Archive for the ‘Learning Tools’ Category

Tips for Adjusting to Distance Learning Settings

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

For some students that take online courses or are enrolled in distance learning programs,the style of learning can be a bit different and the transition isn’t always exactly easy. Students that are used to going to class everyday and interacting with classmates and professors, may have a problem at first with becoming disciplined, developing and maintaing time management skills, and understanding that online courses require students to be focused and dedicate time to completing work, reading and studying, and preparing for exams. And while adjusting to taking online courses may not be easy for some students, there are things to keep in mind to help with the process and make it an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Adjusting to taking courses online will take a lot of discipline. You don’t have traditional class lectures where you have other students and professors reminding you about exams, projects, and assignment due dates. You will need to discipline yourself to keep note of when deadlines are assigned. Because you don’t actually have to attend a class or lecture physically, it may be easy to blow off school for a couple of days, but even that can severely impact your grades. While all distance learning environments are different, students will still need to read, study, complete assignments, and take exams, so it is important to keep that in mind.

Like most college students, you will probably need to learn to balance school work with other extracurricular activities, family, jobs, and other time commitments. This can be done as long as you make a schedule and be sure to allot time for studying and school work. Determine what days and times are best for you to be able to dedicate to school and make a schedule that allows you to give proper time to the everyday activities associated with your life and your lifestyle. When you make a schedule, try as hard as you can to follow it and feel free to modify it if it really is not working with your other commitments.

Setting goals for yourself is a good way to adjust to distance learning and taking your courses online. Once you know what classes you are taking and what is expected of you throughout the semester, set goals for yourself to ensure that your are transitioning in a positive manner and so that you know you are learning everything you need to in order to succeed in your classes. Setting goals is a good way to ensure that you are not only getting your work done, but it can reassure you that you are keeping up with the things that you wish to achieve.

40 Amazing iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The iPad is a device that many lust after as a shiny new toy, but many people with disabilities can benefit from what it has to offer as a functional tool. Students with learning disabilities can enhance and develop their communication skills, learn how to adapt to situations, and develop social skills. Check out this collection of iPad apps that can make a difference in the life of a learning disabled child.

  1. Crazy Face Lite: Crazy Face Lite encourages shy students to speak more often, and is great with students who have trouble speaking.
  2. Autism Timer: This app offers a digital timer for students with autism.
  3. Behavior Assessment Pro: BAP identifies factors related to problem behaviors for autistic kids.
  4. Awareness!: Awareness allows students to listen to their surroundings while also playing games, watching a video, and more.
  5. Everyday Skills: Use this app to find self-directed learning for students with autism and learning disabilities.
  6. Proloquo2Go: Proloquo2Go offers picture-based communication for children with communication disorders.
  7. ArtikPix: Children with speech issues can use ArtikPix to practice sounds and words at home.
  8. Aurify: Aurify is a challenging and rewarding audio game for students, especially those with learning disabilities.
  9. iEarnedThat: This tool can help parents track and reward good behavior.
  10. Model Me Going Places: This visual teaching tool can help your child navigate challenging locations with appropriate behavior.
  11. iWriteWords: Encourage fine motor skills using IWriteWords for practicing writing letters, numbers, and words.
  12. MyTalkTools Mobile: MyTalkTools Mobile offers augmentative and alternative communication for learning disabled students.
  13. First Then Visual Schedule: Provide positive behavior support using the First Then Visual Schedule app for the iPad.
  14. Idea Sketch: Draw mind maps, flow charts, and more with Idea Sketch.
  15. Off We Go!: Off We Go! can help children with special needs become more comfortable in new situations.
  16. AutismXpress: Autism Xpress makes it easy for people with autism to recognize and express their emotions.
  17. StoryBuilder: StoryBuilder can improve auditory processing for children with autism or sensory processing disorders.
  18. iMindMap Mobile Pro: Let creative thoughts flow using iMindMap Mobile Pro.
  19. Grace: Grace can help autistic and special needs children build sentences to communicate effectively.
  20. Which Does Not Belong: This app will help your learner discriminate which items don’t belong in a group and encourage vocal imitation.
  21. My Choice Board: Kids with autism, communication delays, or learning differences can express their needs and wants through this choice board.
  22. iThoughts: iThoughts will enable students to see the big picture and concentrate on multiple thoughts at once.
  23. LivingSafely: LivingSafely can help students with autism and developmental disabilities practice self-directed learning.
  24. iCommunicate: Children with autism and visual challenges can use this app with pictures, storyboards, routines, and more.
  25. Toy Story 3 Read Along: Toy Story’s app is a great early literacy tool for early language learners.
  26. ACT Spell: ACT Spell offers games for training motor/visual/executive functions.
  27. Stories2LEarn: Promote social skills and literacy by creating personalized stories on Stories2Learn.
  28. iConverse: iConverse works as a picture exchange communication system for autistic individuals and those with communicative disabilities.
  29. MyTalk Mobile: Those with communication difficulties can express themselves through MyTalk.
  30. MindNode: MindNode makes creating mind maps easy.
  31. Storyrobe: Storyrobe offers a simple and easy way to produce digital stories.
  32. Flashcards for iPad: This app can be used effectively for special needs learners.
  33. Glow Draw!: Glow Draw! is a fun drawing app for students with visual development problems.
  34. What Rhymes?: Encourage reading comprehension with this reading comprehension tool for visual and auditory learners.
  35. MyHomework: MyHomework can help students with trouble concentrating keep track of their next task.
  36. Bigger Words: Bigger Words can help kids read easier.
  37. iSpectrum: iSpectrum offers an assistant for color blindness.
  38. Dragon Dictation: Dragon Dictation is great for students who have reading disabilities or are unable to write.
  39. Talkulator: Talkulator can help students with visual problems count and do arithmetic.
  40. Read2Me: Read2Me will import a text file and read it aloud to weaker readers.

Pen and Paper

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Picture yourself outside on lovely spring afternoon. Or maybe fall is more your season. No matter what time of year you may be imagining, the premise of you outside in a comfortable chair is the main focal point. You are breathing in fresh air, and numerous ideas are coming to you. Right about now you are just itching to write – you can’t wait to put your ideas down on a tablet to later save for future use. However your computer may not have enough battery to last the whole time you are outside being one with nature. Have no fear, because there is an alternative that you may not have even considered – and no, not a typewriter. Something so simple and pure can serve as your writing tool – a pen. Carrying around a pen and notepad is not going to break your back or offer you any discomfort. Instead, you are able to bend it, fold it, and not worry about nicking it on a bench and damaging your learning tool. You have the freedom of turning it on or off with in a second. There is no power cord to carry around, no screen that you cannot read because of the glare of the sun, or any worry about the occasional rain drop landing on your masterpiece.

A note pad can go anywhere with you. It gives you complete control over how big you want each letter you write, whether you want to write on the lines or completely diagonal. The benefit of a notepad is that you are able to not be distracted by the worry of having proper grammar or any red squiggly lines under misspelt words. Everything you write down is notes or a rough draft. You are throwing out pieces that you will later use to construct a puzzle. With a pen and a notepad, you can create room to add any fun images you wish to draw. If that was a computer in your hands you would be combining two applications – word and Photoshop. Unlike a blank computer screen, an empty sheet of paper can almost encourage you to fill it with every idea you have in your brain because you view a notepad as a blank canvas, where and white computer screen can look like a demon staring at you hoping you fail. A note pad is more intimate and personal. Everyone can have the same model computer, but no one has your notepad you got in Kansas city last time you were visiting an old friend.

