Monthly Archives: July 2009

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Medical Students and Researchers in the Medical Field.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be taking a look at a site aggregator for medical articles, journals, podcasts, and vodcasts. Medical research can be a time consuming and intense process, requiring a lot of time spent searching and combing through medical journals or medical journal databases. What todays site aims to do is to bring together the most recent publications of major medical journals and present them in one place. Today’s tool is Clinical Reader:

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From the site:”At this moment, high impact research and health news articles are scattered across hundreds of sites. That´s far too much for any reader to follow. Welcome to Clinical Reader, a truly quality collection of accessible clinical, scientific and health literature aiming to ease information delivery to the medical community. Focus your time, discover new links, fine-tune your online experience in a bid to effectively manage online clinical browsing.”

The one thing I would like to mention before we start taking a serious look at Clinical Reader, is that I’m writing this from home. I strongly suspect that if you’re using this site from campus or from another place with a recognized IP address, linking into these articles will not be a problem. However, I’ll be writing from the point of view of a home reader.

Clinical Reader does not have a log-in function, and is therefor does not have a personalization aspect. On the site, they did mention that log-in capabilities may be forthcoming.

Navigation on the site is generally straight forward. On the homepage, there is an interactive visual menu which will give you access to various journal titles and other websites dealing with the medical field.

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In addition to this interactive menu, there is a standard navigation bar on the upper left hand side of the screen with a few navigation options. That said, the layout of the site seems to be very blog driven. Below the interactive menu there are posts, very much in blog fashion. This is the section of the site that readers might be the most interested in- there are several posts of interest including The Journal of the Month, information overload, related blogs, and various announcements.

The Journal of the Month is an editors pick to highlight a specific medical journal.

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The post will provide you with links to a couple of different sources- including the Journal itself, information about the publishing entity, and links to the articles contained within that publication of the journal.

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This is the place I suspect that being connected on campus or in a subscribing medical institution would help in access to the journal articles. Those of us in the library world are familiar with these kinds of safe-guards through passwords and IP recognition. Accessing this site from home, without the benefit of an institutional password or IP restricts my access to the linked articles. This is normal practice, as institutions really do pay a lot of money for this kind of content.

The path as it looked for me was a series of new pages being opened in my Tabs.

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And, my home dead-end:

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I would be very interested to know if users currently sitting at a subscribing institution can get access to these journals. If you can click through and access the articles, please let me know!

As a note, Clinical Reader suggests users log into Athens. Athens recognizes your subscriptions, and will provide access to the journals to which you subscribe- but it appears that Athens is a service for purchase, so you will have to have access to Athens as well.

Clinical Reader also has a News section, which pulls in news stories relating to the medical field. Keep in mind that the visual menu on this page is not interactive like the menu on the home page.

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The last feature of Clinical Reader we will take a look at is the Multimedia content.

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The Multimedia content is not password protected, and free for all to absorb. This aspect of the site is welcome after the frustration of denied access for the articles.

In closing, I liked the idea of this site better than I enjoyed the functionality. However, I have to point out that I have done very little medical research in my professional career. I wonder if the content can be accessed from a recognized IP- if it cannot, then I don’t see how this sites adds ease in article discovery over database research.

The site is currently in beta, which means improvements are likely forthcoming. I would be interested to know what medical students and researchers think about the site. As always, thoughts and comments are welcome and encouraged.

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Tuesday Two.Oh! A site for Puzzlers and Photography Lovers.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we will be taking a bit of a fun detour. It is my last Tuesday at Northeastern State University, and I felt like highlighting something fun. That said, I really really enjoy jigsaw puzzles. And that’s what we’ll be talking about today. We’ll be taking a look at National Geographic’s “Your Shot.”

