Sony PRS-505 by florianmarquart, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License
HighWire released the E-Book survey 2010 this week and while some of the findings are not entirely new (simplicity and ease of use are ebook features that are valued by librarians, over and above more sophisticated end‐user features) it really includes some interesting stuff.
Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Traditional sources of book discovery continue to be important for ebooks as well. Librarians find and learn about ebooks from book vendors and by inclusion in content bundles. They believe that users discover ebooks through the library catalog and through Internet search engines.
  • Participants indicated that users prefer ebooks in PDF format, but as one participant stated, format preference will change as technology changes.
  • Digital rights management is the single most important factor that hinders ebook use for library patrons.
  • Purchase with perpetual access is the most acceptable business model for ebooks, with 83% of participants indicating that this model is very acceptable. However, significant numbers of participants indicated that other very different models are also acceptable.
Survey responses indicate that librarians learn about ebooks in a variety of ways, but that actions by publishers and book vendors are very important in the process. Book vendors and inclusion in content packages were most frequently marked as very significant methods for learning about ebooks. However, these methods were also frequently marked as significant or very significant: request from patron (54), colleagues (57), reference in the research literature (56), inclusion in content package (74), book vendor (77), and publisher marketing material (68).
Users discover ebooks through the library catalog and through Internet search engines
It really is worth reading!

The Paley Center Seminars is an online video archive of the acclaimed seminar series held by The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio) in New York and Los Angeles. Topics covered range from presidential advertising campaigns to reality shows, from writing sitcoms to the role of the media in the Middle East. The archive will include more than 300 hours of video, with new content added each year in regular updates.

Although television and journalism are the main focus of the collection, many of the seminars were based around documentaries, and so include extensive discussion of the topics covered by those documentaries, be that literature, cinema, music, opera, radio, politics, history or current events.

High-profile participants include J.J. Abrams, Madeleine Albright, Alan Alda, Robert Altman, Judd Apatow, Steven Bochco, Chris Carter, Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Larry David, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Larry Flynt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matt Groening, Holly Hunter, Garrison Keillor, Henry Kissinger, Michael Moore, Michael Palin, Frank Rich, Thelma Schoonmaker, David Simon, Aaron Sorkin, Jon Stewart, Joel Surnow, Kiefer Sutherland, Gore Vidal and Joss Whedon.

At the moment you can check it out for free by using the following username and password:

Username: libjournal
Password: password

Thanks to Cheryl LaGuardia who posted about this.

Digitizd listed 15 Must-have-web applications for college students, and though they posted it a while back I was made aware of the list by The Centered Librarian, and I agree that the list is well worth reposting.
So here are the 15 web applications that college students must have: – Students who love sticky notes will also love It can be used to create and place digital notes around the web that can be accessed from any computer. Sticky notes can also be sent via Twitter and iGoogle and may be shared with anyone–even people who do not have a account.

Adobe Buzzword – Buzzword is a word processor that works in a web browser instead of on your desktop. This Adobe beta site can be used to create documents, collaborate with others, and track changes from anywhere.

Creative Pro Office – Creative Pro Office is a free suite of web-based office management tools. Features include an office dashboard, project manager, time tracker, calendar, and expense tracking. Creative Pro Office was designed for independent professionals and small tech teams, but it would useful to any student who wants to boost productivity.

Whiteboard – With this free web app, students can collaborate on documents from anywhere and view changes in a snap. Whiteboard allows users write, collaborate, and compare in real time without fear of losing information. – This free web app allows students to turn ideas into color-coded mind maps. is the perfect tool for brainstorming with visual aids.

PromoOnline – PromoOnline is a free way to create PDF documents without having to install software. With a few simple steps, you can create a PDF version of any file.

BibMe – BibMe is a free bibliography maker for students who want to create a fast bibliography or works cited page in MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian format. You can enter the required information in yourself or use the search feature to find books, articles, websites, or films.

