Monday, June 2, 2008

Thing #23

So what about the 23 things? Well, it's been an interesting journey. I've learned about some new tools, gained some information about other items and enjoyed the journey. Specifically, there are a few things that stick out for me. I've learned about wikis and how I could use them. I learned alot about Flickr and how that could be used.

The social bookmarking is interesting. I've bounced back and forth between absolutely loving it, to seeing its restrictions. It is definitely a different way of thinking and organizing. The flexibility is wonderful. However, there are also limits. One could easily end up with a ton of bookmarks that are just slightly different. One could also end up with many different bookmarks that are no longer need (right now). I'll keep playing around with it (I'm using it for a summer vacation). Interestingly, there seems to be a push back in terms of organization. Many computer geeks have been pushing a change from a hierarchical folder structure to a free form just save it and then search for it. This idea utilizes something like Google Desktop to search. Recently however, it seems as though there is some movement back to an organized saving structure. Still, I'll trying tagging but being careful of the tags that I'm using.

I really like Flickr. It's got some really cool things. It's also not blocked through work. Naturally, there are some privacy concerns about using work stuff with Flickr, but for some things it can be wonderful.

Video is another story. YouTube is blocked through work and rightfully so. In a quick search by category - Education - I ended up with some really, really inappropriate. I have no interest in YouTube. TeacherTube is much better but limited. Still, this could become a useful tool at some point.

I think back in how TV was supposed to revolutionize education. That didn't quite work out the way that was predicted. It has definitely had an effect and can be quite powerful. But it didn't work out the way that it was predicted. Could this be the same effect for technology? Some technologists have been predicting that computers would revolutionize education for over a decade. Certainly they are having an effect on our lives. How much of an impact on education will they have? They have changed how some things are done, but how much have they changed the experience of students? Are we still in the infancy phase?

So what would you add to the 23 Things experience?
I would start with Evernote. While this is still in beta officially, it's not hard to get an invite. This is a multiplatform, (windows, Mac, web, and phones), program that bills itself as such:

Remember everything.

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

This makes even text in images searchable. Thus, you could take a picture of a menu and upload it. The next time you are looking for a particular dish, you'd just type in what you were looking for and it would be found.

The notebooks can be made public (allowing easy sharing).

The other part of web 2.0. is the social networking aspect. MySpace is absolutely the cat's meow for out students. If we want to understand our students, we need to understand this phenomena.

The other part that I would've preferred would've been to complete the Things in a different order. Part of the digital world is that it doesn't have to be linear. I personally would've preferred to complete these tasks in a different order. To each his/her own.

All in all, I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to complete this project.