Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Improvements to Google Docs

Read about improvements from the Office Google Blog which include an equation editor, super- and subscripts, translation features,and a "go to page" for surveys created.

"As interns on the Google Docs team this past summer, we were excited to be able to work on making Google Docs that much more useful for students like us. We've now added a bunch of back to school features which should help our fellow students make the transition from summer to school that much easier — and we hope they'll be useful to you non-students as well!"

Watch the video to learn how collaboration works in Google docs.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Google!

For Google’s 11th birthday on Sunday, September 27th the company changed its logo to a version that turns the letter “L” into the number 11. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

National Book Festival Podcasts

Listen to well-known authors' podcasts from today's National Book Festival organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Download podcasts from
Julia Alvarez
Judy Blume
Michael Connelly
Junot Diaz
Gwen Ifill
John Irving
Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor
Lois Lowry
Walter Mosley
James Patterson
George Pelecanos
Jodi Picoult
Jon Scieszka
Nicholas Sparks
David Wroblewski

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Online Conference: Climate Change from the Smithsonian

The gingko leaf at left is an image featured on the Smithsonian's site along with details about their online conference on Climate Change. A list of times and speakers is also available.

Most people know that the Smithsonian is referred to as our nation's "attic" due to the extensive physical collections, but I have been really impressed with the way it is embracing technology and helping others to do so. For example, their tutorial on podcasting is one I have been directing people to for years since it is one of the best I have seen. And now the Smithsonian is inviting us to "get social" with a terrific blog about climate change and Twitter and Facebook entries, too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Latest from Wolfram Alpha

An update from Wolfram Alpha on content in basic reference library. What do we expect to see in the future? Languages other than English. Team has expanded considerably and expect good things in the future. Watch the Q & A session.

A Video Response to Did You Know 2.0

"This is another official update to the original "Shift Happens" video. This completely new Fall 2009 version includes facts and stats focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence...

For more information, or to join the conversation, please visit http://mediaconvergence.economist.com and http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Manifesto

New Trier Librarian Linda Straube has created a fantastic display for Banned Books week. I love seeing the poster sized Manifesto. See also the National Coalition Against Censorship celebrating 35 years.


"To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.
You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.
— Ellen HopkinS,
bestselling author of Crank and newly published Tricks

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's starting to sound like a conversation around here

Thanks Deborah for informing us about: "Internet Neutrality" and the issue of loading information equitably across the web. Very interesting post.

Another post of interest:

I am so excited that we now have about 32 Facebook fans. A New Trier senior, Adam Gutman, posted to our New Trier Library Facebook page:

"This place rocks! It is where I get a lot of work done for school. Mrs. Gressel is always positive when I am working on a project. Often times, I find myself wanting to use wikipedia, though she shows me proper sources and how to cite them. Thanks NT Library!"

The interaction makes it all worthwhile.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Network Neutrality Up for Debate

"Internet Neutrality" not something many of us think about everyday or even at all. In the current Internet world no matter what Web sites we visit they will load at the same speed. That means that Internet Service Providers give the same level of service to the small local coffee shop's web site as to Starbucks i.e. network neutrality. However, Internet Service Providers, such as ComCast and At &T are interested in developing a tiered level of service - charging different rates for different levels of service. What would this mean for daily users of the Internet? To learn more about this topic and about Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed regulations to maintain network neutrality browse the sites below:

Sunday Morning NPR
Network Neutrality 101
A Guide to Net Neutrality for Google Users
Official: FCC to propose 'Net neutrality' rules

Thursday, September 17, 2009


When it rains, it pours....

Sorry we can't be in two places at the same time: TRACY KIDDER, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 7
7:30 p.m., Winnetka Congregational Church, 725 Pine St.

TRACY KIDDER, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of our Summer Reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, speaks about his new book, Strength in What Remains, the remarkable account of a refugee from Burundi who arrives in New York with $200, no English, and no contacts—and with the help of ordinary people is led to Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. The admission ($10) will be donated to Partners in Health, the organization co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, whose story is told in Mountains Beyond Mountains.

I am personally torn between hearing Kidder speak and hearing Boyd discuss Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

danah boyd to speak locally!

