The Grizzly Den

Knowledge is Power

Posts Tagged ‘Web2.0’

ChaCha Gives You Answers on the Go

Posted by grizzlymedia on January 22, 2009

ChaCha – Mobile Search | Text Search | Questions and Answers via kwout

Ever had an urgent research or trivia question but no access to your computer and its accompanying bevy of search engines? Man, do you ever need ChaCha! Their new Mobile Search feature was made for you. All you do is send an SMS text to 242242 or call ChaCha at 1-800-2Cha-Cha (1-800-224-2242). Tell ChaCha your desperate question in regular conversational English, and they’ll answer back with a simple text message in real time. You don’t have to have an advanced smart phone; any basic phone and virtually any carrier works with ChaCha mobile. ChaCha charges you nada, but your mobile phone company’s charges will apply. ChaCha uses real humans to do the research for you 24/7. It’s like having your own personal librarian in your pocket. You can read a press release about ChaCha’s latest venture here.

Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

TwitterNews Helps You See Breaking News Results Quickly and Easily

Posted by grizzlymedia on January 20, 2009

As events were occurring during the recent Mumbai, India attacks, it was difficult for news-hungry readers to keep up with events as quickly as they needed to through regular news outlets. As a result, the inspiration for TweetNews was born. Now thanks to TweetNews, as news is breaking, Twitter users can search for tweets on a specific topic and simultaneously be directed to news articles as well. In the future, all news could be delivered this way, but for now it’s available thanks to a collaboration between Yahoo and Twitter. Yahoo engineer Vik Singh developed TweetNews to combine Yahoo news results with the hot topics that are hitting Twitter. This is different from the way search engines like Google News and other major news websites work; they use complicated algorithms to rank stories, and breaking news item might not make it to the top of the heap. Yahoo News topics are organized around popular Twitter topics, resulting in a search engine that tracks breaking news using Twitter search results. Twitter users will then have access to more valid sources of information in addition to first-hand reports from Twitter users on the scene. You can click here for a link to TweetNews or click here for a link to an article in TGDaily with more information. You can just go to the TweetNews site and type in you own search term, for example today you might try “inauguration.”

Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

ClassMarker Makes the Grade

Posted by grizzlymedia on December 9, 2008


This image was created with Wordle.

ClassMarker is a cool Web 2.0 application that allows teachers to create their own tests and post them online for student testing. Test creation is quick, simple, and, dare I say–fun? You can set up a password for your students and they can just login to take the test. You select the correct answers when you create each exam, so ClassMarker does the grading for you. 🙂  You can enter an entire class at once with a comma separated Excel file and then delete them all in one fell swoop at the end of the semester or year. You can change student user names to make them easier for your kids to remember, and since you can reset learner passwords, your students don’t even have to have their own email accounts to access ClassMarker. If a student is transferred from one of your classes to another, ClassMark allows you to easily transfer her as well. You can set a time limit on multiple choice tests, view all of your class usernames, and download all of your class results and group results–check the website to see what the difference is between a class and a group.  Here are some other features which ClassMarker is expecting to have available in the near future, according to their website:

  • Question banks
  • Tests with mixed question types
  • Ability to select more then one correct option in multiple choice questions
  • Essay question types
  • Show feedback after each question
  • Set pass marks on tests
  • Set how many questions to display per page
  • Options to allow learners to save and finish tests later
  • Options to only allow continuation of a test only when each question is answered correctly as they take the test
  • Option to allow learners to take a test created from a random list of your questions
  • Option to allow learners to take a test created from a list of your questions they have previously answered incorrectly.
  • Posted in School, teaching, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Boost Your Blog with Hyplet

    Posted by grizzlymedia on December 4, 2008


    Save this Hyplet | Create new

    Hyplet is a “hip” Web 2.0 application that lets you create mini flyers like the one you see above to advertise your blog. You can also create freestyle, personal, or “love” flyers. Or why not try a flyer with your favorite video, music, or photo? You can even create flyers for announcements, eshopping sales, and parties! Bloggers and gamers can create ID cards with user names for all their online services. I love the blog flyers, but I’m not so crazy about the ID cards. Theoretically, you can change the font size, but I was unable to make it small enough to contain my info. It would also be nice to be able to edit the online applications; you can delete the ones which Hyplet supplies, but you can’t input new ones. But who cares! Just because I don’t love all of Hyplet’s features doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some of them. And did I mention that my cool blue flyer contains a link to my blog? It is most cool. And did I mention that it comes in several other pretty colors?

    Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

    Why I’m in Love with TweetDeck!

