At last!� that time of year when we can sport our flowery, flowy Hawaiian shirts and variously-coloured Bahama shorts right here in Canada and not look even a little bit out of place. As of June 21st, summer is officially here which means that all manner of summer activities are now officially allowed (wearing of white, inclusion of umbrellas in beverages, sporting of floppy hats, etc.) Before you head off to whatever sunny summer pursuits you have planned, why not check out: 1) the latest news in the e-book world, 2) new titles in the Library (to perchance read while soaking up the rays?), 3) web 2.0 tools, 4) a new travel search engine for planning those summer getaways, and 5) blogs @ EDUCAUSE.
1) Ebook news
A few items of news in the ebook world:
a) World eBook Fair launches on July 4th!
If you�re anything like me and love fairs, you�ll love the free ebook fair taking place this summer! It�s all the good times of the fairgrounds without the large, sweaty farm animals, the carnies yelling at you and the overpriced hotdogs. The World eBook Fair lasts from July 4th � Aug. 4th and the goal is to let you know about the many, many ebooks that are freely available for your reading and listening pleasure. The fair celebrates the 35th anniversary of Project Gutenberg, a project whose goal it is to digitize thousands of public domain (no longer under copyright) books and make them accessible to the world for free. Yup, the folks at PG have been scanning their little patooties off for 35 years! (since 1971, when the Internet was in its diapers, crawling around in a green screen with ugly white Courier font! Wowsers!) Joining PG in this celebration for the masses is The World eBook Library, another provider of heaps of ebooks. The World eBook Library normally charges $8.95 (US) for unlimited downloading but for the celebration will be offering free downloading at the PG web site: http://www.gutenberg.org/ Check out the event web page!
b) Ebrary: In the �did you know?� department.
Did you know that you can search Ebrary, a massive collection of full-text books (many textbooks) and pay as you go? Ebrary is a commercial service that offers access to 20,000 full-text books of interest to educators and students (see the list of publishers included.) To search, you need to add $5.00 to your ebrary account (charged to your credit card.) Then, you can search or browse �you are only charged if you wish to print or copy text. Searching, saving and creating annotations in the texts is free. And if you want to get access to currently published, academic ebooks and not pay a cent, then >>>>
c) Ebooks in the Library
Of course we can�t let a column about ebooks go by without reminding you that you have access to thousands of full-text, current electronic books through the Library @ Mohawk’s ebook collections.
Check out netLibrary for a wealth of ebooks on a variety of topics (anything from anthropology to zoology and all points in between!) If you�re into business, e-commerce, technology, computer science and related disciplines then Safari Tech Books Online is the resource for you! Heaps of electronic books in these areas can be searched for free. Accessing from home? No problemo � you�ll just need to log in with your ID and PIN.
Let us know if you need a login! Check out these new and exciting titles in Safari this month: Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders, Absolute Beginner�s Guide To: Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses, Digital Photography: Expert Techniques, Analyzing Business Data with Excel, Create Your Own Home Networks, Real World Digital Audio and Blogging in a Snap! There are heaps more � check �em out!
d) Just in time for summertime reading: new author recommender tool!
Looking for an author who writes just like your fave author? Then we have the tool for you! Literature-Map calls itself the �tourist map of literature�. Type in an author�s name and view an interactive map of authors that write in a similar way. Click on another author�s name and another map appears! Fun times just watching all the names dance across the screen! (Yes, doesn�t take much to amuse me.) Don�t forget about that other great recommender tool we told you about a while ago (point #4) called Whichbook.net. Whichbook.net lets you search for new books to read by a variety of options (character, plot, setting, feeling, atmosphere, style, etc.)
2) New Titles at the Library @ Mohawk
Check out the June 2006 new titles list! New titles galore! Complete with call numbers so you can find them with ease!
3) More Web 2.0 Shtuff
If you�re as crazy as I am about the read/write web and interactivity with your students on the web, check out these new web 2.0 resources:
Web 2.0 Applications in Education
Web 2.0 Applications Organized by Activity
Very comprehensive list of Web 2.0 applications: warning: this list is not pretty, however it is a fine attempt at gathering all the apps together into one list.
4) New Travel Search Engine: Farecompare
Just in time for summer break and your trip-booking needs, a new travel search engine: FareCompare.com FareCompare.com is one of the best travel search engines I have ever seen in my entire life!! Why? Because unlike other travel search engines such as Travelocity or Expedia, you don�t have to enter precise dates or locations for your search, which is great if you aren�t fussy about where or when you go! That way, you see the cheapest flights from the cheapest departure cities. Here�s how to use it: 1) on the Trip Search tab, enter starting and ending destinations, view graph of prices over the course of several months, pack bags, arrange taxi to airport, tell loved ones will be away for month or two, or 2) click Destinations tab, enter departure city, view maps, choose location of interest and then view larger map with prices attached to each city, try not to drool on screen while dreaming of scampering across Tuscany with basket of fresh bread and bottle of wine. This tool gets a triple wowsers � just amazing!
5) What�s everyone else doing with e-learning?
Ever wonder what other folks at other institutions are up to with their e-learning plans? Check out educause�s blogging area�it�s like listening in on some really interesting conversations regarding the use of technology in the classroom without feeling like an eavesdropper. See in particular the �Recent Blog Posts� on the right hand column for some teasers. Some interesting summer time reading! To all of you who are heading off-campus for the next two months, have a great summer and see you in September!