Using technology to make your life easier!
With A.nnotate you can upload pdf,doc, web pages, presentations and allow others to add notes, tags and other things to allow collaboration, evaluation or anything that you can dream up. It is all hosted online so now you can put up one document and send the link to hundreds of people who can then see it and annotate to it if needed.
The free service allows you to upload 30 pages per month and have unlimited commenters and a pricier solution for institutions allows unlimited everything for one server to be outfitted.
So what could A.nnotate be used for in education? Because the free version is limited I will limit my ideas to those that require the students to have accounts and upload papers of less than 30 pages per month.
So what would or have you used it for?
I wrote an article extolling the social bookmarking tool Diigo. In my zeal I left out some really important ways that Diigo can and is used so I thought it was worth a revisit.
Diigo’s tools in a nutshell:
There is more but I only have so much space.
So what can an educator use this application for?
Here are some ideas I came up with,
These are just some ideas that I came up with but the possibilities are there for the taking.
I want to hear about what you use Diigo for or ideas that you may have on how to use it for education.
I have been using email or a form of email going back to the BBS days in the late 80′s the Kermit based access to the University of Alberta in the early 90′s and then through dial-& and then ISDN access through commercial ISP’s in the mid 90′s up to the broadband access of today. There are very few email servers (Sendmail & Exchange), systems (PINE & ELM) and clients (Eudora, Pegasus, Outlook, Thunderbird) that I have not used on all platforms (Windows, Mac, UNIX and Linux) so this perspective is not coming from a “Johnny come lately” nor does it come from someone who is “religiously” tied to a particular OS or platform.
I started using Google mail (Gmail) back in 2005 after receiving an invite from a colleague in Silicon Valley. Gmail as introduced in early 2004 and up until 2005 it was being tested by a relatively small group of beta testers. In 2005 you had to recieve and invite from a current Gmail user to get access to the system. It wasn’t until early 2006 when Google introduced an integrated calendar that I decided to give up all my other email system ties and rely exclusively on Gmail. Until a better system comes along I will continue to use Gmail because it is simply the easiest and best system available. Gmails advantages include:
As the resident computer guru in my family and circle of friends I am often called upon to help diagnose and help people solve their problems. This means that I am often called upon to help people out with there Internet problems which are more often than not related to the sending and receiving of email. The sooner I get people off of their POP/SMTP based email and onto Gmail the sooner their (and my) problems go away.
Gmail just works and is the simplest (you don’t need any training to use it) and most effective email system we have yet. I say yet because I am still looking for something that will be even easier to use and when that comes along I will be using it.
Just go to http://www.gmail.com and give it a go.
Have you ever been at someone’s house, office, or even using a second computer and you want to bring up a website that you have bookmarked on your main machine and can’t remember the URL? Social bookmarking has set out to eliminate this problem and there are several tools to help you in a situation like this but 2 in particular stand out, Diigo and Del.icio.us.
The big dog on the block is Del.iciou.us which allows you to put all your bookmarks up on the web and accessible wherever you are in the world all you need is an internet connection. It has great functionality and is a great tool for collecting your bookmarks, it even has plugins for Firefox, IE, and Safari that allow for easy bookmarking and access to bookmarks.
My pick for best social bookmarking tool is the young upstart is Diigo (even though I use both). Diigo is a Research tool, a knowledge sharing community, a social annotation tool; you can highlight text (with comments) on a website, add sticky-notes to any page all visible to everyone (if you choose) who has Diigo installed in their browser. It can even create lists of bookmarks that can then be presented as a slideshow that can be accessible to anyone in the world if you so choose. These interactive browsing slideshows take you through a list of urls at predetermined intervals all the while still allowing the user to look through the webpage and be in control of the experience clicking links and using the webpage. Use it to bundle important websites together for students or co-workers. Try out the slideshow for yourself no download required (http://slides.diigo.com/list/tylerwall/web20_applications) and here is an example of how to use it (http://wslides.blogspot.com/2007/09/emmbed.html)
Like Facebook you can check out how your friends are bookmarking, send messages to them, share bookmarks with them and create groups (like “web 2.0″ or “good recipes”) to facilitate the whole process.
Both Diigo and Del.icio.us are very well integrated into your browser and use a tagging organizational structure so you can easily find 1 bookmark within thousands very fast and very easily. So long story short Del.icio.us focus is more on strictly the bookmarking functionality whereas Diigo has that functionality and adds to it many different social aspects and annotation tools. If you already have a Del.icio.us account Diigo even makes the transition easier by allowing an easy import and bookmarking to both services through Diigo.