Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

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Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Social Networks Strip Data From Your Digital Photos

David Riecks warns that "Social Media Networks Strip Data From Your Digital Photos." Thus these networks make a poor platform for archivally storing photos, as the image size and detail is typically reduced and the metadata (ie. when the picture was snapped, and who is the subject) routinely gets stripped from the image.

-DD

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Americans Spend 16 Minutes of Every Hour Online on Social Networks

According to Sharon Gaudin, "Americans Spend 16 Minutes of Every Hour Online on Social Nets"

-DD

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Monday, April 29, 2013

1DollarScan eBook Publishing

Calvin Reed notes that "Despite Copyright Concerns, 1DollarScan Grows, Marks Second Year."   1DollarScan creates a PDF of a submitted book, and then destroys the original paper copy. Such services seem to be popular in Japan, where it makes fiscal sense to archive old books into electronic versions. According to the comments of a reader, the quality of the 1DollarScan PDF does not match that originating from an e-book publisher.

-DD

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The Google Generation and Website Usability

The British Library and JISC commissioned a 2008 study "Information Behavior of the Researcher of the Future." The researchers analyzed trends among students born after 1993 to develop their conclusions. Some findings include:

  • 89% of college students begin their searching at a search engine; 2% start at a library Web site (p. 7; source: OCLC).
  • 93% of students are satisfied with their search engine experience, while only 84% are satisified with their experience with a librarian (p. 7; source: OCLC)_.
  • "[The] new form of information seeking behaviour can be characterised as being horizontal, bouncing, checking and viewing in nature. Users are promiscuous, diverse and volatile . . . ." (p.9)
  • Horizontal Information Seeking is defined as: "A form of skimming activity, where people view just one or two pages from an academic site and then `bounce’ out, perhaps never to return. The figures are instructive: around 60 per cent of e-journal users view no more than three pages and a majority (up to 65 per cent) never return" (p. 10).
  • "People in virtual libraries spend a lot of time simply finding their way around: in fact they spend as much time finding their bearings as actually viewing what they find" (p. 10).   . . . .   "The average times that users spend on e-book and ejournal sites are very short: typically four and eight minutes respectively. It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signs that new forms of `reading’ are emerging as users `power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense" (p.10).
  • "Academic users have strong consumer instincts and research shows that they will squirrel away content in the form of downloads, especially when there are free offers. In spite of this behaviour and the very short session times that we witness, there is no evidence as to the extent to which these downloads are actually read." (p.10).
  • "Users assess authority and trust for themselves in a matter of seconds by dipping and cross-checking across different sites and by relying on favoured brands (e.g. Google)." (p.10).
  • "Internet research shows that the speed of young people’s web searching means that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority" (p.12).
  • "Young people have a poor understanding of their information needs and thus find it difficult to develop effective search strategies" (p.12).
  • "[Students] exhibit a strong preference for expressing themselves in natural language rather than analysing which key words might be more effective" (p.12).
  • "Faced with a long list of search hits, young people find it difficult to assess the relevance of the materials presented and often print off pages with no more than a perfunctory glance at them" (p.12).
  • "Many young people do not find library-sponsored resources intuitive and therefore prefer to use Google or Yahoo instead: these offer a familiar, if simplistic solution, for their study needs" (p.12).
  • There is little interest in social networking with a library (p. 17).
  • "Research by OFCOM shows that the over-65s spend four hours a week longer online than 18-24s" (OFCOM, section 4.1.12).
  • "CIBER deep log studies show that, from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, `flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Power browsing and viewing appear to be the norm for all. The popularity of abstracts among older researchers rather gives the game away. Society is dumbing down." (p. 19).

The study makes three recommendations to university libraries:

  1. they need to make their sites more highly visible in cyberspace by opening them up to search engines;
  2. they should abandon any hope of being a one-stop shop, and,
  3. they should accept that much content will seldom or never be used, other than perhaps a place from which to bounce (p. 31).

Ian Rowlands, David Nicholas, Peter Williams, Paul Huntington and Maggie Fieldhouse; Barrie Gunter ; Richard Withey ; Hamid R. Jamali ; Tom Dobrowolski and Carol Tenopir published these findings as a scholarly paper in ASLIB PROCEEDINGS under the title "The Google Generation."

