Monday, April 28, 2008

Bibliography woes? Try Zotero!

The battle against plagiarism continues: I happened to stumble across "Zotero" today. It has so many great features. While at first glance it seems like another Google Notebook or, it has a great way of building your set of references so you can quickly generate a "works cited" page, or bibliography. I think that I need to show my high school students this Firefox add-on. They might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to "do the right thing" when it comes to giving credit. (BTW, the home site has a number of other interesting tools to explore.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mapping out your fav author.

One of the things I like about LibraryThing, is the way it connects you with readers and novels that you are likely to enjoy. Once you've begun entering in some of your titles, you can look to see who else has your picks, and then you can browse their selections to see if anything grabs your fancy. LT also has a "Suggester" that takes a title or author and tells you "if you liked that, then you might like this."

Just this week, I came across an interesting twist on the "Suggester" that uses a very cool interface: The Literature Map. What's great, is that you simply type in an author's name, and the site generates a name cloud of similar authors...names that are close are most similar. (...although, that may be up for argument!) It's a fun way to explore literary connections, in a "six-degrees-of-separation" kind of way. Take a look.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Your own "relevant" place

I spoke to a student-teacher about using a current event to "jazz up" class discussions and spark student interest in science. But where would she get a good source of articles?

I suggested she could use an aggregator to pull together science items from a number of news sites. That way, all she needs to do is check one site, her own, and she will have it all at her fingertips. There are a number of ways to do it, for example, iGoogle lets you add news widgets, among other things.

Find some aggregators here. And here's a good explanation of how it works.