I have a school issued (white) MacBook 13′ that I’ve been using the last few weeks when I need a computer (besides my iPhone). It’s great that we have MacBooks for teachers and students. However, since we are also transitioning to Google Apps (thankfully) and everything I do is mostly cloud-based, I don’t see much of the shiny Mac OSX operating system.Instead, this is what I see and use as my main operating system (Firefox).
MindMeister Academic Edition
The Academic Edition of MindMeister is a complete collaborative mind mapping solution for educational institutions such as schools, universities and learning centers. It helps teachers and instructors to apply essential thought mapping elements in the classroom and ensure that learning is an effective and memorable experience.
After doing some researching and testing, I’m going to be using MindMeister for our “mind mapping” classroom (and out-of-classroom) sessions in my 8th grade science and 6th grade robotics classes this year.
I’m hopeful this will be a great augment to our classroom learning.
When I taught 8th grade science from 2004-2006, I made heavy use of MyGradebook and it eventually became (much to the delight of my students and their parents…and eventually administrators) my complete gradebook and student documentation platform.
What wasn’t to like? In 2004, the social web was just getting cranked up and folks were still becoming familiar with the idea of blogs…especially in the education space. What the students, parents, administrators and I realized is that everyone enjoyed being able to access grades, progress notes, lesson schedules and lab details via the web at anytime. Transparency and education do go hand-in-hand.
Fast forward five years to 2009. Not much has changed. MyGradeBook still seems like the most advanced platform for online grade/progress access. I even use objective-based grading and MyGradeBook supports that kind of customization, which is a great feature.
However (more like BUT), there is no iPhone app for MyGradeBook. There is actually only one iPhone app for teachers keeping grades. That’s a huge market not being served. Where are the developers? Charge me $20 or $30 and give me an app (even from MyGradeBook) that offers offline sync’ing, mobile grade/note inputs, etc… I’ll sing your praises all day long. It just doesn’t exist yet for some reason but there are a great deal of teachers, students and parents using iPhones, so that’s just unbelievable.
There are some solutions such as using FileMaker Pro’s Bento database on the Mac and porting a database over through Bento’s iPhone app. However, it still befuddles me that there’s not a better way to have that sort of access other than using an offline product and creating a database by hand a la 2001.
So, if there are any iPhone devs out there who’d like to make a few bucks… figure out a great way to make a web/iPhone app that brings the 2.0 goodness to teacher gradebooks. We’ll love you forever and make you rich.
Until then, I’m off to pay $60 a month for MyGradeBook…
I’ve fallen in love with Pinboard (for bookmarking) and Simplenote (search for it on the iPhone app store) this week. I’ve been testing out both services for a little while but decided to take the plunge this week and use them more heavily.
And they rock.
Pinboard is Delicious from 2004 with more goodness baked in. It’s fast, easy and private. That’s right… in an age of rival-bookmarker Diigo’s communities, Evernote offering sharing of notebooks as a Premium feature and RememberTheMilk touting their social features, I’m finding myself leaning back towards sites like Pinboard that take advantage of the web2.0 goodness with a nod towards those of us who want to bookmark without worrying about what the neighbors might think (not that I’m bookmarking anything scandalous, but I don’t have to worry about crossing the education/tech/marketing/science/music streams with Pinboard).
Simplenote does exactly what I want a note taking app to do… it takes notes quickly, easily and syncs automagically. I love Evernote, but I’ve found myself overwhlemed there as of late since there are so many features (and since I do have so much data there). Simplenote is… well, simple. And that’s refreshing. The same with Pinboard vs Diigo. I love Diigo, but I honestly don’t make use of all their community and bookmarking features enough to pledge allegiance.
So, will we see a rise of anti-social media apps that take us back to a “much more civilized time” of elegant and simple lightsabers rather than social blasters? I’m not sure. But the evolution of media is definitely fascinating to participate in and ponder.
