Category Archives: Technology

Meditation Labyrinth!

Welcome to the Fall 2014 semester.  Next time you are in the library (or you could even make a special trip over to check this out), stop by the SE corner of the 1st floor to have some fun with the Meditation Labyrinth.

What exactly is the labyrinth?

An interactive meditation labyrinth developed to facilitate meditative walking, yoga, or dancing. It is a mindfulness tool designed to counteract stress and promote wellness in computer-centric work and school environments.

Labyrinth

Users control the experience using a touch-screen device to access specific labyrinth patterns. The system contains six symbols, representing different cultures, which are explained in the labyrinth area.

For more information visit:
http://www.sparqlabyrinth.com/

 Posted by Tom R. and Garnet Nowell

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Apps to Teach Literacy Skills!

In a recent issue of the t|h|e journal (February 2014), there was an article about seven apps that teach literacy skills.   As mentioned in the article, these “visual and sonic aids can help student with language disorders improve their reading, writing, and speaking.”

Here are the apps:

Here’s the link to the full article.

Posted by Tom R.

Librarians at University of Oregon 3D Print “Backup copies” of Rare, Fragile Fossils

When scientists want to study Oncorhynchus rastrosus, the saber-toothed salmon, they have to treat the fossil skull housed in the University of Oregon’s paleontology department with great care. Its age and porosity make it nearly impossible to handle without damaging it. Displaying it to the public is out of the question.

Lower portion of salmon skull, seen from right side

Lower portion of salmon skull, seen from right side

However, paleontologist Edward Davis did have a CAT scan of the remains, and science librarian Dean Walton has used that data and a MakerBot Replicator II to make a 3D plastic replica which can be handled, measured, and used in displays and demonstrations for the public.

3D Printer at work (image courtesy of UO Science Library)

3D Printer at work (image courtesy of UO Science Library)

Other scientists are lining up to print their own bones. Next up is anthropologist Stephen Frost, who intends to print plastic copies of samples that he usually travels to Africa to work with.

No word on whether UO will make the models available for home printing via Thingiverse or another repository of 3D-printing instructions.

Posted by Karl S.

Digital Learning Report Card — How does Oklahoma Fare?

It is said that education is our nation’s great equalizer. Ensuring the next generation of Americans has an equal opportunity to achieve success is a fundamental principle of our educational system. There are many who feel that digital learning has the potential to accomplish this important task.  Digital Learning Now! is one of those entities that espouse this philosophy.

Digital Learning Now! is a national campaign under ExcelinEd with the goal of advancing state policies that will create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.

Digital Learning Now! recently released the 2012 Digital Learning Report Card, which measures each of the nation’s 50 states against the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning as it relates to K-12 education.

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Highlights of the report indicate that states are:

  • Advancing student-centric reforms
  • Reducing barriers to blended learning
  • Encouraging the use of technology
  • Offering a more personalized college- and career-ready education

How does Oklahoma fare?  It doesn’t look good folks! Read on for more information: This work produced a consensus around the 10 elements of high quality digital learning that identified specific issue and polices states need to address in order to support emerging next general models of learning.

Where does Oklahoma stand, you may be wondering?  Well, the state’s overall score is a 69% — that’s a D+ when combining all ten digital learning element scores.

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One of the most encouraging findings from Digital Learning Now’s research is that more than 700 bills involving digital learning were considered in 2012, with over 150 signed into law.  Along with DLN, it is encouraging to know that leaders in nearly every state proposed or enacted policies to advance digital learning since the release of DLN’s first state report cards in 2011.  Examples from Oklahoma include SB 1816 signed on June 8, 2012 that created the statewide Virtual Charter School Board, and SB 169.  It establishes that a virtual education provider that offers full-time virtual education to students who are not residents of the school district with which the provider is contracted shall be considered a site within each school district and subject to the state’s accountability system.

To learn more, check out the report.  Also, check out the Digital Learning Now Report Card website which features an interactive map, a tool to compare state scores and downloadable state profiles for more details on where Oklahoma stands when it comes to providing high quality digital learning.

Posted by Pamela Louderback

100 Websites Your Should Know and Use!

Back in 2007, Julie Wiedemann (the editor in charge at Taschen GmbH) gave a TED talk on the “100 websites you should know and use” (one of the most viewed TED blog posts ever).  Here is the updated version for 2013.  Enjoy!

http://blog.ted.com/2007/08/03/100_websites_yo/

The ones that are no longer functional have been “crossed out.”  But, because there are so many amazing resources available these days, please feel free to add your own ideas and/or compile your own list. Happy surfing!

Posted by Tom R.

Professors’ Use of Social Media!

Last week I posted an infographic on mobile technology use by students. So, why not follow it up this week with an infographic (Courtesy of BestCollegesOnline.com) on professors’ use of social media?

Professors & Social Media

Students’ Use of Mobile Technology!

Another semester is in the books and the students will be beginning their holiday break. But when they return in January, are you aware of how they are currently using mobile technology throughout the course of their day? Here’s an infographic from OnlineDegrees.org that examines the use of mobile technology by college students.

Mobile Lives of Online Colleges