Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bloglines contiues its work....

Bloglines is now owned by Merchant Circle, and Bloglines will continue to serve as an RSS reader. It has a slightly new look to it, mainly a "facelift" of sorts, and I like how it's organized. What can benefit all users is the "view" format - list, expanded, or mosaic. This feature certainly lends itself to different styles of viewing and organizing information.

The List shows one line of information - source, and the beginning of the summary or article. Benefit: easy at-a-glance format to select articles to read

Expanded shows more of the summary or beginning lines of article, as well as options for social communication
Benefit: decision is quick and easy to read article; plenty of "white" space

Mosaic is for those who are visual. I believe this is a new feature, and it looks great. While one would have to scroll a bit more to see options/items (depending upon how many feeds one has), the icons and/or images are a nice alternative to print.

Take a look at the "new" bloglines:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Books for Haiti

Three French teachers, Monsieur Greaux, Madame Salisbury and Mademoiselle Weiss, recently offered their students an opportunity to truly make a difference for others. The students each translated a child’s picture book from English to French and then added the French words to each page so that the books could be sent to French speaking Haiti and shared with victims of last year’s earthquake. Here’s a brief version of the story in pictures with images from some of the books:

I gave myself a “fed ex” day of sorts trying to pull together some scanned images, pictures and text to describe this fabulous project by our Foreign Language teachers. I had not done much scanning or photo manipulation and this is my first Slide Share project, but I am very excited that it was in support of such a fantastic project. Thanks to everyone who helped!

Our students loved this project, especially the childhood memories it raised for them and the chance to help others. My favorite quote: Dear children of Haiti, I hope this book gives you joy during a difficult time for your country.... If you are ever sad, you must remember that there is hope everywhere, but it is in hiding and you must find it. We have already started conversations about how other language classes (Spanish and Chinese) might pursue a similar project, perhaps donating books to Central America or to a local charity in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What are QR codes?
"A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed." Wikipedia
Read more from David Hopkins's blog.

You can create your own QR Codes at the QR Code Generator

It is recommended that you use a URL shortening service to generate the shortest possible link to use for the code

What are some of the uses for QR codes?  Here are some recommendations from David Hopkins, a Learning Technologist in the Business School, Bournemouth University. They work for students who have smart phones to:
  • integrate students into the assignment and feedback process
  • excellent way of directing students to content
  • a book in the Library, a YouTube video, a library event.... 
  • Place the QR Code in a slide that links to a YouTube video you want the students to watch, but you don’t want them to take up your valuable time in your lecture by showing them there and then.
  • Generate QR Codes that refer to materials the students may want to explore, but you haven’t time to show them in the limited lecture/seminar times.
  • Place the QR Code in your slides that links to the information about the core text for the lecture, details of what it is and where in the Library it can be found (floor, section, shelf details, etc, or even link to eBook version if it’s available?).
  • Generate a QR Code that links to an online survey or question you want them to answer while they’re with you, and show them the results (like a CPS system?)
  • Put the QR Code at the end or your presentation for the students to scan as they exit the theatre, that links to an audio copy of the lecture, or to the activity you’ve asked them to do.

How might these QR codes be used for teaching and learning?

Potential Qr Codes Education Emerge 2009
View more presentations from andyramsden.

Here's another exiting way that QR codes are being used by book publishers:

Finally, an easy to use to which generates a QR code for a mobile-friendly URL:  Try Delivr to distribute a code that a mobile user can see and scan. I tried it using the URL for this blog and it instantly generated this short URL for a mobile device:
delivr.com/136ki   and it also generated a QR code which you can try scanning with your mobile device.
Happy Scanning!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

More on Google eBooks

Read more on the Google Blog:
Discover more than 3 million Google ebooks from your choice of booksellers and devices.

This will definitely be a game changer.

New Pew Study on ... Twitter

The new study from Pew Research Center finds that 8% of online Americans use Twitter.

According to their summary, some of the groups who are notable for their relatively high levels of Twitter use include:
  • Young adults – Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter than older adults.
  • African-Americans and Latinos – Minority internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.
  • Urbanites – Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Google Editions... by the end of this year

Google Editions is apparently poised to become available "by the end of this year, for sure", per an article in this week's Wall Street Journal which says:

"Google Editions hopes to upend the existing e-book market by offering an open, "read anywhere" model that is different from many competitors. Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers—including independent bookstores—and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Developing and Deepening your PLN with Twitter - Hashtags For Educators

As you already know, I am a huge fan of Twitter for growing your Personal Learning Network (PLN). One of the underused features of Twitter is the hashtag (#).  Hashtags are essential for searching the Twitterverse for a subject and are also handy when appended to your own tweets to extend their influence.

Great List of Hashtags For Educators
Recently read a post on Karlana's World regarding #hashtags for education. Here, you can learn how to use #hashtags and how to monitor the most useful #hashtags for education and learning.

Cybrary Man offers an even more extensive list of Hashtags building upon Karlana's list.

Librarian Phil Bradley suggests: Twapperkeeper as a handy resource for keeping track of tweets that use a particular hashtag. Twapperkeeper does not do this automatically -- you have to go to the site and set up an archive, so that Twapperkeeper knows that it needs to look for tweets mentioning a specified hashtag. After setting this up, you can also get these tweets as an RSS feed, or download the file. It can also archive tweets based on a keyword search or user name.

I would add this set of  hashtags for librarians:

#libraries, #librarians,
#streetlit, #Goodreads, #Awards,  #readers,  #YA, #lib_resources, #school #library , #infoliteracy, #medialiteracy, #onlinesafety, #cyberbullying, #digitalcitizenship, #transliteracy, #YALSA 2011, #yalsa, #ALA, #Books, #literature, #bannedbooks, #reading, #amreading, #Kindle, #ipad,  #ebook,  #ereader, #mashable, #SocialMedia

Do you have any to add?