Cut Online College Costs in High School

Monday, March 14th, 2011

If you are a high school student that’s considering pursuing a higher education online because you more or less already know you’ll need more flexibility post graduation—for instance maybe you have a child or you’re expecting, maybe you are aware you’ll need a fulltime job to support yourself, or maybe you will be doing a lot of traveling—it’s great that you are already worrying about your future. But while online schooling may be more convenient for some, that doesn’t mean that it’s any cheaper than a traditional college. In fact, it can be even more expensive, depending on which institution you enroll in. But did you know that you can start cutting online college cost now while just in high school? Continue reading to learn how.

The easiest way to save money is to earn college credit while in high school. There are several ways to go about this. The first is to start taking Advance Placement Exams as early as your junior year in high school. There are more than 30 subjects you can get tested on ranging anywhere from history, English, foreign languages and any of the hard sciences. You’ll have to pay a small fee to take the test, but if you make adequate scores you can test out of lower division college courses. Some students pass so many exams and earn so many credits that they technically start as "sophomores" their first year in college. You can even get the testing fee waived if you qualify which means that if you make adequate scores, technically you earned that credit entirely free. That’s a whole online class that you earned fair and square without having to pay a penny. Unfortunately not all of the colleges participate, but a whopping 90 percent do. Most students choose to enroll in both pre-advanced and advanced classes throughout high school so that they are better prepared for the advance placement exams. But even if you don’t make adequate scores and can’t claim credit, you will be eligible for a higher GPA since AP classes are graded on a 5.0 not a 4.0 GPA scale and you will be better prepared to tackle real college courses.

Another way you can claim college credit while still in high school is to enroll in dual credit courses. Just about all high schools offer these programs so that students can concurrently enroll in courses that count towards their high school diploma and their college degree. The classes are taught at the high school so it’s really convenient for you since you don’t have to drive to the nearest community college every morning. Some programs require students to pay a fee to take a dual credit course. Prices vary but are always cheaper than when registering as an actual college student. However, most dual credit courses are covered entirely by the school district, so you may actually get the opportunity earn some college credit for free. Ask your high school about their dual credit program. Please be aware that there will most likely be a application and an interview before you can be considered for dual credit.

100 Awesome iTunes Feeds for Technology Junkies

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

By Hannah Watson

If you’re a tech junkie who’s constantly tinkering around with web design, digital photography, Ruby on Rails or the latest gadgets, it may be hard for you to take a time-out and pay attention to other important tasks, like getting a job or even grocery shopping. But thanks to these iTunes feeds, you don’t have to compromise any longer. Take your tutorials, videos webisodes and radio shows with you so that you never have to give up tinkering.

Tips and Tutorials

Learn how to do everything from Adobe Photoshop to iPhone hacking to audio home recording.

  1. Systm: Subscribe to this feed to learn about geek DIY projects.
  2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips: Watch videos sharing tips for using Adobe Photoshop.
  3. The Russell Brown Show: The Russell Brown Show brings you tips and tutorials for Adobe Photoshop.
  4. iPhone Alley: Get tips and hacks for the iPhone from this feed.
  5. Podnutz: Here you can get tips for fixing your computer.
  6. Inside Home Recording: This feed shares tips for studio engineers and musicians who need help with at-home recording.
  7. MAKE: MAKE Magazine supports this feed for ADD techies. Learn how to take apart and recreate all kinds of gadgets.
  8. Pixel Perfect: Learn how to create beautiful digital images with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  9. The Mac Attack: Mac users will benefit from the advice tips, troubleshooting and other guides from this feed.
  10. Learn Excel from MrExcel Video: Bill Jelen shares daily tips for mastering Excel.
  11. TechStuff: This feed answers questions about all things technology, including RSS feeds, cloud gaming, and more.
  12. Adobe Creative Suite: Learn how to use Adobe Creative Suite by following this feed.
  13. Tekzilla: Tekzilla explains how to use and hack your favorite gadgets, and introduces you to new tools.
  14. Mac Tips Daily!: brings all kinds of tips, reviews and guides for using Mac OS X.
  15. Maximum PC No BS: PC users will learn how to use the new tools and trends for their computers.
  16. Apple Quick Tips: This feed features shortcuts and tips for making the most of Apple products and software.
  17. Typical Mac User: Everyday Mac users get tips and reviews in this feed.
  18. Security Now: Get ideas for bolstering your home computer security system here.
  19. The Chris Pirillo Show: Chris Pirillo dispenses advice for web workers and the tech community.
  20. Technology Extras in the Classroom: Learn how to watch out for and address plagiarism and other ethical issues.
  21. Essentials of Info Security: This series will teach you valuable skills and principles in information security and technology security.
  22. Two Minute Tech Tips: This series includes tips for PDF files, image compression and language settings.

Tech News

Keep up with the latest in technology news from these feeds.

  1. CNET News Daily: Get all the tech news of the day from this feed.
  2. GeekSpeak: This show tackles computing, digital video and audio editing, Adobe, hackers, Blu-Ray, and more.
  3. Tech News: Make It Work’s Tech News discusses everything from Internet safety to home theater technology to troubleshooting.
  4. Today in iPhone: Learn about what’s new with the iPhone here.
  5. NYT Tech Talk: Join the New York Times‘ discussion on tech news and Internet trends.
  6. PaulDotCom Security Weekly: Learn about the latest in IT security.
  7. Wall Street Journal Tech News Briefing: Keep up with the WSJ tech discussion here.
  8. NPR Technology: Learn about the technology news, culture and research projects that NPR’s tech team discusses.
  9. Buzz Out Loud: These commentators go over the latest tech news stories.

Web Workers

Web workers will find gossip, trends, tutorials and news from these feeds.

  1. Boagworld Web Design Advice: Professional web designers and developers, as well as website managers, will get news and more from this feed.
  2. The Real Deal: Find out how Twitter, mobile sites and more really work.
  3. The App Podcast: The App Podcast reviews iPhone apps and developers.
  4. Railscasts: Ruby on Rails workers can find tips and advice here.
  5. Web 2.0 and You: A Leadership Perspective: Learn how web tools and Web 2.0 is important in the business world.
  6. What in the World is Moodle?: Find out how Moodle is used in education.
  7. Nine Lessons Learned About Creativity at Google: Get inspired by the innovators at Google through this talk.
  8. Social Networking 3.0: Find out what’s next for social networking sites and trends.
  9. The Technology of Podcasting: Learn more about podcasting here.
  10. Intermediate Web Page Programming: Learn about the "back end" of web development here.

Research and Design

Learn about technology engineering, special research projects and more through these feeds.

  1. FLOSS Weekly: Open source geeks will learn about news and projects here.
  2. Mythbusters: This Discovery Channel feed debunks technology and science myths through old fashioned science projects.
  3. Architectural Design: Types of Design Techniques: Learn about software engineering techniques for embedded systems here. The lecture is in German, but slides are in English.
  4. Phases of a Startup: If you’re thinking about creating your own technology company, listen to this lecture.
  5. The Next Wave of Industry: Global Clean Tech: Find out how technology is going green.
  6. Confessions of a Serial Silicon Valley CEO: Discover what it’s like to be on the cutting edge of technology design and innovation.
  7. iPhone Application Programming: Learn how to develop iPhone apps.
  8. Designing Interactive Systems: Master human-computer interaction and interactive design here.
  9. Introduction to Programming in C#: This introductory-level series of C# programming covers alternation, repetition, and more.
  10. Computer Service and Repair: Learn skills in troubleshooting, maintenance, computer installation and more.
  11. Innovation and Science: This series covers trends and the importance of innovation in science and technology, including open source.
  12. Current Topics in Media Computing and HCI: Topics covered here include matrices, quantification, multitouch surfaces and more.
  13. Survey of 3D Animation: Get an introduction to 3D animation, Maya, character animation and imaging.


This list of iTunes feeds are a must-follow for digital photography masters.

