I’ve been trying out some of the applications that I heard about in the last year and didn’t have time to play with during the writing, reading, class taking of the academic year. I must admit I haven’t a deep knowledge of the finer uses for these tools but I have had a chance to make a first impression which I thought I’d record here for my own reference later. If you happen to be reading along, you are welcome to share with me your experiences. I’d be happy to expand my understanding, without the involved hours of playtime.
This is a totally cool application. It reminds me of a wiki page but I think the interface may be even easier. You can share a whole notebook of pages, a single page or a single object in a page. I can see the collaboration value of having a shared notebook as a classroom while working on a theme. I have typically had my walls covered with chart paper brainstorms, the results of experiments and the vocabulary but imagine a shared notebook page containing a diagram of the lab set up, a Flickr pic with notes showing the vocabulary and student comments on the content. Cool.
Sorry guys, not as impressive. Ok that tool itself may well be impressive but as far as I can tell I only get 5 documents in the trial version and I can’t figure out how I get out of trial if I want a free version with more documents to play with. It wasn’t otherwise hard to use but if I have to pay, it’s not happening for school. It’s an online tool which makes it possibly more accessible on the school network. I haven’t had much of a chance to check out the limitations of the system in my new school.
Very interesting search tool. Seems to have a free version. I love the mapping tool. I have a standard search on spiders that I do when I can’t think of anything else. I was pleased with the ‘meta’ functions. At least that’s what I want to call it when it does the categorization for me and maps it out. It only searches with Yahoo and Wikipedia in the free version which is a little disappointing. Good for a quick and dirty search if you are in a hurry.
This is a pretty simple looking tool. I like the possibilities for mindmapping with younger children. It would have limitations for more advanced uses I think. I wish I could change the bubble shape but it can change the colours. I think it might be a good starter tool for kids just new to things. Simple interface.
I didn’t spend much time here but I like the look of this tool. I looked at the demo documents and I like the variety of options for bubble shapes, lines and organization. It would be helpful as a sharing tool to be web-based which is where it would be an improvement on Inspiration. It has a free basic version. Seems worth trying. I think I would try this over Gliffy and as a step up from Bubbl.us.
Amazing things to speculate on using. School is just around the corner. Whee!