Communication

"Communication" I consider as interactive in nature rather than "presentation" which is essentially one-way.

Name Comments
Box.Net

What it Does: Online File Storage - Useful for sharing files
Runs on: Web
Free
Best Feature: Easy sharing of files between groups.
Worst Feature: Limited storage and download without having to pay
Learning Time: Minutes --- Export/Import: Good
My use: Test Only --- Confidence in Evaluation: Medium
Comment: I recommend this to students in classes where I require them to work in groups.
Communication note: To ehnance group projects.
Review & Comments about Box.Net in Academic Tools Blog
CmapTools

What it Does: Concept relationships - Useful in group situation
Runs on: PC, Mac, Linux
Free
Uniqueness: It's one of only a few tools to provide this combination of functions
Best Feature: Public server allowing group projects.
Worst Feature: Initially difficult to see how powerful it is.
Learning Time: Hours --- Export/Import: Medium
My use: Infrequent --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: I have used it quite successfully in several courses. It was particularly helpful in promoting class interaction.
Communication note: Allows group development
GMail

What it Does: Online EMail account
Runs on: Web
Free
Best Feature: Superior search and spam filter.
Worst Feature: More spam because it's GMail.
Immediately Useful: Yes --- Learning Time: Half Hour --- Export/Import: Medium
My use: Daily --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: You can redirect other EMail accounts here. It's also easy to create on-the-fly sub-accounts by using the "accountid+subaccount@gmail" email ID.
MS Outlook

What it Does: The standard corporate Email/task/calendar/contact program
Runs on: PC, Mac
Drexel Site License
Best Feature: Integration of Email and tasks.
Worst Feature: Corporate backup is atrocious. I've had a colleague lose vital emails thanks to MS incompetence.
Learning Time: Hours --- Export/Import: Medium
My use: Daily --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: I use it every day - but enhance it with Neo - and am sure to backup my own local data (PST) files.
Skype

What it Does: Telephone and video over web (VOIP)
Runs on: PC, Mac, Linux - Uses Web
Free
Best Feature: Very low cost calls
Worst Feature: Not as easy as the phone yet.
Learning Time: Half Hour ---

Comment: There are many competitors. The field is changing rapdily. Skype certifies hardware.
Thunderbird EMail

What it Does: EMail client
Runs on: PC, Mac, Linux
Free, Open Source
Best Feature: Clean interface and search
Worst Feature: It doesn't connect to outlook
Learning Time: Half Hour ---
My use: Regular --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: A good EMail client that is being constantly improved. Firefox's sibling.
I currently use GMail and my wife uses Thunderbird.

 

 

Update: 2006-11-26