Sunday, November 12, 2006

Making RSS feeds

At Jenny Levine's ISLMA session on blogs, wikis and rss we learned about the usefulness of RSS.
(Real Simple Syndication). After learning more about RSS from The Shifted Librarian wiki page I practiced with RSS on the New Trier library blog and decided to find a way to add an RSS feed to the AP Jr. Theme BlackBoard site for NY Times editorials. Not sure if this is a possibility with our version of BlackBoard. However, I finally figured out how to add an RSS feed to the blog. If you scroll down and look to the left sidebar you will see a NY Times feed for editorials. The best site to use to generate the java script is Feed2JS. The tricky part is to find the correct spot to paste it into the html of the blog template.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE)

The November 6th NICE meeting focused on the Read/Write web: Web 2.0. Charlene Chausis (Apple Distinguished Educator 2003) is a staff developer at Stevenson High School. Her audience ranged from the totally uninitiated to high end users of such tools as blogs, wikis, social bookmarking tools such as Furl and I was excited to try out and love the ease of use and its integration with the Firefox browser. Charlene's presentation Social Technologies for the Classroom is shared on the web, so if you missed it, see her web handout.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Questia Review is a Shonda

The August, 2006 School Library Journal contains a scathing review of Questia. Shonda Brisco from Forth Worth Country Day School in Texas obviously hasn't done a trial with students researching social issues. She basically trashes the service because of limited journal (496) and magazine (98) holdings. She dismisses the print book sources as too outdated. Brisco reports that "Questia offers very little for school libraries in content, currency, or coverage of common high school research topics." She grades it as a "D" because of its lack of breadth, depth and currency. In Yiddish, this is really a "shonda" .....the Yiddush term shonda means "a shame" or "a pity". It's a shonda that high school librarians will believe this review. It appears that Shonda merely attempted a few searches herself and didn't try it with a real research project of any substance with large numbers of students. Please see the Questia review and rebuttal from General Reference Center Gold:

Make a difference with databases: online resources can enhance learning, but choose well.(Digital Resources). Shonda Brisco. School Library Journal 52.8 (August 2006): p67(2).

Questia review: all wrong.(Letters)(Letter to the editor).
Nancy Buchanan.
School Library Journal 52.10 (Oct 2006): p14(1).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Questia Lesson

Several of you asked for my Questia lesson. Here it is:

Digital Natives - Pew Internet Project

Don't miss the powerpoint presentation recently done by Lee Rainie 10-27-06 from the NY Library Council. This is a featured presentation from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
"How today’s youth are different from their ‘digital immigrant’ elders and what that means for libraries". It includes recent statistics about technology use.

Questia Demos

I demo'd Questia yesterday for Cathy D'Agostino's class. The students are very excited about using it and also had some good questions. I've got a lesson prepared that shows most of the features if anyone wants to use it when we get further into Junior Theme.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Survey about Educational Blogging

I am experimenting with how to make a Technorati Profile. This will make our blog more easily searchable by others through the Technorati blog search.

Will Richardson has done a survey about educational blogging and the State of the Blogosphere.
According to his "unscientific" results he finds that less than 10% of educators are using Web 2.0 tools due to lack of time, lack of professional development and lack of tech support. A finding that did not surprise me is that 59% of Web 2.0 users think that education is likely to be impacted in a significant way with Web 2.0 tools.