July 2009 Archives

Scientific article of the future?

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"Article of the Future...is an ongoing collaboration with the scientific community to redefine how the scientific article is presented online. The project's goal is to take full advantage of online capabilities, allowing readers individualized entry points and routes through the content, while using the latest advances in visualization techniques. We have developed prototypes for two articles from Cell to demonstrate initial concepts and get feedback from the scientific community."

monkey.jpgGreat analysis of the importance and challenges of evaluation based on a popular story that emerged recently. This would be a good read and source of discussion for those in sci/tech writing.


image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2491909299/

Library + Ice Cream Flavor = ?

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Tasty De-Lit: The Book Bench : The New Yorker

"The logic behind the cause is unassailable:

(1) Libraries are awesome;
(2) Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is tasty;


(3) A library-themed Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream would be tasty awesome.

icecream.jpgGooey Decimal System: Dark fudge alphabet letters with caramel swirls in hazelnut ice cream.

Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet!: Key Lime or a chocolate/vanilla combination.

Rocky Read: Vanilla with chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate chunks and raisins.

And because such an opportunity presents itself but once in a lifetime, we came up with a few of our own:

Writer's Block: Coffee with fudge chunks and nicotine stains.

Chick Lit: Fat-free Peach-Mango swirl with pieces of Chicklet chewing gum.

Chexy Librarian: Demure vanilla on the outside, chocolate-covered cherries and Chex cereal pieces on the inside.

Twilit: Pale-white lemon sorbet with red shoestring licorice and the hair of Robert Pattinson.

Over-Goo Fudge: Chocolate with marshmallow and fudge.

Bookworm: Vanilla with gummy worms and annelid chunks.

Periodicals Cream: Glossy strawberry syrup, some eye-popping sprinkles, but mostly regular vanilla."

p.s the picture (from http://www.flickr.com/photos/piratejohnny/2806998945/) is of Minnesota State Fair Honey ice cream. Yum!

Is there a margin muse in your library book?

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Daniel Kalder | Books | guardian.co.uk
"Marks in library books are usually moronic scrawlings or tedious displays of ego, but just occasionally you come across something fascinating"

"The classic example would be my discovery of the astonishing critical insight "Satan is the hero" inscribed alongside one of Lucifer's speeches in a secondhand copy of Paradise Lost. What motivates readers to write such unnecessary, moronic comments in the margins?"

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/jul/28/library-books-margin-muse

Diaz, Veronica, Tracy Mitrano, and Kathy Christoph. "Copyright, Fair Use, and Teaching and Learning Innovation in a Web 2.0 World" (Research Bulletin, Issue 15). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.

"This ECAR research bulletin reviews some of the basic tenets of copyright in the digital millennium. Specifically, it discusses the ways in which copyright law, fair use provisions, and the TEACH Act interact with today's teaching and learning, especially the use of Web 2.0 tools by both faculty members and students."

Note: You may be asked to login but the University of Minnesota is a subscribing organization.

Words We Love Too Much - NYTimes.com

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text.jpgShort blog post about word choice--would be useful to help students as they revise a paper to circle words they are using too often. In my case the word resources and also appear way to often.


Prefer Like-minded Views

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peerreviewedarticle.jpgStudies like this make me think we need to emphasize information literacy even more and be much more aware of how difficult critical thinking is--it goes against the brain...

"The analysis, reported this month in Psychological Bulletin, was led by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida, and included data from 91 studies involving nearly 8,000 participants."

"Receiving information that supports one's position on an issue allows people to conclude that their views are correct but may often obscure reality. In contrast, receiving
information that contradicts one's view on an issue can cause people to feel misled or ignorant but may allow access to a valid representation of reality. Therefore, understanding how people strive to feel validated versus to be correct is critical to
explicating how they select information about an issue when several alternatives are present. We conducted a meta-analysis of field and laboratory studies on information exposure to shed light on these issues."

Hart, W., Albarrac─▒n, D., Eagly, A. H., Brechan, I., Lindberg, M. J., & Merrill, L. (2009). Feeling Validated Versus Being Correct: A Meta-Analysis of Selective Exposure to Information. Psychological Bulletin, 135(4), 555-588. doi: 10.1037/a0015701.

Look back at Memorial Stadium

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author and share

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I just came across two different ideas on tools that will float above the search engine and both recommend and help you cross platforms with information. I need to read and think a bit more but here they are:

Circulate: (somehow connected to Associated Press?)

Mozilla Labs' Ubiquity

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

desperately information-illiterate

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"The debate over how we read, perpetuated largely by media insiders, is starting to seem like little more than a distraction from the real problem: We have access to more information than ever, yet we do not know what to do with it. We are desperately information-illiterate."

