Monday, November 05, 2007

Watch Wikipedia Being Edited

This slightly strange website shows Wikipedia edits from around the world. These are anonymous editors with IP addresses so the location can be noted. I got it from a list called ResearchBuzz. This is what RB says: "I like tools like this because they put a nice element of randomness in my brain -- pages and topics presented with no context or introduction. It's like a mint for my skull."

Try it for a couple of minutes and offer your brain a mint.
Wikipedia Vison http://www.lkozma.net/wpv/index.html

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Class assignment: Write an original Wikipedia article

Students might learn an awful lot about writing for a real audience, good researching, objectivity, and the value and limitations of Wikipedia if their instructors would make the assignment this one did.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/01/wikipedia.assignment.ap/index.html

Wikipedia actually has an exhaustive list of "stubs"--those topics that need more info.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Stub_sorting/Stub_types

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oblique Strategies

You know how sometimes when you are trying to write you hit a wall--the famous "writer's block." I don't know how I actually got to this website, but I found these cards which are supposed to get you to think differently, change direction, break through the block by offering truly oblique, and often enigmatic, directions or allusions. Even if they don't seem relevant, the writer is supposed to try them. It is kind of like opening the Bible, or one's own sacred text, and reading a random passage when having to make a decision. It breaks the old, stale train of thought and offers new insight [and verifies that one can read almost anything into a particular text.] However it works, it may be useful to all those trying to write termpapers or articles or books and get stuck in the clich├ęd.

Download the new editionfrom this webpage. Print them. Cut them into cards. Choose one. Viola, brilliance will emerge from your pen or brush!



"The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original reeases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind." from this webpage

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HotDocs on Fire Prevention and Safety


Paula Webb has put together a collection of Government Documents on Fire Prevention and Safety. http://www.southalabama.edu/univlib/govdocs/hotdocs.htm

Come to the Second Floor, South side, to see a display of print documents on the same topic including the original Smokey Bear memorabilia.

“I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my country – its soil and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife”

Friday, October 26, 2007

ZipSkinny--Who are Your Neighbors? & Tech Fair

Try this app and get demographic info from the Census on your neighborhood. Compare your area with other zips.
http://zipskinny.com/

Come see us between 10 & 4 in the Ballroom. Ellen Wilson is doing LibX, a cool browser add-on; Kathy Wheeler is talking about tagging with del.icio.us and LibraryThing, your own personal library catalog; I'm postering on the various cool tools available through Google.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Technology Fair Tomorrow

Come to the Student Center Ballroom tomorrow between 10 and 4 for the (1st Annual?) Technology Fair. Kathy Wheeler, Ellen Wilson and I will be demonstrating some Web 2.0 kinds of technology--all of it free. Kathy is going to do tagging--del.icio.us and LibraryThing. Ellen was going to entitle hers "Pimping my Firefox," but settled for "Supercharge your Browser." I'm going to reprise my role as The Google Lady, briefing whoever dares to stop, or I can grab, about the uses of several of the Google Search and Productivity Tools like Docs & Spreadsheets, Calendar, Presentations, Finance and anything else I can fit on my posterboard this afternoon. Come visit us!
See: http://southmed.usouthal.edu/library/techfair/showcase.htm

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Starting Your Christmas Shopping?

I know I'm really digging here. I haven't found much that intrigues me lately--probably more me than the outside world in that endless middle of the semester with none of the excitement of the new and none of the anticipation of the finish.

Marylaine Block
came up with this site today. For those of you with kids or little brothers and sisters, this is a good site for recommendations for presents for ages 0 to 12.

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Products of 2007

"Stevanne Auerbach, an author and expert on educational and skill building
toys offers parents a useful guide to some of the year's best products.
For each item, she gives a brief evaluation, the intended age level,
image, price, and the manufacturer's website."
http://www.drtoy.com/awards/2007_3_list.php

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Word of Warning to Students--and Faculty


Plagiarism, Education, and Information Security


Julie J.C.H. Ryan
George Washington University
Sept./Oct. 2007

"From 1997 to 2002, I caught an average of 18 percent of the students in my graduate-level information security classes plagiarizing large portions of papers (some copied in full) and turning them in as class assignments. This doesn’t include students who plagiarized small portions of papers or who were guilty of plagiarism by paraphrasing. Since 2002, the percentage has declined and the style of plagiarism has changed. At first blush, it appears to be an encouraging trend, but students’ attitudes and opinions haven’t changed much at all. On the contrary, very few students actually appreciate the need for academic integrity, specifically in writing, whereas the pervasive attitude appears to be that the checks performed on papers is simply a game—indeed, it’s one that many feel they can play successfully."

Full Text of the article

See also:
For Faculty
For Students