Monday, May 17, 2010

Free Kindle App

Amazon has created a free Kindle app for most hand held devices and personal computers. I tried it this morning on my work PC and it worked, but I couldn't get the free books to open. I'll have to try it on my personal PC when I have more time at home. I then downloaded it to my BlackBerry and it worked. Barnes & Noble also has a free e-reader available. I'm not sure that I want to read a novel on that little screen, but that may change over time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New toy

My new favorite site is Tagxedo, which takes creating word clouds to a new level. It is very easy to use and allows you to import pictures to create shapes. I have found that using pictures that are have high light/dark contrast works the best. I created the one below for my information literacy course homepage. Check this site out!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Digital Footprint

I subscribe to a lot of library and edtech-related list servs and there have been many emails about Choose Privacy Week. Those of us in the library and edtech world understand how information is stored permanently on the Web. Have you Googled your name lately? I just did it this morning. I use the "liberrygurl" nickname for many of my logins, so I Googled that, as well as my full name. That particular screen name came about because one of the things that irritated my friends and I in library school was the inability of some future professionals to say "library". Sort of an inside joke, I suppose. Anyway, upon reviewing the results of Google search, I found that I'm not the only one who uses this screen name. I love, but don't write reviews on there. However, someone else does under the name. It makes one wonder if when potential employers do the same thing, do they take this into consideration? Unless they can verify that, yes, that is the same person using the same screen name on all of these sites, they don't assume that to be true? I haven't seen anything negative associated with that screen name, so I don't believe I have anything to be concerned about.

Keeping track of your digitial footprint is very important. This topic, along with Wikipedia, are my favorite lessons with my freshman Information Literacy students. I write everything I am involved with online on the board to show a "good" digital footprint. This list includes several email addresses, Blackboard (as teacher and student), Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, list servs, blog, etc. Then I share how I would never do something like trash my principal or students online because although my settings may limit only friends seeing my posts, one of my friends may not have the same restrictions or may be friends with my boss or students. Common Craft has several humorous, short animated clips social media, social networking, etc., that are great for introducing or reviewing these topics with students. I also collect articles on employers Googling job applicants, people who have gotten in trouble for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube postings, teens who are facing charges for sexting, etc. Having the students read and share these articles seems to hit home better than me lecturing to them about online reputations.