So how can you feel the true potential and benefit of using twitter? And how can you fully realize it’s impact on your personal learning?
As Frank commented “the secret is to create a sizable enough network for twitter to make sense or to “get” it”. Unfortunately most new users don’t have the sizable network, established personal connections with followers or skills at using twitter clients to leverage twitter power.
Yesterday Linda, one of my new twitter followers, asked:
Realizing responses would be limited and not show twitter power I decided to utilize my sizable twitter network to show her and convince others of the value of twitter. Plus it’s an excellent idea for a follow up to Are You Twittering? Here’s How I Use Twitter post.
- Be very, very careful; use the force wisely.
- Don’t use twitter for only asking questions — you need to build rapport with your twitter network by balancing your tweets with mundane/absurd aspects of your life while also making an effort to help others.
- Asking her question, following up responses, is something I limit to “Once in blue moon” because you can incur twitter penalties and friendly remembers to consider others.
Of 560 followers I received 24 responses to “What Web 2.0 tools (apart from Twitter, delicious & Flickr) people find indispensable? Name your best 3?” which I added to Favorite to make it easier to compile the results.
Best part of this question is everyone has different favorite tool so you’re introduced to new ones or ones you haven’t paid enough attention to.
Downside for people new to Web 2.0 tools is too many choices is overwhelming — my advice — take your time, pick and choose, learn when you have time and don’t be afraid to ask advice from people like me.
My twitter network named so many free Web 2.0 tools, from various tool categories, as their “best 3” that I’ve decided to break the results into a Best of Web 2.0 series to make the information more manageable.
Google has so many great tools which so many people are totally unaware of; tools that are incredibility useful for increasing work productivity, collaborating with others and using with students.
John H. Curry teaches preservice teachers about Google Docs, Gmail, iGoogle, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Apps etc and said they freak out because they had no idea Google had so much. Like so many people, his students thought that Google was a search engine only.
Here are the Google Tools recommended by my Twitter network:
Gmail is a very popular web based email that you can access from any computer. Besides being easy-to-use with massive storage (6591 MB), Gmail includes search which means you can search emails and chats for particular words/terms.
2. Google talk (Gtalk)
Google Talk is Google’s tool for instant messaging (chatting with others) and talking to people (VOIP) using the Internet. If you don’t have a VOIP application, like Google Talk or Skype, on your computer this is a definitely a must – means you can talk or chat to anyone, anywhere, using the Internet, at no cost.
Jo Mcleay also included Gtalk in her 3 best tools. Features I like about GTalk include:
- Ability to search gmail and chat messages for previous conversations
- Integrated into gmail so you can access gtalk using your gmail if you’re another computer
- gtalk client that you can download onto your computer.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application provided by Google. Users can create and edit documents online plus collaborate in real-time with other users.
No more emailing documents back and forth then forgetting who’s done or where you’re all at; it can now be done online.
Use of Google Docs for your work and with students is only limited by your imagination; this is why Jo Mcleay, John H. Curry, Awyatt and Ken Pendergrass are all included Google docs in their 3 best tools.
Check out these video tutorials on how to use Google Documents (link twittered by Liz Davis) or this how-to guide (link twittered by Kate Olson). Here is Tom Barrett’s post on how to embed Google presentations into an Edublogs blog.
4. Google Reader
Google Reader is Google’s RSS reader (i.e. takes the RSS feed from a site and present in a readable form for the user). Instead of visiting numerous sites the RSS feeds from these sites comes to one location — your feed reader, where you read the information.
Sue Hickton, Awyatt, Britt Watwood, Chad Lehman and Allison Miller chose Google Reader as part of their 3 best tools. It’s a popular feed reader because it’s fairly easy to use, can be accessed online anywhere, provides options for tagging and sorting RSS feeds into folders, provides search facilities so you can search for specific terms within your RSS feeds, and has excellent tools for sharing your favorites posts with others.
Read these posts to learn how:
- To Make Your Life Easier By Using RSS
- I Use RSS To Make My Life Easier
- To Get More Out Of Google Reader, Update On Get More Out Of Google Reader and Be More Sharing And Caring With Google Reader
Personalized Start Pages are homepages on your web browser where your information is brought to you via RSS and where you can check all your important bookmarks/links. They normally have options for embedding widgets or gadgets onto the page. iGoogle is Google’s personalised start page.
6. Google Earth
Google Earth puts the world’s geographic information at your fingertips by combining the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings.
Sonja selected Google Earth as her top 1 best tool because:
has to be one of the best tools out there that I can think of. There are so many ways this application can be utilized for just about any class and learner. There are also many, many resources out there showing you the golden brick road to best useage of Google Earth.
Check out Sonja’s post for links to help educators use Google Earth with their students and Tom Barrett’s excellent Google presentation on Eighteen Interesting ways to use Google Earth in Your Classroom.
Twitter can save lots of time searching for information; because your friends help you find it and are able to give you their recommendations.
Other posts from this Best of Web 2.0 series include:
- Are You Making Your Life Easier By Using A Personalized Start Page?
- Setting Up iGoogle For Your Personal Learning
- Blogging Tools To Help You Blog
- Getting More Out Of Blogging And Edublogs
- Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Web Browser?
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