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7 in 7…

February 20, 2008

I have to thank everyone who helped make TeachMeetPerth such a great success! Excellent conversation and ideas delivered in typical TeachMeet style! Lots of sharing and lots of humour… roll on the next one! I decided that I’d use my slot to highlight a few tools that I like and which are a) great fun, or b) really useful. Here’s a quick reminder of them complete with links.

Instapaper 1) Instapaper – Is a quick and dirty version of What I like is that you highlight the text that catches your eye on the original website and then hit the ‘Read Later’ button. The highlighted text serves as a reminder when you go to the parent site… Not the best explanation in the world, but give it a try and you’ll soon see what I mean!

Buzzword 2) Buzzword is my favourite online word-processor. Simple and clean interface, and capable of saving out as Word documents… My thoughts: Combine Buzzword with an iPod touch (once they get flash enabled) and you have a £199 personal learning tool… suddenly 1-to-1 becomes very affordable!The other great thing about Buzzword is that it allows you to work on a document anytime/anyplace as long as you have internet access. Yes, there are plenty of other online word-processors, but Buzzword is, to my mind, the best of the lot! (Incidentally, Buzzword was recently bought by Adobe, so it’s not going to disappear overnight!) 

3) Thatsmymouse – is a hoot! Embed it in a webpage and you can see the mouse of everyone else who’s looking at the page. Even better, if you start typing, you can attach messages to your mouse pointer… think classroom, lots of kids on the same site, think you can see them clicking on the wrong bits of the screen and correct them… try it now… or even better, get some friends online so you can try it together! (It’s on the first page of the Midsummerdreaming wiki that my colleague Sarah Duffy talked about) 

4) TinyURL has really come of age with the advent of Twitter. It takes a long URL and turns it into a short one… er, that’s it really! 

5) Fleck allows you to add notes to any website, and then share them with others. A great tool for getting a class to discuss what is good or bad about a website… can anyone say ‘Information Literacy’? 

6) Tangler is a nifty tool that allows you to start a discussion group around any site… it is brand new (it went the day before TeachMeetPerth), and so still has to prove itself, but it’s got a nice interface and they are promising to allow it to be embedded and attached to any website… In other words, suddenly every site becomes a 2.0 site! One to watch I think… 

and finally…

Retrievr 7) retrievr – This is the one that got the gasps on the night. Simply start sketching in the box on the left, and retrievr will attempt to match your efforts with a photo from the flickr database. The results are variable, but you will find some great photos this way. Incidentally, the colour matching is really good (even if the accuracy of the image isn’t) which means it’s a brilliant way of getting clip art that matches your slides/handouts/newly painted kitchen walls… go, play, and enjoy! 

So those were my 7 in 7… what would be yours?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2008 7:17 am

    Neil – thanks for posting these links. I really like the idea of Instapaper and have already tried retriever with a class! See you soon. OB

  2. February 21, 2008 9:28 am

    Will play with these when I return!

  3. February 21, 2008 10:26 am

    These were great links! Event though I live on the other side of the world, I peeked in your meeting and it sounded great!

  4. March 5, 2008 5:07 pm

    Thanks! these are fantastic – I’ve already shared them with colleagues :o) Thanks also for all the hard work involved in setting up TeachMeet – it was a very enjoyable evening!

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