Post-Christmas Sales

I enjoyed Christmas and it was finally warm enough. I enjoyed the cricket at the MCG (except for the result) and I kept away from the shopping centres. (I really don’t like the crowds). I next have a week at the beach then the tennis. I’m not sure when I will be on the computer again. I hope everyone else has a happy and safe New Year!

cartoon from 


Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Useful site/links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2008: my top 10 tools/sites

Uploaded to Flickr 21092008 by mugley

Uploaded to Flickr 21092008 by mugley

I closed the library doors for the last time last Friday evening. This is my last job to do on line for 2008. I was thinking about my top 10 whilst I was cleaning out a room where we have been storing our display materials. We have been given some new cupboards to replace the storage place we lost just on 12 months ago. Hands-on is sometimes therapeutic and necessary in the library. I took about 850 fiction books off the shelves a week or so ago. The books were old copies, and no longer read, and would have been picked up by our computer system but the well-loved but tatty copies need to be looked at. We need to work out what needs to be replaced from this group and some are part of series, so if they can’t be replaced, the whole series may as well go. I have been able to find good replacement series titles in local second-hand shops.

Anyway back to to top 10:

1. SearchMe:  I introduced this to students earlier this year, along with a few others of a similar ilk. Both senior and junior students really took to SearchMe very quickly.  SearchMe is a search engine that allows you to view the web pages your search has turned up before opening them. The other really significant aspect is their “Stacks.” Students liked the click and drag options to store information they have found and the ability to share it with others. I wrote 2 posts about using it, in early July and a few days later. These have been the most viewed posts and although there have been few comments I believe that this search engine has proved popular.

2. Diigo (and Delicious): The social book marking tools have become very important to me. I wrote about Diigo, and why I like using it, in detail in an earlier post. I have really found the group sharing a great boon to me.

3. Flickr (and the tools for searching and using the images.) This has been a great source for finding CC images and using them in a variety of different and interesting ways. I am greatly indebted to those clever folk who create these tools and share their work with the rest of us. You could do a top 10 Flickr tools! Search tools such as FlickrStorm, FlickrLeech,  CompFight and FlickrCC make it so easy to find images as does TagGalaxy.  The photo sets from various people and bodies have also been fantastic sources for digital images. A great source of information for those in schools is the Diigo Group, “Flickr in education.”

4. Life/Google Photo archive.: This is an amazing resource that chronicles life since the 1860’s. I discussed it in a post in November. I have been back to this site quite a number of times since I discovered it.

5. Europa Film Treasures: This is an archive of historical European tools. (My Post on it) Again I love the social history part of this. I studied film many years ago as part of my degree and have always found the medium fascinating.

6. Audacity: the free tool that enabled students to create radio interview podcasts in response to their literature circle class reading. This tool has been used for a number of things but the one I had the most fun listening to were the podcasts our student produced, and their enthusiastic response to the class work.

7. Google has so many products. I guess the next one I like is Google maps. I used this for the first time when I was following the Tour de France. Since then there have been all sorts of projects that have used its capabilities. Diigo has another group that called “Google in Education” that is worth a look.

8. WorldMapper is a wonderful collection of world maps that allows viewers to see various types of information in a graphic way, i.e. as a map

9. Silobreaker: It is a useful search engine tool that you can use to find information about a current news topic. It is a very slick way to aggregate the entire Web’s information on a topic into one page. You also have the option of an advanced search to narrow the search down.

10. WordPress: The blogging platform I use. I know that people are saying the Twitter is the “now” tool and blogging is old hat. I was reading a blog the other week that talked about both. To paraphrase, it said “Twitter is a way of connecting, but blogging is more than just connecting, it is also about reflection. The two are complimentary to each other in the circle of learning.” I believe this to be the case. It does not have to be one or the other. In fact I could not put onto Twitter everything in this post, but I can make others aware of my post and they can decide whether or not to read it and or comment further.

So there it is my top 10 for 2008. There are others that I like and next year it will probably change but all of the above are worth a look.

Useful Sites (weekly)

  • teachingwithFlickr » home A wikispace about using Flickr by Michael Coughlin. Flickr is a social media tool that has, as its primary purpose, to provide an online space where people can upload and store their photos and videos. It also offers great potential for teaching.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Typealyzer: checking my blog writing style

One of the forum discussions on our PLP Ning is entitled: What does your blog writing style say about your personality?


I did the test using Typealyzer. This tool analyses the writing style in your blog. I don’t know if the content is analysed or the tags but it is entertaining and faster than answering all the questions on the Myers-Briggs survey. Continue reading