Posts Tagged ‘’

GoogleFest, meet Prezi

May 23, 2010

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog this week, with finals, graduation, yet another graduate class, and preparing for next week’s GoogleFest.

I was asked to put together a series of hour-long sessions for this year’s end-of-year professional development days.  The sessions are Collaboration with Google Docs, Forms & Spreadsheets, Calendar & Presentations, and Google Sites.  With the help of a couple of colleagues, GoogleFest was born!

I began by planning the sessions and their descriptions, and then I recruited some help to share the workload.  I created a Google Site to house all of the resources associated with the sessions, and I tried to use as many Google tools in the creation of the resources.  Just hours before stopped accepting new URLs, I shortened the GoogleFest site to

Everything changed when I got my free Prezi account.

I had seen Prezi used once before in a presentation given by Steve Dembo, but they didn’t offer free accounts for educators at the time.  Through my work as a Discovery Education STAR, I was given a free Prezi account.  On a whim, I decided to organize a GoogleFest presentation in it.  By the end of the day, I had several of the workshops completed using Prezi.

Check out this great Prezi on Google Search Tips,  my GoogleFest Prezi, and all of the great Prezis categorized by discipline at

PS:  If you’re new to Prezi, use the arrow keys to navigate!


On-Again, Off-Again

March 22, 2010

In my 2008 post, Economy’s Impact on Web 2.0?, I asked the question “what if some of the free tools we use every day disappear tomorrow?”  I frequently use URL shortening services like tinyurl,, and  When I need to send my students to a shared Google Spreadsheet to enter lab activity data, if I want to mention a resource in a podcast, or if I just need to fit a resource into Twitter’s 140 characters, I go to first.

I shortened a URL with just the other day:

Now, their home page is referring users to alternative sites, indicating that no new URLs may be shortened using the website. is no longer accepting URL shortening requests via its website. May we respectfully suggest that you choose one of the many other wonderful alternatives available.

Please understand that this does not affect any software that has tr.imavailable within it.’s API is available, and redirections are working normally.

This isn’t the first time has gone down, but I worry that this time it’s for good.  I would like to use as my new URL shortener because of it’s speed (and I doubt Google’s going to shutter anytime soon).  Unfortunately, it’s API-only at the moment.  I guess I’ll use in the mean time.