15 Minutes a Day: LIFE Photo Archive Hosted by Google

Google is hosting the LIFE Photo Archive, featuring a collection of photos dating back to the 1750’s.  Many of the photographs were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

Charleston Photo


View of Main St. in Charleston. 1946

View of Main St. in Charleston. | Location: Charleston, SC, US | Date Taken: March 1946 | Photographer: Elliot Ellisofon | Size: 1280 x 951 pixels (17.8 x 13.2 inches)

Want to Search for Photos in the Google/Life Photo Archive Only?

Add “source:life” to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive. For example: computer source:life

15 Minutes a Day: Digital Campus

A biweekly discussion of how digital media and technology are affecting learning, teaching, and scholarship at colleges, universities, libraries, and museums.

Episode 33 – Classroom Action Settlement

The big news this week was the announcement that a settlement had been reached between Google and authors and publishers over Google’s controversial Book Search program, which has scanned over seven million volumes, including many books that are still copyrighted. The Digital Campus team takes a first pass at the agreement and tries to understand how it might affect higher ed. Other news from a busy week include the release of the first phone based on Google’s Android operating system, and Microsoft’s conversion to “cloud” computing. Picks for this podcast include a new report on teenagers and videogames, a new version of Linux for the masses, and a program to help you focus on the Mac.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Google Book Search Settlement Agreement
Open Library
Think for the Mac
Microsoft Azure
Pew report on teens and videogames

Running time: 49:29
Download the . mp3

Maker of EndNote Citation Software Sues George Mason U.

Chronicle of Higher Education/The Wired Campus blog
September 29, 2008

Thomson Reuters Inc. sued George Mason University in a Virginia court this month, arguing that a free software tool made by the university makes improper use of the company’s EndNote citation software.

The company’s complaint argues that programmers at George Mason’s Center for History and New Media reverse-engineered EndNote to create a free program called Zotero. The university’s free software is a plug-in for the Firefox Web browser, and it is designed to help scholars store and organize their online research. It has been downloaded more than 1 million times.

Thomson Reuters argues that the latest release of George Mason’s software, which can import files created by EndNote and turn them into files that can be used and shared online using Zotero, “is willfully and intentionally destroying Thomson’s customer base for the EndNote software.” The company seeks $10-million in damages for each year the university has offered the software and to stop the university from distributing versions of Zotero that can convert EndNote files.

The Web site for Zotero boasts that the software “includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote) — the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references — and the best parts of modern software and Web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us).”

Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing advice from his lawyer. Officials from Thomson Reuters also declined to comment. —Jeffrey R. Young

Posted on Monday September 29, 2008 | Permalink |

15 Minutes a Day: What are Wikis?

Wikis are web sites that anyone can edit.  They are by nature a work in progress, and recognize that information is rarely static, and is more often dynamic and multidimensional. A wiki doesn’t just build networks between the editors and authors, it also builds networks between types of information and knowledge.

Wikis of Interest

Where to Build your own Wiki

Here are some different places where you can build your own wiki:


Adapted from Library Instruction Wiki
Content is available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

15 Minutes a Day: Creative Commons at a Glance

Creative Commons At a Glance
By Judy Salpeter

Creative Commons licensing allows students and educators to determine what rights they are willing to share when they post original images, graphics, audio, text or multimedia works online. It also makes it easier to locate work by others that can legally be incorporated into remixes or other derivative products. Here are some basics for schools that are just getting going with Creative Commons.

Choosing a License

The first step in applying CC licensing to your work is to select the license that suits your preferences. The choices, described in more detail at http://creativecommons.org/, include:

  • Attribution [abbreviation: by] You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work—and derivative works based upon it—but only if they give credit the way you request.
  • Noncommercial [abbreviation: nc] You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work—and derivative works based upon it—but for noncommercial purposes only.
  • No Derivative Works [abbreviation: nd] You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
  • Share Alike. [abbreviation: sa] You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

These licenses can be combined in various ways. For example, an Attribution Non-Commercial license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially but the works they create must acknowledge you and be non-commercial.

