Keeping track of things


I know that I’m not the only one that’s afraid of losing things! So often, I’ll be reading a story and want to do something with it or about it later. Just not right now.

Depending upon the urgency, I’ll just leave the tab the resource is open in in my browser so that it’s there. When I get on a roll, that can add up to a bunch of open tabs. It’s particularly noticeable on my Chromebook with its lesser power. There might be light at the end of the tunnel though with an upcoming version of the Chrome browser.

Google is finally bringing one of Chrome’s best mobile features to the desktop

That’s still in the future though.

At present, I have a couple of solutions that have worked really well for me.

The first, I like to think of as things that requiring short term action, is through an extension called OneTab.

For the short term, I’ll send all of my open tabs to OneTab which nicely cleans up the messiness. I don’t send pinned tabs because they’re pinned for a reason. When it’s time to return to the tab, they’re all located in the OneTab page. Just pick the one I want and, voila, it’s back.

For the longer term, I take a different tact. A while back, Peter Beens had introduced me to Packrati.us which worked nicely. Essentially, it bookmarked everything that I sent to Twitter. Sadly, it went away.

Twitter has added a bookmarking service which is kind of handy. It’s more functional than a “like” but still wasn’t quite there. I poked around IFTTT and found a script that was perfect and involves sending links to my Diigo account.

Readers of this blog know that I go one step beyond that and have Diigo write me a blog post daily that summarizes the links. I can then easily go back and pick off a story that I want to use. It also helps for the Sunday afternoon weekly summary post.

So, I’ve got a routine that works for me. It doesn’t matter what computer or what browser I use, it all ends up in the same spot.

And yet, the experimenter in me wonders about this implementation that’s in Chrome’s future. Will it offer a better approach?

Who knows? I’ll undoubtedly give it a shot when it’s available.

In the meantime, what technique(s) do you use? Can you offer me a better suggestion? I’d love to read about it.

Great Day of Sharing and Learning


I started today as I normally would.  I grab a bowl of cereal and my iPad.  I open the News folder and then the Zite application.

This is Doug’s current mode for finding out what’s happening.  It’s a big jump from the days when it used to be with a newspaper.  I’m constantly amazed at the breadth and depth and new interests possible now that my reading has gone digital.

It’s more of less like a regular day.  I find a lot of good things that pique my interest.  As per normal, I figure that if they interest me, they might interest someone else.  By sending the link to the article to Twitter via Zite, that sharing happens and packrati.us sends a copy to my Diigo account for a permanent record.  In the middle of all this, I get a Twitter message from @barbaramcveigh.

What a nice comment!

I flip back through what I’d shared to that point ….

15 Tips & Tricks To Get More Out Of Google Drive

via

Tips for Sharing iPads in Schools

via

Test if your router’s UPnP is exposed to the Internet –

via

If It Were My Home: Compare Countries Visually

via

iOS App Recommendations for Literacy

via

A Must Have Poster on Digital Literacy

via

Three Infographics About Valentine’s Day, Including One Perfect For English Language Learners

via

2 Websites To Create Disposable Content On The Web

via

How to connect your iPad to your Interactive Whiteboard

via

The Teacher Report: 5 Excuses Kids Give for Not Reading (and Ways to Respond)

via

Mobile Learning: It’s Not Just About the Kids; It’s Also About the Teachers!

via

Digital Storytelling with the iPad –

via

A Beginner’s Guide To Proofreading – Edudemic –

via

As I look back at these (and there were a few others), I have to agree.  Those were some pretty good resources.  Many others agreed as well.  I look at the interactions on my Twitter account and I see that people are retweeting and bookmarking these resources.  As an aside, I was wondering why my account was in English – and when I check my settings LOLKATZ is missing as a language.  Such is the price of using something marked Beta.

If I dig back just a little further, I see a resource that I had shared even earlier.  It’s a two thumbs up, five star, red ribbon, gotta have blog post from Sue Waters.

Getting More Out Of Student Blogging

But it’s not all about me.  Those are my humble contributions.  I’m reading and checking out resources from other Ontario Educators for which I have a great of respect.

That’s but the tip of the iceberg.  I could crop and paste all day long with the spectacular list of sharing that was happening.

Where else could you even begin to get this type of professional learning?  I think of the traditional view of learning which involved a book and I smile … how long does it take to research and write that book?  After it’s published, how much is dated?  Does that book include articles that are recent?  Yeah? How about within the past 24 hours?  How could I share a passage with that article with members of my department – oh, yes, go to the photocopier and put copies in their mailbox.  Tell me how I can get that richness from London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Stratford, Toronto, or London again that immediately.  Given those challenges, I suppose Perth (and not the Stratford or Ottawa one) would be totally out of the question.

