Tuesday, January 29, 2008

RSS feeds again

After lots of fiddling about, I have managed to get the RSS feed to validate. This solved the Firefox Live Bookmarks problem. I have also tested it with Internet Explorer's RSS functionality and it works.

The only problem remains is My Yahoo! If they don't want a feed that's correct in every way, what do they want?

ASU Information Literacy Game

With Geri's assistance, I have managed to put up an ASU version of my information literacy game.

Give it a try and see how you like it. Send me any suggestions for changes, improvements, etc.

For those doing library instruction and wanting to incorporate the game, let me know, and we'll figure something out. Changing question sets is very easy, so the game can be adapted to a wide variety of situations.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

RSS Feed glitch

Ken has pointed out to me that the RSS thingy produces a URL that will not work in the My Yahoo! feed reader. It also does not currently work with Mozilla Firefox's Live Bookmarks functionality.

It does work with My Google and Bloglines, and I am working quickly to fix it for the others. Let me know if the feed does not work with your favorite RSS aggregator and I'll see what I can do.

Direct Links to GVRL redux

At Catherine's prompting, I have changed the list of links to GVRL titles so that they are the proxied versions of the links, and thus usable by our off-campus patrons.

You would have thought I would do that first since I spent the last three years tending UNCG's proxy server!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Direct Links to GVRL Titles

For those who were at the Gale presentation today (and anyone else who is interested) the question arose as to whether direct links could be used to get straight to the opening page of a particular Gale Virtual Reference Library title. Direct links would be useful for class guides and for links from the catalog.

I went ahead and created a list of our current GVRL titles and the URLs that you would use to link directly to them.

If anyone is interested in putting a search box for a particular GVRL title, titles, or categories of titles directly on one of their pages, let me know and I'll get you all set up.

RSS Feeds for New Materials by Subject

The next step in my quest to have a zillion RSS feeds at your fingertips is now fit to be seen. If you go to http://www.library.appstate.edu/newbooks/rssfeeds.html you can now create your own RSS feed for the New Materials by Subject lists that are currently located at http://www.library.appstate.edu/newbooks.

This is not a replacement for those lists, just a little something extra for those of us addicted to RSS.

Please let me know if there are any suggestions for improvements, corrections, deletions, etc.

I am already trying to figure out how to expand the number of categories and subcategories you can choose from the current limit of "one of each" to "as many as you want."


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Current Projects:

Editing MERLOT webpages (http://libraryandinformationservices.merlot.org)

Co-editing chapters for a book on Gaming in the Academic Library

Writing entries for the Lexicon of Online and Distance Education. If you want to know which entries are mine, look for SR1 next to the term, or SL1-6 for the terms I contributed.

Writing a book review for TER (Technology Electronic Reviews)

The RSS feed page (I will soon have a link up. I hope!)

Improving AppSearch

Library Game Night (if there are any volunteers to help out, just let me know)

ASUlearn projects

And many, many other fun thingies!


I have developed/am developing a Library Resources Block for Moodle for placing links to library resources within a course. It will probably use the same set of links as are already used for the Library Links Resource.

I am also investigating a Moodle Activity that allows a teacher to set up a real-time quiz. This would allow someone (say, oh, perhaps a librarian doing a one-shot session) to set up a quick pre- and post-test that could be given during a class. Or, it could allow a quick beginning of class assessment of what skills need to be emphasized during instruction.

In addition, Jeff tells me that his folk are developing a block to be placed on the ASUlearn home page which a person sees right after logging in. This block may include Library news or information such as a student's account (how many books checked out, overdue, etc.)

New books RSS Feed

To update the RSS feed project, I have the feeds working for individual subjects or categories. That means you can get your own new books RSS feed for, say, statistics, or for all of Business & Economics, just like on the current New Books page. You can set up as many feeds as you like, but need to do each one individually.

I am working (with much assistance from Tom) on making it possible to create one feed with several subjects, but it's not working quite yet. When I get that operational, I will create a web page where you can go and select the subjects you wish and the page will generate a URL for you to put into a feed reader.

More news as events warrant!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Google Charts

I have just discovered Google Charts! What does that mean for E-Learning? Well, I'm not sure yet, but my first inclination is the use of Venn diagrams. You see, by stipulating the correct URL, you can create a Venn Diagram such as this:

And with some CSS and labeling, you've got a nifty little way to explain boolean concepts to your classes. Anyone got any notions of how to refine this idea? Is it useful? Should I hop to it?