ThinkFold – Students needing an easy way to work on group projects may find what they need in ThinkFold. This free web-based tool allows users to create documents, add images, and make changes–all in real time.

Awesome Highlighter – AwesomeHighlighter takes some of the confusion out of online research by allowing students to highlight the important parts of a web page and transform it into a less wieldy link.

FlashcardExchange – Easily the world’s largest online flashcard library, FlashcardExchange can be used to create and study flashcards online. Students who don’t have time to create their own flashcards can use ready-made cards created by other people.

Mindpicnic – Using Mindpicnic is like using learning software without the download. Visitors can choose from a wide range of Mindpicnic courses and begin learning as soon as they sign up for a free account.

NoteMesh – Created by students, NoteMesh in a free online service for university students who want to collaborate on a set of notes for a particular class. NoteMesh creates an easy-to-use wiki that can be updated by anyone in the group.

CollegeRuled – CollegeRuled can be used to create a color-coded class schedule, classroom message boards, to-do lists, and much more. Schedules can be linked to from a Facebook profile and accessed from any computer.

NetVibes – Netvibes is a handy app that brings all of your favorite blogs, email accounts, social networks, video providers, and more to one place–great for students who visit the same sites each day.

Walletproof – The beta version of Walletproof is a great online tool for students who need help with their finances. It can be used to set budgets and track expenses. Walletproof will also make budget recommendations and help you find money saving deals shared by other users.

DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. DART-Europe is endorsed by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche), and it is the European Working Group of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).

The DART-Europe partners help to provide researchers with a single European Portal for the discovery of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), and they participate in advocacy to influence future European e-theses developments. DART-Europe offers partners a European networking forum on ETD issues, and may provide the opportunity to submit collaborative funding applications to achieve DART-Europe’s vision for ETDs.

DART-Europe is resourced through partner contributions.

Partners support the following principles:

  1. DART-Europe will encourage the creation, discovery and use of European e-theses, and will maintain a central Portal for e-thesis aggregation and access.
  2. European libraries and consortia are invited to contribute metadata to the DART-Europe Portal. Contributors will determine the terms and conditions under which their metadata are contributed.
  3. DART-Europe welcomes the contribution by partners of resources to support the management, discovery, usability and preservation of e-theses, and to further the aims and objectives of DART-Europe.
  4. Partners will designate one representative to act as a contact for DART-Europe, and will nominate at least one representative to participate in the DART-Europe email lists.
  5. DART-Europe welcomes offers from partners to host DART-Europe Project Board meetings, as occasion demands.
  6. Partners will help to secure DART-Europe’s status as an international network of excellence in information, expertise and resources relating to ETDs.
  7. DART-Europe will be administered by UCL (University College London) and governed by a Board consisting of representatives of partner organisations. The constitution and Terms of Reference of the governing Board will be determined and from time to time reviewed by the Board.


My apologies for not posting the Best of eLearning Learning last week – I do have a good excuse though… we’ve moved into our new house last week and I’ve been busy unpacking boxes!

But here is Tony Karrer’s list , it’s a bit different as this is the Best of the month of OCTOBER. I’ve mentioned some before in earlier post so I’m simply hosting Tony’s list here. I’ve also added Jane Hartman’s list of best sites she’s discovered.

Best of eLearning Learning

Featured Sources

The following are the top items from featured sources based on social signals.