And yet, we all are doing it, doing it well, and doing it daily.  We’re vetting, filtering, researching, sharing, and learning daily.

That, folks, is what it’s all about.  The topping?

It’s a little Twitter message from an individual in Luxembourg who I’ve never met but certainly hang on his posts and have had many interactions.

For the moment, take out the @dougpete reference.  It’s only important for the few seconds that Gust took to post the message.

Can you insert your own name there?  If you can, you’re doing it right.

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Give a Little; Get Back a Lot


Recently, I had blogged about how to create Big Data Sets.

At the core of the post was reference to the website generatedata.com.  For Computer Science teachers, this can be a real timesavers.  Rather than create significant test data files, use the utility here to generate data for you … lots of data.

It comes back with big value for me!

It ended up being included in a Pearltree by drbazuk.  By following the link, it opened up a huge collection of resources about big data!

The point of this post is to pay it forward to my readers.

If you’re looking for articles, resources, or discussion about big data, check out this Pearltree.  Make sure you tuck it away in your Diigo, Delicious, Pocket, or Evernote account for future reference.

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New Diigo Extension


During my morning reads today, I ran across this story about Google’s London Web Labs.  “With more than 5m visitors so far, Google’s London Web Lab experiments are still going strong“.  As per my normal habits, I thought the story was interesting for me, might be for others, and it’s something that I would want to keep around for later.  So, I shared it to Twitter with the share function on Zite.

Ever looking for automation, the story caught the attention of my Packrati.us account which tagged it as such and tucked it away into my Diigo account.  Normally, that’s where it would sit until I would get back to it later on.  However, it had captured the attention of @pbeens who read the story and added it to his fabulous collection of Google A-Z resources.

I’d become a little lazy lately allowing Packrati.us to take care of things for me.  While it does do a great job of capturing the links that I share to Twitter, the one area that it falls down is in the concept of tagging.  I have to have the sticktoitiveness to go back in and add my own tags so that resources that I’ve tucked away into Diigo are easily located after the fact.  I’ll blame it on the cold that never ends – I’ve been bad lately and haven’t been doing the retro-tagging thing.  I’ve got to get better and get back into the swing of things.

Oh well.

As it turns out, later in the day through other means, I had run across the announcement of Google Code Jam 2013.  I headed to the Diigo bookmark in the tool bar to do the deed and, as it turns out, spent some time doing something that I should have done about a week ago.  You see – Diigo had updated its extension (as shown by the NEW button on it) and I hadn’t explored it.

Hmmm….

“Bookmark & Annotate” was why I used Diigo in the first place.  “Read” later could be handy.  “Share” is pretty much taken care of with Twitter and posting to this blog and my Blogger Blog.

But, it was the “Screenshot” that really caught my interest.  It turns out that you can now send images to your Diigo account.  You appear to have two choices – just send the image or attach the image to the original link.  I gave that a shot and like what I see.

Why is this good?  It’s just a thumbnail, right?  Yes, but most resource sharing now includes images – check your Pinterests, Rebelmouses, etc.  It’s just that nicely added visual that will job your memory as to why you bookmarked it in the first place.  I’m liking that feature right off the bat!

I guess I’m going to have to get back into the swing of things and get serious about what I’m doing with my bookmarks.  This opens a whole new world of possibilities.  Particularly with students, if you’re using the teacher console, it gives an idea of what the resource is going to look like when they get there.

 

Hiding


I “stumbled upon” this web page last night and sent it out via Twitter to be picked up by anyone that cared.

The story was an article showing off the photography of Art Wolfe.

They are pictures of nature.  We’ve seen many of them.  What made this collection so unique was that the imagery was of animals hiding themselves in their natural surroundings.  The first image had me hooked and I’ll admit that I spent a great deal of time looking through them.  As Tim Slack points out…

Now, the images on the web page are copyrighted so I really can’t include them here but you can see the entire collection here.  Even more images are here.

I tweeted the link out and that means that it will also appear in my Diigo account.  No problem.  The collection had me really thinking today.  Not only is it incredibly well done, but it is one of those pieces that can be scaffolded as many ways as you can imagine.

In this case, I could see:

  • Projecting the image on a screen for a class finding activity (click each image for a larger one);
  • Working in small groups to find the animals;
  • Doing some research on each of the animals.  I know that I’d never heard of a Willow Ptarmigan before;
  • Discussing the habitat shown for each of the animals.  Could they survive in another environment:
  • Taking another picture of an animal and discussing how it would hide itself in its environment;
  • Discussing why it is important to the animals to be able to hide in their environment.  Do all animals need to?

I’m sure that there are all kind of ideas that spring to mind the more you think of it.  Please feel free to share below.