Featured App: Instapaper
Read later: Say you’re surfing the Web doing your daily site drive-bys when you come across something interesting that you want to read later when you have more time to give it your full attention (whenever that may be). Instead of keeping dozens of windows open and then forgetting why they’re open (like I do), you can save articles to Instapaper, created by Marco Arment, a co-founder of Tumblr. It strips the ads and leaves only the content, which can then be sorted and saved by folder (or deleted) after reading.
The app is compatible with Mac desktops and laptops, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and now Android, Kindle Fire and Nook — virtually all systems. Instapaper requires a small monthly fee of about $3. Another option for reading later is Pocket (formerly Read It Later), which is free. Each comes with a drag-and-drop bookmarklet for easy saving.
I went with Instapaper. I wish I could say there was a great logic to it, but there wasn’t. I liked it and it seemed to work well and I didn’t know about Pocket, so I signed up for it. Bam. End of story. (I expect to be have time to read the saved items sometime in 2020.)
RIP: Goodbye Google Reader
Many people are weeping over the loss of Google Reader, already in effect, but set to be complete July 1, 2013. (Well, if not weeping, Tweeting quite a bit.) For those who use it, you already know. For those who don’t, now you do too. Most Google Reader users have fled to the sheltering arms of Feedly to get their RSS wrangling needs fulfilled.
Moorefield-Lang at Davis
Many thanks to Dr. Heather Moorfeield-Lang (UNC Chapel Hill), Librarian for Education and Applied Social Sciences at Virginia Tech, who spoke at Davis College last Wednesday and discussed the AASL’s Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning, including Stixy, Wiggio, ComicMaster, Jux and more! If you missed the talk, or want to see the presentation again, you can watch it here. Or peruse the presentation handout.
Quote of the week
An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious — just dead wrong.
Color now: So, you’ve picked out the background color for your website and need a good font color. Or maybe you’ve picked out your font color and need a background color. You could spend hours with a color wheel fumbling through a topic that’s not your skill set, or you could head over to Colorhunter (www.colorhunter.com) where somone with a good eye has already come up with a beautiful range of color palettes for you. Enter a hex value and watch as palettes appear with thumbnails that link to Flickr photos on which they’re based. Use the site palettes a la carte or register to save a collection of favorites.
Web-based for-profit education site Udemy offers Apps for Librarians & Educators by Nicole Hennig. The course is a series of videos by Herring which discusses and explains apps such as Evernote, Dropbox, Instapaper, iBooks, Kindle, Stanza, GoodReader and more.
Courses that may be of interest to educators: Introduction to Social Media in the Classroom, How to Communicate Authentically on Camera and How to Teach With Technology. Courses that may be of interest to students: How to Write an Effective Research Paper and Fast Track to Microsoft Powerpoint by Evold. There are also many, many Web Design courses.
Fees are reasonable, but search for “Udemy+coupon code” for discounts. More importantly, search YouTube and Google for free video tutorials before you commit to a class. The money you save could be your own.
Note: There are 16 categories on Udemy, from Arts and Photography to Technology. While there are some good course options on Udemy, the site also include somewhat dubious fare, such as 7 Days to Living Your Yoga Practice, weight loss courses and How to Train a Puppy. Again, be sure to search elsewhere for free information before you pay for a Udemy course or any other online course!