TechCrunch has a nice post up about the best Web page annotation tools out there, and, of course, I’d only heard and use one of them, Diigo. The others are Fleck, ShfitSpace, Stickis and Trailfire. (Anyone using any of those? Any reviews?) I’m not sure I have my brain fully around the uses of these types of tools (aside from the social bookmarking aspect of Diigo) in terms of marking up the Web. Some vague collaborative applications are floating in there somewhere, but I’d really love to hear ideas about how these could be used from a learning standpoint. As one of the commenters on the post asks, “Can’t I easily comment about other sites using a Blog?” Probably just have to find some time to play.
On a more general tool note, TechCrunch now lists almost 1,400 apps in it’s company index. 1,400! (So what the heck is Lifeio?) And at the rate this stuff is coming out, it’s easy to see why many people get overwhelmed. I did a workshop in Fort Worth yesterday, and people were pretty much filled up by the 15 or so tools that I showed them. (They loved the the new Google MyMaps feature, btw.) At one point, someone came up and asked “How do you keep up with all of this?” The short answer was that I don’t…I can’t. No one can. But that’s the beauty, and the importance, of the network, I told her. That’s where this whole Connectivism thing makes so much sense. I rely on the trusted sources in the network that I have become a part of for the best tools to filter up. For the best pedagogies to filter up. Just as I’m turning to the network to see if it has any feedback on the tools above.
To me, in a nutshell, that’s the underlying pedagogical shift that when you see it really makes for an “Aha!” moment. We need to think differently, really differently, about the learning structures we build for our students. We need to show them the power of networked learning…because we can.
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