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Showing posts from February, 2012

Evernote Clearly

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I have been a long-time user of Evernote. I recently came across another extension called Clearly (by Evernote). This cool little extension clears all the clutter from a webpage or article that you may be reading, allowing you to focus on the text.





I will show you two examples of an article I was reading. The first is without Clearly:


















As you can see the page is fairly cluttered and full of ads and other content that distracts from the main article.

The second image is much cleaner.

















There are four buttons along the right-hand side. They are (top-bottom):
Hide the overlayClip to EvernoteShow Themes (allows you to change coloring and text size)Print Being able to read an article without distraction is nice enough, but that last item, "Print" is the icing on the cake. With it, you could of course print the article, but also very easily create a PDF copy of the article with the same clean interface. The PDF includes the original URL for the article/page as a reference. This is a…

LibriVox

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I was recently introduced to LibriVox. This project has been producing audio recordings of books in the public domain through volunteer support since 2005. You can read more here. All of the recordings are posted in the public domain and are free to use. Much of the content for LibrVox comes from the Project Gutenberg.

According to the website, "LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books." This may serve as a great source of content for pleasure reading and for literature courses. There are a few options for listening to content on LibriVox. You can download a book or section of a book directly to your computer amd listen with your favorite media player (files are mp3 format. You can also subscribe to a podcast that will deliver a reading to you three times a week. If you use iTunes you can download the recordings directly and then s…

Diigo

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Diigo has been around for awhile now. I am not sure why it is still in beta, but I digress. Diigo is a social bookmarking tool. You can watch a video explaining what social bookmarking is here. If you have not tried this tool, I definitely recommend it. Others have reviewed some of the great features of Diigo. I don't want this post to be an exhaustive list of all the capabilities of Diigo, but suggestions of how you might use the tool.

Here are a few ways that I could see Diigo being used in a class environment and personal/professionally...

Course resource - It is easy to create groups and groups lists of bookmarks. A class could aggregate a collection of online resources for a particular project, complete with annotations and notes that the entire class could share.

Personal Learning Network - A person can use this tool as part of their own learning network, gathering resources, sharing them and connecting with others that share the same interests. I use the 'Read Later' …

iBooks Author and other stuff

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So... you may or may not have heard about iBooks Author. Some have touted that it will revolutionize the textbook. There have been may reviews (here, and here) and some videos like this one. There has been much talk about iBooks Author's EULA (here, here and here). I do not want to rehash what has come before, but hopefully build upon and turn the discussion in a bit of a different direction.


I think that on the surface of things iBooks and the accompanying authoring program may seem revolutionary. We now can have the Potter-esque moving newspaper, text interspersed with audio and video, while also allowing users to interact in a somewhat limited way with the content. As was mentioned before, one piece that iBooks do not yet include is a way for social interaction with the content. This is limiting pedagogically because much learning happens in discourse and the exchange of ideas around content. So digging deeper, iBooks are, albeit shiny and handsomely packaged, still really just …