  1. TWiP: This Week in Photography covers trends, products and photographer profiles.
  2. Digital Photography Tips: This feed brings you "non-techy tips" that are easy to follow.
  3. Lightroom for Digital Photographers: In Lightroom for Digital Photographers, photo geeks learn how to use the processing and developing program.
  4. Photoshop for Digital Photographers: Digital photographers will learn how to hack Photoshop through this feed.


Gadget geeks can learn about the newest releases, read reviews on gadgets hitting the market, and more.

  1. Gizmodo and Engadget founders Peter Rojas and Ryan Block host this show to discuss the newest gadget trends.
  2. Gadgettes: CNET’s feed featuring Kelly and Molly shares tips and advice for shopping for the best gadgets.
  3. Engadget: Get reviews and news for all types of gadgets, including laptops, cell phones and other tools.
  4. Gadget Pr0n: Gadget Pr0n reviews products from LG, Sharp, Garmin, Dell, Apple and more.
  5. PCMag Radio: This show reviews technology trends and choice products.
  6. GeekBrief.TV: This show from Cali Lewis highlights new gadgets and technology trends.
  7. Daily GizWiz: This show highlights a new gadget every day.
  8. Cool Tools: This DIY Network show has its own iTunes feed, too.
  9. Howcast Tech and Gadgets: This feed covers everything from using Twitter to selling on eBay to fixing laptops.
  10. Gadgets 3: This feed explores novelty gadgets and the tools that have staying power.


Find out about the latest trends to break into the market through these feeds.

  1. Future Trends: American Public Media’s feed discusses "the social impact of computers."
  2. TWiT: This Week in Tech is an award-winning feed that keeps you up to date on the latest trends in tech.
  3. Cranky Geeks: PC Magazine contributing editor John C. Dvorak leads the discussion about "the most controversial topics in tech."
  4. Slashdot Review: Slashdot reviews the tech news stories and trends of the day.
  5. Buzz Report: Subscribe to this CNET feed to learn about the products that are getting the most buzz.
  6. DiggNation: Talk about web culture and the stories that dominate Digg.
  7. [email protected]: Amber MacArthur’s feed discusses only the coolest, most news-worthy trends in the online world.
  8. Trends and Concepts in the Software Industry: Discover how software trends impact the business world, and vice versa.
  9. The Future of the Internet: This series is from 2008, but it still poses intriguing questions and hypotheses about ownership, the global network, and more.
  10. Loaded: Loaded covers new technology trends and rumors.


Apple geeks can catch up on Mac news and hacks here.

  1. For Mac Eyes Only: Learn about the newest projects and releases from Mac.
  2. MacBreak: These episodes, hosted by Leo Laporte and Alex Lindsay discuss all things Mac, from apps to hardware.
  3. The Apple Byte: This feed debunks Apple myths and gossip while bringing you news and projects from Apple.
  4. Late Night Cocoa: Cocoa developers get tips and news here.
  5. The Mac Cast: This show is just for Mac geeks who want to learn about Mac gossip, releases and more.

Miscellaneous Computers

Find feeds about cybercrime, Windows Vista and more right here.

  1. CyberSpeak’s Podcast: Learn about cybercrime from two former federal agents.
  2. ComputerTV Product Videos and Reviews: Get reviews and discussions about computer gadgets here.
  3. Windows Weekly: Windows users can subscribe to this feed to learn about new tools and projects.
  4. Hak5: Through this atypical feed, you’ll learn about open source, DIY projects, network security and more.
  5. Leo Laporte – The Tech Guy: Leo Laporte explains tech issues and computer stories on this national radio show.

Fun and Extras

This list features even more awesome iTunes feeds for techies, covering digital technology and culture, innovation, and more.

  1. Technorama: This mish mash of sci-fi, tech and science features substantial episodes.
  2. RetroMacCast: Mac geeks will have fun reminiscing about the good old days while watching these episodes.
  3. Engines of Our Ingenuity: This fun history of technology explores epic failures and the good times, too.
  4. Digital Planet: Explore how digital technology affects culture, society and more.
  5. The 404: The 404 is a fun feed that takes on the lighter side of technology and tech culture.
  6. Delivering Technology Training in a Manner That Works: Those who need to design technology training systems may want to check out this feed.
  7. Girls and Science: Find out how girls contribute to and are affected by science and technology classes and the greater industry.
  8. Xbox Lie’s Major Nelson Radio: Catch up with what’s new in the Xbox world.
  9. What’s New Now: This twice-weekly feed covers tech news.
  10. BusinessWeek Technology: Let BusinessWeek brief you on the latest technology stories.
  11. G4 Videogame Trailers: Discover the newest video games here.
  12. TechToys Video: Watch this feed to discover the latest tech toys from Japan.

50 Awesome Online Lectures for Social Media Masters

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

By Olivia Coleman

Social media addicts and the developers, designers and business managers who run social media sites have totally revolutionized the way the rest of us get our news, network, promote our businesses, and connect with (and meet) friends. It has come a long way since it was first launched as a MySpace 2.0 for college students – now everyone from working professionals to high school students are getting in on the action. Students attending online universities are jumping into the social media bandwagon as a means to network in their field and stay connected to classmates all while working from home.

If you think you’re a social media smarty-pants, check out this list of 50 awesome online lectures dealing with social psychology, member-driven community structure, identity, etiquette, and marketing. You will be amazed to learn how social media is changing the way we learn, do business, socialize, and entertain ourselves.


These general guides deal with Facebook hacks, page views, social media careers, and more.

  1. Finding High Quality Content in Social Media: Carlos Castillo from Yahoo! Research Barcelona shares tips on digging through social media sites to find quality information and items.
  2. A Large-Scale Study of MySpace: Observations and Implications of Online Social Networks: Here you’ll learn about spam, online deception and MySpace.
  3. Facebook Pages and Media Hacks: This podcast shares hacks for building up your Facebook profile.
  4. The Facebook Effect: This short video considers how Facebook has evolved to compete with MySpace and offer so many marketing and networking tools.
  5. Social Media in Plain English: This video offers up a metaphor for the birth of social media, especially social bookmarking sites.
  6. A Career in Social Media: Find out what it’s like to work in social media as an editor, blogger and consultant.
  7. Politics and Social Media: This presentation from professionals from the University of Washington, Seattle Times and Microsoft Research explores the relationship between social media and politics.
  8. What makes a social media expert an expert?: Find out what it takes to become a real social media expert here.
  9. Even Poor Kids are Social Network Savvy: Read the transcript or listen to the podcast to learn how social media has reached all demographics and helps educate children on technology.
  10. 2009 Social Media Predictions: See if you agree with what this man has to say about the new trends for 2009 in social media.

Marketing and Analysis

Learn all about the marketing techniques and data that drive social media promotion and profit.

  1. Graph Mining Techniques for Social Media Analysis: Mary McGlohon from Carnegie Mellon University explains the purpose of and basic techniques for graph mining for social media.
  2. How to Create a Social Media Strategy: Here you’ll learn about developing a smart strategy for standing out online.
  3. World Wide Rave: David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR discusses new trends in digital marketing and consumer generated media.
  4. PubCon South: What’s Happening with Social Media and Business?: Discover how businesses are figuring out how to use social media for marketing.
  5. Social Media Marketing: This Q&A session is all about marketing trends and techniques.
  6. How to Create a Buzz Using Social Media Tools: This intense video shares tips for cutting through the noise, staying relevant and staying competitive in the overpopulated social media universe.
  7. Social Media Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Video Sharing: Learn about these social media marketing platforms.
  8. New Rules of Marketing: Learn about cause marketing, basic PR and social media marketing in this podcast.
  9. Social Media Marketing Strategies with Search Engine Optimization: Get SEO tips for boosting page views and more.
  10. Digital Podcast 45: How to Make Social Networking Profitable: Help your company profit from all your social media marketing and networking.