    Posted by grizzlymedia on December 3, 2008

    I have to admit it. I have a new love. Please don’t tell my husband–although I think he suspects it. He has noticed my flirtations and even complained a bit. The new love of my life is my favorite Twitter app, TweetDeck. You may recall that when I first got started with Twitter many months ago, I was not even in love with Twitter. I thought it was just a playground for stalkers. 🙂 But after a while I returned and discovered that people were actually using Twitter for more than just to ask people what they had for lunch. They were using it to share information and to expand their personal learning networks. So Twitter and I became pals again. And then I started discovering all the fab Twitter applications that make Twitter even more fun to use and make sharing information even easier. My favorite? TweetDeck! All you have to do is go to the TweetDeck website, download TweetDeck (and simultaneously download Adobe Air) to your desktop, and then you can use it to tweet away. TweetDeck installs an icon on your desktop and your taskbar and notifies you with a pleasant little chirp and a visual notification when you have an incoming tweet. OK, maybe it’s an annoying little chirp, but you know how to turn the sound down, right? TweetDeck splits your tweets into group-specific columns so that you can see, for example, all of your tweets, your replies, and your direct messages separately. Want to respond to a tweet? All you have to do is click on the tweeter’s tiny little head and a “menu” pops up. You can reply to the tweeter, send her a direct message, retweet her tweet (it was brilliant!), or favorite her tweet (it was super-brilliant!). When you’re posting your own tweets, TweetDeck makes it easy to post a link to your own website or blog, or to someone else’s. You just click on the little button at the top that looks like a conversation bubble to post a tweet, and two boxes open. You insert your tweet in one box, and your link in the other. Then hit the button to shorten the URL, and TweetDeck shortens it using snipurl or some other URL shortening service. You can use other buttons to create groups, search for words or phrases within your tweets, or perform other tasks. Even though TweetDeck says it’s for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it works just fine with Firefox. Marry me, TweetDeck and we’ll live happily ever after!

    Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Use GoodSearch to Support a Good Cause

    Posted by grizzlymedia on December 2, 2008

    Here’s a great idea I learned about on Twitter–the new source of all good things! It’s a search engine called GoodSearch. GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo, so you know you get good search quality. But you also get something else: money to support a cause you believe in–Creekview High School, perhaps? Just go to GoodSearch, type in the name of your favorite school or charity in the appropriate box, and then search as you would with any other search engine. I tried it and got happy, reliable search results. GoodSearch was founded in 2005 by Ken Ramberg (the former founder of JOBTRAK, now a division of and JJ Ramberg (an MSNBC anchor and the former Director of Marketing at GoodSearch donates fifty percent of its revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. The money GoodSearch donates to your cause comes from its advertisers — the users and the organizations do not spend a dime! In 2007 they also added GoodShop, an online shopping mall of reputable retailers approximately three percent of the sale (but possibly up to 20%! or more) to your cause). GoodSearch makes it easy for you to give..without actually giving. what could be easier?

    Posted in School, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Use Mind42 for Easy Mind Mapping

    Posted by grizzlymedia on November 21, 2008 – Collaborative mind mapping in your browser via kwout

    I may have some kind of fixation with mind mapping Web 2.0 tools. I have blogged previously about and Mindmeister, which are great brainstorming applications, and you may be fortunate enough to be able to purchase Inspiration, or to have a system which buys it for your school as ours does. But variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Mind42 is another great tool you can use to keep up with all of your brilliant ideas, either alone or with your colleagues. Your students can use it to collaborate on assignments and group projects. Because Mind42 is browser-based, you no longer need to download and install programs, so its use is hassle-free. Mind42 supports keyboard shortcuts, drag and drop, zooming, and other features with true WYSIWYG capability. There’s a Vimeo screencast to teach you the ropes, but if Vimeo is blocked at your school (as it is at mine), you may have to watch it at home to find out all the state secrets!

    Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

    There’s No Cover Charge for CoverItLive

    Posted by grizzlymedia on October 22, 2008

    So I promised you I would blog about CoverItLive when I was all in love with it last week and I was so busy live blogging my heart out from COMO, but then I came back to the reality of school and I had to blog myself silly on my other blog about the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, and you never got to hear about my love affair with CoverItLive. Well, now here I am to tell you all the juicy details of my sordid affair with CoverItLive! Fact number one: be careful or you’ll spill your guts out to a live audience or say ridiculous stuff (remind you of anyone you know–me perhaps???) before you have a chance to self-edit. Fact number two: you’re published in real time, just like an instant message, so your readers–surely you have readers, don’t you?–can read your post as fast as you can type it. Fact number three: You can save pictures, video, ads, or audio clips prior to your live blog (or even Google as you go–there’s a built-in search tool) and then toss them in whenever you’re ready. Fact number four: they even have simple polls you can create on the spot to ask your audience–kind of like on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Fact number five: you can even answer your listeners’ questions live. I did three CoverItLive live blogs (you can see them posted here if you’re into that sort of thing) when I was at COMO and it was fun! I pretended I was a real reporter. You could use it to take notes in a meeting or conference, or if you’re important (OK, let’s face it, if you were important, would you be reading my blog?) you could use it to cover political, television, or sports events. Whenever you see news happening, blog about it live to your readers. Set up your account in advance, which only takes a few seconds, then you can start a live blog in another few seconds. Literally. Then your blog is posted live a sentence or two at a time. Your audience sees the exact time you post each entry. Suppose you make a mistake? You can always go back later and edit the blog. If you look at the blogs I’ve posted here, you can probably tell that I edited one of them and did not edit the other two. That’s why it looks like one was written by a human and the other two were written by giraffes. With poor typing skills. And no spelling ability. Which brings up the point that just because your blog is posted live doesn’t mean it is ephemeral. It’s still there on your blog, available for an instant replay whenever your readers want to view it again. Which of course they will. You know you’re irresistible. Just like me. And CoverItLive.

    Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »