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Studying with Cyber Tools

Studying with Cyber Tools

Author: Deborah Otis

To teach the user to access and use various Web 2.0 tools to aid in learning and organizing material.

Unfortunately, you can not do a Vulcan mind meld to acquire information from your professor, teacher, or text so this packet contains information, links, images, and video tutorials to empower an individual learner, that's you, to use Web 2.0 tools to enhance your every day study dexterity. It will make current your studying habits by accessing those 21st century tools available online. This is a resource for upper elementary, middle, and high school students as well as secondary learners. This packet could also aid instruction planning for teachers who want to integrate technology tools into their lesson plans.

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Vocabulary Study Helps

All subjects have vocabulary unique to them, for instance, in learning anatomy you may need to understand such words as circulatory, endocrine, or leukocytes.  Learning new vocabulary can be a challenge and it is not always easy to become familiar with their meaning and usage.  Many students have resorted to using flashcards, writing the definition on one side of an index card and the vocabulary word on the other.  Though this has long been an effective tool for some, the cards can be cumbersome, lost, unorganized as well as not so great for the environment.  Here are several on line technology tools that are similar in concept to the paper ones, but fun to use, completely interactive, and free!  Each of these sites allows you to input your own vocabulary words and definitions; they also have two modes, one in which the learn mode where you study your definitions and another in which you are testing your knowledge by "playing" an interactive "game" with your vocabulary terms. You will links to the actual website, links to further information, and simple and easy to follow video tutorials.


Flashcard Maker by Scholastic


Source: Deborah Otis,,,,

How to Use Quizlet

Organizing Material and Brainstorming with Online Mind Mapping

New information can be hard to catergorize or break down into manageable pieces and it is the connections between information is not also eaisly discernable yet some how as learners we have to get there from here.  As you are reading information and trying to deciper it, it may be helpful to use online mind mapping tools and online graphic organizers in order to see the information you are having to retain visually.  Below are several helpful online tools for creating webs, venn diagrams, charts, as well as a place to scribble and share your ideas and connnections with others.  It is also a great way to start a paper or project by designing an outline using the mapping tools. is a very easy to use mind mapping and/or brainstorming web tool it is elegant in its simplicity.  Below you will find a tutorial but it is easy to jump in and use just by creating a username and password if you want to save or share your work and just using the space online if you do not.  This web site has you create parent, child and sibling cells showing topics, sub topics, and related topics.  The graphic below shows a beginning outline of a study of the Galapagos Islands, the author can begin to see the natural break downs for each section of her research paper. 

Just so you have some options here are two other mind mapping or brainstorming web tools are MindMeister and DropMind.  Check them out to see which appeals to you the most, they all have the same basic concept but some different areas of sophistication. 


The sites listed below  have extras that you may need depending on your project needs.  Dabbleboard is basically an online whiteboard and it is great for collaborating; you can check out the tour below the link for more information.  What is Gliffy?  Check out the video that comes next!


Dabbleboard Tour




How to Use Gliffy

Source: GliffyGliffy demo video from by Chris Colheart

How to Use

A tutorial on the use of the mindmapping/brainstorming online tool.


There are many ways people take notes and organize their thoughts on a subject.  They may make lists of phrases or ideas, right a sequence, or rewrite facts or ideas into their own words.  You will probably take notes as you read text or as you are listening to a lecture, or you may jot down notes as you think through a question or as do research for a upcoming project.  There are many online tools to help you take notes directly from websites or online texts as well as do all of the above tasks you would normally do with pen and paper.  But paper can be lost, pens can run out of ink, handwriting can get sloppy and unreadable, it is inevitable.  So, using some online tools for all note taking needs, can keep them readily at your fingertips for easy study and organizing. (Some of these are for mobile use, perfect for your smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices).

shortText is a very quick way to make a quick note and give it an URL so that it is availbable to you or anyone you give the URL too.  There is no sign in or sign up, super duper quick and your information is on the web and avalialbe.


These tools are a way to have the clipboard experience that you have on your desktop between computers via the web.  Just copy and paste information, save it and you have access at any computer with Internet access.  Fun! 


If you need a place to take notes, share them with classmates, be able to look up terms to revise notes with and create checklists for assignments is the place to go. 

Post-it Digital Notes (not free)

Notefish is a notable note collecting website.


For More

is a free note taking website for writing and organizing noteson and offline, it is free but a enhanced version is available for a fee. There is also a version for your mobile phone so that you have your notes at your fingertips.


Springnote is like having a notebook online that keeps your notes, creating schedules and task lists plus the ability to share them with others via the Internet.  It is based on the wiki concept and you have plenty of online storage. There is also a mobile phone app (iPhone).


Source:, zohoplanner,,

How to Use Evernote

Source: jhedin31's Channel from


Research Sites - Everything at Your Fingertips

We all have those monster research papers and projects to get done and sometimes the search engine renders too many choices and you do not even though if those choices are reliable or not. The following links will help you on your way to discovering real information on those pesky topics. 

Virtual Encyclopedia


Virtual Public Library


Introduction to

a short screen capture on how to use

Source: video by Deborah Otis,

Are you not an elephant?

Sometimes, we have too much on our minds to keep up with the many assignments required of us on a daily basis. These web tools will help in reminding you of when projects and things are due and don't worry they will annoy you enough to get it done! Such as HassleMe, it will send you harrassing emails in random intervals to help get you motivate to get it done!


Remember The Milk website has online applications and also downloable apps for your smart phone.  This enables you to create to do lists easily and efficiently. You could also share your tasks with others.  Sign up is for free and you can also use this for homelife as well as keeping track of assignments and project tasks.

Source: text from Deborah Otis, link from,, image and link from

HassleMe and Remember the Milk Quick Introduction

Quick tutorial and purpose of HassleMe and Remember the Milk.

Source: Deborah Otis

Understanding Literature

So you have been assigned to read Shakespeare, thought the bard was brilliant, his language....very hard even for the most brilliant to understand.  SparkNotes to the rescue! In this vibrant website with somewhat distracting yet fun additional information, there is a list of literature from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, that they have taken and "translated" into modern day language. So that average dude or dudette can understand difficult passages and totally ace their discussion questions or essays..anything their teacher may throw at them .  There is also an iPhone app to make it portable



The Literature Network is an online searchable literature banquet in which anyone can look up famous works of the written word, be a part of forums, gain some insight, take a quiz or two, and quotes.  (Great for teachers with student tracking features).

The Literature Network

Dr. Cavanaugh's website has a great resource for finding all sorts of literature in e-book form so that it is downloadable to your computer and perfect for your e-reader and free!

E-Book Libraries


A short screen capture presentation on the website,

Source: Deborah Otis,


We all collect links off the Internet for various reasons, but mostly because we want to return to them some day.  So we bookmark those links with our handy web browser...  But what if we wanted to see those bookmarks at other computers or if we wanted to share them with others?  Here are three different web sites that you can use to remember, organize, and share your bookmarked web pages. 


Licorize Video Helps


Licorzie Tutorial

Source:, teamworksoftware