Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thing 45: Go With The Flow

Who's a freak for flowcharts? I know I love 'em. They can make concepts easy to grasp and solutions easy to find. When describing complex relationships or presenting a variety of choices and outcomes, they're wonderful at keeping important points from getting lost in translation.

Mind maps (an offshoot of the same idea) are similarly useful, though I think they work better for the creator than the reader. They're good at uncovering the relationships between multiple ideas and are not restricted to linear concepts like time and work flow.

So, here are some web-based tools that I've used for projects in the past (I just hate installing stuff):

Gliffy (flowchart) (mind map) (flowchart, duh)

mindmeister (mind map)

Discovery Exercise:

  • Choose at least two of the above (one flowchart, one mind map) and set up an account.
    • Note that will have you request an invitation which should arrive within the day (mine took 15 minutes).

  • Explore the differences between mind maps and flowcharts, and consider using (or at least testing) one of these tools with a real project that you may have coming up.
Enjoy, and leave a comment here with your thoughts on these or other similar tools.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thing 44: Nag Yourself

Wow, I've really enjoyed reading this blog so far, and what great finds!! I'm still having fun exploring, so I feel compelled to share my (other) new favorite blog: Mustaches of the Nineteeth Century! Not for everybody, but if you suffered through 1900 House on PBS, have a look.

Well, onto the point. If you need to send yourself a message & can't get to pen/paper/keyboard, just speed-dial the Jott phone number, speak a message, & it will store that message online, email your message back to you (and anybody else you like), and it will even transcribe it into text for email or text messaging - again, to anybody you like, and all without pressing a single button!

It's better to set this up on your cell phone as Jott will only know you by the number you call from, but you can set up multiple numbers as well. It can be a really powerful tool (see the video below), but keep in mind that if you want your messages transcribed to text you'll need to talk a bit slower and more clearly than this example:


[Hear a real example] This is a test message I did from my cell phone. Click the play button below the message to hear the recording. It transcribed it perfectly.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Go set up a Jott account (free beta).
  2. Call in a reminder to yourself to check out the Learning 2.1 blog next Monday.
    (Here are the instructions for setting up a reminder)
  3. Then explore the following features:
    (Here's the link to the How To page)
Have fun!!!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome Russ

Sorry that I’m little late in welcoming November’s Discovery Guide. But,it seems that the month of October just flew by and was over before I knew it.

Anyway, please join me in welcoming Russ Reed as I once again pass the baton. When I asked Russ to share with me a small bio for his introduction, what I received was so perfect, that I thought I'd just post it exactly as I received it. :)
“I work in the Technology Education department at ImaginOn where I hold classes for kids and teens on anything from digital photography to online gaming, and many things in between.

A degree in Mass Communication and a strong interest in music provide the background I need to teach video and music production in ImaginOn's Studio i.

I love exploring new toys, tools, and technologies, and am constantly on the lookout for something new to share with the young people at ImaginOn.

My wife Lori works at PLCMC's Main branch as a staff technology trainer, and we are raising two wonderful children”

Welcome Russ! I can’t wait to see what discoveries you have in store.