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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Snip.ly - Snip and Share the Best Parts of Pages

Snip.ly is a new service for clipping and sharing parts of websites. The idea is this; when you want to share just a portion of a webpage with someone you can now highlight the text you want and share it. To do this you can either use the browser extensions offered by Snip.ly or copy a url into Snip.ly. Either way Snip.ly allows you to highlight text on the page and generates a new url that features the text you highlighted. Share this new url (via email, Twitter, or Facebook) and the recipient will see the webpage you shared with the highlighted text featured.

Here's what a page rendered by Snip.ly looks like.

Applications for Education
Along with highlighting text from webpages Snip.ly allows you to comment on the things your snip. This could be useful for students to share thoughts about articles they read or for you to share a webpage and include some reading questions for students.

Are You Using a Modern Web Browser? You Should

It probably shouldn't but it does surprise me how many school network administrators insist on locking their staff and students into using outdated web browsers. I realize that it can be a pain to push out updates to a large network of computers and that sometimes the programs you use don't keep up with browser updates (Infinite Campus doesn't work with Firefox 4 yet), still the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Why you should update your browser.
As Microsoft itself announced last month, there are many security risks associated with using an outdated browser like Internet Explorer 6. To encourage people to move away from IE6 Microsoft launched IE6 Countdown to encourage people to update their browsers. Security issues isn't a problem limited to IE6. Older versions of other browsers like Firefox are also more susceptible to security threats.

Access to new features of new websites. Programmers launching new sites and services aren't designing their products for old browsers. If you're forcing teachers and students to use outdated browsers you're possibly preventing them from taking advantage of new educational resources.

How you can determine what browser you're using.
There is a simple way to determine what browser you're using; visit WhatBrowser.org. What Browser is a Google site that detects what browser you're using and displays that information right on the page in front of you.

What is a web browser?
Google explains the answer in the video below.

Can't see the video because YouTube is blocked where you're reading this? Wikipedia has an explanation of web browsers too.

Byte, Gigabyte, Terabyte - How Much Data is That?

Byte, megabyte, and gigabyte are terms that have become a part of our language. If you've shopped for a new computer, an iPod, or a new data storage device you've probably considered how many gigabytes of storage that new device offers. But just how much data comprises a gigabyte? Or a byte for that matter? Focus.com recently published an infographic that answers those questions and more. As the infographic is huge, I dropped it into Zoom.it to make it fit in this post and give you the ability to zoom in on various parts of it.



Applications for Education
Understanding what a byte or gigabyte or terabyte is is part of the building blocks of a basic computer science vocabulary. This infographic might help visual learners remember the meaning of these terms.

Google Maps Webinars - Google Maps for Research

Sure you can find your house on Google Maps, but did you know there are lots of great ways to use Google Maps for instructional purposes? If you have ever been curious about how you can use Google Maps in your classroom, you should join one of two webinars being hosted by Google next week. On Tuesday and Wednesday Google Trainer and educator Trent Maverick will be leading a webinar on using Google Maps for research.

Here's Google's description of the session:
You know you can use Google Maps to zero in on your destination. But did you know that you can search by latitude and longitude, recreate the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and use Street View to take a walk through Times Square? In this webinar, we’ll cover the basics of Google Maps, from finding a place to finding your way. We'll also discuss cool tricks and little-known features that will have you creating and editing maps of your own!

To register for Tuesday's webinar click here.
To register for Wednesday's webinar click here.
If you miss the webinar, the archive will be available here later this month.

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