Web 2.0 Tools – Has anyone tried these?

SCRIBLINK – ONLINE WHITEBOARD
A colleague of mine, Alexandria Pickett, Director, SUNY Learning Network, posted a link on Facebook to a Web 2.0 online whiteboard.

http://www.scriblink.com/

Scriblink is a free digital whiteboard that users can share online in real-time. Sorta like pen and paper, minus the dead trees, plastic, and the inconvenience of being at the same place at the same time.

We are all about collaboration. Whether you’re here for fun or more practical things like layout planning, concept diagramming, or tutoring a friend in math, Scriblink brings you the power of free hand expression with anyone, at anytime, anywhere in the world.

On the homepage you’ll be immediately directed to a Scriblink board, which is free and requires no registration. Here you can take advantage of all kinds of useful features, such as:

  • Privacy: the board is all yours, open only to the people you choose to invite
  • Dynamic Tools: use shapes, hundreds of colors, a size bar, a text feature, and a grid to help guide your drawings
  • File Options: gives you the ability to print, save, and email your work
  • Image Uploader: upload an image onto the whiteboard as the background, allowing you to share it, mark it, deface it, or highlight key elements
  • In-Screen Chat: when working with others, no need to sign in to third party software, simply use our in-screen chat
  • VOIP Conferencing: if you have a mic for your computer, you can automatically connect with your collaborators (no software necessary) and talk for free for as long as you like
  • File transfer: when emailing is too much of a hassle, simply transfer files directly to anyone you’re working with

I haven’t tried it, but it looks interesting. My problem is there is so much Web 2.0 coming at me, I don’t know where to begin. Does anyone use this or a similar product? Let me know and I’ll post your comments on our Epsilen resource wikki and our Web 2.0 resource blog. Post comments, please.

TINY URL
This was a Web 2.0 service I wasn’t going to use. The name, Tiny URL, bothered me. But, I have to admit, I’ve used it. Academe is home to mile long URLs. Facebook allows so many characters in the link field and that’s it. You can’t post the link.

For instance, the History of the Internet website at 
http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/starthere/historyofthenet.html
(60 characters and what’s the “starthere” in the URL?),
through the TinyURL website becomes
http://tinyurl.com/historyofinternet
(36 characters with more intuitive words in URL)

TinyURL.Com – http://www.tinyurl.com
It’s a simple redirect.

The name still bothers me. The “tinyurl.com” becomes part of the created URL, but shortening the length of a url for a presentation or a reference post is practical. Does anyone else use TinyURL? Are there similar, less irritating services out there?

Web 2.0 Storytelling

digitalstorytelling_sm

Have you seen the article, “Web 2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a New Genre” by
Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine?I’m working with active learning in the large lecture classrooms. It’s a challenge, since the large lecture rooms are not designed for active learning and small group discussions. Web 2.0 Storytelling…I’m thinking, “Why not?” The students have their laptops in the large lecture halls and they send IMs and emails throughout the lecture.

The article cites Web 2.0 technologies that can be used for storytelling.  Do you think the physical sciences can use storytelling techniques as well as the social sciences?  Is this a useful active learning method for the large lecture classroom, as well as the smaller classroom settings? Comment or send me a message and let me know what you think. I need your input. How would you use this technique in your classroom? I’ll post your thoughts and suggestions on the Web 2.0 blog.

http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/Web20StorytellingEmergenc/47444?time=1226587109

Definition from article – “A story has a beginning, a middle, and a cleanly wrapped-up ending. Whether told around a campfire, read from a book, or played on a DVD, a story goes from point A to B and then C. It follows a trajectory, a Freytag Pyramid—perhaps the line of a human life or the stages of the hero’s journey. A story is told by one person or by a creative team to an audience that is usually quiet, even receptive. Or at least that’s what a story used to be, and that’s how a story used to be told. Today, with digital networks and social media, this pattern is changing. Stories now are open-ended, branching, hyperlinked, cross-media, participatory, exploratory, and unpredictable. And they are told in new ways: Web 2.0 storytelling picks up these new types of stories and runs with them, accelerating the pace of creation and participation while revealing new directions for narratives to flow.”