Here you’ll find lectures that share tips for networking and remaining competitive.

  1. The Secret of Social Media Success: Here you’ll learn how to develop and achieve your social media goals.
  2. Is Social Media in YOUR Company’s DNA?: This podcast explains why social media is so valuable to companies.
  3. Networking with Social Media and Strategies that Generate Leads: Learn about the best networking strategies for social media.
  4. Capitalize on Social Media: Get tips for bolstering your reputation and promoting yourself with social media.
  5. Second Life and Social Media: Networking Goldmine or Time Sink?: Discover whether or not Second Life is actually worth it for networking.
  6. Facebook Social Media Optimization: Learn how to use Facebook for promotion and networking.
  7. Social Networking Tools Simplified: Discover which social networking tools are most worth your time.
  8. Social Networking + Social Media + Social Bookmarking = Traffic: Get more traffic by implementing these online networking techniques.
  9. Social Networking and the Value of User Communities for Technical Communicators: This podcast looks at social networking generally, and as a tool that can help technical communicators connect with customers.
  10. Social Media 101 – Intro to 8 Key Tips to Get Noticed Among the Noise: This series of videos helps you figure out how to find your niche and get your message out to the world.

Structure, Etiquette and Identity

Discover the fundamental building blocks of social media in these lectures, including social theory, identity perception, projection, basic structure and more.

  1. Wikipedia Self-Governance in Action: Motivating the Policy Lens: Learn about Wikipedia’s social structure in this lecture.
  2. Space Planning for Online Community: This Microsoft project goes over strategies and principles for organizing communities online.
  3. What elements of an online social networking profile predict target-rater agreement in personality?: Consider how profiles and online identities attract each other online and in social history.
  4. WhoAmI — A Web 2.0 Platform for Faceted Identity Management through Aggregation of Social Media: This 10-minute lecture explores how identity is created and shared through social media.
  5. Social dimension of social media: This lecturer wonders why there is little to no relationship structure in social media.
  6. Will Monetization Models for Social Media Ever Come?: These professionals wonder why sites like YouTube and Twitter still haven’t figured out a way to make money.
  7. What’s New in Social Media?: This video highlights what’s new in social news and bookmarking sites, as well as new trends in social media company structure.
  8. Utilize Social Media But Don’t Forget to Manage It: Lisa Buyer of The Buyer Group shares tips on staying organized and effective while using social media.
  9. Built for Conversation: The interaction of design of social media: This hour-length video argues that social media networks "can only be effectively guided by means of a researched and learned examination of social psychology."
  10. Social Networks 3.0: LinkedIn is used as a model example for how social networks continue to evolve, in terms of structure, features and managing identity.
  11. How to Build a Community Website: This technical guide will help you create a member-driven website.

Media Trends

Learn how some social media outlets and trends are starting to outshine traditional media sources.

  1. Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia on the Future Brand Building with Consumer Media: "The Wikipedia guy" Jimmy Wales talks about the future of consumer-generated media.
  2. Exploring Social Media Scenarios for the Television: Noor Ali-Hasan from Microsoft explores the interactivity trends prevalent online and how they can be adjusted for TV.
  3. Finding Influencers and Consumer Insights in the Blogosphere: Discover who creates trends in the blogosphere.
  4. Using Blogs to Provide Context for News Articles: Continue the debate about the relationship between blogs and traditional news media.
  5. The moment when social media became the news: This lecturer discusses how social media is now considered a primary news source, in some cases.
  6. Amsterdam plane crash: Twitter, social media and the anatomy of disaster: As Twitter users continue to break news faster than the traditional media, consider the pros and cons of democratic news sharing.
  7. Social Media and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election: Take a look at how social media impacted the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
  8. Science and Social Media: Nancy Shute from U.S. News and World Report encourages science writers to use Twitter and other social media outlets.
  9. Twitter a Hot Topic and mb’s ‘Journalists and Social Media’ Panel:’s panel includes reporters and professionals from NPR,, PressThink, The Daily Beast and others, all of whom came together to talk about why social media is important for journalists.

100 Excellent Websites for Exploring the Ocean Online

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

By Megan Jones

The ocean is a beautiful and wondrous place, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to study it not just in person, but also online. Through various interactive sites, photo and video galleries, learning tools, and more, you can get a good look at the wild blue yonder without ever leaving your seat. Read on to find 100 great websites that will help you do just that.

Exploration & Expeditions

Get to go along with various explorations and expeditions through these websites.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Explorations: Here you’ll be able to follow the explorations of the NOAA.
  2. Google Earth: Google Earth will take you beneath the surface to see the Mariana Trench, explore with National Geographic and BBC, and more.
  3. Living Fossils of the Deep: Go on an exploration of the Bahamian Seafloor through this expedition.
  4. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Online Expeditions: You can join the explorers of WHOI on these online expeditions.
  5. Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will show you multimedia from a variety of explorations.
  6. The Voyage of the Odyssey: This interactive site from PBS allows you to experience the life of scientists and crew onboard the whale research vessel Odyssey.
  7. Cousteau Society Expeditions: On the Cousteau Society website, you can follow their expeditions.
  8. Dive and Discover: Be a part of expeditions to the sea floor on Dive and Discover.
  9. Search for the Giant Squid: Follow the Smithsonian Institute on their search for the giant squid.
  10. UN Atlas of the Oceans: Through this information system, you can learn about uses, issues, geography, and more.


Oceanography students and enthusiasts will enjoy these photographs of the sea, its creatures, and more through these photo galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Photo Gallery: See The NOAA’s explorations in photos here.
  2. Ocean–Above and Below: Check out this collection to see seascapes, marine life, and more.
  3. Ocean Living Photo Gallery: See ocean creatures and more through this photo gallery from the Smithsonian National Zoo.
  4. Image of the Day: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution offers a new ocean image every day.
  5. Wolcott Henry: Wolcott Henry’s website has portraits of marine life, conservation photography, and more.
  6. Ocean Oddities and Regular Residents: See the ocean’s road less traveled through these images.
  7. MUMM North Sea: This gallery offers a look at the North Sea.
  8. Wild Ocean Photo: Wild Ocean Photo offers a look at tiny creatures and blue water.
  9. Under the Ocean: This collection is exclusive to photographs under the surface of the ocean.
  10. National Biological Information Infrastructure Digital Image Library: Find nature, including oceans, in this digital image library.
  11. Deep Sea Images: Deep Sea Images offers photo stock of natural history images.
  12. Sea & Ocean: This group is full of the ocean, ports, beaches, and more.
  13. ARKive: On ARKive, you’ll find a unique collection of images of life on Earth.
  14. Christina Craft Photography: Christina Craft’s gallery is full of photographs from Vancouver Island ferry trips, as well as whale watching trips in British Columbia.
  15. Shuttle Views the Earth: Oceans from Space: See how the oceans look from space through this gallery.
  16. Ocean Conservation Photography: In this group, you’ll see photographs that tell a story about ocean conservation.
  17. Marine Photobank: The Marine Photobank aims to advance ocean conservation through imagery.
  18. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Image Galleries: WHOI offers a variety of images from their ocean work.
  19. Planet Ocean Photography: This photography site is full of galleries containing sharks, sea birds, fish, and more.
  20. Atlantic Ocean: Check out this group to see photographs of the Atlantic Ocean.
  21. National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library: This library is an online vault for high quality images and video clips from national marine sanctuaries.
  22. Ocean Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl’s website offers beautiful images of the ocean in a wide variety of categories.
  23. National Geographic Underwater Photo Galleries: National Geographic has a variety of underwater photo galleries. Currently featured are translucent creatures and underwater wrecks.
  24. MarineBio Photo Gallery: See photographs from MarineBio contributing photographers in this gallery.
  25. Pacific Ocean: Explore the Pacific Ocean through this collection.
  26. BetterPhoto Ocean Gallery: These ocean photographs are simply sublime.
  27. I Love the Ocean: Check out this group to see lots of photos of the world’s oceans.
  28. Living Ocean Gallery: In this gallery, you’ll see vertebrates, invertebrates, and the seafloor.


