Monday, April 4, 2011

A Little Grab Bag of Neat Online Tools & Articles

Wondering what to do with your laptop while you sip your mochaccino? Want to UP your techno-savvy and inform your perspective on future trends? Over the past few months, I have received suggestions and tips from fellow educational technology folks and put these in a folder -- as it grew, I realized I needed to DO something with this grab bag of online goodies. So, enjoy your stroll through these neat online tools - I am sure you will come up with neat ways to use these tools and ideas. 

Text Messaging Polls - A graduate student demonstrated and used with us in my graduate seminar - it is a great online survey tool that uses text messaging from any cellphone for input.

Page Speed Online
By Google, Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.  One of my course pages got a 39 / 100 - I got some great advice on how to improve my load time.

TitanPad - Collaborative Document Editing
Similar to Googledocs, many people can collaboratively edit a document - difference is that you can get started immediately with no need to create an account. So, to record notes during a meeting, brainstorming on the fly, and quick document creation, this seems like a great tool.

Learn how to visually organize your interest web with a 55 second tour!
Play with this and create some bookmarks to organize your online life - its fun!

Read this Special Report: Dumping print, publisher bets the ranch on apps to consider what is happening with eBooks. 
Excerpt:  "This is revolutionary," he says, stroking his finger at the iPad's glass surface and prodding to open an app he has developed. "This is the Looking Glass. This is Alice in Wonderland. We are at the beginning of an entirely new medium."  The increasingly popular e-books sold on Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBook store and Barnes & Noble's Nook store are electronic reproductions of paper books. So, for publishing innovators such as Callaway, it will be Apple's App Store that will ultimately transform books into a new medium. Titans from Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins are jostling with the likes of Callaway for a piece of the pie. Experts say it's like a Wild West gold rush, perhaps the biggest moment in publishing since Gutenberg's invention of the movable-type printing press in the middle of the 15th Century.

Feeling a little overwhelmed and overloaded by information? Turns out, you are not alone - Ecclesiastes and Seneca were distracted, too. Read this book review, "Too Much To Know" in Inside Higher Education.  A book by historian Ann Blair, Too Much to Know:Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age, about the history of information.
Excerpt:   History certainly offers no clear predictions of the future, but I tend to think that we will manage much as we have in the past, creating problems for ourselves but hopefully also enough solutions to carry on.

Still need something to do while you sip a mochaccino?

After watching this VIDEO: Apple Debuts New iPad 2 ad, with "We Believe" theme, ... 

Browse Helene Blowers list of 23 techno-things to do on the 43 things website! Originally created for the Learning 2.0 program at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, Helene's is a great list of 23 learning challenges to give to student teachers, or teaching colleagues, or faculty friends, as a weekend challenge to UP their techno-savvy! Or, you can send them to the 43 things website to start their own list...

Enjoy learning new things.  Our children and our teachers deserve to learn, build and share ideas together in connected learning and knowing communities. 

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