Thursday, June 5, 2008

in raptures over Apture

You know that experience of finding something you've always needed, but didn't know you needed? I've got so many useful 'tools' in my education toolchest, that I don't add many new ones unless I come across something that knocks my socks off. Apture appears to be one of those applications I've been looking for, but didn't know how to define. Here's what makes it special.

Normally, when we want to refer our readers to further information or another site, we provide a link. Apture works like a linking mechanism, but instead of redirecting the browser to another location, viewers are able to access the information directly from your site.

Since I like to try out the various applications I highlight in this blog before writing about them, I've got some of my own examples to share with you. Note: If you are reading this from a feedreader, you won' t be able to see the effects I'm writing about, so click through to my site; it'll be worth it.

  • In the art of science, I wrote about how those from the humanities can learn from the sciences, and vice-versa. Writer/scientist C. P. Snow was referenced in a quote. You could always Google that name, or I could provide you with a link, but both would necessitate you taking the extra steps to do the research. If you're only mildly curious about who Mr. Snow is, you probably won't go to the trouble, but you never know what you might miss from not making that connection. That's what learning is, making connections, but we only have time for so many. Apture allows you to hover or click on the link, delivering immediate gratification.
  • In yesterday's post, listen up, I pointed you to some podcasts, such as this one, a professional reading of 1984. Place your cursor over the link, and you'll be able to listen to this excellent presentation without leaving the site.
  • In how tall is that?, about a tool for helping students visualize extreme measurements, I referred to a tornado described as 300 feet tall that terrorized Southern California recently. Tornados in this part of the country are unusual, so it was great fun to be able to show you that tornado in a video from the link.
Of course, you can add podcasts and videos to websites in other ways, but Apture finds relevant media for you, making it quick and easy. You can also add documents, which I see as the most useful feature for teachers. If your students have their own blogs, they could present a project, with the various pieces connected to links through Apture, and viewable directly through their site.

If you're like me, once you start using Apture, you'll find it to be something you've needed all along.

2 comments:

Theresa Johnson said...

Thank you and Welcome to the Apture community! I'm glad you're finding Apture so useful. We need enthusiastic users like you to let us how we can improve. I'm the Developer Advocate as well, and can answer your technical questions right away. Send us your questions, comments and suggestions to feedback@apture.com

I look forward to reading more from you.

Cheers,
Theresa
theresa@apture.com

lhuff said...

This looks incredible! I'm off to play with it. It would be cool to have students create projects--on their blogs or wikis--using Apture.