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June 29, 2008

Slidecasts: Second Life How To Do for Teachers and Others

A slidecast is like a podcast except that both slides and audio are embedded in a web page. We are trying to offer some of our podcasts in both forms -- the version for the iPod or MP4 device and another version for the website. I hope to soon do a podcast / slidescast on how to make slidecasts. Meanwhile, check out these three -- Why Second Life, Getting Started in SL, & SL Teacher's Toolkit -- and see how you like this as a way to deliver content easily to a wide audience via the web.

Why Work & Teach in Second Life



Getting Started in Second Life



Second Life Teacher's Toolkit



Posted by pfa at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2008

Cool Toys Conversations 2008-June-23 (Campus Community)


This is a brief synopsis of the topics and tools discussed at the inaugural Cool Toys Conversation for campus. Representation from Medicine, Engineering, Libraries.


Technological literacy
Bit Literacy

How to use tech to support continuity in course development and presentation, especially when having different instructors.
- what worked, what didn't
- collaboration
- crib sheets

Future Topics Requested:
- Gantt charts and similar tools
- mindmapping
- project management & collaborations

Have future CTC meetings by team, small group, themes?
- teamwork and collaboration spaces
- visualization tools
- productivity tools
- writing & presentation tools
- mindmapping
- distance learning
- presentations from folk who've done cool things w/ tech
- image manipulation & generation
- wikis
- what do we wish we had on campus


del.icio.us: http://del.icio.us
NOTE: Social bookmarking tools allows you to merge your web browser bookmarks into one online collection and access them from anywhere with a net connection.

StripGenerator: http://www.stripgenerator.com/
NOTE: Use for creating graphics for presentations, facilitate engagement and retention in learning.

Zotero: http://www.zotero.org/
NOTE: "Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself."

xTimeline: http://www.xtimeline.com/index.aspx
NOTE: xTimeline is a free online multimedia wiki-type tool. Good for collaboration and presentations, useful for team or small group projects focused on process oriented data.

Dipity: http://www.dipity.com/
NOTE: Another multimedia timeline tool. "Dipity is great for ... Your Life, Your Blog, Your Class. Students learn better with Dipity. Text can be dull. Dipity is interactive and engaging."

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net
Slideshare: UM HSL Collection: http://www.slideshare.net/umhealthscienceslibraries/slideshows
NOTE: UM HSL collection includes many of our presentation slides on interesting online tools and toys. Slideshare in general is a great place to archive your slides before going on a business trip, to embed an interactive slide presentation in your blog or web page, or to sync with audio as a quick and easy embeddable podcast.

Wetpaint: http://www.wetpaint.com/
SLHealthy: http://slhealthy.wetpaint.com/
Second Life @ University of Michigan:
NOTE: We spent a lot of time on this, talking about problems or lack of functionality with the CTools Wiki, and how Wetpaint offers ease of editing and navigation combined with social networking support. Wishing we could get this kind of functionality in combination with our local security.

Vue (Visual Understanding Environment): http://vue.tufts.edu
NOTE: "The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) project at Tufts is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information."

LAMS: http://www.lamsinternational.com ; http://www.lamsfoundation.org
NOTE: "LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration"

Depictr: http://www.depicter.com/
NOTE: "Depicter is a web-based vector graphics editor. Store your drawings online, or export them to SVG, PNG or JPEG."

Gliffy: http://www.gliffy.com/
NOTE: "Create and share flow charts, diagrams, and more." Includes tools for mindmapping, organizational charts, and other useful tools.

Flowchart.com: http://flowchart.com/
NOTE: "Flowchart.com is an online multi-user, real-time collaboration flowchart software. Flowcharting made easy. Flowchart.com does not require any software download, it works with your favorite browser such as Fire Fox, IE, Opera, Safari, Konquerer."

Gantt: http://www.freegroups.net/gantt/
NOTE: "Make your own Project Timeline (Gantt Chart)! To manage multiple timelines, add each unique timeline name to the end of your e-mail address when you sign in below (ie. joe_user@somewhere.com-chart1)." I just took a look at this, and will look for something better.

Zoho: http://www.zoho.com
NOTE: A suite of office applications and management productivity tools. Rich collection, worth exploration.

