Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Read it Later + New Blog Design

Read it Later is a resource that I now find myself using on a regular basis. It offers a very similar service to InstaPaper if you are familiar with that. Read it Later allows you to save webpages and articles to read later, even if your offline. Both services also offer the options to read your items on a computer or many mobile devices. The idea is that if you are on a webpage and either want to save it for later, or don't have the time to finish reading it then, you can "Read it Later" and have the page available to read on your computer or mobile device at a later time. Many other applications are adding support of Read it Later so that while browsing articles you can add to "Read it Later" with the click or tap of a button. This is usually found in the same menu location where you might forward an article. One of the benefits I see to using Read it Later is that they offer apps for most smart phones including iPhones, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. To see even more options for devices that have support for Read it Later view this page.

I hope you like the new look to the blog! I began having some trouble with the template I was using before so...viola! =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google Book - 20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web

So I'm sure I should've seen this before, but I haven't and it's quite cool! In light of Google's recent release of a magazine, Think Quarterly (which seems to be a bit over-run today) I stumbled across a prior release of Google's... 20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web. It is a beautifully presented "book" that goes through "20 things" about the web. It ranges in topics with "things" such as: What is a Browser, Cloud Computing, HTML5 and Malware. I think if you've heard words buzzing around about the web that you're not quite sure it's definitely worthwhile to check out. If you feel like you know quite a lot about the web it's still worth seeing the way that they've used HTML5 to create this book. I especially love the switches at the bottom where you can change the background (light or dark) and zoom in or out. The illustrations, by Christoph Niemann are quite enjoyable too!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The impact of the earthquake in Japan

In the past couple of days I've come across some very informative sites that show and explain some of the circumstances in Japan. The first site listed is particularly helpful in really seeing the large changes that have occurred as a result of this tragedy.

This site, presented by The New York Times, was shared with me by a colleague in my district and it is the first I've seen that provides an interactive comparison of impacted regions. When you open the site you will want to move your mouse to the center of the images, then click and drag to move the slider. The slider serves to move the overlay of current images of the same area.

This second site I learned of from @edtechsandyk through Twitter. The article, presented by The Washington Post does a great job of explaining the importance of the written language and how communication is being delivered amidst this tragedy. In this day of modern communication through technology I think it serves well to remind us adults and students of the importance of written word. Check it out here.

Animated time sequenced map of the earthquakes in Japan. This article references and links to a map that shows the depth, location, and magnitude with a counting timer of when the earthquakes struck.

Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) provides a large list of additional resources for learning updated information on the Japan earthquake on his blog here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Everyday go-to sites for Classroom Use

I wanted to feature a few sites that are awesome go-to tools for classrooms. Each one can be used at anytime during the day with a multiple of lessons, and used by the teacher (whole group) or by students. Take a look and think of the possibilities! =) - Quick and easy to use timer. Large print with countdown so it is great for classroom use! - It uses Google Maps (something we already know)  ;) but adds the ability to mark it up with arrows, lines, shapes, and words. Great for teacher demo with the whole group, or for individual student use. Consider students using it to create a map of their community,state, or country by identifying and marking major buildings and sites. - provides a way to mark-up any webpage that you want. To use it you just have to drag the bookmark image to your bookmarks bar (or install the chrome extension if you're using the Google Chrome browser), and then when you're on a site that you want to mark-up click it! - Create mind maps. You can get started right away by clicking in the "Start Here" bubble, then just hit enter to create a new bubble or ctrl+enter to add a stem or "child bubble".

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flipboard for iPad, definite like

I've been using Flipboard for a good amount of time now and feel like I can truly say I like it. I've passed the point of using it just because it was new & shiny (the true test) and am still going to it on my iPad daily. For those of you that aren't familiar, Flipboard puts various feeds (of your selection) in a magazine style format. It features some articles or posts more prominently, but you can tap on any to make them full screen. I really like the fact that when zoomed in on a story I can share the post very easily & see others that have tweeted the post too.

I really like to have various site feeds set up as sections in my Flipboard. Particularly sites like Mashable Technology and ReadWriteWeb where I can see multiple sources of information. I also setup my Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader feeds but have found I don't visit these sections as often as my others. Overall, I think Flipboard provides a fun way to view the news & share what you're reading & best of all it's free-ee in the App Store!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Re-involving myself, or at least trying

I got involved in Twitter originally wanting to be a part of a PLC. That's also the main reason I began this blog. I'm in the field of educational technology and believe in furthering my own learning and networking with others in this field. I also definitely believe in the role that these platforms play in this equation.

I jumped in fast (insert shocking gasps from those who know me) and launched a professionally focused twitter page and re-located my blog to a place that I thought would be easier for others to reach.

I found an ed tech list to follow and sent out my first tweet anxiously awaiting replies from others in the ed tech world...and then was a little disappointed when this did not happen immediately. I collected myself and realized that I needed to invest some time in this. I began reading tweets daily, and began blogging more regularly. I followed more people on twitter, and then a crazy thing happened, I stopped reading them quite as often.  The good side of it is that I have kept up this blog. Though if I'm honest, my original goal was to post a minimum of 3-4 times per week, and the reality is it's been more like 1-2.

All of this to say I'm going to try again...and while thinking this I decided it might be a good idea to share the mistakes that I made the first time around, and proclaim my current goals.


  1. I began reading many blogs (I use Google Reader), but failed to comment and become an active participant = I was a lurker.
  2. I published tweets from my blog but didn't not insert any thoughts or personality = I shoved my own posts out there without any personal touch.
  3. I read tweets from others but did not re-tweet, converse, or participate in any chat sessions = repeat lurker.
Overall mistake = not being actively involved, I was merely a bystander.

  1. Make my twitter follows more manageable in number (for now), and read daily.
  2. Tweet even when I have not published a blog post, ie when I see something interesting that is related to the field or have found a new (to me) resource. Even if I think others may already know about this resource to some degree.
    See this one is a biggy to me. In the past, I have come across great (to me!) resources, but then thought, eh everybody else probably knows about this, and not posted anything about it, only to see a few new posts about it later.
  3. Write a new blog post a minimum of 3 times a week, not just when I find a new resource. Share current concerns from my field or ideas for improvement. 
Overall Goals = Read tweets daily, tweet regularly, and blog at minimum 3 times a week.

I will try to stick to these goals. However, being the easily distractible person that I am (once again, insert gasps of shock from those who know me) I realize I may fail at times, but if I do, I'm going to try again, and hopefully get better the next time around!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

PDFmyURL Saves website as pdf fast!

PDFmyURL provides a service that lets you generate a pdf of ANY web address that you enter. This could be super helpful when you need to save what's displaying on webpage today when it may be updated and changed tomorrow. Additionally if you want to have a file on your record of something that you've seen this is a fast and easy way to do that. All you have to do is go to and then enter the web address in the window.

Once you've entered an address just hit enter or press the button to the right. The website will then save and you'll see a pdf appear...pretty cool!