§pecial Çharacters

Ever want to use special characters in a document, blog post, or tweet?  I’ve got just the website for you.  CopyPasteCharacter.com is a simple website that allows you to click on any of the available special characters (they are copied to the clipboard automatically) and then paste them into whatever you’re working on.

There are also a few extra features to this site.  If you want to copy more than one character at a time, either hold “alt” on a PC or “option” on a Mac and click on as many characters as you want.  They’ll all be copied to your clipboard so you can paste them in any application.  The website even works on the iPhone, so all of you mobile “tweeters” can easily add smiley faces and snowmen to your posts.


The Social Media Revolution

The eLearning Technology blog has an interesting video up about the Social Media revolution that has overtaken much of the world. Some of the interesting statistics posted included:

  • 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction
  • 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
  • According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available

I don’t think it’s quite news to most people these days that the changes in the way information is sent, sought out and digested has major implications for the way instructors teach and the way students learn, but I do think that often we don’t fully understand the scope of just how large Web 2.0 really is.

The World Digital Library

The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site, in a variety of ways. These cultural treasures include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Items on the WDL may easily be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.

Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Many more languages are represented in the actual books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other primary materials, which are provided in their original languages.

The World Digital Library

Useful PowerPoint Add-ins

While PowerPoint is a relatively powerful piece of presentation software, it has it’s limits.  Many times, presenters want to visit a web site in the middle of their presentation.  In order to do so, they must exit presentation mode and open up a web browser.  The same thing must be done to play YouTube videos (unless the user downloads them using 3rd party websites/software).  I recently came across two free PowerPoint Add-ins (PC only) that will allow the presenter to do both of these things from within their presentation.

The first one is called LiveWeb.  Upon installation, it allows the user to add live web pages to their slides.  Simply go to the “LiveWeb” tool, click “Web Page”, and a wizard guides them through the process.  Once the page has been added, it can be resized and moved to fit within the slide. Continue reading


Due to changes in the website and lack of support, we no longer recommend Tinychat.  Please go to this website to view alternatives that may better suit your needs.

“Video conferencing today is broken: typically requiring cumbersome downloads, logins, and endless contact lists, it too often becomes a service that is slow and unreliable. Enter Tinychat. Tinychat delivers dead simple video conferences without the extraneous ad-ons and inconvenience, making video conferencing an accessible, uncomplicated experience. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux; with Firefox, IE, Safari, and Chrome; and there is a version available for iPhones. You can have up to twelve people in a room with HQ video, protected by passwords and moderators, share your desktop with them, and your conferences can be recorded and embedded on your website. Tinychat is the ultimate meeting solution for those who want to meet without stress and hassle.”

Each Tinychat room currently supports:

  • Up to 200 concurrent chat participants
  • Up to 12 simultaneous audio, video broadcasts


Say What?

I just found a great tool for people, like myself, who sometimes have problems pronouncing clients’/colleagues’ names.  Rather than taking a wild stab at it, why not use the inogolo service?  It’s a very simple web site that allows users to type in names they are having problems with and receive phonetic pronunciations in return.  Some of them have audio included as well.  There are Firefox and Internet Explorer add-ons you can download to make searching faster.


Overall, the service seems to work very well.  There are categories used to browse names, you can read through pronunciation guides, and even add pronunciations that are not currently in their database.  A tool like this could come in very handy before your next meeting, conference, or interview!