Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Integrating Web 2.0 with Blackboard

Untitled from Anne Marie Cunningham on Vimeo.

This is a presentation that I gave yesterday at a Cardiff University conference on Technology-Enhanced Education. You can see the Twitter stream here. It is about my experiences trying to use free social media tools with Blackboard. These are simple tools that any one could use and many of the people who read this blog will be very familiar with them. But I hope you might find it interesting.
The presentation uses Prezi. You can navigate your own way through it here on the Prezi website. I reused a template and you can reuse my presentation as well.
Near the start I mention that Web 2.0 is an old hat term. That refers to a tweet I saw in the last few days saying that social media is rising in popularity on google, as web 2.0 sinks. But I don't have a link to the source! (EDIT: The very helpful @sarahnicholas sent me this link which explains all)
Here are some of the services that I refer to:
Delicious (social bookmarking)
Diigo (social bookmarking)
Screenr (Quick and easy screencasts)
SNAPP (for analysis of networks in discusion forums)
Mindmeister (collaborative mindmapping)

Oh, and if you have any views on how we should model developing PLEs for students please leave a comment.

First Prezi Presentation!

This was my presentation at #cu_tee today. Prezi is a lot of fun to work with and to present with. Ths presentation is based on a template available on the Prezi site which I reused. I recorded audio of my presentation and if I had used Powerpoint you would now be looking at a Slideshare with sound! But Slideshare doesn't support Prezi, and Prezi does not support hosting audio on their own site. This is a BIG drawback.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Why Google Scholar has got a lot more useful for me!

Everyone knows the pain of finding an interesting article and then realising that you don't have access to it. It's not fair. If you work for a university there is a good chance that your library does subscribe to the journal but figuring out how to access it will take a few steps. But now if you work in Cardiff University, at least, Google Scholar just got a lot more interesting. It is now easy to know which journals you really will have access to.

This made me think... wouldn't it be great if Google Reader knew which journals I have access to? And is there a search engine which accesses PubMed which knows these journals? If you know the answer to this, let me know!

CiteULike vs. Delicious

On Twitter tonight I was asked how CiteULike was different to Delicious. I recorded this quick screencast to show why a tool like CiteULike is so much more useful for managing academic references.

How to set up a custom search in PubMed and get e-alerts.

Yesterday a friend asked how he could get email alerts when new articles were published to Medical Education journals. I blogged about the query here. This is a solution using the journal search in PubMed. You will miss out if an article is published about medical education in the BMJ or the Lancet, but maybe soon publishers will let us subscribe to RSS feeds where we can specify the topics. Of course in the mean time you could have a pubmed custom search using MESH, and if any of my medical librarian colleagues wants to do a quick screenr about that I will be delighted! Here is how to do the most general search.

From Google Reader to CiteULike, Delicious and Twitter

In my last post: Managing RSS feeds from journals/databases etc, I said I would record a screencast about how I am managing my Google Reader feeds today. It might be different tomorrow or next week! It would be great if you could tell me what you are doing too.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Managing RSS feeds from journals/databases etc

Following on from my last post about how to get e-alerts (to your inbox) I wondered about what is really the best way to manage RSS feeds from journals and cuctom searches of databases. I didn't think Twitter would be a good way to have the conversation so I tried Friendfeed. Here is the discussion:

The most important thing I have learned (so far!) is that you can get Google Reader to send to CiteULike. Here is the link to show you how. Later I might do a screenr to show how I NOW manage RSS feeds:)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

E-alerts for Medical Education... are you listening #meded journals?

One of my colleagues when I was a medical student at Queen's University, Belfast got in touch today. He does some really interesting work in Medical Education, though he doesn't blog or twitter. This morning he sent me a message on Facebook:"Can I ask you a quick question? Do you know any good 'e-alert system' in medical education? I thought of no better person to ask! "

I wasn't sure that I knew what an e-alert system was so I asked if he meant RSS feeds. No, he meant getting an email alert from a journal when new content was published.He pointed out that the journal Medical Education did provide this but the service "a) isn't working and b) restricted to Med Ed journal only. My reason for this is that there are many good papers published in other journals (jama etc) that if you are not actively looking for - you can miss".

So the challenge: How can we aggregate medical education research in useful ways?

First I thought about people as filter! We are already sharing useful information on Twitter using the #meded tag. It isn't all about research though. And then there are people using meded and medicaleducation as tags on Delicious. And then there is content saved to the Medical Education group in CiteULIke. So I decided to make a Yahoo Pipe to aggregate these feeds. I was thinking about ways to get that RSS feed sent to email (through Yahoo's alert itslef or though a service such as Feed My Inbox) when my friend sent me another message further describing his vision
 "My general idea is that a user can choose (+filter) what particular topics interest them. Then once a week you are sent an email with a range of new papers in your desired area (more digestable than getting several journals sending you then abstract lists). Maybe there is a general one that already does and you just have to set it to medical education."

Umm. My solution hadn't really addressed specifically finding medical education research. Content posted to any of the feeds I had included may not be very recent, and may be links to interesting resources which are not research. Alerts can be set up for various journals in PubMed, and for specific searches. Is this the solution?

What is the best way (today) of making sure that you do not miss out on research relevant to the topic you are teaching or researching? What will be the best way of doing this in the future?