New Learning Institute - Toolshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/tools enExploring Google+http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/exploring-google <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mETeBghMXMQ/TiCAPdwusqI/AAAAAAAAAMc/Zgrka76dPd0/G%25252B%252520Work%252520Stream.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mETeBghMXMQ/TiCAPdwusqI/AAAAAAAAAMc/Zgrka76dPd0/G%25252B%252520Work%252520Stream.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 384px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br />I was pretty excited when I got my Google+ invitation last week. I might have fist-bumped the air, and just perhaps I crowed a little on Facebook by offering invitations to my friends. The flood of answering excitement never came. Two people asked for invites, and more asked, “What the heck is Google+?” My two invites aren’t posting much of anything. Even my generally tech-savvy supervisor wanted a rundown.<br /><br />To say it’s Google’s answer to Facebook is the short explanation. The interface definitely shares some strong similarities at first blush. There’s a posting box that allows you to share web links, videos, photos, or your location. There’s an activity feed and suggestions of folks you might want to add. All this works and is great.</p><p><!--break--><br /><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n9dew3i2tVk/TiB8hNE83_I/AAAAAAAAAMw/ezf24AO6VIk/G%25252B%252520circles.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n9dew3i2tVk/TiB8hNE83_I/AAAAAAAAAMw/ezf24AO6VIk/G%25252B%252520circles.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 259px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br />What’s really special, though, is the concept of circles. We all have different circles of people in our lives: friends, family, colleagues, people we know from specific activities, and so on; and what we might want to broadcast to one group (“hey, friends, check out this hilarious but completely inappropriate for work video!”) we don’t necessarily want to share with our coworkers, parents, or the first baseman on the weekend league softball team. To manage this on Facebook, you have a couple of options: you can send a group message with a link to the video; or, if this group of people shares such things with each other regularly, you could create a private group page. If you and your friends choose the second option, you have to visit the group page to see what’s been added to the activity feed. It’s only an extra click, but it’s still an extra step you have to take.<br /><br />Google+ lets you micromanage who sees what. Every post you make to your stream can be shared with everyone, including those without a Google+ account (public), extended circles (in not only your own circles, but also in the circles created by the people in your circles), or specific circles. When you set up your account for the first time, one of the pages you’re directed to allows you to sort your contacts into these circles. Google provides a few default circles, but you can add as many circles as you like. Once you’ve got your circles named, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping people from your Gmail address book or connecting your Yahoo! or Hotmail account using the Find and Invite function.</p><div><br /><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-RgHnJFP3_eE/TiB8hihzrrI/AAAAAAAAAMo/1q-keSfJK8Q/G%25252B%252520privacy.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 193px;" />Circles aren’t just useful for selecting who sees which posts: Google+ also allows you to use them to determine the visibility of different pieces of your account profile. Users can control which circles others can see in your profile (both who you’ve connected with and who has connected to you), as well as each discrete profile section. They even use handy little icons next to each item so you can see at a glance what your privacy settings for each informational section are. To ensure that you’ve got everything theway you want it, Google has given users the ability to view their own profile as someone else. Again, you can choose to view it as a stranger on the web, or as someone in one of your circles. This allows you to make sure you’ve properly tucked things away when they’re intended only for a specific audience and not for public consumption. What about the problem of people reposting something I wanted to limit to a specific circle of people, you mayask? Well, Google’s thought of that trick, too. It’s not here yet, but the next update promises to give users the ability to lock posts down, meaning that they can’t be shared with people outside the original circle. Pretty nifty.<br /><br />Another perk is the ability to create Hangouts, which are basically group video chats. I’ve been pretty pleased with GChat, and the ability to have more than two people involved is really cool, not just from the socializing standpoint, but for business meetings. Having just tested it out, they’ve definitely considered having a group conversation—there’s plenty of real estate for lots of smiling faces.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tqVGg9txdGE/TiB8hggV-dI/AAAAAAAAAMs/FN00xQ05dGY/G%25252B%252520notifications.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tqVGg9txdGE/TiB8hggV-dI/AAAAAAAAAMs/FN00xQ05dGY/G%25252B%252520notifications.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 175px;" /></a>Lastly, after the wonderfully configurable privacy settings, my favorite thing about Google+ is its integration with Gmail and Google Docs. I have the (bad?) habit of keeping my Gmail open while I work so I can monitor incoming messages and put out fires quickly. Using the new Gmail theme, Google’s added a little activity counter in the upper-right corner of the screen. Right now it only appears in Gmail (with the proper theme enabled), Google Docs, and Google+, but I suspect Google Calendar will follow soon. The user interface team has done a great job of keeping it unobtrusive, and it’s very strategically placed for easy use. “Well, that’s nice,” you say, “but why is this a big deal?” By clicking on the counter, you can not only view the recent activity, but respond to posts as well without leaving off what you were doing. Lovely.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Coming soon: Some thoughts on how to leverage Google+’s features for educators and students.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading on Google+</span><ul><li>“<a href="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-google-project-real-life.html">Introducing the Google+ Project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web.</a>” Vic Gundotra. <span style="font-style: italic;">The Official Google Blog</span>. (with lots of videos!)</li><li>“<a href="https://plus.google.com/117373186752666867801/posts/PFkyoSPoQ6m?hl=en">The Great Migration to Google Plus</a>.” Dave Gray.</li><li>“<a href="http://www.good.is/post/why-google-is-an-education-game-changer/">Why Google+ Is an Education Game Changer</a>.” Liz Dwyer. <span style="font-style: italic;">GOOD</span>.</li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7614959178310593424?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 15 Jul 2011 19:02:00 +0000Jennifer Dick110 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/exploring-google#commentsMake an Android App? There’s a Meta-App for That.