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bubbl.us

Bubbl.us is a mind-mapping program that lets you brainstorm online for free. It allows you to plan and sort ideas through the use of linked text bubbles. PC magazine identified bubbl.us as one of the top ten new or under the radar sites in 2007. Smashing magazine named it Best web.site of the month in February, 2007. It was created by Krill Edleman from Russia and Levon Amelyan from Kazachstan.

With bubbl.us you can:

  • Create colorful mind maps online
  • Share and work with friends
  • Embed your mind map in your blog or website
  • Save your mind map as an image
  • Print your mind map
  • Understands Chinese and Japanese character sets

Infrastructure and technical requirements:

  • Powered by Flash
  • Works on Opera
  • Server Media Temple – A blog entry dated May 12, 2008, stated that do to server troubles they are considering using Google AppEngine for Bubbl.us2
  • Technology
    • Flash
    • Ajax
    • Prototype
    • Script.aculo.us

Educational Uses:

  • Brainstorming
  • Create flow charts
  • Create lists
  • Idea Maps
  • Create Graphic Organizers
  • Assign and track student responsibilities and task completion
  • Ideas can be displayed online or through email

Interface:

§ Create bubbles by clicking inside a bubble and pressing ENTER or TAB, by clicking on handy buttons that appear where you need them.

§ Undo buttons let you go back in time

§ Minimum number of buttons and unneeded options to maximize work space

§ Change bubble color

§ Automatically arranges bubbles as you type

§ Bubbles can be “unpinned” and positioned manually

§ Use mousewheel to zoom and click and drag in an empty space to pan around.

Limitations and cautions:

  • At current time bubbl.us does not have the ability for real-time collaboration but it is a long term goal.
  • Another long term goal is the ability to submit sheets to site-wide search to allow people to share ideas with anybody. Currently you need to email or enter you mind map as a blog in order for it to be shared.
  • Purpose is for prompt, on-the-spot organization
  • Unable to create a bulleted list.
  • Unable to resize bubbles to make them uniform in size.
  • Mind map can become too large to be able to print it in a readable form.
  • Unable to import visuals.
  • Is not as user friendly as Kidspiration/Inspiration which also have more options, i.e. importing of visuals.

Management Considerations:

  • Blocked by BCPS
  • An account is required to save mind maps on site but you can begin to create and save your own mind maps just by going to site bubbl.us.
  • For general questions, there is a FAQ and access to a mind-map which explains the features. If an answer is not found there, you need to email your question. No phone number is provided. However, a prompt response was received to questions.

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June 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

del.icio.us

What is it? What can it do?

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site. It allows you to keep and share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, etc. It also allows you to discover new things which have been posted by others. Your bookmarks are stored online which allows you to access and store websites from anywhere. It can be browsed by anyone, however, you need to register for an account in order to save bookmarks. To register all that is needed is a username and password. It is a completely free service and you can multiple accounts, I.e. personal and work. The site was created in 2003 by Joshua Schachter as a hobby. In December of 2005, Yahoo! acquired del.icio.us. Although this is a public site, bookmarks can be marked private which are only viewable to you. Bookmarks can be searched by keywords and tags (a one-word descriptor that you assign to a bookmark). Del.icio.us is an open-ended system.

It can be used to:

Conduct research

Create a Wishlist

Podcast

Plan a Vacation

link log

Save recipes in a Cookbook

Collaborate with others through a shared account.

Infrastructure and Technical requirements:

In order to access it all you need is browser and an internet connection like: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Flock.

Suggested ways for effective use instruction and other education applications:

David Muir in “Simply Del.icio.us listed the following educational possibilities:

Web sites for research or projects

Books recommendations

Professional research

List of books you would like to read

Placing web links on your school web page

Students can find resources at home and access them at school and vice versa

Share what you are reading or view what your peers are reading on the web

Web site collections tagged by school topic

Other ideas:

Create a personal dictionary

Network with other educators

Create a school or grade level bookmark account

Collaborate and share bookmarks with colleagues

Send or highlight bookmarks to specific users

Create a special tag just for a class project

Create a list of resources for students that can put on a course website

When previewing the site, I did several researches and found that like all searches the more defined topic the more specific sites are given. For example:

Topic

Items

Other information

Spreadsheets – to teach a lesson on graphing

21

Types of sites: Create a graph; Graph types for kids; graphing with excel;

Use of technology in the classroom

3,385

Various sites which tell how you could use technology and the value of technology

Reading

231,842

Related tags: reading, books, education, literature, literacy, reference, productivity

Cause/Effect

1, 7888

Graphic organizers, lesson plans

Lesson Plans

4,062

Elementary Lesson Plans

1,438

Elementary Rdg. Lesson Plans

421

1st Grade Reading Lesson Plans

112

What are limitations and cautions:

There are limitations and cautions related to all social bookmarking sites. The Educause Learning Initiative article, “7 Things you Should Know about Social Bookmarking” states:

By definition social bookmarking is done by amateurs. There is no oversight as to how resources are organized and tagged. For example, if a user saves a bookmark for a site with information about greyhounds but only tags the site with the term “greyhounds” and not also with “dogs” or perhaps “dog racing,” that resource might never be found by someone looking for information about breeds of dogs. Because social bookmarking reflects the values of the community of users, there is a risk of presenting a skewed view of the value of any particular topic. For example, users might assign pejorative tags to certain resources, in addition, social bookmarking means storing data in yet another location that you have to maintain and update.”

Other cautions:

Inappropriate websites could be posted

Not all information may be reliable or true

There are no standards for tagging – teachers could provide a list of acceptable tags for a project

As can be seen from chart above – students must be given guidelines as to what to search for

Need to be registered to be able to mark bookmarks

Teachers would need to review websites that students could access

Management Considerations:

Blocked by BCPS

Registration required to mark bookmarks but not to search

Need to agree to Terms of Service

For general questions there is a FAQs and help pages. If answer is not found there, you need to email your question. No phone number is given.

June 13, 2008 at 2:19 am Leave a comment


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