eBook formats

Article is also present on the other site! One of the two most common formats in the digital world for reading books are EPUBs and PDFs. And yet, here on the site, all the series are offered in EPUB format. What gives? Are you biased or something? Why not both? Well, here’s a comparison of […]

via What are ePubs? — Cafe Alpha

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APA vs MLA

This blog post summarises quite well the main differences between APA and MLA styles in their later editions. Please, take some time to read it. Then, go on with your reading on the first Wikispaces’ activity.

An academic paper should follow a defined formatting style that is characterized by standard fonts, margin and indentation. The standardization is crucial in gaining credibility with academic audience. The common academic format styles include APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Turabian. The following are the rules and guidelines as well as the example of each format […]

via Academic Writing Formats — ZealCore

Other ways of taking notes

Microsoft has rolled out a new preview build of Windows 10 for members of the Windows Insider program. Build 16188 for PC users includes updates for the Microsoft Edge web browser, some changes to the Windows Settings menus, and a number of bug fixes. The settings menu for Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant have now been […]

via Latest Windows 10 preview brings PDF annotations to Edge, revised settings menus, and more — Liliputing

5 Ways for Educators to Use Social Media

A quite interesting reading for unit 3

The Principal's Desk

Social media has changed the way that we approach communication and networking. Educators around the world are learning and sharing together. While many educators have taken to social media like a fish to water, there is still some resistance and anxiety. Most of this anxiety comes from not knowing what to post or how to connect. Here are five ways that educators can utilize social media.

  1. Re-visualize The School Newsletter

For decades, teachers and administrators would send out weekly or monthly newsletters. These newsletters would often get lost in backpacks and binders, never to be seen again. Sending the newsletter via email directly to parents helped, but would often get lost in inboxes. Furthermore, information, dates and times would change between the date the newsletter was sent out and the date of the event. Twitter can be utilized to send out messages and reminders daily that go straight to a parent’s…

View original post 439 more words

Export directly from Scopus and Science Direct!

Good news!

Mendeley Blog

web-importer-inpage

You know that nice feeling you get when things just work? Well, here at Mendeley we love coming up with ways to make that happen for researchers everywhere, and building features that save them time is usually a good way to go about it.

As a PhD student myself, I know that one of the biggest time drains when doing your research can be the process of finding, processing and organizing your relevant citations and papers. Having to download each one individually before adding them to Mendeley was a big frustration when doing my literature review, and many academics in our community shared similar experiences.

That’s why the Mendeley team put a lot of work in building an improved Web Importer that was released last June and then integrating it with Science Direct and Scopus (as well as most other sites!) to make the process of putting those papers and…

View original post 141 more words

Twitter. Using microblogging for educative & research purposes.


What is Twitter?
What are Hashtags? Working with #hashtags
What is a Retweet?
What is a list? Creating a list
Followers and Followed
@Replies
References to the lists of our course

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social network based on microblogging. It allows you to post entries, as in blogs, but the particularity is that they cannot be longer than 140 characters. These micro-entries are called tweets, and the act of writing and publishing a tweet is called tweeting, which explains why Twitter’s symbol is a bird. Tweets can also contain different types of media, such as pictures, videos, and GIF images.

Given the very limited extension of the entries, you need to compact information so that you manage to tell something interesting and important, otherwise nobody would follow you. Because this is one of the most interesting features of Twitter: you can follow people you like in order to receive their tweets in your tweet feed, that is, your Twitter homepage. Usernames begin with @, like @apps_tic_ei, and you can tag people in a tweet so as to share it with them, acknowledge them as its source as well as engage in discussion.

What are Hashtags? Working with #hashtags.

Another important feature of Twitter is hashtags, which allow users to identify their tweets as relevant to a topic or an event. Their name is self-explanatory: a tag beginning with a hash. Anyone can invent their own hashtags, but they are more likely related to a topic, such as #lylitadistancia, the one we use most in Aplicaciones TIC. Thus, you can use the search tool in order to find all the tweets that contain a specific hashtag. Besides, if many people are using the same hashtag at the same time, it will become “trending topic” and it will be featured prominently on Twitter’s homepage. They are equally useful for the live broadcasting of events: if you are attending a conference or talk, you can post tweets explaining what is going on and adding the hashtag chosen for the event, as it was done during the X Seminario TIC-ETL: Recursos para la investigación en Tecnologías de la Lengua, for which the hashtag #XSeminarioTICETL was used.