"Information literacy is a liberal arts graduation requirement at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, which makes the school a rarity, says Thomas Eland, coordinator of its information studies program."

"These students are really bright people, and when you push them to critically analyze the sources, they just don't know," Eland explains. "It's amazing how much people just take in, and really don't have the tools to critically unpack it, to understand the structures of media production and whose interests are being promoted. . . . It tells me a lot about why the public can be manipulated at so many different levels by advertisers and politicians."

"Eland believes that media literacy should be a high school requirement, which seems like a no-brainer--10 or 20 years ago, even. For now, it seems that burden is being shouldered by school librarians, which would be a more promising scenario if they weren't often among the first heads on districts' budgetary chopping blocks."

Read more: http://www.utne.com/Media/Literacy-Information-Overload.aspx

new media literacies

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What skills do we need to teach students to be both consumers and producers? Seems like the perfect intersection of information literacy and writing:

  • judgement
  • appropriation
  • play to problem solve
  • transmedia navigation
  • collective intelligence
  • visualization
  • multitasking

The stream vs. the platform

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media_timeline.jpg I have been reading a little bit about what might be next for blogs....have you used them in your teaching? Any plans to?

The comments in this post are very good...a little mind bending perhaps...http://www.steverubel.com/blogs-are-out-of-beta-but-bloggers-are-always

Google Initiative - OIT

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Have you heard of how Google will be moving into the U of M? Here are some Q/As from the OIT site:

Why is the University moving towards using Google Apps?
Partnering with Google will give University students, faculty, and staff access to a suite of state-of-the art communication and collaboration tools that will enhance their ability to work together. In addition to increased productivity opportunities, Google Apps also will allow the University to save costs in the long run by reducing the need to buy and support software, hardware, and storage to maintain our own independent e-mail service.

What applications will be available?
The University will use the Google Apps for Education Edition, which includes the following applications:

* Gmail (e-mail)
* Google Docs (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations)
* Google Calendar
* Google Talk (instant messaging)

Keep in mind that the project team still is investigating whether all of these applications will be available in the University Google space.

Read more at: http://www.oit.umn.edu/google-initiative/

Electronic equivalent of "dog ate homework"

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What will they think of next?

from the TEL blog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/tel/blog/2009/06/corruption_for_the_low_low_pri.html

Summer Reading anyone....

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by Anthony Trollope

by Lawrence Wright

by Zhao Ziyang

by Nicholas Carr

by William Faulkner

Fifty Books for Our Times | Newsweek Books | Newsweek.com

A list like this may be a good way to get students to select a book for a book review/analysis assignment. It seems like a good mix of current and historical titles....

Zotero 2.0 - Inside Higher Ed

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zotero.jpg"The distinctive thing about Zotero 2.0, now in its beta version, is that it will allow you to store your collection (i.e., digital document archive, plus notes, plus bibliographical data) on a server, rather than on your hard drive. This has at least two important consequences.

The first is that you can add to your Zotero files - or retrieve them - from any computer with web access....

The other major development is that Zotero 2.0 allows users to create groups that can share data. Members of a class or a research group are able to transfer files into a common pool."


Making us smarter?

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Pandemics. Global warming. Food shortages. No more fossil fuels. What are humans to do? The same thing the species has done before: evolve to meet the challenge. But this time we don't have to rely on natural evolution to make us smart enough to survive. We can do it ourselves, right now, by harnessing technology and pharmacology to boost our intelligence. Is Google actually making us smarter?
by Jamais Cascio
The Atlantic (July/August 2009)


"The new course will undergo a pilot phase during the Fall and is expected to be fully up and going by the Spring semester, when it will be taken by an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 freshmen.

The library's project to promote information literacy also includes the opening of a new research lab in the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center, where any student may come in to request advice or assistance for their research.

The online course is intended to prepare students for the challenges that research often poses. It will work in tandem with English composition classes to allow students the opportunity to apply their developed research skills to the paper writing process, said Michael Brewer, team leader of undergraduate services."


How are your Crap Detection skills?

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detector.jpgA little more on evalulation...this blog post gives good tips with a humorous edge:


"The first thing we all need to know about information online is how to detect crap, a technical term I use for information tainted by ignorance, inept communication, or deliberate deception. Learning to be a critical consumer of Webinfo is not rocket science. It's not even algebra. Becoming acquainted with the fundamentals of web credibility testing is easier than learning the multiplication tables. The hard part, as always, is the exercise of flabby think-for-yourself muscles."

"To me, the issue of information literacy could be even more important than the health or education of some individuals. Fundamental aspects of democracy, economic production, the discovery and use of knowledge might be at stake."

Overall, a great opinion piece with both engaging examples and actionable tips..

image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/giantginkgo/13640446/