Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Doodle Your Next Meeting #edtech

I have Judy Okazaki to thank for tonight's utility.  Earlier this week, I received a scheduling Doodle for an upcoming SET Connections board meeting.  Basically, it was a grid of board members and possible meeting times with check boxes to tick when you were available.  I immediately signed up for an account to see the capabilities of Doodle and I must say I am impressed.  Besides hosting meeting "polls", you can integrate Doodle  directly into various calendars including Google, Outlook, Lotus and others.  Additionally you can publish a MeetMe page that allows anyone to schedule 1:1 meetings with you from the web without needing to know your email or contact information.  Doodle is a pretty darn powerful tool for organizing meetings and keeping your busy life organized.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New to This Joint #edtech

I'm busily looking for an alternative to TodaysMeet for the SET Connections workshop tomorrow night to use as a backchannel.  We typically use TodaysMeet because it ties in with Twitter and anytime someone uses an associated hashtag it gets added to the backchannel.  Apparently the new changes to the Twitter API have caused this feature to be disabled.
While Joint is not a perfect alternative, it is interesting.  You provide Joint with a hashtag to follow and it filters the Twitter timeline to that hashtag.  Then you can start a side chatroom to discuss what is happening within that hastag conversation privately.  Not quite sure how it could be used for our purposes but it is interesting.  Lot of work to do tonight - but wanted to get a quick post in.  Still hoping to at least make the voting stage of the #eddies11 next week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Site has Collaboration Pegged #edtech

Pegby takes those online corkboards to a different level and allows for true collaborative project management. Pegby is based on cards you create and peg to a board with different columns including pending, in process and done (you can add to and customize these columns as well). You can attach files to cards, tag them, color code them and even set the time the cards should appear. You can then share the load by inviting others to create new cards or add information to existing cards. As projects evolve, sometimes tasks become related and you can group cards. Pegby seems very impressive and full of potential. By the way, this post was written on my Kindle fire. I figured out if I switch to HTML instead of compose the keyboard will appear.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So Much Content, So Little Time #edtech

Now that I have a Kindle Fire, I'm realizing how little time I actually have to read.  I never took a speed reading class but perhaps it's time and Readfa.st may be the solution I choose.  Readfa.st is a reading improvement.  After you first sign up for an account, you take a baseline assessment (currently I'm reading at 380 words a minute).  The also provide comprehension quizzes and you can pull in your own articles to practice on from any website.  Readfa.st only shows a certain number of words from the article as it scrolls through to help keep you focused. It's an interesting idea.  It also has a social and competitive aspect in that you can friend other users of the site.  Definitely worth a look.

Get Some Karma #edtech

I'm intrigued by SiteKarma which is designed to give information about any web site and get a rating on the reliability of a website.  The SiteKarma score appears to be based on a number of  factors including browsing stats and whois information as well as site ratings by visitors. While there is a disclaimer that explains that SiteKarma takes no responsibility for the validity of information on any website.  It may be another good Web 2.0 application to add to your research tools.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Hole #edtech

With the craziness of Black Friday, I forgot to post last night.  Between shopping and a project I am working on for the ICE Conference in February I was a bit busy. While I can't reveal the nature of the project just yet, one component required that I HEX color match part of the ICE logo.  In order to do that I needed what graphic artists call an eyedropper.  I could have simply pulled the image into a graphic editing program and used the tool within that software.  But what fun would that be?  I'm all about Web 2.0 right?  So, I searched for quite some time and couldn't find anything.  Instead I found something even better in one of Steven DeGraeve's projects called the Color Palette Generator.  This tool allows you to upload an image and as the name suggests will build a HEX color palette based on that image.  Great if you are designing a site or logos based on an image. Thanks Steven for taking the time to develop such an awesome tool!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why YouTube? #edtech

I have avoided blogging about major websites like WikiPedia or YouTube simply because I have been trying to share things with you during this 365 project that you may not otherwise have known about. Well, I discovered something pretty amazing about YouTube last week and thought it important enough to share.  So while YouTube is the Thanksgiving utility, it's really a subfeature I wanted to share with you.  A Thanksgiving Easter Egg if you will.  There are a number of Web 2.0 utilities that have partnered with YouTube to allow you to create content.  By visiting http://youtube.com/create you will find options to create and edit media through OneTrueMedia, Vlix, XTranormal, GoAnimate, Magisto, Stupeflix, YouTube Video Editor and WeVideo (all of which have their own merit as content creation tools - so there are actually eight utilities in this post!)  If you have some time while digesting your turkey and are not in a tryptophan induced comma - take some time to explore some of these tools and how they integrate with YouTube.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hippo is the Word #edtech

