Sunday, January 6, 2013

Handy New Diigo Browser Extension Features

Over the last month I've started using Diigo as my primary tool for bookmarking links. Yesterday, Diigo released a new version of their browser extension. The updated extension includes some features that are quite handy.

The most significant of the updates is a streamlined screenshot process. Now you can click the browser extension to take a screenshot of the page that you're viewing. You can capture all or part of a page in your screenshot. Your screenshot can be annotated with the integrated Diigo drawing and typing tools. All screenshots can be saved as individual files in your Diigo account or attached to the URL that you're bookmarking.

The updated Diigo browser extension now includes the option to save images that you find on the web as stand-alone files or attach them to a URL that you're bookmarking.

Why I'm now using Diigo more often than Evernote:
I'm sure that some people will be wondering why I've started using Diigo more than Evernote. The answer is simple, over the last month Evernote was annoying me with little quirks like significant lags in synchronization time and the browser bookmarklet not opening correctly on the first try.

If you've never tried Diigo, watch the video below for an overview of its features. Click here for a list of the browser and mobile tools that Diigo offers.

Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
I've always thought that Diigo's group options were great for sharing bookmarks with students and colleagues. The screenshot option in the updated browser extension could be great for highlighting a portion of an article and sharing it with students. Annotating screenshots is also a great way to create how-to documents to use when you're introducing students to a new web tool.

Strategies for Getting Things Done in 2013

Last week I discovered two new-to-me strategies for getting things done.

Put One Fun Thing On Every To-Do List
This came from the description of a to-do app for iOS that I was trying. I decided not to write about the app because it wasn't that great, but the description of it inspired me to start putting one fun thing on my to-do lists. The idea here is that my to-do list won't be just a list of chores. I'll also have some incentive to get the chores done quickly so that I have time for my fun thing(s).

Write an Accomplished List
This idea came from a notepad that I found in my room at a Marriott hotel. Writing the list of things that I accomplished in the day is a lot more fun than just crossing items off of a list. I'm even listing simple things like "read one chapter in my new book." And I'm including my "fun thing" on my accomplished list too.

Bonus: Make a "fun" New Year's Resolution
This is a variation on an idea that Norm MacDonald (yes, the Canadian comedian) shared in a Grantland article. We tend to think of New Year's resolutions in terms of things that are difficult to change. What if we had a fun corollary to each difficult resolution? When you do one, do the other too. (Of course, I'm talking about fun resolutions that aren't bad for you. Norm MacDonald wasn't using it the same way in the article of his that I read which is why I didn't directly link to it). 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Share ThingLink Images in Edmodo

ThingLink is a great service for collaboratively creating interactive images. In the past I've written about using it to create interactive mind maps and shared dozens of other ways to use ThingLink in your classroom. Now ThingLink images can be shared in your Edmodo account using the "share to Edmodo button" that is now provided on every image in your ThingLink account. Click the share button on an image then select the Edmodo icon to share. The complete sharing directions can be found here on the ThingLink blog.

Here's an interactive image currently featured on the ThingLink homepage. As you can see it could be the basis for a short U.S. History lesson.

Applications for Education
If you're already using Edmodo and ThingLink this integration will stream the process of having students make contributions to a shared image. Rather than sending students to a stand-alone ThingLink image link you can simply have them use the Edmodo accounts that they're already in the habit of using for other things.

Disclosure: ThingLink is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Video - Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think

Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think is a film that I shared a couple of years ago when it was featured on Snag Learning. Snag Learning appears to have shut down, but the film is still available on Snag Films.  The film is based on the work of Gallup researchers who interviewed tens of thousands of people in 35 predominantly Muslim countries. The researchers asked questions like "What do Muslim women really want?" and "What do Muslims like and dislike about the West?" The film presents the researchers' work to challenge some popular notions and misconceptions about the feelings of Muslims toward the United States. You can find the film here.

Applications for Education
Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think could be a good film for high school social studies teachers. You might considering doing a prior knowledge check before showing the film then afterward have students note how their "knowledge" changed after watching the film. 

The Week In Review Featuring Max the Blogging Dog

Click for full size.
Good morning from Maine. I hope that everyone had a great first week of 2013. After a nice blogging vacation I got back to a regular writing routine on January 1. This week I discovered that my newly adopted dog, Max, likes to blog too. As you can see in the picture he thinks he's a lapdog and he is quite curious about the keyboard. He and Morrison make the quite the pair. Max blogs and Morrison guards the home office.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Blubbr - Create Interactive Quizzes Using YouTube Clips
2. 17 Cartoon Videos Explaining the Internet and Internet Safety to Kids
3. Three Questions to Consider Before Flipping Your Classroom
4. Build a Media Gallery With Your Students in 2013
5. Use Duolingo to Learn a New Language in 2013
6. The Story of Exploration in Four Minutes
7. Timer Pop - A Handy Classroom Timer

Would you like me to visit your school this year? 
Click here for information about my professional development services.

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