I teach front-end web development and design at BMCC in the department of Media Arts & Technology. A large part of my time goes into giving our students a solid, up-to-date education in modern web practices. I'm also the Director of User Experience here on the CUNY Academic Commons. You may also see me at some of the NYC Meetups related to the web.
The DiRT Directory is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use.
Explore more tools from DiRT on the Digital Tools Directory.
Christopher Stein uses 13 tools from the DiRT Directory:
BuddyPress is a variant of WordPress that includes social networking features.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
CBOX offers a unique suite of features designed to give users of all skill levels the ability to create vibrant online communities. Essentially a WordPress plugin, its intuitive, out-of-the-box set-up tool guides site administrators through each step of installation. Its powerful theme, developed for Commons In A Box in collaboration with PressCrew and their Infinity Theming Engine, lets users fully customize their sites. The plugins it manages are totally configurable from the CBOX dashboard, which controls updates and compatibility issues. The sitewide wiki enables members to collaboratively build a knowledge repository.
There is a dependency on having a full local or externally hosted wordpress installation availableLearn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Dropbox is a file hosting service that includes cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software across multiple platforms. Dropbox allows users to create a folder on each of their computers where any type of file can be saved, synchronized, and made available across all computers. Contents of the Dropbox folder are also accessible via dropbox.com and mobile applications. Individual files and folders can be shared with other Dropbox users or made publicly accessible.
Dropbox for Business is a paid service targeting organizations by providing administrative controls and auditing functionality while allowing users to create a work account that is completely separate from their personal account but the two are viewable side by side.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Evernote is note-taking software in the cloud, with options for private and shared notebooks. Users can take text notes, and upload files to attach them to notes. Evernote has built-in OCR for images with printed or handwritten text. A premium account allows access to notebooks offline, as well as more storage and embedded PDF search.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software with calculation, graphing tools, and pivot table options for analyzing data. A cloud-hosted version is available as part of Office 365.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
GitHub is a web-based repository service which offers the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of GIT with a graphical user interface, desktop, and mobile integration. It also provides collaboration tools such as access control, wikis, task management, code review, bug tracking, and feature requests. It offers free accounts, often used to host opensource software projects, and private (paid) repositories.
Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the git command-line interface and all of the standard git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients have also been created by GitHub and other third parties which integrate with the platform.
GitHub is mainly used for code but can also be used for non-code files, it supports the following formats and features:
3D render files
Photoshop's native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.
Documentation and wikis
Small websites can be hosted from public repositories on GitHub. The URL format is http://projectname.github.io.
Issue tracking (including feature requests)
Visualization of geospatial data
GitHub is a heavily used in the opensource development community but does not require hosted projects to meet the definition of Open Source.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Google Docs is an online environment for editing and sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, and tables. Google Docs documents can be public or private, or shared with anyone with a Google account, e-mailed, or downloaded in various formats, including conversions to PDF and other formats not identical to the original or to the proprietary format used at creation. Designated people with whom items are shared can be given permission to comment or edit the files, thus providing a quick way to collaborate on creating and editing documents and presentations.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Available as a web-based service and as an app for iOS, Mac, PC, and Android, Google Drive allows users to create, store, edit, and share files across all their devices. Online and offline file access available. Requires a Google account for use, but allows files from Drive to be shared with non-Google users.
Drive allows users to upload, store, and share any type of file (e.g., JPEG, MP4, JS, INDD, AI). The majority can be previewed, and many can be edited within Drive. Some files (e.g., DOCX, XLSX, PPTX) can be converted into compatible file types for editing, commenting, and more. Drive is the platform for Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, and many other approved applications. Files saved in Drive sync to all other devices, with an activity monitor that can be useful for version control (see what edits have been made and when, and revert back to previous instances if needed).
Offers both free and paid accounts, priced by data capacity: 15 GB (free), 100 GB ($1.99/month), 1 TB ($9.99/month), 10 TB ($99.99/month), 20 TB ($199.99/month), 30 TB ($299.99/month). Teams with more than five people can purchase unlimited storage for $10/user/month.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Slack is a team-based communication and archiving platform. It allows for both synchronous and asynchronous communications, channels for managing specific streams, full user management and integration with a wide variety of social media and storage providers. It is free for limited (rather generous) use and provides one the best means to allow for individual communication patterns within a managed project to be facilitated. Allowing for the quick and informal communications, hashtagged for quick scanning and searching as well as targeted messaging makes it a very compelling project tool. The addition of specific mobile clients with notifications makes it a very effective project management tool.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Simple screencasting and image capture tool. SnagIt is part of TechSmith's family of screen capture and video editing products. Jing offers fewer features, but is a free alternative. Camtasia is the most fully featured of the products, but also the most expensive.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
Trello is a web-based project management and collaboration tool that allows users to organize projects in a dashboard view, containing one or more project-oriented boards. The dashboard provides a real-time overview of what is being worked on, who is working on what, and overall progress toward project milestones. Useful for organized task management, delegation, communication, and collaboration across teams.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org
WordPress is an easy-to-use web publishing platform originally designed around blogging that has now evolved with functionality as a robust content or learning management system, with many themes and plugins for extra functionality.Learn more on DiRTDirectory.org