Posts tagged ‘internet’

Free !

Free – how I love that word. Whether I’m finding things on the web or scrounging through shops in Second Life I’m always on the lookout for special bargains and freebies.

Sarah Houghton-Jan, Librarian in Black, has posted about free software cheat sheets available at http://www.customguide.com/quick_references.htm . These are useful guides that may be printed out and made available in the library for clients who need assistance with a variety of software applications for Microsoft or Mac.

Now this may not be the type of freebie that everyone is falling over themselves to obtain, but I think most educational libraries will find the cheat sheets very useful and time-saving.

July 14, 2008 at 3:50 am Leave a comment

Technology Trends

Librarian in Black, Sarah Houghton-Jan, summarises her contribution to ALA 2008 in Sarah’s Top Technology Trends – virtual presentation for ALA 2008. I would like to draw attention to point #3 in the hope that the comments may filter through to the bureaucracy running our organisation.
I really like the way so much of the technology trends that are buzzed in Library circles were used in this presentation.

June 30, 2008 at 4:29 am 1 comment

Web Taming Ringmaster

Michael Stevens’ blog, Tame the Web, has two articles this week that I find particularly thought provoking.

1. Keys to a Successful Self Check-Out Project (linked from Michael’s blog)
Our new library is under construction (it’s exciting to see progress with the new building across the road) and it would be good to consider implementing a changeover to a fully automated checkout policy. Please don’t argue until you have read the report and its answers to possible objections.

2. Brian Kelly: What if We’re Right? & Libpunk’d
Brian poses questions aimed at the detractors of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 and proposes that there are more risks involved by not accepting such things as social networking and open source technology than by adopting them whole-heartedly.

June 27, 2008 at 4:35 am Leave a comment

Open Source and Web 2.0

iLibrarian directed me to an article about open source software in online learning in the April-June 2008 issue of Educause Quarterly. After defining it and giving the history of open source software the authors go into detail about it’s impact on learning and describe some of the applications that are used by education institutions around the world.

For me the most significant segment was a description of web 2.0 enabling students to participate in information sharing and combining that with open-source software(How can I persuade my director to reconsider attitude towards web 2.0?).

With Web 2.0, the concept of student-centered learning has acquired a new dimension. Previously, the greatest critique of student-centered learning was the lack of resources and the isolation of each student from other learners. Web 2.0 has provided a means through which both collective and individual intelligence can be harnessed, while students bond in stronger, redefined ways.

These concepts all have the potential to change distance education but still need more focussed developers to produce reliable, quality online education.

May 8, 2008 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Keeping up-to-date

During a recent advanced web searching workshop I tried to demonstrate Yahoo! Mindset but the link didn’t work. Thinking that I was at fault for not updating my presentation I apologised and later set about trying to find the new link, with no success. I then read on Phil Bradley’s weblog that it had disappeared. It was a useful little gadget and I’m sorry to see it go. So many useful links that I have built into presentations have either disappeared altogether or had their urls changed that I would like to stress the importance of checking every link before using it in a presentation or listing it on a handout – unless you don;t mind your audience losing faith in you.

May 8, 2008 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

Google Generation is a myth?

Librarians’ Internet Index: New This Week reports on research commissioned by JISC and the British Library about young people born or brought up in the Internet age and their ability to use the web to find information. Hmmph! I could have saved them the expense – as could most Librarians who struggle to teach Information Literacy Skills to students. The annoying thing is that members of the “Google generation” do not believe for a moment that people from any other generation can teach them anything about the Internet.

This thinking is often aggravated by people who talk about “digital natives” vs. “digital immigrants”. I swear that, even though I am the most senior person in my college library, no-one else here is particularly interested in improving their skills, other than knowing just enough to be able to impart some of these skills to their students.

April 30, 2008 at 3:43 am 1 comment

Bored? Never!

What does one do when stuck at home recovering from minor foot surgery? I caught up with some reading and finished the Life of Pi, spent many hours in Second Life and also played with StumbleUpon and discovered many fascinating new sites. If you haven’t used StumbleUpon you are denying yourself hours of entertainment and finding sites that other people have considered noteworthy (yes, it’s one of these new-fangled Web 2.0 tools again).

Some of the pages I discovered are listed below:

15 Handy Google Search Tricks
Most of us use Google but here are several built in functions within Google which make searching even easier. Learn how to use Google as a calculator, a dictionary, a currency converter and for several other useful field searches.

Maximize Firefox Without Extensions Using about:config
If you type about:config in your address bar, Firefox opens the master directory of user-defined preferences and built-in settings. The ultimate arena for performance tampering, the about:config settings are the foundation for programming Firefox extensions.

The caffeine click test
where I found out that my caffeine level for the day was High – Well Caffeinated & Easily Excitable.

This May Help Your Firefox Memory Leak is an excellent blog post that details how to reduce Firefox’s high memory use.

The search engine list is a list of umpteen search engines sorted by genre. I must admit that I have never heard of most of them but one day it will be fun to play around and see how they compare. There are special search engines for news, medical, maps, legal, jobs, games, enterprise, blogs – and many more.

5 Ways to copy music OFF your iPod. I have moved office to one with a new computer and my music folder was not transferred with me. I have all these tunes on my iPod and want to be able to edit and re-organise them, so what am I to do? It’s easy enough to copy music (or videos) from computer to iPod, but not the other way. Luckily this site has come to my rescue.

April 22, 2008 at 5:09 am 1 comment

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