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Small Ideas for the Big Space
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Wed, 2010-05-19 16:35

I went ahead of myself today and began daydreaming about what I would propose if we were to do a make-over of our space. First, I love the rawness and flexibility of the current space. I think it speaks to the Lab's personality and/or style of approach to things. I just think we should do more about that.

In the past, last summer for sure, we had seminars discussing ideas for redesigning this space. Combine those ideas with the need to improve or somehow standardize (I can many of you disapprovingly frowning just by hearing the word “standardize”) our EdLab Tour, then we might come up with something that satisfies both. As with many great experiments, you got to try and see if it works.

- Dry-erase surface wall or table
IdeaPaint

- Gallery of project incubators


There would be project artifacts inside instead of a baby, real or not. An alternative to an infant incubator is literally, a nest. : ) Displayed contents could convey to visitors what's being incubated here. It could be a quick and impactful way of communicating what EdLab is and what we do up here.

- More home-made stickers on the floor for directions and whatever else

Trends in Ed, 5.17.10: Mobilizing the Higer Ed Web
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Mon, 2010-05-17 14:50

.EduGru has design suggestions for the higher ed institutions that have not yet mobilized their web presence. It's a response to the growing trend of higher ed institutions launching m0bile applications. This edu gru expects the demand to grow exponentially.

Here goes the excerpt:

  1. Having a mobile site isn't just about making your current site look pretty on mobile phones. Usability is different. Accessibility is different. Trends are different.
  2. Mobile web is about more than the iPhone.
  3. Sites are better than apps. A well designed mobile web site will serve you better and be easier to maintain than trying to keep up with several different mobile applications (even if the apps themselves are really cool).
Yoomoot for productive and useful online discussions
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Mon, 2010-05-17 10:17

The developers of Yoomoot believe that threaded comments are not good enough. They wanted to design a tool that [encourage] users to "think carefully about the point of what [they are] saying, encouraging structured, goal-focused thinking."

According to this quick review, yoomoot discussions are highly structured around questions and answers. Just wanted to share, in case this model is of any help for Critter discussion board.

Why use yoomoot? from yoomoot on Vimeo.

EdLab Review: Summon
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Fri, 2010-05-14 17:07

SUMMON
by SerialsSolutions, a ProQuest Company.

Bring Researchers Back to the Library.
One Search Box. Your Library Discovered.

www.serialssolutions.com/summon
Price: not published

Commercially launched in July 2009, summon allows library patrons to search all library records including full complement of electronic content via a single search box. Summons is a response/solution to the increasing trend of researchers migrating to web search engines they see as more convenient than most current library search systems.

How it works
Searchable results (i.e. content) are “pre-harvested” into a unified search index unique to Summon. The search index draws from commercial databases, publishers, open access sources, plus the client's own library catalog.

Prop points
‘Database recommender' shows sources such as “dynamic or statistical databases” that don't get indexed by any pre-established service. Also, Summon services is built upon open API with both XML and JSON options, allowing simple integration, creations of widgets as well as local hosting of the user interface. (More on a list of features)

Trends in Ed, 5.10.10: Science Education vs. Science Research
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Mon, 2010-05-10 14:53

Nature Education, a division of the Nature Publishing Group, recently published a position paper titled, Time to Decide: The Ambivalence of the World of Science Toward Education. (Click here to download)

This white paper is based on a survey of university-level science faculty members who have both teaching and research responsibilities. It lays out how academic scientists regard the quality of science education in their areas and discusses whether education and research is a zero-sum game.

Are scientists correct in thinking that research and education are set against each other today in a battle for limited resources? Of the thought leaders [Nature] interviewed, most felt that they are.

For a quick bite, here goes the list of survey results:

1. Scientists Consider Postsecondary Science Education in Their Countries to Be Mediocre or Worse

EdLab Review: Smart.fm
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Fri, 2010-05-07 16:32

*Here is yet another iteration of EdLab Review. The structure and tone has been changed slightly so that it is shorter in length and perhaps more fun to read. Instead of giving a numerical score then sum it up for overall star rating, here I give a brief narrative evaluation. Thanks to Jo for coming up with better sub-titles, it could be read as quick “score cards.” Any reactions? (My screen casting got cut off at minute 5, not good.)*

helps people learn more quickly and remember longer

www.smart.fm
Price: free

Available on the web as well as an iPhone application, smart.fm predicts the optimal moment of review in order to beat learners' forgetting curve. In short, it's an intelligent flash card system that helps mastering a list of items.

Prop points
To learn a list of new things/items, users can either choose from the existing lists of “goals” or create one using popular media formats such as sound clips, images, and videos to supplement plain text information. The ability to share any of those goals with social groups is also a plus.

Web-based social network for academics: What's out and running?
Submitted by Arianna Choi on Wed, 2010-05-05 16:42

Facebook + LinkedIn for Academia.
That's the pitch for Academia.edu.

Launched in September 2008, it is designed to keep in touch with peers/potential collaborators by creating a user profile with tags that are related to research. TechCrunch reports that academia.edu now has 137,000 registered users, has been growing by around 15,000 users a month, and gets over 600,000 unique visitors a month.

For fellow EdLabbers working on NetPosse, check this:
One of [academia.edu's] biggest selling points is its News Feed, which includes a stream of research items that the site believes you'll be interested in based on those tags.

And I am not done...

ResearchGATE, based on my brief web survey, is even bigger, stronger, and smarter. Though it is focused only on scientists as opposed to academics across all disciplines, ResearchGATE's search engine called ReFind is based on keywords as well as semantic, contextual correlations.