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May, 2009:

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

  • Promote international and intercultural understanding;
  • Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
  • Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
  • Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

The WDL makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site, in a variety of ways. These cultural treasures include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Items on the WDL may easily be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.

Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Many more languages are represented in the actual books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other primary materials, which are provided in their original languages.

The WDL was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries; the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the financial support of a number of companies and private foundations.

Link: http://www.wdl.org/en/

Internet Literacy Handbook

Internet Literacy Handbook
TL InfoBits

The Internet Literacy Handbook, compiled by Janice Richardson et al., was updated in December 2008. This third edition, aimed at parents, teachers, and students, contains a collection of Fact Sheets that provide brief, basic introductory explanations for a variety of Internet tools such as portals, email, social networks, and blogs. The Handbook is available at no cost online in HTML, Flash, or RTF formats, or it can be purchased in a hardcopy version. Access the Internet Literacy Handbook.

The Handbook is published by the Council of Europe, an organization of 47 member countries working to “promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe’s cultural identity and diversity.” For more information, contact: Council of Europe, Avenue de l’Europe, 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France; tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 00; email: infopoint@coe.int; Web: http://www.coe.int/

Link: https://its.unc.edu/TeachingAndLearning/publications/tlinfobits/CCM3_007214#4

Are Wikis on the Way Out?

Are Wikis on the Way Out?
TL Infobits

“Have wikis lost their mojo? Were they before their (Internet) time? Or have they been co-opted by the newer, shinier social networks?”

In “Whither Wikis? The State of Collaborative Web Publishing” (LINUX INSIDER, April 29, 2009) Renay San Miguel asks if the usefulness of wikis has run its course. He speculates that the tool is too “nerdy,” takes too much work, and requires too much oversight.

In response to San Miguel’s argument, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION asked the question “Have Wikis Run Out of Steam?” (April 30, 2009). The resulting reader comments indicate that many college and university Instructors still continue to find wikis beneficial for their courses and students.

Sample comments:

“I use them as course reference repositories and extend them on to new sessions for students to use and continue to build. I think they are a great way to build communal knowledge.”

“At Penn State Press we have been using a wiki to distribute information about books proposed for acceptance to our faculty editorial board for a year now, and this has been a huge success, appreciated by the faculty for its ease of use 24/7 and by the staff because, among other things, it saves a ton of photocopying paper and hence is a boon to the environment.”

TL Infobits is an electronic service of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ITS Teaching and Learning division. Each month the ITS-TL’s Academic Outreach Consultant monitors and selects from a number of information and instructional technology sources that come to her attention and provides brief notes for electronic dissemination to educators.

Link: https://its.unc.edu/TeachingAndLearning/publications/tlinfobits/CCM3_007214#2

Screen Capturing Tools

Screencast-o-Matic and ScreenToaster are screen capturing utilities that are based on Java and other web-technologies. That means that they can be used from any computer with a Java-enabled browser. Jing is another example of such a tool that can be installed on both Max OSX and Windows.

Screen capturing utilities are most commonly used for narrating over visuals, creating screen casts and tutorials, and sharing them.

Link: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/
Link: http://www.screentoaster.com/
Link: http://www.jingproject.com/

AcademicInfo Website

AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Its mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers). Faculty and students may find it useful as they start researching new areas of focus.

Link: http://www.academicinfo.net/