Sharing What I Find

Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Firefox extension: Speed Dial

Extensions or Add-ons for the popular browser Firefox are being added every day. Many of these add-ons add functionality to enhance how you use the browser and are task specific. Some of my favorites include Colorful Tabs, Resizeable Text Area, and add to del.icio.us. These extensions allow me to visual, change, or quickly accomplish things I do on the internet.

I just ran across this add-on called Speed Dial that lets you see thumbnail views of multiple website on one page. Its like a visual bookmarking system, in a way. But if there are website that you go to everyday (or very often) this might be a quick way to see them. Of course, the most efficient method to see if there is new information being added to a website would be to subscribe to the websites’ RSS feed and refer to your RSS aggregator as a one-stop notification. Here’s a short video explaining what a RSS is and how to use it.

When you download Speed Dial to Firefox, a new button is placed on your toolbar and opens your speed dial page. There is also a drop down list that lets you select individual pages or groups and change the Speed Dial options.

Adding websites There are several ways to add websites to your speed dial: you can use the “Set as Speed Dial” option your bookmarks menu, or by right clicking on the website you want to add, or by editing the speed dial options.

Keyboard Shortcuts By pressing the “Control” key and a number you’ll access the website assigned to the Speed Dial entry with the same number in the current window. If you add the “Shift” key it will open in a new tab.

Groups You can set up your thumbnails into groups of websites to further define specific topics of websites.

I keep my UA resources in one group and the blogs and content areas I write to or monitor in another group. I could also see the use of using speed dial when I’m researching a topic and want to review and look back at multiple websites. Sometimes the names of the websites, since they might be similar, get confusing and a visual guide would be very handy.

Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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