Google Goggles

The latest search tool from Google, Google Goggles, allows you to search using pictures.


"The Future Deserves a Past"

"The Book Mechanic," an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Some years ago, Terry Belanger found a striking way to reveal the reverence that many citizens of the digital age continue to feel for old books. It is a sentiment he finds fascinating but only rarely appropriate or useful. Belanger, who retired in September as director of an educational institute called Rare Book School but who continues to teach there, brings an old volume to class, speaks about its binding and typography, and then, still discussing the book, rips it in half and tears it into pieces. As his horrified students watch in disbelief, Belanger tosses the shards into a nearby trash can and murmurs, "Bibliography isn't for sissies."
Interesting article about an interesting character. The author deals with the "death-of-the-book" canard well, and makes a point that I, as a special collections librarian, love to make: the book is one of humanity's most enduring technologies.
What is too often forgotten is that the book itself is a remarkable technology, easily one of the most socially significant in human history. Amazingly, books are still among our most reliable tools for preserving information. They never give you an error message or fail to open because of incompatibility with newer technologies.


Article from Wired's Gadget Lab

How the iPhone Could Reboot Education.

“About five years ago my students stopped taking notes,” Rankin said. “I asked, ‘Why are you not taking notes?’ And they said, ‘Why would we take notes on that?…. I can go to Wikipedia or go to Google, and I can get all the information I need.”
Conversely, the problem with the internet is there’s too much information, and it’s difficult to determine which data is valuable.
Librarians can help you determine which data is the right data: we call it that skill "information literacy."


Foreign-language encyclopedias and atlases online

Ever need an online encyclopedia in Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, or Korean? How about an atlas in one of these languages? You will find them all in the new Britannica Global Reference Center.

Access to the Britannica Global Reference Center is automatic from anywhere on the Wofford College campus.

To access the Reference Center from anywhere off campus--from downtown Spartanburg to Paris to Beijing to Madrid--you will need a username and password. Simply type in your first and last names as your username, and then type in your Wofford library-card number as your password.


Prezi - presentation software without slides(!)

I came across Prezi recently when browsing the eLearning//Don't Waste Your Time blog feed in my Google Reader subscriptions. The author of that blog took Prezi on a test run by composing a "prezi" about his iPhone. It seems like a pretty cool tool for adding some spice to your presentations, and its being web-based may add some convenience. I haven't tried it yet, but the designers claim you can learn to use it in ten minutes. Tutorials are available at the Prezi website.

Below is a sample Prezi presentation.