It’s all useful stuff!

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It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes it is as if there is no news at all and then there is more than you want! Ummm, what shall I write about first – I know, something simple.

Movenote is a simple little app that gives you the opportunity to put not only voice-overs on your PowerPoint but face-overs too. The video at the end of the short post here provides an example for you.

I really like this next one. Learn how to speak and cook Italian with MIT! There are links to lots more free learning on this OpenCulture site too.

Not quite sure how this next piece of technology will make things more secure but anything that gets rid of the dreaded PASSWORD gets my vote. This article from the famous Forbes journal explains how Google intends to get rid of passwords. Keep your eyes open for it, it could be our salvation :)

Another thing I hate as much as passwords are cables. They are everywhere, all over the desk, under your feet, arrgh! Wireless technology has helped a little but we need more – like this idea from Apple. I do hope they hurry up with this, I can’t wait.

This article from Technology Review is just mind-blowing. At last the age of technology is about to provide something amazingly useful, wonderful, fantastic! When someone says, “we are going to cure the ills of the world” you never quite believe them – may be this time they really mean it.

I was very pleased when I read this article. For me the quote from Paul Kagame at the end of the article is what Digital Literacy is all about. These are such good actions, I do hope he does not let anyone down.

I can’t wait to try this new technology from Intel, it looks such fun. The more serious applications of this, “perceptual computing” are endless – coming from a health background I can see how this is going to improve online healthcare enormously.

You might think I have moved a long way from Digital Literacy but all of this is what being literate is about. Knowing what is happening in the world and being prepared to make use of that knowledge is what being literate enables us to do. And we can have some fun too – here is a 12 days of Christmas list from ALISS, some of it is a bit gruesome but there are funny and interesting pieces too :)

a little light reading

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I thought it was going to be a really nice day today. The sun was shining, there was no rain and the ground was starting to dry up but it is starting to look a bit grim now and I expect it will start to rain again at any minute. You had all better scuttle in doors, read the blog and follow the links :)

With all the bad weather we have been having I just could not resist bringing you this picture of London Bridge in 1814 from the British Library. Rather glad our weather is not this bad!

I just love the debate going on in this article. If you like politics or are into Open Access then read this article on openness in politics by Nathaniel Tkacz and all the really good comments that follow it. You will need at least two coffees and a couple of pastries as it’s a bit long but it is really difficult to put down. I love the comment by Tim O’Reilly :)

Wanted: web-entrepreneurs
. I really like this Feature article in the News Letter from the Department of the Director General of the European Commission. Have a read, get involved and get into the European Futures scene!

If you have been doing any searching in Summon you will probably have come across Sherpa but I thought I would give you the link to their homepage. The work, projects and services of Sherpa are fantastic. Have a look at their site and see if there is anything useful for you there.

I have loads more to share with you but I think I will save that for another day.

From printing to reading

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ok everyone let’s see what I have managed to find today.

If you are into gadgets you might have already heard of 3D printing but I still think it’s worth exploring. If you have never heard about 3D printing before, here is a BBC video about it. I think this stuff is fantastic, especially as the technology is reducing in price very quickly – I bet that in three years time it will be the thing every student wants to come to Uni with :) Just imagine what you could make with it – no, may be I shouldn’t ask you that!

I know this isn’t about technology but I just had to include this as it is one of my pet hates. Britain and America have been described as, “two nations divided by the same language”. For those of you who get confused by constantly seeing American spelling, or if you just want a laugh, here is a little help from the Online College.

I found this on the Technology for Teachers site but I think that it could be very useful for students too. Similar to Storify but just for pics is Pixntell. This would be a great tool for giving feedback in class (or in the VLE) on stuff you have had to find – much less boring than a written paper or PowerPoint.

