Tuesday, February 28, 2006

M-m-m-m-m-m del.icio.us!!

Here's something to whet your appetite! del.icio.us is a free online "Social bookmarking" site. Perhaps some of you may have heard of other online bookmarking services such as Backflip or Furl. What makes del.icio.us especially yummy? Anyone can browse del.icio.us and see what others find interesting.

del.icio.us will:
* Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and more on del.icio.us and access them from any computer on the web.
* Share favorites with friends, family, and colleagues.
* Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone's favorite - they've already done the work of finding it. Explore and enjoy.

From the website:
Joshua Schachter created del.icio.us in 2003 as a hobby and an informal way to tag and share Web pages between friends. From that point on, del.icio.us rapidly grew into the social bookmarking service it is today, and in 2005 officially became a company - del.icio.us, Inc.

In December of 2005, Yahoo! acquired del.icio.us and pledged to provide the company with the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community.

Visit: http://del.icio.us/ to sign up. I have added some of my del.icio.us links along the bottom left corner of this blog page, or visit directly at: http://del.icio.us/cchausis

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New! Google Scholar - on the shoulders of giants...

Here is a new tool that we can send our students (and ourselves to) - Google Scholar!

From the website: What is Google Scholar?
"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research. ... It's our acknowledgement that much of scholarly research involves building on what others have already discovered. This invitation is taken from Sir Isaac Newton's famous quote, 'If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.'"

For optimum results, visit: http://scholar.google.com and be sure to click the link to "Advanced Scholar Search" to fine-tune your criteria!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Collaborating with a Wiki?

One of the reasons that this "blog" exists is because "Blogger.com" freely provides space on the web for me to publish my thoughts, ideas and inspirations. Blogs are a wonderful part of the "Web 2.0" -- social technology!

Blogs can....
1. give you and/or your students a "voice" in global conversations
2. be tracked or "subscribed" to using RSS technology (RSS = Really Simple Syndication). (look for my RSS icon on the left)

Your thoughts and ideas can be "viewed at will" using a subscription manager (an aggregator) such as Bloglines.com which can be used to view all of your favorite blogs on one page. Imagine students publishing their thoughts and ideas, which you then "subscribe to" and view all of their entries in one "organized" space. (Click the Bloglines icon on the left to add this blog to your subscriptions!)

Another feature of a blog is that, often, your subscribers or visitors are able to provide feedback by leaving a comment about what you have written. So, a blog is much more than a webpage -- it becomes a tool for "conversation."

Hmmm.... let's think about ways to extend this conversation. Suppose your visitors could go beyond commenting on the thoughts in your blog, and re-write what you have written! Enter the world of wikis!

A wiki could be thought of as a virtual sandbox on the web. I draw in the sand, and you come along and add to my creation, enhancing my work with your talents! You can experiment or launch a wiki page using PBwiki. Their tagline is, “PBwiki makes creating a wiki as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich”.

Visit PBwiki.com to set up a PBwiki -- it's free and takes only 10 seconds.

Go forth and play in the sand!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

PowerPoint as a Countdown Timer?

Think about using PowerPoint as a "countdown timer" for tests, or discussion timers, speech timers, and more. Add some free music or clock sounds to make it more interesting.

1. Create a series of slides with text containing: "5 minutes" - "4 minutes" - "3 minutes" - "2 minutes" - "1 minute" --- and onto the 10 second increments.
2. Set the "timing" in the side transition menu accordingly.

But wait, why recreate the wheel? I'll just bet there are some already out on the web....

Try this: From the Google search page, click the "Advanced search" options. Enter "Timer" in the Find results "all of the words" field, then from the "File Format" options, drop down to select "Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt).

After you have downloaded the "gems" of others, why not consider posting your favorite PowerPoint files on the web to share?