Learn more about the ocean through these video galleries.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Video Gallery: Check out this gallery to see video from NOAA explorations.
  2. Cousteau on YouTube: See videos from the Cousteau Society here on YouTube.
  3. Oceana Video: Explore the ocean and learn what Oceana is doing to protect the world’s oceans in these videos.
  4. Ocean Footage: Check out this resource to see stock footage video clips from the ocean.
  5. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Video: You’ll see video and animation about ocean life, technology, and WHOI science here.
  6. The Ocean Channel: You can watch documentaries, video, and more on The Ocean Channel.
  7. Ocean Planet: Underwater Flyby: Enjoy an animated tour of the Pacific Ocean from NASA.
  8. USGS Multimedia Gallery Water Collection: This collection features photo and video of water from the US Geological Survey.
  9. NOAA YouTube Video Playlist: Here you’ll find a collection of videos posted on the NOAA Ocean Explorer YouTube channel.
  10. MarineBio Video Library: Check out this video library for expedition galleries and more.
  11. WHOI Web Cams: Watch various WHOI stations in real time with these web cams.
  12. Savage Seas: In Savage Seas from PBS, you’ll experience animations in the wave machine, deep sea simulator, and more.


These audio collections will allow you to hear the sounds of the ocean.

  1. Sound in the Sea: In the NOAA’s Sound in the Sea, you’ll hear audio recordings captured beneath the ocean surface.
  2. Audio Slideshows: Through these audio and image slideshows, you can learn more about WHOI research.
  3. LHS Whale Sounds: Listen to and identify whale sounds in this resource.
  4. The Ocean Project Multimedia Resources: Here, The Ocean Project links to a variety of mp3s.


Learn more about the ocean through these interactive websites.

  1. From Sea to Shining Sea: In this interactive map, you’ll be able to explore America’s oceans.
  2. Virtual Sailor: Hop aboard this simulator to find out what it’s like to experience sailing.
  3. WHOI Jigsaw Puzzles: Complete ocean jigsaw puzzles including a comb jelly, coral, and more here.
  4. Sea and Sky: Play free sea games on this website.
  5. Ocean Climate Interactive: In this interactive site, you can see the systems at work in the ocean’s climate.
  6. Ocean Explorer: In this game, you’ll take underwater photos on a journey to the bottom of the ocean.
  7. MarineBio Ocean Quizzes: Test your knowledge about the ocean with these quizzes.
  8. Indian Ocean Tsunami: Interactive Guides: See how the tsunami happened and more through these interactive guides.
  9. [email protected] Interactive Activities: This collection of interactive activities includes quizzes, crosswords, and word searches.
  10. WHOI Interactives: You can look into whales, submarines, and more in these Flash interactives.
  11. Blue Planet Challenge: Take part in this challenge to learn about habitats and adaptation.
  12. Ocean Challenge Puzzle: Solve the ocean challenge puzzle with players around the globe or in your classroom.
  13. Ocean Adventures: Take on fun and games in this ocean adventure.

Data & Monitoring

Get access to data, current conditions, and more for the ocean on these sites.

  1. Ocean Motion and Surface Currents: This site from NASA shares currents, temperature, motion, data, and more.
  2. NOS Data Explorer: Search for NOAA Data through the NOS Data Explorer.
  3. NASA Ocean Surface Topography Multimedia: View multimedia from the ocean surface here, courtesy of NASA.
  4. NOAA Shoreline: You can learn about shoreline data through this website.
  5. British Oceanography Data Centre: The BODC makes biological, chemical, physical, and geophysical marine data available for search and download.
  6. National Data Buoy Center: Through the NDBC, you can view data from collecting buoys and coastal stations.
  7. Cente for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science: Cefas provides data on salinity, temperature, waves, health and more.
  8. DChart: This project offers an ocean and weather data navigator.

Learning & Education

Check out these sites for teaching, or just learning about the ocean on your own.

  1. NOAA Ocean Explorer Library: Check out this library to find important resources from the NOAA.
  2. Ocean Mysteries: Check out this resource to learn about some of the mysteries of the deep sea.
  3. Encarta: The World’s Oceans and Seas: Encarta offers information and exploration of the world’s oceans here.
  4. Oceans Alive: Oceans Alive has a variety of resources that you can use to learn about celebrating marine biodiversity and saving our oceans.
  5. MarineBio Facts: Learn fun and little known facts about the ocean from MarineBio.
  6. NOAA Ocean Explorer Maps: See animations, maps, and more of a variety of oceans in this gallery.
  7. WhaleNet: WhaleNet of Wheelock College is an interactive educational website focusing on whales and marine research.
  8. Ocean Literacy: Learn about the essential principles and fundamental concepts of ocean literacy here.
  9. Encyclopedia of Life: The Encyclopedia of Life offers you the ability to research each species of organism in the sea and beyond.
  10. Intute Oceanography Timeline: This timeline features the history of oceanography.
  11. Enchanted Learning: Find the answers to your ocean questions on EnchantedLearning.
  12. The Ocean Portal: Teachers can find learning resources from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History here.
  13. NOAA Learning Objects: From the Monterey Institute, this resource offers learning objects on mid-ocean ridges, deep-sea corals, energy from the oceans, pollution, and more.
  14. Deep Sea Fishes: Find images, species, and more in this biological guide to deep sea fish.
  15. National Ocean Service Education: Find educational activities through this NOS education resource.
  16. The Bridge: The bridge offers a variety of free teacher-approved marine education resources.
  17. Ocean Classroom: Find curriculum, exemplars, and more from the World Ocean Observatory here.
  18. OceanWorld: Texas A&M’s Ocean World brings the ocean to the classroom.
  19. NOAA Ocean Explorer Education: Find excellent teaching resources from this NOAA site.
  20. Contrasts in Blue: Smithsonian in Your Classroom provides a look into life on the Caribbean coral reef and the rocky coast of Maine.
  21. Aquarium of the Pacific: This aquarium has an online learning center that will help you learn about different ocean species.
  22. Ocean Motion Teachers: Check out this resource to learn how you can use Ocean Motion in education.
  23. Planet Ocean: Discovery Education offers an excellent resource for learning about underwater life in Planet Ocean.
  24. Cultural Heritage: The NOAA’s Cultural Heritage site offers a look at artifacts, shipwrecks, and other underwater cultural treasures.
  25. History: Learn about early US ocean exploration from these images.

100 Blogs that Will Save You Time & Make You More Productive

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Today’s busy lifestyles require that everyone put in extra hours when it comes to careers, family, and even free time. Learn how to better manage your time to get more done in less time. The following blogs will help you find ways to become more productive whether it’s at home or work–and no matter what profession you have. Entrepreneurs, professors, students, creatives, technology buffs, and even those just looking for inspiration for productive lives will all find blogs with plenty of information and suggestions to get things done more efficiently.

Productivity for Life

Many of the blogs listed in this section are super popular–and for good reason. The advice found in these blogs includes suggestions for finding time, managing money, creating more time for family, and even finding your happiness.