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From the site: “National Geographic invites interested parties to submit a digital photograph for possible publication in National Geographic magazine and on ngm.com. To submit a photograph on a topic of your choosing for possible posting on ngm.com and possible publication in an upcoming issue of National Geographic, click Submit Your Photo and follow the step-by-step directions on that page. We will accept submissions beginning on the 15th of every month. NGS retains full editorial control over the selection of, and the decision not to select, any particular photograph for publication.”

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Your Shot is essentially a collection of user-submitted photographs that are highlighted on the website, as well as monthly in the physical magazine. As a user you can upload photos, or you can vote on the photos that others have submitted. The winner gets published. It’s a really interesting site, full of puzzles, wallpapers, blogs, and beautiful photographs.

We won’t be exploring the entire Your Shot section of the National Geographic website, but rather focusing in on some of the more interactive features- like these:

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First, let’s take a look at “Submitting Your Shot.” To do this, you will have to create a free account with National Geographic- which will give you access to the website.

Once you have agreed to the terms and conditions, you will upload your picture from your computer in the usual way. Once you have done that you will see a display similar to this:

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Using my own uploaded pictures, I can create jigsaw puzzles, slide and memory puzzles and share them with whomever I would like through their email share link. As of yet, I haven’t noticed a “Share on Facebook” (or any other social media) link.

The next feature of Your Shot you may find interesting is the “Daily Dozen.”

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The Daily Dozen is a collection of twelve photographs chosen by the editor as the most outstanding of the day. If you choose to do so, you can click on the “Voting Machine” and rate each of the photographs.

Now, let’s take a look at the puzzle section of Your Shot. Here, all of the photographs that have been selected to be in the Daily Dozen are transformed into puzzles.

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From the menu, you choose the picture of which you would like to create the puzzle. Once you’re in the puzzle itself, you can change the preferences (puzzle piece size, background, etc.). There are some really stunning photographs, and I have found that many of the puzzles can be quite challenging. That said, most puzzles take around 12 minutes to solve. Here is an example:

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There are other puzzles available, including a Match Game:

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As well as Slide Puzzles:

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The last thing we’ll look at on the Your Shot site is the Wallpaper section of the site. I will admit that I use this site for wallpaper regularly.

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Just to give you an example of the range of photography you can find using this site, I have had everything from a bright orange owl’s eye to humming birds and seascapes. My current wallpaper looks like this:

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In closing this is one of my favorite sites to visit when I have some extra time, or need to think but keep myself busy. In my home jigsaw puzzles are rarely a reality due to overly curious felines, and so I find the puzzles on this site to be satisfying and beautiful. There is the instant gratification factor of being able to finish a puzzle in one sitting, and rewarding because many of them are far from easy.

I hope that you enjoyed this indulgence into puzzles and photographs today.

As always, thoughts and comments are encouraged and welcomed.

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Blogged Participation, Poll

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Blogged Participation: Using your blog to its potential!

Blogged Participation is being presented as part of unCOILed, the Community of Oklahoma Instruction Librarian’s yearly workshop.

Welcome to Blogged Participation. Please take a minute to fill out this survey by clicking on the banner below:

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Using pretests on blogs can be accomplished in many fashions. We’ll be taking a look at the 5 most popular blog formats, and the options provided for online polling. We will also examine what outside sources for polling you can use that will insert into your blog by widget or by link, as we used above.

But first, let’s take talk about blogging as an instruction tool.

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What goes onto your blog is entirely up to you and your class needs, and the content is generally not the point of this presentation. However, if you want to know more about blogging in the class room I have a few links for you.

My own class links can be found here.

The University of Central Oklahoma has a wonderful instruction blog that can be found here.

Any questions so far? Please post them in the comments section so we can discuss them at the end of the presentation!

Now, let’s talk about using a poll to dictate the course of the class. Please take a minute to decide:

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Now, let’s examine how to embed polling into each one of these platforms using polls provided by the site.

Each banner has been linked to the website in question. Below each link is a video walk through of embedding polls into each site, but, if you’re joining me in Muskogee for the unconference, be aware that the links contain sound. We will click through each together.

