Monthly Archives: May 2013

Unit 4: Free tools

I really enjoy using Diigo and decided that it would be an interesting task to actually examine the terms and conditions. I, like many others , blithely sign up to free online tools, happily ticking the “agree to terms and conditions box” while vaguely supposing that it will all be OK for now, and fully intending to look into it properly later on…which, of course never happens.

Diigo, like many other free online tools, offers the “pay to upgrade” option and being such an accessible tool, I imagine that many educators find that they incorporate it into their professional use to such an extent that they take up this option. The Diigo “Help” and “FAQ” pages are written in clear language and I felt that “Privacy” issues are well addressed. The only aspect that did intrigue me, was that I really could not find where the data storage issue was addressed. It must be somewhere, but as a new user, I feel that I should be able to locate this information easily, which was not the case.

Next, I decided to seize the opportunity to have a look at the tool, Dropbox.  This one has always had great appeal ever since my tertiary-student son showed me how he used it. It does require yet another login, but I think that most of us have probably devised strategies on how to best manage our numerous accounts. Being an organisational tool, Dropbox appears to have most storage issues, back up issues and privacy issues well documented, and it certainly presented as a tool that would be quite straight forward for educators and senior students to use. One of its many features includes the option of sharing files, and this could apply to a work environment and classroom environment. In terms of the SAMR model, it appears to cover the levels of substitution, augmentation and modification, but I have not really investigated thoroughly enough to decide yet whether it ticks the final level of redefinition. I would certainly recommend this as a tool to consider for private organisation of  data, and it is probably very worthwhile in terms of colleagues working together, or students working on group/class projects. The  one aspect that I have not clarified for myself is determining how this differs to a tool such as Evernote. I’m sure that it comes down to a matter of preferences and personal workflows, but I would be very interested for comments in regard to this.

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