Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recovering Deleted Photo Files

Periodically, we receive inquiries about how to recover lost files, specifically from camera cards. There are many programs that recover deleted files but PhotoRec is specifically designed for recovery of data from hard disks, CDRom and various camera cards. See http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec , it’s free. Thanks to Nick Greenup for this information.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Google Tricks

Did you know that you can enter specific keywords in any Google search box to quickly obtain information you need? For instance, if you want to know the weather in a specific city, you can enter:

weather: [followed by the city name]

To find the weather in Boston today, type in:

weather: boston

If you don’t get the information you need (some city names are not one-of-a-kind), add the state abbreviation after a comma, such as:

weather: Kansas City, KS

Other examples (that generate a list of links to the information you need) include the following.

To find flights to a specific city:

flight: Durango, CO

To find the current time in another city:

time: Flint, MI

Find a definition:

define: haggadah

To find a current stock quote:

stock: KFT

To identify a file type, try entering:

filetype: amr

And, if you want to know movie show times for your area, type the following (substitute the movie name you want to see and your zip code):

movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 66210

Thanks to Marziah Karch for her research on Google and her SIDLIT presentation titled “100 Things You Can Do with Google (Besides Searching),” see http://scholarspace.jccc.edu/sidlit/17/.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Top 24 Sites for Teaching & Learning

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recently announced a new resource for school library media specialists and their teacher colleagues. The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, a list honoring the top 25 Internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development, is considered the "best of the best" by AASL.

The Top 25 Web sites for Teaching and Learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration. The Web sites honored include: Animoto; Classroom 2.0; Curriki; Diigo; Edublogs; Facebook; Good Reads; Google Reader; Mindmeister; Ning; Our Story; Partnership for 21st Century Skills; Polleverywhere; Primary Access; RezED; Second Life; Simply Box; Skype; SOS for Information Literacy; Teacher Tube; Twitter; VoiceThread; Wikispaces; Wordle; and Zoho.

"The task force worked very hard to target websites that support learner-centered, inquiry-based curriculum. In the hands of knowledgeable educators, these innovative and versatile Web 2.0 tools and resources can be used to engage and motivate students in the learning process and to develop 21st century skills," said AASL Best List Task Force Chair, Pam Berger.

All sites are free, Web-based sites that are user-friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. They also provide a foundation to support AASL's “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.” Valuable information on each site, including tips for effective classroom use, are available at www.ala.org/aasl/bestlist.

Web 2.0 Apps such as Twitter, Facebook, ePortfolios and More

This past Wednesday, Tracy Newman and I presented a Technology Brown Bag session on “Twitter, Tumblr, Yammer, Huh? – How to Navigate Massive Information Streams and Have a Life.” A video archive of the session is available from the “Video Archive” link on the Tech Brown Bag schedule page ( http://web.jccc.edu/edtech/brownbag/ ). I was a last minute substitute presenter for Marziah Karch, who presented the same topic at the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT) in late July. Marziah’s paper and others from the conference are available in the JCCC Library’s ScholarSpace archive (see http://scholarspace.jccc.edu/sidlit/ ).

Future Sessions
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be focusing on a variety of Web 2.0 tools and considering how they can be used for educational purposes. The Twitter session was the first in the series, followed this coming week (Wednesday, September 16) with “Struttin Your Stuff – Exploring ePortfolios for Everyone (Faculty, Staff and Students) presented by Bob Epp and “Going Where They Are–Using Facebook in Class” presented by Keith Krieger and Jonathan Bacon. Details are available on the Tech Brown Bag schedule page ( http://web.jccc.edu/edtech/brownbag/ ).

Defining Web 2.0
If you’re still unsure what Web 2.0 includes, check out a couple of earlier blog posts at http://technotipster.blogspot.com/2008/08/web-20-and-what-it-really-means.html and http://technotipster.blogspot.com/2008/07/your-digital-toolkit-lesser-known-web.html .

Regarding Twitter
Back to Twitter, a July 2009 survey by Faculty Focus (see http://www.facultyfocus.com/ ) found that almost 80% of faculty are familiar with Twitter compared to 30+% who use Twitter. The report discussed reasons why faculty use Twitter as well as the leading reasons they do not. Page 9 of the report (released in September 2009) summarizes the findings. Faculty survey responses fell in three categories. Faculty use twitter primarily to:
  • “Stay current on news/trends”
  • “Network with colleagues”
  • “Participate in conference backchannel”

If you have an opportunity to review the survey findings, spend some time reading the revealing comments of active tweeters and their current plus planned uses of the tool. You’ll find some potentially useful applications of Twitter.

The report is available online at the http://www.facultyfocus.com/ site.

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