What is a Retweet?

It is usually abbreviated as RT, and it is used on to show you are tweeting content that has been posted by another user. The format is RT @username where username is the twitter name of the person you are retweeting.

Features of retweets:

Retweets have the same features of a tweet but with the twitter name of other profile.
For instance, if someone you follow writes in a tweet something that you consider important or hilarious, that would be a great time to retweet it. Thereby your followers will read it too.

How to retweet?

These are the steps to follow:
1. Hover over a Tweet.
2. Click the Retweet icon.
3. A pop-up will show you the Tweet you’re about to Retweet.
4. Click the Retweet button.
5. The Tweet will then be shared with all of your followers as a Retweet!

From https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169873

What happens when one retweets?

As we read in the official web page “Retweets look like normal Tweets with the author’s name and username next to it, but are distinguished by the Retweet icon and the name of the user who retweeted the Tweet.

If you see a message from a stranger in your timeline, look for retweeted by info in the Tweet — the retweeter should be someone you follow.”

Where do Retweets appear?

⌑ Tweets retweeted by other people: You can see Retweets your followers have retweeted in your home timeline.

Retweets, like regular Tweets, will not show up from people you’ve blocked.

⌑ Tweets you have retweeted: If you retweet someone you follow, it will be visible on your profile timeline.

If you retweet someone you do not follow, it will be visible on both your home and profile timelines.

⌑ Your Tweets that others have retweeted: Go to Notifications in the top navigation bar. In the Notifications section you will see all activity concerning your Tweets — including which have recently been retweeted and by whom.

From https://support.twitter.com/articles/77606

Benefits of retweeting:

We can find a lot of information on the internet about benefits of retweeting due to the importance of it in the marketing area as well as other fields as media.

⌑ A Retweet may provide valuable information to your followers:

If you can provide value to your followers you will not only make your fans or followers happy, you will most likely attract more followers. Providing quality content is always a great way to provide your followers with value. The first thing that comes to mind is sharing a link with interesting information that is from you or another person.

⌑ A Retweet can benefit your personal brand both on the internet and in your career:

Retweeting will help build your personal brand as well as your fans´ loyalty. If you point a follower to an external source that is truly relevant and beneficial to them, the amount of trust that person has in you will increase. The next time you post a link, whether it’s to your website or to an external source, the chances of that person clicking that link are higher than before.

⌑ A Retweet can help you build relationships with other members:

Retweeting someone else’s content is an act of kindness, and others are likely to do the same for you. This doesn’t mean that you should expect someone to retweet your content just because you retweet theirs. Remember, retweeting is all about providing value to your followers, typically people will not retweet a post of yours unless it’s perceived as important or helpful.
If you retweet sending Spam, this can actually hurt your personal brand and future traffic. If done right, a retweet can provide value to your followers, improve your personal brand, increase the number of followers, and build relationships with a lot of people.

From http://twitterwatchdog.com/2009/06/07/3-benefits-of-retweeting/

From http://parallelfraid.weebly.com/blog/benefits-of-retweeting-on-twitter

@Replies

When you want to reply to someone, you hit the little reply arrow in your client or on the web. The client will insert that users name with an @ sign, like @shanselman. It will also populate some hidden metadata indicating which tweet you were replying to. It’s helpful to reply to specific tweets as it makes the conversation easier to follow later. Often newbies reply to the most recent tweet, but then make reference to tweets from days before.

For maximum social-ness, the first setting you should change when you sign up for Twitter is your @replies setting. Set it to show replies from anyone rather than just the replies from people you follow. Otherwise you’ll miss out on a lot of the conversation.

I can see your replies even if I don’t follow you. You don’t need permission from me or anyone to reply and jump into a conversation.

From http://www.hanselman.com/blog/HowToTwitterFirstStepsAndATwitterGlossary.aspx

What is a list? Creating a list.

A list is a supervised  group of Twitter, A person can create His/her own list or subscribe to a list which has been created by others. These lists are only used to read Tweets from users on that list and you can not send a Tweet to the members of a list.

