OK – I’m a little behind the curve on this one, but I’ve recently discovered “Google a Day” – a daily puzzle to help sharpen your search skills. They pose a question on agoogleaday.com that you have to research and submit an answer for. If you get stuck, Google shares tips and hints for getting to the answer.
What a great, fun tool for helping students of all ages develop search skills. You can chose to “Play normally” or, when you get good at searches or want to test your mettle, you can choose to “Race the Clock”.
Best part of it is, you may actually learn something along the way. For example, today’s question is: “In 1260, the Barons of Acre let the Mamluks pass through their territory, which allowed the Mamluks to achieve a decisive victory against the Mongols in Galilee. What key new weapon was used in this battle?” and yesterday’s question was provided by Jane Goodall: “If you were to join me in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to observe one of our closest living relatives in the wild, you might hear them voice this familiar arrival call. Hint: I often express myself in a similar fashion when I open my lectures.”
From Google hints: How to find the answer: Search [closest living relatives humans] to find chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans as possible answers. Search [chimpanzee arrival call] to reveal that chimps make the distinctive pant-hoot arrival sound.
Of course, it’s more fun to not check the hints…
I’ve shown several versions of the fabulous Did You Know? (Shift Happens) videos during the past few years in various workshops and professional development settings to get people thinking about transforming learning in this digital age. The original video, Did You Know? 2.0 was put together by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and XPLANE in 2007. It was re-made in 2008 and again in 2009 with additional creators (see more background at the Shift Happens wiki)
Scott McLeod has re-worked it once again – into Iowa, Did You Know? – specifically for Iowa educators, but it has some great stuff that anyone can use… Scott discusses the new video and it’s potential uses in the post Shift Happens v5 – Iowa, Did You Know?[VIDEO] (bigthink.com)
Take a look at v5 and see if it has any relevance to your learning situation. What do you think? How does this information impact how you learn or teach or provide services to your clients and patrons?
Image via Wikipedia
Michael Smith over at the Principal’s Page does a consistently fabulous job of creating short poignant blog posts about learning, education, and related things… today’s post about Generation Z is exceptional and spot-on… here’s an exerpt:
They don’t need us.
The don’t need brick buildings that are only open 7 hours a day.
They have the internet.
They’re going to learn with or without our help.
And the learning process is not going to stop for them after 8th grade. Or high school. Or even college.
They’re smarter than us right now.
And they’re going to be a lot smarter than us in 50 years.
The future isn’t coming, it’s already arrived.
A great way to easily find and share resources is through Google Reader Bundles. You can create them, share them, and subscribe to other people’s bundles using the “Browse for Stuff” feature in Google Reader. If you have followers or if you set your Reader settings to “share publicly”, then your followers or anyone can find and subscribe to your bundles.
I made a couple bundles today, and expect I’ll add to them and edit them regularly:
Techy Library Blogs – bundles most of the techy library blogs listed in my last post plus a couple new ones.
Keeping Up with Tech Trends – bundles some trendy blogs and web sites that help keep pace with tech changes.
You can subscribe to the bundles when you click on the links above. Simple. Easy to share.
Have you made any bundles? What are some of your favorite Google Reader bundles related to learning or libraries?
I discovered Prezi as an alternative to PowerPoint about a year and a half ago. I love this presentation tool. It’s easy to use, fun to show, and breaks away from the linear, boring slides of PowerPoint. The folks at Prezi continue to improve its functionality, and the latest tweak is a redesigned Transformation Zebra. The Zebra is the tool that allows you to rotate, resize, and move your text and objects around the canvas. The new Zebra has plus and minus symbols for resizing and an arrow showing the rotation, making it easier to make edits (Now you don’t have to memorize which ring to grab to change something!). Nice touch. Keep it up, Prezi.
Here’s a demo of how it works: