Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Do I have to keep checking the wiki too?

I'm a big fan of wikis - I consider it a kind of service project to Outward Bound for example by contributing from time to time over at their wiki.

Of course we are also using Wikispaces to support our faculty laptop program by writing a wiki to support the best practices of using this tool in our classrooms.

But the other day a colleague of mine expressed dismay at the wiki saying, "I just have a handle on keeping up to date on my email! The wiki is changing so fast I feel overwhelmed checking back there all the time."

This resonated with me since I think wikis and all this other cool stuff will only work if they make our work easier - not more complex! I've thought about this before over at Stewart Mader's excellent blog.

In my opinion we should think about wikis rather like I used to think about the library in my university. It was a giant place full of books that a bunch of specialized people (librarians) thought were interesting and thought we patrons should have access to. The library was constantly updating its collection (something I never paid any attention to) but if I needed something I could go there and look it up.

So in this case our wiki is a lot like this model except that the line between patron and librarian is a little fuzzy. At times patrons can write the books in the library for example. Or patrons can request articles, or just help out by tidying up a bit.

It's not my hope that everyone is completely up to date on all the information in the wiki (a couple of us librarians can take care of that). I hope it is a helpful resource to folks to solve problems, find what they need and get inspired!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Free Audio Books

A friend sent me a link to a nice site of free audio books. Might be interesting for English teachers or tutors. The selection is limited but the price is nice. The site is called LiteralSystems. Check it out!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's check those facts

Interested in a lesson that takes a look at current events through the lens of hard facts? Check out FactCheckEd - the educational branch of FactCheck.org.

The site has regular lesson plans relating to current events and includes facts and terms of the week.

But don't take my word for it. Check it out for your self :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Science videos galore

There is a website that's been out for a year or so called SciVee. It's a video sharing site for researchers. I wonder if this might be a cool site to check out for our students to see what is going on in the field of science?

Also I wonder if the 'Poster Cast' option is a model we might use for digital presentations?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wikis in higher ed: implications for secondary ed too?

Stewart Mader, wiki evangelist and author, has an interesting interview with Campus Technology today. Although he is speaking through the lens of higher ed, much of what he talks about is applicable to us. The example of the science lab he uses is a great one I think.

We've got wikis in the FOL but no official wiki portal established for NHS - what are your thoughts about this?

I can't read my own handwriting?!

When I was a tutor I used to empty out my student's backpacks once a week to recover the crumpled up bits of paper at the bottom that were actually important notes or homework. My favorite thing was when students found their notes but then couldn't read their own writing!

Maybe online note taking solutions are the answer for students who struggle with this kind of organization but have no problem with managing their 12 gig iTunes library.

Mashable had this interesting selection of online tools on review. Maybe one of them is helpful for our students?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Periodic Table of Videos

Over at the Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy blog I saw this interesting post about an interactive site that provides background videos on all the elements. It's called the Periodic Table of Videos.

Here's the gripping (and most viewed) Sodium vid.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

YouTube Presentation at the Library of Congress

YouTube produced as much content in the last six months as the major three networks in the last 60 years according to Michael Wesch professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Kansas. Wesch presented on this and other topics at the Library of Congress last month.

Things that impact society in big ways have to - have to - impact education too.