Today’s hyperlinked journey

Here’s a scenario you’re probably very familiar with… I started reading an interesting eSchoolNews article on how technology helps students with learning disabilities in the classroom (of particular interest to me right now).  The article mentions how important it is for teachers to know what resources are available and how they can help students.  National Center for Technology Innovation’s (NCTI) TechMatrix resource is referenced.  So, I click on the hyperlink to check it out.  It’s a collection of searchable research articles, presentations, products, etc.  I stumble upon a presentation on “New Media Tools”, part of the Moving Forward with Technology series by Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd).  The first tool shared is called Hyperwords.  My interest is piqued.  So, of course, I click on the link to learn more.  Turns out it is an interesting tool that turns any word (in a web browser) into a hyperlink.  Simply select the word, right click, and a menu of options appear.  With an additional click, I can reference more information, images, video or translate text or obtain measurement conversions.  This embedded tool is available to students when needed as a scaffold to provide background or contextual information or make things visible.  Essentially, a layer of information lies beneath the text, waiting to be uncovered by the user when he/she needs it.  Cool, I just learned about a new tool!  I return to the presentation to see what’s next… 

An hour later, I force myself to return to my emails, feeling a mix of satisfaction and frustration.  I learned about new resources and tools but failed to finish reading the article in its entirety and didn’t make it through the whole presentation.  Ah, the reality of hyperlinks!

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