Friday, October 19, 2012

Maximize Your Productivity with IFTTT

Staying connected with the global teaching community can be a very challenging, and at times, very frustrating undertaking for today's busy educators.  The trick is to spend less time with administrative tasks such as tweeting out your new blog posts and more time connecting with members of your Professional Learning Network (PLN).  Amazingly, there is a web tool educators can use to automate repetitive tasks - it is called IFTTT (If This, Then That).  

How It Works:

Before we get started, there are some terms you must be familiar with first:

1.  Channels - are on-line services such as Twitter, Dropbox, Gmail, Foursquare, etc. that when linked, allow IFTTT to perform automated tasks.  Currently, there are over 50 on-line services that can be linked to IFTTT.

2.  Triggers - constitutes the 'this' part of a recipe.  They are messages that IFTTT looks for to start an action.  A trigger can be a Twitter message, a voicemail, an email, etc.

3.  Actions - constitutes the 'that' part of a recipe.  They are the tasks to be performed when a trigger is received.  For example, if a trigger is the receipt of an email, then the action could be to send the email to your Dropbox account. 

4.  Ingredients - are specific pieces of data from a trigger.  E.g. the ingredient of a Twitter trigger could be a tweet from a specific person (@MsLHall) or a hashtag (#edtech).

5.  Recipes - are a combination of a trigger and an action generated from your active channels.

A sample IFTTT (if this, then that) recipe could be:

IF  (your profile changes)

THEN   (update profile)

To best explain how to get started with IFTTT and to learn how to create recipes, view the two short video tutorials below:

As you can see, IFTTT is a great tool to automate repetitive on-line tasks.  By doing so, educators will free up precious time for tasks that require more skill or engagement.  I highly recommend giving it a try.  Click here to get started!

This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

No comments:

Post a Comment