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Critical Literacies Week 1 – my tools

Posted on | June 6, 2010 | No Comments

Ok, I’ve started the online course Critical Literacies, fondly known as CritLit2010. The facilitators are Rita Kop and Stephen Downes.

One of our tasks is to read some of the articles linked to from the course readings for the week, and to keep track of the content we’ve read. For example, we can use Delicious to bookmark the articles we’re reading, using the tag CritLit2010 (#critlit2010 if using Twitter).  I’ve done that for a few of the readings, and tried to make a note or two to help me retain something about the article I bookmarked. I use Delicious a lot, and have done so for years, but I rarely make a note. So,  if nothing else, perhaps this course will cure me of my lazy, click-and-run bookmarking habits!

However, one of the things I don’t like about reading web pages, or reading on a computer, is that it’s hard to make notes. I like to underline, or to scribble things in the margin, or on the blank section at the end of a chapter.

Since I’ve had a Kindle 2 now for over a year, I’m experimenting with putting the readings for the week on my Kindle. I use Instapaper, which is a free online service. It captures web pages as simple text and images, onto a personal folder. I can download that folder onto my Kindle, but Instapaper does some cool magic and turns the folder of captured articles or web pages into a Kindle magazine. The articles are neatly formatted, and I can highlight and annotate like crazy (except I can’t write in the margins).  Then, if I want, I can extract the notes and highlights and plop them in a blog post, or Word doc, or whatever, because they’re saved as a text file.

You can see a screenshot of my week 1 Instapaper, on Flickr, if you want.  I can’t seem to get an image on the blog since I upgraded to the latest WordPress version and I don’t have time to mess around.

Sheesh, just when I was feeling all geeky and cool!


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