For building a list, you have to go to your Profile clicking on your Photo, scroll to Lists and there, on the right side, you can click on Create new list. In the appearing window you introduce a name and a description and, after saving, you can introduce in your new list any Twitter user as a Member which you want (yes, even without their permission).

The advantage of doing this is that you follow all the Tweets of the List members from that moment. All of it without becoming a direct Follower of any user. As it has been said previously, one cannot send a tweet to the list members at once.

How lists work: functions and use.

First of all, you have to create a list with a name and a short description. There are two possibilities: make your list private or public.
Once you have a list, you can do different functions:
Remove or add people from your list. You only have to select ” Add or Remove from list” and people that you add, they should appear when you select “Members”.

Share a list with others in three steps:

-Go to the list you’d like to share
-Copy the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar
-Paste the URL into a message to anyone that you want to share the list with.

Look at Tweets from a list in two steps:

-Click on the lists tab on your Profile Page
-Click on the list you’d like to look at and you will see all the Tweets of that list.
-Edit or delete lists

Differences between followed and followers.

Followers are people who follow you because they want to read your Tweets when you post them. Thus, when you have followers you are followed. For instance, if you subscribe to a company’s Twitter account, the company is “followed” by you, whereas you are its “follower”.

References to the lists of our course.

For our course, Professor Jordano has established several lists, with a lot of specialized-in-our-field Twitter users as Followed @Connect’s (List Members). Students like us can include themselves in the different lists as Followers (Subscriptions’ List).

For doing this you have to go to the @Connect you wish, for example, @apps_tic_ei, there you can see in upper side: Lists, you click on this and all the list names appear, you click on that you are interested in and a button appears on the left, indicating Subscribe to the list. When you click on it, you become a member of the list and in Tweets you can see all the Tweets of the List Members (no the list followers’). For @apps_tic_ei, the lists are Unit 1 to Unit 5.

Aplicaciones de las TIC Group 3: Becerra D., Muñoz A., Núñez-Lagos B., Rebollo J., Sanjosé A. Supervisor & Reviewer: Borreguero L. Coordinator: Jordano M.

Three Tools for Creating your Mind Maps

Impressions about MindManager, FreeMind and CMapTools

I have not tried these tools before, neither their computer version nor the mobile one. However, in order to learn a little bit about them, I have downloaded them to my mobile and I have worked with them during this week. These are my impressions about them:

  • MindManager:

This tool has more than one million downloads and a score of 4 points out of 5 in Google Play. Nowadays it is one of the best values tool for mind maps. However, there are many comments on the net that say that Mindjet doesn’t goes very well when working with the mobile version. It seems that there are some problems with the templates and the synchronization with Dropbox.

My experience is that it is a very intuitive app. I found it simpler than the computer version and it is faster to learn. You can create a simple map in just 5 minutes.

Mind

However, when I try to recuperate the project that I have written before with the normal version, there were many problems. It spent a lot of time, and when I got to open it, it was all wrong. The connections weren’t correct, the colours had changed and everything was a mess. There were warnings saying that some features are only supported on Mindjet Web accounts.

MINDJET

So, I coincide with the comments I read: the mobile version, although simpler, it’s not good when opening Dropbox files.

  • FreeMind:

Freemind is an open source mind mapping tool built in Java, and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It has a wide variety of features, including location-based mind mapping, collaboration tools, restore session support and more.

It can be used to keep track of projects as a knowledge base, and as a powerful mind mapping tool for complex diagrams with numerous branches, including embedded links and multimedia. You can export your map as HTML, PDF, OpenDocument, SVG or PNG. FreeMind auto-layout makes searching clean and useable.

First, I downloaded the computer version http://sourceforge.net/projects/freemind/files/freemind/1.0.1/FreeMind-Windows-Installer-1.0.1-max.exe/download?use_mirror=netcologne&download=

Then I made a simple map about some of the databases that appears in unit 2 and exported to other formats: .jpg, .pdf…

When I downloaded the mobile version I have some difficulties. The first one was that in Google Play there were two apps available: FreMind Reader and FreeMind Viewer Free. I tried the first one. I accessed my Dropbox (you can also use your Drive), selected the file and I could see it in my phone. This app is used only to visualize.