-DD

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

7 Must-Consider Strategies for Ebook Pricing

Beth Bacon speculates on "7 Must-Consider Strategies for Ebook Pricing."   His seven factors are:

  1. Charge extra for convenience,
  2. Link ebook prices to their value proposition [proven, popular authors should get a larger return],
  3. Factor in the author’s time,
  4. Make them free…to help gain market share,
  5. Price newer titles higher than old ones,
  6. Tie an ebook’s price to the cost of other formats, and,
  7. Let the readers decide.

Bacon raises several arguements for point 6 (pricing newer titles higher than old ones). In addition, the Biblical concept of paying less for a shorter lease (Leviticus 25:15) may be a logical precident, as the author's right to profit is of limited duration.

-DD

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Start Menu Replacement Apps for Windows 8

Howard Wen shares apps which mimic the function of the Start Menu found in earlier versions of Windows.

-DD

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Art of Problem Discovery

Brian Matthews presented a paper at the 2013 ARCL conference entitled "The Art of Problem Discovery." Matthews describes how considering and analyzing problems is key to develop new iniatives and creating efficiency.

-DD

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Windows Apps for Office 2013

Vangie Beal created a slide show "30 Apps That Improve Microsoft Office 2013."

-DD

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Friday, April 26, 2013

State of American Libraries

The American Library Association has released the State of American Libraries report.

-DD

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Free Windows 8 Apps

Preston Gralla shares "Ten Nifty Windows 8 Apps" that are free downloads. These include "Windows 8 Cheat Keys" and "Meeting Money."

-DD

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Engagement Through Teams

In the embedded video, Lynn Simpson demonstrates how to engage 4th graders in learning the concept of division nbsp; The students form teams to develop steps for solving the problem. The teaching channel has many videos demonstrating master teachers at work.

-DD

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Identifying the Cause of Windows 8 Crashes

Dirk Smith suggests "Hot to Avoid Windows 8 Crashes" in a slideshow featuring Windows utilities of value to a geek trying to identify why his Windows 8 computer keeps crashing. Smith indicates that most crashes are due to non-compliant software destablizing the operating system kernal, so I infer that any recent software installation would be suspect in crash behavior.

-DD

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Phones and Global Interconnections

Johnny Evans claims that the iPhone has changes the interconnectedness of humanity. I agree that cell phone technology has reached most of the world and is changing lifestyles, though I would argue that the biggest impact is in the third world with manufacturers other than Apple.

-DD

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Google Inactive Account Manager

Google has developed an innactive account manager so that you control what happens to your information when you are dead or incapacitated. Other posts on the Google Public Policy Blog deal with privacy and legistation that hinders innovation.

-DD

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Fraud

Michael Cooney reports that fraud is a major scourge of the Internet, and provides examples of the most common ruses fraudsters use.

-DD

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peer Review

Adeline Koh is writing a series for the Chronicle on "Digital Challenges to Academic Publishing. In her April 17, 2013 post about her interview with Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director for Duke University Press, she quotes Wissoker's explanation of the peer review process at Duke:

At Duke, a manuscript generally need two or three rounds of peer review before the readers agree that it is ready to be published. That process guides the author. In the end there is a big difference between the version the author initially turns in, "okay here's my manuscript," and the manuscript that results from the review process. The amount of change varies, but, as above, even small changes can make big differences in readability and the clarity and convincingness of the argument.

NOTE: This fits with my own observation that a peer review document usually appears six months to a year after the author's initial submission, something students do not consider when researching current events.

-DD

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Prior Criminal Histories Do Not Necessarily Predict Criminal Futures

Students' prior criminal histories don't predict future misconduct according to research cited by Libby Sandor. This is not a surprise, as kids like Bill Gates are reported to have stolen the use of equipment and later became responsible corporate citizens. A case could be made for raising the age of majority, or reducing the penalty for youthful drug offenses, so that greater numbers of young men and women reach adulthood without a felony on their record.

-DD

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Social Media Discussed by the Society for Research in Child Development

Sarah Sparks reported on the Society for Research in Child Development conference held in Seattle.   Sparks commented that "several new studies presented there suggest that while socializing virtually can make it harder for students to make deep connections with one another, situations that more closely mimic the real world—such as video-chat or avatar environments—can lead to more natural engagement."

