• Archive for March, 2009

    50 Fabulous Web Tools for Group Projects

    Mar 30th, 2009

    Freelancers, small business owners, college students and family members have found that the Internet has made it easier to work from home, collaborate on group projects, and share important files and links. This list of web tools is ideal for anyone working on a group project, whether you’re looking for task management support, scheduling and calendar organization, or just a place to collect all your materials and brainstorms.

    Project Management

    Get help with assigning tasks, meeting goals and outlining your school projects here.

    1. Hitask: Manage to-do lists, schedules, ideas and iCal with Hitask.
    2. Toodledo: Toodledo is a task manager set on making you motivated and productive.
    3. Todoist: Todoist is another task manager that lets you integrate with Firefox sidebars, Gmail and more.
    4. Google Calendar: Share events, edit schedules and stay organized using this online calendar.
    5. Basecamp: Manage all of your files, task lists, deadlines, schedules, projects, and other collaboration materials online.
    6. Mecanbe: This social media site for goal-setting has a platform for groups.
    7. Flexlists: Create and share lists using this tool.
    8. FreeMind: This open source mind mapping tool makes it easy to map out projects.
    9. 88 Miles: This time tracking tool will keep you on top of schedules, hours worked, and more.
    10. ProjectStat.us: Keep your clients and team members happy when you use this tool to update them with the status of their project.

    Contacts and Communication

    These tools will help you keep all of your contacts and classmates organized while making it possible to meet up virtually.

    1. TimetoMeet: This online meeting tool synchronizes with online calendars.
    2. Campfire: Campfire provides real-time chat for groups.
    3. GroupTweet: Create a group Twitter account with this tool.
    4. Diarised: Diarised helps you pick the best meeting times for you and your friends.
    5. Highrise: Manage all of communications, including contact history, leads and more.
    6. TreePad Lite: Store your e-mails, texts, links and more with TreePad Lite.
    7. ClientScribe: ClientScribe saves and helps you manage communication histories, correspondence, contact information, and more.
    8. Google Talk: Use Google Talk for virtual communication. You can send text messages, voice chat and more.
    9. Google Groups: Set up a Google Group for an easy spot to track discussions and share links.
    10. Keepm: Keepm lets you store and share e-mail addresses.
    11. Grou.ps: Start up your own social network where you can create wikis, share files, manage communication and contacts lists, chat, share links, and a lot more. Grou.ps currently features unlimited disk space.

    Collaboration

    Use these tools to share files, edit drafts, organize files and collaborate on a variety of school projects.

    1. Flickr: Organize and manipulate photo projects with Flickr.
    2. writewith: Writing groups can share documents, manage task lists, chat and more.
    3. Wridea: Organize your brainstorming on Wridea, which has tabs for themes, ideas and more.
    4. Loose Stitch: This tool helps you create and share outlines.
    5. Teamspinner: Teamspinner lets you track changes to sharable documents, lets you add wiki text, and is free to use for small projects.
    6. WhosOff: Remember which of your group members are unavailable or out of town with this tool.
    7. Central Desktop: Share, edit and save files with team members using Central Desktop.
    8. PingMe: Stay on track with PingMe, a service that lets you remind yourself and others of important deadlines and dates.
    9. Google Docs: Share and edit documents and spreadsheets online.
    10. Wikispaces: Create a wiki to carve out a web space for collaboration.
    11. Zoho: This collection of web-based tools and apps includes sharable organizers, chat, web conferencing, invoice creators, document manager, note taker, and more.
    12. MixTape.me: Create audio playlists to share, for inspiration, music projects, extra effects, and more.

    Bookmarks and Sharing

    Share your favorite links and inspirational materials here.

    1. Evernote: Clip and save web pages, record audio, and search and share your results with this tool.
    2. Facebook: Facebook makes it easy to share links from around the web.
    3. Google Notebook: Here you can pull links and notes from the web to safely store and send to friends.
    4. Digg: Store your favorite web pages on your Digg profile for friends to find easily.
    5. Delicious: Delicious is another tool that makes it easy to bookmark and share sites.
    6. ShareTabs: Organize a list of links to share via e-mail, Twitter and IM.
    7. diigo: Highlight web pages, share notes and annotations, and add sticky notes to websites with this tool.
    8. Email This: Add an Email This button to your browser to quickly clip and send web pages.

    Organization

    Keep it all organized with these collaboration tools that include calendars and more.

    1. Backpack: Backpack supports a group calendar, place for announcements, stored and shared files, brainstorming, and more.
    2. Tellico: Organize collections with this organization manager.
    3. Famundo: This organizer is marketed to families but works for any group wanting to connect and share files, photos and more.
    4. Jott: Record voice messages and have them sent out as e-mails and texts to your group members.
    5. Remember the Milk: Manage your lists online with this tool. Remember the Milk also syncs up with Google calendar, Twitter and more.
    6. yaTimer: Track time spent on multiple projects.
    7. Fluttervoice: Freelancers and small businesses can create invoices here.
    8. SlideShare: Here you can share documents and presentations with your friends or the entire community.
    9. Jumpcut: Use Jumpcut as a place to store, edit and share movies.

