by Samuel Sennott
Widgets are small applications that are helpful. In this series of posts, we will describe how they are helpful in three categories of ways. We will look at: widgets for personal productivity, widgets for many different student applications from book readers to digital turntables, and we will also look at how Widgets may affect the way we interact with the web, such as in social networking and iGoogle.
You may have first heard about Widgets when Apple incorporated them into the Dashboard component of OS X 10.4, Tiger. They were quite the buzz. Since then, things have really blown up. Between Facebook, Myspace, and Google alone, Widgets are big business.
Why should we be interested in Widgets? On one level, they can increase our productivity. Just consider how useful iGoogle can be. I remember reading about it on the CoolCat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis and instantly realized how many microseconds I save, not opening up GMAIL, my reader, going to the news, this or that blog, opening up Google Scholar, my university’s library link, etc. Now I simply set up iGoogle as my home page and everything I formerly went to regularly on the web comes to me. Not just my RSS feeds come to me, but nearly everything I do, step by step, I add as a Widget. For me this is very similar to the launchers and visual scene displays we create for our students. : ) Again, much thanks for AT not only helping my students, but helping me in my life and my work helping students.!
Here is a look at my iGoogle page. Note the Zero inbox! : )
Check out iGoogle and note how you can take advantage of the Tabs to create separate, manageable spaces.
Here are two useful widgets to stay current with this blog. Special thanks to Mark Coppin for the Creation of the cool Apple Dashboard Widget.
alltogether.wordpress iGoogle Widget Click on the icon.
alltogether.wordpress Apple Dashboard Widget Click to Download.
Look for the next installment of the Widget Series: Digital Instruments and Widgets. For a sneak peak, check out the turntable set up here.