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Google Introduces SF Bay Educators to App Inventor for Android</span></p><div><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 392px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_app">Mobile apps</a> have changed our relationship with information access in the wider world. With mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers becoming more powerful and affordable, more people are regularly supplementing their experiences out in the world by calling up services like Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, <a href="https://foursquare.com/">Four Square</a>, and <a href="http://www.shazam.com/">Shazam</a> to record what they’re doing, find out what other people thought about whatever restaurant/park/business they’re at, or share their own opinion.<br /><br />Ten years ago, if I passed a statue of some historic figure and wanted to learn more, I’d have to make a note and then go visit the library. Now, I can just whip out my phone and Google the name. I can also use my phone to take a geo-tagged picture, upload it to Flickr (which will automatically highlight it in my Facebook feed), share a web link about what I learned about the statue on Twitter, and check in on Four Square. What’s that song playing at the café I just passed? Shazam! “Bossa for the Devil” by Dr. Rubberfunk. Apps are changing how we interact with the world.<br /><br />For youth, using apps to learn more about places as they experience them is second nature, and those apps can be powerful learning tools. What isn’t second nature is app development. Designing and building a working app generally requires some serious programming savvy, but youth are very interested in apps—they see how relevant apps are to daily life and how they’re being used by more people, more frequently—and this motivates those with an interest in tech to take the programming plunge. Learning programming can be a long slog through lots of information to create very simple programs. I remember taking an intro to CS class, which had us learn <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a>. I can’t find my notes, but I’m pretty sure it took us a week to know enough to code the “Hello, world” program that seems to be lesson 1 for just about any programming course, regardless of language. My classmates and I found our interest in programming waning fast. And if motivated college students ten years ago lost their interest so quickly, imagine what happens with the youth of today, living at a mile a minute.</div><div><!--break--><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 170px;" /></a>Enter <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/index.html">App Inventor for Android</a>, a web-based app that allows users to both design and build apps utilizing a drag-and-drop user interface. One screen controls the UI (user interface) and builds the code using puzzle-piece like blocks that are put together to create the app. It's not foolproof, but it doeseliminate nearly all syntax errors from programming. There are a number of <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/learn/">online tutorials</a> for building sample apps that walk you through different functionality possibilities. They'renot particularly kid friendly, but adults can get through them fairly easily. Don’t have an Android device to test on? No problem: you can install an Android emulator on your computer. While not as fun as seeing your app work on the phone, it does provide faster feedback as you tweak your app. When your app is finished (the first sample app took me only about 10 minutes to create), you can save it to your Android device and take it with you.<br /><br /><br /><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-05X4xsuDKjA/TgDGg1cLeGI/AAAAAAAAALc/8ivwwvRX2Mw/app%252520inv%252520blocks%252520ed.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 146px;" />The palette for app building is large and includes a drawing canvas, password textboxes, tinyDB (tiny database) support, and a media player; and you can tap the device’s phone, SMS, Twitter camera, accelerometer, location sensor, and device orientation sensor. Google has also included tools for use with Lego Mindstorm robot controls, which should interest robotics educators.<br /><br />Our hosts at Google shared two case studies of how App Inventor's already being used by educators, both after-school programs that won the 2010 DML Competition, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation:</div><div><ul><li><a href="http://youth-lab.org/index.html">Youth Lab's</a> <a href="http://youth-lab.org/youthAPPLab.html">Youth AppLab</a>: Youth based in Washington DC get hands-on experience developing mobile apps, learning the software development cycle in the process. It's been so successful that parents are asking for workshops, too.</li><li><a href="http://www.youthradio.org/">Youth Radio</a>: Youth in Oakland are teaming up with professional developers through their <a href="http://www.youthradio.org/mobileapplab">Mobile Action Lab</a> to propose, create, and market apps that address real needs in their communities.</li></ul>App Inventor for Android is still in beta and it has its issues (mostly around phone recognition in our workshop), but it has a very active user forum with helpful folks, including a <a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/embed/?parenturl=http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/forum/&amp;showsearch=true&amp;fragments=true#%21forum/app-inventor-instructors">dedicated forum page for educators</a>. I look forward to really digging into this tool to see what it can do, as well as hearing how other educators are using it with their youth.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2750124153934379448?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/best-practices" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Best Practices</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/professional-development" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Professional Development</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:37:00 +0000Jennifer Dick112 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app#commentsTool Review: Glogsterhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-glogster <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l1Cpaqeq-Wk/Tfp2PbOLg0I/AAAAAAAAAKw/6so05w9WL0Y/glogster%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l1Cpaqeq-Wk/Tfp2PbOLg0I/AAAAAAAAAKw/6so05w9WL0Y/glogster%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 321px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br />Everyone who’s had to make a poster for a class project at one time or another, raise your hand. I’m going to guess that pretty much all of you reading this raised your hands and at some point in your schooling had to wrestle poster boards on the bus or walking down the street, worrying that the glue wouldn’t hold and various attachments would fall off and fly away on the wind. (Okay, maybe that was just me?)<br /><br />Posters are time-honored methods of sharing information: not only are they still used to communicate important ideas to people all over the world, but of course educators have been using them as assessment products for years. Creating a poster forces students to consider what information to include and how to organize, arrange, and illustrate it. These are still valuable experiences for youth—skills that are no less important today than they were twenty years ago when you could write a computer program with a hole punch. <a href="http://edu.glogster.com/">Glogster</a> seeks to bring the poster into the 21st century by allowing users to create a digital poster, or glog, with multimedia and hyperlinked elements to extend and supplement the information it contains. (The initial “g” in “glog” is meant to evoke “graphics.”)