FreeMind.jpg

After that, I downloaded the second app. This app is used to create your maps, but it is very simple. I hasn’t got many options although it is easy to learn.

The worst part of all: it is full of advertisements (as you can see in the pictures I attach).

  • CMapTools:

I downloaded this tool and started to try it. One of the things that I like is that I could access to many models that people share on the net. This way it is easy for me to have a global vision about the kinds of maps that you can create.  You can also share your maps and upload them to the Cloud, and other platforms.

CMapTools.jpg

The difference with respect to other tools is that you can add web links, so it is more useful because you can access directly to those resources easily and from wherever you are. It is simple to use. However, I could not find a mobile version. When I tried to download this tool it always said that it was not possible to open the file. It seems that this app is only available for Windows Mac, Linux and Solaris, not for Android.

Now it is your turn to decide. Which one do you prefer? Do you know other tools? Thank you in advance for sharig your comments.

LANGUAGE LEARNING TOOLS ONLINE: WHICH ONE IS THE BEST?

I have always thought that the best way of learning a foreign language is going to the country and speaking with the native people of that language. That’s the reason why I went to Canada when I was only 16, and I decided to study a degree in London after I finished the secondary school. However, something that it wasn’t planned at all, it was meeting my Italian ragazzo in London. I laughed at my friend Louise when she first showed me her new app Duolingo. She started dating her Italian boyfriend a month before me, and after months teaching him English she decided that she wanted to learn the Latin language. I also thought about downloading the app, but instead I printed the list with all the Italian verbs following the methods I was taught in school… Anyway, my list is still on my phone and I have probably used it once. The way I have learnt Italian is listening and throwing in the air the most absurd sentences in Italispanish which, for some reason, all of them understood. Now, I’m very fluent talking but I’m very frustrated since I cannot answer any of my what’s app or facebook messages in Italian. Therefore, I’m looking for a fast and fun way of learning how to write in this language and I would like to try with modern methods this time.

I had a look to some of the language learning tools online and this is what I found:

Duolingo

OKAY, SO WHAT MAKES IT GREAT? Duolingo is a crowdsourced text translation platform designed so that, by learning a new language, users inadvertently provide translations for documents. Because of this, Duolingo is completely free! It helps with the translation process as well: along with practicing your reading and speaking comprehension, by re-typing translations, it forces you to use proper spelling. Like Mango Languages, grammar is also subtly integrated into the learning process.

AND THE DOWNSIDE? Unfortunately, Duolingo only offers five languages to study at the moment: Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, and German. Users are also unable to be judged on their speaking skills, and although you can create a profile for yourself, there seems to be little to no community to practice with.

LiveMocha

OKAY, SO WHAT MAKES IT GREAT? LiveMocha is the most-used of the three programs, and it shows through its extended abilities and large community. Users can choose from over 35 languages and a variety of styles to study: vocab, reading and writing, reading and speaking, listening and writing, listening and speaking, etc. What really sets LiveMocha apart is its huge community – users are encouraged to help one another practice, which rewards them with points.

AND THE DOWNSIDE? Since we’re on the topic of points… it’s LiveMocha’s biggest issue. While users can do many activities for free, unlocking new lessons costs “points.” You can purchase points if you need, but by correctly answering questions or helping others, LiveMocha rewards you with free points to use. It’s a bit confusing, and rather unnecessary, considering how easy it is to achieve points. As for the learning style, it felt a little quick, which was a struggle at times. Another problem is communication in the new Livemocha is very limited and the lessons are min-numbingly dull. The technical bugs and errors in their lessons are frequent too.

Mango Languages

OKAY, SO WHAT MAKES IT GREAT? Mango Languages offers over 50 languages to choose from, many of which are available in ESL format as well. The system is beautifully designed and easy to navigate. Students are introduced to both grammar and cultural notes as they study. Mango also uses colors to distinguish words in sentences, which proved to be helpful when learning terms for the first time.

AND THE DOWNSIDE? MangoLanguages is not technically a free service, although many can access the program for free through their local library. (You can check here!) In addition, although users can record their pronunciation, you are speaking to a computer. Many language programs provide communities for users to speak with native speakers, which Mango cannot offer.

