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Optimising Your Workflow with IFTTT.com

IFTTTLogo

One of my favourite tools of recent years has been IFTTT which has been so deeply integrated into my personal organisation that I often forget how powerful it truly is. If your not familiar with IFTTT.COM then essentially it enables you to automate a wide variety of tasks throughout the internet. . The essential underpinning to the web service is as follows “If this occurs, then do that”. These automations, know as ‘recipes’ can be incredibly complex in nature or as simple as you like

One of my most widely used recipes is below. Basically the recipe means that whenever I upload a video direct to my YouTube channel, it will send out a tweet to my followers on Twitter. Making this process automatic means I can spend less time online.

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Within the recipe below when a given time occurs, (in this example Wednesdays at 12.30pm) I receive a free Text Message from ifttt.com reminding me that I have Yard Duty. Another one of my recipes sends me an SMS message at 1.00pm daily asking the question “How Much Water Have You Drank Today?”.  A simple reminder that often results in immediate consumption.

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However these examples are just the beginning. There are literally millions of combinations and connections that can be made with the over 50 services know as ‘channels’ that you can activate and connect to.  For a comprehensive list of the most popular recipes used by people feel free to check out the list here 

What recipes do you use? How are you using it to automate the web and free up valuable time?

20/20 – Part 2

The following PechaKucha inspired presentation highlights some of the 20 web 2.0 tools that have found a place within my teaching in the last 6 months. Some are used daily, others have been used during assessment as a once off,  however the important thing is that they are all free.  You may also like to checkout part 1 of the presentation here.

What are your favourite web 2.0 tools? Share them in the 20/20 format and let me know in the comments below

Great Web Tools for Health, Exercise & Activity

In the last few months I have been playing around with a heap of groovy websites that help to visualise, mashup and track health and exercise. The following sites seek to integrate flawlessly with different social media tools to help inspire health behaviour change through a variety of means.

Earndit

This exciting service allows you to earn real prizes and incentives for the exercise and activity that you complete. Simply connect your runkeeper, foursquare, Nike+, Garmin and other services to earn your points. Once you have accrued the required number of points you can redeem your reward from an extensive and ever growing list. The thing I like about this service is the possibility for health behaviour change as a result of extrinsic rewards, which hopefully translate into long term intrinsic rewards as improved health becomes the motivator.

First One There Wins

A cool service that integrates with Runkeeper and Nike+ and allows you setup a race and invite others to race you. You start by giving your race a name, choosing your start and finish points via a Google Map and then inviting others via a unique URL. The race then begins with users logging into runkeeper and completing the virtual race. The web service then tracks all runs that the competitors complete and the first person to complete the designated total is considered the “first one there” and the winner. How about challenging a friend on the other side of the world to a virtual race between two famous landmarks. You will then be able to run in your own town, then login and see exactly where you are in the race on the Google Map. Way Cool. Join me in a race across the Great Ocean Road in Australia

One Health Score

A simple service that turns your recored physical activity (via Runkeeper) into an overall health score. A score over 60 indicates that you are meeting the minimum requirements for general health and wellbeing.  It also shows you how your score has changed over time (see below)

FitBolt

FitBolt is perfect for office workers and students who spend considerable amounts of time sitting at a desk. Simply sign up for an account and the website goes to work to keep you moving at designated intervals prompting you to complete stretches, exercises and even offering nutritional general wellness tips. The best thing I like about this tool is the ability to add it as a browser extension, or desktop app meaning you can get on with working and be automatically alerted when its time to move. Below is an example of the alert system installed into a chrome browser showing me how long until I will be presented with a activity

FIT2app

A simple yet powerful tool that allows you in 3 clicks to upload your run data from your Garmin GPS watch direct to your Runkeeper account. Use this data in a senior PE class to easily visualise physical activity and prompt discussion of concepts like energy systems, acute responses, training and much more.

Run Calendar

A great way to visualise all training and activity that is completed via the Runkeeper system. Connect it to your account and then analyse your training history to see if you are meeting the correct training principles and giving yourself enough rest days.

20/20

With my recent fixation on mobile applications, I thought it would be worthwhile refocusing some attention to sharing the web2.0 tools I have used in classes recently. Here is my 20/20 presentation. 20 tools, 20 slides, 20 seconds a slide – no script. This could get messy….

So what are you favourite tools?