  1. Online Games for Teaching Business Concepts and IdeasKapp Notes, October 16, 2009
  2. Learner Personas for eLearningThe eLearning Coach, October 5, 2009
  3. Rapid Learning Management SystemseLearning Technology, October 20, 2009
  4. Twitter for learningSticky Learning, October 25, 2009
  5. The Standalone LMS is Deadtrainingwreck, October 24, 2009
  6. Educational iPhone Apps to Make You SmarterKapp Notes, October 8, 2009
  7. User Interface Design For eLearning – UpdatedThe eLearning Coach, October 25, 2009
  8. eLearning Portal IntegrationeLearning Technology, October 13, 2009
  9. The Semantic Web comethUpside Learning Blog, October 4, 2009
  10. 6 talks that every presenter or trainer can learn fromFree as in Freedom, October 28, 2009
  11. Moodle is now certified SCORM 1.2 compliantThe E-Learning Curve, October 23, 2009
  12. Presentation: A Pocket University (or iTunesU at Oxford University)Dont Waste Your Time, October 8, 2009
  13. Presentation Backchannel MultitaskingeLearning Technology, October 29, 2009
  14. Top 8 Reasons Why Training Providers Are Adopting eLearningUpside Learning Blog, October 29, 2009
  15. Video Games, Education and Entertainment StatisticsKapp Notes, October 5, 2009
  16. iPhone…The Ultimate Learning Device (My 10 Top Learning Apps)Electronic Papyrus, October 6, 2009
  17. Instructional design – pah, who needs it?Spicy Learning, October 2, 2009
  18. Power of informal learning in developing managersInformal Learning, October 20, 2009
  19. E-learning on a shoestringClive on Learning, October 26, 2009
  20. Articulate Interaction – How to Navigate an Articulate Based CourseDiscovery Through eLearning, October 22, 2009
  21. Customer Competencies, Co-Creation, and Brand CommunitiesSkilful Minds, October 20, 2009
  22. Personal Learning Environments – Concept not ToolLearning Technology Learning, October 16, 2009
  23. Game-Based Learning Impacts Youth Behavior/AttitudesWeb Courseworks, October 15, 2009
  24. Mentoring vs. Training — Why Social Networking Isn’t EnoughaLearning, October 13, 2009
  25. The Power of X – Experiential Learning in Today’s WorldPerformance Learning Productivity, October 7, 2009
  26. To get Twitter you gotta Tweet!Leveraging Learning, October 6, 2009
  27. Scenario Based LearningSpeak Out, October 4, 2009
  28. Whose learning are you responsible for?Internet Time, October 12, 2009
  29. Finding Good Photos for Your eLearning ScenariosLearning Visions, October 30, 2009
  30. 3 Steps to a Driving Question for Project Based LearningBlender – Training Solutions, October 16, 2009
  31. CCK09: does Connectivism want to change the world?Ignatia Webs, October 9, 2009
  32. Social Media and Records RetentionEngaged Learning, October 6, 2009
  33. There’s nothing rapid about Rapid eLearningGetting Down to Business, October 5, 2009
  34. Quick Explanation of Google Wave – VideoMinuteBio, October 2, 2009
  35. Design Consulting Tool: Empowering Leaders So You Can Create Effective DesignDesigning Impact, October 28, 2009
  36. The Land That Never Was…Or Is It?Off Course-On Target, October 28, 2009
  37. LMS Envy: The Love-Hate Relationship with TechnologyLiving in Learning, October 27, 2009
  38. pcLearning4U is Open for BusinessCourseware Development, October 23, 2009
  39. 30-Minute TrainingTake an e-Learning Break, October 21, 2009
  40. Language that homogenizes creates losersAdventures in Corporate Education, October 20, 2009
  41. 5 Reasons Why You are Not Being PromotedLearn and Lead, October 19, 2009
  42. Guest post: “What’s New in Human Trafficking”Business Casual, October 12, 2009
  43. Computer-based Games in Classrooms: Leveraging the InstructorVikas Joshi on Interactive Learning , October 9, 2009
  44. The danger of a simple storySimply Speaking, October 9, 2009
  45. Your learner journey can start here…ThirdForce Blog, October 9, 2009
  46. Adapt your course management system to fit your instructionWISE Pedagogy, October 7, 2009
  47. Is The Whole World Dumbing Down?Blogger in Middle-earth, October 6, 2009
  48. A mobile future for communications and learningLars is Learning, October 5, 2009
  49. The Importance of Reflective PracticesDesigned for Learning, October 4, 2009
  50. Drop-By-Learning (DBL)ZaidLearn, October 27, 2009

Other Sources

The following are the top items based on social signals.