    100 Social Networks to Help You Reach All Your Goals

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    As a student, the number of things you want to accomplish when compared to the amount of time in which you have to accomplish them can be overwhelming. There are numerous tools out there that can make keeping yourself on track easiesr, however, many of which provide support and advice from a community of other students and educators as well. Here are 100 social networks that will help you work towards your goals, whether you want to start saving money for a European trip or just want to pick up some new study tips.

    Studying Better

    These networks will help you connect with other students out there, share ideas, study together and much more.

    1. NoteCentric: With NoteCentric you can store all your important class notes online so you can access them from anywhere. Better yet, you’ll be able to share your notes and read the notes of others as well.
    2. College-Ruled: This site has a multitude of features that can help you organize your assignments, keep track of your busy schedule and communicate with others in your classes.
    3. NoteMesh: Check out this networking site to keep in touch with your fellow students and to share notes that can help you study and get more from your classes.
    4. wePapers: If you’re looking for some guidance, want to share your ideas or just need some inspiration on what to write, this community site can help you, with thousands of posted papers and assignments.
    5. CampusBug: CampusBug makes it easy for students to stay in touch whether its for fun get-togethers or for studying for a big exam.
    6. The Quad: Here you’ll find online discussion forums about educational issues from study tips to great lectures in your area.
    7. TutorLinker: If you’re struggling with your classes you may want to consider getting a tutor. This site can help link you up with one in your area.
    8. RCampus: Create a profile on this site and you’ll be able to manage your courses, discuss your assignments and even create an online portfolio.
    9. Flashcard Friends: Flashcards can be a great way to study for a wide range of exams and this site allows users to make and exchange flashcards relevant to their studies.
    10. Clivir: Join the online classrooms in this community to learn more about a variety of topics.

    Managing Money

    Those looking for some advice on keeping their spending in check or the best ways to pay off those student loans can check out these helpful financial communities.

    1. Tip’d: This site will help you keep up with the latest issues in finance from major news sources or from finance-oriented blogs. Users can also submit their own stories and connect with others through the site.
    2. Covester: Learn from experience by watching what other investors on this site do and using it to inform your own financial decisions.
    3. I Hate Debt: If you’re drowning in student loans, join this online community to discuss the best ways to pay off your debts and get on track to a debt-free life.
    4. Websabe: Get some advice and guidance from this online community on managing your personal finances and setting realistic goals for your money.
    5. Investing Minds: With clubs and chat rooms this site makes it simple to talk about issues related to investing and a sound financial future.
    6. Money Talk: Check out this online community for advice on just about everything related to money from experts and everyday people alike.
    7. Zopa: Need a loan for your studies? This site can help hook you up with lenders offering low-interest rates.
    8. NetworthIQ: Follow how much you’re worth on this site that lets you share, network and communicate with others trying to build their personal finances.
    9. Geezeo: With Geezeo, users can ask questions of financial experts and other members to learn more about managing money the right way.
    10. GreenNote: Whether you want to get a loan or want to pay it forward by loaning money to other students, this community site offers low-interest alternatives.

    Making Friends

    Making the transition into college, as a young person or an adult, can be difficult and making friends can sometimes be a challenge. These social networks are designed to help you chat with, network and share interests with other students.

    1. Facebook: As the current largest social network in the world, you’re sure to find classmates, old friends, groups and more on this site.
    2. MatchActivity: No matter what you’re interested in this site can help match you up with others who have the same interests, letting you make new friends who share your passions.
    3. Meetup: Find groups in your area to meet up with with through this easy-to-use networking tool.
    4. TeeBeeDee: For older learners, this site can be a great place to meet others who are 40 and over.
    5. Change: Connect with others who are passionate about changing the world through this site.
    6. MySpace: This large social network is full of profiles of your classmates as well as great music, art and more to keep you interested.
    7. Flixster: If youlove movies and are looking for someone nearby to see the latest blockbuster feature with, this site can help you connect.
    8. Last.fm: Create your own online playlists of music here and meet others who share you passion for music.
    9. Xanga: If you love to blog but also want social networking functionality, this site can be a great choice for getting out your feelings and chatting with others.
    10. Twitter: With on-the-go capabilities, this network can help you easily keep in touch with your friends and family and let them know what you’re up to at any time.

    Networking

    The ultimate goal of most students is to graduate and get a job. These social networks let you get a head start in making essential connections that can land you the job you want.

