Kansas State University


IT News

Author: cyndidk

ZAP Reader, a web-based speed-reading tool

ZAP Reader (www.zapreader.com) is a web-based “speed-reading program that can change the way you read on your computer,” says the website. “Current beta testers report reading twice as much in half the time — that’s a 300 percent increase in reading speed, without any loss in comprehension! There is nothing to install, it works with most popular browsers, and it’s totally free.”

Watch the quick, two-minute Zap Reader Tutorial on YouTube for how to use ZAP Reader.

Spotlight: TED Talk “Web runs on kindness” (how the Internet works)

A TED Talk posted in September (“ideas worth spreading”) by Jonathan Zittrain “provides a humorous and informative talk about how the Internet works. Zittrain’s premise is that the Internet relies on random acts of kindness… In the talk, Zittrain compares the passing of data packets through the Internet to the passing of a beer from one person to the next at a baseball game.”

[Editor’s note:  Excerpted from the Oct. 31, 2009 articleThe Web Runs on Kindness” by Richard Byrne at www.freetech4teachers.com.]

Education resources: Chatzy (free, private chat area) and free e-book

Screen shot 2009-10-19 at 8.12.23 AM Chatzy ( www.chatzy.com) is a neat little website that I tried out in my summer class. According to the website, Chatzy provides a fast way to start your own private chat area. You can name your chat area, choose your privacy settings (even password-protect it), and then invite friends and family to start chatting. Instead of sending out invitations, you could just post the link to your chat area in K-State Online.

1. Applications for education

According to the Oct. 16, 2009, Chatzy article at www.freetech4teachers.com, “Chatzy is a nice alternative to Tiny Chat because you can restrict access to it. Chatzy could be used to hold an after-school tutorial session, host a discussion about a book or article, or use it as a back-channel during a class lecture.”

If students were all contributing information to the Chatzy area during class, there would be a very robust set of notes for each class lecture.

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