 

CUT TO THE CHASE: WHICH SHOULD I CHOOSE?

All three are excellent programs, but if money isn’t an object, we have to recommend LiveMocha first. Being able to talk with native speakers is a huge benefit when learning a language, and LiveMocha’s large community is something to take advantage of. However, if you’re casually studying, consider DuoLingo if your language is one of the few they offer. Otherwise, if used through a local library, MangoLanguages is a great, free language tool, as well.

 

 

 

Sources: Information taken from http://blog.dynamiclanguage.com

Interview to a Uned Librarian

Librarian interview

  • What are the requirements for becoming a librarian? Which are your tasks in the library?

You need to study a degree in Library and Information Studies, a fluent level of writing (English, French, or German) and to be successful in a public competition. In my case, as that degree didn´t exist, I studied Philology and some courses about cataloguing (monographs, magazines and file documents) in different formats (paper and CD-ROM).

My tasks in this very position are: process and cataloguing of reference works, as well as doctoral thesis. Management of databases, advice to researchers and teachers about electronic resources provided by the university, advice about evaluation tools for the research, classroom learning about databases, etc.

  • How many years have you been working as a librarian? How much has your work changed since you started working on it?

I have been doing this job for 18 years. It has changed a great deal, given that there were no computers in the library at the beginning. Cataloguing was done on cards, using a typewriter and sometimes by hand. You had to come to the library if you wanted to consult a book or an article.

  • Over the years, ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) have been progressively introduced in our lives. To what extent do they affect a librarian?

It has had an impact on virtually every aspect of our work, from the cataloguing process to the way we communicate with the user, including literature searches.

  • What courses have you done in your work to adapt and better meet the needs of users?

I have taken courses dealing with assessment tools for research and with publications with a high impact factor.

  • How can a librarian support online users to prepare well-structured research or to do other tasks?

Through tutorials or video-tutorials development.

  • For you, which are the advantages of using either databases directly, metasearchers or platforms for research purposes? What search tool would you advise for undertaking the end-of-degree project?

Everything will depend on the degree of deepening that you need. In order to do the end-of-degree project, it will be enough with the search of a “metasearcher” or “discovery” such as Linceo+.

If you are writing a thesis or a further investigation, I would recommend you a database lookup.

  • Is it usual to call upon other libraries for the lending of books? Which are the procedures to follow?

Yes, it is. In almost all libraries, there is a service called Inter-library Loan. The procedure to follow will be to address you to the librarian (face-to-face or virtually) and you have to request the book or magazine that you are interested in. The librarians will be in charge of locating the book and indicating when the book is available. In the case of a magazine article, they send it to you digitally by e-mail.

  • What tools do you know that are better in making full texts searchable than Linceo+?

I don’t know any one better

  • When searching for information from different sources, which strategies can we use in order to avoid duplicities in the results?

You can use a reference manager such as Refworks which locates and deletes the duplicate records.

  • Do you think the librarian role (and profile) is in risk due to the technological advances? What will be its role in the mid-term?

I don’t believe this profession is in danger as information always needs to be managed… Although,  the format of that information will change and will be especially electronic. We will become the supervisors of the contents instead of the owners of the information, due to the fact that there will exist more electronic books than paper ones. 

Aplicaciones de las TIC Group 3: Becerra D., Merino L., Muñoz A., Núñez-Lagos B., Rebollo J., Sanjosé A. Supervisor & Reviewer: Borreguero L. Coordinator: Jordano M.

 

Livemocha: tool for learning

 Livemocha web as a tool for CoP ( http://learn.livemocha.com)

The Livemocha community is made up of language enthusiasts: teachers, language experts, other language learners, and native speakers proud of their language and heritage.  Community members help each other learn in a myriad of ways: they leave comments in response to practice exercises, build mini-lessons within exercise feedback, have practice conversations via text, video or audio chat, provide language practice and culture tips, and give much-needed encouragement.

It is universally agreed that conversational proficiency in a language is most effectively acquired and retained through immersion. The Livemocha community provides learners with a convenient and safe environment for language immersion and is an essential component of the Whole-Part-Whole methodology that makes Livemocha’s language courses effective.  After a learner has observed how the conversation is performed and learned the vocabulary and grammar components, they can then engage in a series of exercises with the native speakers in the Livemocha community. They practice, learn, and actually communicate.

