EyePlorer – beta visual search engine

eyePlorer2I have been looking at other visual search engine alternatives to SearchMe. Beta visual search engine EyePlorer is a reference search engine that takes your initial keyword search term and displays related terms in a color wheel of information based around that term. When you hover over the different areas of the color wheel or click on a topic, information (from Wikipedia) is revealed about that term in the default eyePlorer facts window that opens up. If the information is useful and you want to save for later use, you can drag it  onto the EyePlorer notebook at the side. These facts you put into the notebook can be rearranged as needed. Once you have your notes, you can either save, copy or email them.You also have the option of choosing websearch view, that offers links to other sites or an images window (results from Bing). The images are also linked to their sites of origin.eyePlorer-images

These short explanations from Wikipedia could help give students an overview of the topic without having to read the whole article. They could then go on to do a more indepth search with a better understanding of the topic. All students I know understand about checking the data for accuracy.

Other options for EyePlorer users include:

  • “i” button under the search box. Click on this to get a quick summary of the topic
  • “+” button to add search parameters
  • the paper button to go to a Google search.

Class use:

This is a an interesting way for students to think about research and explore for new information.  Students very easily create a visual guide to their inquiry. It is then a very easy step to drag and drop what they find out into a notebook. This can form the basis for more in-depth research. The brief notes could enable students to see note making as a way taking down main points and important ideas, rather than copying whole slabs of text. The way that the information in the notebook can be rearranged could  also help them to go on to think about or work on organising ideas into some sort of order to form the basis of some structure for an argument, conjecture or essay.

It could also be used on a class wide basis.  When a teacher wants to introduce a new concept/idea. Using a data projector, so the whole class can watch, the teacher could type the subject into the search and then the whole class could work together to decide which information they want/need to save in the (class)notebook for later. It would also allow the whole class to work on the above ideas.

eyePlorer was created in Germany so you can choose to search in German or English. I had heard that you need to manually choose English but I typed in search terms with English spelling and it automatically searched for results in English for me

Keeping your profiles in Sync. – AtomKeep






I, like a lot of people, am now joining/using quite a number of social sites.

Today I read about AtomKeep,which is a tool that attempts to rectify the problem of keeping all your profiles up-to-date. It supports a large number of sites (Twitter, Technorati, Facebook, Digg, Ning, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger, YouTube and more) and they are adding more sites all the time. Partial support of MySpace started towards the end of last year. 

I really like idea that I can enter an update for my profile into AtomKeep and, when I use the “sync”, the data in my other profiles is updated at the same time. As a professional tool this is a good way to keep everything updated and accurate.

There is another thing that is possible. I find filling out profiles for new sites fairly boring and irritating. You know what sort of information you have to fill out: Name & Address, Contact, Education, User Image, Work, Professional Summary, etc.  Atomkeep offers a useful alternative to this because it can fill them out for you. Bonus I say!

Reading about the tool, it warns that, if you do choose the “sync” option, all sites will be changed, therefore if, for example, you have a different photo on different sites, they will all change to the new one, but I don’t think this is a major problem and of course it can be changed back again by you. So I’m going to give AtomKeep a try and  see how it works.

Useful Links (weekly)

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

Searching your Delicious bookmarks

On the blog What I learned today, I found out that there is now a search engine for your del.icio.us bookmarks. It is called del.izzy and although still in beta format, looks interesting.  It searches through the titles of your bookmarks as well as through the contents of each bookmarked page or site. This will make it a very powerful tool.

I signed in, identifying my login and password, to begin a search. The site claims not to store your password. The initial sign-up information is to check your credentials and for all your bookmarks to be obtained (not just the public ones). To make using del.izzy faster, the bookmarks are cached and only the new ones needed to be added to new searches. Del.izzy uses Google (as a Google custom search) as its search mechanism and is a powerful search.

I tried a few searches. One search, with the keywords – book review podcast – brought up many hits. I tried – “book review” podcast – and found it reduced the hits for the search significantly.  The results screen is fairly clean and streamlined.

I can see uses for this search tool, especially when searching for reasonably specific items.

Big Posters

Examples of the posters made from the BlockPoster site. The MCG (with 30cm ruler at the side)
MCG from 4 PDF pages put together

MCG from 4 PDF pages put together

I also tried out a much larger size. From the example below I printed each page with a border. I guillotined one side off and used the other to glue the pages together, as above. You could use separate sheets and work on a display in a mosaic style. I pinned these page up quickly but this morning quite a few students had a good look at it and found it interesting.
Block Arcade - 3 pages wide

Block Arcade - 3 pages wide