    1. LinkedIn: This popular social network is essential for making business connections, establishing an online identity and preparing yourself for real world job experience.
    2. Fast Pitch: Just because you’re in school doesn’t mean you don’t have some great business ideas. This site will let you pitch them and make some new business connections.
    3. XING: As one of the largest business social networks, this site is a great place to chat with those currently working in the business world.
    4. Ryze: Create a profile on this site to connect with your fellow students and make essential business connections that can help you upon graduation.
    5. Jigsaw: Want to know more about a business you’re considering applying with? This site makes it easy and can help you make some great connections.
    6. Doostang: Search for your ideal job on this network or just browse through the profiles of business owners.
    7. Konnects: Talk with others who have similar business interests here or start searching for connections that will help you get a job.
    8. Spoke: Chat up the working world in this social network that lets you do everything from send simple messages to search for jobs that suit your skills.
    9. APSense: APSense allows users to promote their businesses, ideas and careers while making new friends and connections.
    10. Gooruze: If you plan on working on the Web, this site offers an easy way to get in touch with other internet marketers that can help you out with advice and information.

    Sharing Your Creativity

    From art to music, these networks make it easy to get your creative side out there. Who knows, if your work is good enough you may even make a career out of it.

    1. ImageKind: With ImageKind you can share, sell and market your artwork and photographs, giving you a leg up in business.
    2. ArtSlant: Join this art-focused community to learn more about exhibitions and gallery openings in your own city or those around the nation so you can get out and get cultured.
    3. Community Arts Network: Interested in becoming part of the community arts movement? This site can get you in touch with the big artistic groups in your area.
    4. EditRed: Share your love of writing with others in this community and get some helpful feedback on ways to improve.
    5. J-Learning: Learn more about journalism and improve your writing skills through this online network of journalism teachers and students.
    6. Behance: Use Behance to showcase your work to potential clients and buyers as well as to connect with other creative types out there.
    7. ShapeShifters: This network acts as a home to creative exchange between users from all over the world.
    8. DeviantART: Users of this networking site can create online portfolios that allow them to share their work with the world and get helpful feedback.
    9. Coroflot: Here you’ll get assistance creating an online portfolio, finding new clients, talking with designers and even getting hired.
    10. Creative Quarter: This site allows users to create a profile share thoughts and images, blog, chat and much more with the larger creative community.

    Reading More

    Whether your goal is to read the essential classics or just pick up a book that isn’t assigned for class, these social networks help you find new reads, keep track of your progress and chat with others who are reading the same material.

    1. LibraryThing: Keep track of your personal library, chat about books with others in the community and read loads of book reviews on this site.
    2. BookCrossing: With BookCrossing, users can share their love of books while getting recommendations on what title to read next.
    3. Shelfari: With Shelfari you can create a virtual bookshelf, home to the books you own, as well as get ideas of what to read next.
    4. Books Well Read: If you want to delve into the deeper meanings in the books you’re reading, try checking out the online discussions held in this reading social network.
    5. aNobii: Create an account on aNobii to connect with other book lovers, document the books you’ve own or have read and give and get great recommendations.
    6. ConnectViaBooks: Meet others from far flung places or in your own community that share your taste in reading through this site.
    7. GoodReads: Keep track of what you’ve read, find suggestions and keep in touch with other readers through this essential networking site.
    8. Revish: Share your summer reading lists on this site and engage in discussion groups to talk about what you’ve read here.
    9. Reader’s Paradise: This online discussion forum is a great place to have in depth talks about whatever book you’re currently reading.
    10. BookJetty: This online reading community allows users to share their favorite reads, find out library availability, connect with other readers and much more.

    Learning Languages

    These networks will allow you to get additional practice learning a language for your college courses or allow you to pursue language studies all on your own.

    1. LiveMocha: At LiveMocha you can meet others in a language learning community or take advantage of great language learning tools.
    2. Huitalk: Join this network to engage in a free exchange of language learning opportunities.
    3. Chaula: While the full version of this site comes at a cost, you can get a trail version that will let you talk, learn and take lessons online.
    4. SharedTalk: Found on the well-known language software Rosetta Stone’s site, this network allows you to find people who speak a wide variety of languages to converse with.
    5. Italki: Here you’ll find loads of free resources that will put you in touch with native speakers from around the world.
    6. Lingoz: Lingoz is a helpful online language dictionary but also offers the chance to connect with other language learners in an online community.
    7. VoxSwap: At VoxSwap, you’ll be matched up with others based on the language you want to learn and your native capacity so you can work together with another speaker to build your skills.
    8. Babbel: Babbel makes language learning practical with immersive community interactions.
    9. My Happy Planet: Hook up with native speakers from around the world to test your language learning skills here.
    10. xLingo: This language exchange community allows users to share their language skills in a native language while getting assistance from others in theirs.