Give us this day our daily Google

Look under the hood of Google Chrome in this comics interpretation of key engineering decisions, by Scott McCloud.
Google Launches its browser. Look under the hood of Google Chrome in this comics interpretation of key engineering decisions, by Scott McCloud.
The Google Debate Rages On!
Ice Breaker IdeaGive us this day our daily Google
I recommend highly this discussion for an ice breaker topic with students in the classroom or faculty development round table sessions. Most everyone knows about Google and has opinions on Google. Start by having participants list the ways they use Google and the Google applications they have tried. Have the participants stand. Ask those to sit down if they use Google more than 10 times a day. Ask the remaining to sit down if they use Google daily. Next, progress down the line of questioning with a few times a week, a couple times a month, now and then. See if any of the participants remain standing. Have them share why they don’t use Google. Keep it light and fun, so no one feels as if they are put on the spot. You can do that same by asking them about their use of Google applications. Open the floor for discussion on Google in education and in our daily lives. Provide resources on using Goggle applications in the classroom. Read the following articles for references and topic ideas:
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Is Google Making Us Stupid?
A few months ago we featured the article, Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is doing to our brains, by Nicholas Carr. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google, The Atlantic.Com.
Read the responses in our What Google is Doing to Our Brains in the Web 2.0 Epsilen forum (please join and contribute) and on my Web 2.0 blog entry, “The Big Bad Google Monster” at https://nancywozniak.wordpress.com/from-the-mind-of-woz/the-big-bad-google-monster/
NOTE: Don’t get upset with my use of the term Luddite. I don’t like the label, but for my review of Carr’s article, I made an exception. Here is my opinion on the label Luddite – https://nancywozniak.wordpress.com/from-the-mind-of-woz/visionaries-vs-luddites/

Give Us This Day Our Daily Google:
NPR’s, Sarah Handel remarks about Google in her life, “– it’s just so darn useful, that I tend to think of it as more of a utility, like water and electricity, than a commercial product… “ – http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2008/09/i_cant_quit_you_google.html. Here another take on how Google has become part of our daily sustenance by Rob Dubbin of the Colbert Report (warning: might not be an article for K-12).
Can You Go A Day Without Google?
Google marked its 10th birthday on Sunday. In honor of the day, writer Rob Dubbin decided to see if he could go 24 hours without using the search engine. His article
“Just Let Me Check One Last Thing”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/05/AR2008090502654.html
appeared Sunday in the Washington Post.

Blog of the Nation – I Can’t Quit You, Google
All Things Considered, September 7, 2008
It’s not often that a product or service becomes so pervasive that people start using it as a verb. On the 10th anniversary of Google, take a look back on its influence through the lens of popular culture.
Listen to the NPR broadcast at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94392120
and join the read the blog entries at
http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2008/09/i_cant_quit_you_google.html
VERY INTERESTING TOPIC!
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Google Chrome Reviews
Nicole, a colleague at work, and I were discussing Michael Piotrowski’s (University of Toledo) announcement post in our Web 2.0 Epsilen Group about the use of Google Chrome for research papers. We both agreed that it’s too new … the jury is still out. I’m creating a forum and a wiki on Google Chrome in the Epsilen Group.

Michael posts, “I wondered if anyone had any inside opinions about the new Google Chrome. Will it make it easier for students to write research papers for my college courses?”

Our Epsilen colleagues, Bob Harbort, Melanie Reed, Mike Pouraryan have responded and I am posting their responses in the Give us this day our daily Google Web 2.0 Epsilen forum. Whether you plan to use Google or not, please join and contribute.

What is it?
Some of you may be asking, “What is Google Chrome?” It’s a browser in its baby (beta) stages. Here’s Wikipedia’s entry – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome
I’ve been listening to NPR reviews of Chrome on Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation and All things Considered. NPR is a good place to start. Try these sources:

Google’s ‘Shiny’ New Web Browser
NPR.org, September 2, 2008 by Joshua Brockman (RBW – Recommended by Woz)
When Google unveiled its new browser on Tuesday, it was touted as a faster and more reliable experience for those using the Web for everything from e-mail and word processing, to music and video. Go to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94211079

Google’s Chrome Taps Browsers’ Cash Potential
Morning Edition, September 9, 2008 • Google is taking on Microsoft’s ubiquitous Internet Explorer with a new browser called Chrome. Technology commentator Mario Armstrong says it’s an easy to use, open-source browser that has a long way to go before it could oust Explorer as the No. 1 browser. Listen at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94407506

Google Launches ‘Chrome’ Web Browser
Talk of the Nation, September 5, 2008
Internet search giant Google unveiled Chrome, a new piece of Web browser software on Tuesday. Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand.com, explains what Google’s open-source browser can do, and why a search engine leader wants to get into the Web software market.
Listen at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94299337

Visit the Google Chrome download page and introduction in comic book and video form at
http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/features.html

I.E. is Still #1! Let’s see how long it will take Google to overtake them.
Top Five Web Browsers By Market Share
Internet Explorer – 72.2 %
Firefox – 19.7 %
Safari – 6.4 %
Opera – 0.74 %
Netscape- 0.72 %

Source: Net Applications

Bringing Composers into Classrooms Through Skype

Recommended Article:

This Campus Technology article is worth reading and Skype is a Web 2.0 application worth using in the classroom – Bringing Composers into Classrooms Through Skype, by Linda L Briggs, 8/27/2008 – http://www.campustechnology.com/articles/66727 .

