The world wide web is a vast source of information and resources but it is like drinking from a firehose. It is too much. Fortunately, applications exist which help us find and organize resources in a way that is personally meaningful and allows for collaborative or "social" learning. Knowledge construction is becoming more of a conversation, a process rather than a product. This is one of the distinctions between Web 1.0 where web resources were static and flow of information was one way, and Web 2.0 where resources are dynamic and evolving in response to the input of individuals who read and add value.

There is no text for this course for a number of reasons, the main reason being that none exists. A second and equally important reason to fore go a text is the static nature of print-based medium. By the time a text book on social networking is published it is mostly obsolete. Web based tools and resources are being developed and redefined continually and are usually freely available. Individuals in this course will research, assemble and construct their own resource materials from web based sources and exhibit these materials in a web based format.

Like any other tools, web based tools are not useful in themselves, they are used to accomplish and support tasks. Each of the tasks listed in the course outline will employ a different web based tool (or set of tools). Participants will learn the use of these tools and then add value by employing them for collaboration and co-creation of knowledge scaffolded by a set of meaningful tasks.

The web based applications chosen for this page are representative of categories of tools that share aspects or features of social networking applications. Some tools are convergent in that they put together features of simpler applications in new ways. None of the tools require programming skills beyond basic file management and keyboarding ability.

This is a preliminary but not exclusive list of web based tools that we will use for projects in this class. Used together these applications can form the basis of a personal learning environment. Effective use of web-based applications such as these is an essential component of digital literacy. I regularly update this page but occasionally a link to a service changes or an application is no longer available. If you come across a dead link on this page please add a note on the discussion page.

Web Browsers
Microsoft's Internet Explorer is very commonly the installed web browser on many personal computers, however, there are many other web browsers that have specialized features that support social networking and Web 2.0 functions. Various browsers will be introduced and compared. What is a Web Browser?
Firefox a web browser that can be personalized with many very helpful "add ons".
Chrome is a newer browser by Google. Works very well and also has extensions.
Opera very fast and lightweight browser from Norway.
Flock another web browser from Mozilla the makers of Firefox


Web log applications. (Watch this video on Blogs.)
Blogger a web log provider owned by Google and integrated with other Google applications
Wordpress a web log provider.
EduBlogsblogging service for educators and learners.
Posterous a simple blogging platform for posting through email.
Tumblr simplified blogging.
Twitter microblogging application that allows only entries of 140 characters or less. Be concise, be connected.


News Aggregators or Feed Readers (watch video about RSS feeds)
Bloglines a news aggregator or feed reader.
NewsGator another news feed reader.
Google Reader
Feedly is an aggregator that works on top of Google Reader.

Social Bookmarking ( watch video about social book marking.)
Del.icio.us Social bookmarking allows for the web storage and sharing of booked marked web sites.
Furl
Technorati
Diigo social bookmarking with bookmarks sticky notes, tags and groups.

Google Applications
Google in addition to being a very powerful search engine Google is assembling an integrated system of web based tools. turning out to be THE web based operating system with tools for many purposes
Gmail a web based email program
Reader another news aggregator/feed reader
Documents powerful online office suite including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications. All of these applications allow users to collaborate on a shared document in real time or asynchronously.
Google Calendar
YouCanBookMe Lets others book a time on your Google calendar. Great for setting up appointments.

Presentation applications
Zoho Show web based presentations. While Microsoft's Powerpoint is often seen as the standard for desktop presentations, a number of web based applications have been developed to have the same functionality as a slide show but web based and shareable.
Prezi a unique application for creating web based presentations
Slideshare a web-based slide presentation application
SlideRocket online presentation application. Paid version allows audio content in slides.
JoinMeFree desktop sharing application. Allows others to watch you make changes to your page. Includes a text chat. Application installs on your computer.

Screen Casting Tools (see this comprehensive wiki dedicated to screen casting tools and practices)
Jing for creating mini tutorials or webinars.
FRAPS for creating mini video and audio presentations and sharing.

Collaborative Graphic Organizers
CmapTools desktop tool for creating mindmaps. Allow for sharing in an online archive system.
Compendium desktop tool that allows for uploading to Open Learn
Mindmeister lets you create shared mind maps with synchronous editing and quick linking to Skype and chat.
TypeWithMe real-time collaborative document editing. (formerly Etherpad, Google bought it and added a similar function to WAVE)

Wikis (watch video )
Wikispaces a wiki engine commonly used in education. Great Wikispaces Tutorials for just about every Wikispaces feature.
PikiWiki a wiki like tool that allows permits the drag and drop technique of editing. Also allow you to produce podcasts and videocasts.
PBWorks PB originally came from peanut butter because the marketing pitch said that making a wiki was as easy asmaking a peanut butter sandwich.
WetPaint another great wiki used by many educators
Wikipedia the granddaddy of all wikis. A comprehensive encyclopedia that is growing exponentially. Becoming a contributor is a major accomplishment.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Telephony.
Skype web based telephone that can be used for videoconferencing, desktop sharing, sharing documents, text chatting and many other activities
GizmoCall free, web-based (no download required)
Google Voice - not quite VoIP yet but coming soon. Google might also introduce a new mobile network to support the Android phone. For the moment Google Video works very similarly to Skype.

Audio applications
Podomatic a web tool that allows you to create and post podcasts
Podbean a free tool for uploading and publishing audio files as podcasts
iTunes U. a collection of recorded university lectures from major universities
Audacity free audio editor that is very useful when recording for podcasts.
Hipcast a paid service that allows for the transcription and posting of podcasts.
Drop.io free file sharing service includes a podcasting function
Audioboo Podcasting application with very simple recording function.
Cinch Micro podcasting application
Vocaroo Record and send voice emails.


Video sharing applications. See this blog post for a discussion of 50 different video sharing applications with possibilities for education.
YouTube
Google Video
Teachertube a great place to upload your videos.
UStreamTV
Mediasharer
Livestream Your own personal Internet TV station. Similar to UStream.
Tokbox for real-time group video conversations.
Skype now allows for a video conversation between up to 10 participants.

Social Networking Communities
Facebook wildly popular (too popular?)
MySpace Lots of music artists prefer this community
Ning a community of communities, find one you like or start your own. Was free, started charging a fee in 2010
Linked In for professional connections
Orkut Google social networking application, popular in South America

Organization and Bibliographic Applications
Evernote online organizer
MendeleyAcademic online bibliography application.
Zotero A Firefox add-on that lets you create a reference library with one click entries. It is searchable, sharable, does screen captures, has a notes capacity and is able to format references in various styles.

Utilities
CCleaner Use for housekeeping your computers file system and removing redundant or unused files.
Malwarebytes Use this application to check for and remove malicious applications
AVG Free Anti-virus application Excellent anti-virus protection.
Belarc Advisor use this to analyze your computer and update your operating system , install patches and fixes.