Who knew hippos were so smart? The one at WordHippo certainly is!  I stumbled across this site last week while blogging and looking for the plural form of a word (which one escapes me at the moment).  WordHippo acts as a dictionary and thesaurus.  But it also helps you find antonyms, places the word in a sentence, provides words that rhyme with the one you are looking up, will help you find words that contain certain characters, translate the word and help you find it's plural format. These extra features separate it a bit from sites like dictionary.com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Juxtaposing Media #edtech

Somewhere between Twitter and Tumbler lies Jux.  Jux is a great way to share content simply.   Basically it is your content gallery on the web.  Not sure it would fit in the Digital Storytelling framework and it's also not quite your average social networking timeline.  You can share quotes and stylize them with pictures, add pictures from across the web, share articles and videos, create slideshows and even top ten lists. Jux is unique and I encourage you to explore it on your own.  Racing to beat the 5% battery life left on my laptop and the 1% battery life left in me!  It's been a long couple of weeks and I am really looking forward to a nice long Thanksgiving weekend!

The Kindle Fire Review

If you know me, you know I have been biding my time to dive into the Mobile Internet Device (MID) market.  I was among the first to have an EVO 4G, but that doesn't quite count.  The IPAD came along, but I was holding out for the HP Slate.  I couldn't join the IPAD revolution because it lacked a camera and wouldn't handle flash. Then the HP Slate basically died during production when HP decided it should be released with Web OS instead of Windows 7. I had been down the disastrous IPAQ Pocket PC road some 12 years ago and once a company has burned me, it's hard to regain my loyalty.  Why not the IPAD2? I was actually in line for it's release but by the time they got to me they did not have the model I wanted. So, I remained without a tablet.  I was constantly trying to keep up to date with the Android tablet market, there are some pretty reasonably priced one's out there, but many do not have a viable Android OS version.  Most are of the 2.1 or earlier flavor which prevents them from running flash.  But then the Kindle Fire announcement hit, and I suddenly found a device that intrigued me at a price that wouldn't break the bank $199.

So, that's the basic background.  Here's the full story.  I've wanted a Kindle for some time, but couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on a device that only did one thing, albeit very well. The fact that the Kindle Fire would work as an e-reader, browser (with flash), media device and overgrown Android version of the iTouch was what put me over the top.  I've also been impressed with the Amazon Cloud services.  The ability to have a book, movie or song at my fingertips wherever I have a connection to the Internet has been fantastic.  But, I am also not delusional, I'm well aware the Kindle Fire is not an "IOS killer".  What I was hoping to get for my $200 was a content consumption device.  Plain and simple.  So, that's the perspective that this review will take.

First the Good:

