Saturday, March 27, 2010

Readability - clutter cutter

Readability is a powerful new cool tool by arc90 that eliminates website clutter when you want to just focus on the content and not the surrounding "stuff". It is meant for newspaper articles, not home pages. According to its website, it is a 2-step process select your settings; add your bookmarklet. It works like a charm! Try it on an article from the SF Chronicle on SFGate.
See the video:

Readability - Installation Video for Firefox, Safari & Chrome from Arc90 on Vimeo.

Deeper Web

"Deeper Web", a beta test of a new service to help search Google. It's also available as a Firefox add-on. Very nice. It puts search results in tag or phrase clouds. Very useful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The TutCity site is a directory to free tutorials on topics such as 2D graphics, 3D graphics, office applications, databases, desktop programing, web development, and operating systems.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The End of Publishing?

This video (2:26) was prepared by the UK branch of Dorling Kindersley Books. Originally meant solely for a DK sales conference, the video was such a hit internally that it is now being shared externally. Make sure you watch it up to at least the halfway point, because there is a surprise....
(Via AL Direct)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Video game study

Video Games Can Hurt Schoolwork

Young boys with new video game systems don't progress as quickly as boys who don't own such devices, a study found. The new gamers had lower reading and writing scores after four months, and their teachers reported more learning problems, the study found. The biggest gap was in writing. One message from the study is that parents should limit the amount of time their children play video games.
Robert Weis and Brittany C. Cerankosky (2010, March). Effects of Video Game Ownership on Young Boys’ Academic and Behavioral Functioning. Psychological Science.

American education reports

The review of National Assessment of Educational Progress trends is among several analyses included in the latest annual report on American education produced by the Brookings Institution. A second study, looking at 20 years of state testing data on more than 1000 California schools, finds that very few of them ever “turn around” to become a whole lot better in terms of students’ academic performance, nor did they get a whole lot worse. A third report, also drawing on data from California, concludes that public schools that convert to charter status tend to look more like regular schools in their demographics and teaching staffs than do charter schools started from scratch.
Brown Center on Education (2010). Brown Center Report on American Education. Wsahington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Gender gap in reading and math study

Boys Trail Girls in Reading Across States

In reading proficiency, boys lag by at least 10 percentage points in some states, while girls have caught up in math, a study finds.

Center on Education Policy (2010). State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 5: Are There Differences in Achievement Between Boys and Girls?

Ed Tech statistics

Technology Counts 2010 (by Education Week) provides district-level statistics about tech use in K12 schools. This year the statistics include mobile device use.
* Online access to the library catalog: 72% elementary and 82% secondary provide it for all students (6% elem. and 2% secondary for some)
* Online access to databases: 60% elementary and 68% secondary provide it for all students (10% elem. and 6% secondary for some)
* 89.5% libraries have automated circ systems, and 87.2% have these systems for student and faculty use
* The average # of computers is 12.2 in elementary and 26.4 in secondary libraries, and almost all have Internet connectivity
Other school data deals with instructional and administrative tech use.

Education Week (2010). Technology Counts 2010.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Open Letter to Educators

Worth paying attention to.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Data, data everywhere

A recent article in The Economist gives us a reason for existence (if we needed one!)

"WHEN the Sloan Digital Sky Survey started work in 2000, its telescope in New Mexico collected more data in its first few weeks than had been amassed in the entire history of astronomy. Now, a decade later, its archive contains a whopping 140 terabytes of information. A successor, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, due to come on stream in Chile in 2016, will acquire that quantity of data every five days.
Such astronomical amounts of information can be found closer to Earth too. Wal-Mart, a retail giant, handles more than 1m customer transactions every hour, feeding databases estimated at more than 2.5 petabytes—the equivalent of 167 times the books in America’s Library of Congress. Facebook, a social-networking website, is home to 40 billion photos. And decoding the human genome involves analysing 3 billion base pairs—which took ten years the first time it was done, in 2003, but can now be achieved in one week" ....

Featured audio interview with the author

eSchool News

This publication is one which every school library person should pay attention to.

It's a weekly newspaper, available online, which keeps us appraised of educational technology issues.

There are headlines news stories, columns on various issues such as grants & funding and curriculum issues. Departments include Default Lines, eSN Online Update, Stakeholder Relations, Prime-Time Product Preview, Tech Buyer’s Marketplace, Viewer’s Guide, and, because eSN is a commercial product, eSchool Partners.
If you don't already subscribe, take a look. It's well worth the time spent perusing each week.

Click here to sign up for a free subscription.