</p><p><!--break--><br /><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-EyhG592-tbc/Tfp2PX4-9OI/AAAAAAAAAK0/lh48jt-V_M8/glogster%252520UI.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-EyhG592-tbc/Tfp2PX4-9OI/AAAAAAAAAK0/lh48jt-V_M8/glogster%252520UI.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 336px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Working on a glog is a bit like working on a one-slide PowerPoint presentation. You can change your background (Glogster calls it the “wall”) and add text, shapes, and pictures. However, one thing PowerPoint doesn’t do is play well with multimedia; it takes a little savvy if you need to move your presentation around. Glogster makes it very easy to add videos or audio from the web, your computer, or SchoolTube. If you shell out for a premium account, your students also gain the ability to attach files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF) to their glog.</p><p><br /><br /></p><div style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 5px 0;"><img src="http://c.gigcount.com/wildfire/IMP/CXNID=2000002.0NXC/bT*xJmx*PTEzMDgxNjk5MzcxMTkmcHQ9MTMwODE2OTk4ODU*MSZwPTIyMTYzMSZkPSZnPTImbz1lOTIzMTdmMGNmY2Q*ZmFkYWNj/YzgzZTI3MWMxMjEwYSZvZj*w.gif" width="0" height="0" border="0" style="visibility: hidden; width: 0px; height: 0px;" /><object width="205" height="277" data="http://edu.glogster.com/flash/flash_loader.swf?ver=1306920921" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allownetworking" value="all" /><param name="allowscriptacces" value="always" /><param name="flashvars" value="sl=http://edu.glogster.com/flash/glog.swf?ver=1306920921&amp;gi=21115778&amp;ui=9133257&amp;li=3&amp;fu=http://edu.glogster.com/flash/&amp;su=http://edu.glogster.com/connector/&amp;fn=http://edu.glogster.com/fontyedu/&amp;embed=true&amp;pu=http://edu.glogster.com/blog-thumbs/12/21/11/57/21115778_2.jpg&amp;google_analytics_url=http://edu.glogster.com/js/glogsterGA.js&amp;si=6&amp;gw=4,1,0&amp;gh=5,5,5" /><param name="src" value="http://edu.glogster.com/flash/flash_loader.swf?ver=1306920921" /><param name="wmode" value="window" /></object></div><p>My favorite feature is being able to hyperlink just about anything. This makes it easy for viewers to find more information than what can comfortably be contained on the poster. These sources could be web pages, a Google Document authored by the student, a Twitter account—the possibilities are really fun to think about and do a good job addressing the many different ways we get information today.<br /><br />There are two versions of Glogster: a public version and an education version. The free teacher account on the education site lets you administer 50 student accounts and share glogs. Premium accounts add some nice features like the ability to micromanage 200 student accounts, organize glogs into classes and projects, do mass messaging, and take advantage of extra glog functionality. However, I’m not sure too many teachers will want to shell out the premium price of $99 a year unless they’ve got a grant to cover the cost. It’s nice that Glogster understands an educator’s need to manage students and organize work and make those tools available.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Have students pick a short poem or a selection from a longer work and create a glog that links to pages of literary criticism and author biography. The glog could also incorporate other works of art, music, and cinema that relate to the piece’s tone or theme.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Math or Science: </span>Students create a glog illustrating one of the concepts being studied. The glog can integrate or link to other real-world applications of the mathematical or scientific concept.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Arts:</span> Glogs can create mini-exhibitions of art in the public domain. Students pick an artist or musician (linking to a bio), research the artist’s work, choose a theme, and curate a glog exhibiting works that relate to the theme. The student writes a brief explanation of how each piece relates to the overall theme of the glog.</li></ul><p> </p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free and premium</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Easy media integration.</li><li>Simple user interface.</li><li>Publishing glogs on social media and blogging platforms also straightforward.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons: </span><ul><li>Shapes can only proportionally change size, so if you want a wider fancy text box, you have to increase its height as well.</li><li>Premium accounts are pricey.</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use Glogster with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-66048225529951596?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/assessment" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Assessment</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Thu, 16 Jun 2011 21:23:00 +0000Jennifer Dick114 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-glogster#commentsTool Review: Storifyhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-storify <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BRtwn271k8c/Te6Ta7gMwkI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/qHGPdQklrTQ/storify%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BRtwn271k8c/Te6Ta7gMwkI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/qHGPdQklrTQ/storify%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 236px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br />One of the most common concerns I hear from educators when we’re discussing using social media tools with youth is the sheer number of sites out there. Using new media for information gathering requires patience. It can be really hard to make sense of how an event or topic is being played out across the major platforms: tracking topics across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, and blogs requires a real desire to see what’s happening in real time. Even if you’re a seasoned web browser tab jockey or use a social media aggregator like <a href="http://friendfeed.com/">FriendFeed</a>, events in a timeline without context or analysis aren’t being displayed to their best advantage.<br /><br /><a href="http://storify.com/">Storify</a> is an online platform that allows users to bring together disparate entries from various new media platforms and curate a story.</p><p><!--break--><br /><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cMP19i7zn18/Te6Ta8zflEI/AAAAAAAAAKU/FITMnd9KzVY/storify%252520UI%2525201.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cMP19i7zn18/Te6Ta8zflEI/AAAAAAAAAKU/FITMnd9KzVY/storify%252520UI%2525201.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 381px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />It’s easy to get started; all you need is a Twitter account. Once you log in and click the “create a story” link, you’re presented with a very intuitive interface with two basic sections. There’s a “research” section that makes it simple to search Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Storify, Google, RSS, or manually insert a weblink. (If you delve into the settings, it’s also possible to enable SlideShare, Causes, and Audioboo as well.) Once you’ve found something you want to add to your story, just drag it over to the timeline on the right side of the screen.