    Getting Healthy

    Don’t let your health fall by the wayside just because you’re busy. These social networks will help you stay fit and healthy.

    1. Trusera: This social network allows users to share health and illness related stories with one another.
    2. HealthChapter: At HealthChapter, the online community helps users to share their illnesses, treatments and experiences with one another to foster support and health awareness.
    3. FitLink: Find workout partners, track your workouts and find gyms in your area, and get in touch with others on this site.
    4. Gyminee: Keep track of your workouts, set fitness goals and talk with your gym buddies on this fully-featured online community.
    5. WalkerTracker: Through this site you can meet others who love to walk for pleasure, fitness or both.
    6. Sporting Connections: Here you can meet up with others who enjoy playing sports and form teams, make new friends and stay fit.
    7. PeerTrainer: Find help and inspiration meeting your fitness goals through the supportive and informative tools on this network.
    8. WellSphere: From illness discussions to videos showing you how to do yoga, you’ll find a myriad of resources on this site to help you get healthy.
    9. Traineo: Here you’ll find the support and guidance you need to meet all your fitness goals.
    10. ExtraPounds: If you’re looking to shed some extra pounds, this online community can help you track and monitor your weight loss to help you to greater success.
    11. IntroPLAY: Through this site you can find other members to meet up with, play sports and stay in shape with.

    Being Productive

    Check out these online communities to get tips, support and technology to get you organized and productive.

    1. MyQuire: MyQuire lets you handle tasks, scheduling, projects, and even photos while still letting you enjoy all the standard social networking features.
    2. HiTask: This tool helps you keep in touch with team members, classmates and more while sharing a list of things that need to get done.
    3. 8Apps: From finding collaborative partners to mindmapping together, this collection of tools is designed to boost your productivity no matter what you’re working on.
    4. Digsby: Don’t waste your time checking all you IMs and social networking pages individually. Digsby allows you to bring them all together in one place along with your email so you can keep in touch efficiently.
    5. Xobni: This Outlook plugin can help you get through all those emails, keep in touch and more with an easy and free sidebar.
    6. Zoho Projects: Zoho Projects makes it simple to collaborate, share notes and work on group projects using the Web.
    7. Mindomo: Check out this mind mapping software to track your thoughts and share them with others using the software.
    8. Sticky Notes: The virtual alternative to the real-life sticky, this program allows you to make short notes about websites and pass them to friends, colleagues and other learners.
    9. Clipmarks: Clip out pieces of texts or images on the Web that are relevant to your research, personal interests or group projects and make them accessible to others through Clipmarks.
    10. Bibsonomy: This site provides an easy way to share not only bookmarks but lists of literature, a useful tool to organize your material but also find work done by others that might be useful to you.

    Miscellaneous

    These sites can help you meet your goals in being more green, studying abroad, becoming a mentor and more.

    1. Matador: Use this site to share your travel stories or learn where to go through the trials of another users.
    2. TravBuddy: Here you can find out where you might like to visit or find out about great sites around the world to help you explore the world around you or finally fulfill your dreams of travel.
    3. Experience Project: With posts on personal experiences of people from all over the globe, this site can help you become more globally aware, socially conscious and learn from the successes and mistakes of others.
    4. Ning: Ning can help you to create any kind of social network you’d like, from getting things done to monitoring your spending.
    5. likemind: From making new business connections to setting up lifelong friendships, this networking site allows you to chat with people from around the globe who share your thoughts and interests.
    6. GoAbroad: Want to study abroad? You can learn more about what overseas travel and learning is like through this online community.
    7. CoolPeopleCare: No matter what it is you care about, this site will help you connect with others who share your passion and get you set up to take action and make a difference.
    8. MakeMeSustainable: This online network can help you work towards your goal of living a greener life.
    9. iMantri: Check out this site to meet up with or become a mentor in your area.

    50 Awesome Open Courseware Classes on Space & Astronomy

    Mar 17th, 2009

    Whether you want an introduction to astronomy or are experienced in aeronautical engineering but want to learn more about the physics of the galaxy, you can find helpful study materials, lectures and not-for-credit assignments online through open courseware. Schools like MIT and the University of California offer these resources for mastering the mystery of black holes, learning about the history of astronomy, and more.

    Stars and Galaxies

    These courses and lectures will teach you about quasars, active galaxies, star structure and more.

