Technology, Travel, & Blogging

I can’t begin to describe how happy I am that it is Friday and the quarter here is just about over. The quarter has sped by and I can’t believe that we are almost halfway through December already. This, of course, means that a lot of people are gearing up for travel over the next few weeks to visit family and friends for the holidays. It also means that educators are getting ready to both relax for a couple of weeks and also gear up for the next term. This post, as promised, continues in the traveling and technology vein of a previous post this week and also includes some fun and free resources for teaching.

But first, some shameless self-promotion. The Waki Librarian has been nominated for a 2009 Edublog Award for Best Librarian Blog by Michelle Pacansky-Brock (whose blog MPB Reflections–21st Century Teaching and Learning is up for best elearning blog). So if you’re enjoying this blog and find it useful and feel so moved, I would greatly appreciate your vote. The link to the ballot is here: Best Librarian/Library Edublog 2009 Ballog. Okay, I promise that is the last of the self-promotion for the foreseeable future. Now on to the tech fun.

I love lists. I think it probably has something to do with being a librarian and organizing information. Anyway, here is a great list of 10 education technology products I am Thankful for. Most of these products are free, which is plus in these lean budget times. In addition to the products mentioned in the article, Twitter, Delicious, iGoogle & Google Gadget, Bloglines & Google Reader, and Web2Access top my list of online products that are valuable for my teaching and other work.

Twitter is fantastic because I can send announcements to students that they will actually receive because they can get it sent to their phones as a text message. They never check their email, so this has been a huge help.

I love Delicious because it keeps all my bookmarks organized and I can access it on any computer with an Internet connection. This is a huge help when I’m using multiple computers per day and because I’m a pretty bad at remembering sites unless I bookmark them.

Google’s suite of products keeps me organized and I am an especially huge fan of iGoogle–I love being able to have so many applications fed into one page through the use of Google Gadgets.

RSS readers, no matter which one you happen to use, are fantastic. I wouldn’t be able to keep up in the field without them.

And if you haven’t taken a look at Web2Access, you really should. These people are doing amazing work on accessibility in the online environment. You can search online resources and see how they score in terms of accessibility, download tools that will help you test the accessibility of your website and more. This is a truly helpful site.

While all the above resources are great for education, none of them will help you get the most out of your laptop while traveling. For that, you’ll have to check out Lifehacker’s article: Top 10 Downloads for a Road Warrior Laptop. Read this before you start traveling this holiday season and you’ll not only keep your laptop safer, but also utilize it more effectively.

That is it for the Waki Librarian today. Read a lot, let me know in comments what are your favorite online resources, vote for this blog if you feel like it, and next week the Waki Librarian will be back with more technology and tips for your library adventures.