-DD

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Students Without Borders

"Students Without Borders" explains how many modern college students do not have a sense of social boundaries or responsibility. Professor Emily Toth notes that she regularly receives emails from students who have not read assignments, or who want their responsibilities simplified. In my opinion, students need to realize that a certain degree of skill must be developed (such as learning to read a syllabus) in order to merit graduation from a university.

-DD

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is the PC Doomed?

Craig Buckler raises the question "Is the PC Doomed?"   The comments that follow the article give the perspectives of those involved in Web design and technology.

-DD

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The Teach Act

Kenneth Crews, Director of Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office, has written Copyright Law and Distance Education: Overview of the TEACH Act

-DD

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Webcam Proctoring

Steve Kolowich notes how new test proctoring technologies operate -- and their implications for privacy in other venues.

-DD

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The Value of a Personal Computer

Jon Phillips developed a slideshow which highlights the capability of computers in contrast to mobile devices. In my own experience, a good keyboard is essential for research and typing, so thus far I have resisted buying a tablet.

-DD

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Learning Management Systems

Anastasia Salter examines open-source, low-complexity tools like Wordpress as an alternative to large commercial learning management systems such as Blackboard.

-DD

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Volunteer to Supply or Sort Information

Sharon Gaudin prepared video clips on information gathering projects that need volunteers.

-DD

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QR Codes - Their Workings, Their Insecurity

Bhavesh Naik reports how QR codes work -- and how they can be used to hack your smartphone.

-DD

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Nation Digital Public Library Launches

According to Lucas Mearian, the Nation Public Library has been launched. This Internet archive consists of images, sound files, and video clips from major U.S. archives. It is not a book collection -- for books, one should check the Project Gutenberg.

-DD

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Home Privacy

Network World has run a number of articles on privacy issues such as employer tracking of employee email, insecure webcams and other instances of cyber seurveillance.

-DD

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Avoiding Bad Advice

David Perlmutter provides suggestions on Avoiding Bad Advice . Perlmutter's tips include:

  1. Think critically
  2. Triangulate conflicting advice
  3. Hear out seemingly useless advice
  4. Politely shy away from suggested activities that divert you from your goal
  5. Some advice is only suggested as an option to consider
  6. Advice from a committed leader/champion should be heavily weighted
  7. Flee malicious advisors.

Perlmutter's tips have strong similarities to other advice for evaluating information and information sources, but target the rising academic rather than a student evaluating Web resources.

-DD

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gmail Compose

Natalie Houston has penned an article on using Gmail's compose feature .

-DD

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Academic Opportunity with Safeguards for Integrity

Jake New writes about maverick educator Herbert Richardson, who during his long life developed an academic publishing house and, for a time, provided an opportunity for earning doctorial degrees based on dissertation. New writes about the short-lived program for obtaining a degree without coursework:

His [Richardson's] travels also involved a new educational venture: Edwin Mellen University.

The new institution was, in many ways, an extension of the press. Like the press, it eschewed the traditional model and drew a fair share of criticism for it. While some scholars described the university as a not-so-cleverly disguised diploma mill, Mr. Richardson calls it valid and altruistic.

One inspiration for the institution was a dissertation his press received from a young man whose epilepsy had prevented him from completing his Ph.D. Yet Mr. Richardson felt the student deserved a doctorate. Couldn't there be a way for people like this author to earn a degree despite his circumstances?

"There's something unfair about this university system, if a person in Europe can get a degree for a dissertation only, but someone in the States has to do coursework," says Mr. Richardson.

For less than $1,000, Mellen University offered M. Phil's and Ph.D.'s based on dissertations and "life experience." In 1993, just eight months after its creation and accreditation through the Turks and Caicos Islands—to take advantage of looser regulations—the university granted its first degrees.

According to the article, Dr. Richardson is a talented scholar and entrepreneur. The criticism Dr. Richardson received seems to stem from the provision of academic credentials and services without strong institutional safeguards of extensive peer review, outside committee evaluation and other credentialing meetings.

My take on this article is to agree that the traditional academic process bogs down academic innovation and is responsible for a substantial portion of the cost of higher education. However, the process in large part defines what people expect of a degree holder, so until expectations change, innovations to streamline edeucation shall be subject to criticism.

