Firefox will be introducing a new Campus version of their web browser targeting students. This version will include three education friendly extensions. Zotero helps students collect, manage, and cite research sources on the Internet. With one click you can receive automatic capture of citation information from any webpage. The extension allows you to collect information about pages, organize the information, make notes on sites visited, store a variety of files attached to a selected webpage. Zotero works with both Microsoft Office and Open Office.
The second extension is FoxyTunes, which will control any media player while you are surfing. FoxyTunes is very Web 2.0 by allowing users to share what they are playing with friends via Twitter, receive information about album art and lyrics. You also may sign blog postings and e-mails with music you are currently playing. Just be careful of the RIAA.
The third extension of Firefox Campus is StumbleUpon. This extension helps you find material on the Internet based on your interests. This along with Zotero would be a great help in conducting research online. Another feature, good or bad, is the ability of a network of friends to share information on a particular subject.
While you can take or leave FoxyTunes, the other extensions have a lot of promise for students working on the online world. The Internet is changing the way students search for information and the extensions found on the Firefox Campus edition. However, these tools are no guarantee the information found online is legitimate. Teachers and Media Specialists still need to guide students on how to conduct research online by instructing students to question information gathered online by trying to finding other information that either proves or disproves other sources found on the Internet. However, it is encouraging there are tools that help get the job done.