Zoho Show: http://show.zoho.com/
NOTE: From the Zoho suite of applications comes this online presentation & collaboration tool.

Google Docs: http://docs.google.com/
NOTE: Online document creation and collaboration tool. Was discussed for use with student team projects. Presentation tool was compared to Zoho Show as providing small file space and being appropriate for short presentations.

IBM GIO Report: http://domino.watson.ibm.com/comm/www_innovate.nsf/pages/world.gio.gaming.html
NOTE: This was discussed as providing insight into trends in leadership and teaching leadership skills. Additional related links are collected here: http://del.icio.us/rosefirerising/ibm+gaming

Posted by pfa at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

How to do it RIGHT: Presentation Alphabet

This is a beautiful presentation - thoughts, images, everything. You kind of have a hint that it is good stuff when it has been online for two weeks and has over eight thousand views and a eleven hundred downloads. This ("Presentation Alphabet") is a slidecast from Slideshare, so you can listen to the audio and have the slides synced to the sound, or you can simply page quickly through the slides on your own to get the ideas of the presentation. Both work. This is not just a great example of leveraging the technology to maximise your benefit and productivity, but also a great presentation as far as the content goes.

Hope you enjoy!

Ethos3 Communication. Presentation Alphabet. http://www.slideshare.net/ethos3/presentation-design-presentation-alphabet/

Posted by pfa at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2008

Slideshare: e-Health & Web 2.0

I just found this really neat presentation from a friend of mine in Second Life. Dr. Boulos has also written some of the leading peer-reviewed articles on emerging technologies in healthcare, so a voice to follow for those interested in these topics.

Boulos, Maged N Kamel. e-Health and Web 2.0/the 3-D Web: Looking to the future with sociable technologies and social software:

Posted by pfa at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2008

Cool Toys Conversation - June 17 (Lib Staff)

We had another library staff Cool Toys Conversation yesterday. Here are the online tools and toys we talked about.

CureHunter: Visual Medical Dictionary: http://curehunter.com/public/dictionary.do
NOTE: A semantic tech application that allows you to search medical terms, and the search results are provided in three columns: (1) alternate terms and related concepts; (2) the definition followed by suggested MeSH terms for MEDLINE searching; (3) a graphic model of the drug-disease relationships. Useful for teaching.

Tag Galaxy: http://www.taggalaxy.de/
NOTE: Visualization tool that takes in a tag (seed concept), finds the top 9 related concepts, and displays them as a rotating solar system model.

The Health 2.0 Definition : Not just the Latest, The Greatest! | Ted Eytan, MD: http://www.tedeytan.com/2008/06/13/1089
NOTE: "Health 2.0 is participatory healthcare. Enabled by information, software, and community that we collect or create, we the patients can be effective partners in our own healthcare, and we the people can participate in reshaping the health system itself."

Sloodle: http:www/sloodle.org
SL - 2008 - SloodleMoot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/sets/72157603756618446/
NOTE: "Sloodle is an Open Source project which aims to develop and share useful, usable, desireable tools for supporting education in virtual worlds, making teaching easier. Through engagement with an active community of developers and users, the Sloodle project hopes to develop sound pedagogies for teaching across web-based and 3D virtual learning environments. Sloodle integrates the Second Life® multi-user virtual environment and the Moodle learning-management system."

MPK20: Sun's Virtual Workplace: http://research.sun.com/projects/mc/mpk20.html
NOTE: An example of an alternate open source virtual world application.

Cookthink: http://www.cookthink.com/
NOTE: "To find a recipe based on what you're craving, plug up to eight tags into our "cookthink it" search tool." Possibly useful for dietitians and people working with nutritional and dietary behavior modification.

YouConvertIt: Free online media file conversion (Document, Images, Audio, Video & Archives): http://www.youconvertit.com/convertfiles.aspx

Annenberg Community Challenge Finalists Announced: http://networkculture.usc.edu/projects/21-network-culture-projects/61-community-challenge-finalists-announced.html
NOTE: Annenberg will fund 3 of 5 Second Life community projects. Three are healthcare related. Ability Commons is a collaboration of the SL medical librarian community and largest healthcare consumer (patient) support group community in Second Life. Read here: http://tinyurl.com/5c4vam Vote here: http://tinyurl.com/4olwah .

