Monday, October 25, 2010

Create your own tools. Create your own tools???

Week 7 for PLENK2010 has to do with PLE/Ns Tools - What Exists, What is Being Built?"

...Many of the tools that fit under the PLE/N umbrella have been appropriated by educators from other fields. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it does reflect a sense that educators are not building tools for themselves... Two significant challenges exist for educators and PLE/Ns:

1. Create new tools - what do we need? What functionality is missing in PLEs?
2. Improve end user experience - new tools, new interfaces, and ease of use.
My reaction is.. oh no! I have to create tools??? Please! Not me! Someone else has to do that! Of course we need better tools - and better integration of tools. When someone else does this, tweet about it and make sure Jane Hart and some of the others who report on new useful educational tools puts in her blog.

Speaking of tools: I'm loving Evernote - Better than bookmarks! If I see an interesting tweet, I email it to Evernote and go back and edit and tag the entries later. I went premium so I have access to my notes offline - and on my iPod Touch.

Speaking of more tools: I'm trying to get comfortable with Mendeley, but so far I'm feeling like I have to do a lot of typing. Mendeley is not doing much work for me automatically. It must be a function of the kinds of documents I'm saving.

And even more tools... I'm still trying to find just the right thing that's free and robust that I can use to make each entry my 50+ page bibliography on gangs in Central America searchable - I would like to be able to add keywords, etc. - and make the whole thing available to the public. No programming skills here - no institutional support since I'm retired - no willingness to spend my own money... I'm going to take a look at RefShare via RefWorks since I've got access to that.

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