Application or Web

or who cares?

A couple of weeks ago, I had done my regular #FollowFriday routine recognizing some of the active Ontario Educators on Twitter – only this time, I had used the website to create a newsletter of the daily activity.  It’s very cool – all that I did was provide my list of these folks to it and through the magic of the internets, the newsletter is created from an amalgam of recent posts.  You can read the original blog post announcing this concept here.

I have the notice of new content emailed to me as well as incorporating the webpage into my browser startup on my Tizmos page.  All of this affirms the great contributions to “the conversation” that is originating from Ontario resources.  I like to refer to it as a newsletter created by “us” whenever someone asks about “my” newsletter.  I’ve got to tell you; I’ve written a lot of newsletters and this is the easiest one since it’s all automated.

The contributors are the folks that are on the list and have been contributing content whether it be news stories, twitter messages, photos, etc.  The website bundles it up quite nicely and displays it for anyone who cares to look.  I check it out regularly as sort of a daily summary of what’s going on.

This past week, Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen lead a Web2.0 workshop for the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and one of the activities must have been to get a Twitter account as I had all of these new followers using the tag #otfsmile.  As quickly as I could get to it, I added them to the Ontario Educator list and they became contributors to our online newsletter.  What a hoot!  In fact, the tag #otfsmile must have caught the eye of because it became an embedded live feed during their workshop.

And yet, the newsletter was still a web page.  You had to visit the website to read it.  Not a big deal, I suppose since it is online!  When you look at it in a browser, typically it’s in a separate tab or a separate window.  It does look good.

But, it can look better – if you are using Google Chrome for Windows or Linux.  (The setting is there for the Macintosh version but ghosted out so it may be coming in a future release.)  All that you need to do is head to the “Control the current page” pull down.  It’s the second icon from the right on the release version of Chrome.


Select the option to create an application shortcut.  What we’re going to do is create an application from the current page.  Here are your options for what to do with this new application.


Choose what you want and click the create button and you’re done.  You’ve now created an “application” from the current window!  It is accessible from however you chose in the options above.


The result?  You’ve created your own application that can appear full screen with no menu bars or status bars as shown above.  (It’s shrunk to fit in this blog)

So, Chrome for Windows and Linux using Ontario Educators, you can now say – I’ve got an app for that!  Seriously though, think of the websites that you visit regularly where reading content is important and toolbars, navigation, status, etc., all get in the way.  Creating an application resolves all this. That might not be of interest to you with your 24″ screens, but wouldn’t it be nice to optimize your netbook real estate?

Plus, it gives an idea of what a cloud based operating system can be.  Is it an application or is it the web?  Try the above and you’ll see that, as long as you’re connected, it doesn’t really matter.

The latest version of Ontario Educators Daily is always available here.

4 thoughts on “Application or Web

  1. In Firefox, if I want to do this, I simply drag the link to my desktop, where a Firefox icon is created. Clicking on the icon opens the web page directly. When I want full screen mode, I hit F11.

    Faster and easier than the Chrome method just described here.


  2. Hello Doug,

    We had such a giggle at the #otfsmile workshop when I casually opened at and showed it to the participants! There it was – the trending topics – #otfsmile was a huge tag. And the twitter feed.

    Well, it was another one of those awesome moments of lights going on and realizations of the ‘power of community and conversation’.

    Those teachers left that 3-day workshop, I believe, with not just some new skills but with a shift in thinking.

    Thanks Doug – once again – for your leadership and support.


  3. Ditto what Peter says about how grateful we are for your support, Doug!
    This was a group that really got into Twitter, and adding them quickly to the Ontario Educator List made them pretty excited, so a great BIG thanks to you!

    It was so cool to see our event stream popping up in that online newsletter. This would be wonderful for classroom teachers.


  4. In addition to comments from Peter and Brenda, on behalf of OTF – and especially the amazing work of Siria – we all say THANK YOU DOUG! I don’t think OTF has had such a wonderful profile in many years.


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