Saturday, September 1, 2007
I suppose the important question about all of this is how can we apply these tools for use in the ITS/Library environment? I encourage everyone to think about how you can do something to promote this technology and perhaps even implement it. Remember that as a person providing solutions to others, it's important to allow the people you serve to drive the technology. We are here to show what can be done and what is needed to make it happen. Students first!
Good luck everyone.
Friday, August 31, 2007
I do belive that using Netcasts for education is a great idea but only when used in addition to other instruction methods. iTunes U from Apple is designed to host Netcasts for higher education. As is true for many of these types of things, I think that a cool idea doesn't always translate to a finished product. The hard work is actually creating the content that is appropriate and usable.
I have used Podcast Alley to find podcasts and also VOTE for your favorite podcast. This is good for the creators since the more popular casts get advertising money and sponsors to support them.
Something that is very important for creating your podcast/netcast is the use of good equipment. Many times you'll download a netcast that looks good and sounds interesting but the quality is so poor that it detracts from the experience. It's important to use a good microphone and good quality recording software and hardware. Good podcasters also edit their material so that anything that is not supposed to be there gets deleted. "This Week in Tech" is a show where they have a variety of guest speakers and many of them participate from other locations. They use an application called Skype to have participants "call in" from where they are at. Sound is transmitted over the internet but the quality of the sound on Skype is very good so the show doesn't sound like a bunch of guys on the telephone. It's attention to things like this that make a good quality program.
As far as what YouTube can do for us in Libraries or IT, I would say that it is an excellent tool for training. Showing examples of good or bad ways to do things is so important.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
How can this be useful in a library or ITS environment? Well, I thought that what might be done is for UVI to create a "Widget" that would be provided through this service. Students, faculty and staff could then subscribe to a UVI News feed or even educational material feed class by class so students could info on their mobile smart phones. How about a UVI feed to display class schedules? Hmmm.
One thing that I have to say about the wiki site format is that it always seems to be unfinished. By this I mean that it is not at all flashy or eye catching. Perhaps that's a good thing? I've visited a few wikis for other things I've looked for and each seemed to need a bit more organization or direction in order to make things easier.
Monday, July 9, 2007
One of the main attractions to the average person seems to be that it's quick and easy to get yourself out there on the web. Prior to this you would have to create a web site from scratch complete with layout, graphics, navigation and even embed any tags or search engine features you might need. With this technology, all of that is already prepared for you and it's easy enough to fill in the blanks. On the other hand, many of the blogs and social networking sites you find on the web look very much alike. They are meant to be cookie cutter simple so that anyone can do it. Not very unique or customizable. A few years ago web designers were talking about how a web site is all about CONTENT. You can have the prettiest graphics and wild animation and sound but what is your site without some good material inside? The result: loads of content in Web 2.0! It's almost nothing BUT content. The key to the whole thing now seems to be finding and sorting through all of that content which is where many of these tools we are looking at come into play. Now obviously there is good content and bad content. Who decides what content is put out there? Nobody! That's right, it's a free for all. So anyone with a connection to the internet can post all day long about Paris Hilton's prison hotel room. They can even be joined by millions of others who share the same interest. Scary! Thankfully we can control what we are looking for but I believe that slogging through too much irrelevant junk when searching for something important is a big turn off for most people. When it comes to research and using Web 2.0 for library purposes, this might be a big obstacle to overcome. After all the quality of the results are what is most important in that regard.
I have something for you to consider: Why are almost all of these Web 2.0 tools, blogs, youtubes and similar services FREE?
As for popular searches and blogs... WOW. The things some people will go out of their way to look for simple amazes me. LOL. There seemed to be a good selection of blogs but also results for movie searches and celebrities. I wasn't a bit surprised to find the iPhone as one of the most popular results for blogs and posts. The top videos section was much like a popularity contest for YouTube videos. As long as I can narrow down my searches to the things that I find interesting then I will find that Technorati is a useful tool.
I think that something of note here is that blogs and the tools that catalog them are all written by people like you and I. Much of the articles and news you see on the web in the past has been published by news agencies and other professional sources. The difference between the two is something that I think sets this apart from what we've seen in the past.
All about bookmarking things that are interesting or important to you. One thing that seems pervasive when learning about all of these services is that you had better be prepared to "put yourself out there". If you don't want people worldwide to know so much about you then you won't want to be putting your information in places like this. However, if you want to find people and sites that share similar interests, then this is exactly how you would go about it. One of their guidelines is that you should bookmark or tag every site that you find interesting or relevant to what you are looking for. The more you do this, the more everything seems to come together and almost focus it's attention on you. The same can be said for Technorati and some of the other similar services.
Originally when designing web pages, you would have to put tags or "metatags" embedded in the sites HTML code so that search engines could "crawl" the world wide web and find your site and then catalog it for others to find more easily. This is just an evolution of that same process that gives non-technical people an easier way to do the same thing on their own.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
This will take an existing picture that you have and actually CREATE a mosaic image of it from other images. It's very interesting and I guess if you are looking for that kind of thing it's pretty cool. I've uploaded two images to my Flickr gallery that show the before and after pictures of this process.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Tasty sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple.
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup sliced celery
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 slices pineapple, cut into quarters
In large mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs with minced onion, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water. Add ground beef and egg. Shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Brown slowly in a large skillet over medium low heat.
When browned and cooked through, remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. Cook celery and pepper strips in skillet for about 5 minutes. Add remaining water, vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Mix cornstarch with a little cold water then add to skillet; stir well and cook for about 4 minutes. Add meatballs, pineapple slices. Cook until heated through. Serves 4.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Link your blogs into the RSS Feeds in Outlook 2007.
With Outlook 2007 you can display RSS Feeds. RSS stands for
Really Simple Syndication and it's a way for you to automatically collect information from the net and bring it to where you want it for easy viewing. On sites such as blogger, you can subscribe to the RSS feed and anytime the information is updated you will also be able to see it in your RSS viewer such as Outlook.
After viewing the presentation on the 7 1/2 habits, I realized just how much of a lifelong learner I am. I hope that we all are! I really do find that I am always trying to learn something new and preferrably fun and/or interesting.
My answer to the question about what is the habit listed that I find easiest is "Viewing problems as challenges". It's almost a life philosophy of mine. I believe that people can do anything with the right attitude and maybe a bit of hard work.
If I had to pick something that I was not very good at I would say the "playing" part. I really need to learn to take a break once in a while or enjoy something instead of continuing to push myself.
Until next time, take care!