Funky Ways to Express Yourself - BeFunky: http://www.befunky.com/
NOTE: A graphic / image editor tool that take photographs and helps you make them into sketches and cartoons. Potentially useful for added color in slide presentations.

Cullect.com: http://cullect.com/
NOTE: A new RSS feed management tool that has been highly recommended and might be worth exploring.

Posted by pfa at 09:33 PM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2008

Twitter Pros and Cons from A2B3

Twitter is, for me, the middle one of my top three personal and professional online productivity tools.

1. Twitter
3. Second Life

It is not uncommon that folks ask me why these, so it is on my mind a lot and something I tend to blog about. About a month ago I was at lunch with my favorite and most productive offline productivity social network - A2B3 (Ann Arbor Bi Bim Bop). There is a tradition that we pass a question around the table, which gave me the opportunity to push the question of Twitter out to other people.

I asked:
- Do you use Twitter?
- If Yes: what makes it useful to you?
- If No: what would it need to do to be useful to you?

I got a bunch of replies, divided roughly into pros and cons. My notes are pretty sketchy, but for what they're worth, here they are!


* I need to be able to write in free text. The 140-character limit puts me off.
* I use email.
* My cell phone is enough for me.
* I would need an iPhone before it would be useful to me.
* I dislike push media.
* Twitter is a love/hate thing.
* I record audio, I don't write.
* I'm already saturated.
* Don't want to censor myself.
* I use LiveJournal, and that takes all my time for this type of communication.


* microblogging
* ease of writing entries
* accessible via phone
* accessible via web, apps, email, or phone
* use it for my job
* I live-tweet, then blog
* I twitter for the love of twittering
* finding out if my bus is on time
* getting news feeds
* it's friendly and fun
* marketing
* real people & real stories; real connections, real emotions
* can integrate with GMail and GTalk
* has replaced my blogging

So, that was the quick ten-minute view. More on some of these someday. If you want to see what I'm twittering, you can find me at http://www.twitter.com/pfanderson

Posted by pfa at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2008

Happy Birthday! Ann Arbor added to Google Maps

Google Maps Street View turned one year old, and on that day they added ... us!

Google LatLong: Street View turns 1, keeps on growing: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2008/06/street-view-turns-1-keeps-on-growing.html

So now we can do nifty things like embed the map or pictures in our web pages. Check it out!


Google Maps: Ann Arbor Street Views: Medical School


View Larger Map

Posted by pfa at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2008

Science as Conversation, Part 2: Evolution of Scientific Conversation

Picking up on the earlier blogpost about Science as Conversation, there was something in particular about ScienceRoll that intrigued me -- the selected search targets. They are all fairly high quality resources, but they cover a broad range of topics and tools (articles, drugs, consumer health, biomaterials, biotechnology, specific diseases, textbooks, link portals, research sites). Even more interesting, they are very different types of resources -- databases, news services, clinics, organizational web sites, even some that are sort of half-blog / half-publication.

Science Roll Example - Sources

Now I don't want to get sidetracked by talking about the specific choices. What interests me is that this search tool, ScienceRoll, whether through design or happy coincidence, is embracing a range and variety of voices and communities, thus implicitly recognizing that significant scientific conversation is occurring in more places than it did, say, perhaps a dozen years ago?

For most of my life, the primary sources for science and scientific controversy / discussion have been the peer-reviewed scientific journals. The tools we, as librarians & researchers & care providers, have developed to support decision making have been based primarily on that fact. This doesn't mean that the published articles were the only scientific communications, however. Other discussions happened, but informally, off-radar, so to speak, in hallways & restaurants & bars at conferences, in lab groups, by phone. This part of scientific discussion was never overt and never really captured. There was a certain amount tracked in what is known as grey literature, but that has always been challenging to discover and to preserve. Winker and Fontanarosa noted in 1999 (JAMA) that Letters and Editorials are the main places that this type of informal conversation has been preserved in the scientific literature.