    1. Introduction to Astronomy: Here you’ll learn all about the basics of astronomy, including the galaxy, universe, solar system, stars and more. [MIT]
    2. The Solar System: Learn all about planetary formation, cratering, orbits and more in this course. [MIT]
    3. Introduction to Active Galaxies: Learn about optical and broadband spectra, Seyfert galaxies, Quasars and more. [The Open University]
    4. The evolving universe: Discover what happened to the universe after the Big Bang in terms of structure, inflation, the quark-lepton era, and more. [The Open University]
    5. Comparing Stars: Discover what stars are made of and how they develop and die in this course. [The Open University].
    6. Big Bang: Study this important theory in the creation of our galaxy and planet. [The Open University]
    7. Elementary Astronomy: Topics covered in this course include binary stars, the formation of the solar system, comets, the moon, variable stars, and more. [College of Eastern Utah]
    8. Gene Smith’s Astronomy Tutorial: Supernovae, Neutron Stars and Pulsars: Learn all about supernovae structure in this course. [University of California - San Diego]
    9. The Moon: Here you will learn all about the moon’s rotation and orbit, missions to the moon, the moon’s atmosphere, and more. [The Open University]
    10. The Sun: Lessons in this unit include Beyond visible light, Observing the Sun, Angular size, Inside the sun, and others. [The Open University]
    11. Starbursts and Colliding Galaxies: View images and animations about galaxies and quasars here. [University of California - San Diego]

    Planets

    Learn all about cratering, exoplanets, global warming and planet compilation in this section.

    1. Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets: Learn how to keep an observing notebook in this astronomy course, which also teaches the basics of using telescopes. [MIT]
    2. Basics of Impact Cratering and Geological, Geophysical, Geochemical Environmental Studies of Some Impact Craters of the Earth: Study impact cratering to uncover the mysteries of some of Earth’s 170 identified craters. [MIT]
    3. Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques: Apply fundamental physics processes and principles to the study of exoplanets in this course. [MIT]
    4. Global Warming: Try to uncover the root causes for global warming and atmospheric change in this course. [The Open University]
    5. Jupiter and its Moons: Lessons in this course include Rotation and orbit, Missions to Jupiter, The interior, The atmosphere, Satellites, and others. [The Open University]
    6. The Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Learn about the presence of water on Mars in this lecture. [UC Berkeley]
    7. Introduction to Planets: View images of planets and get a brief history of the solar system here. [Wikiversity]
    8. Weather on Other Planets: Discover what the weather and atmospheric conditions are like on Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune and other planets. [Suite 101]

    Physics

    These physics courses can help you better understand the science behind space.

    1. Experimental Physics I and II: This junior lab course can help you experiment with physics properties and laws. [MIT]
    2. Modern Astrophysics: Apply Newtonian, statistical, and quantum mechanics physics "to fundamental processes that occur in celestial objects" in this course. [MIT]
    3. Physics I: Classical Mechanics: Watch videos and review lectures to learn about Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, and Kinetic Gas Theory. [MIT]
    4. Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations: Learn all about the physics that controls ocean circulations. [MIT]
    5. Maths for science: Space, physics and astronomy students can take this refresher mathematics course to review scales of measurement, chance and probability, statistics, and other principles. [The Open University]
    6. Motion under gravity: Learn all the basics of gravity in this course, which also introduces students to gravitational energy and energy conservation. [The Open University]
    7. The restless universe: This course applies physics principles to the evolution of the universe. [The Open University]
    8. Introductory Physics: Review the fundamentals of introductory physics here. [UC Berkeley]
    9. Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity and Astrophysics: The study of black holes is used as a microcosm for understanding astrophysics and relativity. [MIT]
    10. General Relativity and Black Holes: Learn about The Equivalence Principle, The Theory of Special Relativity and more from this course. [University of California - San Diego]

    Technology and Engineering

    Learn about the technology and engineering systems that augment the study of astronomy and missions into space.

    1. Space Systems Engineering: Learn how to design ground and space telescopes in this course. [MIT]
    2. Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design: This introductory class will teach you all about the basics of aerospace engineering. [MIT]
    3. Aerodynamics: Learn about wing and body performance in this aerodynamics class. [MIT]
    4. Cognitive Robotics: Design your own robot project in this course. [MIT]
    5. Space Systems Engineering: Here you will learn about designing and maintaining space stations, satellites and more. [MIT]
    6. Space System Architecture and Design: Discover how to design and build a functioning space system [MIT]
    7. Engineering Apollo: The Moon Project as a Complex System: Study the Apollo project from an engineering view point. [MIT]
    8. Satellite Engineering: Learn all about "subsystem design in engineering spacecraft" in this course. [MIT]
    9. Rocket Propulsion: Topics covered in this course include thermochemistry, launch and oribtal systems, interpanetary flight systems, and more. [MIT]
    10. Space Propulsion: Here you will learn about all the systems and physics involved with space propulsion. [MIT]
    11. Telescopes and spectrographs: Learn how telescopes and spectrographs are designed and utilized in astronomy. [The Open University]
    12. Receivers, Anetannas and Signals: Those interested in technical communication systems should review this course, which covers topics like astronomy. [MIT]

    History and Society

    Here you can learn about Galileo and the history of astronomy.