Now then this is American but there are going to be lots of books and articles you want to read that are printed in America – so take notice. This next piece I found is all about how to find online, digital books, articles, papers from Libraries all over America and they are FREE! There is academic stuff and recreational reading so go and enjoy yourselves :)

Open Access Week

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Over the last few days I’ve been talking to people about Open Access. I can’t lie and say I was thinking about it ‘cos I’m really clever, it’s mainly because this week is Open Access Week and all the publicity rather focused my mind on it. If you’re not sure what Open Access is Wikipedia provides a satisfactory introduction to it, for more interesting information look at the Open Access site (it’s in German but you can select the English version) and for a news article about Open Access and medical research here is a very readable Guardian article. Ive mention PLoS (the Public Library of Science) before on the blog and Biomed Central and even though you might not have realised at the time, they are another part of the Open Access movement. This is not just some flash in the pan, the recent Government supported report, the Finch Report, is being implemented by the Government and professional bodies. Organisations like JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) are providing lots of support to move OA forward. This is “a good thing” for students and researchers everywhere, at last (though probably not immediately) you will have direct access to an increasing number of articles on original research with little or no cost to yourselves (hurrah!). I love to see it when a plan comes together :)

I was going to write loads more today but I’ve run out of time – again! Just one little funny to finish with. Try this “social” drawing with your friends – let me know what you produce :)

Aggression and citations

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Ummm, so many interesting things, where should I start. Oh yes, let’s do the really serious stuff first.

This video on YouTube by Richard Bacon from the BBC gives you lots to think about. Richard has been targeted by a cyber bully and wants to find him so he can talk to him face to face. Richard also talks to some other people who have bullied online. What do you think – is this type of behaviour ok or should we cyber-writers make the bullies sit up and take notice of, what is usually, the silent majority.

Something for the historians out there. 2014 will be the centenary of World War One and there’s loads of stuff happening on the web. This site is run by University of Oxford in collaboration with JISC. If you have something you’d like to contribute to the site why not contact them (details on the web site).

Finally another JISC funded project, this time at University of Bristol. The m-biblio Project aim is to create an app that allows “smart phones to be used for the recording and organisation of bibliographic information for students within a library context“. See if you agree with some of the comments the Bristol students have made. If you have a new idea add your comment here :)

Mid-week pause

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The last few days have been very busy so I am now going to have a little rest, just talk amongst yourselves for a moment …

I am in the process of reading this very interesting report from JISC about publishing academic ebooks and I came across the University of Michigan’s, MPublishing, free books on Digital Culture. There are some very interesting books in this list – you can read them free online or you can purchase the book if you would like to. I intend to work my way through a number of them, possibly starting with Media, Technology and Society then moving on to the Hyperlinked Society. Let me know if you read any of them and what you think of them – are these types of “free” book useful?

I thought some of you might like to look at this post from the Mind/Shift blog. There are a number of apps here that look like fun especially the first two Scribble and Squad. There’s also a post linked to this about Girls and Maths – have a read. I replaced the word Math with Digital Literacy and found the arguments still hung together:)

I couldn’t resist giving you this to look at. It’s a teaching resource about plagiarism but I didn’t really look at anything except the second slide. There’s a short video on the slide and I think the character in the video is really cute. I put it on the Scoop.it site but have to include it here too.

A new semester

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Here we are again at the start of a new semester – all keen to do our best with this new opportunity! Well aren’t you? I’m sitting in a very quiet Pear Tree (no I’m not passing myself of as a partridge!) thinking about all the fantastic stuff I’ve been reading about, which is nice. I’m also trying to sort out the plans I have for work in the coming nine months – which I’m trying to look at through squinted eyes in order not to frighten myself too much :) So let me see, what goodies am I going to bring to you today?

One thing I must remember is to draw your attention to our Scoop.it site. It’s mainly aimed at lecturers – which is fairly obvious ‘cos it’s called, Calling all lecturers. I put at least three new things on there most days, it covers all sorts of stuff to do with, social media, educational technology, pedagogy related to social media, modern technologies, so that means anything from supportive technologies to virtual worlds – go and have a look leave comments and make (polite) suggestions :)

Just had a quick look at the Guardian Live Digita Literacy blog and the article. Go and put your own ideas and comments forward – go on – get involved:)

I rather like this post on the cogdogblog. Please read, inwardly digest then see what you come up with. Do we feel compelled make patterns where none exist or are there really patterns in everything around us? Let me know what you think :)

Ways of communicating

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I don’t know how much all of you are into metadata but I just had to bring you this smashing little video from some guys at Ghent University. These three guys make metadata sound really interesting (well of course it is).

