Recently in Web2.0 Category

One of the questions under debate is the size of the armies during the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War.

The article below describes briefly some of the methods they used to develop new theories about the size of these armies. It would be great if we could impress upon students how they historical records can be use and then re-born in a digital format--leading to new scholarship.

"Ms. Curry, the Southampton historian, said she was comfortable with something close to that lower figure, based on her reading of historical archives, including military pay records, muster rolls, ships' logs, published rosters of the wounded and dead, wartime tax levies and other surviving documents."

"And an extraordinary online database ( around a quarter-million names of men who served in the Hundred Years' War, compiled by Ms. Curry and her collaborators at the universities in Southampton and Reading, shows that whatever the numbers, Henry's army really was a band of brothers: many of the soldiers were veterans who had served on multiple campaigns together."

Read more:

The project created three new online tools (

1. Muster roll database
"The online muster roll database currently holds just under 90,000 service records. These are taken from muster rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453."


2. Protection database
The online protection and attorney database currently holds just under 20,000 records. These are taken from the treaty rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453.

3. Garrison database
The Garrison database is in draft form at present. This is in order to stress test the database, as it contains over 110,000 service records. The records are drawn from mainly French repositories and record service for the English crown, in the occupation of Normandy from 1415 - 1453.

Living with too much information?

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We would all agree that we live in an Information Age. In fact it is a Too-Much Information Age. How are our skills for dealing with information going to need to change? And what skills do we need to be teaching students to deal with this?

Should we be teaching social media? Should we be teaching Twitter Literacies? Should we be teaching students to dip into the flow of information or how to be an information nomad?

Here are a couple things from Howard Rheingold who teaches Participatory Media/Collective Action at UC Berkeley's School of Information, Digital Journalism at Stanford University.

Social Media Classroom:

Here is a 40 minute presentation on teaching 21st century literacies. He talks about changes he made to his college courses.

Howard Rheingold's 21st century literacies:

* Attention- knowing how to focus and how to divide your attention without losing the ability to concentrate. It's more than multitasking; it's learning how to exercise attention.
* Participation- particularly the more constructive modes of participation that are useful to others
* Collaboration- being ready to organize together, and enable a collective response to emerge
* Critical consumption-aka "crap detection" the ability to spot bad info from good.
* Network awareness- the combination of reputation, social capital, "presentation of self" and other sensitivity to individual positioning within the network collective.

Literacies = skills + community

Now I just have to find some time to read more....

Students talk about the Libraries

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Seeking: How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's loopy.jpgdangerous.
By Emily Yoffe

"Seeking. You can't stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information. We are so insatiably curious that we gather data even if it gets us in trouble..

So addicts become obsessively driven to seek the reward, even as the reward itself becomes progressively less rewarding once obtained. "The dopamine system does not have satiety built into it," Berridge explains. "And under certain conditions it can lead us to irrational wants, excessive wants we'd be better off without." So we find ourselves letting one Google search lead to another, while often feeling the information is not vital and knowing we should stop. "As long as you sit there, the consumption renews the appetite," he explains.

Actually all our electronic communication devices--e-mail, Facebook feeds, texts, Twitter--are feeding the same drive as our searches. Since we're restless, easily bored creatures, our gadgets give us in abundance qualities the seeking/wanting system finds particularly exciting."

This make so much sense....describes my husband (and his love of his iphone) to a tee. Does this describe you?

Top 5 citation apps

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How do you organize your research? There are more and more tools to help:

1. BibMe
2. Citation Machine
3. EasyBib
4. OttoBib
5. Word 2007

Check our our new comparison chart of the citation managers recommended through the libraries: Introduction to Citation Managers Chart

Let me know if you have more questions!

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.

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...

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:

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."

Is it time to learn Zotero?

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Why do I want to learn Zotero?
7 Things you should know about Zotero (PDF)

How do I use Zotero?
View our archived workshop
Zotero Basics (58 min)
An introduction to the *free* Firefox extension that allows you to collect, manage and cite your research citations with ease.

Find out more at

I would be happy to share what I know as well if you want to set up a one on one consultation. Email me.

Is it writing with 140 characters?

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Twitter Goes to College: Students and professors use the micro-blogging service to communicate inside and outside the classroom
By Zach Miners

"Bringing sites like Twitter into an academic environment is a teaching style that has seen a fair share of criticism. Some say that restricting users to 140-character blurbs ruins students' writing skills and destroys their attention spans."

Do you have a twitter account? Let me know, I am kategreatmpls on Twitter--but I don't tweet too much yet...What is your experience?