Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thing 17: Tres Delicieux!

Thing 17: Tres Delicieux!

Tagging and Bookmarking on Delicious

I have used sites that used tagging before, but I found the Delicious tutorial and website to be very interesting in that I will certainly use it in my future classroom, as it could be used to create pages about certain topics or lessons within a classroom subject.  Students can also work collaboratively to create such pages for projects and assignments. Tagging is becoming ever more prominent in social media and web pages, as it helps to more helpfully categorize material.  Variants of tagging exists on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and now Facebook. It would be useful for students to know how to use tagging in some other respect than just social media, and sites like Delicious can help students learn how to better organize, categorize, and seek information. 

Thing 16: Productivity Power!

Thing 16: Productivity Power!

Internet Resources on Organization & Productivity

For my start page, I used Symbaloo because of its universality with respect to various devices.  I can use it, not only as my start page on my laptop browser, but also on my iPhone and iPad.  The easy-to-use and streamlined format for the start page also make it very desirable, in my opinion. However, I will probably not use it as my homepage, as I am a creature of habit who typically uses Yahoo homepage, particularly for the news. 

For this exercise of creating an Online Calendar, I already had a Google calendar on another account which was integrated with other online features I use in my personal life.  I use it to keep track of all my various subbing assignments, meetings, events, tasks, etc.  The usage of Online Calendars has been very helpful to me in keeping up with all my various activities.  (But, it can be overwhelming when that calendar is filled up!)

For the other tool, I chose the PDFConverter, merely for the fact that I love using PDF documents.  PDFs can be used and saved in Kindle documents on the iPhone and iPad, both of which I use extensively, and, for that reason, I like PDF files. 

Thing 15: Wiki, Wiki, Wiki

Thing 15: Wiki, Wiki, Wiki

Wikis and Collaborative Knowledge

I am an avid user of wikis, though I do not regularly do much editing.  Wikis are a great source of information, whether in a general sense (such as Wikipedia), or more particular details in specifically-themed wikis.  Wikis which I use are things like theopedia (a Christian theology wiki), philosophy.wikia (a philosophy wiki), and other such examples of themed wikis. 

I have edited on wikis before, but only to correct minor errors, or add new information on a topic which had yet to be added or updated.  I don't often edit on more popular wikis, since I do not necessarily feel qualified, but have done so on lesser-known and themed wikis.

Wikis can be used in a classroom setting by creating a class subject wiki where the students can collaborate to inform certain topics.  Also, wikis can be used to teach critical thinking and analyzation skills by showing the unreliability of such information sources. 

Thing 14: Charting the Flow/ Minding the Map

Thing 14: Charting the Flow/ Minding the Map

For my Flowchart and Mind Map, I chose Gliffy and Mindmeister. 

I used the Gliffy to create a flowchart about the steps of the Cosmological Argument in philosophy; whereas, I made a Mind Map with Mindmeister about differing perspectives on morality and ethics.  I have had many discussions about philosophy with students at the high school where I sub, so I thought using these features to create these documents would be very handy in better explaining those topics with those kids.  Features like those on Gliffy and Mindmeister will be INCREDIBLY helpful in the classroom to create documents which can easily organize and explain material.

The difference between a flowchart and a mind map is that flowcharts seem to have a continuous and contiguous "flow" of thoughts; whereas, a mind map is not precisely ordered in a sequential manner, but in a topical one.  In other words, a flowchart moves sequentially, but a mind map simply organizes that material by topic. 

Thing 13: Google Drive

Thing 13: Google Drive My Google Drive documents are in this blog post.

Google Drive Document

I feel that Google Drive could be used collaboratively in my future classes because students could easily create their own Google accounts for their projects and work on a particular document, presentation, spreadsheet, drawing, or form from any location due to the "cloud" aspect of the Google Drive. When it comes to using Google Drive versus Zoho, I prefer Google Drive because of the connectivity between Google Drive and other Google features, even though Zoho has numerous applications for collaborative working, especially for businesses. Truthfully, both Google Drive and Zoho are amazing, so one can't really go wrong with either one.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thing 12: The Wonderful World of Google!

Thing 12:  The Wonderful World of Google!

Before this entry, I was already pretty familiar with the myriad functions and uses of Google beyond its normal search engine capabilities.  So, this activity did not take very long for me, as I have already been using these features for years now.

However, I will focus on these two:

Google Scholar:  This feature is quite handy in finding articles and essays that pertain to whatever particular topic you are researching.  Though the availability of full-text articles is limited at times, it does help you supplement your research by maybe giving sources that you can try and find in other databases, libraries, bookstores, etc.  I have used Google Scholar numerous times before in my research papers, not so much as my main source of information, but as a helpful add-on and starter for my research. 

Google Books:  There are numerous books I have bought (or NOT bought) because of Google Books.  It is VERY helpful when you can read a few (or many) pages of a given book to finally decide if you wish to purchase it or not.  At times, Google Books provides a larger preview selection of a book than other book sites, and that can make all the difference in a decision.  I usually review a book from three different sites and read the reviews before I ever buy it, so another resource with which to gauge the quality of a book is always beneficial. 

These tools can be helpful with education in many ways.  Google Scholar is obviously useful for researching material, and providing students another avenue to pursue their own research.  Google Books can also be useful, moreso in providing students books they could search for in a given topic; serving as a "Google Scholar," but of suggested books that may be interesting and related to a research topic.

In conclusion, Google has numerous features beyond its search engine, and I have fortunately been using them for years to assist in many different tasks and assignments. 

Thing 11: RSS in Live Action!

Chapter 11: Bankruptcy of my Free Time

Simply put, RSS feeds could be the death of me...or at least all my free time.  As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I am an ardent reader of news and all things political, so even MORE information at my fingertips is bad for my productivity!

I, personally, found all the blog-finding technology to be a bit "wonky," in the sense that I had numerous thing to choose from, but it kept descending into evermore complexity.  For some sites, I could not only subscribe to the main site, but particular issues that the site may cover.  When there is an RSS feed for "Adam Levine," on a news site, that seems a bit much. All-in-all, I'd say Technorati was the best site of the ones suggested to use. 

The other blogs I subscribed to were:

RealClearPolitics (because, of course).
ThinkProgress (your standard left-wing views)
The Blaze (your standard right-wing views)
FactCheck (kinda somewhere in the middle)

In conclusion, yet another exercise in finding excellent information which will consume even more  of my free time!