Now this is one for our budding researchers doing their PhDs. I keep trying to convince them that they have to get out there and get their names and their research known. This short but sweet post is from the Mobilize this! blog which is, “A research impact blog from Canada’s knowledge mobilization network”. I just have one question – how on earth do you keep 70 people in a pub sober enough to have a discussion?!

Carrying on with our theme of Communication for this post. JISC fund lots of interesting things, some of the funding comes under the heading of Digitisation and Content. One of the things JISC funds, which comes under e-Content 2011, is the Cataloguing of Kays (Body Image in 100 Years of Kays Worcester) which has nurtured the World of Kays website in the bosom of the ILS family. Go and have your say on the Your stories page and upload a pic of your granny in her new frock :)

You see my little chickadees you have to get out there and get noticed :)

Copyright, copyright, copyright

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Urrgh – copyright. The leaflet is coming to an end but there is one big hurdle left to leap – Crown Copyright. It is just so annoying, it’s like trying to nail jelly to a tree! Never mind eh :) I thought you might like to look at some of the web sites I’ve been using. They are very easy to use and not a bit overpowering.

The first, one of course, has to be the National Archives site. This site just has so much in it – I feel like a child in a sweetie shop! Go and look up where your family came from or look for look for the farm where grandad used to work.

I also rather like the Intellectual Property Office. I know it sounds dull but if you want to find out about Property Rights in detail these are the people who can help you. If it’s not on the web site contact them by phone or email.

If you want to learn about Copyright take the self-directed IPR and Licensing module on the web2rights site. It’s all very easy to follow and you can stop and re-start again whenever you want.

Just Tweeted by JISC – I thought you might like to see the JISC comments on the Government report, “Peer Review in Scientific Publications”. Researchers and research students could find this an interesting read.

I’ll try to find something a little more “fun”; speak with you again tomorrow :)

Return of the invalid

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Sorry about the missing blogs folks, I was off sick for a few days. Come on now, I want to hear everyone making commiseration type noises :)

I’ve been slaving away today over a hot computer (the only thing in the room that is hot) working on some FAQ on copyright. With any luck we’ll publish it soon and you can all benefit from it :) The copyright arguments are on going as usual around the world. There was just one article from The Chronicle that I found interesting. Coming from The Chronicle it is of course based on the American experience of copyright but the arguments presented for using a different way of creating copyright are very tempting. I wonder if this article with have any affect on the current discussions? Who knows – we’ll just ignore them and get on with what interests us here.

This is the sort of thing I like to pass on to you – a Guide to using Twitter in University from the London School of Economics and Political Science blog.

For those of you interested in how much and in what ways lecturers use digital media in their teaching, SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) have fed back about the Pearson’s 12th annual higher education technology conference held earlier in the year. The Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson have produced this report, “Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media for Work and for Play”. This sort of feedback not only provides useful tips but also makes you realise you are not alone in trying out digital technology.

Oh boy! I just have to tell you about this before I finish. This report is from, “The Next Web” about the use of REEM robots in Abu Dhabi next year. Do go and have a look at the video of the robot interactions with shoppers it reminds me of over zealous Boy Scouts :) Hey do you think we will have them here soon – they’d be a great help on Open Days!

Helping out?

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A colleague came to my office this morning and exclaimed, “there are students everywhere”! There certainly are lots of them and I hope all you more experienced people are wearing your, “here to help” badges :)

On one of my quick treks through the Web I came across a really interesting blog site, Networked Researcher. I think it has lots to offer – not just to researchers – but to all of us in HE so I’m going to put it in my blog roll. The post that caught my eye was this one on the effects of blogging, The Suprising Effects of Blogging for Impact.