<br /><br />Text can be added in-between as many story elements as you like. This means that you can contextualize, analyze, and comment on the content, which adds a depth to the service Storify offers. This could be a great way to engage youth with providing opinions on current events and may possibly provide a more natural entree into the world of news analysis and commentary. It also makes it very easy to put different points of view right next to each other, inviting the audience to draw their own conclusions. Because all story elements are linked directly from their original source, they’re always properly attributed. (But it’s invariably a good idea to talk about the importance of citing your sources!)<br /><br />Once the story is published, it can be Tweeted (with automatic short URL, and shout-outs to some of the featured content creators) or sent to your Facebook, WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr, or <a href="http://mailchimp.com/?pid=GAW&amp;source=website&amp;gclid=CKrzs-HUpKkCFcsZQgodAHcQvA">MailChimp</a> page.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects—Experts in the Field:</span> Each student chooses an expert in the field of study who uses social media regularly and curates a new media collection story. Students should share why they chose a particular expert and discuss the works they post to the story. Periodically, the class should discuss new findings, events, and conferences as reported in their stories.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects—Research:</span> Students choose a research topic related to the content area being studied in class and keep an updated Storify page that serves as a class resource.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Social Studies:</span> Have students choose a current event to track in social media. Work together to develop a resource evaluation rubric, and require students to explain why they chose to add each source to their story.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Very easy to use; excellent user interface.</li><li>Simple to send stories to other media platforms.</li><li>Stories can be reorganized at will.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Still growing a user base.</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Storify with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4840281343874788920?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/information-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Information Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 07 Jun 2011 22:43:00 +0000Jennifer Dick115 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-storify#commentsTool Review: Looplabshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-looplabs <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe2sCKbI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/7bV5vkZTFtg/looplabshome.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe2sCKbI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/7bV5vkZTFtg/looplabshome.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 372px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_loop">Music loops</a> have long been a staple of electronic and experimental music and have since worked their way into rock and roll, hip-hop, techno, and other musical genres. As with so many of the tools we’ve looked at, creating loops from a series of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_%28music%29">samples</a> – once a painstaking process for all but professional music producers with special equipment – is now easy thanks to applications like Audacity and GarageBand, which make home recording and mixing fairly simple if you want to create your own audio. What if you just want to play in someone else’s musical sandbox? Then <a href="http://looplabs.com/">Looplabs</a> is for you. In-browser editor? Check. Pre-loaded samples? Check. Easy publishing? Check.<br /><br />Loop creation just got as easy as drag-and-drop.<br /><!--break--><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Looplabs has a number of sponsored remix studios from popular artists (2 AM Club and Willow Smith) in which users can remix the featured song. Users can also opt for the more generic Myspace-themed Music Studio.<br /><br />Once you choose your studio, the web interface opens to show a timeline in the main section of the browser window and a list of musical genres on the right side. Each genre has a list of samples that can be sorted by instrument. Samples can be previewed before being added to the timeline. Once you drag and drop a sample, it creates a new track in the editor. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, there are a few things the Looplab people have done to make sophisticated loop creation simple for those of us who don’t have a formal music background (or are too lazy to listen to a loop and determine the time signature and beats per minute, like me).<br /><br />First, tracks are subdivided by beat-related increments. Depending on the track’s tempo and aural density, it might be subdivided by measure, by half-measure, or by quarter measure (or more!). When the track is added to the editing timeline, all sections are muted and are “turned on” by clicking on the subdivisions. Users can have the entire sample play by clicking and dragging to activate multiple subdivisions at once, or they can elect to have the sample play only during selected sections of their loop. This allows for the creation of very rich and varied soundscapes when different sections of multiple tracks are layered on top of each other and activated at different times.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe71VehI/AAAAAAAAAJ4/gka7xdocfa8/looplab%20ui.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe71VehI/AAAAAAAAAJ4/gka7xdocfa8/looplab%20ui.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 322px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects:</span> Have students create brief loops to accompany class multimedia presentations.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts and History:</span> Students create loops that communicate the mood and tone of a text or historical event.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Math:</span> Students create musical fractions using the beat subdivisions in the samples to demonstrate addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions. Some samples will have one subdivision to another sample’s four subdivisions to yet another sample’s eight. This gives students a visual and auditory way to experience fractions.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Music:</span> Using their knowledge of music theory and composition, students create a loop that reinterprets one of the pieces they’ve practiced or studied in class, paying attention to tempo, mood, rhythm, and phrasing. Advanced students can record their own samples.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Physical Education:</span> Have students research optimal beats-per-minute for warm-up, aerobic, and cool-down exercises. They use this information to create music loops to accompany a workout they design themselves.