I joined Delicious back around the Holiday Season of 2004 and soon started bookmarking with regularity. Aside from GMail, Delicious was one of the first web2.0 sites I really got excited about. And for good reason. Delicious changed the way we all thought about bookmarking.
"A long long time ago, I remember how that music used to make me smile…"
However, Delicious eventually caught on, found a solid userbase and got itself acquired by Yahoo. Despite a site-wide user interface revamp, things have been stagnant on Delicious for the last couple of years. The original founders left Yahoo, the rabid community seemed to dissipate and folks like myself went off searching for other places to bookmark our web finds. One of those places was Ma.gnolia.com. We all know how that went (#FAIL) I've been trying Diigo since I'm teaching and there's a heavy concentration of educators there (and great tools for us), but I still wanted a place where I could post my bookmarks in a quick, easy and thoughtless manner.
I might have found that in Pinboard.
Not only is it what Delicious was in '04, it includes a nifty "Read Later" function (hello Instapaper!). Best of all, Pinboard is "antisocial bookmarking" that gives me exactly what I want – bookmarking without having to worry about who is following, subscribed, in my network, etc. Clean, simple, fast and antisocial are sometimes good qualities.
This mentality even shows itself in the sign-up process. Rather than having an "open beta" program, you have to pay an increasing fee to join Pinboard. In other words, as the service becomes more popular, you have to pay more to join. I had to pay $2.91 via Amazon Payments to join. I love that thinking. Revolutionary. Look for more copycats very soon.
So will Pinboard replace Delicious for me? Already has. Will it replace Diigo? Time will tell. Will Pinboard replace Instapaper? Not sure. I'd need an iPhone app or some way to save things on mobile Safari (iPhone browser) to make that happen.
But for the time being, I'm excited 2004-style. Fingers are crossed that roadmap goal at the top of this post doesn't happen
So even though I now work at Motive Interactive, I think this is a great promotion by the ShareASale team. Nicely done and I’d wager that you will definitely be copied on the idea!
I’m doing a solo presentation on the Sunday of https://www.fusionquest.com/cgi-bin/main/hotlinks.cgi?aflt=afc1&client=affsumAffiliate Summit East in Boston about how to use “social” media in the context affiliate marketing.
My opening line is “you probably know of and maybe use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Reader and Ning, but you are probably using them wrong if you’re connecting them with your affiliate program…”
I’ve got a rough sketch of how the rest of the hour will go, but I’d like to make sure I cover the bases you’d like covered. So, comment (or email, call, twitter, etc) below and let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to hear about using social media in an affiliate program.
Affiliate Summit East 2008 Agenda: “Leveraging Social Media
Location: Harborview Ballroom 1
(This Session is Open to Full Conference Pass Holders Only)
This session helps affiliate marketers, networks and merchants recognize the power of adapting and adopting social media platforms into their programs for increased traffic, conversions and profit.
* Sam Harrelson, Director of Performance Marketing, Motive Interactive”
For instance, I’ve got close to 2,500 people following me on Twitter and the platform provides a nice stream of passive and active traffic (when Twitter is up). However, I don’t just throw affiliate or even site links up to get that traffic. There are very specific and practical steps that you can take to be a productive part of a community like Twitter and still derive benefits.
So, let me know what you’d like to hear…
ShareASale has been a long time supporter of Twitter, but they are stepping it up with a new official account:
ShareASale Blog: “2. Follow us on ‘Twitter’. I have recently created a ‘ShareASale’ specific entry which is www.twitter.com/shareasale. Also, feel free to follow me personally – I talk about ShareASale stuff as well as other things going on. www.twitter.com/brianlittleton”
There’s a reason that ShareASale consistently ranks at the top of affiliates’ and publishers’ “Best Network” rankings when you consider how much they not only embrace but also take seriously mediums such as blogging or Twitter.
Other networks could learn a great deal from them or from @zappos or the growing myriad of advertisers finding a welcoming community on Twitter.’
Great job, ShareASale.