Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Visual Dictionary

Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary. As it says "Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.
Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections."
I tried my unfavourite word "pedagogy" and it exploded all over the screen....

25 super research tools from around the world

A collection of search tools for you to try out from one of these betas sponsored by world-class libraries around the world. As this post from College Degree Co. says "From academic libraries like that at MIT or renowned research centers like the Library of Congress, the following beta research tools feature innovative tricks to connect you with the most relevant, valid results on the Internet and in their card catalogs. Melvil Dewey would be proud."

LASSIE Literature review

In case you haven't yet seen the final outcome of the LASSIE project : Social Software, Libraries and distance learners: literature review by Jane Secker. I can firmly recommend this excellent resource.

Inspiration Matters

I know this isn't directly to do with IL and Web 2.0 but inspiring presentations can stem from enthusiasm. This is something which I've always prized. This post on Presentation Zen is a gem. Garr Reynolds says : "In Sum(1) Never apologize for your enthusiasm, passion, or vision.(2) Never apologize for being inspired by another human being.(3) Seek out inspiration (don't wait for it).(4) Inspire others by sharing your talents and time.(5) And no matter what: Don't let the bozos grind you down, ever."

Flickr images

Michael Stephens is in Australia and his presentation The Hyperlinked Library is on his blog Tame the Web. The images he uses in the prsentation are Creative Commons material from flickr and are a brilliant example of how flickr can be used creatively in presentations. I am highlighting these because the images he uses are so powerful.Wow!

Understanding Information Literacy

If you thought you know it all, think again - here is the UNESCO IL Primer by Forest Woody Horton Jr. 87 pages all free : which print out beautifully. Documents outcomes from the international meetings held in Prague, 2003 and Alexandria, 2005, Ljubljana and Kuala Lumpur, 2006 and more. I must admit to being skeptical about international efforts when these began, but this document is a useful reference for any sector in any country who wants to raise the profile of IL. Annex B - the IL life cycle explained is presented in a useful grid format.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Information Literacy using interactive whiteboards

There is an excellent article "Active learning with interactive whiteboards" by Robert Schroeder of Portland State University, in Communications in Information Literacy. It is both literature review and case study for college freshmen. He makes important points about the investment in whiteboards in the UK schools. Many will be coming into Uni (as they call it) being used to lessons with smartboards... Research seems to show that use of these whiteboards is better for assisting affective rather than the cognitive domain of learning. Certainly it helps group learning as students see their skills and knowledge valued by peers at the same time they begin to value these traits in others.
My own experience at University of Bedfordshire in IL teaching in our Business School new teaching spaces and in our LRC Social Learning Space facilitating project support has been very positive. My colleague, Alan Bullimore and I will be presenting a paper which will include this at the LILAC Conference in a few weeks time.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Six Techniques to Get More from the Web than Google Will Tell You

Going through some links earlier today I came across a useful summary for librarians who serve business staff and students. It's by Margaret Locher of CIO, and she recommends use of search engines and Wikipedia, blogs, Business School sites, Government statistical data, trade magazines and trade associations, and library databases! It's good to see a range of sources but pity that library subscription databases come last!

Monday, 3 March 2008

How to be a super Conference attendee

I love this post from Will Richardson about the ultimate Conference attendee. It's Web 2.0 gone mad! Gone are the days of the typed Conference report to your manager - now it's all about sharing, remember?

How to save the world

I came upon this interesting post, which takes a chart by Chris Lott on Information Fluency, (which puts Information Fluency at the junction between critical thinking, presentation skills and discipline knowldge) a stage further to creating a model for social fluency.This is put at the junction between knowledge, thinking and communication skills. Maybe this is a bit deep for me on a Monday morning but the charts are interesting (or challenging, as they say..)