  • It's an Amazon Product - There was nothing to setup out of the box.  In fact there was barely anything in the box.  The 7 inch tablet and the charger.  Amazon is very good at the basics.
  • The Fire has some heft. While many would see the weight of the device a drawback, I like the fact that it feels like I am holding a hard-bound book in my hands.
  • Plenty of battery life - After a full charge, you will get 10 hours of actual use. When it goes into hibernation, it actually hibernates.  Trust me if I have time to read a book for 10 hours straight without being able to charge the device there is something wrong with my life!
  • The Silk browser is FAST! and will load pages that use Flash.  The pages you visit actually load properly (what a novel idea)
  •  The 7 inch screen.  The 4 inches on my EVO, while great as a phone, was just too small to read a book on comfortably.  The backlit screen takes some getting used too, but you can always tone down the brightness and tweak the display settings for your comfort level
  • The integration with Amazon's cloud - pulling files directly from Audible or purchasing books is a breeze (sometimes too easy).
  • Email Integration is a snap.  I'm a Gmail user (both Apps for Edu and personal) and had no trouble integrating both of my account using these configuration details
  • Multi-media streaming on the web, or through YouTube, Netflix or the Amazon cloud is flawless and gorgeous.
  • PDF Browsing - While it's not obvious at first, you can download PDFs to read on the Kindle Fire.  One would think these would appear in the DOCs section of the interface, but they don't.  Instead, you need to use a browsing app to find and open the file.  But, this opens the world of public domain books available from Google Books or Project Gutenberg.
The Bad
  • No 3G - That means when away from WI-FI there is no Amazon Cloud, no Internet access, no EMail, even some apps become unavailable.  You still have access to audio books and any downloaded items from Amazon or other resources.
  • Limited Android Market - Whatever deal Amazon worked out with Android, the marketplace is limited.  Surprisingly, there are not many Google Apps?!  You can still get Angry Birds and many other popular apps for free. In fact Amazon offers a paid app for free daily. Get 'em while their hot.
  • Limited content creation - I've found that trying to blog here at Zenodotus or at attempting to type in other "paragraph" sections of websites is impossible.  No keyboard comes up.  This is a serious issue and hopefully one the Amazon addresses soon.  The lack of camera also means no images or video can be generated from the device.  But again, expected, so I am not disappointed
  • Lack of Navigation Buttons - More of an a nuisance than anything, there is no easy way to navigate once you are in certain applications. You have to press the power button to bring you back to the slide screen to unlock the device and then press the home button.
  • Lack of Ports - There is no SD Card - for expansion or access to documents. You can email files back and forth to yourself or get an app that will allow you to access files over WIFI.  It may be possible to plug the Fire in via a micro USB device, but I have yet to find one that fits the charging slot.  My guess is there isn't. But again since this device is not designed for content creation, it's really not a big deal.
I've enjoyed my first few days as a Kindle user and will be adding updates to this post as I find things and explore the application further. I will also likely be inline for an IPAD, once HTML 5 has firmly taken root.  I understand the draw and am hoping it will eventually be a tool that serves all of my needs.  Until then, I have a tablet device that enables me to stay connected and close to my content and that makes me happy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time for Some Toast #edtech

I was reminded at IETC of another Web 2.0 tool that I have used in the past, but was amazed to discover I had never blogged about it here at Zenodotus.  Timelines are marvelous tools that can be used not only to make sense of historical events but can also for review and exploration of more recent events.  Timetoast is one of the easiest to use and is 100% free.  Add your own images, details and links to events and then publish them so others can view and comment on them.  Added bonus with Timetoast you can view your timelines as visual interactive applications or as a simple text graph. Only thing I wish you could do with Timetoast is embed your timelines.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is Your Brain on Cards #edtech

There are a number of flashcard applications out there on the web.  But I've recently found another that I really like.  Braineos allows you to build flashcards by hand or from csv lists that you may have created from your own question and answer database.  Once complete you have four options of review from which to choose.  There is your standard flip, reverse flip, multiple choice and even a fun game using your questions and answers. Braineos is also social so you can challenge others to see if the can complete a flashcard deck faster than you.  Pretty impressive.  I know I'll be using Braineos the next time I have facts to memorize.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grassroots Audio #edtech

I enjoy a good audiobook now and again (especially since I rarely have time to read books) and currently have an Audible account.  But am about to let it go since I found Librivox.  Volunteers at this website record chapters of public domain books and then re-upload them to Librivox for all to enjoy.  There are almost 5000 books available and many of them classics. Great for the auditory learner in your life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm a Little Spacy Tonight #edtech

Quick post for Friday fun night.  Not because HubbleSite is a simple site but because there is so much to cover I couldn't possibly do it in one post. If you are an astronomy buff or have children who are you need to visit.  Not just for the loads of information but also for the loads of interactives. Without those I would not consider HubbleSite a Web 2.0 tool.  I spent a full hour exploring the black hole section alone.  It's very interesting to use the different types of telescopes and get a simulated view of what different types of telescopes display.  I've always been interested in astronomy and am glad a site like HubbleSite exists.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

PicLit from my new Lit Device #edtech

Or so I thought. I was planning on making this post from my brand new Kindle Fire. For some reason, I am unable to pull up the keyboard within the wysiwyg editor.  It works everywhere else. Odd.
Anyway, one of the tools I learned about at IETC was called Piclits.  It's nothing fancy, but the concept is powerful.  Encouraging you to put art and literature together in a meaningful way through "Inspired Picture Writing".  It's an interesting idea.  Select a picture from their site and let it inspire your writing.  Great idea for visual learners.  Once your Piclits image is done, you can email it or embed it in your blog.  Piclits lacks one feature that I would like to see (and maybe I'm missing it since I am sick) but I can't find a way to upload your own image?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick - What's the Answer? #edtech

I am really hoping to get nominated for an EduBlog award this year.  Either as a blogger or Twitter user - but, that isn't going to happen unless I get my act together and catch up on some back posts.  One thing I noticed at IETC were a number of SurveyTools being used in sessions to poll the audiences.  This is fantastic.  Of course the old standby is polleverywhere.com, I got a quick glimpse at socrative.com as well.  There's also PopSurvey. Whatever tool you choose to use - these survey tools can help keep your students engaged. There that should about catch me up on blog posts for the week.

