Lots of tech news & tech tools on this week�s edition of the BRAIN_blog! Plus the lowdown on both the Connections Conference and the Student Success Symposium held here at Mohawk College last week…read on for all this…and more!
1) Rock on, Mohawk College!
The college was abuzz last week with two and a half days of dynamic presentations, demonstrations, workshops and special guests! The brand new Student Success Symposium kicked off the week on Monday and Tuesday, and was followed by the 3rd annual Connections Conference on Wednesday. Did you miss any of the action? Check out the wrap-ups and access the presentations here:
2) Brainstorming � 21st century style!!
Ah, the flipchart… The reliable old flipchart has been around for decades, helping presenters and groups make their point, generate ideas and create plans. A group of proactive people eventually asked, �What if you could do this type of brainstorming/presenting on your computer…without having to rely on the dried out marker and the big pads of paper?� Okay, maybe they didn�t ask that exact question, but the folks at >MindJet no doubt had something similar in mind when they came up with the idea for >MindManager X5 Pro. A visual collaboration tool, MindManager lets you capture ideas electronically as you go along in your meeting, and all notes are ready for immediate distribution � no transcribing needed! Items are captured in a structured format and group members can see the results, as well as have a better idea as to next steps, goals, action items, etc. Go from brainstorming to planning to implementation with MindManager, as it integrates seamlessly with Word, PowerPoint and MS Project. Use it to quickly create dynamic presentations as well. There�s much more to MindManager than can be explained on the blog, so do yourself a favour and check out their site. Download a free 21-day trial, or check into the information about purchasing the various licenses they have for MindManager. As a bit of an aside, the BRAIN_blog usually does try to bring you the newest, hottest, free-est tools and information out there. Occasionally though, there is a tool that is so cool and exciting that it deserves mention � even though there is a cost involved
3) New Kid on the Academic Block!
A brand new website devoted to current news, commentary, career information and much more in the area of higher education � what could be better? According to the website, �>Inside Higher Ed was founded in 2004 by three executives with decades of expertise in higher education journalism and recruitment. We believed that higher education was evolving quickly and radically, and that the time was right for new models of providing information and career services for professionals in academe.� And they do deliver. News is added daily, and you can search for older news items by keyword, author, educational institution, etc. You can also sign up for their �News Alerts� email service, and you will be sent a daily email review of the top stories. They don�t have an RSS feed option (darn it!) but as the site says �Today, the site contains only a fraction of the features and services that you�ll find here soon…� Wow � if what they�ve got now is a �fraction� stay tuned folks, they�re going to be big! Check them out and see what you think…will they eventually give the >Chronicle of Higher Education a run for its money? Discuss…
4) New in the Technology Realm
What�s the next big thing when it comes to technological development? If you don�t know, be sure to have a look at >Ten Emerging Technologies from >TechnologyReview.com. The website claims, �Of the numerous technologies now in gestation at companies and universities, we have chosen 10 that we think will make particularly big splashes. They’re raw, but they’ll transform the Internet, computing, medicine, energy, nanotechnology, and more.� TechnologyReview.com has been doing these sorts of lists for a few years now, and you can also check out some of their other �top tens�, such as >10 Emerging Technologies that Will Change Your World from February, 2004 and the >TR10 Follow-up from April 7th of this year. I especially liked the follow-up article for the simple reason that anyone can say �oh this is going to be big� but it�s nice to see that TechnologyReview.com keeps an eye on the trend as it develops and then keeps their readers posted. It�s only common courtesy!
5) YaGoohoo!gle � Say what?
Nope, it�s not something you yell out when you roll up a rim and win at Tim Horton�s…although I guess you could…but I wouldn�t know because I never win anything…and yet I keep buying, don�t I…but I digress…. >YaGoohoo!gle is actually an interesting website blending the names of two of the most popular search engines/directories on the web into a neat way to compare results from both � at the same time. It�s a pretty cool concept, and one developed by Asgeir S. Nilsen. According to the YaGoohoo!gle >blog, Asgeir originally posted the site as an April Fool�s Day joke on >Slashdot but the idea took off and has become extremely popular! The YaGoohoo!gle blog includes search tips and more information about the site and it�s concept. Try a search yourself and see what you think � you have to admit, it�s an interesting way to see your search results!
6) Saturday Night�s All Right for…Googlefight!
Add this to the list of crazy Google-based tools. It�s not an official Google site, of course, but >Googlefight lets you enter two search terms that can then fight it out to see who generates more hits on Google. Just enter the two terms (I tried Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles) click on �make a fight� and you�ll get a cool little graphic while it searches, followed by a bar chart showing you who reigns supreme on Google. Now, we at the BRAIN_blog certainly do not condone fighting, and we also encourage you to say no to drugs. But a good old-fashioned Googlefight can make the day interesting indeed! Incidentally, the results of my search are in: Diana 1,540,000 / Camilla 591,000 � thanks for coming out, Camilla!
7) From the ridiculous to the sublime…or something like that…
Yes, the above two sites were a little on the ridiculous side (but fun, you have to admit!) so I now bring you the sublime with yet another fantastic innovation from Google � >My Search History! Eureka, say those of us who have used Google, found some great stuff, and then immediately forgotten what we searched and found. My Search History lets Google show you what you�ve searched and which search results you�ve clicked on, and you can manage your searches and search history from any computer! There is also a calendar feature, to let you find the search you did on a particular day, and because you can search your whole history full-text, you will be able to find any query you typed and any results page you viewed. Google will also include useful information such as the number of visits you�ve made to a specific website, and the last time you viewed it. It�s easy to get started � if you have a Google account, just log in and get set to save what you search! If you don�t yet have an account, you can get one >here. For more details on and the exciting features of Google�s My Search History, check out their excellent >Help page!
8) UPDATE! JYBE 2.0
Last time, the BRAIN_blog brought you information about >JYBE, a great tool that allows you to co-browse the web. Well >JYBE 2.0 is here with brand new features including co-scrolling, collaborative text entry (see what the other person is typing in search boxes), password protection for JYBE sessions, and more!
9) UPDATE! Be our MOHAWK-GUEST!
The Library @ Mohawk invites you to break free…and go wireless! Now in the e-Library @ Fennell, the Rotunda and the Library @ Fennell, members of the Mohawk community with personal laptops can get on the web via the wireless network. Go wireless to access MocoMotion, browse the web, do research, search for library materials and much, much more! How does it work? It�s easy – once your computer detects the wireless network, simply click �Connect� and you�re in on the MOHAWK-GUEST network. No password, no key � just all web all the time. Well, not exactly all the time. For now, MOHAWK-GUEST is available from 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
Printing, FTP and peer-to-peer functions (such as Kazaa) are not currently available, and as of now, there is no technical support, but we think wireless is truly the way to go, and we�re excited at the Library @ Mohawk to be able to bring it to our users!
Thanks for checking out this extra-long edition of the BRAIN_blog!