- Web-based Access- I've blogged about cloud computing and its benefits. Delicious is "cloudbookmarking." If you bookmark a site locally on a computer, you can't access it from other computers, and if the harddrive crashes your bookmarks are lost. A few years ago I had an excel spreadsheet with many links I would carry around on a flash drive-which I would often misplace. I needed an option that allowed better access to my bookmarks. Delicious allows access from any computer (or device) connected to the Internet.
- My Network- Socialbookmarking is allows me to access other user's bookmarks and gives them access to mine. It's not really "social" for me; it's more about having a "network" to connect with and benefit from their ideas. This all feeds the idea of having your own personal learning network. Want to pick the brain of colleagues or pioneers in a field? Delicious is a great way to do it. Check out Marlo's links regarding copyright. Look what Wes Fryar has on Internet safety. How about my links tagged "antivirus," which I have sent to several friends who needed help with their home computers. Your network can be a great tool for finding relevant information on the Internet and pulling or pushing links out to others.
- Exploration & Search Tool- Although it is unlikely to replace your favorite search engine, Delicious can deliver a look at what all users are tagging. I've occasionally found good links from the main page (which lists the "most popular bookmarks on Delicious" at the time) or by searching tags. It is important to note that although I've not seen sites I would consider inappropriate, the searches may yield results that could be blocked by web filters or just might be like searching for the needle in the haystack. Sometimes you have to have some time to search to find resources.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A few weeks ago I mentioned to one of my college buddies that I had been using Twitter and wondered if he had an account. Since then he has been occasionally sending me clever little emails like the following:
Wondering whether to fix a sandwich or go out to lunch. I am leaning towards going out.
He assumes Twitter, as advertised, is about "What are you doing?" and that most of the updates are about reporting on the real time (mundane) details of one's life. He is not alone. I think a lot of folks are wondering about Twitter and its uses.
- PLN builder- In past blog entries I've shared some of the blogs I follow with my RSS feedreaders. Twitter, like the feeds from blogs, can be a great tool for continuing to build on your own personal learning network (PLN). Twitter is another way to connect with people and promote important ideas. Because Twitter is limited to 140 characters, tweets are concise and ideas are often updated more quickly than a blog, but tweets can be useful in promoting ideas because the tweets can include a link to a url. One of my first tweets included a link to an blog entry from bloggingagenda.com about why "retweeting" is important. Retweeting is simply sharing someone else's tweet. You retweet if you think your followers might benefit someone else's thought or idea. I've already benefited from the tweets of others and ideas that have been shared with Twitter.
- Real-time news- Over the weekend while the Iranian elections where taking place, I was reading up on it on Twitter. Instead of getting the CNN version I was getting real time updates from "trending topics." The trending topics (on the lefthand side) measure the topics receiving the most tweets. Although you have to evaluate the source, Twitter allows everyone with an account and network access to report on events. I remember when the plane landed in the Hudson River recently, Twitter was one of the first sources for news. And another friend of mine who uses Twitter follows Lance Armstrong, who uses Twitter to bypass the media and share information with his followers. Twitter gives you real time, unfiltered access to information.
- Conversations/Feedback- Twitter can be a tool for conversations. April tried this with a post earlier this year, asking what students gain from using technology in their classrooms."Twitter allows you to get immediate feedback from those answering your tweet. So you can tap the knowledge of your followers for feedback or ideas. I've seen national speakers, like Will Richardson and David Warlick, use Twitter in this way during conferences and get really interesting feedback. Although you may not have many responses at first (April :) it is a starting point.
Friday, June 12, 2009
This reminded me of April's blog a few weeks ago entitled Tech Girls , which also addressed the gender gap in computer related fields. As a father of a daughter and someone who works with technology, this alarms me. Some (like Bill Gates) believe computing is the new literacy for the 21st century. How might the perception of computer-related careers be impacting our current female students standing in a 21st century global economy? How do you change these perceptions?
It is a complex issue that I don't have an answer for. But I do think this first-grade classroom has a great video to start the conversation. This was the winner of the K-5 category for the Interwrite TeacherTube Makeover Contest.
If you haven't seen it yet it is worth a look.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Enter a search term and when the results are displayed select “show options."
Wonder Wheel will appear as one the options on the left-hand side of the screen.
Your selected results will appear with your original search term in the center with related terms in a connected web circling the term. Click on any of the related topics and a new web is created. Links to the terms in the web are located on the right.
You can see that the Wheel is easy to use and is a great way to show connections between related search terms.