Friday, April 10, 2015

RefME Web Clipper Makes It Easy to Cite Webpages

RefME is a service designed to help students create bibliographies. The RefME mobile apps allow students to scan a book's barcode and have the reference information added to a folder in their online RefME accounts.

After creating a RefME account students create their first projects in RefME. A project is essentially a folder for the citations that students are going to create for a paper. Students select a project name then add a reference to it by scanning the barcode on a book or periodical. When they have finished scanning all of their references (they can also add references manually) student can export their lists of citations to Evernote, email the list, or create a Word document of citations on the RefME website.

This month RefME launched a Chrome extension that makes it easy for students to create citations for any webpage including pages that only feature videos. With the RefME Web Clipper installed students can simply click the extension whenever they want to create a citation for a page. The extension will format a citation and add it to the student's chosen folder in his or her RefME account. The extension be used to highlight portions of a page to add to the citation too.

Applications for Education 
RefME could be a great tool for students to use to keep track of their reference materials as they put together research projects. The option to manage multiple projects could be helpful to students who are working on multiple research projects at the same time.

How to Print a Google Form and or Save it as a PDF

Using Google Forms can be a good way to create a quiz for your students to take. Unfortunately, if not all of your students have access to the web then you might need to print copies of the quiz. I was recently asked how to do this so I shot the following video to demonstrate how to print a Google Form.

Learn a New Language With the Help of Friends on HelloTalk

Disclosure: HelloTalk is running an ad campaign this month.

HelloTalk is a service designed to help students learn a new language. The service operates through free Android and iOS apps. On the HelloTalk apps you can find flashcards, text to speech tools to help you understand how words should be pronounced, speech to text tools to practice your pronunciations, and translation tools are included in the app. HelloTalk currently supports seventeen languages.

A few months ago Nik Peachey, whose work I have long respected, featured HelloTalk in a webinar. The webinar recording has expired but the slides are still available here.

HelloTalk provides a social network component that allows users to connect with native speakers of the languages that they are trying to learn. The connection with native speakers is intended to help learners develop an understanding of a new language in a conversational setting. I was concerned about students under 18 being contacted by adults through the HelloTalk network so I asked the developer about measures taken to prevent this. Here's what he said,
  • "anyone above 18 can't search anyone below 18 (you can verify this by looking at HelloTalk account Settings/Who Can Find Me or Custom Search. Users under 18 can only search for users up to age 22. We deliberately set these rule to protect teenagers."

Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Heat Maps and Lesson Plans

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization is a series of heat maps developed by Georgetown University Professor Adam Rothman and an undergraduate computer science student, Matthew Burdumy.

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization depicts three patterns. Those patterns are the cumulative frequency of slave voyage port of departure, the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave purchase, and the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave sale. When you press the "animate" button on the maps you will see the increasing frequency of each pattern represented by expanding and darkening color blotches on the maps.

Applications for Education
The data used in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization came from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database. On the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database you can find a series of lesson plans in which students have to draw conclusions from data about the Trans Atlantic slave trade. This first lesson plan in the series, The 1808 Slave Trade Abolition Deadline is a good match for the third map in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization series. That map is a heat map of the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave sale.

H/T to Maps Mania.

More eEtiquette - 101 Guidelines for the Digital World

Yesterday, I shared a video featuring five email etiquette tips for students. A good follow-up to that video can be found on the website eEtiquette. eEtiquette is a simple site that features digital etiquette tips for all of us. The tips cover everything from email etiquette to social network etiquette to cell phone etiquette. Although the subtitle of the site says there are 101 guidelines there are actually more than 101 guidelines on the site. Some of the best etiquette guidelines are available on a free poster that you can download from eEtiquette

Applications for Education
After reviewing the digital etiquette tips on the site, students can test their knowledge in the free eEtiquette iOS game

One word of caution about eEtiquette. The comments section of the site doesn't appear to be closely moderated so you may run into some spam comments in it. 

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