  1. How to Create Screencasts You Can Be Proud Of, October 13, 2009
  2. How I create and publish podcasts » Moving at the Speed of Creativity, October 26, 2009
  3. Free Powerpoint Twitter Tools, October 6, 2009
  4. 5 great resources to find out about Google Wave, October 14, 2009
  5. Increased complexity needs simplified design, October 5, 2009
  6. 15 Interesting Clip Art Styles for Your E-Learning Courses, October 6, 2009
  7. Learning to teach through video | In the Library with the Lead Pipe, October 14, 2009
  8. Intro to social learning environments: a social learning resource, October 17, 2009
  9. Borrowing from the Library to Support Workplace Learning, October 1, 2009
  10. How to steer your client away from an information dump, October 13, 2009
  11. These PowerPoint Experts Can Make You a Star, October 20, 2009
  12. Why You Shouldn’t Use PowerPoints in (Most) Online Courses, October 26, 2009
  13. 3 more Google Wave resources, October 31, 2009
  14. The Future of the Training Department, October 21, 2009
  15. Twitter Research – Best of eLearning Learning, October 12, 2009
  16. The Project Management Tip You Can’t Ignore, October 27, 2009
  17. Defining the ‘e’ in e-learning, October 15, 2009
  18. Do learners really need learning objectives?, October 2, 2009
  19. A History of Social Media, October 8, 2009
  20. PKM: our part of the social learning contract, October 15, 2009

Hot Topics

Google Wave (21)

  1. 3 more Google Wave resources, October 31, 2009
  2. 5 great resources to find out about Google Wave, October 14, 2009
  3. Google Wave Invitations Available, October 13, 2009
  4. Quick Explanation of Google Wave – Video, October 2, 2009

Twitter (137)

  1. Free Powerpoint Twitter Tools, October 6, 2009
  2. All things Twitter, October 14, 2009
  3. To get Twitter you gotta Tweet!, October 6, 2009
  4. Twitter for learning, October 25, 2009



Best of Jane Hartman

If you don’t have Jane Hartman‘s blog Jane’s E-learning Pick of the Day bookmarked, you are missing out on some great links. Jane blogs primarily about e-learning and she always has something of value to share.

Here is her pick of the sites she’s bookmarked this week (as always my comments are in italics):

  1. Become a PowerPoint Power User this post gives some advance tips on using PP such as using more than one guide; Building Presentations for Distribution to Others; Scrolling Credits; Create a New Design Template and Jumping to Screens

    More PowerPoint articles here

  2. Comprehensive List of Free Online Classes and Online CoursesOpenCourseWare Consortium is an innovative and comprehensive database of free online courses from elite colleges like Yale, Stanford, and MIT. It looks really worthwhile
    More online courses and resources here
  3. 100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom – Unisa recently opened up a Facebook account and this would be a great post for the powers that be to read as they offer great tips
    More Facebook articles here
  4. Beyond Google – Improve Your Search Results – this post from Free Technology for Teachers gives 15 great tips to improve searching while in google
    More Google Wave articles here
  5. Corporate Culture, Not Technology, Drives Online CollaborationCorporate culture can make or break a project (and an employee for that matter) Web Worker Daily explains some integral elements of a collaborative corporate culture
    More social media strategy articles here

Educause released their report on how undergraduates use technology. They ask students about the technology they own and how they use it in and out of their academic world.

They also look at how skilled students believe they are with technologies; how they perceive technology is affecting their learning experience; and their preferences for IT in courses.

 In addition to studying student ownership, experience, behaviors, preferences, and skills with respect to information technologies, the 2009 study also includes a special focus on student ownership and use of Internet-capable handheld devices.

