Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today’s Topic: Social Bookmarking and Mobile Web

Raquelle Brennan and Mindi Maneck presented on Diigo and social bookmarking. We logged in and/or created accounts, including applying for an Educator Upgrade. Judy Gressel explained that with the toolbar, diigo will suggest tags for you and you can see how others have tagged a site, plus that if you have bookmarked multiple sites, you can just hit “play as slide show” to create a display as students come into a room. Raquelle and Mindi discussed making lists in Diigo and setting up groups. Raquelle noted that you can follow groups (e.g., diigo in education) and see what others are bookmarking. She also advocated using diigolet since it becomes a single button on your toolbar.

We also experimented with capturing an image. Erika mentioned how you could create links and pages with images and annotations and have a full lesson plan ready to go if you had a sub. There were questions about public versus private lists – and about diigo versus delicious. The general view seemed to be that delicious is the same idea, although simpler, with somewhat less functionality.

Judy Gressel commented briefly on Group me.com. She noted that one possible concern is with advertising and privacy. Andy Horne asked about whether group members would see your telephone number (a downside with current system). He asked whether they can text you back and wondered about how many people could receive a text simultaneously. We talked about possibly trying GroupMe amongst ourselves to try to investigate these questions.

Linda Straube then segued to a recent report on the State of Mobile Web. She recommended scrolling down to view data and graphs which would be especially of interest to geography classes; It seemed like that this topic (cell phone use) would be high interest for students and offer several points for discussion such as

• Comparing these results versus population figures and literacy rates;

• Looking at the most visited web sites by country

• Observing differences in cultural norms (e.g., attitudes towards acceptability of texting during a meal).

• Noting the relative privilege of the US and Western users which comes across in differing patterns in mobile phone brand adoption and in responses to questions like: “How old were you when you first browsed the Web?”

Our next meeting is Tuesday morning, December 14th at 7:30am in Jim Foster’s office. We will continue with social bookmarking and talk about any questions about diigo. For the majority of the time Raquelle will plan to show delicious, including a sheet with screen shots or other instructions.

In attendance: Raquelle Brennan, Erika Eich, Judy Gressel, Andy Horne, Mindi Maneck, Keta McCarthy, and Linda Straube. Ian and Matt intended to join us, but were in conferences with students.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's Topic: RSS Feeds

Erika Eich presented on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds, indicating that the real benefit of this tool is that the information comes to you. She used this libguide to support her explanations: http://newtrier.libguides.com/RSSFeeds The examples centered on Google Reader, but Bloglines and My Yahoo were mentioned as alternatives.

Classes which have used this tool include AP Junior English (in support of their Junior Theme) and some Senior writing classes. A few students have experienced problems with their student emails when trying to set up RSS Feeds. Several of our databases have RSS Feeds (including Gale Reference Center Gold). For students, ProQuest may be best – they are able to make it specific and then also unsubscribe over the course of the year. Another factor to consider is when the feeds are set up – since they can appear daily, weekly or monthly so if students need some input every Monday, they may want to set up a weekly feed to appear over the weekend to get the latest information.

We also talked about how the choice of keywords is important, especially for database sources, although feeds can also be set up for individual web sites, such as The New York Times. We talked about how Google Fast Flip has a daily update, too. (See bottom of the page for RSS Feed link after you do a search). Another way to have updates come to you may be using paper.li, especially if you follow people on Twitter. Gressel’s daily paper is here.

Looking at that, led us to Mashable’s weekly post on 100+ upcoming social media events and then we started talking about the possibility of a social media or digital literacy course. If the group wants, we may explore that further in December. We also reminded attendees about this week’s 2010 Global Education Conference, with numerous keynotes presentations archived here.

Our next meeting is Tuesday morning, November 30th at 7:30am in Jim Foster’s office. The topic is social bookmarking, especially diigo and delicious and Raquelle will lead that discussion.

In attendance: Raquelle Brennan, Erika Eich, Jim Foster, Judy Gressel, Linda Straube and Matt Stuczynski.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today’s Topics: Using Adobe Acrobat to make a form

Jim Foster presented on creating forms with Adobe Acrobat. He pointed out the power – and complexity – of this tool, including various options involved with objects, layout, binding, submit buttons, etc. We have used this type of form successfully with students during classes where they completed and printed a form. However, we have run into some difficulties with having students save their work for future reference. Jim is still investigating the best way to have students use and save their input.

We will meet again in 2 weeks (Nov. 16). Tentative topic is setting up RSS feeds – Erika will be the primary presenter. We also noted that the Global Education Conference will be held November 15-19. There will be over 350 sessions. Here is a schedule using Chicago times. If there is sufficient interest, we could attend one or more sessions independently or together and report back to the group at a future meeting.

In attendance: Raquelle Brennan, Ian Duell, Erika Eich, Jim Foster, Andy Horne, and Linda Straube.