  1. Stepcase Lifehack. The posts here not only include ways to become more productive, but also offer suggestions to help streamline and enhance your money, technology, work, and more.
  2. Zen Habits. The inspirational posts here cover many ways to make your life more simple and at the same time, enriched. From family time to work to money, you can find great tips here.
  3. SimpleProductivityBlog. Find tips on productivity, simplicity, ways to incorporate technology, and more at this blog.
  4. Productivity in Context. The posts here offer suggestions for boosting your productivity and also provides tools for increasing your organization.
  5. Scott H Young. Written by a student at university, this popular blog offers tons of information to help balance energy, productivity, and life.
  6. Get Everything Done. Mark Forster writes about time management and personal organization on his blog.
  7. Productivity501. Increase your personal productivity with the advice available here with focus on time management, money, organization, and technology.
  8. The Slacker Method. The tips on this blog are all referred to as "Slacker Method for…" but they are truly just productive ways to manage your day-to-day tasks with tips on everything from getting ready for work in the morning to measuring without a ruler.
  9. Productive Flourishing. This blog is for those who are too busy to try out new productivity systems and need suggestions that affect them immediately. Check out the recent Beyond Productivity series to see what many productivity gurus have been discussing.
  10. Dumb Little Man. Productivity, saving money, and staying sane are the focus of the posts at this popular blog.
  11. Marc and Angel Hack Life. Get tips for personal productivity with this blog.
  12. parent hacks. No one needs to find more time in the day than busy parents, and this blog helps with great tips. Check out the mean maraca tip for dealing with road rage–even non-parents could use this one.
  13. The Cranking Widgets Blog. Personal productivity is the focus of this popular blog with recent posts including disconnecting from the computer, too much work killing productivity, and being a career renegade.
  14. Nick Pagan. With topics such as procrastination, GTD, and cleaning the mind of clutter, this advice at this blog can boost your productivity.
  15. Productivity 101. Lifehacking, GTD, and personal productivity are at the heart of the posts at this blog.
  16. An Extra Hour Every Day. This blog offers great suggestions for saving time and boosting productivity for work, travel, and home.
  17. Tools for Thought. Find ways to change your thinking, behavior, and habits to make positive changes to increase productivity with the tips and information here.
  18. Matthew Cornell. This productivity consultant offers advice for personal and work productivity on his blog.
  19. Ian’s Messy Desk. Get suggestions ranging from risk-taking to mind-mapping to ways to keep a journal with this blog that offers ideas to boost productivity.

Productivity Specifically for Work

While many productivity blogs focus on both personal productivity and productivity at work, these blogs specialize in the work variety.

  1. Productivity Cafe. Learn tips to increase your productivity at work with the advice at this blog.
  2. Organize IT. This blog features organization, personal development, and more to help boost productivity at work to make more time for life.
  3. Business Hacks. From writing great resumes to effective note-taking, this blog offers great advice to creating a more productive work life.
  4. GTD Times. Authorized by David Allen, the founder of Getting Things Done, this blog focuses on GTD in a business environment and also provides a heavy dose of technology and GTD.
  5. The Queen of KAOS. For those who work at home, this blog offers tips for time management, productivity, working with kids in the house, goal-setting, and more.

Productivity for Creatives

If you are a creative type, these blogs are for you and offer plenty of suggestions for ways to work and live more productively.

  1. 43 Folders. This blog is devoted to helping spark creativity while increasing productivity at work.
  2. LifeClever. This blog for designers focuses on creativity and productivity in both life and work.
  3. LifeDev. Devoted to empowering creative types, topics include taking care of your body to boost your brain power and ways to boost creativity.
  4. Presentation Zen. If your professional life requires you make presentations, then you must read this blog. From technology to creativity, the tips here are invaluable.
  5. A List Apart. Web designers can find plenty of advice about creating effective websites with this blog.
  6. Eirik Solheim approaches photography and marketing with a less-is-more approach that he shares with the posts in his blog.
  7. Escape from Cubical Nation. For those creatives trying to break out on their own, this blog offers constructive advice and suggestions to help make the switch to a productive and liberating work experience.
  8. David Seah. The explorative and insightful posts on this blog offer new ways for creatives to think about goals, productivity, and more.

Productivity with Technology

Technology provides so many ways to help people make the most of their time. These blogs provide great advice for ways to incorporate technology into your life to save time and work more efficiently.

  1. Lifehacker. With an emphasis on the high tech, this blog offers tons of suggestions for making work and life more productive.
  2. Gizmodo. While some technology works opposite of productivity, most of the fun gadgets and apps found here will help you live and work more productively–or at least more technically connected.
  3. Hack the Day. This blog promotes personal productivity, ideas for easier computer usage, and software to make life easier.
  4. My Stuff for Getting Things Done. This blog provides tips for getting things done with a special focus on lifehacks and technology.
  5. Smart Productivity. Written by a software engineer, this blog on productivity and GTD has a definite technological edge to it.
  6. Technotheory. This blog strives to bring technology to it’s readers in hopes of improving productivity and happiness.
  7. Did I Get Things Done. This GTD blog offers plenty of tech solutions to aid in your goal of getting it all done.
  8. Wild Apricot Blog. Productivity for organizations through technology is the theme of this blog.
  9. A simple matter of…. With a unique combination of productivity tips and programming tips, those who work in technology can gain plenty of helpful information.
  10. Signal vs. Noise. A blog of 37 Signals, the posts here cover a wide range including technology, design, simplicity, and the surrounding culture.


Many of these blogs teach techniques for entrepreneurs that will help them become better at a specific aspect of the whole business. Some focus on copywriting, others on marketing, and others on communication. Follow this advice and your productivity and time saved will increase by doing things more efficiently and correctly.

  1. Dave Cheong. This software engineer is working towards entrepreneurship and offers plenty of tips to help your entrepreneurial endeavors as well.
  2. Copyblogger. If online marketing is your gig, then you won’t want to miss the copywriting tips available on this blog.
  3. How to Change the World. Guy Kawasaki writes this blog that helps entrepreneurs with topics such as the value of neatness, making the most of collaborative environments, and increasing the value of learning.
  4. Brand Autopsy. This marketing guru passes along plenty of advice to help you cut to the chase when it comes to marketing your products.
  5. Create Your Communications Experience. Bert Decker shares ways to effectively use communication (both written and spoken) to enhance your leadership and business.
  6. Seth’s Blog. Seth Godin offers practical and simple advice to implement effective marketing techniques for your business.
  7. Delightful Work. This blog covers ways to free up time, expressing yourself, putting your vision into practice and more as you move from employee to self-employed.
  8. Careerjolt. While not specifically for entrepreneurs, this blog does offer plenty of advice that business owners and managers alike can use.
  9. Learn This. Leadership, self-education, and successful living are the focus of this blog. Recent topics include humility of leadership, giving direction, and accepting mistakes.
  10. Productivity in Context. Stephen shares his knowledge for leadership, GTD, and productivity for those making their way in the business world.

Productivity in Academia

Whether you are a professor or grad student, you will find helpful information in these blogs especially designed to make your academic life more efficient, productive, and easier to live.

  1. Academic Productivity. Those in academia, whether instructor or student, will find helpful suggestions on increasing productivity, meeting deadlines, and more.
  2. Academhack. From access to inexpensive, yet legal, texts to the debate about wireless in the classroom to free academic email accounts, this blog doesn’t shy away from potentially controversial topics when making suggestions for academic productivity.
  3. Academic Commons. With a focus on technology and liberal arts education, this site seeks to connect those in academia with innovative ways to improve education.
  4. Academic Lifehacker. This blog provides tips and software to help make scholarship more efficient for both students and professors.
  5. Getting Things Done in Academia. Specifically for grad students, this blog offers suggestions for "creativity, scholarship, communication, and time management."
  6. High Touch. With an emphasis on technology and social media, this blog offers insight as well as tips for streamlining your processes.
  7. Productive Scholar. Backing up files, ways to use commute time efficiently, creating great presentations with LaTeX, and portable apps for students are some of the more recent posts on this blog.
  8. Tomorrow’s Professor Blog. MIT and Stanford have created this blog to help facilitate discussion on issues surrounding higher education.
  9. academic coach. Specifically geared toward grad students, recent grads seeking faculty positions, and tenure-track faculty, this blog offers news and advice about succeeding in the academic world.
  10. Professor Time’s Weblog. From creating a supply box that goes along to class with your laptop to grading strategies, this blog has great suggestions for saving time and being more productive.
  11. Proto-Scholar. With tips for productivity to learning to navigate the world of academia, this PhD student shares the journey and lessons learned.

