Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catching Up!

This is my first post since the summer, and I want to share a few thoughts about some of the exciting and interactive resources available online - most are free too. I am trying to learn more about blogs, wikis, and other applications that allow for creativity and collaboration. Wordle and Animoto are two that I have tried recently.

I am learning about various Web 2.0 tools, so that I can start using them and sharing them with our school community. There is so much to learn about, and I am frequently overwhelmed! I think you just have to dive in and try a few of these Web 2.0 tools. Some you might like and want to use a lot, and others might not fit your needs.

So, whether you are a student or a teacher reading this, I encourage you to get started. The great thing is, in most cases, you can experiment without committing to anything and without looking too foolish.

One easy change I decided to make is about saving favorite websites. In the past, I saved a gazillion websites to "My Favorites", and I organized them into folders. I thought I was doing great, but guess what? I wasn't. When you bookmark as many websites as I did, it took way too long to sort through them. Even my neat folder organization was a joke -- Each folder contained a gazillion websites too! The other problem is that my bookmarks were saved on the hard drive of the computer I was using. Some were at school, and some were at home - It was not easy to access the ones that were not where I was.

I created a Delicious account, and that is changing everything. What's Delicious? It's a social bookmarking website,, and it doesn't cost anything. You set up a username and password, and you're ready to start. When you find a website that you want to go back to, you save it to your Delicious account. Instead of creating folders, you assign the website any number of "tags" (or, keywords) that are meaningful to you.

It is very easy to share your Delicious bookmarks, and it's also easy for you to search some of your favorite tags to see what websites other Delicious users have selected as worthwhile. Pretty cool, right?

Since you access Delicious on the web, your bookmarks travel with you. Whether I log in to my Delicious account at home, at school, or anywhere else, I have immediate access to my bookmarks!!

As with all Web 2.0 applications, the folks who created Delicious continue to refine, adapt, and modify it. That's one of the things I like about Web 2.0 -- It's a very dynamic environment - There is always something new to learn.

So, I hope you'll jump in and try out Delicious. Be sure to post your comments, so that I'll know how you're doing.

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