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Tools to "Consume" information on the Internet


Advanced Email Services Using Gmail

These tools can be a bit confusing at first, but they give you some really great capabilities. To name a few, Gmail gives you the ability to call phones using your computer. Gmail also lets you send text messages through the "Chat" on Gmail. To see the many possibilities Gmail has to offer you, sign in to your Gmail account (or create one if you don't have one), click on the "Settings" Button at the top of your Gmail page, and then click on the "Labs" tab at the top. Have fun!
To see an example of how a student used the texting tool: http://enosledezmasoto.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/advanced-e-mail/

Blog Searching using IceRocket

Looking for a specific topic to read about but don't want to use the traditional "Google Search"? Do you enjoy reading blogs? Then IceRocket might be a great tool for you. You can search the internet for all blogs on a certain topic, starting with the most recent posts. Just type in some key words into the search engine on IceRocket, and begin reading.
To see a blog post about IceRocket, as well as some other tools for blog searching, visit: http://paradigmdare.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-searching.html or
http://leeannelowry.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-searching.html

Bookmark Webpages using Diigo
More than your average social bookmarking site, diigo.com allows you to bookmark, highlight, and add stickynotes to anything on the web and store it for later use or share it with someone else. You can also organize this information with tags for easy retrieval. One of the neater aspects of diigo is you can create groups centered around a topic and invite members to contribute to a certain body of knowledge.
To find a great tutorial visit Shaun Pai's blog or read more about the social learning aspects of Diigo at Kevin Watson's blog

SoundCloud
SoundCloud describes themselves as a site that "lets you move music fast & easy. The platform takes the daily hassle out of receiving, sharing & distributing music for artists, record labels & other music professionals." But it's for the layperson/ laystudent as well!
To see how Leann Lowry used soundcloud to add audio files to her blog visit: http://leeannelowry.blogspot.com/2010/10/sound-cloud.html

Spreeder
"Spreeder is free online speed reading software designed to improve your reading speed and comprehension." Based on the theory that what prevents us from reading fast is something called subvocalization (the "inner voice that paces through the text that keeps [us] from achieving higher reading speeds"), spreeder allows you to copy and paste any text into an application that presents the words to you one at a time at a rate you specify.
To see Brad Twining's introduction to this tool visit: http://nerdybrad.blogspot.com/2010/11/spreeder.html

Dropbox

Do you own multiple computers? Do you have different files on your laptop, desktop, phone, etc? Isn't it annoying trying to find a certain file when you can't remember which computer you saved it on? Would you like to be able to access your files from all your computers, AND from any computer through the internet? Well look no further, because Dropbox is the tool for you. Dropbox gives you the ability to save files to an internet "dropbox" which then shows up on all your computers, as well as any computer that you log onto Dropbox.com with. It is a fantastic tool for organizing all the computer information you have into one central place. There is no more need of having multiple memory sticks, or sending E-mails to yourself; Dropbox makes it all easy.
To see a student's blog about Dropbox, how useful it is in his life, and how it can be useful in yours, visit: http://pucksonice.blogspot.com/2010/09/dropbox.html
Watch the introductory video on the homepage of Dropbox to learn more: http://www.dropbox.com/

Evernote

Ever have a whole bunch of thoughts that are hard to organize, especially while perusing the internet? Want somewhere to organize those thoughts? Evernote is the perfect tool then. Evernote is a tool that helps you collect text, videos, pictures, and anything else you find and automatically indexes them for later, easier retrieval.
To see a student's blog about using Evernote, visit: http://ddoublehstuffs.blogspot.com/2010/09/evernote-gathering-and-organizing-info.html
To see a short video about how Evernote might be useful to you, visit: http://www.evernote.com/about/video/#zHom6bgqg9Y|1|1

Google Reader

This is one of the best tools that Google offers. For those of you who have a lot of sites that you like to read information from, but have a hard time remembering the addresses, or wish there was one place that you could see all of them at once, Google Reader is the solution. Google Reader allows you to pick websites that you like to read from (such as news sites, sports sites, blogs, etc.) and then gives you a single, convenient place that you can actually read all new posts from all of those sites. You will need a Google Account to use this service, but it is definitely worth looking at.
To see how a student in our class uses Google Reader, visit: http://kevtab.blogspot.com/2010/10/google-reader.html

Grooveshark

OK, if you like listening to music, and you haven't used Grooveshark yet, it is a must see. Grooveshark allows you to search for music and then create playlists of the exact songs that you want to listen to. It's kind of like a radio station where you get to pick every single song that is played. It is definitely one of the best tools to let you listen to the songs that you want to hear on demand.
To read a blog about how Grooveshark compares to other music websites, visit: http://imrhettferrin.blogspot.com/2010/10/grooveshark.html