    1. Toward the Scientific Revolution: In this course, you will learn how science, mathematics and astronomy were explored during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. [MIT]
    2. Learning from the Past: Drama, Science Performance: Understand how science and drama evolved in western Europe during the 17th century. [MIT]
    3. Space Policy Seminar: This course takes a look at the administrative, managerial and policy-driven side of space exploration. Learn about national security policy, commercial space policy and more. [MIT]
    4. The History of Astronomy: Learn about the important people who impacted the study of the universe here. [Cornell]

    Miscellaneous

    For more study resources related to space and astronomy, review these courses.

    1. Europa and elsewhere: By studying the potential for life on the icy satellite Europa, students explore extraterrestrial life elsewhere. [The Open University]
    2. Modern Navigation: Study "the concepts and applications of navigation techniques using celestial bodies and satellite positioning systems" in this course. [MIT]
    3. A Brief History of Astronomy: Get an overview of the history of astronomy, from Pythagoras to Aristotle to Eratosthenes to Galileo to Isaac Newton. [University of California - San Diego]
    4. The Galileo Project: This project explains important scientific principles and systems, including the Ptolemaic System, Atomism, and other overviews about telescopes, tides, the planets and more. [Rice]
    5. Facts About Meteors: Get an introductory look at meteors here. [Suite 101] .

    100 Fabulous Social Networks and Communities for Lifelong Learners

    Mar 16th, 2009

    Whether you’re heading back to school after years in the working world or just like to learn about new topics in your spare time, being able to find support, information and an active community of like minded individuals can be essential to your learning success. Fortunately, the Internet makes it easier than ever to connect with others who are in the same boat as you and allows you to communicate quickly and easily with people from all over the world. Here are 100 that we’ve collected that you can use to get in touch and find new learning opportunities.

    Reading

    One of the easiest ways to learn new things at any stage of your life is by picking up a book. Whether you want to read the classics or keep up with the latest non-fiction these social networks will help you find new reads and get more out of them by discussing them with others.

    1. BookJetty: Use BookJetty to share your favorite books, read ratings from Amazon, learn what books might be available at your library, and connect with others reading the same books.
    2. BookCrossing: Meet thousands of others from around the world on this site who share a common interest– books! You’ll get recommendations, make new friends and more.
    3. LibraryThing: Use this site to list the books you own and love while connecting with others with similar interests, getting suggestions for new reading and read reviews.
    4. Books Well Read: From talking about the symbolism in Hemingway to those who want help remembering the best parts of what they read, this online community is an essential resource.
    5. ConnectViaBooks: Use this social network to connect with others with similar interests in reading.
    6. GoodReads: Here you can list the books you’ve read, want to read and get some suggestions of new places to look for reading enjoyment.
    7. Revish: This site not only allows you to share your reading lists but also to engage in discussion groups to talk about what you’ve read.
    8. Shelfari: Create an online bookshelf using this social networking tool and you’ll get in touch with thousands of others who can give you suggestions of what to read next.
    9. Reader’s Paradise: Join up on this forum to discuss all topics related to reading.
    10. aNobii: aNobii lets users make lists of their books, talk about what they’re reading and connect with people of all kinds.

    Business Networks

    What do you plan to do with all that new learning? If you’re working on a degree, you may be in the market for a new job after graduation. These tools can help you network, learn more about the field you’re going into, and much more.

    1. XING: With over 7 million members, this business networking site is a great place to get in touch and learn with business owners and operators around the world.
    2. Ryze: Here you’ll be able to connect with old friends and make new ones, and great business connections.
    3. Jigsaw: You can use this site for finding information about businesses and maybe even hook up with a new one.
    4. Spoke: This site has millions of members in all kinds of businesses and lets you create a profile, send messages and even search for jobs.
    5. Fast Pitch: Want to market all those new ideas you’ve been coming up with? This site lets you do just that, along with making some great new connections.
    6. Doostang: Make the most of the education you’re getting by finding a better job and business networks through this site.
    7. ImageKind: If you’re into creating artwork, designs or other creative things, this site can help you market and sell your work.
    8. Konnects: This site can help individuals make great connections and chat in communities with others who have shared interests.
    9. APSense: APSense allows users to promote their businesses, ideas and careers while making new friends and connections.
    10. Gooruze: Learn all you need to know about online marketing from this helpful social networking community.

    Clubs and Social Gatherings

    Meeting up with others who share interests with you or who have more expertise in things you want to learn more about is easy with these social networks and online communities.