An Open Letter / Thank You to Some People Who Matter #edtech

Before I get to tonight's blog post for my Web 2.0 project, I still need to post information to the IETC Ning.  But before I do that, I must share this with you.  Forgive me if I ramble a bit during this post, I am going on six hours sleep over the last 56 hours or so.  This post isn't about a tool (that will come later, if I can stay awake), but about people. And, hopefully, will share how my social network friend Angela Maiers has changed my perspective on life.

Angela is one of my favorite people within my PLN (Professional Learning Network).  Not only because she shares great information about education and technology (which she does very well); but, because she never forgets that we are human and have an inherent need to feel appreciated and recognized.  Her daily bursts of information coming across my Twitter timeline and Facebook wall have mattered more to me more than she may ever know.

I work extremely hard at what I do regarding education and technology, because it is my passion. At IETC, many people asked how I find time to be as active as I am in the EdTech community.  Well, as humans we sometimes make sacrifices for our passion (such as sleep).  Those sacrifices often go unnoticed (and are often to the detriment of our own well being).  Which, can occasionally make one a tad, shall we say, "cranky"?  But, Angela is always there too save the day with a quick burst of recognition through her #youmatter campaign. If you have not seen her TEDxDesMoines Talk or read her most recent blog post: The 12 Most Important Ways to Let People Know They Matter, before continuing to read this post, take a minute to do so.

As I said, Angela matters to me more than she will ever know.  I have her TED Talk downloaded to my phone as an .mp3 and often listen to it on the way to work.  For me it's better than an energy drink (probably healthier too) and often empowers me to get through my day!  Her mission to make people matter has made me realize that in the craziness of life, I often forget that thank people for what they do.  And I'm starting to change that.

After spending the evening talking with educators and technology professionals, on the way back to my room, I encountered an Army private and even though I was dead tired, I stopped to thank him for his service to our country.  He thanked me in return and told me I made his day! Least I could do, right?

During my morning session at IETC, I made it a point to thank the people who attended my session and reminded them how much they mattered to me.  After all, without them, I would have no one with whom to share my knowledge and passion for education and technology!

As I was dragging myself down the hall after my session to checkout (remember 6 hours sleep in almost 3 days), one of the hotel housekeepers said "you're not leaving me are you?".  I thought she was talking to someone else and kept walking.  But, then she repeated herself  "Sir, you're not leaving me are you." and I realized she was talking to me, so I stopped a bit puzzled.  She must have noticed the exhausted look on my face and she seemed to be expressing genuine concern for my well being, reminding me to bundle up out there (it can be chilly in Springfield, Illinois this time of year), to get some rest and take care of myself.  I think I mumbled something along the lines of "I will" and moved on.  As I started to become more alert throughout the day I realized this woman had just taken the time in her own way to tell me "I matter".  She didn't have to do that.  It's not in her contract.  She had no idea was or what I do. She's not in my PLN, but she took the time to acknowledge my existence.

I realized all of this on the way home and sent the following message on Twitter: "To the housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Express Springfield, IL Thanks for your positive words and encouragement this morning " I then realized that may have seemed a little odd (especially since I told people earlier that morning to re-think what ever they post online) and in fact I received some responses asking me what in the world I was talking about.  Which is why I am writing this post.  Sometimes 140 characters doesn't do a story justice.

Here's what's interesting.  I was and am planning on sending an email to the management of this Holiday Inn Express, to let them know about this fantastic employee who really made a difference in my day.  But, I know someone already at corporate already knows about it, since @HolidayInn immediately started following me after the post.

