Posts Tagged handy tools

Dewey 398.2

Oh yes, myths and legends!

I love this Thinglink from Librarians On The Fly.  My new fave blog.

There was a question recently on the listserv about how to choose books for senior students, there was a deluge of responses with suggestions of ways and means.  This image has some answers to that question.  Also, in the ‘This irritates me constantly department’ I always resent it when people assume that I have time to read during paid work hours.  Seriously?  Haven’t you looked into my workroom, that mass of paper, books half processed, projects half completed, displays half put up, planners all over the show, timetables being adjusted.  Oh and look I’m not in my workroom, I spend at least half of every day out working with teachers and students in their classes.  Oh how I’d love the time to sit in a cosy chair and read at school – oh wait that is what I set it up for the students to do!  Lucky sods.

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Getting to grips with Google Reader

I know that many many readers of this blog will use Google Reader every day, but many of the teaching staff I talk to, and librarians too for that matter, wonder at the ability of some of us to munch through so many blogs, gleaning good stuff and sharing it around.  Google Reader makes it easy.

The RSS feed is the key to all this blog reading goodness.

Sue Waters has written a really great explanation of how to manage your blog reading life using RSS feeds and Google Reader. If you struggle to keep up with online reading, or you are looking for a clear introduction to using Google Reader then her article is certain to help you.

You will find it here.  You will also find all kinds of good things on the blog, it is specifically for people using Edublogs but even though I don’t use that platform I find lots of really good things on The Edublogger.

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Top 100 Tools of 2011

Judith Way has posted this on her blog The Way Forward.  If you are looking to upskill in Web 2.0 skills then you could do a lot worse than work your way through this list.  It is from Jane Hart from C4LPT whose Twitter feed has provided me with fantastic PD this year.

This list of tools has given me some new things to try, and it has also been interesting to see that some of the things I completely love (iGoogle for example) slip down in the rankings.

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Find children’s book sequels

How often have you wanted to know the order of the books in a series?  Here is a nifty tool!  Great when you have an incomplete series and you want to know which ones to buy.  As selection tools go this has great potential.  Have a look at the site and give it a go.  It won’t work quite so well for local series as it will for the international books.

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A cute question generator

I’m completely unsure how useful this would be, but I really like it.  This is the We Solve It Question Generator.  It is a cute gizmo which you use for generating questions when students are doing inquiry research. Click the spin button and the words whirr around and hey presto you get a two word question.  So, how much?  Who can?  When would?  How do?  This ain’t rocket science but it is jolly cute and might be a bit of cool fun on a data projector for brainstorming, or even at a party playing 20 questions!  Share with your staff.

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Google this way

I’ve been reading this post on Mindshift.  It is an interview with Daniel Russell, a “search anthropologist” who is detailed to look after your search quality and best of all he is a User Happiness expert.  It lead me to search for him and I found lots of stuff but loved the presentation below best.  You can watch him give a presentation if you want to and find it here.  It is a keynote which is funny, clever and engaging and his comments on Information Overload, Infowhelm anyone?   Find out what the future of Google is, and when listening know that Google+ was minutes away when the talk was given.  His stats might frighten you a little bit.  Really, they can index a tweet in Google in 4 seconds?

Google have plenty of resources to help the search challenged.  Have a look at the links below.

Posters you can print out with search help, strategies and more.  I have these on the walls above the bank of computers in my library for the students to ignore!

Basic Search Help

Learn some of the features other than search

The Google Guide – a pdf that takes a bit to load because it is big (148 pages)

Google for Educators – all kinds of Google Goodness within here including the following …

Take a look at Start Your Engines the first part of a tutorial in google features.  Maybe be useful for teaching students and teachers as well.

You should probably remember that Google is busy having a revamp, lots of it’s bits and pieces have recently been modified, deleted and phased out.  Google Labs is on the way out, Timeline and Wonderwheel are gone and plenty more are heading out the door.

More from the Australian Listserv today – Google Search Evangalism

And I know that you all know that Google owns YouTube and here is the Google Channel on YouTube.


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Shorten your links so that they work

Today I posted on the listserv after a flurry of emails where people posted links which didn’t work, and then were reposted and the next lot didn’t work either.  The problem was that the link was too long to remain unbroken when the line changed.  If your link is longer than a line in your email it may not work when people try to click on it, links don’t like to travel around corners.

There is a simple answer.

Try – or any of 1000 other url shorteners  but works well so we will use it.

 Here’s how

Open up a new tab in your browser.

Go to  (save it in your toolbar)

Copy the url which is too long into the shorten links here box in

Click the shorten here button

Click copy

Paste the now very short link into your email.  It will look something like:

Which started life as:

If someone sends you a link which goes over multiple lines you can just copy it into and it will shorten it and automagically make it work.

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