Cool Toys Conversations 2008-June-23 (Campus Community)

This is a brief synopsis of the topics and tools discussed at the inaugural Cool Toys Conversation for campus. Representation from Medicine, Engineering, Libraries.
Technological literacy
Bit Literacy
How to use tech to support continuity in course development and presentation, especially when having different instructors.
– what worked, what didn’t
– collaboration
– crib sheets
Future Topics Requested:
– Gantt charts and similar tools
– mindmapping
– project management & collaborations
Have future CTC meetings by team, small group, themes?
– teamwork and collaboration spaces
– visualization tools
– productivity tools
– writing & presentation tools
– mindmapping
– distance learning
– presentations from folk who’ve done cool things w/ tech
– image manipulation & generation
– wikis
– what do we wish we had on campus
NOTE: Social bookmarking tools allows you to merge your web browser bookmarks into one online collection and access them from anywhere with a net connection.
NOTE: Use for creating graphics for presentations, facilitate engagement and retention in learning.
NOTE: “Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself.”
NOTE: xTimeline is a free online multimedia wiki-type tool. Good for collaboration and presentations, useful for team or small group projects focused on process oriented data.
NOTE: Another multimedia timeline tool. “Dipity is great for … Your Life, Your Blog, Your Class. Students learn better with Dipity. Text can be dull. Dipity is interactive and engaging.”
Slideshare: UM HSL Collection:
NOTE: UM HSL collection includes many of our presentation slides on interesting online tools and toys. Slideshare in general is a great place to archive your slides before going on a business trip, to embed an interactive slide presentation in your blog or web page, or to sync with audio as a quick and easy embeddable podcast.
Second Life @ University of Michigan: <a href=””
NOTE: We spent a lot of time on this, talking about problems or lack of functionality with the CTools Wiki, and how Wetpaint offers ease of editing and navigation combined with social networking support. Wishing we could get this kind of functionality in combination with our local security.
Vue (Visual Understanding Environment):
NOTE: “The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) project at Tufts is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.”
NOTE: “LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration”
NOTE: “Depicter is a web-based vector graphics editor. Store your drawings online, or export them to SVG, PNG or JPEG.”
NOTE: “Create and share flow charts, diagrams, and more.” Includes tools for mindmapping, organizational charts, and other useful tools.
NOTE: “ is an online multi-user, real-time collaboration flowchart software. Flowcharting made easy. does not require any software download, it works with your favorite browser such as Fire Fox, IE, Opera, Safari, Konquerer.”
NOTE: “Make your own Project Timeline (Gantt Chart)! To manage multiple timelines, add each unique timeline name to the end of your e-mail address when you sign in below (ie.” I just took a look at this, and will look for something better.
NOTE: A suite of office applications and management productivity tools. Rich collection, worth exploration.
Zoho Show:
NOTE: From the Zoho suite of applications comes this online presentation & collaboration tool.
Google Docs:
NOTE: Online document creation and collaboration tool. Was discussed for use with student team projects. Presentation tool was compared to Zoho Show as providing small file space and being appropriate for short presentations.
IBM GIO Report:
NOTE: This was discussed as providing insight into trends in leadership and teaching leadership skills. Additional related links are collected here:


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