Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get down with DIRT - Digital Research Tools (DiRT)

This wiki collects information about tools and resources that can facilitate research more efficiently or creatively. It is a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools and their usefulness for research.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.

Watch this TED Talk: Clay Shirky: How Social Media Can Make History

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teachers Teaching Teachers

If sunny summer days have you thinking of the seashore and tongue twisters, try saying “Teachers Teaching Teachers” and take a look at the webcast which airs tonight, June 24th at 8pm Central time. High school and college educators will “share examples of their classroom practices to prompt a discussion about audience and writing using digital technology”. Here are more details about the program which is sponsored by the National Writing Project. A companion book, Teaching the New Writing, was just published in May, 2009 and contains more details and stories on how writing may be changing in the 21st century.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Report on Impact of Climate Change

Of particular interest to next year's Integrated Global Studies School students will be a major report released today: "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States." It was produced by a consortium of experts from thirteen government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes.

The press release describes the report as "written in plain language to better inform members of the public and policymakers" ... and as a "science based report [which] is a consensus product spanning two Presidential administrations and [which] transcends political leanings or biases".

Go to the Full Report to see more fact sheets, slide show, and other information on national and regional impacts. Related blog postings include those from the White House and the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gale Widgets: Connect With Your Students

"Gale’s widgets are simple but powerful tools that generate short HTML code to be placed directly into any page on your Web site." See an example at the top of this page.

I look forward to experimenting with Gale Widgets to add to our New Trier Library Facebook page.

I am uncertain whether these will work directly on our library pathfinders with our new CMS400 web software. I will be sure to investigate that as well. Joyce Valenza is using them on her "wiki" pathfinders.

Firefox new feature: Add-on Collections

Add-on Collections: Overview from Justin Scott on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Graph your Twitter Stats

You may want to see your Twitter Stats including

* Tweets per hour
* Tweets per month
* Tweet timeline
* Reply statistics
Click on Twitter Stats to see both bar graphs and word clouds. This service has almost 24,000 twitter followers. It's fun to see who you re-tweet most.

The 2 top folks I re-tweet most are: Mashable (Pete Cashmore) and Joyce Valenza.

David Parry, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas talks about using Twitter

Bottom line for me is that Twitter as a personal learning network is faster and easier than blog reading or blog posting. Twitter is experiential; you have to use it and use it frequently in order to understand the benefits.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Why Teach Social Media? A Case for Media Literacy

Howard Rheingold has been teaching social media to Berkeley and Stanford students for about five years and has been consumed with the question "are personal computers and Internet-based communications good for us as individuals, communities, democracies?" He answers that question: "it depends on what people know about how to use these tools." Whether digital media will be beneficial or destructive in the long run doesn't depend on the technologies, but on the literacy of those who use them.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The use or nonuse of social tools sparks Twitterstorm

Everyone is talking about, or should I say twittering about, the use of twitter and other social networking tools in the school setting. What do you think? Read this short but thought provoking article in School Library Journal.

Google Wave

Google has responded to the emergence of real-time Internet applications. Wave embraces this streaming interface by using e-mail and messaging as a starting point. In one fluid view, a Wave homepage includes short messages (Twitter features with pics), communication with large groups (like Facebook) and basic collaboration tools to engage with the content (instant messaging capability and attachments from e-mail). If you are invited late to a Wave thread, you can hit a replay button that allows you to catch up with what you missed—like Tivo for Web content. How cool is that? When this opens up, students won't mind being blocked from Facebook at school.

Google has opened Wave to developers, who can build tools and apps to run with it but the public will not have access to the application until later this year.

TED Talks on Google Spreadsheet

This is a handy way to view what's available on TED Talks via a Google Spreadsheet though 5-11-09.

TEDTalks features the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 400 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted online.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Take a Look at Debategraph

http://debategraph.org/ Check out the Climate Change debate featured on the home page.

It's a collaborative, creative commons social venture that combines web-based, argument visualization with collaborative wiki editing to make the best arguments on all sides of complex public debates. Best of all, it's a free tool.

Look at the "about" tab to figure out how it works.
Look in the gallery to see more kinds of maps. There is one started on "Intelligent Design"

Read the BBC article in which founder David Price says that it's better than a blog format on complex issues.

"The way that the map works is that once an argument is being represented on the map, it's there and everyone can see that that argument is being heard.

Then the question becomes, can you improve that argument or can you respond to it and challenge that argument?

This tends to lead to more constructive discussion...". Here's the thing: It allows students to collaborate in the real world. Sounds like something we should explore.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Teaching Copyright

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) just last week issued a press release regarding the launch of its new web site and curriculum called Teaching Copyright.

As noted, “the Teaching Copyright curriculum is a detailed, customizable plan that connects students to contemporary issues related to the Internet and technology. Teaching Copyright invites discussion about how creativity is enabled by new technologies, what digital rights and responsibilities exist or should exist, and what roles students play as users of technology.”

I particularly like the Resources page which is very comprehensive and easy to navigate.

Bing is Live

Bing, the new search engine from Microsoft, went live this morning.

Here is the link.

It has a number of nice features (search history, a "roll-over" explanation of the page, suggestions for similar searches, advanced search, etc).
Here is a short video:

TED Talk by Evan Williams

In case you are new to Twitter, listen to Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, who developed the addictive messaging service that connects the world 140 characters at a time. He also explains the use of the #hashtag which allows folks to share information on a singular topic.

Here's a link to 50 Useful Tools for Researchers and Writers using Twitter