Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Social Bookmarking

You may have noticed that I recently began adding two little icons to the end of each posting. Have you been wondering what those icons are for? They're social bookmarking icons and soon there will be more of them. Social bookmarking has been around for a few years and is growing in use everyday. Social bookmarking is a service that allows users to bookmark websites and webpages and save those bookmarks online. The advantage of storing bookmarks online is that you can access your favorite pages from any internet connected computer. The social part of "social bookmarking" is that you can share your bookmarks with others. The advantage of social bookmarking is that if you have a network of colleagues you can share your bookmarks with those colleagues. A social bookmarking application can also be used to build a network of people with an interest in the same topics. Currently, I use and as social bookmarking services. There are many other services available which I'll be adding to this blog very soon.
Take a look at the video below to see social bookmarking in practice.

Applications for Educators
A great use of social bookmarking for educators is the ability to build a network of colleagues who are looking for similar subject matter.
Social bookmarks can also be used for directing the internet searching of students. With many social bookmarking websites you can generate a list of websites for students to search from.


Flickr: The Commons

Flickr, a photo sharing website has announced a new project called "The Commons." The Commons is a project made in collaboration with the US Library of Congress. Flickr has over 3,000 cataloged images from the US Library of Congress. Flickr welcomes contributions from other sources including your local historical society, photo club, or you to be included in "The Commons." Each photo is "tagged" with a description of the image. (Tags are key words used for searching on file, photo, and video sharing websites. Clicking on a tag will bring you to more photos described with similar key words and terms. Click here to learn more about tags). The images in "The Commons" are, in addition to being searchable by tag, categorized for you to search through manually. For example, there is a category labeled "News in the 1910's."

Applications for Education
Photographs and paintings are great ways of showing students how people dressed, what a place looked like or looks like, news headlines as reported at the time, the list can go on for a long time. No longer do Humanities and Arts educators have to sift through pages of internet search results to get what they're looking for.
The tagging and sharing features of
Flickr could be incorporated into a lesson. A US History class could search images, describe them, tag them, and then share the images with each other and the instructor. An Art or Photography teacher could do a similar activity with the students describing the artist's technique or other elements of the image.

To learn more about Flickr's services, click here.


Apple's Latest and Greatest Part II

The kind folks at Mahalo Daily have put together a 60 second video featuring the most important parts of Steve Jobs's keynote speech. Watch the video here and leave your thoughts about Apple's latest and greatest.


Apple's Latest and Greatest

Yesterday Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's latest and greatest products and services. The MacBook Air stole the show. At just over 3/4" thick and only 3 pounds it is made for people on the go. Is it necessary for people who are fairly stationary, like teachers, on a daily basis? No, but I still want one. In fact, I am in the market for a new laptop but the MacBook Air would not be a smart choice for me because I don't travel that often with my machine. The MacBook Pro is still my choice because the processors in the Pro are better than in the Air.
A notable absence from the MacBook Air is an optical (CD) drive. With the development in flash drive technology, the growing pervasiveness of Ipod and MP3 use, and open source software, Apple seems to be predicting the end of CD use as we know it.