"Scientific discourse occurs in many forms: among colleagues, at scientific meetings, during peer review, and after publication. Such discourse is essential to interpreting studies and guiding future research. However, most forms of discourse become part of the scientific record only indirectly, such as through revision of a manuscript in response to peer review or through the influence of colleagues' comments on the author. Only one form of discourse—letters—becomes part of the permanent biomedical record, linked with the scientific article through its citation in databases such as MEDLINE."
Winker MA; Fontanarosa PB. Letters: A forum for scientific discourse. JAMA 1999 281(16):1543. jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/281/16/1543.pdf NOTE: Accessible only to subscribers with password.

Let's go back a little farther, though. Science has always been a dialogue, a conversation, based in an informed and delightfully contentious community. Agreement was not the point - learning, discussion, discovery, challenge and progress played larger roles than consensus in much of science. Consensus actually has often proved to be dangerous, but that is a different topic altogether.

Briefly, in the early scientific journals, it was not unusual to have a stenographer present to transcribe the presentations. (Just imagine, if you didn't need to write your article -- just say what you thought, and someone else would write it down for you? Wow.) The stenographers did not stop at transcribing the presentations, however. They continued by transcribing the following discussion -- the questions and answers, the conversations, the arguments. These were often published either completely or as a synopsis in the printed journals. Sometimes they told some wild stories or argued in language that we would now be astonished to find in a scientific journal. Here is one example, but there are (trust me on this) many, many more.

Dental Cosmos 2(2):111

Sometimes the debates crossed from journal to journal. There is one example I am familiar with, The Gies-Marshall debate over salivary factors. James Marshall had been a student of William Gies. Dr Gies was famous as the founding editor of the Journal of Dental Research (JDR) and the author of the formative work Dental Education in the United States and Canada Bulletin Number Nineteen (The Gies Report) (1926) (equivalent to the Flexner report in medical education). He as a personage of some influence.

Marshall was, I believe, the first to introduce the concept of salivary diagnostics. At the time, Dr. Gies took exception to what he considered sloppy science, and was offended that a student of his would be guilty of the same. Marshall would publish an article in one journal, Gies would publish an article strongly expressing concern in his journal (that became the JDR), Marshall would reply to , etcetera. The discussion was, at some points both heated and wounded, and rather dramatic for a scientific publications.

Science as Conversation: Gies Marshall Debate

I am sure there are many similar examples in the early literature of other disciplines. Indeed, there are researchers who explicitly study ways in which scientific discourse has evolved and changed. Here are just a couple examples that caught my interest. (NOTE: These are probably only accessible to UM affiliated patrons.)

Second JA. How scientific conversation became shop talk. Trans. RHS 17(2007):129-56. http://journals.cambridge.org/production/ action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=1400236

McCarthy, Gavan; Sherratt, Tim. Mapping Scientific Memory: understanding the role of record-keeping in scientific practice. Archives and Manuscripts 24(1) May 1996. http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/articles/gjm/mapscimem.htm

Bereiter C. Implications of postmodernism for science, or, science as progressive discourse. Educational psychologist 1994 29(1):3-12. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a784752393~db=all

Yes, I am going somewhere with this, but am saving the denouement for part 3 of this series. For now, I hope this line of thought has piqued your interested. Here is a web search, if you want to explore more.


Here are my slides from the Medical Library Association meeting in which I discussed this a small bit.

Posted by pfa at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

Twitter for Health

This is one of several slide presentations that were part of the "Evidence Base: Web 2.0 for Professional and Clinical Productivity" invited speaker session at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in May, with David Rothman and Patricia Anderson. This small set of slides has already attracted a surprising amount of attention.

First it was blogged by Andre Blackman, a public health professional, at his new blog "Pulse & Signal". There has been an interesting conversation going on in the comments section there.

Pulse & Signal: Healthy Possibilities with Twitter: http://pulseandsignal.com/2008/05/22/healthy-possibilities-with-twitter/

Since then Slideshare put the presentation in the Spotlight on Health section on their homepage for several days earlier this week. Perhaps you'd like to take a look? We hope to offer an open class later this summer on the possibilities of Twitter for healthcare and research.

Posted by pfa at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)