Friday, March 25, 2011

Week 8 ~ E-Readers & My Top 5 Tools

When I think of a Kindle, this is the image that comes to my mind.  I think they are great if you are going on a long trip and won't have room to pack a suitcase full of books.  However, my personal preference is the touch, the feel, the smell of a book.  Books are sexy, Kindle's are not.  

I can't imagine myself falling asleep reading a Kindle.  Have you ever done that?  Have you fallen asleep while reading?  Only to wake-up to find your book on the floor.  The nice thing about that is, it's still in one piece.  So I have this fear that if I fall asleep while reading my Kindle I'll wake it to a million little pieces (maybe not a million) on the floor.  

Strangely enough I own a Kindle.  I own it because my bank was giving them out, otherwise I would never have bought one.  

Sony Vaio Netbook
My bank also gave us a Sony Vaio Netbook, which I love. Nice bank huh?  I think we'll continue banking with them!  They give great electronics! But I digress . . . let's get back on track!

When it's all said and done, I see the value in the using e-readers, but I'm not fond of them.  I think they are a good tool for students who may be computer/technical savvy and not so good readers.  I think they can be less intimidating for students, especially when you think of the size and thickness of a book compared to the thickness of an e-reader like Kindle. 

Imagine if you had a stack of Harry Potter books that you assigned to a student for summer reading.  Most likely your student would freak, especially if they are a reluctant reader.  Now, imagine that same stack of books on an e-reader/Kindle, which do you think the student would choose?  They wouldn't even realize how many books are on the e-reader, LOL, they'd be like the Ever-Ready Bunny, they'd just keep on reading, and reading and reading!

I'm going to bet on the Kindle/e-reader. It's portable, and easy to manage.  It can be read on the beach because of the anti-glare screen.  It can easily be put in a carry-on suitcase for travel.  It does not take up much space in the family camper, and maybe it will inspire mom and dad to read Harry Potter, which would make for great family discussions!

My Top 5 Tools

During weeks 2 through 8 in Module Two, we looked at a variety of tools. Listed below in no particular order are my "Top 5" picks!

(1) Animoto - One of my favorite applications was Animoto. Animoto can bring photographs to life by creating a beautiful visual presentation set to music. Animoto also gives you the ability to incorporate video within your presentations.

(2) Google Reader - I think I'm in love with this feature! I love being able to view my blogs easily and in one location without going through blogger dashboard. This is fantastic. I've also taught my husband how to use this feature, he's really enjoyed using it. It's like one stop shopping! If you would like more information on Google Reader you can click on "Help" from within Google Reader and there are many tips on using this tool. You will find topics on "Recommended Articles" and "Learn More about using Google Reader," each of these topics have sub-topics for you to explore.

(3) Google Calendar - An electronic calendar in which you can share information with others or keep private. I especially like the To-Do list, Reminder, and Repeat event features. I would suggest that you review the "Help" screen and read the "Getting Started" section if you need assistance.

(4) YouTube - is a great site to find video on a plethora of topics, from the normal to the absurd. You can find videos on pop-culture, current event or education. If you are fortunate enough to use it in the classroom it can be a great tool for students and teachers.

(5) Delicious - I really like the idea of having all of my links in one location. I also like the idea that I can access my favorites from where ever I am. Additionally adding the "tags" for organization really makes access a breeze!

1 comment:

ET4school said...

Love your e-reader overview - and we have the same top five tech picks! I am so glad you like google reader, I think sometimes people don't get it and I am glad you do!