Open Thinkering


Month: November 2007

Hakia: web search with meaning


It’s all very well for those of us who are Google ninjas and can find pretty much anything that’s there on the Intertubes. However, spare a thought for those youngsters trying to complete their homework, becoming more and more befuddled when they search for Hannibal (enemy of Rome) and end up with Hannibal (serial killer).

Hakia allows users to search semantically – i.e. for meaning rather than just words. It’s like an amazingly efficient version of Ask Jeeves (as was) in that users can ask questions and get meaningful results. I’ve taken it for a spin and I’ll be recommending it to my students. I’m happy with Google search, though – for the time being…. :p

(via Read/Write Web – 10 Semantic Apps to Watch)

Guide: using Google Apps for Education

Google Apps

Noel Jenkins, the innovative Geography Advanced Skills Teacher and sharer of great ideas and resources via Digital Geography and Juicy Geography, has written a guide. He, like me, has been using Google Apps for Education with his students and has found it to be really beneficial. I think it’s a potentially free VLE replacement.

The Google Apps for Education guide Noel has written can be found here. Whilst it can be set up by an experienced individual, unless you really know what you’re doing (changing CNAME records, etc.) I’d leave setting up Google Apps for Education to your network administrator. 🙂

Zoho writer now available in offline mode

Zoho Writer

Google Docs is great and even auto-saves your and your students’ work, but what about if and when your Internet connection goes down? Zoho have just announced that Zoho Writer now has an ‘offline mode’ for both reading and writing documents. Somewhat bizarrely, it uses software made by Google called Google Gears which the latter haven’t managed to integrate into their own offering yet!

Although Zoho does have a paid-for premium service, the basic account is free and ties in with for (free) extra file storage. It’s looking very competitive, especially with the recent updates to Buzzword

(via Lifehacker)