Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Google's New Bookmark Manager vs. Diigo Chrome Extension

Google just released the Bookmark Manager extension for Chrome.
It has the following features:

  1. One Click Save
  2. Better organization
  3. Better search of bookmarks
  4. Sharing of bookmarks
  5. Add notes to the bookmark
  6. Nice visual interface - organized as cards.
The best part of the new manager is that it would work across all device on the Chrome browser.

While these are some good features, it would not convince me to switch from my favorite social bookmarking tool - Diigo.

Search for Google Bookmarks Manager shows my Diigo Bookmark in right column.

Diigo has some truly amazing features that make it indispensable.

  1. Ability to organize by lists, tags
  2. Annotate a web page with highlights and notes
  3. Share a link to the annotate web page so anyone who sees that link will see the annotations even if they don't have Diigo installed.  Try this link to see the lifehacker page annotated with yellow highlights. (see pic below)
  4. Ability to auto-search through the Diigo library even when doing an organic Google Search.  If any of the keywords in the search are in one of your bookmark titles or annotations, that bookmark will be listed to the right of the organic search results.  (See pic above)
  5. Very powerful social bookmarking features 
The only (minor) drawback is that you need to select the appropriate tools for your mobile device.  Diigo does have specific tools for each OS (iOS and Android).  Also if you don't use Chrome as your default desktop browser, Diigo has toolbars for most popular browsers.  


Diigo lets you annotate a web page and share a link to it that preserves the annotations



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Lesson Plan for a Mobile Learning Workshop

Suppose you wanted to do a short workshop for educators on using mobile devices in their teaching.

I did a short workshop on this topic recently and here is a lesson plan that I used.

Workshop participants scanning QR codes to read material for Socrative Quiz.


  1. Get everyone to download a QR code reader
    1. I like i-nigma which is one of the fastest readers, and keeps a history of codes scanned
  2. Discuss how to create content that automatically presents appropriately based on detected screen sizes - various options like
    1. Google Docs for text
    2. Google Forms to survey, quizzes etc.
    3. Blogger
    4. Google Sites
  3. Have the participants test their QR code reader with QR codes linked to this blog post.  They can favorite this on i-nigma so they can find this again (no need for handouts)
  4. QR code treasure hunt
    1. Create 5 Google docs with content on 5 topics
    2. Create QR Codes for each of these pages.  I like QRstuff.com but there are many other options.
    3. Print out the QR codes each on a separate sheet of paper and paste these around the room on the walls
    4. Give participants enough time to go around and scan the codes and read the content
  5. Mobile quiz
    1. Create a Quiz using Socrative.com
    2. Divide the group into teams 
    3. Launch your quiz in Space Race mode with groups
    4. Have them scan a QR code to get to http://b.socrative.com/login/student/ 
    5. Enter your room number
    6. Have them select their group color
    7. Student paced quiz on content presented in QR scavenger hunt
  6. Discuss uses of Socrative in the classroom
    1. Compare/contrast with PollEV
    2. Other options - NearPod, Kahoot
  7. Discuss other applications of mobile devices
    1. Flashcards - Quizlet, Anki
    2. Consuming /creating content
      1. Videos
      2. Podcasts
      3. Books/text
    3. Social Media 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola - do we need economists and not medical scientists making decisions? Huge discrepancies between scientists and industry responses.

The 2 flights that the second health care worker made to and from Dallas to Cleveland have already caused ripple effects which are probably driven not by medical science but by fear  and possibly concern about financial impact.

The discrepancies between decisions made by medical scientist and individual businesses are striking

CDC - ok to fly with fever of 99.5 even though you treated patient with Ebola
vs.
Airline- take the plane off for decontamination

CDC - you can't get Ebola from someone who is not symptomatic.
vs.
Hospitals - nurses who flew on same flight as recent case before she got low grade fever are on paid leave.
Schools - closed for decontamination because a teacher was on same flight that CDC ok'ed her to fly on.

Till this panic settles down, we need protocols in place to divert suspects away from the public and "regular" healthcare intake channels.

The psychological impact of a potential patient walking through the hospital to seek out care - touching door knobs, counters, etc and "exposing" tens of people and healthcare workers will be huge and the potential financial impact quite terrible as the hospital in Dallas is finding out.  Yes, medical science tells us that person will likely not be infectious and it is OK for them to seek care using regular channels but once we have a single case like that, the mass fear will take over.  

Hopefully we don't get another traveler with Ebola coming into the USA but this will likely happen.  We hopefully will not make the same mistakes again that were made in the Dallas ER, but that assumes that every healthcare worker in the country is trained and follows the right steps which is highly improbable.

We need to keep our hospitals working smoothly!


We need to put up signs at every healthcare facility entrance that diverts suspected (high-risk) cases to dedicated triage hot lines.  This will reassure the public that it is safe to use the hospitals for their non-Ebola care.