OTR Links 12/29/2016

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

Generating ideas

2017 is almost upon us.

For many, it’s a time to make (and then probably break) a resolution.  Here’s help to hopefully stop you from breaking one.

In the blogging world, there’s a flurry of blogs that will appear as the New Year’s resolution “I need to start a blog” kicks in.

Unfortunately, there will be some that are up for a bit and then are gone.  There will be all kinds of reasons and excuses – I don’t have the time – the day job takes most of my time – and then the biggy – I don’t have any ideas.

Of course, if you limit yourself and your blog’s scope, it’s quite easy to run out of ideas.  But, if you’re willing to expand that scope, there’s lots to write about.

Particularly in education.

By nature, educators are observers.  That’s what we do.  So, why not take your observations and turn them into blog posts?

There are lots of areas where others would like to read your thoughts.

  • something happened in class today
  • you wouldn’t believe what the board office said that we have to do
  • I work with the greatest of professionals
  • you have to check out this new resource
  • uh oh – here comes the latest educational fad

How’s that for a start?

However, if you’re looking for constant inspiration, you might want to check out the Blog Post Ideas Generator.  That’s the web version; an extension for the Chrome browser is available here.


Here are some ideas that it generated for me.

  • 9 Proven __________ That __________ Like Crazy
  • The biggest myths about X are…
  • Lessons learned during my time at…
  • My favorite place on earth is…
  • The best way to respond to….

Doesn’t that inspire you to sit down and write and share?

Don’t limit the use to yourself; if your students are blogging and have hit the wall, this might just be enough to inspire them to write and write more.

OTR Links 12/28/2016

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

Not for everyone’s eyes

Now that presentation packages are so easy to use in a browser and online, you see many people giving up on the traditional application to get the job done.  Why not just run it in your browser?  And, when you’re using a Chromebook, you just don’t have that alternative anyway.

Good presenters will interact with the audience and often take notes or ask questions to keep the audience engaged during the presentation.

Your first inclination might be to use Google’s Keep, Evernote, or Microsoft’s OneNote or some other notetaking tool.  They’re all good choices but do have one little potential problem.  When you open the application, not only does your audience see the note that you’re creating, they could see every other note or collection that you’ve ever taken.  That could be a little embarrassing, depending upon the content.  

I know that it could be for me – I know that I keep notes for myself on just about every topic under the sun.  I make no apologies; after all, that’s what these utilities are for.   With just a little bit of preparation, you could avoid this altogether.

You could have a tab open in your browser with a blank note ready to go in Google Docs or Microsoft Word.  But, there’s another alternative that will convince your audience that you’re the tech guru that you are.

It’s just a matter of opening a new tab or a new browser window and enter the following:

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

The result?

Certainly not the most glamorous display but very functional and clean.

Just start typing.  Your cursor is set and ready to go.

Sitting in the audience, you’ll just see two things.

  • the presentation
  • the notes

and that’s that.  None of the telephone numbers, Twitter accounts, blog post ideas, jokes, graphics, etc. that you’d see if I’d just open my Keep application directly.

And, the cool thing is that you can make the text as big as you want so that everyone can see and it’s just limited to the notetaking window!

OTR Links 12/27/2016

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