Technology for Academics

Finding new technology so you don't have to

Tech Essentials

File management

Dropbox.  Sync your files across all of your devices (home computer, work computer, laptop, smartphone).  Share folders with others, like you would with a shared drive.  Let others upload to or download files from your Dropbox.  (See this blog post for more info.)

CloudConvert.  You have a file in one format, but you want it in a different format.  This service will do the transformation for you.

News management

Inoreader. It has all the power you could want for bringing in news.  And then you can tag news items.  Tagged items get dropped into your own customized RSS feeds.

Scheduling

YouCanBook.Me. If your students need to make appointments with you, this is the way to go.  (See this blog post of for more info.)

Doodle.  Need to schedule a bunch of people for a meeting? Need to get a bunch of people to make a decision?  This is the way to go.  (See this blog post for more info.)

Video downloader

KeepVid.  If there are web-based videos that you count on for class, download them.  Don’t trust that they’ll always be available online.  (See this blog post for more info.)

Bookmark management

Diigo. Save your bookmarks where you can access them from all of your devices, including your smartphone. Share some or all of your bookmarks. Tag them so they’re easy to find.

Shortmarks. Get to your bookmarked pages, even search them, just by putting shortened code in your browser’s address bar.  See this blog post to see what I mean.

Task management

Nudgemail.com. I’ve tried many different task management tools.  They all require me to go someplace to get my task list.  Nudgemail puts my tasks where I live, in my email and in my calendar. See this blog post — it’s dated, but the key features are the same.

Trello. Excellent tool for managing long term projects or projects with lots of moving parts.

Web conferencing

Zoom. Handy during a conference call or for just showing students something on your computer.  Give them a link, and they can see your desktop in their web browser.

Password manager

LastPass. Remember one password and have access to all of your passwords – even on your smartphone. LastPass will generate random passwords for you – and remember them for you. You can even share a password with someone else, say, the person you share a bank account with.

Automation

IFTTT. Automatically have your gmail attachments saved to Dropbox. Tweet Feedly articles you’ve tagged. Text new appointments to Google calendar. Making these kinds of automated connections is the power of today’s internet. And you know what? It’s ridiculously easy to do. Read more here.

Text messaging

Cel.ly. Text all of your students at once or just texts individuals without getting their phone numbers or revealing yours. Send out a multiple choice question, and Cel.ly will tally the results for you. Read more here.

3 thoughts on “Tech Essentials

  1. great page, but…KeepVid is much too intrusive. they read all your settings and modifies your default search engine. also it installs ask-jeeves. JAKKES.

  2. Hi Sue! It’s Shauna Joye – I was wondering if you know of a site similar to cel.ly. I’ve been using cel.ly for a couple years (AND LOVE IT) but they will no longer be offering the anonymous texting as of next month. Students will have to download the app, which is fine for my purposes, but I have a student running a study who needs the anonymous texting capability. I am going to search as well but I know you have your finger on the pulse of this tech stuff so I thought I would start here!

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