Are you still using PowerPoint for your teaching? Kay Deeney recently attended the Annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. One of the interesting talks was on Presentation Blogs by Ray Schroeder and Carrie Levin from the University of Illinois at Springfield. They used their blog, Power Point(less) Alternatives to demonstrate how to give a presentation via a blog. They also highlighted social networking sites such as NING http://www.ning.com/ as another alternative to PowerPoint. The speakers felt that blogs allow interaction through comments; facilitate hyperlinks; and provide a lasting and evolving resource to a topic via RSS feeds on the sidebar. See http://altppt.blogspot.com/ for more information and other links to interesting teaching ideas from these two!
Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 Tools’ Category
We are happy to announce that MedlinePlus has launched a Twitter feed! You can find the link on the MedlinePlus.gov home page in the lower right hand column.
The new feed is called medlineplus4you. When you get a chance, take a look at the other feeds that medlineplus4you follows; there are a number of feeds from other organizations that you might find useful. For instance, one of the links is to LungAssociation from the American Lung Association, which currently has excellent references to information about air quality and wildfires. Another is ReadydotGov, the Twitter feed for FEMA website for personal emergency preparedness.
If you’ve been wondering how to find librarians who share valuable information on Twitter, take a look at the “100 Best Twitter Feeds for Librarians” post at onlinecourses.org:
This page lists the kind of information you can expect to find from the librarian’s Twitter page. Note that you don’t have to join Twitter to access other librarian’s Twitter pages; just click on the link in the article.
Adobe has released the beta version of Buzzword, a new online collaborative document tool and word processing program. With Buzzword, you can create, edit, and share documents with groups of people. Buzzword keeps a history of changes to the document, and allows you to export and import content from other programs.
Buzzword is a free service. I found the interface very easy to use and responsive to my actions. The export to Microsoft Word produced a document with the same formatting as I had created in Buzzword.
TwitCam (http://www.twitcam.com) is a new free service that allows you to stream live video to your Twitter followers. You must have a Twitter account to use TwitCam.
TwitCam posts a video description and link for your Twitter followers to find your video. When you are broadcasting from your camera, you can chat with your Twitter followers directly from the broadcast page. You can also record an archive of the broadcast.
Although this is intended for live broadcast to an audience, it could also be used to create a promotional or informational video that you want others to view asynchronously.
At the moment the service has a lot of test videos as examples. It will be interesting to see the videos that are created as the service grows!
Wolfram|Alpha is a new service on the web that calls itself a “computational knowledge engine.” Ask Wolfram|Alpha a question, and it produces results by doing computations from its internal knowledge base. It does not search the web or return lists of links. The site includes many example queries, including those related to health and medicine, food and nutrition, and the life sciences. Examples of health-related queries include information about disease risk, mortality data, medical tests, drugs, and hospitals. Give it a try at http://www.wolframalpha.com/.
Did you know you can search Twitter posts without having a Twitter account? Try Twitter search (http://search.twitter.com) or a new search service, Twazzup (http://twazzup.com). For monitoring multiple Twitter searches in real time, try Twitterfall (http://www.twitterfall.com). All of these services use Twitter search commands; for a list, see http://search.twitter.com/operators. All are free and do not require a Twitter account. If you try any of these, leave a comment and let us know how it worked for you!
Evernote is a free tool for keeping track of all kinds of information: tasks, web pages, parts of web pages, pictures, and business cards. Besides capturing textual information, Evernote has an optical character recognition feature that turns words from pictures into searchable information — you can take a snapshot of a business card or label, upload it to Evernote, and it will scan and index the textual information! (It worked with the examples I’ve tried!) You can download a client for WIndows or Mac, but also sync your local information to the web, so that you can access the information you’ve saved from any computer. There is also a version for the iPhone/iTouch and WIndows Mobile, both of which allow you to record voice notes. See: http://www.evernote.com.
If you try Evernote, leave a comment and let us know how it worked for you!
Have you heard about Facebook and wondered what it was all about? Mark your calendar for Wednesday, April 8 from 12 noon – 1 pm PT — we’ve invited two librarians from the UC San Diego Biomedical Library to do an online presentation about Facebook.
Jeff Williams, Head, Collections & Access Services, will give an overview of using Facebook as an individual, including how to set up a profile and available tools for communicating with friends. Dominique Turnbow, Undergraduate Services Librarian, will discuss how libraries can use Facebook as an outreach tool and as a mechanism to communicate with library users.
The session is free and no registration is required. All you need to participate is a web browser and a telephone. On the day and time of the session, log in as Guest with your first and last name at https://webmeeting.nih.gov/psrsd. Further instructions calling into the system will be available then.
SlideShare is a free service that allows you to share PowerPoint presentations on the web. You can upload PowerPoint presentations as is, or add audio to them. By adding “tags” or keywords to the presentation, others will be able to discover your presentations. (You will want to be sure there is no copyrighted material in your presentation before uploading).
You can also use SlideShare to discover presentations by others in your field. For instance, if you search on “Physiology” you will get over 800 results.
Have you used SlideShare to share presentations, or discovered some useful presentations available at that site? If so, please comment!