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure: </span>Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Pre-populated with lots of samples</li><li>Very quick and easy to start creating a loop</li><li>Easy to see how the rhythms of samples match up through marked clips</li><li>Can share via email links, social media, or blog-embedded Flash player</li><li>Encourages users to build off the work of others</li></ul></li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Had some trouble saving loops the first few times I tried the application over two different days; application timed out. May require wired Internet connection</li><li>Music genre samples aren’t terribly accurate; for example, many of the funk samples were actually closer to hip-hop</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Looplabs with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2554648426149955404?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/work_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Work-based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Mon, 02 May 2011 20:10:00 +0000Jennifer Dick120 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-looplabs#commentsTool Review: DoInkhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-doink <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TbBgF0ymwgI/AAAAAAAAAJQ/6-EzqwAdLzA/doink.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TbBgF0ymwgI/AAAAAAAAAJQ/6-EzqwAdLzA/doink.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 375px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />What is it about animation that is so engaging? <a href="http://viscog.psych.northwestern.edu/publications/FranconeriSimons_Motion.pdf">Moving objects catch the eye and the viewer’s attention</a>, it’s true, but there’s more to our fascination with cartoons than the involuntary reaction of our brain to dynamic stimuli. Something about the combination of motion and illustration engages our imaginations in a completely different manner than still images or film footage.<br /><br />Children have been creating flipbooks for years &lt; <a href="http://www.flipbook.info/index_en.php">http://www.flipbook.info/index_en.php</a> &gt;, spending hours drawing a series of pictures with slight differences to approximate a moving picture when the pages are flipped. I remember making impromptu flipbooks in my school notebooks by drawing in the bottom-right corner of the pages. The drawings were necessarily simple, and the animations were limited by how thick the notebook was.<br /><br />Like so much in our culture lately, the digital revolution has changed how we work. And while there are incredibly sophisticated computer animation applications available, simple free programs are accessible for ordinary folks who don’t need all the bells and whistles of a full-fledged digital art studio. <a href="http://www.doink.com/">DoInk</a> is one such web app that makes creating <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_animation">Flash animation</a> with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics">vector graphics</a> very easy.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TbBgF9vRjUI/AAAAAAAAAJU/tKm-RSalDxs/doink%20UX.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TbBgF9vRjUI/AAAAAAAAAJU/tKm-RSalDxs/doink%20UX.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 334px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />DoInk is the MS Paint of animation applications. Use the paintbrush tool to draw a line by hand (which auto-corrects into a smoother line), fill shapes using the paint bucket, move and rotate objects using a select box—all of this will seem very standard to users of basic graphics programs. Once you’ve done your first drawing, clone the frame in the animation timeline that runs along the bottom of the window. You have the choice of redrawing or simply repositioning elements from your first drawing to create movement in the final animation (the select tool makes this very simple). A handy “ghosting” feature allows you to see a shadow of anything that’s changed position from the previous slides, making it very easy to create subtle animations if desired.<br /><br />While it’s possible to create a short animated film using the DoInk interface, it’s best suited to creating stand-alone animated pictures (see the examples below). These pictures can be shared through Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. You can also share via email or auto-generated embed code for use in blogs and websites.<br /><br /><object data="http://www.doink.com/a/1501120" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" height="360"><param name="src" value="http://www.doink.com/a/1501120" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /></object><br /><a href="http://www.doink.com/clips/jdick17/1501120/deep-thoughts">Deep Thoughts</a> by <a href="http://www.doink.com/users/profile/jdick17">jdick17</a>, made at <a href="http://www.doink.com">DoInk.com</a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Students create animated plot lines to track the most important events in a story they are reading, from exposition to climax.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Geometry:</span> Students create animations of simple geometric proofs. Create a class webpage to share this new library with students to come.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">History:</span> Timelines were never so fun! While the small canvas will require some creative workarounds, students can plot a dynamic timeline sharing dates, times, and images.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Science: </span>Have students create an animation of a process or cycle. For example, in an earth sciences class, students could create a short animated film illustrating the different types of fault movement while studying plate tectonics.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Visual Art:</span> Because DoInk animations tend to be very short, it can be a great tool for having students learn how to tell a very, very short story in pictures—the art class equivalent of <a href="http://www.sixwordstories.net/2008/12/for-sale-baby-shoes-never-used-ernest-hemmingway/">Hemingway’s famous six word story</a>.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free &amp; premium. “Coins” buy you new editing tools, backgrounds, and the ability to download animations as .AVIs or mp4s.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Drawing tool provides some auto-correction, making drawings look more polished</li><li>Fairly simple user interface allows for relatively quick builds of animated drawings</li><li>Weekly contests and active user forums encourage use</li><li>Pictures can be marked private</li><li>Users can control what actions will trigger an email notification, such as if someone comments on an animation or sends a message to the user on his/her profile page.</li></ul></li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Interface is sometimes laggy, especially on Firefox for Mac (DoInk recommends Safari for Mac users, which we found to be a smoother experience)</li><li>Uses PC keyboard shortcuts, even if you’re on a Mac (a good chance to get used to using the Control key again!)</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use DoInk with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1641010665255580303?