In addition, there is a Public Domain Dedication that lets you free works from copyright completely, offering them to the public domain.

Applying the License

Once you have selected your license, the Creative Commons web site shows you how to include the html code with your work. This code will automatically generate the “Some Rights Reserved” button and a statement that your work is licensed under a Creative Commons license, or a “No Rights Reserved” button if you choose to dedicate your work to the public domain. The button will link back to the Commons Deed where the license terms are explained. Your license choice is expressed in three ways:

Commons Deed: A plain-language summary of the license for users of your work, complete with the relevant icons.

Legal Code: The fine print that you need to be sure the license will stand up in court.

Digital Code: A machine-readable translation of the license that helps search engines and other applications identify your work by its terms of use.

Finding CC-Licensed Materials

An increasing number of Web 2.0 tools and search engines (including Google, Yahoo! and Flickr) are making it possible to locate materials online that have Creative Commons licenses. A good jumping-off point for locating such materials is CCSearch.

Where to Learn More About Creative Commons

Compiled and edited by Judy Salpeter with excerpts from the Creative Commons web site, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

15 Minutes a Day: Google Docs Highlighted in CFD’s Tuesday Tech Tips

Sara Calhoun Davis, Ph. D.
Associate Dean, Education, Health, and Human Performance
Director, Center for Faculty Development <www.cofc.edu/~cfd>

Beth Goodier uses Google Docs and Spreadsheets to enhance her teaching and encouraged me to send out something about the value of this interactive medium. Last week, I attended Mendi Benigni’s (TLT) workshop for us education folks about the same topic, and was amazed at the feedback and collaboration opportunities available with Google Docs. What a boon for teachers!

Wikipedia says, “Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can be created within the application itself, imported through the web interface, or sent via email.  They can also be saved to the user’s computer in a variety of formats. By default, they are saved to Google’s servers. Open documents are automatically saved to prevent data loss. Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes.Collaboration between users is also a feature of Google Docs. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time.” Important for your classroom is that you can track student work (who did it, who did the most work, when they did it) on group projects and papers; changes are labeled by time and person changing the text. You’ll have fun with this one! Good teaching,

Here are some highlights.

15 Minutes a Day: Omeka & Other Tools from The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Omeka is a web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online. Designed for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators, Omeka is easy to install and modify and facilitates community-building around collections and exhibits. Omeka is free and open source. Learn more.The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) is partnering with the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) to develop Omeka as a next-generation online display platform for museums, historical societies, scholars, collectors, educators, and more.

Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past.

CHnM sponsors more than two dozen digital history projects and offers free tools and resources for historians.



The next-generation research tool that makes it easy to gather, organize, annotate, search, and cite materials you find online and off.


“Omeka” is a Swahili word meaning “to display” or “to lay out for discussion.” Omeka is a free, easy to use, open source, and standards-based platform for online display of museum and other historical materials in a Web 2.0 environment.


ScholarPress is a developing hub for educational WordPress plugins – bridging the gap between technology and pedagogy.

Syllabus Finder

Find and compare syllabi from thousands of universities and colleges on any topic.

Web Scrapbook

Store all kinds of media items—URLs, images, text, and movies—and collaborate with others with the CHNM online scrapbook.

Survey Builder

A tool that builds online surveys, especially applicable to oral histories.

Poll Builder

Build customizable polls and include them on your web site for free.


A notetaking application designed with historians in mind.

Tools Center

Browse a collaborative Wiki resource spanning any and all tools that might be applicable to the practice of online history.


See what’s brewing in the CHNM Labs. View upcoming tools and programs to help you collect, and interpret history in new an imaginative ways. Current projects include H-Bot, Site Builder, Timeline Builder, and WordPress Courseware.

