Hit and run — academic Firefox goodness, fast and cheap open education, a UBC Second Life island…

Much of interest the past few days… a few of my favorites:

* Via oook: Zotero is “a free, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather and organize resources (whether bibliography or the full text of articles), and then lets you to annotate, organize, and share the results of your research. It includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store full reference information in author, title, and publication fields and to export that as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software such as del.icio.us or iTunes, like the ability to sort, tag, and search in advanced ways.” (Whew! Wow!) For some time I’ve thought about developing and hawking a campus workshop on Firefox — inspired by Andy Rush’s advocacy — and this application may be the one that pushes it from “worth doing” to “must do”…

* I rarely reblog stuff that Stephen Downes points to, on the theory that anyone who reads this little blog already reads his with far more care and attention. But yesterday’s edition of OLDaily sent me off on a couple worthy jags on how open education can be effectively pushed out using simple open source tools. Tony Hirst (I need to read this guy a LOT more closely) describes republishing OpenLearn Content via RSS in a post that positively drips with inspiration, and follows it up with Stringle a string ‘n glue learning environment “that demonstrates how pre-existing library related web feeds,RSS’ified OpenLearn content and 3rd arty widgets can be pulled together into an almost integrated environment in a dozen lines of HTML.” Ohhh, daddy likes… In the same edition, Stephen points to Graham Attwell’s “The new pedagogy of open content: bringing together production, knowledge development and learning” which I’ve printed out. It’s in my bus commute reading pack, along with the Kenaxis user’s manual.

* As I continue to grope my way toward a grasp of Second Life, Tim Wang (yet another UBC SuperGenius who uses his powers for the good of humanity) tosses up a great post describing the Faculty of Arts’ Second Life Island — the rotating Mayan vases are an outstanding exploitation of the medium.

* And I finally listened to the September 21 EdTechTalk (finally got a working MP3 player again for the aforementioned daily bus trip) with Alfred Essa and Michael Feldstein discussing the Blackboard patent imbroglio. An engaging, useful, and depressing way to spend an hour.

2 thoughts on “Hit and run — academic Firefox goodness, fast and cheap open education, a UBC Second Life island…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *