The blog “Free Technology for Teachers,” at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/, provides online resources and ideas for teaching with technology. Some of the posts are specific to K-12 education but a number of posts are useful for education across the educational spectrum. You can read the blog from time to time or subscribe to their RSS feed to receive new posts.
Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 Tools’ Category
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports on Twitter users. According to the report, 8% percent of the American adults who use the internet are Twitter users. Some of the groups who are notable for their relatively high levels of Twitter use include young adults, African-Americans and Latinos, and urbanites. See the full report at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Twitter-Update-2010.aspx.
The March 2010 TEDxNYED talk, “The New Volunteers: Social Media, Disaster Response And You,” was presented by Andy Carvin, Senior Strategist at NPR. In this talk, Andy gave an overview of the way the Internet and Social Media tools have changed over time to create a new set of tools and resources for responding to disasters. See http://acarvin.posterous.com/video-of-my-tedxnyed-talk-the-new-volunteers.
You can now easily create QR codes with Google’s URL Shortener (http://goo.gl/). To create the QR code, append “.qr” to the end of the shortened URL in your brower’s URL bar. You can then copy the QR code image from your browser.
If you’re not familiar with QR codes, see a previous discussion of QR codes in NewsBits, see http://nnlm.gov/psr/newsbits/?p=687.
“Widgets” or “gadgets” are small programs that you can place on your web site or blog. The federal government produces freely available widgets related to health: see http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/Gadget_Gallery/Health.shtml. Widgets are available from the FDA, CDC, and other government agencies. Topics include H1N1 flu, drug safety, and general health. To use a widget in your web site or blog, copy the code provided into your site.
Are you curious about the social media policies of other institutions? Take a look at the growing list at HLWIKI:
It includes links to policies for health care institutions.
Have you thought about using Twitter to engage the audience during a presentation? If so, you may wish to download a free, online book on how to use Twitter in presentations. The book discusses benefits in using Twitter in your presentations. Sections include how to “survive the experience” and how to respond to the audience. To download, see http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=433746.
Two new online services have made the news lately: Google Buzz and Foursquare.
Google Buzz is a good example of why it’s not always a good idea to immediately go out and try a new service. Give it a week and let the “dust settle.”
At first, Google Buzz seemed like a great idea: Facebook-like interaction with your contacts integrated directly into Gmail. Unfortunately, reports of privacy issues and too many “automatic” features began almost immediately. For instance, users reported that all their Gmail contacts were now public for everyone to see. Google has now been forced to admit it made a mistake and to try to fix the system. See this blog post entitled, “Google: We Screwed Up with Buzz, Stay Tuned” for a summary.
Meanwhile, a mobile service called “Foursquare” has been getting a lot of attention. Foursquare is a “geo-location” app for mobile phones. People can share their location with their friends and offer “tips” about particular places in their city. The Krafty Librarian has an interesting post about the service and whether it has any application to libraries. For now, it appears to be mostly a “fun” application but it’s worth keeping an eye on for future library applications.
Have you ever wanted to receive notification when a web page changes or adds new information, but were unable to do so if the website did not have an RSS feed? Google Reader has just added a new feature which will allow you to keep up with changes to web pages that do not have RSS feeds. For more information on this feature and instructions for setting it up, see this article on Google’s blog: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2010/01/follow-changes-to-any-website.html.
Have you ever wanted to “cut the clutter” from web page articles and just be able to read the content without the ads and other extraneous information?
A simple, free online tool called “Readability” will let you do this. Readability installs into your browser as a “bookmarklet.” When you’re on a web page you’d like to re-format, click the bookmarklet and Readability will replace the page with the content only. The content can be re-formatted in newspaper, novel, e-book or “terminal” styles, and you can pick the size of the text and the margin.
I found Readability did not work as well for “discussion thread” sites (it would only pick up the first thread in the page), but worked well for news sites and the other sites I tried. If you give it a try, post a comment about your experience!