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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Print Edit - Trim Webpages Before You Print Them

Image Credit: Briar Press
We've all seen it at one time or another. Your student finds an article online that she likes so much that she just has to print it out and promptly proceeds to print the entire article complete with sidebar content and two or three blank pages mixed in for good measure. Fortunately, there are some tools that can prevent that kind of costly waste of paper and ink. I've previously featured three such tools here. Print Edit is another tool that you can teach students to use before printing out a lengthy webpage.

Print Edit is a Firefox add-on that allows you to edit the content of a webpage in your "print preview" screen. With Print Edit installed once you enter the print preview screen you can highlight and delete sections of a webpage before you print them. Using Print Edit could prevent the waste of a lot of paper and ink in your classroom or school print center.

StudyBlue Mobile - Create Flashcards on Your Phone or Computer

StudyBlue, a free service for creating flashcards and sharing them, recently released a new free mobile app for creating flashcards on the go. The StudyBlue mobile app for Android and iPhone allows students to not only study their flashcards on the go, but create new ones as well. Flashcards created on a phone can be synced to and accessed from a computer too. Even if an Internet connection isn't available, students can still study pre-existing flashcards on their phones. Study Blue account holders also have the option of setting reminders to prompt them to review their flashcards at regular intervals.

The video below offers a glimpse of the StudyBlue mobile app in action. You can get the Android version here and get the iPhone version here.



Applications for Education
What I like about the StudyBlue mobile app is that it is available for both Android and iPhone users. Too often I come across apps that while good are only available for one platform or the other. By being available on both platforms, the Study Blue app has the potential to be used by more students than it otherwise would. I also like that the flashcards created on the mobile app can be synced to an online account so that students can easily transition from studying on their computers to studying on their phones.

Now I Know - Short Lessons from Entrepreneurs

Now I Know is a new project from the video production company Sprinkle Lab. The purpose of Now I Know is to record and publish short videos of successful entrepreneurs sharing lessons they've learned along the way. Each video is under three minutes long so they are short and to the point. Some of the names you might recognize in the videos are Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, and MG Siegler of TechCrunch and ChrunchFund.

The most recent Now I Know video is embedded below. The video features Linda Avey, founder of 23 and Me, talking about educating yourself.


Applications for Education
These short videos could make nice discussion starters in a business course. I would also think it would be neat to have students use the Now I Know model to interview and video each other about lessons they've learned about what it takes to be a successful student. In fact, I think that would make a great channel on Next Vista. (Rushton, are you listening?)

Nominations Now Open for the 2011 Edublog Awards

Each of the last three years I have had the honor of receiving the Edublog Award for Best Resource Sharing Blog. For that, I can't thank all of you enough. Nominations for the 2011 Edublog Awards are now being accepted. The complete directions for nominating your favorite blogs, Tweeters, blog posts, podcasts, and wikis are available here. In short, to nominate you need to write out your list of nominations (you cannot nominate yourself), post it publicly (your blog, Google+, etc), and share the link to your nominations on the Edublogs Awards website. You can make nominations in one or all of the categories. I will be making my nominations later this week.

These are the award categories for 2011.

  • Best individual blog
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best group blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Most influential blog post
  • Best twitter hashtag
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best librarian / library blog
  • Best School Administrator blog
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Lifetime achievement

Think Insights with Google

Think Insights with Google is a relatively new Google service aimed at providing businesses with information about current trends in consumer behavior. Think Insights provides tools for discovering trends, monitoring trends, and it provides a public research library. Users can refine their searches in Think Insights according to industry, target audience, media platform, and marketing objectives. The research studies can be downloaded as PDFs or read online. Some of the research studies are accompanied by videos of analysts discussing the meaning and implications of the research.



Applications for Education
When I first saw Think Insights with Google I thought of high school students who participate in activities like DECA. Those students and their teachers could find Think Insights to be very useful in getting a handle on market trends and how consumers interact with different types of marketing strategies. Marketing instructors might ask students to read one of the research studies on Think Insights then use that information to develop a marketing strategy based on that study.

Playing With Pearltrees - A Great Way to Organize the Web

Over the years I've written about a lot of social bookmarking services and mind-mapping services (I even co-authored a chapter of a bookon mind-mapping). Pearltrees is a service that combines social bookmarking with mind-mapping. Using Pearltrees you can bookmark websites and arrange your bookmarks into webs or mind-maps of related topics. For example, this Pearltree contains links to stories, images, and videos about news from Libya.

You can create as many Pearltrees as you like within your account. Adding content to your Pearltrees can be done through a browser bookmarklet, browser extension, or by manually copying and pasting links. With the bookmarklet or extension installed in your browser, simply click on the Pearltree icon anytime you find something you want to bookmark. Then with the Pearltree dialogue box open select the Pearltree you want to add to. Of course, as with any good social bookmarking services, you can share your Pearltrees with anyone you like.

The video below provides a short overview of Pearltrees.


Applications for Education
Pearltrees could be a great tool for students to use to organize their web research according to topics or units of study in your courses. I'm thinking that by using Pearltrees throughout a course students would be able to create webs of resources for each unit you teach then visually connect those webs as a summative exercise at the end of a quarter, semester, or year.

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