Posts Tagged ‘Tools’

Twitter

On the 22 September, 2009 I created a Twitter account and wrote in this blog that I would use it to post short messages (up to 140 characters – just like SMS). You can see the latest messages in the top right corner of the blog.

Why don’t I use the blog to post these messages? Why do I have to use another tool?

Well, I could use the blog, of course, but I prefer to write there articles that could be read over and over again – just like the Holy Scriptures. I don’t want to create clutter by shouting out my instant thoughts and link discoveries – these are more or less ephemeral – just like the news on TV 🙂 Of course, as my words never lack wisdom, you might wish to re-read my tweets now and then 😉

I also use Twitter because it is one of the most popular web tools I find really useful, so I would like you to get used to using it.

Why should you use another Internet tool?

You should not only because I use it, and this is one of the ways to be updated on our common work but also because you need to know how the world works today, and some Internet tools have gained an important status in it, and you should know what they are about, how and why people use them. That’s part of 21 century culture; let’s call it “virtual culture”. I believe you have to have some knowledge of it, just as you need to know how to read, write and use search engines.

Some specific good reasons to use Twitter?

1. It keeps you updated on breaking news. A lot of media have created their Twitter accounts to share news with you. Instead of opening all their websites and looking for news, you’ll have the news delivered instantly through Twitter. Whenever you decide to take a look at your account, you’ll have a list of news (and most often links to them) you might wish to check.

2. It keeps you updated on news you won’t get from traditional media as they filter information or lack access to it. You could get first-hand information from eye-witnesses rather than wait for journalists who might be banned from the place.

3. You could receive fresh information about any topic you choose.

4. You could instantly share information with people – much faster than sending e-mail or blogging.

5. You could “merge” your account with other publishing tools you use, e.g. you might embed the tweets in your blog – automatically.

There are many ways to use Twitter, so you might wish to have separate accounts for different purposes. It’s annoying to log in and out all the time to juggle several accounts, so you might use another application, e.g. HootSuite.

Of course, you might wish to know much more about Twitter 🙂 You could Google it rather than rely on my brief introduction or just create in account right now and start using it – that’s so easy 🙂

College application tweets

I have just created a C00ledge account on Twitter. It also appears in the top right corner of this blog. You can follow me there and also create your accounts to follow one another. It would be better to create a special account for your application purposes. If you wish to manage several accounts from the same dashboard, you might try HootSuite.

Why you should create a Gmail account

  1. You need a new account anyway as you’ll be applying to college soon, and you need a serious looking user name, like “m.ivanova” rather than “sexie_girl_92”
  2. You need to receive messages in Cyrillic as well, and you want to be able to read them rather than stare at strange symbols.
  3. You need a lot of space to store important documents – almost 7 GB. On Google servers they’ll be safer than on your own computer, and you’ll be able to access them from any computer.
  4. You can conveniently save photos, arrange them in albums and share some of them with your friends.
  5. You need an office you can access from any computer – to take notes, work on documents, organize events, manage your tasks with calendars, etc. You can share some of these with friends.
  6. You can chat with Gmail friends – no need to install instant messaging software.
  7. You can create groups.
  8. You can subscribe to your favourite blogs.
  9. There are many other things you could do with Gmail. Most of them will make our collaboration on college application much easier.

Feed a reader

feed

Hold on! I’m not going to preach about daily reading … not now. I just want to introduce you to two concepts a person your age is supposed to be familiar with: “feed” and “reader”.

Right now I’m writing in my blog. Every time I write, I add new content to it. Thus I produce a “feed” for my readers – a bite of wisdom a day keeps failure away.

You might develop the habit of checking my blog for new content every day, ok, but if you want to keep an eye on several blogs / websites for updates, you’d better subscribe to them and have them delivered to you the moment they are published.

When you want to check if you have mail from your friends / college admission officers, you don’t go to their mailboxes to check if they have sent something to you; you check only your own mailbox. Similarly, you could have the same for the “feed” from your friends’ blogs / new articles from your favourite online media, etc.

How do you subscribe to a feed? The most popular symbol representing a feed is the one you can see above the text. Look for it on your favourite websites. You need to click on it and copy the URL from the browser.

You also need a “reader” – it’s a tool designed to receive the feeds you have subscribed to – just like your mailbox is designed to receive the letters from your friends.

There is a variety of readers. Some might be installed on your computer, but others could be used online, reached from any computer via the Internet.

I have tried some, and I find Google Reader the most convenient. Most subscriptions could be done even without finding the feed symbol – just by pasting the URL of the blog into a box. I have it in my Gmail account. You don’t know what Gmail is? Well, why not find out?

Besides, I could share with you selected pieces. My shared items could make one of your feeds. Instead of adding all your classmates’ blogs to your reader, you might subscribe to one of my feeds, featuring the best pieces from all my students’ blogs. Look for the feed sign in my blog.

Well, that’s just a rudimentary intro. You could find out the rest on your own. Still, I might be willing to answer some questions too.

suburbanite

If you are eager to know the word, look it up here, in Urban Dictionary

our blogs 3

Would you like to read the latest post we have written? There are two ways to do it:

1. Look at the COOLEDGE category and click on “latest from our blogs”

OR

2. Look at the top right corner, just below my photo. There’s an orange square and a link “FROM OUR BLOGS”

Try both and see which format seems more beautiful to you 🙂

Right now you can see just a few posts I have picked to create a demo. The more you write, the more texts there will be 🙂

If you don’t feel like checking out everyone’s blog for new texts, use these links. You’ll be getting the news as soon as I get them 🙂

UPDATE: use option 1; there’s some problem with the other 😦

our blogs 2

Yesterday a student said he would never write in his blog again because it is only I who seems to be reading it 😦

If you write more often, and if you read other people’s blogs and comment more often, we could make a real community.

To make things easier for you, I have made some changes here:

– deleted some links to blog which nobody seems to be using

– kept some old blogs in which people used to write interesting things

– moved all current students’ blogs to the new category “CURRENT STUDENTS” – here is where you can find your writing classmates

– in “STUDENTS” you can find blogs belonging to my students who graduated from high school (some are at college now, so you can see the name of the college), some students I just happen to know, a student I don’t know, my students who are graduating this year

If you wish a link to your new or revived blog to be added to by blogroll, please, paste your URL as a comment 🙂