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div></div></div>Thu, 21 Apr 2011 16:48:00 +0000Jennifer Dick121 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-doink#commentsTool Review: Edmodohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-edmodo <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TaTWtwrZyZI/AAAAAAAAAI4/ET-K3qQgv70/edmodo%20home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TaTWtwrZyZI/AAAAAAAAAI4/ET-K3qQgv70/edmodo%20home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 297px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br />The school where I used to teach blocked Facebook and Myspace, and this is not uncommon; many of the teachers I speak to report that their districts have similar policies. Some cite concerns that these social network destinations are too tempting for students to access during the school day, that they distract youth from concentrating on their school work. While this is a factor, the main reason these sites are blocked is safety. School districts are liable for student actions, so if youth are uploading inappropriate media or participating in online harassment, the school could be held legally responsible. The cheapest and easiest solution is to block social network access from campus. While this reaction is understandable, it’s also unfortunate, because social networks provide students with a communication platform that engages them. Many educators understand this, and so it’s gratifying to see that social networking platforms are being developed specifically for education.<br /><br />Today we’ll take a look at <a href="http://www.edmodo.com/">Edmodo</a>, a free social network for educators and their students that provides a safer alternative for online communication, collaboration, and sharing.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Edmodo is a safer alternative because teachers control who joins their online class groups; students have to be explicitly invited in order to gain access to class group features. All activity settings default to private as well. Parents can also be invited to join; but again, the teacher has full control over group membership.<br /><br />Edmodo’s user interface and actions resemble Facebook closely, so students and teachers alike should find posting messages and links very intuitive. This isn’t a regular social network, though: it knows its audience. Teachers can post notes, alerts, assignments (complete with attachments and due dates that automatically populate the calendar), and polls—all of which can be sent to individual members or groups (classes or clubs). Group members can comment on them, extending the conversation around the shared resources—this could be a great way to prompt youth to evaluate the credibility of web links, <a href="http://www.youthmediareporter.org/2010/06/fuzzy_logic_why_students_need.html%20">a skill they really need to practice</a>. These featured posts all populate a news feed on the recipient’s home page.<br /><br />Separate from the news feed are the calendar, grades, and library tools. The calendar allows the educator to manually create events, although any assignment due dates listed using the assignment feature will automatically be transferred to the calendar. These can be specific to a group, for the teacher, or for an individual student. A gradebook is automatically generated for each group created, but it lists only those assignments that have been created and submitted through the Edmodo interface (at least as far as I can tell). The library allows educators to create online information warehouses for their own personal use, as well as student use. Document and web resources can be organized in folders that can be shared with class groups.<br /><br />There are <a href="http://help.edmodo.com/teacher/">many helpful resources</a> to guide new users through all of the features, some of which are also available in Spanish. Edmodo also has its eye on school- and district-wide implementations. They host regular webinars on topics such as “Intro to Edmodo,” “20 Ways to Use Edmodo,” and “Edmodo for Schools and Districts: Making a Plan for Widescale Use.” More information for school and district IT professionals can be found on their <a href="http://help.edmodo.com/schooldistrict/">School and District Guide</a> page.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TaTWtyJ64MI/AAAAAAAAAI8/w4-Gg4TpJDc/edmodo%20dash.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TaTWtyJ64MI/AAAAAAAAAI8/w4-Gg4TpJDc/edmodo%20dash.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 407px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span><br />This is the section where I usually brainstorm some possible uses of the new media tool I’m reviewing for various academic disciplines, but seeing as Edmodo is a management tool and not geared toward knowledge creation, here are some ideas for why and how I would use it with my students.</p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Differentiation:</span>Any group of students will have young people who require very different things to progress in their skill development and knowledge acquisition. Edmodo makes it very easy to send targeted information to individual students.<ul><li>Use private notes to post web links that remediate, support, or extend the topic being discussed in class.</li><li>Use private calendar dates to create reminders for students who require smaller, more frequent deadlines to manage their work and stay on task.</li><li>Some students with special learning needs find it much easier to communicate with others through online interfaces, which also benefit quieter, shyer students as well. Edmodo provides them with an easier way to contribute to class discussion.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Community Building: </span>The success of a class rests largely on the development of trust in their peers and their teacher, and trust is built through shared experience, met expectations, and meeting the needs of the individual community members.<ul><li>Use notes to send interesting and funny links to the group or individual students.</li><li>Post opinion polls that solicit feedback on lessons and choice of activities for future lessons, and to check for group understanding of a topic. By allowing students a chance to participate in decision-making for the group, you’ll help them feel more invested in their class community.</li><li>Encourage students to post relevant links and documents with the group, and urge everyone to comment respectfully on these resources.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Documentation:</span>How often have you had a fabulous class discussion but no artifacts to remember it by? What about that amazing paper Juan wrote five years ago that you’d love to use as an exemplar for your students this year, except you can’t find it in your box of student work? Edmodo’s online interface creates a record of what you all worked together to accomplish over the course of the year.<ul><li>Use the library feature to create student portfolios. Students upload work according to whatever guidelines you establish, which, if shared with the group, makes peer portfolio review a very simple matter.</li><li>Having student work submitted online, along with written student comments, makes it very easy for teachers to see what worked and what did not with a particular lesson. Refining lesson and unit materials becomes much more simple.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Parent Involvement:</span> Teachers can invite parents to groups, which can be an easy way for them to see firsthand what’s happening in class. Between work and caring for their family, parents don’t always have time to check in with their children’s teachers as often as they’d like. Give them an option to join the class community.