Some of the “m-learning” findings include:

  •  fewer students have desktops, preferring laptops instead
  • Two-thirds have computers that are two years or less
  • more than 90% use their university or college website weekly
  • more than 40% said they contribute to video websites and wikis while more than 30% contribute to blogs and use podcasts
  • VoIP is use by one-third of students
  • 9 out of 20 students use social networking sites as individuals, this drops to 2 out 10 that use social networking as part of their course
  • about half of students see themselves as early adopters of technology
  • 80% of students feel they are confident about their online searching skills

 You can download the full study, key findings, roadmap and survey instrument from the Educause site.

Each month The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB) publishes a list of selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet.

Aviary digital-scholarship-org Picture 1

If possible they provide links to free information (including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories). In cases where the publisher frequently changes journal URLs with providing public notification or URL redirection, included URLs are to the publisher’s domain, not to individual articles.

Here is September’s TOC:

Dedication (Last update: 5/12/09)
1 Economic Issues (Last update: 9/8/09)
2 Electronic Books and Texts
2.1 Case Studies and History (Last update: 5/12/09)
2.2 General Works (Last update: 5/12/09)
2.3 Library Issues (Last update: 9/8/09)
3 Electronic Serials
3.1 Case Studies and History (Last update: 5/12/09)
3.2 Critiques (Last update: 5/12/09)
3.3 Electronic Distribution of Printed Journals (Last update: 9/8/09)
3.4 General Works (Last update: 5/12/09)
3.5 Library Issues (Last update: 5/12/09)
3.6 Research (Last update: 9/8/09)
4 General Works (Last update: 9/8/09)
5 Legal Issues
5.1 Intellectual Property Rights (Last update: 9/8/09)
5.2 License Agreements (Last update: 9/8/09)
6 Library Issues
6.1 Cataloging, Identifiers, Linking, and Metadata (Last update: 9/8/09)
6.2 Digital Libraries (Last update: 9/8/09)
6.3 General Works (Last update: 9/8/09)
6.4 Information Integrity and Preservation (Last update: 9/8/09)
7 New Publishing Models (Last update: 9/8/09)
8 Publisher Issues (Last update: 9/8/09)
8.1 Digital Rights Management (Last update: 9/8/09)
9 Repositories, E-Prints, and OAI (Last update: 9/8/09)
Appendix A. Related Bibliographies (Last update: 5/12/09)
Appendix B. About the Author (Last update: 5/12/09)
Appendix C. SEPB Use Statistics (Last update: 5/12/09)


I’ve (almost) always worked in the Higher Education sector of South Africa and I find this report from University World News very very disturbing:

A shocking results of pilot national benchmark tests revealed that:

  • only 7% of first-year students are proficient in mathematics
  • only25% are fully quantitatively literate
  • less than 50% have the academic literacy skills needed to succeed without support

What are they teaching our kids at school!? How on earth can you go through 12 years of schooling and 75% of students are quantitatively ILLITERATE?

The rest of the report was just too depressing to read on a Friday, maybe I’ll be able to stomach it on Monday….

Aviary fora-tv Picture 1Thanks to the previously mentioned TIME’s 50 Best Websites 2009 comes another great video site:

And here’s what they are about: helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world. We gather the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences. We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share –when, where, and how they want.

This is not an educational website such as the previously mentioned Academic Earth, but it is educational in the sense that the presenters are top class leaders in their fields and the videos are designed to make you think about yourself, your surroundings and the people you interact with everyday.

These days I welcome speakers and talks that broaden my mind a bit and make me go “oh I never thought about it like that” and the videos do this in an engaging way!

I’ve discovered today and while I’m familiarising myself with the content and gems in the portal I stumbled across a posting that seems to fit what I’m trying to do at work (and for free no less!)

The post is question is called Don’t Pay for Technology: 25 Freebies for Students and here they are:

Document Creation

  • Zoho Office – Zoho Office is an amazing suite of web-based productivity and collaboration tools. The suite includes free email, a word processor, a spreadsheet tool, a presentation creator and more.
  • OpenOffice – The OpenOffice suite of tools can do all of the same things as the pricey Microsoft Office–for free.
  • Adobe Buzzword – This free Adobe product is an online word processor that works just like a desktop processor–perfect for students who write academic papers and reports.
  • Google Docs – Students can store, share, collaborate, and edit documents online with this free Google app.
  • Primo Online – Primo Online is a free online creation service that allows users to create free PDF files. Primo supports a wide range of file types.