    1. MatchActivity: Want to get more advice on how to knit? Meet up to discuss the latest best seller? This site can match you up with others in your area that share your interests.
    2. CircleUp: Do you want to start a club? This site makes it easy to send out messages to all those who are interested in meeting up with you.
    3. Change: Whether you have a dream to change the world or just want to learn more about someone living a life different from your own this site helps hook you up with others working for social change.
    4. Meetup: No matter what you want to meet up to do, this site makes keeping in touch and finding new groups easy.
    5. HobbyThing: This this helps you learn more about others hobbies and share the ins and outs of your own.
    6. CratenFire: Check out this site to share your work, hobbies and more and learn from other members.
    7. Hobeze: Share your hobby, discuss things with others and even discover new passions on this great site.
    8. Listal: Here you can find lists of the best of the best of everything, according to the other users of this site. You can find new ways to explore an old hobby or learn all about something new you never knew you loved by networking with others on this site.

    Students

    For those who are pursuing lifelong education at a college or other learning center, these online tools are designed to keep you in touch with other students and studying right.

    1. CampusBug: CampusBug is designed to help students stay in touch with one another and share valuable thoughts and information from classes and beyond.
    2. RateMyProfessor: Want to know what to expect when you get a particular professor? This site can help you rate your teachers and get in touch with others who’ve had them.
    3. Graduates: This site is designed to help communication between students, those still in school and those who’ve finished and want to keep in touch.
    4. The Quad: Join the study forums and get updates about events like lectures and more on the college-centered site.
    5. wePapers: Want to see what someone ahead of you has already said about a topic? This site allows you to post your own papers and read what other students are writing.
    6. NoteMesh: Share your notes with others in your class on this easy-to-use networking and communication site.
    7. College-Cram: This site is full of social learning resources that will make it easy for your to study on your own and with others in your classes.
    8. College-Ruled: Here you can put your class schedule online, organize your assignments and share your thoughts on online discussion boards.
    9. NoteCentric: Store and share your class notes on this site that allows you to access them from anywhere.
    10. LearnHub: This site is home to advice on studying abroad, resume building and career advice as well as all kinds of learning communities.

    Learning and Education

    These online tools are great for helping you learn more and meet others with your love of learning, no matter your age.

    1. Moodle: This free application makes it easy to create and share online learning communities for classes or just for casual learning experiences.
    2. LectureShare: This site makes it possible for instructors to share lectures and notes with students, many of which are available to everyone.
    3. TutorLinker: Need a little help with your homework? This site makes it easy to find tutors so you can learn better.
    4. Lifelong Learning Network: Meet up with other lifelong learners on this networking site.
    5. Lifelong Learning Message Board: Post your thoughts or read those of others on this helpful message board.
    6. Smart.fm: Here you’ll find instructional lists that can help you learn more about everything from architecture to Asian capitals.
    7. Rafi.ki: Get in touch with learners all over the world using this simple online tool, with educational projects and communicational tools.
    8. Clivir: This site has online classrooms that anyone can be a part of, with a wide variety of lessons.
    9. Eduslide: Share your knowledge and learn from others on this e-learning community site.
    10. E-Learning Community 2.0: This tool acts as an intermediary between places of knowledge and learners like you, making it easy to find what you need.
    11. EduSpaces: Those interested in education and educational technologies can join this expanding social network.
    12. RCampus: RCampus is a great place for "building personal and group websites, managing your courses, e-portfolios, academic communities, and much more."
    13. Barbelith: Check out this subculture-oriented site to discuss everything from politics to comic books. You can engage in intellectually stimulating conversations and maybe even learn a thing or two.
    14. Flashcard Friends: Studying doesn’t have to be difficult. This site allows users to make and share flashcards.

    Seeing the World

    One way to keep on learning about the world is to see it in person rather than just read about it. These sites are a great way to find information, photos and advice on places all over the world for travel or just daydreaming.

    1. Matador: This site is an open forum for sharing your travel stories or reading about the adventures of others.
    2. TravBuddy: Here you can find out where you might like to visit or find out about great sites around the world.
    3. Dopplr: Plan out your next trip using this site, where you can get great, reliable information about where to go and what to see.
    4. Lonely Planet: Whether you’re looking into life in a remote corner of the earth or want to stretch out your legs on an adventurous trip, you’ll find loads of posts in this online forum.
    5. Virtual Tourist: If you can’t afford to take a vacation but still want to see the world, check out this site to explore places virtually.
    6. BootsnAll: This site is an indispensable resource for travelers who love to go it on their own. Check out their lists of the best places or chat with others about their recommendations.
    7. Driftr: Here you can keep track of where you’ve been, where you want to go and talk with other travelers.
    8. GoAbroad: Those in college can learn more about study abroad experiences through this community site.
    9. TrekCafe: From booking travel to finding travel partners, this site is home to a wealth of resources for travelers and those looking to learn more.

    Topic Specific Learning

    These communities and networks are home to more specific interest, from knitting to birding, helping you pursue knowledge in a variety of fields.

