At ISTE 2011, I attended two sessions aimed at showing off as many web tools as possible in 60 minutes. Tammy Worcester showed her Top 20 Favorite Web Tools, giving herself an average of 3 minutes per tool. Brandon Lutz kicked it up a notch, and showed off 60 in 60. He gave us one per minute, for an hour. There was some overlap. I made a Venn Diagram because I’m a math geek. In the next three posts, I’ll discuss the tools they shared, and what I see as their use for me.
Because I think it is interesting to see the tools that they both recommended, I’ll start with the overlap. I will discuss all six tools that they both shared.
Plurk – I had never heard of Plurk, but I definitely plan to check it out. According to them, it is like twitter, but has better threading of responses. One thing that drives me nuts in twitter is that if I reply to someone’s comment, I have to seek out other replies, because I only see the replies of the people I follow. Apparently Plurk does this better.
Evernote – My boss and my consulting colleagues have been raving about Evernote for months. I don’t use it because I haven’t needed to. Evernote lets you create, modify and synch documents among all your devices. I do the same thing using the QuickOffice app on my iPhone and iPad, and storing the documents on Dropbox. I annotate PDF’s on my iPad using GoodReader. If I ever encounter something I can’t do with these tools, I’ll give Evernote a try. I know it’s good because people have been bugging me to try it for months.
Dropbox – I was pretty clear about how much I love Dropbox when I wrote my Ode to Dropbox several months ago. They have had a security breach recently, and there is some question as to whether or not files are encrypted on their storage, but I still love it. I don’t keep anything there that is sensitive or could jeopardize my privacy. It’s the best way I have found to store and share my presentations and handouts.
Qwiki – I’m not sure I see use for this for math teachers, but it is pretty neat. I see this having great value for teachers of struggling readers. It is a search engine type site. When you enter a search term, it brings back information on the topic, which it then presents to you. It reads aloud the text that scrolls up, and brings in images and other links. Share this with your colleagues. The best way to explain it to you is to get you to go there and try it out.
Wolfram Alpha – It was interesting for me that both presenters shared Wolfram Alpha, even though neither one was a math teacher. Readers of this blog probably don’t need a description of this one.
In my next post, I’ll look at the other tools that Tammy shared.