Another acquisition to end the month: Amazon.com to Acquire Audible.com
OK, I'm sure it's not really an innovation, but it was the first time I'd ever seen it, and it makes so much sense! I just finished reading The myths of Innovation, by Scott Berkun, and instead of offering the standard semi-useful bibliography, at the end of this book he provides a ranked bibliography. The bibliography shows the books from which he took the most notes first. What a great idea!
It's a really quick read, only 150 pages of actual text, and it did a really good job of sparking some ideas as I was reading. The colophon is not to be missed either ;-)
Update: whoops, I originally posted this calling it VB 5, but was contacted by Qarbon who pointed out it's actually version 4 (they're still working on 5 for the Mac)
Well hot on the heels of my complaint about not having a tool to edit .mov files, Qarbon shared with me a beta of ViewletBuilder 4 for the Mac. Now, they've had a Mac version out for some time, but also for some time the version they had didn't support sound. They appear to have that bug licked.
While I'm no longer a huge fan of the ViewletBuilder / Captivate model of taking individual screen shots and then animating them after the fact, I do certainly appreciate the ability to mark up the screencast. Here's a long (15 minutes!) walk through of how to build and annotate a very basic screencast using ViewletBuilder 5 on the Mac. If you want to actually see what's on the screen, look for the full screen button in the upper right.
Qarbon offers free hosting for two Viewlets of any size. Educational pricing for ViewletBuilder is $199.
You can watch the actual Viewlet I built here. (there doesn't appear to be a way to embed)
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how to use EZProxy to change the default wording on the tabs in the new OvidSP interface. Seems we weren't alone in desiring a better name for the Ovid Syntax tab, and Ovid reports that on Friday, Feb 1 they're going to automagically switch the name of that tab to Advanced Ovid Search for everyone. You can of course still use the EZProxy trick to rename it anything you want at all. I'm looking forward to April 1 ;-)
Technorati Tags: OvidSP
...is the ability to edit the recording. Specifically adding callouts; arrows, highlights, text overlay... that sort of stuff. I now have copies of both iShowU and SnapzProX, and they both do a really nice job of recording the screen. Lots of variables like size of capture, frame rate, sound or not, but neither offers the ability to edit the recording, other than to pop it in to Quicktime Pro or iMovie to add titles, transitions, or trim and cut. Is anyone aware of a Mac product that allows a .mov file to be annotated with highlights, text boxes, arrows, etc? Can't wait for Techsmith to step in here...
No mention of the importance of libraries here, but the Online Education Database has just released OEDb's Online College Rankings 2008.
For each college, we gathered data for eight different metrics — acceptance rate, financial aid, graduation rate, peer Web citations, retention rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio, and years accredited.Pleased to see the institution where I cut my Distance Ed teeth, Nova Southeastern University, ranked at #4. Wow, look at the number of Peer Web Citations they got - I'm guessing that raised them quite a bit!
Hey, remember the ANTS screencast-sharing project? I've stepped way back from it since assuming my new duties here at the U of C, but it's still going strong, and has undergone some major changes / improvements. Here's an update that was sent to the COPPUL Distance Education group:
Michele Reid posted the attached bibliography from the Midwinter Discussion Group session to the OFFCAMP list, and it's reposted here with permission.
From The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 8, No 3 (2007), ISSN: 1492-3831 - Incorporating Screencasts In Online Teaching by Elaine Peterson.
I'm linking to the abstract page instead of the full text because from there you can choose HTML, PDF, or to listen to the article as an mp3, which sounds surprisingly good to me - neat option!
AbstractInteresting to me that while the author used links to the websites of the products she mentioned, the literature review only looked for traditional print literature, despite the fact that there's plenty of evidence in the blogosphere of libraries using screencasts for instruction...
Despite success in teaching the class ‘Organization of Information in a School Library Media Center’ (EDCI 545) online, one component continued to be a problem for students, the Dewey Decimal Classification System. To supplement the instruction, a set of simple screencasts was developed to assist distance education students. Benchmarks were established and a beta test conducted. It is expected that the next online class of students will have increased success because of the addition of screencasts. It is suggested that screencasts be considered as an additional tool for online learners across other disciplines, particularly when using databases that have layered sets of information, requiring multiple mouse clicks.
There sure seem to be a log of acquisitions lately! Official PDF version, or:
BETHESDA, MD, USA (January 18, 2008) – RefWorks, LLC, the leading provider of a web-based research management, writing, and collaboration tool, has announced that it has been acquired by ProQuest, a Cambridge Information Group company.
With over 900 institutions worldwide and over 1M registered users, RefWorks has been successful in facilitating the advancement of scholarly work for researchers around the world and will continue to do so. ProQuest, with the development of their Research Solutions Businesses (Serials Solutions, COS and Dissertations), continues to focus on enhancing their research solutions offerings--- which directly aligns with our vision, mission and values. What does all this mean? RefWorks will be merged with the COS business which is part of Research Solutions Businesses. COS Scholar Universe is renowned for its networking capability, which provides direct access to more than 1.4 million active researchers from around the world in over 200 disciplines. With RefWorks and COS joining forces, researchers will be able to turn to one source for tools that help them identify colleagues with similar research interests, establish alliances and manage joint research projects. We see great synergy between the RefWorks and COS products that will allow us to better assist the researcher through their workflow process.
Externally there will be no changes to the product names and no changes from a customer perspective. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities this merger affords and confident of even greater success with our products.