Diigo Educator Accounts

I just found Diigo Educator Accounts, which are special premium accounts provided specifically to K-12 & higher-ed educators. Once your Diigo Educator application is approved, your account will be upgraded to have these additional features:

  • You can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
  • Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
  • Privacy settings of student accounts are pre-set so that only teachers and classmates can communicate with them.
  • Ads presented to student account users are limited to education-related sponsors.

Learn more >>

I’ve personally applied for my own educator account upgrade and I encourage anyone else with a Diigo account to do the same. In doing so, you’ll be able to continue to use your Diigo account that you’ve already setup but you’ll have additional teacher-only features that may be even more helpful to you and your students as you use Diigo in your teaching.

You can find me on Diigo at diigo.com/user/jrhode

Google Wave

Google Wave is a

…web-based application that represents a rethinking of electronic communication. Users create online spaces called “waves,” which include multiple discrete messages and components that constitute a running, conversational document. Users access waves through the web, resulting in a model of communication in which rather than sending separate copies of multiple messages to different people, the content resides in a single space. Wave offers a compelling platform for personal learning environments because it provides a single location for collecting information from diverse sources while accommodating a variety of formats, and it makes interactive coursework a possibility for nontechnical students. Wave challenges us to reevaluate how communication is done, stored, and shared between two or more people (7 Things You Should Know About Google Wave).

Google Wave is currently only available in a limited preview but I’ve been fortunate to receive access. I’m personally using Wave to design a new online social networking course that I am working on developing for the Illinois Online Network and am finding the tool to have a lot of potential! More about that project in another post.

I have received a few invites that I can give out to others who would like to try to Google Wave. If you’d be interested in giving Google Wave a try, please leave a comment here with the email address you’d like to have the invite sent to and if I still have an invite available, I’ll send one your way!

Recommended Books on Web Design

From time to time I’m asked what books I recommend for someone interested in learning more about Web design. For those interested in a bit more step-by-step guidance with the basics of Web design, here are two books that I have in my personal library and I highly recommend.


Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, Style Sheets, and Web Graphics (3rd ed.). ISBN 10: 0-596-52752-7

Learning Web Design

This thoroughly revised edition teaches you how to build web sites according to modern design practices and professional standards. Learning Web Design explains:

  • How to create a simple (X)HTML page, how to add links and images
  • Everything you need to know about web standards — (X)HTML, DTDs, and more
  • Cascading Style Sheets — formatting text, colors and backgrounds, using the box model, page layout, and more
  • All about web graphics, and how to make them lean and mean through optimization
  • The site development process, from start to finish
  • Getting your pages on the Web — hosting, domain names, and FTP

Learning Web Design starts from the beginning — defining how the Web and web pages work — and builds from there. By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create multi-column CSS layouts with optimized graphic files, and you’ll know how to get your pages up on the Web.

The book includes exercises to help you to learn various techniques, and short quizzes to make sure you’re up to speed with key concepts. If you’re interested in web design, Learning Web Design is the place to start.


The Non-Designer’s Web Book: An Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site (3rd ed.). ISBN: 0-321-30337-7

Non-Designer's Web Book

If you think web design is beyond your reach, or if you want your existing web site to look more professional, this thoroughly updated classic is the place to turn! In these pages, best-selling authors Robin Williams and John Tollett share the creative ideas, useful techniques, and basic design principles that are essential to great Web design-all in the context of the most current technology, software, and standards. Throughout, the authors’ aim is to inspire you and spark your creativity rather than sedate you with pages and pages of code. To that end, you’ll find loads of real-world examples, interesting illustrations, and the simple instructions you need to implement the techniques and concepts described in these pages.

Teaching with Blogs Best Practices

Blogs have become common tools for communicating and collaborating online. While setting up a blog takes only a matter of minutes, effectively incorporating blogs into online teaching requires purposeful planning and structuring of activities to leverage the power that blogging brings to the learning environment. This presentation I gave at the 2009 SLATE Conference shared the experiences of incorporating instructor and student blogs into an online course as well as practical recommendations for those considering utilizing blogs in online learning. Sample instructor and student blogs as well as activities designed specifically for blogs were reviewed.

In addition to recording the session using a FlipVideo camera and sharing via Vimeo as well as a podcast in iTunes, I also experimented with live streaming the session using Twitcam. My colleague, Stephanie Richter, moderated the live stream / Twitter comments. The interactive online handout contains all the links, screen shots, and examples that I shared and/or referenced. Enjoy!

Cite this presentation as:

Rhode, J. F., & Richter, S. L. (2009, Oct. 16). Blogger beware: Teaching with blogs best practices. Presented at the 2009 SLATE Conference, Chicago, IL

Mobile Internet Use Increasing Rapidly

“An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that 56% of adult Americans have accessed the Internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this.”

“The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the Internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007, when 24% of Americans had ever used the internet on a mobile device. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the Internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.” . . .

Wireless internet access using other devices, though much less common than with laptops or handhelds, has a foothold among some Americans. The April 2009 survey found that:

  • 45% of adults have iPods or MP3 players and 5% of all adults have used such a device to go online.
  • 41% of adults have game consoles and 9% of adults have used it to access the Internet.
  • 14% of adults have a personal digital assistant (PDA), and 7% of adults have used it for online access.
  • 2% of adults have an e-book (i.e., a Kindle or Sony reader) and 1% of adults have used it to get online.

The complete study is available at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx

What opportunities does an increased access to the Internet on mobile devices afford teaching and learning in higher education? Leave a comment with your ideas!