I have just been introduced to Cool Iris, a computer tool that could improve online literacy. This tool, whose homepage says it works only with the Firefox browser, allows the user to just hover over any link and preview a copy of the Web page in a pop up window. If you want to look more at the page you can click on it and it will become a tab on your browser. If you want to email the page to someone else or even copy and paste from it you can do that from the Cool Iris pop up.
Here is one way I used it: I remembered that I had a message with a link that I wanted to go to. I didnâ€™t particularly want to open the message itself, but hovering over the blue box that showed up opened a temporary window which previewed the message. I was able to just click directly on the link to open the Web page that I wanted.
Another: what about getting quick help when doing an image search? When you do a picture search the thumbnails are pretty small. Cool Iris lets you just hover over the picture to see the larger version!
If you are interested you need to go to Cool Iris to see the demos. This is one of those tools (like tabbed browsing) which changes the way that tasks are accomplished on the computer so that after using it you become dependent on the way it works and miss it on another computer!
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