Online Tools for my Students. The 2nd Edition. Part I

Well, it was to update my tools list as the new semester starts:) This is the essential part. The second part will include many untested tools I came upon during my never ending surfing sessions…

Submitted by: wenz
Posted at: 2010-07-08 09:48:15
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Online Tools for my Students. The 2nd Edition. Part I

1. A blogging software: Blogger or Nowadays, I prefer WordPress. Inbuilt statistics, better templates… (see also #41)
2- And WordPress Plugins of course. Without Plugins, a WordPress theme/template is incomplete. You can find many plugins listings such as this one. My favorite ones (in Alphabetical order): Akismet, Broken Link Checker, FBLike, GD Star Rating, Most Commented Widget, Subscribe To Comments, Top Commentators Widget, Wikio Buttons, Popular Posts, Stats, WP Google-buzz, Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.
3- For WordPress themes, I relied on two sources: Premium WP Themes and Best WordPress Themes
4. A Gmail account. Gmail. All Google Applications require a Gmail account. I wonder why you don’t have one already…
5. Google Docs. It is a great tool to produce collaborative work. It has also Forms to creating surveys.. Now Powerpoint is also added.
6. Open Office. In case you are pissed off with Microsoft Office. You can download this Office software which is free. Not as good as Microsoft Office yet but it is still satisfactory. Well, I have written my dissertation by using Google Docs and Open Office programs… But I am increasingly annoyed with it. Unfortunately new Microsoft Word rocks and I have to go back. Open Office people should work harder.
7. Bibme. A free, simple place to create your bibliographies in several Biblio formats. Honestly, I used this to create my bibliography for my dissertation. I still believe it is the most practical (they have finally added a function to refer to book chapters).
8. Paint.Net. A free image editor. That’s the one I use constantly. Some recommend GIMP but I haven’t tested that at all. Let me know if you recommend, too.
9. InfraRecorder. An open source cd burner. That’s what I use for my CDs I listen to when I drive:)
10. For file storage and sharing, in addition to Google Docs, I use For a better sharing, I feel like Scribd becomes a better place though…
11. Google Reader. An excellent tool to follow blogs and sites through RSS feeds. I follow more than 500 at the moment and Reader is just great… (still ultimate RSS reader list here)
12. Tweet Deck. Saved my life. I could not figure out how to use Tweeter more effectively and now I am getting used to Twitter usage:)
13. For microblogging: Twitter (see also 36) and Friendfeed. In Turkey Friendfeed is more popular at the moment. People share great stuff and this becomes a more important source for my blog posts… Friendfeed has some applications so that I can automatically announce my blog posts, youtube activities, likes at twitter… Google Buzz is not an alternative yet. It is a bit of disappointment at the moment.
14. Youtube. There are many rivals but I still use Youtube. More and more liking its Recommendations… And of course for video hosting it is still a great place… I have recently signed up for Vimeo, too, though. (Mashable?s Video Toolbox. Ultimate source for Video sharing related site lists.)
15. Speaking of recommendations, LastFm is a great music place to find new good musical stuff. Not for downloading but exploration…
16. Speaking of recommendations, Amazon, my beloved, has also great recommendation services based on what you have, what you bought and what you rated.. in books, music, and movies.
17. Speaking of movies, can there be a rival to IMDB, best film database? No rivals. But Criticker has become my main site for movie recommendations. Check it out.
18. For music downloads/sharinng. I totally rely on SoulSeek. – Not totally any more. Increasing reliance on torrents thru The Pirate Bay.
19. Speaking of torrents, I am novice in torrents, using BitTorrent software and I do the search through The Pirate Bay. The latter may not be the most sophisticated but the most resilient and I am fan:)
20. For a region free open source DVD player software, I use VLC Media Player. Well, I have betrayed. Now I am using GOM player
21. For a music player, WinAmp has always been my favorite.
22. In order to bypass Web Censorship in Turkey I rely on Open DNS which worked fine so far… So that I can use YouTube and many hmmm other sites… [Just moved to Google Public DNS, so far so good- 12/4/2009) (see also #40)… my God, as of September 2010, you have to find a new way in daily basis…good luck to all of us…
23. For free ebook downloads. I start with Aaaarg and PDF Search Engine. No! These are all gone. Gigapedia is the ultimate source now. (Still check out a bigger list #39)
24. For time management, I test Rescue Time at the moment. Seems cool but I have no final decision yet. Because I formatted the OS, I could not install the program again. Still I kind of like the idea…
25. In addition to networking, I use Facebook for sharing links and storing my photos online. I could never like much Picasa or Flickr. But these are huge photo storage and sharing places out there… In case you need… And in fact, I am planning to use Picasa soon.. Most Facebook applications are not that stable but these are my old time favorites: Books, Compare People, iDescribe. You may be surprised to see how many other social networking sites available. Know’em lists in several categories here.
26. In case you want to read some stuff later then here you have InstaPaper. There is a bookmarklet so that when you surf, you can easily mark stuff to read later. Well, so far I bookmarked a lot and did not go back to read but they are there waiting for me:) … You can download the marked material and read them at your e-reader. I will do it soon.
27. Do I have to mention Wikipedia. A basic source of knowledge and good to give links to when you write about some stuff your readers may not know…
28. Best social bookmarking site for me: Delicious.
29. Still testing: Mendeley. Seems to be a great bibliography tool you download and sync with your online profile. Glue. A recommendation service with a pluging to your Firefox. I haven’t had any progress with these software. I haven’t used since then…
30. Speaking of Firefox, well my favorite browser. I tried Flock, Chrome and I hate IExplorer and I ended up continuing to use Firefox… (You will be surprise to see how many other browsers are available: a list of web browsers.
31. For wiki-based work, I use from time to time Wikispaces.
32. Doodle. For event organizations. Decision making about time especially. I used once, it worked fine…
33. Instant messaging (IM). I am not much into it but Skype still rules. Also Skype and Gtalk are considered more secure… Skype is also a web phone system. I do not know why I did not use it much…You have to pay if you want to talk to people landline or mobile. But speaking from web to web is free. But MSN Messenger is the king of IM… (see also Google Voice)
34. I have looked back at Google Wave after a real long time and realized that there are some improvements. I think it can be used for collaborative projects. Seriously.
35. Google Alerts is good to follow incoming news etc. I use it to follow anthropology, Bilgi University, besiktas, Orhan Pamuk etc related news to follow. You can follow the alerts thru your email or RSS readers. But it is not limited to news. Good tool.
36. Oh in the mean time, I have become a heavy torrent user. I rely on legendary Pirate Bay to find out torrent addresses and when it is under stress, which happens frequently I go to Isohunt. And I use Utorrent to download stuff.

