Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Google Talk Guru

Google Talk Guru provides quick access to factual information on the Web. It's... quick! This was quicker than typing a search into Google - and the results were almost instantaneous! (This also worked using the Google Talk app on my iPod Touch)

I asked Obama's birth certificate. Clicking the link got me to the news that Obama's birth certificate is posted in the New York Times today (April 26, 2011).

What does this mean for reference librarians? No more reference librarians? No... I think there's still a role for reference librarians - and the role will be teacher rather than fact checker.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another open course - from openED

The openED course: Business and Management Competencies in a Web 2.0 World.
Begins April 26, 2011 I went to an introductory chat for this openED course today. Minutes are here without personal information of participants (which is too bad because as usual, the participants are interesting!: The course is always available, but by doing it during a scheduled session, there will be two facilitators on hand for every module. All the OER people will love that this course is entirely out in the open.

Monday, April 18, 2011

OER - Finding free ebooks

Stephen Downes is participating in an Oxford-style debate "Should OER favour commercial use?" He mentions "Flooding – this is the enclosure practice employed in the Google search results. It becomes impossible to find the original free resource when the market is flooded with commercial alternatives." Yes! Even at OpenLibrary), it feels like you have to knock yourself out to find an item that's available to anyone from any place. However I think I have a partial solution to the example that Downes uses - a quotation from Locke. I tried the search in Google Books - and clicked "free Google eBooks" from the search tools on the left side of the screen. That helps.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What's in your library's catalog?

I've been thinking about OER and trying to discover it - including free ebooks and open textbooks... and at the same time I have been looking around for books that others are recommending in MobiMOOC on mobile learning. Of course Mohamed Ally's book Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training was recommended. The hard copy is available for sale, but it is also available as a free e-book. I checked a couple of libraries - hard copy listed, but not the free e-book. WorldCat has bibliographic records for print, Netlibrary, etc., but I didn't spot a bibliographic record for the free e-book. Should the OPAC list material that library doesn't own or license? Should libraries help us discover OER? If not, how will that job get done? (Google Books doesn't seem to note the free version.) I know - It's the old problem of staff time, whatever costs are necessary to upload and update records for what is supposed to be free material.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TCC Online 2011

Here's a bunch of us from the TCC Online Conference on Second Life discussing setting up some SIGs (Special Interest Groups): virtual worlds, mobile technology, augmented reality? Or...? The discussion continues...

Craig Kapp - Augmented Reality

The TCC Online Conference had Craig Kapp present on augmented reality. He romped through a ton of examples and I'll be interested in looking at the archive of his talk once it's available. I was mentioning some of the examples to a friend and he said "what's the point?" Fun and exploration may be the main point - It's a place to start! Kapp's a grad of NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program - and it's in the Tisch School of the Arts - their mission:

"ITP is a two-year graduate program located in the Tisch School of the Arts whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people's lives. Perhaps the best way to describe us is as a Center for the Recently Possible."

One of Kapp's classmates started FourSquare, another student was recently invited to do a light show right here in Tampa. The thing I got out of Kapp's presentation is that the tools are there so that regular mortals can figure out how to create with them. (I've been hearing librarians talk about using Layar. They say not a problem!)

3D without glasses: They've got it working on iPhones and April 11, 2011 ) HoloToy, huh? Guess which app I'm going to try out on my iPod Touch later today?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday April 12, 2011

A lot to do today and a lot didn't get done. One thing I did do:
MobiMOOC had an online session today with Judy Brown on GoToMeeting which had its glitches. The chat didn't work properly, so the session was not interactive - much to everyone's disappointment. Nevertheless, her slides were great.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More on MobiMooc

MobiMOOC participants are busy sharing resources and ideas - and it's an international crowd. After reading everyone's material I feel like I've been on a vacation. The group has been discussing "mlearning" - what is it? John Feser writes that mLearnng is not eLearning on A Mobile Device. He suggests that use of mobile devices means that we are not expecting to spend a certain length of time on task. It means that we can quickly check small chunks of information. In "traditional eLearning," there may be a gap between learning and putting the learning into practice. Mobile learning can occur in the field so to speak. Can our mobile devices replace our desktop computers? If you include netbooks and laptops as mobile devices, the distinction seems blurry to me when it comes to devices. If we leave devices out of the mix, then I can appreciate those remarks about "just-in-time" "just in small chunks" learning. Also I'm enjoying the idea that there are ways we can contribute and create content on the run with mobile devices. If I have my iPod Touch with me, I can consider sending a message or a photo or a short video right there on the spot. I'm remembering Ruben Puentedura's Lively Sketchbook posting and presentation from January 2010. Don't look at your mobile devices as a way to consume information: Consider your mobile devices as a means to create content.

I missed the MobiMOOC Monday Elluminate session but the archive is available.

On another matter I put out a list of open ed resources (OER) sites on Google Docs that I hope to edit & keep it up-to-date. It should be "public" It's my effort to get more familiar with the current crop of OER sites so I can be of more assistance to University of the People.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

MobiMOOC April 2-14, 2011

Let's just jump around and participate in lots of things and get distracted... I signed up for mobiMOOC - an open course on mobile learning. Some participants have already mentioned using mobile devices for knowledge creation (sending messages between class members, taking photos, videos, etc.) as well as information access. There was mention of using open standards. (I understand the rationale, but if you can do a project with iPhones and there's an app for that... If you get a set of iPads for your students, refuse to use them?) This course is worth a look!

mobiMOOC April 2 +, 2011!
MobiMOOC Google Group
- Week 1 - introduction to mLearning
- Week 2 - planning an mLearning project
- Week 3 - m4d mobile for development
- Week 4 - Leading edge innovations
- Week 5 - Interaction between mLearning and a mobile connected society
- Week 6 - mLearning in k12

Friday, April 1, 2011

University of the People

I'm going to do a presentation on University of the People for the TLT-Group this afternoon. The TLT people have gotten a Home Base Web Page together at From talking with Steven Gilbert as we planned this session I gather we may be talking about where a "college education" is situated. Is a college an institution with dorms and a football field? Can we say we've gotten a college education if we haven't visited a campus? Can we say we've gotten a college education if we haven't engaged in synchronous experiences with our teachers and fellow students? Since I've been teaching online since 1996, I've seen learning take place in all kinds of circumstances, but I may have to back it up for others.