15 Minutes a Day: Take a Peek at the Top 100 Tools for Learning – Spring 2008

The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies has released the new Top Tools for 2008!  The new list is in two parts: Personal Tools and Producer Tools. For the full article visit: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/toolbox2008.html

By Type of Tool

Personal Tools

Web browsers Firefox | Internet Explorer | Opera
RSS readers Google Reader | Bloglines
Players and other readers iTunes | Adobe Reader
Email Tools Gmail | Outlook | Yahoo Mail | Thunderbird
Personal start pages iGoogle | Netvibes | Pageflakes
Social bookmarking del.icio.us | diigo | Furl | Stumbleupon
Social networks Facebook | LinkedIn
Instant messengers Skype
(Re)search Tools Google Search | Wikipedia | Google Scholar
Productivity Tools (online) Google Calendar | Google Maps |
Productivity Tools (desktop) Filezilla | Google Desktop | OmniOutliner | Portable apps | Tiddlywiki | OneNote

Producer Tools
Document and Spreadsheet Tools
Google Docs | Word | Zoho | Excel | OpenOffice | Scribd
PDF tools OpenOffice | CutePDF Writer
Presentation Tools PowerPoint | Slideshare | Articulate | Keynote | Adobe Presenter
Blogging Tools WordPress | Blogger | TypePad | Edublogs
Microblogging tools twitter | tumblr
RSS feed tools FeedBlitz
Podcasting Tools Audacity | Garageband | Gcast
File hosting tools Slideshare | flickr | YouTube | Scribd
Wiki Tools Wikispaces | PB Wiki | MediaWiki | Wetpaint | Tiddlywiki
Mindmapping Tools MindManager | FreeMind | Bubbl.us
Web Authoring Tools Nvu | Dreamweaver
HTML/Text editor Notepad
Graphics, image and photo Tools flickr | Adobe Photoshop | Paint.NET | iPhoto
Course authoring Tools Articulate | eXe | Lectora
Interactivity Tools Flash | Polldaddy | Survey Monkey
Course/Learning Management systems Moodle | Blackboard
Screencapture / screencasting Tools Captivate | SnagIt | Jing | Camtasia | Wink | Skitch
Web Meeting Tools Adobe Connect | Elluminate | Yugma
Social networking Tools Ning
Content management Systems Joomla
Collaborative tools VoiceThread | Basecamp
Virtual world Tools SecondLife
Specialist educational tools Geogebra

Georgia Tech Librarian, Prof To Loan Land in Second Life

Paul McCloskey | Campus Technology


By Paul McCloskey
Georgia Tech librarian Brian Matthews has teamed up with GT computer science professor Blaire MacIntyre to develop a space in the Second Life virtual world from which students could “check out” land parcels in order “to hang out, explore, and learn the basics of the software.”

“Our [rationale] is that if there is an interest, let’s say 20 students or more, then we’ll work toward purchasing an island for them,” wrote Matthews in his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian. “The idea is still in the very early stages, but ideally we’re following this basic principal: just as [students] can [check out] a book, they can also [check out] a plot of virtual land. In this framework it becomes a discovery experience.”

The two academics want to develop the space as a resource for students to burnish their digital design skills and as a place to use just as a creative outlet. “The premise is that since so many of our students use digital design tools for class work, they can also benefit from exposure to Second Life,” Matthews wrote.

“Maybe SL isn’t sustainable long-term, that’s fine, we can just move to another virtual environment. My personal feeling about technology is that everything you learn can be applied elsewhere, therefore the more you know the better.”

Read More:

* The Ubiquitous Librarian
* Brian Matthews Site

Stanford Hosts Course on Designing Apps in Facebook


By Paul McCloskey
Social Web hotspot Facebook is the focus of a new course at Stanford this semester designed to teach both techies and non-science majors how to build “engaging Web applications.” In fact, the name of the course is called–in Learning Annex-style–“Create Engaging Web Applications Using Metrics and Learning on Facebook.”

Yet the site will not focus directly on building applications. Instead, it will teach how to design “persuasive and engaging user experiences” in Facebook, according to its instructors.

The course will be taught by B.J. Fogg and Dave McClure. Fogg is involved in the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford. In addition to teaching the Stanford course, McClure is currently organizing a conference called “Graphing Social Patterns: the Business and Technology of Facebook.”

According to a fact sheet on the course on the Facebook website, the instructors are looking for “a mix of students with technical background and non-technical backgrounds. However, if you already have a background in Facebook application development, we want you in this class.”