Other tools/recommendations…

37. Twitter toys: TweetLevel (A unique tool created by Edelman – measures an individual’s importance on Twitter)- The Twitter (The Twitter Times is a real-time personalized newspaper generated from your Twitter account)
38. Might be good for collective brainstorming.
39. Wordle. For calculating word, term frequency in a site…
40. A list of sites for free ebook downloads:


Diesel ebooks

































41. For Bypassing censorship:
YouTube videos embedded in a web page or blog work fine

– A proxy, specifically works well. Just visit that page and then find the video you want to watch.

TOR – The Onion Router ? Commenter says it works, but is slow.

– The TORPARK browser

OperaTor (after setting it to allow Javascript and plug-ins). It works, but it is slow.

OpenDNS in combination with OperaTor. OperaTor with OpenDNS seemed to be more responsive than using TT?s DNS. I did not try OpenDNS with Torpark.

Others proxies to try include:

Find updated proxies here:

this list’s source here.

42. Tumblr. An increasingly used site that offers a particular kind of blogging that is in between old school and microblogging.Other quality blogging software at Drupal, Joomla, and MovableType. I have had used MovableType for a long time. But I am not satisfied any more. The others are cool, I hear, but I have never tried.

43. Some other organizational tools via Kevin Bondelli: Google Calendar ? EvernoteHassleMe
44. Some other online storage sites: Dropbox, Keep and Share, 4shared, SlideShare (particularly for PowerPoint presentations), Issuu
45. Zamzar ? an online file conversion tool.
46. Analytics tools: Google Analytics and Feedburner, I use. Woopra is also recommended by some.
47. PodBean, PodOmatic and many more at Mashable?s Podcasting Toolbox for podcasting tools.

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