Save the date: Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 7 pm, Wilmette Junior High School, 620 Locust Road, Wilmette, IL. This talk is co-sponsored by Family Awareness Network and more details are available on that site.

danah boyd studied at Brown, MIT and UC Berkeley where she wrote her PhD thesis on Why Youth ♥ Social Network Sites. She has been researching and writing about online social networks since before the seemingly long ago days of Friendster as this 2003 New York Times article attests.

Her work with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is referenced on our Online Connections Internet Safety page, created in support of previous parent programs at New Trier.

The book she’ll be discussing, Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media, is a result of a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

It will be exciting to hear danah boyd speak on October 7. As an added bonus CPDUs are available for education and health professionals – let’s gather a group of New Trier faculty for dinner and the talk.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google Labs: Fast Flip

Browsing the news online has never been more fun! Try out Fast Flip,the latest innovation from Google Labs which allows readers to flip through the news quickly. The articles which are web pages have been stripped of ads and other items which making loading the pages slower. Readers can quickly decide if the article is worth their time and read most of it from Google; if they click on the article they will be taken to the publisher's website. The service uses Google News as the basis and has lined up about about 3 dozen cooperating publishers which include the BBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post and Newsweek.

Read: Google Site Lets Readers Flip Through the News in today's New York Times.

Obviously, the bigger your screen, the more enjoyable the experience. The small laptops at work are not nearly as much fun.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

David Livermore on Cultural Intelligence

What is cultural intelligence? "Cultural intelligence is defined as the capability to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures. And research demonstrates a leader’s CQ may easily be the single greatest difference between thriving in the 21st century world and becoming obsolete.”

Download the "manifesto" from the Change This blog.

Facebook Pages basics – a Screencast

David Lee King discusses how he uses Facebook for the Topeka, Kansas Library:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Visual Definitions of Web 2.0

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First college-level journalism course focused on Twitter @ DePaul University

This article was brought to my attention by librarian Matt Stuczynski. DePaul University's new journalism class is called: "Digital Editing: From Breaking News to Tweets." Looks like Twitter is here to stay for awhile. Read more at the Wall St. Journal blog Speakeasy.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama's Speech to Students

The text of the President's Speech is now available for previewing.

What strikes you about it?

Here's a Wordle: Obama School Speech Top 25 wordsWORDLE of the top 25 words he will use.

Ans (thanks to JudyG) a link to to a Wordle: Remarks to Students  George Bush 1991-10-01 WORDLE of Bush's 1991 speech to students.

At first, I thought "maybe" should not appears so often in either speech, but then I realized that "maybe" was not being used in a tentative sense, but rather as a way to highlight opportunities and possibilities. As we start a new school year, let's hope that there are students and teachers who are further inspired to support each other, to engage in lively, civic debate, and to pursue their dreams and passions.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

WikiTrust: Orange Alert Comes to Wikipedia

WikiTrust, developed by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, color-codes the information on a Wikipedia page using algorithms that evaluate the reliability of the author and the information itself.

The algorithms do this by examining how well-received the author's contributions have been within the community. It looks at how quickly a user's edits are revised or reverted and considers the reputation of those people who interact with the author.

A white background, shows that a piece of text has been viewed by many editors who did not change it and that it was written by a reliable author. Shades of orange signify doubt, dubious authorship, or ongoing controversy.

New Collaborative Writing Tool

MixedInk Demo from MixedInk on Vimeo.

Glad I didn't buy a Kindle yet....

The new LCD displays will be in color which will be a true game changer because charts/graphics/photos will be more legible

Color ebooks are expected to be on the market in about 6 months.

Read more here.

Sales of these devices will boom when more textbooks are included. Are textbook publishers hanging by a thread and trying to stop the release of digitized textbooks? Will the ebook innovators leave everyone in the dust?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Engaging the New Influencers: A Worthwhile Read


We're Pleased to Announce a New Librarian

Matthew J Stuczynski, a new member of the library faculty as been on staff with New Trier for the past 15 years. He is not only a veteran Spanish/German teacher but also a Technology Staff Developer. He is a member of the Northern Illinois Computing Educators (NICE) Board and brings a wealth of technology expertise to our library department.