Weekly Wrap-up: Google’s Knowledge Graph, SlideShark’s Presentation App and More

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Weekly Wrap UpGoogle unveiled the Knowledge Graph. SlideShark makes giving presentations via your iPad easy peasy. Learn more about these stories and many more in the ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrap-up.

After the jump you’ll find more of this week’s top news stories on some of the key topics that are shaping the Web – Location, App Stores and Real-Time Web – plus highlights from some of our six channels. Read on for more.

Google Goes Back to What It Does Well: Finding Things

Google Goes Back to What It Does Well: Finding Things

Google released the Knowledge Graph this week and Jon Mitchell explains the ins and outs:

In the new Google, with the Knowledge Graph online, a new box will come up. You’ll still get the Google results you’re used to, including the box scores for the team Google thinks you’re looking for, but on the right side, a box called “See results about” will show brief descriptions for the Los Angeles Kings, the Sacramento Kings, and the TV series, Kings. If you need to clarify, click the one you’re looking for, and Google will refine your search query for you.

Learn more about how this will affect your search experience by reading Jon Mitchell’s Google Goes Back to What It Does Well: Finding Things.

Giving iPad PowerPoint Presentations Just Got a Lot Better

Giving iPad PowerPoint Presentations Just Got a Lot Better

If you’ve ever tried to give a presentation with your iPad, you know it’s virtually impossible if you want to use presenter mode. That all changed with the recent release of SlideShark. Get a good look at the app by reading David Strom’s review of the presentation app, SlideShark.

More Top Stories

[Infographic] Taking HTML5 to the Next Level for Mobile

[Infographic] Taking HTML5 to the Next Level for Mobile

By 2013, there will be more than one billion HTML5-capable browsers in use throughout the world. Applications for those HTML5 browsers will be created by two million HTML Web developers, according to research from IDC. There is no question that HTML5 is going to be a major factor in mobile development during the next five to 10 years. The rise of HTML5 does not mean the death of native applications, but as the standard progresses, many developers will begin to incorporate more HTML5 into their apps than native code. More

Study: Facebook Timeline Improves Fan Engagement For Brands

Study: Facebook Timeline Improves Fan Engagement For Brands

Facebook posts by brands live longer on Timeline than they did prior to the social network’s massive overhaul, according to a study released Monday.

While the analysis by London-based social media analytics firm Sotrender is limited in scope, covering just 130 brands headquartered in the U.K. and 5,000 posts, it is the first such empirical review since Timeline became mandatory for all Facebook brand pages at the end of March. More

Computer Programming for All: A New Standard of Literacy

Computer Programming for All: A New Standard of Literacy

Everyone ought to be able to read and write; few people within the global mainstream would argue with that statement. But should everyone be able to program computers? The question is becoming critically important as digital technology plays an ever more central role in daily life. The movement to make code literacy a basic tenet of education is gaining momentum, and its success or failure will have a huge impact on our society. More

What Is the Point of: #Hashtags?

What Is the Point of: #Hashtags?

Whenever a new Web trend comes along, there are people who ask, “What is the point of this?” If millions of people are using something, there has to be a reason. In our “What Is the Point of…” series, we’ll explain it to you.

This week, we’re asking, What is the point of #hashtags? More

Staying Off Facebook Won't Protect Your Privacy

Staying Off Facebook Won’t Protect Your Privacy

Stay away from social networks and people won’t know who you’re hanging out with or what you’re doing, right? Wrong. When it comes to social networking, a recent study suggests, you can run but you can’t hide. More

A Discreet Guide to Using Mobile Devices in the Loo

A Discreet Guide to Using Mobile Devices in the Loo

Last year, British researchers swabbed 390 cell phones and analyzed what they picked up. Know what they found? One in six phones has poop on it. Four out of five are contaminated by some kind of bacteria. Sure, we all like to make our own calls while answering Mother Nature’s, but that’s just gross. Here’s a surefire way to avoid a crappy user experience on your smartphone or other mobile device. More

How and Why Your Startup Should Go Virtual

How and Why Your Startup Should Go Virtual

Working virtually sounds like heaven to many startups. After all, not having a central office staffed with employees saves money on rent, utilities, parking, etc., freeing you to invest in research, development or marketing.

On the other hand, operating virtually is no panacea. Before you make the virtual leap, you need to figure out exactly what working virtually means to your business. More

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Resource discovery survey presentation

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Presentation given at JISC-CETIS Repositories and the Open Web meeting 19th April 2010.

View original here:
Resource discovery survey presentation



What do people look for when they search online for learning resources?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I’m speaking at the JISC CETIS Repositories and the Open Web meeting on Monday 19th April, even if it is my birthday. I’m not expecting a card from the audience, but cake would be acceptable.

Speakers have been asked to prepare a position paper. This isn’t quite a position paper, but it is an outline of what I’ll be speaking about. It’s not that I’m lazy, well not much, but I’m not taking any particular position on an issue at this meeting (makes a change some of you might say). Instead I’ll be reporting back on the resource discovery survey run as part of our open education resources project. I thought some of the findings might be useful as an evidence base from which to frame a discussion about repositories and sharing learning resources. The final report isn’t written yet, and I’ve not done a detailed analysis of the responses (it’s a rich data set — 155 responses) but there’s a lot I can say from the summary data so far.

