I have been faced with what most of the teachers I work with face every time they see me…change. I expect them to change, even when most don’t want to. I expect them to push fear and complacency aside and move on. Now I need to do the same.
I am a big Google fan and an iGoogle user. I have been for years. My home page is iGoogle. I access most everything I need from that page. Calendar, Drive (formerly Google Docs), Gmail, Reader…all of them have launched from my home page for quite some time. Now Google decides that iGoogle isn’t of use anymore?!? Who do they think they are? What gives them the right to pull the plug on something that is so valuable to me (except for the obvious fact that they created and own it)? How dare they make me change…
Wow…so that is how I make some people feel. No wonder I get dirty looks and see some of you quickly turn and run as you see me approaching…you know who you are!
After taking some time to determine that having 6 home pages open when I start my browser is not a good idea, I accepted that another alternative needed to be sought after. Since I use my iPad all the time I was OK with Calendar and Gmail because they are already set up for me there. Drive will be OK. I can access it quickly when I need it. The one that bugged me the most is my Reader. Along with Twitter, and now Pinterest, I find it to be one of my main 3 PLN areas. Having it on my homepage brought my attention to it every day. I made it a point to find at least 10-15 minutes daily to weed through all the articles that came through. If I liked a title I clicked to check what the article was about. If I was interested I would go on to the entire article. It was quick and painless. It was all right there. I needed to find an alternative that worked for me. That’s when I gave Flipboard another try.
Flipboard is a free app that is billed as “Your Social Media Magazine”. I initially looked at this app quite a while back but really saw no use for it at the time. I thought I already had everything I needed in places I was comfortable. Now with iGoogle on the way out I looked a little closer. Flipboard is a landing pad for all things PLN. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Google Reader, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and many more all can be housed here. It is one stop shopping for all things social. You can also subscribe to certain magazine and newspaper publications through the app or just select some topics that you find interesting (such as sports and technology) and Flipboard will bring articles to you related to those topics. All of it…all under one roof (app actually)!
My focus was to find a place for Google Reader to live that I was happy with and this is definitely it. All of my articles are fed to Flipboard. It shows me the article title and the first few lines from each post along with an image if appropriate. If I like what I see I click on the synopsis and it opens to the article in an easy to read format. I can also choose to open the link itself to view the article in a browser. I have it set so once I flip through the pages of articles it marks them as read and starts over fresh again…just like my gadget did. I think I may like this even more!
Remember…change can be good if it is done for the right reasons. Scared of losing your iGoogle page? Give Flipboard a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it!