Research and Writing

  • Schoolr – This meta search engine combines other academic search engines to make research faster and more efficient for students.
  • Diigo – Diigo is an awesome tool for student researchers. It allows you to highlight and annotate specific portions of web pages. Highlighted info can be shared with other people and accessed from any phone or PC with an Internet connection.
  • Ajax-Spell – This free spell checker makes it easy for students to catch misspellings in their writing.
  • WordWeb – Designed for Windows users, this one-click thesaurus/dictionary works off-line but can also be used to look up words and information online. The free version of WordWeb can define a word in almost any program and provide information about the word’s root, pronunciation and synonyms.
  • BibMe – BibMe allows students to cite sources and create bibliographies in a snap. This free bibliography maker auto-fills info for you in MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian formats.

Online Storage and Collaboration

  • ADrive – Offering more than 50 GB of free storage, ADrive is one of the best places to upload and store files online. Files can also be edited online and shared with anyone who has an Internet connection.
  • 4 Shared – This online storage site offers 5 GB of space to users who sign up for a free account. You can upload a single file or an entire folder. 4 Shared accepts music, videos, photos and more.
  • ZenBe – ZenBe eliminates the need for bulky and lengthy emails by offering students a place to meet, collaborate and chat online.
  • Scriblink – Scriblink is a free white board that can be used to collaborate with other people online. It includes a chat window and the ability to save, send, or print whatever was created on the board.
  • Mikogo – Mikogo is a free screen-sharing tool that simplifies online collaboration among people who aren’t sitting in the same room. It can be used to instantly share whatever is on your computer screen with someone else–works with up to 10 people.

Study Help and Web-Based Learning

  • Mindpicnic – Mindpicnic is helping to revolutionize the way students learn by providing free courses and study materials online.
  • VerbaLearn – VerbaLearn is a great place to practice and learn English vocabulary. Students who are preparing for standardized tests like the SAT will especially enjoy this site’s vocabulary-building resources.
  • Livemocha – You don’t have to invest in expensive courses, books or CDs to learn a foreign language. You can do it for free on Livemocha, the world’s first free social language learning site.
  • ProProfs – ProProfs makes test prep easy and fun. The site allows students to make free quizzes and tests (complete with colors and images) that can be taken online.
  • Flashcard Exchange – Students who use Flashcard Exchange can create, study, print and share web-based flashcards on any topic. More than 400,000 students have benefitted already.

Miscellaneous Tech Tools

  • AVG Free – One of the most trusted anti-virus programs in the world, AVG Free provides anti-virus and spyware protection for Windows’ users. AVG is easy to install and is used by more than 80 million people.
  • Soshiku – Designed specifically for students, this free web app makes it easy to budget your time and stick to a schedule. Soshiku also notifies you about due dates on assignments.
  • Creative Pro Office – Although this web-based project management system was created for business professionals, it has many features that would be useful to students.
  • Billeo – Billeo is a free web browser for people who want to track their finances and make online payments. Features include a built-in bill pay assistant, shopping assistant and password assistant.
  • Mojo – Mojo makes it easy to sync, share, and listen to music online. It can be used to share iTunes libraries and much more.

There are currently over 20,000 original articles and videos proudly displayed on this site.

What’s about?

It is a resource hub for students and working professionals to research career paths, degree programs, and schools within their chosen disciplines. This was accomplished by a dedicated team of experts including educators, librarians, college counselors, career counselors, and journalists to provide practical information in both written and video formats. There are currently over 20,000 original articles and videos proudly displayed on this site.

I like free stuff and I like educational stuff so I simply love free educational stuff! Go check it out.