Beginners or learners who like a bit more structure can connect with native speakers in the community to practice conversations using a set transcript. Practicing speech production in real time with a native speaker and receiving immediate feedback on your skills is a fun and effective way to develop comfort and confidence with synthesizing the components of a language for use in a conversation.

Language is not just an academic subject but also a performing art – something that must be actively practiced in order to master. A learner can watch people speak a new language, memorize all of the grammar rules, and talk about the language ad nauseam. But to truly speak a language, a learner must actually try it out with a partner. Real conversational fluency takes good instruction, a dose of courage, and a lot of real-life practice.

Whole-Part-Whole is a proven structure that allows learners to observe, learn, and then practice new language concepts. Consistently used in skills training, Whole-Part-Whole breaks down learning situations into three parts:

  • Demonstration: The learner watches and/or listens to native speakers engage in a conversation. The situation includes new language skills and is presented to learners in a complete real-life setting that helps with the construction of a mental model. For example, the learner may watch a video of people ordering coffee at a café and then complete a short exercise to gauge their own comprehension.
  • Deconstruction: The situation represented in the conversation is broken down into its vocabulary and grammar parts. This allows learners to fully understand the components of the new situation and to learn how those components can be applied to other situations as well.
  • Practice: Finally, the components are reassembled and the learner is given the opportunity to practice via a series of interactive activities.  These activities focus on written and spoken production and all involve interaction with and feedback from real native speakers of the language.

Livemocha’s learning materials are all made up of Activity Sets.  The building blocks of each course framework, one Activity Set represents a single Whole-Part-Whole deconstruction of a concept or scenario.  Activity Sets can be combined into Sequences that, when completed, allow the learner to do a specific task. Sequences are then combined into Courses, which deliver a specific learning outcome tied to the proficiency level a learner will achieve upon completion – for example, English Mastery for Business. Each Course is created to meet the needs of a particular Persona – the target learner for the Course, who has an assumed set of competencies including knowledge, age, skills, etc.

There is a chance to learn 35 languages, in a free online learning way, and with a worldwide community of native-speaking language learners. Hailing from every country in the world and speaking over 260 languages, the Livemocha community represents a rich blend of languages, cultures, and nationalities. Learners, teachers, and content creators—all equal members of the community—come together to learn, share, and connect, building each other’s language skills and expanding each other’s worldview.

Livemocha’s blog is very useful and is divided into entries from teachers and students. Submission exercises—in which a learner writes a passage or records him or herself speaking and then submits that exercise to the community for feedback—are found in all Livemocha courses and are also available as standalone activities.  In a lesson, they provide learners with the opportunity to practice writing and speaking, which synthesizes the vocabulary and grammar components of a conversation.  Learners who complete practice exercises are encouraged to submit them to the community for review and get the full benefit of the whole-part-whole structure of Livemocha’s courses.  Repeated practice and feedback from the community helps a learner develop the skills and confidence to eventually participate in a conversation in the new language.

The submission exercises are submitted to native-speaking members of the community at large for review.  Learners can also request feedback from specific members of the community to whom they are connected. As soon as their exercises are reviewed, learners receive notification and are able to view the feedback for their work.  All exercises and the associated feedback are saved for the learner to review as much as he/she wants.

Learners who submit their exercises to the community for review receive a rating for their work, a written comment and frequently, an audio comment as well.  The Livemocha community is made up of language enthusiasts who are teachers, language experts, native speakers proud of their language and heritage, and other language learners so getting comments specific to practice exercises is just the start. Learners can get feedback that includes detailed mini-lessons that extend beyond the subject of the exercise, language practice tips, culture tips and much-needed encouragement (after all, learning a new language is not easy!).

When you login for the first time, you get 50000 points and you get more if you help other users. Each advanced lesson in English is 7000 points, so you have enough points for 7 advanced lessons if you don’t help. Of course, you can buy more points, if you like it.

If you need special features for learning, Livemocha’s resources are related to Rosetta Stone (http://www.rosettastone.es/), a very interesting and complete learning method.

This content has been extracted taking into account public data from the Livemocha’s web published general information.

Javier Rebollo

Aplicaciones de las TIC