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Click here for a Jing tour of embedding polls in Blogger.

Click here to see an example of Blogged Participation using Blogger.

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Click here for a Jing tour of embedding polls in Lycos Tripod.

Click here to see an example of Blogged Participation using Tripod.

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Click here for a Jing tour of embedding polls in Squarespace.

Click here to see an example of Blogged Participation using Squarespace.

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Click here for a Jing tour of embedding polls in Vox.

Click here to see an example of Blogged Participation using Vox.

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Click here for a Jing tour of embedding polls in WordPress.

You have probably noticed that I have been using a poll unaffiliated with WordPress in order to get your pretest completed and to ascertain which blog we should explore first. There are several sites you can use to create html code for embedded or linked polls. Here are two:

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and

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I prefer Survs, and if you would like a brief walk-through concerning polls on that site click here.

Any questions so far? Please post them in the comments section so we can discuss them at the end of the presentation!

That concludes our workshop tour of embedding polls for pre and post testing into your instruction blog!

We just have one more thing to do….

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Saving the Planet

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’re going to talk about saving the planet. I think that most people involve themselves in the easier forms of greenery- like recycling and turning lights off when you’re not in the room (which my parents always told me to do, but more likely to save money than the earth at the time- but good habits are good habits!). The site we’re going to take a look at today has been around for awhile, but it will help those of us wanting to do a little bit more find different ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at Carbon Rally:

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From the site: “That’s when we hatched the idea of Carbonrally. We would create a place where many people could discover and commit to small, positive actions over time. People on the site could propose great ideas for saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and the community would choose the best ideas to pursue as a team. We’d track the collective impacts, and show the power of many people getting the job done together. Bit by bit, the community would learn the connections between climate and lifestyle, and rack-up literally tons of carbon benefits along the way. The Internet would make the process surprisingly fun and social… we’d celebrate and we’d compete!”

The first thing that I found to be really interesting about the site is the fact that you don’t really have to sign up for an account to benefit from the information there. Tips and challenges to reduce your carbon footprint are free for anyone to read and try as they see fit. If you want to be a part of the “rally” then you want to create an account and keep track of the challenges in which you choose to participate.

Signing up for an account is very very easy- all that was required was an email address and password. Once that had been accepted, you were asked to update your profile (they provide you with a user name and password, so if you don’t want to get stuck with weezle7932 then update your user name).

Once you have created an account you will have a Carbon Page.

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This is where you will keep track of your challenges and the amount of carbon you have “reduced.” Think of Carbon Rally as being on the honor system- they calculate their numbers by assuming you are telling the truth about participating in a challenge. So, if you’re serious about biking to work one day a week, take the challenge! Here’s a challenge that’s really easy to do:

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Each challenge page will have a lot of information attached to it.

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Also, a further reading section:

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The whole “rally” aspect of the site comes into play if you join a team. It’s perfectly ok for a person to use the site on their own, but motivation is found in crowds. Companies can create a team and invite their workers to join and contribute in the workplace. If they do well in a given month, they might be featured on the “leader board.”

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It appears to be very easy to create teams using Carbon Rally, though you will need to create an account to create or join team.

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The last feature of Carbon Rally we’re going to take a look at is the “Workshop.” In this area users can post ideas and methods to saving the planet that occur outside of the Rally’s challenges (which are semi-regular, coming every couple of weeks).

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In the workshop forum workers can propose all sorts of energy saving tips that a reader can choose to do on their own time.

In closing, I wanted to take a look at an environmentally geared website today. I know that my household is currently trying to reduce/reuse/recycle, and I admit I sometimes am guilty of being lax (especially when it comes to driving).

I think the potential for Carbon Rally is to show people that the changes they can make are not overly life-changing in a personal sense. And, if you can do it for a month or so (as the challenges seem to run that long on average), then people might decide that it’s easy enough to make the permanent change.

