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. ♥