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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Access your Educational Links and Bookmarks anywhere with myLinkCloud

Have you ever wished that you could see your favorites/bookmarks on your home computer as well as your school computer?  Or how about those times you are in a hotel somewhere and you are using their computer and you are sure wishing you could remember that specific link that you need right there and then?  You probably other social bookmarking sites and ideas like Google Chrome, Scoop.it or even sites like Google Bookmark already allow you to access your bookmarks/favorites.  I came across a site recently that makes your links and bookmarks visual and will even let you embed and share them on your website or blog.  MyLinkCloud is a new and revolutionary way displaying your favorites and then sharing them with your other educational colleagues.

I did come across a couple of glitches, but the site is relatively new and I am sure they are working on the bugs.  The idea is wonderful though and probably worth taking a look at.

Tutorial

1.  Registering for myLinkCloud can be a challenge so I am adding the instructions to make it easier for you to do so.  First go to mylinkcloud.com.

2.  Click on the "Cloud" button.









3.  Click on the "Register now" button.


4.  Select your region or country and then click the "OK" button.

5.  This is where I got a little confused.  It hasn't asked yet for registration information.  You are actually only in a trial phase at this moment, but down toward the bottom of all the generated links you are seeing, you will see another "register" button.  Just click it to really begin to get registered.

6.  Now put your registration info into the appropriate text boxes.


7.  One feature you can use with myLinkCloud is the ability to open your browser directly to all of your links.  If you want the tutorial on how to do that click the green "Help" button.  I just chose the "No thanks" button.


8.  The first thing I would do is create your own personal "Cloud" instead of using their default clouds.  To do that click the "+ Add" button.


9.  Click the "add a new cloud" button.


10.  Give you cloud a name and then click the "Next" button.


11.  Choose your icon or upload one and then click "Next".


12.  Choose your theme color and click "Next."



13.  Add some search tags and then click "Finish."


14.  Click the "+Add" button again and add links and widgets.


15.  If you click the "add a new widget" button you get this menu.  You can add a frame which allows you to categorize your links.  Add notes. RSS feed widget will let you add your favorite news feeds that will automatically appear in your cloud.


16.  Adding an "input" will let you select which types of search engines you want within your cloud.  This is a really good idea.



17.  If you select the "add a link" option from step 14 you can copy and paste your links into the URL box and then click OK.

18.  You can also add images to your links so that they are visual and easy to spot. This is where I had some issues with the site.  Sometimes the "Make a snapshot" button would just put me on hold.  The site says it could take a minute or two, but there were a couple of times I could not get the image I wanted to come up for my link.


19.  Give you link a title and add search tags and then click save. If you ever want to edit your link just right click on it later from your cloud.


20.  If you want to move your widgets and links around just left click hold and then drag it around your cloud.


21.  Sharing your link cloud is a great idea if you want to collaborate with your grade levels or departments.  Just click the "share and collaborate" button from step 8.  Now decide whether to share just your link or the entire set of links on your cloud.


22.  You can "turn on/off public access," "invite friends," email a the link to your cloud, and even click the "show embed code" so that you can embed your links into your blog or website.

MyLinkCloud could be a very effective tool to use within the educational environment.  Use this type of social bookmarking with your students so they know exactly which site you want them to go to or collaborate with other teachers so you aren't all trying to find the same sites the hard way.  Let me know how your experience went after giving myLinkCloud a go.