plus, you can choose with whom you want to share said files.  So, it's also a social application.  Additionally, if you need more storage, you can get up to 250 Gb for $9.99 a month and that fee includes an encrypted "speedy drive" that arrives via 'snail mail' is then sent back to the company saving you precious bandwidth for your initial upload of data.  Overall, MiMedia looks very interesting and a real player in the cloud storage wars.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Encourage Reading and Communication #edtech

Just when I started to struggle with this post a day project about a different Web 2.0 tool you can use to enhance your professional life or your classroom, along comes tonight's utility.  It has inspired me to plug through and keep this 365 project alive.
Readeo takes the reading and communication to another level for the younger student in your lives.  Basically, Readeo combines the power of ebooks with the communication benefits of Skype.  There is currently a very limited free version of the application (allowing access to featured books only) and a paid subscription is available for $10 a month (opening over 140 titles for viewing).  With either version, Readeo allows you to share a book with anyone in the world using a Skype-like interface.
The last time I was away for a conference, my kids had packed a book for me to read to them over Skype at night.  Readeo takes it a step further and allows the person reading the book to share the interface and turn the pages on the screen of the listener.  Readeo is a fantastic application for traveling parents, grandparents who don't get to visit often and especially educators who would like parents to drop in and read a book to the class.  What makes Readeo even more special in that regard is that the paid membership opens access to the library of books, but anyone with a free account can read for the members shelves.  Readeo's library is searchable by author and age range.  How can you see Readeo being used in your classroom? Would you like to see an educational version of this down the road?  You never know Readeo's CEO Coby Neuenschwander may just stumble upon this post and read your comments!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Split PDF files online for free. #edtech

I'm cheating just a bit tonight with this double post. It's a sister utility to MergePDF called (you guessed it) SplitPDF.  As the name implies, SplitPDF allows you to take a PDF file up to 50 Mb and upload it to the web.  Once there you can choose which pages of the PDF you wish to extract.  SplitPDF can be a very handy utility if you only need a portion of the document to refer back to at a later date.  Both MergePDF and SplitPDF are available completely free of charge (although if you find it useful you can make a donation) and don't even require signup to use.  I need about 8 more hours in every day.  Maybe I'll find a utility for that tomorrow.

Join PDFs online for free #edtech

Don't have the full version of Adobe Professional but need to merge some PDF files together? Look no further than MergePDF.   Very simply and easily you can select pdf files from your computer and upload them to be merged.  There is a 50 Mb limitation to MergePDF and you can choose whether you want to retain the files for up to an hour (maybe you need to add a third or fourth file) or have them removed immediately.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yet another double post will be due tomorrow.

This 365 project seems to be getting harder to keep up with! Today was non-stop busy from 5 in the morning until just now. Exhausted.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Bird's Eye View #edtech

Earlier this year, I had a debate with a friend of mine about whether the local 9 hole golf course in town was once an 18 hole Country Club.  Our village doesn't have a historical society of note and nothing on the web showed results either way.  Until today, when I discovered Historic Arials. This site has arial views of the United States as far as the early 1930s.  While this is fantastic what makes it more impressive is the interactive nature of  Historic Arials.  Maybe you want to compare your neighborhood to what it looked like in 1966?  You can do so with Historic Arials overlay and slider features.  Once I pulled up our nine hole course and compared it to a few decades ago, sure enough 18 hole course! I won the debate!  But only a few years before that it was farmland.  Historic Arials is a fantastic application for social studies or earth science teacher to share with students what the world looked like long before they were born.  Historic Arials is an amazing site with limitless possibilities. One drawback is the watermark that they use to protect their data.  Of course, if you want to purchase your favorite images you can remove it.  Added bonus? Historic Arials have functions that teach survey skills.

Dude Where's My Feed? #edtech

Nothing drives me crazier than finding a website or blog that I want to follow, only to find there is no RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed available.  FeedDude to the rescue.  With FeedDude you are able to type in any website address and it will generate a feed you can plug into your favorite reader.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Please Pardon The Interruption

Tonight happens to be my 11th wedding anniversary. Need to spend some quality time with the wife. Double post tomorrow.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let Me Introduce Myself #edtech

A big part of the Web 2.0 world is building a solid online presence. A good way to do that is to create a page with links to all your personalities online.  About.me is a great way to do that.  But there are alternatives such as Hi.im.  Within minutes you can have a page that will direct people who are interested in you to all your online pages including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Last.fm, all your blogs and a host of others.  Only thing I wish the had was an embedable widget like Retaggr does.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bundle Your Research. #edtech

Have a touch of writer's block tonight.  Rather than try to get creative, I'm just going to come right out and tell you about a new kind of social networking aggregator called Bundlr.  It's not quite social bookmarking but it's based on a similar concept.  Using the "Bundle This" browser button, you can clip and collect information off of any website.  But it goes way beyond text.  You can collect pages and media from YouTiube, Vimeo, Flickr, SlideShare, Twitter, Wikipedia, Scribd and Audioboo.  Once you are ready to share you can do so through a link, an RSS feed or embed it into your own site.  Additionally, Bundlr allows you to collaboratively gather the information that goes into your final product.  Basically, you are curating the web.  One of the more popular Bundles at the moment is regarding the recent tragedy in Norway and is a good example of how you can use Bundlr to gather and share information across multiple social platforms.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fire Up a Quick Meeting #edtech

At work today we needed an alternative to Adobe Connect to have a meeting and share a desktop.  We tried a Google + Hangout session and while it was really nice we couldn't figure out how to easily share a desktop.  So we had an opportunity to test a utility I've had on my list for some time called Meeting Burner.The best thing about Meeting Burner is that it's free.  The downside is it's not overly easy to figure out the controls (perhaps, it's because of the time restraints we were under).  It did a nice job of desktop sharing once we figured out how to switch control between attendees, had a nice chat feature and one of the best features was that you could use either call a number to enter the audio conversation or even Skype which seemed to work real well.  The one thing we couldn't figure out was how to control whose webcam was operating. Overall, I think Meeting Burner has some real potential and warrants more investigation.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Intrigued by Circcles #edtech

I'm always on the lookout for new social networks and Circcle really has me intrigued.  It doesn't look like the network is too large yet and I haven't had much time to explore.  But Circcle appears to be social networking based on topic rather than individuals.  At Circcle you can search by topic to find and build a network that interests you.  The only disappointing thing is there doesn't seem to be a lot of documentation about how the site is supposed to work.  But Circcle definitely has me intrigued and willing to explore more.
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