-DD

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to Declutter Your Inbox

Natalie Houston shares tips on "How to Declutter Your Inbox ." She recommends sorting email by sender to determine what is important mail to be kept, and she provides methods to quickly do the sort using Outlook or Gmail.

-DD

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Social Network Security

Alex Wawro shares 12 Simple Steps to Safer Social Networking. Most of these tips lock down Facebook, but other services are mentioned as well.

-DD

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Google Alerts' Future Questioned

According to J. R. Raphael, Google Alerts may soon be cancelled. The service has become unreliable, and the offering does not conform to Google's current focus on social media. Companies such as mention.net are being created to fill the gap.

-DD

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Microsoft OneNote

Preston Gralla recommends Microsoft Onenote as a tool for organizing small collections of data.

-DD

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Productivity, Leisure and Knowledge Workers

Jason Jones muses about "What We Talk About When We Talk About Productivity ." Jones notes that activity is not necessarily a measure of useful output, providing reference to Baumol's Cost Effect, which indicates that direct productivity increases are not possible in professional activities such as music, writing and teaching.

Mark Kingwell considers the value of work in an article in the same issue of the Chronicle.

-DD

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Javascript for Data Display

Sharon Machlis presents "Six useful JavaScript libraries for dealing with data." These primarily allow a programmer to display tables of data in a variety of chart formats. Some of these are useable by a "copy and paste" programmer such as I am. For free tutorials and references for learning Javascript, try Mozilla Developer Network or w3schools.com.

-DD

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Monday, April 08, 2013

Slideshare

SlideShare.net is a presentation and document sharing online environment for distributing information.
-DD

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LinkedIn's Internal Search Search Engine Improved

Juan Carlos Perez reports that LinkedIn has improved its search engine, allows multiple search fields to be evaluated simultaneously.

-DD

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Legislated Privacy and Cloud Computing

Kenneth Corbin comments on the best and worst countries for cloud computing privacy based on the report of the BSA. The US Federal Government also addressed this issue of privacy and cloud computing policies internationally.

-DD

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Measuring Bandwidth

Mark Gibbs reports on four free software tools for checking network bandwidth. Lee Badman offers a similar article focused on the wireless user, "10 Free and Low-Cost Mobile Wireless Tools."

-DD

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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Mobile Marketshares

Comscore has prepared a white paper on mobile marketshares

that was mentioned by OCLC. -DD

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Inquiry Learning

Tina Barseghian writes about "inquiry learning" in a school environment. The principals apply to students at any age.

-DD

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Augmented Reality

Colin Neagle expounds on "Augmented Reality: What do Businesses Need to Know?." Neagle provides examples of firms (Lego and Ikea) that are already deploying augmented reality technologies similar to Google Glass. They are being used to attract customers, to demonstrate how a project can be completed, and so forth.

Another form of augmented reality was explored by Zack Minors, who reports that at SXSW the "Beam [Mobile Robotic] Videoconferencing Device Takes a Spin." Minors reports that "on the exhibit hall's opening day, attendees were greeted by a talking monitor on wheels." Other firms such as Double Robotics and Mantarobot.

I believe a more primitive, less interactive version of robot technology was used by the Japanese to explore the radioactive Fukushima nuclear power plant. I can forsee that distant supervisors might rent such robots to conduct surprise inspections of distant facilities, creating a market for "robot rentals."

-DD

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Google Reader Alternatives

Google has announced that it is shutting down its Google Reader project. This has caused Barbara Krasnoff to raise questions about the reliance that can be placed on cloud applications.

Jon Gold has proposed a number of RSS feed reader alternatives, and Whitsel Gordon has developed a less extensive list of alternatives for Lifehacker. Gregg Keizer and Nick Barber share tips for porting data to a new platform.

A decade ago Danny Sullivan wrote about implimenting an RSS feed on a website. Other tools are available now that may make the process easier. For many hosted blogs, establishing a feed simply requires configuring a few administrative options.

-DD

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Value of Academic Libraries

The American Library Association released in 2012 a report addressing the value of academic libraries, titled, "Connect, Collaborate and Communicate." This document for librarians desiring to show the value of their contribution to their institution.

-DD

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Information Heritage Inititiative

Lucas Mearian reports that "EMC Donates to the Vatican Storage of Biblical Proportions." He indicates that the storage capacity is enough to story 40 million pages.

