January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
If there is a definite disadvantage to not paying attention to pop radio, and spending most of my time listening to audiobooks rather than music, it’s that I often don’t get cultural references or understand spoofs. I could name many examples, but the one of the more recent was when the Librarians Do Gaga video was virally spreading throughout the library world.
Thus, when this video was mentioned, I didn’t realize at first that it was a sort of spoof:
My lack of recognition of the cultural reference aside, this is an awesome video. The students not only manage to make math fun and create an easy way for fellow students to remember math function, but THEY DO IT SO WELL. I’ve seen less-than-fabulously-produced songs and raps that achieve a similar purpose, but this one renews my faith in such endeavors.
Thanks to Michelle Luhtala of EdWeb seminar fame for posting the video.
January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
When I was in college, my favorite professor would ensure us that it was OK that we had no idea which end is up, because understanding history is like nailing jelly to the wall. In my historiography class, he told us this so often that we conspired to make him actually attempt to nail jelly to the wall, producing an extra large iron nail, a hammer and a packet of jelly from the cafeteria.
I’ve been reminding myself of this lately, as I’m trying to make sense of the goals of education. As pointed out by Jerrid Kruss in Teaching as a Dynamic Activity, goals do not equal the phrases that we name them with. I agree that labels are slippery things.
I’ve also been pondering about what technology integration means, and what education should look like. Believe me, for a non-teacher, this is a difficult topic to wrap your brain around. Here are a few things that have gotten my brain firing lately:
Particularly in the Gary Siemens video, I’ve found some phrases that appealed to me: “authentic information interrogation systems,” “the combat for lucidity”, “the act of showing others how we are learning is an instructional task” [this is the value of blogging].
I thought that these posts such as these may benefit others who are thinking about technology, education, and how they interact. Last week, I shared Jarvis’ talk with a Diigo group I belong to. Or, I should say, belonged. When I went to share a TeachPaperless post today, I found that I was no longer a member. When I tried to contact the owner of the group to find out why, I found that I was blocked from contacting him. I can only assume the rather brazen title of Jarvis’ talk prompted this. I must add that nowhere in the Diigo group were any rules posted about content sharing.
I wrote to the owner of the group (it was easy enough to find an email address, along with the rest of his online presence) apologizing for offending him, but justifying my actions of sharing a thought-provoking blog post. I have yet to hear back.
***Update*** I have heard back. Apparently, given the title of the post I shared and the fact that he didn’t recognize my name, the owner of the group assumed I was a spammer. Apparently, the group is also mostly meant for a certain user base. This is interesting, since I think I shared quite a bit with this group over the past year or so (I can’t check because my items were also deleted from the group), and because the group is open to all Diigo members. But at this point, it doesn’t look to necessarily be censorship, but rather an unfortunate misunderstanding (on both sides).
January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
So, I know that I shouldn’t be super excited about 4,000 checkouts in a year. But heck, I’ve got about 275 students and faculty as my patron base, so that’s roughly 14 checkouts each over the past year.* Sadly, I’m sure there are still students in our program who have never set foot in the Curriculum Library, but I’m working to remedy that. I hope to give presentations in each of our EDUC 205/207 courses (the course required before entry into our program), as well as Children’s Literature and Education Technology courses.**
I didn’t have a chance to do any door statistics this last semester, but I hope to this spring. Last year’s count showed a marked increase in the number of students using the library as a study space, and I expect that this number has grown in the past year as well. I’ll share those statistics when I have them.
Facebook “likes” have remained steady since last spring. I’ll be brainstorming in the near future about how to get more students to follow the page, as I’ve been trying to use it to disseminate valuable department information and deadlines, as well as fun stuff. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to accomplish this goal?
* Actually, if you want to get technical about it, most of these checkouts would take place in the eight months that students are here.
** Last semester, I gave nine presentations, though only one in a 205 course.
January 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
When considering purchasing an e-reader, I think it’s important to think about what you will be using it for, and what kind of devices you already have. For example, if you are a student who constantly carries a laptop everywhere, you may do well to download something like NookStudy to read e-books. If you have a smart phone, and are only going to do light reading, you could easily read on your phone.* But with the price of e-readers falling, it may make sense to take the plunge and purchase a new gadget.
I’ve talked before about my Nook a few times before, so I’m sure you know my recently-discovered love for the e-book.** While actual reading of pages, paper or e-ink, has become a luxury for me lately (the void being filled by a steady flow of audio books), I still am happy I made the plunge. My friend Julia has recently declared her love for her Kindle, and made a wonderful case for the e-book in academia, particularly (gasp!) those studying library and information science (LIS).
I am particularly happy to be a Nook owner now, because my library has recently started carrying e-books (thank you, DPL)! Through the magic of Overdrive, I can now access quite a few newer titles in digital format, as well as a number of classics.
A while ago, I started a draft post of places where you can get free ebooks. I haven’t had the chance to flesh this list out, but here are a few places to start searching:
- your local library (via NetLibrary, Overdrive or similar)
- Amazon (If you own a Kindle)
- Barnes & Noble (If you own a Nook or have downloaded NookStudy, they offer free books every few weeks, usually from the pubic domain, and also “free Fridays,” where one free book is offered per week.)
- Julia has compiled a great list of places to find free content.
* Though the bright screen hurts my eyes after a few minutes, and I prefer the e-ink display).
** As a side note, when I purchased the thing, I swear that the “n” was lowercase. Now it is capitalized, and it makes me sad.
November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
More evidence as to why Dan Meyer is my hero.
Behold! A way to provide multiple links with one, teeny, tiny URL. No printing, mailing, or even emailing necessary.
As a side note, it absolutely amazes me that people still provide handouts, at least in such quantity as the second example he shows us here. I am further astonished that this presenter would then offer to snail mail copies on request, rather than just emailing the digital file he started with. Really?
November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
A friend of mine (Hi, BiblioVixen/SumoKnitter!) posted this on Facebook. I thought it was appropriate for this venue, so I decided to post it here rather than in a note on Facebook. I did post this list once before, about a year and a half ago. I’ll summarize the difference in the results below. I’ll also comment on some individual books throughout the list.
It’s a strange list of books, really. For example, why in the world would Dan Brown be in the same list as William Shakespeare, or Carlos Ruiz Zafon? All this makes sense when you think that the list is of Britain’s favorite novels, voted on in 2003 (see the original blog post mentioned below).
“Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions:
-Copy this into your NOTES.
-Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
-Underline the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
-Tag other book nerds.”
(By the way, it’s just a meme – have fun with it! It was probably created from this original BBC post in 2004 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml )
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee — SUCH a good book, especially if you listen to it read by Sissie Spacek
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott — I definitely feel like I should have made it through this at some time. I loved the movie!
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien — A real let-down, after reading TLOTR trilogy.
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger — I hope it’s more satisfying than Her Fearful Symmetry
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell — I was too young to appreciate it, I think, when I tried to read it (like, 9)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy — Currently reading!
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown — Really?
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan — I thought the movie was fantastic, so I’ll hopefully read this soon.
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon OMG — Favorite!
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac — I’ve heard it’s overrated
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding — Really?
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker — It bored me, but I nearly got through
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett — Currently reading!
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce — I’ve heard it’s maddening to read
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
22 read in full or part (at that time, I did not count Gone with the Wind, because I had barely gotten in to it so long ago. This time, I did)
25 Read in full
13 Read in part
Not too shabby, really, for a year and a half. Especially since I was definitely not working on this list specifically. It just so happened that this list contains a lot of books that I mean to read, or read again.
How do you score?