I think I’ve mentioned the Copyright Licencing Agency before on this blog (I get so confused [that is supposed to elicit an ahhh from you]). I just thought I ought to mention that they have just put up their beta version of, “Does my CLA Licence cover this title?“. It does what it says it does – put in what type of licence you have (in our case Higher Education), what you want to use if for, the name of the publication, the ISBN and the country of publication – then just click the search button and it will tell you if you are able to use the work/creation or not. Now that’s what I call neat. I would think our Librarians will like it too. Just think of all those questions it will save :)

ok my lovelies I hope these little tips help you out and that you’ll all help our new students. I’ll chat with you all again tomorrow.

What a great little mover!

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Wouldn’t you just believe it! Yesterday I was moaning on my other blog about how we need to have the same sort of easy access to ebooks in academia as we do in the everyday world. And there you are – Amazon do it :) Bless-their-little-cotton-socks, it is only in the USA at the moment but you can “rent a textbook” from them on Kindle for a few days at a time. I wonder how long it will take before this practice becomes common-place?

Now back to the Bloomsbury Conference at UCL. If you have a science background and haven’t heard of PLoS (Public Library of Science) or PLoS ONE before, you should have. Damien Pattinson their Executive Director talked about PLoS ONE, a PLoS journal that provides open access to scientific and medical papers. PLoS ONE is a peer-reviewed journal with very fast publication times – a matter of weeks rather than months or years. If you want to get published and published fast contact them. PLoS ONE publish 70% of the papers sent to them, the authors retain the copyright but the papers are published under an attribution Creative Commons Licence. The usage and linkage metrics for the articles is also published which is really useful feedback for the authors.

I must admit that I have been fascinated by the next speaker, Claire Ross. I started following her on Twitter and was very pleased to find she was speaking at this conference. Claire spoke about the relevance of social media to researchers. Claire stated that many more of them are now realising just how useful these media are in communicating and collaborating with other researchers. I suppose Claire should know ‘cos she is an experienced researcher herself. She is presently Lead Researcher on the Qrator project and Chair of the Digital Learning Network (a network for museums, libraries and archives).

Must dash now but I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Picking through the pieces

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The news from ICANN should start to make our lives a lot more interesting. As I’m sure many people know by now, come January 2012 there are going to be lots more variations of the well known URL. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will allow a far broader range of URL endings than those we are currently familiar with. I just bet the Librarians will love teaching that now :)

I had a little wander through Twitter this morning. Stopped to read a few things in #infolit, caught up with what went on at the i3Conferenc in Edinburgh. Read through what was happening in #Coadec – yet more discussions but that’s not a bad thing. Then riffled through #medialiteracy and found something that I thought could be quite useful. The American, Project Literacy Amongst Youth (PLAY) blog posted an article about the Microsoft, “techtopian view” of learning and teaching. They provided this very useful checklist to use whilst viewing a film they had posted.

That’s it for today – more tomorrow. Just off to a webinar :)

Researchers and Digital Literacy

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I mentioned the live Guardian discussion in the last post. I’ve been having a look round this morning at some of the comments as I didn’t have much time the other day. I found that even big places like Imperial College London have problems with embedding Digital Literacy so that makes me feel a little better but doesn’t solve my problems. Found some interesting stuff though as I trolled through some of the links from the discussion.

There is the “Blogs, Twitter, wikis and other web-based tools – Collaborating and building your online presence” from Imperial College London. Obviously you can’t join in the exercises but you could try them out for yourself and the information provided on the blog is very useful for both Researchers and students doing their Masters or even those doing their first degree.

There were also a couple of apps that I found out about – you might like to try them, if you do give me some feedback on how useful they were to you. I’m going to try out Colwiz myself so it would be good to find out how others get on with it. Colwiz is somewhere to manage all your research activities from, your groups to your publications, your diary etc. Another app is Mendeley which is a reference manager and academic social network it also has a Twitter following that helps broaden the support network.

I’ll probably come back to this tomorrow – so keep you’re eyes peeled :)

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