The article also includes links to EMC's Information Heritage Initiative, which lists (and in some cases links to) the archival sites being created with EMC technology.

-DD

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Communicating Research Results

Paul Glen explains the confusion and loss of credibility that results when a knowledge worker shares information that has minor flaws or typos. He exhorts a person developing a data presentation "Check Your Work, or Else!" He specificially speaks to programmers developing a user interface, but the same applies to any presentation or report developed by a knowledge handler.

In another post, Glen describes how the detailed, literal nit-picking mode of thought useful for analyzing computer code should not be used when discussing the purpose of a computer program, which requires fluid, generalized thought that fosters emotional connection.

-DD

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HTML5

HTML5 Development Center is a nice place to learn tips about applying the new web document standard.

-DD

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MOOCs and Librarians

Jennifer Howard discusses how "For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity ." Her article is based on an OCLC conference held in Pennsylvania on March 18, 2013. Howard encourages librarians to participate in a MOOC in order to authoritively discuss their possibilities and limitations. She also reports that:

Several panelists said that working on MOOCs can be a great way to heighten instructors’ awareness about open access and the licensing of course materials. Jennifer Dorner is the head of instruction and user services at the University of California at Berkeley. “This is a real opportunity [for librarians] to educate faculty about the need for owning the rights to their content and making it accessible to other people,” Ms. Dorner said in one session. “This is a really good place for us to educate them about open source and push them in that direction.”

-DD

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Mobile Technology And Library Service

The American Library Association has an ongoing series of video presentations called "American Libraries Live." One of the most recent of these is on the topic of Mobile Technology in Libraries.

-DD




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Data Mining and Backups

Chris Poelker suggests that data mining can be run against disc-based backups of consolidated date.

IT administrators can use the number of links to an object to find out how many copies of that object are out there in the wild. Then, he can use the metadata about the object itself to search for other information that would normally be too difficult to find if he had to search across all the systems, files, databases and other applications located across the organization, not to mention any remote locations.
-DD

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Smartphone Apps Provide Data Automatically

Mike Elgan writes that "Smart Apps Think So You Don't Have To." Elgan shares a number of apps for both iPhone and Android platforms which provide typically needed data automatically, such as EasilyDo and Google Now.

-DD

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Flickr As A Source Of Creative Commons Photos

Jason B. Jones shares Five Ways to Use Flickr to Make Better Slides. In 2009 he had shared how Flickr can searched for photos which have been released to the Creative Commons, allowing them to be used without copyright royalties as long as each photo received appropriate attribution.

-DD

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MOOCs

"What You Need to Know About MOOCs" is the title of an article in the Chronicle. Primarily a timeline of the history of the concept, significant implementations, and news events.

Lee Gardner and Jeffery Young report that California Legislation Moves to Endorse MOOCs.

Steve Kolowich reports on the experiences of those teaching a MOOC.

-DD

 

"What is a MOOC" by David Cormier

 

 

"Success in a MOOC" by David Cormier

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Monday, April 01, 2013

A Threat to Diversity of Thought

Joseph Esposito, Kizer Walker, and Terry Ehling raise questions about the impact that publication on demand and patron driven acquisitions shall have on the availability of a diversity of books in libraries.

-DD

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Free Online Textbooks

Free Online Texts are one of the options being considered to lower the cost of education, according to an article by Jake New. The author earlier reported that the content of online textbooks are under scrutiny from print publishers, who are countering with lawsuits at any hint of plagiarism

-DD

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Mozilla Badges

Jake New reports that Mozilla, maker of the FireFox browser, is creating software that displays badges for educational accomplishment.

-DD

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Which Is Better: Coaching or a Chat Room?

Elena Aguilar shares her preference for face-to-face coaching rather than online forums in her blog post Which Is Better: Coaching or a Chat Room?. I believe her concerns also reflect face-to-face sharing of knowledge with students, for is not a teacher in one sense a student's coach?

-DD

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Privacy Week, May 1-7, 2013

The American Library Association is promoting privacy week which will be held May 1-7, 2013. The goal is to cause library patrons to consider "who's tracking you in an era of pervasive surveillance?"

-DD

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Guidelines for Library Safety

The American Library Association is sharing "Guidelines for Library Security."

-DD

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