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free</li><li>Pros:<ul><li>Robust, practical tool set for teachers and students</li><li>Facebook-like interface makes it very intuitive for most users</li><li>Strong privacy controls</li><li>Easy student account setup</li><li>Mobile apps available for those with smart phones</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Can’t add assignments from within the Grade feature</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Edmodo with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1265232558836902834?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Tue, 12 Apr 2011 22:37:00 +0000Jennifer Dick123 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-edmodo#commentsTool Review: Figmenthttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-figment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ470vmPD6I/AAAAAAAAAIg/OSdox1nwbgs/figment%20home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ470vmPD6I/AAAAAAAAAIg/OSdox1nwbgs/figment%20home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 261px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />Popular culture would have us believe that writers work alone in a silent room, perhaps with a precisely placed picture window in front of the desk, and that their text emerges Venus-like--wholly formed, perfect and complete.<br /><br />Would that this were so.<br /><br />As a former English teacher, I know how hard it is to convince students that writing is a process that requires community. Writing the first draft is hard enough, and when kids know that no one but their teacher is going to see what they compose, it can be difficult to motivate them to go through rewrites. “After all, it’s just a school writing assignment,” they may think. “No one’s going to see how good or bad it is.” Without any exposure to the world of professional writing, students may fail to see the authenticity of the writing process; that yes, real writers do get feedback, revise, get more feedback, revise again, and so on. Teachers have tried to cope with this by incorporating writing circles into their classroom practice, but this presents challenges as well. Students know their classmates. While some will want to try to impress their peers, others may feel so comfortable with their friends (and their friends’ opinions) that they won’t take the task seriously. What’s a teacher to do?<br /><br />Well, the web 2.0 and social media revolutions have changed this by providing us a global audience and free platforms to share our work with anyone who cares to follow the conversation. We’re all content creators these days, as <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=T1i_nQrg-vkC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=henry+jenkins&amp;hl=en&amp;ei=X-idTdfwK42Ttwe9j_nHBA&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=book_result&amp;ct=result&amp;resnum=5&amp;ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=fals">Henry Jenkins</a> says. Blogging can be a great way for students to get their writing published, but there are a few tacit assumptions about blog posts: they are meant for the entire world to see, and they are polished pieces of writing. So using a blogging platform as a means of collecting feedback about one’s writing isn’t always the best solution to recreating the writers’ circle concept online.<br /><br />Enter <a href="http://figment.com/">Figment</a>, a free online community designed for writers to share their works in progress, read what other authors are writing, and share their thoughts.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ471fxU4oI/AAAAAAAAAIk/cSFyGInCFaQ/figment%20text%20homepage.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ471fxU4oI/AAAAAAAAAIk/cSFyGInCFaQ/figment%20text%20homepage.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 342px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />The Figment writing interface is very simple: text window with buttons for boldface, underline, italicize, strikethrough, and numbered and bulleted lists. There is no auto-save, so be sure to click the Save Edit button often. You add details about your work, including a description, keywords, summary, and genre. Figment provides seven covers to choose from (you can also upload your own image) and two possible page designs. Works can have multiple chapters, which can be reordered by dragging them up or down in the left-hand margin.<br /><br />The fun starts once you’ve published your first draft. Figment has a lovely dashboard for each of your works that displays your book cover, name, chapter and word count breakdown, book description, and a preview of your text. The dashboard also shows how many people have “hearted,” commented, and reviewed or shared your book via Twitter or Facebook. Readers can also award your book various responses to a “This story made me…” question: wow, blush, shiver, cry, laugh. All of these features provide quick and easy ways for people to respond to your work. After knocking out a (very) brief foreword and the beginnings of a first chapter for my test text, I confess, I’m actually feeling somewhat motivated to continue my personal writing, despite the fact that I’ve been writing a lot for work lately. If it motivates me, I expect it will also motivate your students.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Have students post their narrative, fictional, and/or autobiographical writing assignments on Figment, and then give them class time to read and review each other’s work.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">History:</span> While studying a specific event, ask students to write a brief fictional first-person narrative of someone experiencing that event.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Science:</span> Ask students to write a short story from a molecule’s or atom’s point of view, tracing its journey throughout a specific process. For example, students might pretend they are a water molecule traveling through the water cycle.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Allows authors to work on their project anywhere there’s an Internet connection (or cell signal, for those with smart phones).</li><li>Authors retain full copyright of their works posted to Figment, but Figment has the right to display the work for as long as the author keeps it stored in Figment.</li><li>Participation badges provide incentive for users to increase their participation in the community.</li><li>No anonymous comments: conversation tends to stay civil.</li><li>Has a <a href="http://figment.com/educators">bi-monthly newsletter</a> for educators.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons</span>:<ul><li>No automatic saving.</li><li>No built-in spell check.</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use Figment with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8971343068844890302?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Thu, 07 Apr 2011 22:22:00 +0000Jennifer Dick124 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-figment#commentsDual Tool Review: BeFunky & TiltShiftMakerhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/dual-tool-review-befunky-tiltshiftmaker <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TYI7Cvp9ihI/AAAAAAAAAH8/t55L6T8R7As/BF%20TSM.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 341px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /><br />We’ve looked at <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/11/tool-review-picnik.html">online image editors like Picnik before</a>, but it never hurts to have a couple of other web-based photo apps in your media toolbox. Today we’ll take a quick look at two alternative apps for adding effects to your photos.