Living in the Great White North

One good thing about living in the frozen tundra is you can spend lots of quality indoor time reading, meditating, and exploring the Library web site without feeling one stitch of guilt for not running around outside. Indoor, sedentary living is positively encouraged in the Arctic Circle where we seem to be living right now so we are including only one news item that pertains to getting outside and socializing a bit…(see below for info about our focus groups which are taking place next week (free pizza)! Other than that, explore away while nestled deep in your igloo…

1) Library News

Podcast: Library Web Site Treasures!

Check out this week’s BRAINcast where you can hear about the wealth of hidden gems and the vast resource riches available on TheBRAIN, the Library @ Mohawk’s website. Set sail for an adventure on the web, and we’ll share with you the tips and tricks you need to make your quest for knowledge both easy and fruitful. Ahoy Mateys!

We want your opinion!

The Library @ Mohawk wants to hear from students! The week of February 12th, the Library will again be conducting focus groups …get the details here! Tell your students! Tell your friends! Get free pizza…and fabulous parting gifts!

The Joy of Proper Citing

We’ve just added a great new citation tool to TheBRAIN: KnightCite comes from Calvin College’s Hekman Library. Cite a resource in MLA, APA or Chicago style easily by filling in the online form with the required information. Choose the type of resource you are citing such as book, periodical, web site, etc. and whether the item is print or electronic. The tool also has a nice, little Help window (click “show info” to display it). Brings the fun back to creating a bibliography!

The new titles are here, the new titles are here!

More new titles have been added to the Library @ Mohawk collections! Check out the New Titles list to get the full scoop!

Meet the new databases

Continuing in our Meet the new databases series, this week I’d like you to meet Computer Database from Thomson Gale. It’s crammed full of computer science magazines and journals – it doesn’t get any more exciting, does it? Check out some of these titles:, PC Magazine, CAD/Cam Update, International Journal of Computational Intelligence and more! Like the other new databases, a handy list of subjects appears down the left side of your results – this is helpful if the results didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped and you need some guidance. A search box also appears in this sidebar in case you want to start over. Give Computer Database a whirl by heading over to the Library’s list of Magazine Databases.

Lurking Librarians Redux

A reader asked last week for more info on our Ask-A-Librarian link within the EBSCOhost databases. Thank you for the question! This handy features comes with our EBSCOhost database products, built right in! (Just need to flick the switch inside the EBSCOhost Admin… for the techie readers!) I’ve included here a screenshot for folks wondering just what I’m nattering on about. Just click the Ask-A-Librarian link (at the top of any EBSCOhost page) and an email will be sent to us so we can help you out! Not as speedy as instant messaging of course….so if you’d like a super quick response, just IM braintogo! By the way, keep those comments coming! Just click the Comment link below any posting to say what’s on your mind!

2) E-learning news…

If you only read one article this month…

The best article I have read in a long time that gives an excellent overview of key trends in Internet culture and how they relate to education is: “Web 2.0 and the Evolution of Instructional Design” written by Jay Cross and located at the Learning Circuits web site.

Read some nice, clean overviews of concepts that you’ve heard bandied about such as the cluetrain manifesto, the long tail, the new economy, etc and then see them all tied together into some fascinating points to ponder for instructional design and the future of education in general. This is a good, meaty article with lots of solid info – if it was a burger it would be a half pounder loaded with cheese.

If you read two articles this month…

If your diet of interesting articles includes two articles, then take a gander at Predictions for 2007 The world has become unpredictable; only a fool plans far in advance these days.” Well said, Jay Cross! This article is definitely the fries to go with the above burger.

Great little newsletter

Vendor newsletters are usually all about self-promo for the company. The Techsmith newsletter however has some really nice little treats that aren’t just about them and their great products (even though their products are pretty impressive.) For example check out the Techsmith in Education site and access some great articles on RSS and education, best practices for integrating animations into presentations, and more. A refreshing little newsletter! The pop to go with the burger and fries.

3) Web world news…

Wikipedia for research?

A big problem with Wikipedia is that because anyone can contribute you might not always get the best information. The Citizendium is a wikipedia written by experts and the founder hopes it will improve upon Wikipedia while still taking advantage of the participatory nature of the resource. From the web site, “the project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by adding “gentle expert oversight” and requiring contributors to use their real names.” The Citizendium began as a pilot project in November 2006 and since then 150 expert editors and 350 authors have joined in. Unfortunately it is not open to be browsed just yet – but you can see content if you register (for free). More info here.

Videos for research?

Last week, the video search engine added a neat, new feature that lets you search for video by provider (for example, Discover, Forbes, HBO, etc.) This is a great help in wading through the glut of videos available on the web, especially the huge morass of user-generated content (which is great fun but not so great for research). And if you’re looking for even more precision when searching for videos on the web, try Blinkx. Blinkx uses patented search technologies to index video content.

Gmail for the Masses

Not really related to research but…couldn’t contain the excitement! If you’re looking for a web-based email program (perhaps to separate your work mail from your non-work mail), Google’s mail client, Gmail today opened up to the masses (used to be by invitation only). Gmail is different from other mail programs mainly because it doesn’t use folders; instead you can label your messages (like tagging in other social software programs). And the other bonus is the huge inbox size (2.8GB). If you’re just deciding on which free, web-based mail program to use, check out this handy comparison from Resourceshelf.

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