So to that weary soldier, the people I met or re-connected with at #IETC, the housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Express in Springfield, IL, my PLN on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Google + and elsewhere on the web and most especially to my friend Angela Maiers - and I will never forget that!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Got a Bunch of Links? #edtech

On the fly today during an apps shootout session at IETC, facilitated by @pollockburke, I found and shared the link sharing tool Linkbun.ch.  Great way to share a number of links from shortened link.  You can even open all the links at once in different tabs of your browser.  OK, got my post in time to prep my IETC sessions for tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Day or Two Behind #edtech

Hey, I've been busy preparing for the IETC Conference in Springfield.  I may be a day or two off schedule at this point but promise to catch up this weekend.  In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at QRStuff.com It's a fantastic tool to quickly help you make those QR Codes everyone's a buzz about.  QRStuff.com allows you to make QR Codes for just about any type of data.  Whether it's a standard link, iTunes link, email message, telephone number, or even wifi access codes (among a host of other types of data).  er QRStuff.com gives you a simple form to fill out for each type of code it can create and even let's you adjust it's color before allowing you to download it as a .png file or better yet add it to a t-shirt or coffee mug to make your code mobile!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Quick But Powerful #edtech

If you use online filestorage, it's always good to have a backup plan.  Uploading.to may just be it.  Allowing you to upload a single file to many online storage sites simultaneously. You can also send up to 10 files at once across multiple networks.  Uploading.to allows you to upload to your Rapidshare
Depositfiles, Uploaded.to, Oron, Hotfile, Uploading, MegaUpload,WUpload, MediaFire , ZShare, FileSonic, FilePost, FileFactory and FileServe accounts.  Many of these storage tools I am unfamiliar with and very may be exploring in future posts.  But if you have accounts at these sites you may find Uploading.to valuable.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Another Friday Fun Post

It's Friday again and it's time for another post about an fun but educational site.  This one is for the budding zookeeper or animal lover in your life.  It's a SIM and social networking game call Zoomumba.  You build you your own online zoo adding habitats, animals and attractions as you perform your daily zookeeping and caring for your animals. Zoomumba is a great way to teach students about different types of animals as well as about  commerce as you you need to keep a steady stream of customers happy to keep your zoo open.  I think it's probably best to let you explore it on your own and maybe even connect with a zoo buddy or two. Because it is also a social network Zoomumba can be a good way to teach good digital citizenship as well.  Go out there and explore!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Are You Following Me on Twitter? #edtech

As I said, posts will be short in coming days.  This one will be extremely short.  If you have ever wondered if someone follows you on Twitter or vice versa, it can be difficult to scroll through hundreds or even thousands of accounts.  Enter DoesFollow.  By typing in two Twitter IDs you can quickly see if one follows the other and vice versa.  So give DoesFollow and if you don't already follow me on Twitter be sure to do so! Look for the link in the left rail to start following me.  I promise to share quality information with you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Visualize Your World #edtech

Tonight's post teeters on the brink of being a toy instead of a tool.  But I think their may just be some educational value to Vizlingo.  Using 30,000 video clips to visualize over 400,000 words, you can type a sentence up to 14 words in length and create a video representation of the words used.  I can see this as having some real value as an assistive technology tool for individuals who have trouble communicating verbally.  You can customize and save your Vizlingo creations and there is apparently an App being developed for your IDevices.  So, Vizlingo could be a web 2.0 app to watch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making Art #edtech

Remember those banner softwares that we used many moons ago on our dot matrix printers to make large banners?  The 21st century version is called Block Posters.  Take any image upload it to Block Posters and choose a size.  Block Posters will beak that image into printable "blocks" that you can then reassemble into larger than life posters.  This application would be great for art student work in much larger form or even science teachers looking to show more details of specimens or smaller objects.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quick Before I Forget...Again #edtech

I'm a busy guy.  Between family responsibilities, work, conferences and other volunteer work I do it's sometimes hard for me to remember everything I have on my plate.  As I get older, my memory seems to be slipping even more.  But, I know there are people who rely on me and the last thing I want to do is miss an appointment.  Sure I could use Google Calendar or Remember the Milk to help me with that.  But I'm always on the look out for backup tools.
Memorari may just fill the bill.  With options to send me updates about important events via text message, Email, ICQ, MSN Chat, Yahoo Messanger and AIM (Does anyone use those anymore?), as well as GTalk and Jabber, I can literally inundate myself with reminders an just so that all my "alarms" are going off at once.  Now, if I can just remember to write the reminder at Memorari. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just a Quick Blip #edtech

I've mention Blip.tv on this blog in the past in passing.  But never really suggested it as a content creation tool, until now. I'm going to let you in on a little secret - Next years 365 project for me is going to be more of a 52 week adventure.  Instead of blogging ever night (to be honest I am so over it), I will make sure that I produce at least one VLog a week.  And I will be hosting the program via Blip.tv. It seems pretty easy to upload videos and create a channel and while I have explored other vlog hosts - I think Blip.tv is the direction I am going to go.

