Life of a Link


This is a very interesting bit of insight about sharing links on Twitter and Facebook.  I’ve always tried to have my blog post up and available at 5am ET whenever I can.  The results from this Bit.ly study make me wonder now.  They’ve made the following interesting observation.

So we looked at the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links and the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours, on facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on facebook than if you post on twitter.

That would seem to indicate that any link I post at 5am is toast by 7:45am-ish.  Is that a bad thing – i.e. people miss reading the link or a good thing – he publishes it then so I don’t have to be interrupted by it.

It also makes sense that some sources repost their links multiple times a day – thinking Alltop here – so that they reach different audiences.  It makes sense in a global reading audience that people are reading at all hours of the day or night your time, but a ritual on their time.

The logic goes away for people who use RSS but for the spur of the moment readers, it probably is a big deal.  Something to think about.

Read the entire summary of the research here.

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A Visual Seating Plan


So, it’s one thing to say learn student names, but it’s quite another to actually do it quickly and efficiently.  What if you’re at a new school and have a good selection of new faces?  Well, take your trusty iPad and make yourself a visual seating plan.  It’s not something new – my friend Don and I used to recommend this sort of technique when we did our New Teachers’ program.  We had, at our hands, a commercial product that was licensed by the school district to do the trick.  Its only limitation was that it required that students sit in rows as the seating plans were always in a grid.

But, that may not be your situation.   Here’s another alternative for those of you who have clusters of students or just don’t have access to the piece of software to do the trick. 

Step 1 – take photos of each of the students in your class.  If you’ve got an iPad2, it’s so easy.  With an iPad1 and no camera, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way – with a cell phone but grab pictures however you can.

Step 2 – load Popplet.  What’s Popplet?  Here’s my original review of the program.  At the time, I was looking for a good graphic organizer, found Popplet, and really found that it met my expections and more.  Now, I use it to organize all kinds of things.

Step 3 – start a new Popplet.  If you have the paid version, give it a new name.  Double click anywhere to create a new Popple.  In the bottom right corner of the Popple, the icon there lets you grab an image from your photo library.  Import a student and use the pencil tool to add the student name under their image.  Repeat until done.  Hopefully, you have a small class!

Now, each of the Popples can be moved around as necessary.  In my class, I have a real bunch of animals!  But, for our first crack at classroom organization, we’re sitting in groups of five.  So, I just move the Popples around until I have the students in place.  The coloured borders are just a bonus!

Now, when I forget a name, it’s just a matter of grabbing the iPad and pinch to expand to match the names with the faces.  If I have a student who needs to move to another cluster, it’s just a drag away.  The principal is coming in and doesn’t know all the names yet either?  Just hand off the iPad and she’s got the details in front of her. 

Obviously, you’re not limited to just the names under the pictures.  A tap and you’re ready to add any kind of appropriate anecdotes.  For a supply teacher, you can export your seating plan as a PDF or JPG file suitable for printing so that there’s no question who is who.  Or, if you are going to do some regrouping for whatever reason, do it on the iPad, print and post it by the door for everyone to see when they enter the room. 

I’m sure that you can find all kinds of ways to use your Popplet for class or activity organization.  It starts with the right tool.  For this purpose, you’ve got to love Popplet.

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OTR Links for 09/07/2011


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