For Students Only

These blogs are specifically for students and offer great suggestions for ways to make the most of your high school or college time and prepare you for a strong future.

  1. HackCollege. College students can learn plenty of helpful tips including helpful technology, surviving the first semester of college, and hangover-hacking.
  2. Gearfire. Learn how to print your own specialized paper, learn about great time-saving web tools, and even get efficient travel suggestions at this blog devoted to helping students succeed.
  3. School is a Game. Providing plenty of tips to help students compete and get ahead, this blog approaches school achievement as a game that you can win.
  4. Students can find study tips, productivity ideas, and more to help ensure scholastic success.
  5. Study Hacks. Get great ideas for ways to boost your productivity when it comes to your school work with ideas such as using free time wisely, learning what to quit, and how to get through difficult courses.
  6. Welcome to the Dr. Wizard Group. Dr. Wizard posts advice for college students in this blog.
  7. Grad Hacker. Specifically aimed at grad students, but offering great advice for anyone wanting to boost productivity, this blog offers lots of great suggestions.
  8. That College Kid. With an eye on technology, this blog features plenty of ways college students can work more efficiently.
  9. Surviving College. Ideas at this blog range from setting goals to keeping in touch to decorating with freebies.
  10. The Students’ Blog. From finding affordable workspaces to useful student websites to staying productive over the summer, this blog offers plenty of ideas to keep college students on track and working efficiently.
  11. University Scholar. Recently undergoing a facelift, this blog will focus on ways to get the most out of your education to prepare for your future.
  12. Zen College Life. From keeping healthy to helpful iPhone apps to rewards for reaching goals, this blog is devoted to simplifying college life.
  13. The Good Habits Blog. A spin-off of the book by the same name, this blog covers good habits that students can follow to help ensure their success.


Staying organized at home and at the office is a huge boost to productivity and time-management. Take the suggestions from these blogs to get rid of clutter, both physically and mentally, and keep your life organized.

  1. Unclutterer. Learn how to unclutter your space and keep it that way with topics covering issues such as downsizing your house, keeping photos organized, and real-life clutter make-overs.
  2. Apartment Therapy. Living in a small space doesn’t mean you have to live under a bunch of clutter. This blog offers stylish and useful ways to transform your small space.
  3. Remodelista. With a focus on simple, uncluttered living space, this blog offers suggestions as well as places to purchase items to keep your living space streamlined and functional.
  4. Everlasting Designs. This blog has the bonus of not only showing readers ways to simplify and declutter their surroundings, but their habits and attitudes as well.
  5. Virtually Organized. Find out how to get rid of clutter, stop procrastinating, better manage your time, and more at this blog.
  6. Get Organized Wizard. Learn how to organize all the different parts of your life with the suggestions from this professional organizer.
  7. The Organized Life. Get tips of the week archived at this blog, which is an extension of Emily Wilska’s website and business.
  8. Jeri’s Organizing & Decluttering News. From unwanted gifts to coat stands to organizing the bath tub, you’ll find plenty of ways to organize your living space with this blog.
  9. This blog offers simple suggestions for getting your mind in the right frame to sharpen your organizational skills. The posts prompt you to think about color, ways to organize your books, and suggestions for cleaning out your closets.
  10. Creative Organizing Blog. Get tips for creative ways to organize your space, suggestions for books to help organize your life, and more.
  11. It’s Not About Your Stuff. Understand the psychology behind why you clutter with the information and suggestions from this blog. While the posts here have slowed, the archives are timely and worth reading.
  12. The Clutter Diet Blog. Get tons of organizing tips from Lorie Marrero. Recent tips include how to manage "high calorie" clutter, planning ahead, and goal-setting.

Productivity through Inspiration

These blogs provide inspiration for your mind and soul so you can approach the daily tasks of your life in a centered state of mind. Find out how much more productively you work when your mind is at peace by reading these blogs.

  1. The Happiness Project. Finding your happiness will improve how you work and live. This blog reports Gretchen Rubin’s experiments to find the best ways of attaining happiness through practical living.
  2. My Bad Habits. Learn how to change from bad habits to good habits and stick with that change by reading the helpful advice at this blog.
  3. Pick the Brain. Personal productivity, motivation, and self-education are the focus of this blog.
  4. The tips at this blog focus on self-improvement with topics that include ways to create your own success and reaching goals.
  5. Lyved. Focus on the positive with the articles found on this blog that offer suggestions for personal improvement in life and work.
  6. Illuminated Mind. Find your energy and inspiration from the posts at this blog that focus on following dreams, letting go of the unnecessary, and more.
  7. On Simplicity. Learn ways to simplify your life, both physically and mentally, and make the most of your time.
  8. Awake @ the Wheel. With topics such as the lie of needing a life purpose, choosing between money and living, and the power of less, this blog will help you find inspiration to make the best choices for your life.
  9. communicatrix. Living by the idea that people learn best through biography, this blogger shares her life lessons in hopes of educating and inspiring her readers.
  10. Share Yoga Blog. Find meditation, inspiration, yoga, and more at this blog.
  11. This blog covers such a wide range that you can find tips for students, ways to build an emergency fund, relationship advice, and life lessons.
  12. Think Simple Now. Read about ways to simplify your life and achieve happiness with the tips at this blog.

50 Awesome Semantic Apps for Educators

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

The semantic web has been touted as the next great frontier on the Internet. Teaching computers to understand how the human brain categorizes and thinks is at the heart of this concept and promises to open the doors to easier and more efficient access to information on the Internet. For educators, this means that information available to students is of a higher caliber than what is sometimes available with traditional web applications. While this field is just starting to grow, there are several applications available right now of which educators can take advantage. From web browsing to research to blogging to collaboration, these apps will provide a taste of what may be on the horizon with the semantic web in education.

Web Browsing

Browsing the web can be difficult at times when you get bogged down in junk websites or dead links. These apps will enhance your browsing experience.

  1. BlueOrganizer. Add this button to your toolbar to start shortcuts based off your browsing history. Also, as you visit websites, BlueOrganizer inserts SmartLinks on your page that give you information on books, music, and movies relevant to what you are researching. You can also manage the things you find during your Internet searches and get widgets.
  2. SnapShots. When you add this app to your browser, you will get small windows as you hover over links that preview what is on that link. You can also add this to your blog to allow readers to preview and links you’ve included in your posts.
  3. Appalachian. Appalachian manages several OpenIDs to ease browsing and logging in to sites. This Firefox add-on can be especially useful in the classroom where logging in with many students could be a problem.
  4. Piggy Bank. Rather than bookmarking entire webpages, this Firefox add-on will allow you to save only the information you are interested in keeping from the websites you visit. The saved information can also be shared–a feature that is perfect for class projects.
  5. Gnosis. Use this app to get more information from the websites you visit. As you are reading, hover over identified topics to find out more information about them as provided by reputable sources such as BBC News, Google Finance, MSNBC, and Wikipedia. This browser extension can be used with both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
  6. headup. Combine content from several popular web services and enhance your browsing capabilities with this add-on. headup is currently in private beta, so you will need to request an invitation to us this app.
  7. Juice. Firefox users will enjoy this app that allows you to highlight text or video, then gives you relevant information about your highlighted material. You can also save and organize your information.
  8. Interclue. This Firefox add-on allows you to roll over a link while you are browsing the web and get a preview before you click on the link. This is a great tool to prevent clicking on dead links or links to sites with malware.
  9. Thumbstrips. Another Firefox add-on, this app provides you with a rolling strip of thumbnail images of the websites you’ve visited from your browsing history. Not only is this visual easier to use than the text form of the history, it is also a good way to keep tabs on what other users have been browsing when you have a computer used by more than one person.
  10. CoolPreviews. Similar to Interclue, this Firefox add-on previews websites before you click on them. It also includes a feature that allows you to email the link of the previewed websites to others with just a simple click.

