Zoe’s Class

This week, at several points in time, I would log on to my computer and notice that there was a whack of new followers on Twitter.  As I open to investigate each before adding them, I notice that there was a common thread.  They had very few members in their PLN, they had just a few Twitter messages and they mostly had referenced #brocktechies somewhere along the line.

These people were members of Zoe’s @zbpipe‘s education class at Brock University.  I’m just imagining the class where there is a gun held to their heads (figuratively, of course) that they had to create a Twitter account and that they had to follow some faceless online entity that goes by the name of @dougpete.  While these new people are not Ontario Educators just yet, I think it will be very cool that most of them will be in the next 8 months or so.

So, I do welcome them to Twitter and I really hope that they take the time and effort to realize what being connected to faceless entities like @dougpete and the other members of the Ontario Educators’ list can mean.  Of course, these connections certainly shouldn’t be limited to this list but it is a good place to start (I think…).  So many of us blog and you can read them from here.

For this Friday, I’d like to throw out a couple of challenges here…

If you are already an educator, please take a moment to reply giving your Twitter ID and a short message introducing yourself and what you feel that you offer to anyone at a Faculty of Education.

If you are a teacher candidate (whether in Zoe’s class or any other), please reply giving your Twitter ID and a short message introducing yourself and what you expect to get by making these types of online connections.

And, if you are neither of the above, chances are you’re reading this blog because of some other connection that you have to education.  Please consider sharing your Twitter ID and letting these folks know what you have to offer.

Let’s see if we can’t get some synergy going here.

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OTR Links 09/30/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Well, well, well…

I thought that all of a sudden I had become popular.  Every time, it seems, that I turn the computer on these days, I have new friends on Google Plus.  Could it be that all of a sudden I’m breaking out of my shell?

No such luck!

Google Plus now lets you share circles with others.  I’m guessing that some of my friends are sharing their circles with ohers and consequently I’m being found.  Regardless, the connections are growing and it’s giving me great new reading and ideas.  In return, I share back – typically announcements of new posts to this blog. 

I decided to share a circle of my own for anyone who is interested.  Since the beginning of Google Plus, I’ve maintained my own circle of "Ontario Educators".  It’s up around 100 members now.

If you’ve got a circle, you can share it as well.  Just select the circle you’d like to share and look for the new link "Share this circle" and you’ve done the deed.

The announcement that you’re sharing appears in your stream.  So, if you want to take advantage of my offer, go to my stream and look for the announcement.

There’s a lot of people doing this sharing now.  You just have to find them.  How?  This is Google, after all so just search for them! 

You’ll find all kinds of circles that are being shared based upon whatever organization structure the original author used.  Of course, you can refine the search, i.e. "shared this circle" education if you want to target a particular type of user.

Go ahead – make your network grow and if you’ve got a great collection, consider sharing it with others.

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OTR Links 09/29/2011

Day 1 with the new Delicious

I have my latest bookmarks saved as a message to this blog.  It’s done overnight so that it’s not intrusive to people.  I find it really handy for my own purposes when I need to quickly backtrack to find a recent bookmark.  The process goes like this…

  1. I find an interesting web resource;
  2. I click the Diigo extension in my browser;
  3. I find a descriptor from the resource or create my own, including tags for later retrieval;
  4. Throughout the day as I find interesting resources I repeat the process;
  5. After each resource has been bookmarked to Diigo, I have it then copied to Delicious using Diigo’s utility;
  6. In the middle of the night, Delicious posts a nice summary to the blog.

Circuitous, perhaps, but it’s a technique that works for me.  I am so grateful to Diigo and Delicious for providing these services for free.  Both services have changed my way of thinking about bookmarks and social sharing.  I started with Delicious where I built a nice network of followers and people I follow.  I moved to Diigo where I have another nice collection of connections.  At this point, I’m loathe to give up either.  Both are great services and, for the most part, have served me well.  Delicious goes back to 2007.

As I checked the list this morning, I noticed that there was one link that I just knew I had bookmarked late last night while watching football that wasn’t there.  I checked Diigo and it was indeed there.  I checked Delicious and it wasn’t.  Odd.  What was even more odd was that the layout of Delicious had changed!  I guess I knew (and we all knew) that Delicious would change now that Yahoo! had cut them loose.  I just found out that today was the day!

Like any brand new service, I poked around.  This time, it wasn’t totally new as many of the features that had always been at Delicious were there – only in different places.  And, some things were just not there at all.  Hmmm.  I flipped over to Twitter and the natives were already stamping their feet.  I wasn’t ready to join them just yet, after all this was Day 1.  I’m sure that there were monumental things happening in the design of a new interface and the migration of data.  Surely, we can cut them some slack!

Things that I noted missing at this point were the nice big collection of tags that I’d accumulated over the years, the ability to see people who were following me (although I could see the people who I currently follow), and a whack of things that would normally be under settings.  Things like configuring the post to my blog, which the former Delicious had always noted as being experimental although it generally did a good job.

So, it was back to my links.  The layout here is new and modern looking.  You have the ability to delete and share and, of course, go back in and edit a link.  Crucial to any bookmarking scheme is the ability to filter by tags and that works nicely even though the tag didn’t appear in the list on the side.  It’s comforting to know that they’re still there and functional.

The big new thing in store for Delicious users is the ability to create stacks.  A stack is a collection of URLs that you put together under a label.  I decided to create my own to give it a shot.  I searched within my own collection for a few Computer Science links and put together this stack.

The process was very easy and you’re looking at the grid view.  You’ll notice that there are other views available plus the built-in ability to send notice of the stack to others.  I tested that out and an email with a link to the stack along with some description does the deep.  Unfortunately, the notice doesn’t come from me but rather from the support account at avos.com.  That could be open to abuse.  I think I would share by sending that notice to myself and then forwarding from my own email account so that people would know that it came from me.  The stack is now available by going to my Delicious page.  The stack itself is pretty attractive – I like that Delicious goes out and snags a thumbnail from the site.  Your stacks get displayed nicely once created.

Overall, there is a real sense that Delicious has made efforts to modernize the interface.  The familiar blue, black, and white is there and and remains consistent throughout.  For a Day 1, they seem to be off to a good start.  I notice that the links that I’m saving on Diigo are not being passed along to Delicious at this time.  I read on Twitter that Diigo has indicated that they are aware of this.  I’m thinking that the API may be disabled or changed at this time.

Using Delicious as the default search engine within Google Chrome still works nicely.  You’ll need to use the new Bookmarklet to post directly to your account from the browser.  The existing extension doesn’t seem to work at this point.  However, as I write this post the bookmarklet is giving a 502 Gateway error but I’m sure I just caught them at a bad moment.

It will be interesting to see if there are more to the new Delicious that gets rolled out over the next couple of days.  My routine as outlined at the top is indeed broken at this point.  I’ve reactivated Diigo posting to the blog so that I don’t miss anything.   We’ll see.  Share on.

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