Friday, July 24, 2009


As a stage IV patient, I may not see new health plan, but I would like my kids to have the benefits. Ask your Congressman to vote "YES" now!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Tracking Hits on My Blog

Did you ever wonder who was reading your blog and where they live?

FeedJit will provide you with the answers. It's a free widget you can get at that provides you with data on visitors to your blog in any of four formats: Live Traffic Feed; Recommended Reading; Page Popularity; and Live Traffic Map, an example of which you can see in here in the sidebar.

Widgets for Blogger and many other blogs and social networks are available and install as Javascripts in one or two clicks. The newest widget works with Twitter. All the modes except Live Traffic Maps include live links back to the visitor's site.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Try it , You'll Like It

If you haven't tried Bing, the new Microsoft search engine, you're missing a valuable new tool. The user interface and the compiled search results differ substantially in format from those of Google in several ways, mostly positive. It works well with Firefox, too, and you can drag a Bing search box into the Firefox tool bar providing you with direct access to searches on either or both Bing and Google.

Why use two search engines? Because their results ranking schemes are different and you will get two different lists by relevancy. Try it and see which results you find the most useful.

Based on your pattern of selected search results, Bing will pull up new results automatically, making it possible to narrow your search on the fly without adding terms. You can achieve similar results with Google by using the Firefox Surf Canyon add-on, but if you are uncomfortable downloading add-ons, Bing's all-in-one approach is the better choice.

When I use Bing, since I already have the Surf Canyon add-on installed in Firefox, I get suggested hits from both Bing and Surf Canyon with some overlap, but not enough to get rid of one in favor of the other.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Apologies ...

I apologize for not having posted on educational technology for several weeks. After finding out that I have had a recurrence of melanoma, I've transferred my energy and efforts toward: (a) survival; and (b) sharing information about my efforts in the hope that they may be of use to others.

You can find me now on my new blog -

Actually, there is some pretty high tech stuff there!

I hope to get back to blogging about edtech and to finish the book manuscript now on hold as soon as possible. Thanks for you patience.


Friday, May 22, 2009


New postings on The influence of pets on health and healing.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EdWeb 2.0 - A Teacher's Digital Swiss Army Knife

Did you ever want a free web site for your class that includes all thise digital bells-and-whistles, such as podcasts, blogs, calendars, FAQs, scrolling news, hot links, polls, dynamic pages, groups, folders, public and private access control, a showcase for student work, student logins you create, private messaging, and more - all free? No kidding, and no special technical skills are required. EdWeb 2.0 offers all of this. Click the image for a more readable version.

Free sites are available to teachers willing to offer the sale of mousepads created from images used on their sites to parents and others. To learn more about this innovative approach to making Web 2.0 tools readily accessible to teachers and students at a cost that can't be beat, view the same pages on their web site. School-wide versions available at a reasonable cost, too, with or withought the mouspad sale feature which schools can use as a fund raiser.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Social Networks and the "Porridge Pot"

You all know the folk tale about the porridge pot that perpetually refilled itself until it bubbled over and nearly destroyed the house. I'm coming to believe that social networks are like the porridge pot, perpetually refilling themselves faster than one can keep up until we finally drowned in information.

While developing my manuscript on Web 2.0 tools, I've browsed over 100 "social networks" and joined about ten of the more popular ones as part of the research. I've learned four things: (1) a tighter definition for the essential characteristics of a social network is needed; (2) there are is a lot of redundancy, especially in micro-blogs; (3) you will see the same post on multiple networks, thanks to programs like; and (4) tags and filters help, but there is still too much info coming across my screen.

Is there answer? Well, sort of. The obvious one is don't join so many, be less catholic in my choices, and don't feel obliged to answer every post of interest. Yea, but I might miss something really interesting or important - help I've become an info addict, my cup runneth over and this is not necessarily a blessing in this context.

So, I'm now restricting my intake to posts that can be consolidated through a "social aggregator" of which I have found 21, from the oldest, Profilactic, to the newest (?), Bebo. Oops, too much info again.

Which one is right for me. I found some help at Dan Taylor's weblog - Fabric of Folly, where he reviews 15 social aggregators and includes a useful chart of which social networks each aggregator covers.

I haven't figured out which one is right for me, but I'm leaning toward combo.

More on this this topic later. What's your favorite social aggregator and why?