General Web Searching and Research

Whether you are looking for resources for the classroom or your students are working on a project, these sources of information will make your searches more relevant and much quicker.

  1. Hakia. This popular search engine uses semantic technology and only accesses credible websites that are recommended by librarians.
  2. [true knowledge]. While this search engine is in beta, you can sign up to help the creators test it. If you want something a little more immediate, try their Quiz Bot that finds answers to your questions.
  3. DBpedia. Find information in Wikipedia with sophisticated questions with this app. Just recently, DBpedia expanded to be linked with Freebase.
  4. Powerset. Enter a topic, phrase, or question to find information from Wikipedia with this app. Your search results will include articles related to your search terms and often a direct answer to your question. You can also search by a person’s name and find fast facts about that person from all across Wikipedia.
  5. Zotero. This Firefox add-on helps you organize your research material by collecting, managing, and citing any references you want during your Internet research.
  6. Freebase. This community-powered database includes information on millions of topics. Search Freebase to get useful information and not the junk that sometimes comes with typical search engines. You can also contribute information as a member.
  7. Stumpedia. This "human powered" search engine relies on its users to index, organize, and review information coming from the Internet. Rather than relying on automated rankings, your search results here will be thoughtfully compiled by real people.
  8. Evri. This search engine relies on semantic technology to provide you with relevant results from articles, papers, blogs, images, audio, and video on the Internet.
  9. Gnod. Search for books, music, movies and people with this search engine that remembers your interests and focuses the search results on those things you are more likely to enjoy.
  10. Kartoo. Enter your keyword and you will receive a visual map of all the different topics that pertain to your keyword. Hover your mouse over each and you will see a thumbnail of the website along with a short description of the site.
  11. Boxxet. Search for what interests you and you will get results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more. Type in your keyword and in addition to the latest news on the topic, you will also receive search results, online collections, and more.
  12. Quintura. Enter your search terms and watch a cloud of related terms appear at the left while a list of links comes up on the right. Hover over one of the words or phrases in the cloud to get a whole new list of links. This search engine eliminates having to click through several spots to find what you want.

Specialized Research

With everything from medical publications to geography to politics to rhyming words, these resources for finding information on the Internet are sure to provide you and your students with exactly what you need.

  1. Citeline. Publish bibliographies and other citation collections online with this app. If you are a Zotero user, you can even install their Zotz add-on to have these two apps work together.
  2. GoPubMed. Search by keyword to find articles published in PubMed with this search engine. You can read the abstracts as well as organize and collect articles and link to the full articles.
  3. Gist. Enter search terms and find Reuters news stories enhanced with video, interactive graphs, and more. This amped-up news source is a great way to stay abreast of current events.
  4. NextBio. This search engine focuses solely on life sciences. You can search, compare your data, and even collaborate with others using this app.
  5. Daylife. Stay on top of breaking news with this semantic-powered site that offers some of the best global news stories. You can also get photos, articles, quotes, and more.
  6. Silobreaker. Silobreaker is a great tool to show how news and people in the news impacts the global culture. In addition to current stories, you can get maps, graphs of trends, networks of related people or topics, fact sheets, and more.
  7. geonames. Type in a place name anywhere around the world and get information such as population, altitude, latitude, and longitude. Click on the place name and you can get even more information including natural and man-made landmarks and a map.
  8. Enter your zip code into this tool and it will search across several different websites to collect data about the politics specific to your area. Once you get the information, you can then chose to take action by signing petitions or find out who to write and you can connect with others to start a movement for a cause close to your heart.
  9. Use this tool to keep track of everything going on in Congress. Research members of Congress, bills, who voted for what, and learn about Congressional committees.
  10. CIA-The World Fact Book. Get profiles of all the countries in the world as well as maps, flags, and much more within The World Fact Book.
  11. U.S. Census Bureau. Find all types of information about population, businesses, and people and they way they function within the United States with this government-sponsored tool.
  12. WordNet. Type in a word (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb only) and you will receive not only a definition for the word, but synonyms as well. Check out the FAQ section to learn how to cite your findings in a paper, the way this database of English words has grown, and more.
  13. RhymeZone. A fun tool for anyone struggling to find a rhyming word, this tool–that borrows its results from WordNet–also provides synonyms, antonyms, homophones, and plenty of other fun ways to play with words.


These apps will help your blogs become a better source of information for your readers as well as provide opportunities for your blog reading to become a more dynamic experience.

  1. Yahoo! Shortcuts. This app will help you create a more dynamic blog with more information available for your reader. As you compose your blog post, Shortcuts offers suggestions for photos and badges that you can incorporate into your blog.
  2. Lingospot. This app works similarly to Yahoo! Shortcuts, but also allows you to include related posts from your blog archives and liven up your blogroll.
  3. seesmic. This microblog uses videos to communicate rather than text posts. Using privacy settings, an entire class can communicate via video clips that are easy to create. As a class, you can explore videos from around the world in any number of languages.
  4. Tagaroo. Enhance your WordPress blog with this plug-in that allows you to add relevant tags and photos to your blog posts.
  5. MyBlogLog. Either allow your blog to record photos of participating visitors or have your photo added when you visit blogs. This app is a great way for building community through blogs.

Collaborating and Connecting with Others

From mindmapping to sharing data to finding information on people, these tools will help you and your students work together and share information much more easily.

  1. Text2Mindmap. Type in text as you brainstorm ideas for whatever project you are creating and this app will create a network of hubs using that text. This tool makes mind mapping a snap.
  2. Swirrl. This web-based app allows you to collect and share data, documents, ideas, and more. While this app works similarly to a wiki, it has features that take it a step further to better enhance your collaboration abilities.
  3. Twine. With Twine you can search for information, collect what you find, share with others, and even get recommendations from Twine on other resources. You can also find other people with similar interests and see what they have to offer from their collections.
  4. This collaborative site offers shared knowledge from its members through forums, blogs, and shared websites. You can participate in this private beta by emailing your contact information.
  5. Talk Digger. Find out what other people are saying about web sites, blogs, and specific topics with this app. A free registration is required to use this app.
  6. spock. Find anyone on the web through blogs, pictures, social networks, and websites with this app. You can search by name, email, location, or keyword.

The Fun Stuff

After all that hard work, everyone deserves a little reward. These fun apps offer constructive and instructive ways to have fun on the Internet.

  1. gwap. Play these five games and not only do you have a little fun, but your results from the games are actually used to help the search engines better understand the way the human mind works. You can enjoy some fun and help build the semantic web at the same time.
  2. TripIt. Whether you are planning to go away for a conference or you are counting the days until vacation, this app will help you plan every aspect of your trip from the flight to the itinerary as if you had a personal assistant overseeing your plans.
  3. musicmesh. Visit this site and music from your browsing history pops up with information from all the albums of a particular artist. Look at playlists, read reviews, find out where to purchase the music, and even add it to your favorites list.
  4. Glue. Search popular sites about anything from books to actors to stocks and you will see who else has visited these same topics and what they thought about them.