Learn a new language with Babbel (not babelfish)

July 17, 2008

I think this sounds like a really interesting way to learn a language — social networking & multimedia style! Mashable has a good overview & review here:

Babbel is the latest site to teach new languages through a social Web-based immersion program, where the majority of the content is packaged into lessons created by Babbel. So far, languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, English, and German are supported. Each lesson package contains material pertaining to a different theme, such as travel or business, so you can learn a series of words and phrases within context.


Although I do like that the information is presented in multiple ways as it SHOUlD create a richer learning environment appealing to a variety of learning styles, I didn’t find a lot in the way supporting documentation, research, etc. on the site. It seems to be all about language and play… but hey if it works (but how will they know?)

I also wonder if they will expand to other languages — seems like kind of a short list, hmm?


Educational uses for social networking sites

July 6, 2008

First-of-Its-Kind Study at the University of Minnesota Uncovers the Educational Benefits of Social Networking Sites
University of Minnesota News (06/19/08) Badaracco, Luisa

University of Minnesota researchers have determined the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook and also found that low-income students are in many ways just as technologically proficient as their more advantaged counterparts. The researchers found that 94 percent of students in the study used the Internet, 82 percent used the Internet at home, and 77 percent have a profile on a social networking site. Students said social networking sites taught them technology skills, creativity, being open to new or diverse views, and communication skills. Data was collected over six months from students in 13 urban high schools in the Midwest. In addition to the initial surveyed students, a follow-up, randomly selected subset were asked questions on their Internet activity while they used MySpace. University of Minnesota learning technologies researcher Christine Greenhow says students that use social networking sites learn and practice the kinds of 21st century skills that educators say are needed to be successful. “Students are developing a positive attitude towards using technology systems, editing and customizing content, and thinking about online design and layout,” Greenhow says. The results show that social networking sites provide more than just social fulfillment or professional networking and have implications for educators, who have an opportunity to support what students are learning on the Web, Greenhow says. The study contradicts a 2005 study from Pew that suggests a digital divide is forming in which low-income students are technologically impoverished.

More at Univ. Minnesota News


Flickr pro account — is it worth it?

July 5, 2008

Just in case you didn’t know, Flickr now allows video upload for “pro” accounts.
At this point, running time is limited to 90 seconds. Hopefully, if they want to be a full media site, they will up the time limit, because 90 seconds, well, that is not very long. To be honest, I’m losing my love of flickr quickly anyhow. “Pro” does not really mean pro – it just means that you pay to have more storage a few richer features (video, more collections, stats, etc.)

I’m thinking maybe I will keep my flickr account but downgrade it to the free account, and then switch over to smugmug or something else, where I can actually sell photos. I’d also love a place to host both my videos and photos, a flickr + youtube place. Yeah, I have my domain to do that, but I’d like to use a social networking site for that stuff, too.

flickr tos (what not to do):
http://www.flickr.com/guidelines.gne

and what comes with the flickr pro account:
http://www.flickr.com/upgrade/


LinkedIn, what it is and how to use it

July 3, 2008

From the excellent commoncraft folks.

What is LinkedIn? from LinkedIn Marketing on Vimeo.


Librarian professional/networking site

June 29, 2008

From Libgig’s site
http://www.libgig.com

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LibGig is a new professional networking website dedicated to bringing together everyone who accesses, organizes, creates, manages, produces or distributes information for a living.

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Includes: Job listings, information about LS programs, blog posts, interviews of community leaders, etc.


Podcast about social networks and technical networks

April 17, 2008

Author, Here Comes Everybody … The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Moira speaks with CLAY SHIRKY about the relationship between social networks and technical networks. Now with texting, and digital photos and cell phones, everything from politics to socializing will never be the same

http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail3596.html


social networking, library services & web usage – a survey

January 13, 2008

Interesting survey of 330 students at the University of Michigan; the social networking question was just one question out of the survey. The rest of the survey is kind of interesting, too!

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QUESTION: If you could contact a librarian via Facebook or MySpace for help with your research, would you? If not, why?

Data/Analysis

A total of 23% of respondents stated that *yes* or *maybe* they would be interested in contacting a librarian via these two social networking sites.

Undergrads had a slightly higher than average percentage of 34%.

Nearly half of the total respondents stated they would not be interested, but for various reasons – the biggest reason being that they
feel the current methods (in-person, email, IM) are more than sufficient. 14% said no because they felt it was inappropriate or that Facebook/MySpace is a social tool, not a research tool.

http://onlinesocialnetworks.blogspot.com/2008/01/data-students-
facebook-library-outreach.html

Entire survey:
http://www.lib.umich.edu/usability/projects/ProjectReports/
WebSurvey_Fall2007.pdf