Watching the Green Revolution come about has been a wonderful thing in our culture- but, some worry that we’re not moving quickly enough. Hopefully sites like Carbon Rally will catch on a teach us how to live correctly in ways that are easy and make sense. Acceptance is only the first step, after all.

I’ve passed this site along to my university’s Environmental Committee, and I look forward to joining a team and working towards a lowered carbon footprint if they decide to go in that direction.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome!

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for History Students and Researchers.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’re going to take a look at a tool that gives the user access to scanned copies of original historical documents. Many institutions create digital libraries of their own collection, but today’s tool strives to bring them all together in one location. Searchable by database, these documents are easily manipulated to change contrast. The documents can also be annotated, depending on the account you choose. Let’s take a look at Footnote:

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From the site: “Footnote.com is more than just an online repository for original documents. In addition to hosting millions of records, Footnote supports a community of people who are passionate about a variety of topics relating to history. See what people are doing on Footnote right now with Member Discoveries. Footnote.com creates an environment where members can share their content and insights, ranging from major historical events to personal accounts and family histories. Footnote.com, together with its members, is revealing a side of history that few have seen before.”

Mixing a social network with a online database of original documents, Footnote strives to be the future hub of all historical (not to mention, genealogical) research. And, for the first time on Tuesday Two.Oh I feel that a brief overview of the site will not do it justice. Footnote tends to be nuanced and detailed, and I am sure that a free account (like the one I have signed up for) only scratches the surface of the capabilities of this site. With that in mind, I suggest that you take a look at their online tour:

Getting the Most out of Footnote

Signing up for a Footnote Account is a relatively easy process, resulting in an approval email for account varification. Once you have created a presence on the site, easy account access will appear at the top of every Footnote page at which you look. It will give you access to your gallery (items you have saved), your account, and an upload link that you can use to contribute to the site.

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You can search the site without creating an account, and the searchability increases with the level of your account, but there is access to documents that are free. You can conduct census searches and other inquiries and find usable results. But, as with anything, the more you’re willing to spend, the better (or, at least more robust) the content.

Searching is relatively easy using Footnote. You will have a couple of options, the most prominent being a regular keyword search, a name search, and a browsing by subject option. The front page will look like this (though, Footnote is currently redoing their homepage, and the screen shots I have made might look different from what you will see when you go to the site).

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The people search option is interesting. I have a very unique maiden name, and when I searched it using Footnote, I was given people with the same name located within the same state from which my family hails. I think that with more common names, like Brown, you will have to use more of a detailed search to find people. But the feature is interesting, nonetheless.

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On the home page, there is a timeline bar that you can use to browse by moment in history. Footnote is an essentially American site, so for now the topics covered range from the 18th century to the present.

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Clicking on the topic will bring you to an overview page, which will be a detailed collection of documents on the topic.

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One of the things I found interesting about Footnote were the help pop-ups that appear to point out ways to more effectively search the site.

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Once you have chosen a browsing topic or conducted a search, you will be looking at the results screen which will have previews of the documents that have resulted in your search.

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From there, you can start looking at your document. By clicking on the document, you’ll open another window in which the document will appear. This window will have navigation of its own, allowing you to change the brightness of the document, and otherwise edit or annotate (again, depending on the level of your account).

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And, the document itself:

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With each document, you will have a side bar that will tell you its origins. This will help with citation and credibility circumstances.

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Account options vary, but are not overly expensive.

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Though, it is being marketed as something akin to an institutional database (I would be very interested to know of those of you out there who might have access to this through your job or university):

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If you’re interested, Footnote does proudly display it’s collaborators.

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In closing, I really do think I’ve only be able to scratch the surface of this site. In saying so, I also mean that I found myself mildly frustrated, wishing I could try out some of the higher level options. Having done historical research in my own academic career, I think that the potential use of this site for students is without end. I know that having access to digitized archives can only enrich an experience.

I am going to keep my eye on this one… and perhaps inquire about institutional access.

As always, questions and comments are encouraged and welcomed!

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