Don't worry, Zenodotus.net is not going anywhere, anytime soon.  I just won't be blogging every single night in 2012. I still have about 56 more posts to complete this 2011 365 project.  Incidentally, he next two of which may only be one or two sentence posts encouraging you to explore utilities I share almost entirely on your own.  With IETC just over a week away, I will be in hyper-focus mode reviewing my presentations and just won't have time to create my typical review.

Meet Any Time for Free #edtech

This is a post that I need to expand on and cover a number of free web conferencing tools.  We've all heard of GoToMeeting, WebEx and perhaps Adobe Connect.  Powerful web conferencing tools indeed.  But power often comes with a hefty price.  I recently did a webinar using Adobe Connect and I loved it's feature set.  What I don't love is it's almost $5000 price tag!
I am hoping to do more webinars and needed a platform to perform these on.  So, I am on the hunt for free alternatives.  The one I am currently most impressed with is AnyMeeting.  AnyMeeting allows you to upload and share documents, has a whiteboard and also allows you to share your screen and yourself via a webcam.  All important aspects of a web conference tool for me.  There is a chat interface and a way for people to raise their hands to alerting you to their questions.  You can also transfer control if you are co-presenting.  You can record your presentations as well.  Now the free version is sponsored by advertising, but if you sell tickets to your attendees and split the revenue with AnyMeeting the advertising supposedly goes away..
AnyMeeting doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Adobe Connect for example but it does the trick quite nicely

Friday, November 4, 2011

Reading Should Be Fun #edtech

And Tumblebooks at the Portland Public Library makes reading fun again!  Full of fantastic books that are read aloud to students online (including some on the IPAD).  Tumblebooks includes StoryBooks (with images for younger viewers), Language Learning Books, Read-Along, Non-Fiction and all the books have a fantastic narrator to read the story as the text is highlighted.  When the book is done there are games that enhance learning through reading comprehension quizzes, word search and catch, memory games and puzzles all related to the stories on Tumblebooks.  Favorite the books you like most and create playlists.  I love reading to my kids, but sometimes there just isn't time and they love books.  Tumblebooks is a great alternative (and sometimes even better) than the real thing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Go Paperless #edtech

I'm excited to share tonight's post with you.  Especially if you are someone who is determined to take your classroom or office paperless.  PaperAct is a new electronic filing system that helps you sort your scans, files and emails all in one place and have access to them on almost any device.  Take a picture of a document with your phone, upload and convert it to a digital document.  Use a scanner to upload paper documents.  Store important emails.  PaperAct can help you store, archive and share important documents while organizing them in a searchable format.  I have not had much chance to explore the potential of this web 2.0 tool, but I encourage you to sign up for an account while they are still in beta testing because once they go live they will switch to a paid subscription model. However, beta testers of PaperAct will be "Grandfathered" so that they will continue to have access to the services for free.  That alone is worth signing up and exploring what PaperAct has to offer!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interested by the Concept of a Micro Diary #edtech

Somewhere the micro-blogging world of Twitter and time consuming authorship responsibilities of a blog lies Histofme.  Histofme purports itself as a "micro-diary" and the concept intrigues me. Posts written at the site need to be 400 characters or less allowing for a quick paragraph instead of a microburst status update.  I can see Histofme being a powerful introduction to the concept of writing online for students.  While there is a social aspect of Histofme it was only launched a few days ago and their is not yet a large network.  So it is hard to judge which audience Histofme will appeal too.
I like the simple clean approach to posting - no WYSIWIG editors or extravagant bells and whistles to get lost in, just a micro-diary of events that are important to you.  You can categorize your posts by tagging it as well as add a date and picture to accent and commemorate your writing.  The fact that you can keep your posts private and choose who you let read your posts is another important aspect that could help to teach digital citizenship to younger students.
I wish they had a cross platform client for mobile devices.  I think it would be easier to remember to post to Histofme.  What are your impressions?
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