    1. ArtSlant: Join this art network to learn more about exhibitions and gallery openings in cities around the nation.
    2. Community Arts Network: The arts are everywhere and you can learn more about what’s going on with community arts in yours through this network.
    3. BottleTalk: Want to learn more about wine so you can understand what to pair with what? This site is home to loads of wine enthusiasts who can provide advice and instruction to novices.
    4. Flixster: Chat about films, fluffy and foreign alike, on this community of cinephiles.
    5. BirdPost: Join up with others who love birding and learn more about the fauna in your area through this online community.
    6. EditRed: This network of writers makes it easy to get your work out there and maybe even get it edited by someone else in the community.
    7. Experience Project: This site is home to shared experiences from people all over the world. You can gain a lot from reading about what others have done, and maybe shape your own experiences because of it.
    8. Ravelry: Knitters and those hoping to learn more about this craft can meet up and talk here.
    9. J-Learning: Learn more about journalism and improve your writing skills through this educationally focused site.

    Sharing Ideas and Resources

    Learners of all ages need to share information for working together and supporting other learners. These sites offer great ways to do that easily and make your information and that of others readily accessible.

    1. Bibsonomy: This site provides an easy way to share not only bookmarks but lists of literature, a useful tool to organize your material but also find work done by others that might be useful to you.
    2. Diigo: With Diigo you can highlight, bookmark and share just about anything on the web, making it easy to collaborate and work collectively.
    3. StumbleUpon: Through this social bookmarking site, you can pick out articles and sites you find interesting and see what others have marked that you might find of interest.
    4. Blinklist: BlinkList makes saving your links fast and easy and sharing them with other learners is a snap as well.
    5. Furl: Save and share sites you think are of interest with this simple and easy-to-use tool.
    6. Clipmarks: Clip out pieces of texts or images on the Web that are relevant to your research, personal interests or group projects and make them accessible to others through Clipmarks.
    7. Sticky Notes: The virtual alternative to the real-life sticky, this program allows you to make short notes about websites and pass them to friends, colleagues and other learners.
    8. Newsvine: Check out Newsvine to read up on the latest things going on in the world. You can also contribute your own important stories and share sites with friends.
    9. Zoho Projects: Zoho Projects makes it simple to collaborate, share notes and work on group projects through an accessible online medium.
    10. Mindomo: This online mind-mapping software makes it easy to track your thoughts and get feedback from others.
    11. Bubbl.us: Get those juices flowing with this brainstorming tool that allows you to share your ideas with anyone you’d like.

    Language Learning

    Who doesn’t wish they knew more languages? These online networks and tools make it easier and more fun to do so.

    1. LiveMocha: Join LiveMocha to get access to free language lessons as well as take part in an active online community.
    2. SpeakLike: If you’re not quite fluent yet but still want to talk with people from around the world, check out this helpful online tool. You can also sign up to stretch your skills out as a translator.
    3. Chaula: Get a free trial of this language learning lab to get access to lessons and interactions with language tools.
    4. Babbel: Don’t just learn words from a vocab list, put your language skills to use with this online learning community.
    5. SharedTalk: Found on the well-known language software Rosetta Stone’s site, this network allows you to find people who speak a wide variety of languages to converse with.
    6. Lingoz: Lingoz is more than just an online language dictionary. You’ll also find experts and native speakers to answer any of your language learning questions.
    7. VoxSwap: Here you’ll be matched up with others based on your language knowledge and what you want to learn so that both partners in a conversation can benefit from the interaction.
    8. Huitalk: This site hopes to offer a new way to learn languages by fostering an open exchange of language education.
    9. My Happy Planet: Join this community to learn a language from native speakers around the world.
    10. xLingo: This language exchange community allows users to share their language skills in a native language while getting assistance from others in theirs.
    11. Italki: Check out the free resources on this site, designed to help you learn a new language with the help of others around the world.

    General Sites

    These sites are great for learners looking for large, active online communities.

    1. LinkedIn: A linked in account is essential for learners hoping to network and get ahead in their careers.
    2. Second Life: Create an account and an avatar on this site and you can take online courses, communicate, explore museums and more in a virtual world.
    3. Facebook: Originally designed to keep students in touch, this site is now open to anyone. You can find loads of integrated learning tools, groups and information about goings on at your school or in your community.
    4. TeacherTube: If you want to learn, connect with others who are teaching and learning, check out this site full of instructional videos.
    5. YouTube: Not everything on YouTube is just for laughs. You can also find helpful videos to help you learn and explore, or just keep up with what the kids are into.
    6. delicious: You can easily share and save interesting articles you don’t have time to read at the moment.
    7. TeeBeeDee: Geared towards users 40 and over, this site can be an ideal place to network for older learners.
    8. Ning: Ning allows you to create your own specialized social networks, for use for education, sharing or whatever else you’d like.

    Hello world!

    Mar 10th, 2009

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