Saturday, April 4, 2009

Some new fav tools

Thanks to various colleagues who have shown me these great tools recently:
This takes the tinyurl concept and goes one further - it generates a large qr code on a web page as well so that at a presentation, people can simply point their phones at the screen to capture the url! For a recent workshop, I uploaded content onto my web space, created qr codes for them and at the workshop, people simply pointed their phones at the screen to start downloading PowerPoints and other files on to their phones. This works for video files, mp3s etc!
One way for tutors to quickly upload materials to the web and provide a url for that resource is to email it to their posterous account (

That brings me on to, which various colleagues already use. This is a blog site and then some: you can attach any type of file to your email post to the site and it will be there for others to download. It has the usual rss feed options so if a learner has subscribed to your feed, then he/she could look at their feedreader on the phone and simply click to download the resource to the phone! Wow!

That brings me on to or if you are on a mobile device. Lovely mobile feed aggregator that displays well on a small screen device.
This takes the idea of a wiki and makes it even more functional - it allows up to 8 synchronous editors, all colour-coded so you know who typed what. If you need more than 8, you can always create another etherpad and cross-reference them by urls.
AND it doesn't need logins. You simply type and a word you like at the end of the url and voila, you can create an etherpad with that url! Of course it helps to use something unique so it's harder for someone to accidentally come across your etherpad.
At a recent Digital 20/20 event, people were really excited by this tool and we started co-writing a story on the screen with hilarious results. If only they made a mobile version...this could be the new instant messaging tool.

OneNote Mobile
This is on my new Windows Mobile phone. I can type text, add a voice recording and insert a picture or take a picture and it's automatically inserted into the page on the mobile. It has great potential for gathering multimedia evidence for competencies. Haven't yet worked out how to aggregate all the files that make up the OneNote on the mobile device into one file though, but watch this space...
I started with using Notes on the phone as I could send the .pwi file to other people using the splashurl technique above. OneNote allows photos to be added to the page as well so is definitely more functional, but I need to play around with zipping up the assets that make up the OneNote file on the mobile device before we can truly exploit it.