Monday, November 29, 2010 is a website used for social bookmarking. What is social bookmarking you might ask? Well, I had to look up some answers in order to tell you more because I was a bit wrong in my personal definition. Check out this wonderful link that tells 7 Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking. I found it extremely helpful and informative. 

I had previously thought that Social Bookmarking was a way of bookmarking your favorite websites online without the possibility of losing your list of bookmarks! I was wrong! Social bookmarking actually allows you to tag these websites on a public site so that others can easily find what they are looking for or have a more clear picture in regards to what a site is actually promoting/describing. Some sites can be listed as public while others are listed as private. The PDF link above also describes some of the pitfalls with social bookmarking, one of which is the manner in which sites are tagged. For example, if I only tag this blog as "blog", but not technology, reviews, or even Web 2.0, I am not really helping anyone out or giving true perspective on purpose of this blog. 

Social bookmarking is almost like a huge Dewey Decimal System for websites! Since anyone can do this with a free account, the same site could be tagged hundreds of times with a variety of tags. For example, I did a quick search of my gradebook program, SnapGrades, and it returned with 109 results for the same exact site! is simply one of many social bookmarking sites in existence currently. I tried to sign up today, but I am awaiting the reactivation of my old Yahoo account. Apparently, you cannot register without one. That part was a huge downfall for me, because I do not really want to reactivate my Yahoo account nor do I want to sign up for a new one. You can still perform searches without registering, which is helpful. I like the fact that you put in more than one tag and usually come up with more than 100 results! You can search by bookmarks, by user, and by tags (keywords). If you cannot find what you are looking for with one of the search methods, you have two others to try.

One of the huge upsides to sites like is the ability to share lists of resources with each other, especially with students. This would play a major role in telecollaboration because it would allow students and teachers to share and comment on numerous resources at their disposal. Teachers could spend less time continuously seeking resources through Google or Bing by using social bookmarking instead. It may not come up with all of the desired results, however. 

Once my account was reactivated, I did also enjoy the fact that you could import current bookmarks into You first have to export the bookmark files though! Here is an example of bookmarks that I could share amongst other Spanish teachers in my department, the county, or anywhere! I did not find the site to be completely user-friendly at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was not awful. There are a lot of steps to go through in order to make sites public versus private, delete sites you don't want at all, and edit tags/other information. I would like to explore some other sites such as Digg and Blinklist

Check out this site for more information regarding how to begin using and creating social bookmarking.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Google Docs

I have known about the vast options that Google offers, but I had not played with any of these options until about 6-8 months ago. Suffice it to say...I am in love! I finally switched email addresses completely to a Gmail account, and now, I can link my mail, Google Docs, RSS feed, calendar, and more! Google Docs is a free online collaborative file sharing/storage that allows 2 or more people to come together and work simultaneously. It has come in handy for many of the projects that we have been working on for this cohort, but it has also been useful at school as well. I'll blog more on that part later!

I was able to utilize Google Docs in the past without a Gmail account, but it seems much easier to use if you have a Gmail account. Google Docs offers five different file types that can be created and shared between a variety of users: document (word processor), spreadsheet, presentation (similar to PowerPoint), drawing, and form. I have recently used the documents, spreadsheets, and forms, but I have experimented with both drawing and presentation.

Once a new type of file has been created, the sharing process can begin. In the right-hand corner of the screen, the file can be shared with a variety of settings. A file can be sent to a number of people in order to simply view without the ability to edit, with the ability to edit, or just as an attachment. If you have a Gmail account, you can actually share with groups of people that you have created within your email. This would greatly benefit teachers who could share files with an entire class of students.

All of the file types seem fairly user-friendly, but do not function exactly like the Microsoft programs with which many people are familiar. I have to admit that I do not particularly like the presentation file or the drawing file simply because they do not offer all of the bells and whistles that other programs offer. On the go, however, I am sure that these types of files would be useful in the business world or even for students for whom having less options would be a solution for a better product.

There are many other sites in existence that can provide information or support for Google Docs, and one of them in the Support Site within Google. It can answer many questions and aid the troubleshooting process. Another helpful site is the official Google Docs Blog. The blog provides tips on using Google Docs and shortcuts for how to make using the file types a bit easier and faster.

Over the next few weeks, I will explore each file type in depth a bit more and provide some examples of some of the files that I've created both for school and for this cohort. For now, enjoy this video (or see below) about how some teachers and students have worked collaboratively with Google Docs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Welcome to Tech Talk! I have been a Blogger since 2007, sharing stories about my life, house remodel, and family. This blog, however, will be used to discuss recent technology and its uses and/or pitfalls in the world of education.

Please feel free to look around, comment, and ask questions. Happy Blogging!