</p><div> </div><div><div><div style="text-align: center;"> </div><span style="font-weight: bold;">BeFunky</span><br /><a href="http://www.befunky.com/">BeFunky</a> is a little like Picnik’s wild twin. Despite their very different branding, both services provide in-browser photo correction, special effects, shapes, speech bubbles, and artistic filters.</div><div><br /><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TYI8s8TePjI/AAAAAAAAAH4/6vLrC4mLsaA/befunky%20UI.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 277px;" border="0" /></div><div><strong>Features</strong><br /><ul><li>Darkroom and camera-specific photograph filters, such as LOMO, vintage, and <a href="http://pcin.net/update/2006/11/01/the-orton-effect-digital-photography-tip-of-the-week/">Orton</a>.</li><li>Art-style effects, such as charcoal, cartoonification, pen and ink, and watercolor.</li><li>You can purchase your altered photo on a variety of merchandise via<a href="http://www.zazzle.com/"> Zazzle</a>.</li><li>Photos can be sent via email, Facebook, MySpace, or Flickr.</li><li>Cost: Free &amp; premium.</li></ul><br /><br /><strong>TiltShiftMaker</strong><div><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TYJD6JPCoOI/AAAAAAAAAIE/Qkrqxdb-zY4/TSM.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TYJD6JPCoOI/AAAAAAAAAIE/Qkrqxdb-zY4/TSM.jpg" alt="" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 180px; height: 184px;" border="0" /></a><a href="http://www.tiltshiftmaker.com/">TiltShiftMaker</a> does only one thing, but it does it well! If you’re not familiar with tilt-shift, it’s a special technique that uses lens movement in two planes and a very thin focus plane to create a unique look. It sometimes creates the effect of making subjects in the picture appear to be miniatures. Creating this effect using a manual camera may require special equipment, but it can mimicked somewhat using digital photography tools. It works only on landscape-oriented photographs, though, and works best if the picture was taken from above the subject.<br /> </div><div> </div><div> </div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br /><ul><li>Interface allows for some tweaking of elements in the tilt-shift, including width of focus plane, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh">bokeh</a>, and color-boosting.</li><li>Share photos via Flickr or Photobucket.</li><li>Cost: free.</li></ul>Do you use these or other photo editing apps with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</div></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1102073426219548462?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div></div></div>Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:32:00 +0000Jennifer Dick126 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/dual-tool-review-befunky-tiltshiftmaker#commentsTool Review: Diigohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-diigo <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MVLE5iI/AAAAAAAAAHY/p8_LJP01o5U/diigo%20home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MVLE5iI/AAAAAAAAAHY/p8_LJP01o5U/diigo%20home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 346px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />One of the joys of surfing the Internet is stumbling across new websites and interesting information through the course of normal web reading. And while you can save interesting pages to your browser’s bookmarks, your bookmark folder can get cluttered really quickly. Sure, you can create sub-folders to try to organize things a bit, but it takes longer to save them and it’s harder to see how your different resources relate to each other. A number of web apps (many with desktop and mobile versions as well) fill the need to keep our bookmarks, notes, and other miscellanea stored at one place in the cloud. Some services, like <a href="http://www.evernote.com">Evernote</a>, are more note-oriented; while others, like the much-loved <a href="http://www.delicious.com/">Delicious</a>, focus on the bookmarks and sharing. <a href="http://www.diigo.com">Diigo</a> offers a convenient middle ground, providing social bookmarking, notes, and image storage in one place.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />At first blush, Diigo’s feature set seems pretty standard: Save bookmarks, notes, and pictures in one place. Tag entries for easy sorting. Because this is Web 2.0, other users can comment on whatever entries you’ve saved publicly. Because this is 2011, you can follow other Diigo users, invite your friends, create groups, and maintain a profile. The Community page shows which pages are most linked by users (lots of education technology links here).<br /><br />What really caught my eye as I was poking around their About page was the Diigo Educator Account. These people have thought about features that teachers and students need, and they’ve provided a way for teachers and classes to share and annotate information. Educators can batch-create student accounts, which automatically creates a Diigo group that includes forums.<br /><br />Student accounts default to high privacy (only teachers and classmates can communicate with them), and only education-related ads get displayed (it’s a free service, after all). You can read the <a href="http://help.diigo.com/teacher-account/faq">FAQ about Diigo Educator Accounts here</a>.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MFlYnsI/AAAAAAAAAHU/dlLhk6Hidwo/diigo%20view%20all.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MFlYnsI/AAAAAAAAAHU/dlLhk6Hidwo/diigo%20view%20all.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 474px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All subjects</span>: Have students create topic-based groups of bookmarks for websites that pertain to subjects discussed in class. Pick a different student-selected site twice a week to evaluate together as a class for content, bias, and relevancy. This will increase student information literacy (a skill our youth today <a href="http://www.districtadministration.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=2529">sorely need</a>)</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All subjects:</span> When students are working on a project or paper that requires online research, have them bookmark all of their web resources using Diigo. Require students to write a brief abstract for each source using the note feature to help them remember why this source may be useful to them.</li></ul><p> </p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free &amp; Premium</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros</span>:<ul><li>Educational upgrade available!</li><li>Can sort all entries by tags</li><li>Group functionality allows for collaboration</li><li>Can install toolbar in web browser for even faster indexing</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>The note feature’s text editor sometimes pastes html code if you cut and paste from a Word document</li><li>Can’t display pictures in notes</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Diigo or other cloud-based social bookmarking sites with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-3190653382511298724?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 08 Mar 2011 23:12:00 +0000Jennifer Dick128 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-diigo#comments