Technology has created an ever-changing language that only a committed techie can hope to master. Along with new terms, new tools and techniques for using computers in daily life continually burst forth from creative minds. One has to be committed to even try to keep up. And yet, it’s worth trying.
On Friday I attended a technology workshop sponsored by the PAEOP. The purpose of the program was to demonstrate a variety of free links, and how to use them. Our presenter was Laura Mikowycek, a woman with an amazing grasp on Internet programs and their value in a school or office setting.
Doodle is a great tool to help schedule a meeting for a group of people. The person scheduling selects a series of dates and times, emails them to the participants, and they each select their preferred dates and times. Doodle is a democratic tool; the most votes win.
We learned about Google Docs. It allows a group of people to share a document via the Internet and work on it collaboratively. Sharing a completed document is easy in Dropbox. A free account at Dropbox gives the user up to 2GB of storage. The creator can then email address/es and “share” the documents. My writer’s mind immediately speculated on how either Google Docs or Dropbox could be used by critique groups, as well for online RWA Chapter meetings.
With a background in graphic design, she showed how to create readable and interesting Power Point slides, and a few tools to help. One of them, Wordle, transforms a string of words into a work of art. It can make a small statement about a workshop or a website. It’s also a whole lot of fun! 🙂 We were also reminded of the importance of hand-outs at a meeting and encouraged to use shortened URLs, created with bit.ly or tinyurl.com.
There are many excellent, free sites on the Internet. On Friday I learned about a dozen or so. Most were totally new to me. Of those, I’ve chosen those I think will be most helpful, or interesting, to you.
Sharing knowledge is one of the beautiful things about technology. It has allowed us to do so on a scale never before imagined. So, the next time you read or hear about a really helpful website, click the link to FaceBook, Twitter, or whatever social media you prefer. Or simply email to a friend. Tell the world about it. ♥
I have a Dropbox which Edie R suggested to me last summer. I use it more each day and you’ve given me a few more ideas. I’m checking out your other sources next. Well, maybe next…I may be interrupted.
Have a very good week.
Hope you find them useful. I love bitly, to create little URLs. I’m eager to get into Google Docs and Dropbox. As time permits. 🙂 Enjoy your week, too!
Thank you so much for these tips. I would never have known. It’s great that you’re sharing them with the rest of us.
Glad you liked them, Patti! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Very fun. I’d never heard of Wordle before.
It is fun, isn’t it? I should have included more guidelines for Wordle. You make a word larger by typing it in more than once. You can keep two words together by putting a ~ in between them, no spaces…for example Stringing~Beads. “Randomize” to get the look you want. You need to do a print screen to save, or just print it then scan.
Hey Deb. Great post and I do use all the tools you’ve mentioned. Dropbox has been the best for my writing backups. I use Doodle for work scheduling. Wordle is just plain FUN. 🙂
Thanks, Brinda. So good to hear from people who use these tools and like them. I’m going to start using Dropbox.
Just visited your website. Nice! And The Waiting Booth looks intriguing. All my best.
I use Doodle for handling school signups but it can be inflexible. If someone knows of a better system (allowing dozens of people, let’s say, to sign up for a dinner and make a number of different choices per person), I’d love to hear about it.
There’s something called Meeting Wizard. Don’t know much about it, other than the name. If I hear of anything else I’ll let you know. Thanks for stopping in, Carly.
Thanks for the information especially about the Wordles. I’ve been wanting to try that one. 🙂
Me too. I’d seen a Wordle but had no idea I could create my own until this workshop. Love it!
Thanks. It’s always good to learn about a new writing tool. 🙂
It is, isn’t it? If you come across something interesting, let me know, will you? Thanks for stopping by!
Oh Deb, I already know that I will have so much fun with Wordles, thanks for the tip.
Yes…it sort of brings out the kid in a person. 🙂 I created one by highlighting a blog posting about my mom then adding a few other words. Could make a nice greeting card for someone, don’t you think?
Great blog! I saw your post at the Beau Monde group, where I typically only lurk. Can’t wait to try Wordle.
I almost didn’t post there since I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested. Then I thought…well, they’re all writers. I love the Beau Monde group, even if I’m a major lurker there. So much knowledge. I’m glad you stopped in, Karen..