Friday, January 11, 2008

tt4t_020 Getting Organized the Web 2.0 Way

It’s Friday, January 11, 2008 and welcome to Episode 20 of Tech Talk 4 Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. Well we are back at it again for another exciting semester. The Consumer Electronics Show this week offered a glimpse of some new additions for 2008. I have a links to c/nets Best of CES 2008 Awards available in the show notes if you are interested in seeing the award winners for the show this week. As expected wide screen televisions and high definition monitors were quite popular including the worlds largest 150 inch plasma TV by Panasonic. Check out the link in the show notes to see a video demo of the worlds largest plasma TV.

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Best of CES 2008 from c/net
if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find category listings.

Worlds Largest Plasma TV video demo from c/net

Tom’s Technology Pick of the Week

Since it is the beginning of the semester and a new year I imagine more than a few of you have made a new years resolution to become better organized. I was asked by a former student this week if I knew of any good to-do lists management tools that she could use. I told her that I primarily used Outlook but unfortunately that was not an option available to her since our university hosts Microsoft Exchange Server accounts only for faculty and staff. So I did a bit of research and I think I found a good answer for her. My Technology pick of the week this week is a new Web 2.0 tool that allows you to create your own to-do lists, calendars, and help you with basic project management. It even allows you to mark web pages that you have visited and upload and store important files that you want to manage. The name of the tool is Backpackit and a link is available in the show notes.

If you visit the backpackit website be sure to view the tour of how others are using this tool. Now, I have not used this yet, but after doing a bit of research this tools looks like it will do all the things my student asked about. My first reaction when I got to this site was here we go again another userid and password to keep track of but this site did offer me an alternative. The site offered the use of OpenID. If you remember back a few shows ago I went on a bit of a rant, that while these Web 2.0 tools were wonderful and useful, it didn’t make sense to constantly create a new account everytime I wanted to try out a new tool. OpenID allows you to create one username and password and if the Web 2.0 tool supports openid you no longer have to create a separate account. A BIG benefit if you are tired of managing dozens of accounts. Like most things in technology there are pros and cons to the OpenID approach. The biggest con is that if your OpenID account is compromised then you have several accounts that could be compromised. The benefit of course is less accounts to keep track of and fewer passwords to deal with. A link to the Open ID initiative is provided in the show notes.

The openID initiative is just starting to get traction so it will be a while before we know how secure this approach will be but it does look promising if guarantees can be made regarding potential security issues.

Let me know if you have a suggestion for a to-do list manager or other suggestions for the show. You may send your comments to or leave a comment in my blog. Show notes for this weeks show are available on the web at that’s techtalk the number 4 That wraps it up for this episode 20 of TechTalk4Teachers so until next time this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.

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