It would be interesting to know how many of us are using Skype or other Web 2.0 video conferencing tools (see Wiki area) to bring experts in the field into the classroom. Email me or post a discussion in our our Web 2.0 Epsilen Group Forums. I’ve been thinking about bringing alumni that are experts in certain disciplines into my classroom through Skype. Why not bring the alumni back to campus? We have the Web 2.0 tools to do. What do you think?

RCET – Research Center for Educational Technology – Kent State

RCET Website
You might want to take a look at Kent State’s RCET website … http://www.rcet.org/ . RCET stands for The Research Center for Educational Technology. I attended their conferences and workshops when I was studying Instructional Technology at University of Akron. I highly recommend the experience.

RCET’s mission
To explore the uses and influences of technology in education through rich collaborations among researchers and practitioners, to help improve teaching and learning in today’s classrooms and inform the development of the ubiquitous computing environments of the future.

They publish a journal twice a year and the Spring 2008 edition is a special issue on Learning While Mobile. You can download the PDF at PDF version – http://www.rcetj.org/files/RCETJ_4_1_learningwhilemobile[1].pdf
I’d like to hear your comments on some of the articles. Mobile learning, particularly mobile online learning, seems to be a future trend. I hear mix reviews on the possibilities. What are your thoughts, opinions and experiences with hand held devices in the classroom?

Description of Journal:
The Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology provides a multimedia forum for the advancement of scholarly work on the effects of technology on teaching and learning.

Articles listed:

•Bridging the Gap? Mobile Phones at the Interface Between Informal and Formal Learning
-Professor John Cook, Norbert Pachler, and Claire Bradley
•Affordances of PDAs: Undergraduate Student Perceptions
-Yanjie Song and Robert Fox
•The Effect of Information Visualization and Structure on Mobile Learning
-Hyungsung Park
•Using Place as Provocation: In Situ Collaborative Narrative Construction
-Matthew Schaefer, Deborah Tatar, Steve Harrison, and Alli Crandell
•A Personalized Mobile Mathematics Tutoring System for Primary Education
-Xinyou Zhao and Toshio Okamoto

The are currently posting a Call for Papers on their website. Again, please share your thoughts and opinions on mobile learning in education. Add comments or join our Web 2.0 group at http://Web20Group.epsilen.com .

Illuminations

Web 2.0 Pick of the Week
http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivityDetail.aspx?id=36
Illuminations Sound Sketch Tool is a learning exercise that allows students to draw and map sound from National Council of Teachers of Mathmatics. K-12, but the Illuminations site is worth browsing for instructors and tutors in higher education.
Description:
Sound can be measured and quantified in many different ways. Sheet music is one way to represent a series of sounds. MP3 players and computers use a different representation to store a sound. This activity includes software that allows you to sketch and quantify sound using two different representations.

WOZ Blog Favorites – technology180.wordpress.com

BlOG RECOMMENDATION:
http://technology180.wordpress.com
Stop running from the technology.  Turn around and try it.

Check out Patsy Crawford Carruthers’ Blog.  Patsy is the Senior Program Manager of Instructional Technology for the Teaching & Academic Support Center (TASC) at the University of Kentucky

Her About Description:
Technology180 is a blog dedicated to tech tools and Web 2.0 resources for teaching and learning. Rather than being a fully rounded look at technology, this blog asks the reader to reverse his or her thinking about using technology in the classroom, if necessary, and apply some new tools to his or her instruction.

The author, “patsycat,” is Patsy Crawford Carruthers, Senior Program Manager of Instructional Technology for the Teaching & Academic Support Center (TASC) at the University of Kentucky. Her bachelor’s degree is in journalism and her master’s is in education. She’s a former journalist and high school English & journalism teacher, and she spent 10 years working for Cincinnati’s public television station in content and educational technology. Entries reflect her own viewpoints and interests and do not represent the University of Kentucky. She blogs because she loves to write.
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REMEMBER-email me with your blogs, websites and Web 2.0 recommendations (nancywozniak@gmail.com).  I’ll post them.   Join and post them in the wiki area of our Epsilen Web 2.0 Group at http://Web20Group.epsilen.com.   I send weekly update emails to the Epsilen group.    – nancy