Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Winning Strategies to Conquer Information Overload

Are you a connected teacher who needs strategies to assist you in conquering information overload? In this session, Kathy Schrock shared tools that will help you organize information and make it readily available saving you valuable time and energy.
Email: How do you manage it?
Set up email filters.
You can forward and file emails that are not necessary for you to receive all the time. How?
1. Monitor your email for two weeks to see what type of email you are receiving.
2. Create applicable folders or labels.
3. Look for the filter instructions.
4. Create your filters or rules so mail is forwarded and filed
5. Monitor the folders for two weeks
6. Re-evaluate to change if needed

IMAP is an Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP is useful if you check email on more than one computer or from more than one email account. It centralizes and synchronizes email.

Conquer Information by having hardware help you.
Stay connected with the Netbook:
Netbooks are cost effective and smallish. For recommendations on specific machines see slide 11 on the presentation. http://kathyschrock.net/score/score.pdf

Stay connected with a SmartPhone.
Not sold on the idea yet? Watch this convincing short video.
If you don't have the need for all the bells and whistles and are only worried about email, try staying connected with the Peek.

Stay connected with a Chumby.
A little device that sits on your counter, attaches to a wireless network, and gives updates. A subscription is not needed.

Stay connected with an Amazon Kindle.
Read books without going to the book store. You can easily search, pay, and download to keep up to date. This text based browser on the kindle will go to all the mobile sites. Read blogs and wikis, and go to social networks. There is now an app for the iPhone/iTouch to be a Kindle.

Lowtech Tip: Get information captured without a SmartBoard.
Take photos!
There are hundreds of online tools to help you organize and receive information.
Online Faxing: Faxage.
This on-line fax allows for multiple users and cover pages, faxes are all stored on-line, and you can be notified by email with the PDF attachment. The one downside is that you have to scan an item if it is not already electronic.

The single biggest thing to keep you from overload...
RSS, Feeds, and Newsreaders

Aggregate your web content so you have one source for receiving updates. Two popular readers include Google Reader and Bloglines.

Get an iGoogle page.
iGoogle is your personalized page where you can add news, photos or stuff from across the web on your personalized page. This tool makes it easier and more efficient to check all your favorites.

Sign up for Google Alerts.
Would you like to know if someone writes a blog post using your name or writes something about an event at your school? This cool tool gives you the opportunity to receive an email to alert you. You can also insert a gadget into your iGoogle page.

Applications to help you harness information.
Be involved in Social Networks.
Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Nings, all these social networks lay the foundation for building relationships with others and for your own professional learning. If you aren't taking part, you are missing out on an essential PLN.

Microblog with Twitter.
Kinda like IM but not, it is web-based and gives you the opportunity to follow others and for others to follow you. Type your message in 140 characters or less, and see where the learning takes you.

Use on-line social bookmarking
This is an on-line account shared to any computer so you can easily access information you have tagged from the web. The social part of comes when you follow what others are adding.

Use Google Documents, Google Spreadsheets, Google Calendars
Collaborate efficiently with colleagues using these on-line sources that provide for multiple users to update and build products together.

Work in the Cloud: Glide OS 3.0
Works within the browser, cross-platform and 10 GB of online storage, 20+ tolls included, can install a syncing client, glide mobile for use on over 75 devices, and it transcodes the files. http://www.glidedigital.com/

Measure the quality of the information you are receiving
Make a list of the sources you read regularly, figure the percentage of the last 10 posts you found useful, consider the length of the posts you read and the rate at which the person posts, and eliminate the bottom 50%. Deciding what to keep and what to delete will help you manage the data clutter that may be collecting in your electronic closet. Ask yourself, "If I save this, will it mean anything in a year?" If not consider purging it.

If you embrace these helpful strategies it will help you organize information and diminish the chances of overload.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic advice. Thanks for all of the great ideas.
Angela P

Dorry Lopez said...

Wow! I feel like your title was written just for me. I struggle daily with information overload. I want to learn it all, right now, so fast, yet it is too much to absorb without frequent hands-on and practice. Thanks for "speaking" to me in this post!

Dorry L-S