Monday, February 18, 2008

Close encounter of the eBook kind.

So, are you ready for the next step in reading evolution? There's lots of hype around the ebook, even though we've been talking about it for a few years now. The Times has a recent article on the success of these gadgets. With the advent of e-Ink, cool interfaces and good infrastructure support (ie Kindle), I think we may be seeing more of these types of gizmos in bookstores everywhere in the near future.

My own recent eBook experience happened as a result of an accident with my Palm TX. A couple of weeks ago, the darned thing stopped working. I wasn't able to reset or recharge, and so it needed replacing. When my new Palm (another TX) arrived, I reloaded all my software, along with an app called "PalmPDF". I had installed this program many months ago, but could never get it to work.

Well, lo and behold, it's working now. I quickly downloaded a couple of freebee eNovels and eComics as well as Lessig's "FreeCulture" (available as a free PDF download.) Lots of fun!

Now, I know the screen is not very big, but the resolution is pretty good, and until a better, inexpensive option comes along, I'll be reading e-versions of whatever I can get my hands on. I'll be interested to give it a try with some digital papers as well. (i.e. the 24 Hours and the 24 Heures dailies)

As a side bar, many of the readings for my Masters are PDFs. (This could be very handy indeed.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Building your library "on the fly"!

Do you sometimes feel that the pace of information technology is so quick that it is hard to keep up? Just when you think you've got your head around some brand new "tech thing", there's an even newer "new tech thing" on the horizon. (blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, paper-mills, mashups....and so on.) I was presenting at a "winter tune-up" for teacher-librarians, and the topic was "Building Your Library Website". After the workshop, one of the TLs said to me that she felt like she didn't have a moment to stop and think, that things seem to be moving so fast. I replied that it reminds me of the commercial where the workmen build the plane while it is in flight. Funny clip, and in some ways, too true!

In some strange way, I find it all very exciting. There are so many new things to learn and try that I can never say that my job is boring! ("Pass me my parachute.")

On a similar topic, but with a divergent viewpoint, read Patrick Welch's observations about his school's addiction to gizmos.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Graphic Novels and Philosophy

Who says that graphic novels (and comics) can't tackle more "serious" subjects. My son sent me a link to a site that, among other topics, has an episode entitled "Dungeons & Discourse". I thought I'd mention this link because my Masters' course has been delving into a more philosophical approach to learning, and it seemed very appropriate.