I’ve titled my contribution ‘What do people look for when they search online for learning resources?’. As part of the OER project I ran a survey that asked questions about people’s search strategies, where they they look for learning resources, how they evaluate what they find, what’s useful, and what’s less so. My aim was not to formally evaluate metadata, but instead to get some insight into people’s behaviour while searching for learning resources. It’s just a different side of the same coin as far as I’m concerned.

A couple of focus groups were run to unpick some issues in more detail, one with academic staff and another with students. Perhaps not surprisingly, students used a richer collection of search sites and services than their teachers. My view is they’re more motivated to. They also seemed better skilled at searching, or at least using the advanced search facility, if one was available. Must be all that library skills training they get.

No prizes for guessing that Google is the most used search service by a considerable margin, especially when combined with Google images and scholar search. And yes Wikipedia was very popular, including with staff, although it was only the student group that told us they start with Wikipedia to get an overview, but find what they thought in their opinion were ‘more authoritative’ references to cite in their assignments. Sadly Jorum was one of the least used services. More than one focus group participant asked “what’s Jorum?”.

What do people think about provenance of learning resources, licensing, openness, reviews & ratings, to download or to link in place, and many other important issues? Well that’s what I’ll be talking about in my presentation. But for those not able to come along on Monday, our list of recommendations below more than hint at many of these issues, and if I end up doing PPT slides I’ll upload those next week too.

What are the recommendations we came up with? Well, nothing astoundingly new, but these are evidence-based, which is what we wanted, and still an important set of considerations to reflect on when sharing learning resources. So, in no particular order:

  • Make your learning resources easy to find. Clearly written descriptions of resources are always valued, especially if they contain the kinds of keywords you might use yourself if you were looking for similar resources. The more technical metadata fields are seldom used to find resources.
  • Clearly license your learning resources. Consider Creative Commons, as users find this clear licensing framework easy to use, and it takes the guesswork — and admin — out of permissions.
  • Make sure your metadata is searchable by Google. Federate your metadata to other repositories, or at the very least allow searching by third party search engines. In terms of ease of finding learning resources, many people prefer to use a small number of trusted search engines, most notably of course Google. So if you must create another repository, at least open it up to external searching.
  • Make sure your resource is downloadable. This is a common practice, so resources that require server/client interaction might be less favoured than those that are self-contained and downloadable. If you want people to use your resources, then make it easy for them to do so.
  • Make sure open really does mean open. The majority of users prefer not to have to register with a site or service to access your learning resource.
  • Don’t worry about peer review. User comments, reviews and star ratings are not as important as some might think they are. Think carefully before investing in this functionality if you are creating a new repository. Formal peer review processes can be expensive to implement and our evidence suggests it’s not that valuable.

The full OER project report will be published by the HE Academy/JISC some time over the summer, and a separate paper on the resource discovery survey is in preparation. This work will likely be a proposal I’ll submit for Open Ed in Barcelona too, so hopefully see you there. In the meantime I look forward to sharing more of the data with those attending the Repositories and the Open Web in London next week.

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What do people look for when they search online for learning resources?



Downes & Wiley discuss OER

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Are you watching Stephen and David discussing open educational resources? It’s fascinating so far, with their different styles, but I’m not sure I’m hearing much to help move us forward on open educational resources. But it’s still early in the day in Vancouver (albeit late in the UK).

We’ve had quite a bit of semantic debate so far, so maybe the guys are just warming up. But how many potential producers of OERs are listening to this discussion, hoping for insight from two highly respected individuals, but are instead feeling just a little confused by what the issues are.

On the other hand maybe they’re just getting on with producing and releasing great content, selecting from a spectrum of licenses that reflect the different contexts in which content can be used. As a consumer of content I’ll make the judgement about what content is right for me and my purpose from all the content that’s licensed according to my needs. If I search content in Flickr for example I can choose whether I want to see content to use commercially or content to modify, adapt, or build upon. I don’t have to see stuff that’s not useful to me. Why should discovering educational resources be any different?

David and Stephen will be coming back refreshed from lunch soon. So let’s see where this goes. I just hope we don’t get into any false dichotomies where open educational resources all have to be either like this, or like that, because it’ll never be that black or white. Creative Commons understands this, that’s why there’s a range of licenses for a range of conditions. They may not cover every context just yet, but it’s the best framework we have so far.

See more here:
Downes & Wiley discuss OER



Downes & Wiley discuss OER

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Are you watching Stephen and David discussing open educational resources? It’s fascinating so far, with their different styles, but I’m not sure I’m hearing much to help move us forward on open educational resources. But it’s still early in the day in Vancouver (albeit late in the UK).

We’ve had quite a bit of semantic debate so far, so maybe the guys are just warming up. But how many potential producers of OERs are listening to this discussion, hoping for insight from two highly respected individuals, but are instead feeling just a little confused by what the issues are.

On the other hand maybe they’re just getting on with producing and releasing great content, selecting from a spectrum of licenses that reflect the different contexts in which content can be used. As a consumer of content I’ll make the judgement about what content is right for me and my purpose from all the content that’s licensed according to my needs. If I search content in Flickr for example I can choose whether I want to see content to use commercially or content to modify, adapt, or build upon. I don’t have to see stuff that’s not useful to me. Why should discovering educational resources be any different?

David and Stephen will be coming back refreshed from lunch soon. So let’s see where this goes. I just hope we don’t get into any false dichotomies where open educational resources all have to be either like this, or like that, because it’ll never be that black or white. Creative Commons understands this, that’s why there’s a range of licenses for a range of conditions. They may not cover every context just yet, but it’s the best framework we have so far.

View original post here:
Downes & Wiley discuss OER