Using technology to make your life easier!
I know everyone probably has some sort of Google account and if you don’t you have probably have heard about it. But I wanted to make sure that I wrote something about it because it is one of those fundamental online tools that you must tap into and I didn’t want to take it for granted, that and there are so many tools that people haven’t tapped into that add so much to the experience.
Google pretty much owns my life and there is a good reason for that. It’s easy, free, integrated and unified. On top of it I can gather all the Google tools that I use onto one page, my Google Homepage . This is where I have my Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, and many other tools that aren’t even Google tools like the weather, or alternative search engines.
So how do you get a google Homepage? If you have a Gmail account then you already have access to the Google Homepage and ALL of the tools I have listed here and MORE you simply need to login with your Gmail account to access it and it is all FREE!
Let me elaborate on some of the tools that Google offers:
The best part of it all is that it all exists online (but you can have it run off your desktop too if you want) and is accessible from any computer in the world that have computer access.
How can I use this for education?
So what do /would you use the Google products for?
Likely we have all at one point or another used voice chat over the computer. Sometimes it can be difficult and sometimes fairly easy. Most of the time it requires downloading an application and on rare occasions it will exist on the net but still requires sign-up.
Enter Voxli, an online voice chat application that doesn’t require any sign-up or registration and allows up to 200 people to chat at once. To set it up you simply go to their main website and complete a url of your own choosing. Send that url to whomever you want to chat with. It will prompt you to install a plug-in for Firefox and that is it. Extremely simple. The interface is very minimal and will take only seconds to figure out how it works.
I have never ran across a voice chat application that is this easy to use let alone with good quality audio and the ability to “push” your chat outside of your browser to various other devices like video game systems.
Although it doesn’t offer anything new to the arena of voice chat it does make the whole process much easier for admin and end users and that is the kind of power I gravitate to.
How can Voxli be used in Education?
How would/do you use it in your course?
Skype is an internet phone, a video phone and a screen sharing app (with beta version) that sits on your computer and is free. Now technically it is not a Web 2.0 app because you have to download it but it is the tool that is most entrenched in the market.
With Skype you can phone any other computer that is running it and talk as long as you want for free. Video chat is also included when you call computer to computer. Skype also allows you to to call a land line but it will cost you (pre-paid) a very minor fee (2.4 cents a minute). And of course that means you can make calls worldwide for that price.
An added bonus with Skype is the ability to make conference calls via voice or video. And to round out the features Skype also includes an instant messaging service with the added bonus of being able to text message someone’s cell phone from your computer.
For the brave you can also get a cell phone that is Skype enabled which will let you use it on your cell phone to save money.
How can Skype help in Education?
As always you can voice your ideas as a comment on this post at the top and keep an eye out here for more information on tools like Skype that are fully fledged Web 2.0 (all online) and are just as good as Skype.