Wednesday, December 23, 2009

OLPC XO3 One laptop per child - maybe even adults?

Stephen Downes noted this in OLDaily - Information at about OLPC version 3 envisioned by Yves Behar. It's just a thought at this point. See December 23, 2009 news item that discusses the XO-3 as vaporware and a distraction from the main mission of OLPC. Nevertheless... the X0-3 styling is intriguing! Might be worth keeping an eye on the OLPC Wiki and see what else they are dreaming.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A few freebies for the Kindle - and Kindle for PC software

I found a few things for free at the Kindle Store related to new media:

New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and "Worked Examples" as One Way Forward by James Paul Gee (Kindle Edition - Jan 12, 2010) - not out yet, but it will be soon and the electronic version is going to be free apparently)

The Civic Potential of Video Games by Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, and Chris Evans (Kindle Edition - Jun 30, 2009)

Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media: A Synthesis from the Good Play Project by Carrie James (Kindle Edition - Oct 30, 2009)

Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project by Mizuko Ito, Heather A. Horst, Matteo Bittanti, and danah boyd (Kindle Edition - Jun 26, 2009)

The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age by Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg (Kindle Edition - Jun 30, 2009)

These might be available in PDF out there for free somewhere. I didn't check. But these are available for zero dollars at the Kindle Store. (I also spotted some murder mysteries for free that might be great for a plane trip.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Free books for the Kindle - including Kindle for the PC

Alan Levine from the New Media Consortium reports that Henry Jenkins "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century" - the Kindle edition - is available for free. In my efforts to be frugal I find myself way behind on technology toys- no Kindle! - but the Kindle for the PC software is also free - so I downloaded the software and the book onto my tablet pc - and I'm ready to go! (Well, I did get a little over-anxious about the download for the book. It was quick enough, but not instantaneous.)

Thanks for the Lifelong Information Literacy blog crew for posting Alan's note.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scholarly Information Practicies - redux

Dick Hartley pointed out the report "Communicating Knowledge: How and Why Researches Public and Disseminate Their Findings" (September 2009). The report from RIN and JISC deals with UK researchers. Among the findings: Peer reviewed journals are very important as a channel for publishing and dissemination (p. 16). Surprise!

Scholarly Information Practices

Bernie Sloan noted this publication: "Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment: Themes from the Literature and Implications for Library Service Development". In the conclusions "The question facing service developers... is not what services need to be offered digitally, but rather how do we process in the long term to move all services to an e-research platform." (p. 34). This is a good fit with the talk that Rush Miller gave at the USF Tampa Library this week. He also pointed out that the future of libraries is digital. (He used some of the same material from the Slideshare posting at ) Miller seemed particularly adamant that we are on the move to electronic formats mostly. It does seem to me that we are getting there, but... why do we still have a shelving crisis at the Tampa Library at the end of every semester? What are our users doing with the books? Using the books as doorstops? Could we eliminate the shelving crunch by buying everyone a Kindle? ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Google announcements - personal search, visual search, realtime web, etc.

Joel Foner has gathered together links to recent Google announcements: Google visual search, personalized search for everyone, realtime web. He is holding a discussion about the potential impact of these new features on Second Life. Personalized search allows users to opt out. Search history is kept for 180 days though users can delete the history at any time. Joel points out to a write up by Danny Sullivan Google Now Personalizes Everyone's Search Results. Do we enjoy getting customized results or are we concerned that our search engines know our preferences? Or is it both? When it comes to real time search results, will we get the latest breaking news - or the latest breaking rumors? I know this is not an earth-shattering incident: I woke up this morning to the news that a woman was taken from Tiger Woods home to a hospital (December 8, 2009.8AM EST) I'm getting updates from a bonafide news source or two - and comments from Twitter. Twitter reports include woman already released from the hospital - and that the woman was Woods' mother-in-law. (8:06 AM EST). Most tweets are still only reporting that a woman was taken from Tiger Woods' home to the hospital. Hmmm... another way to teach students information literacy skills? Maybe the question is when does realtime information actually become substantiated.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emarking - including audio comments

For those instructors giving out those traditional "research paper" assignments: What about using electronic grading assistants such as this emarking tool? I might have to try this one! It works with Word and provides the ability to add audio comments as well as re-use phrases, etc. The trial is free. In the past, I've tried Phrase Express ( ) suggested by Johanna Tunon. I've used the even more low-tech option of a Word document with some phrases that I can copy and paste. Some faculty object to the idea of using canned phrases - we should tailor our remarks for each student. I agree that we should do that - but pointing out grammar mistakes or citation errors...I'd rather have a set of stock phrases that will save me keystrokes for those kinds of corrections. What do you think? Know about other software that assists in marking papers?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Information literacy and college students in a digital age

Project Information Literacy has put out a progress report "How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age." (December 1, 2009). The report is based on a sample of over two thousand responses from a number of universities. Some of the findings: Students turn to course readings first for assignments. They use Google and Wikipedia for everyday information. They value online scholarly research materials available via their libraries. Students consult their instructors first when they need information on how to proceed with a research project. Few students rely on librarians though librarians seem to be more important early in a student's academic career. On interesting statement on page 20: "All in all, the librarian approach is one based by thoroughness, while the student approach is based on efficiency. To that end, librarians suggest using scholarly resources, while many students in our study used a wide range of resources that deliver an abundance of results early on, whether they are scholarly, or not." What does this mean for librarians? Along with other findings on the ways that students conduct their research, the authors make some recommendations for faculty, administrators, and librarians. Among the recommendations: "Librarians should systematically (not just anecdotally) examine the services they provide... Questions should be addressed about how and why services and resources are used - not only how often... (p. 36).