Bishop Mueller Library

Household Gadgets

In notes on January 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Let’s Talk reconvened for the Winter Term on Tuesday, January 25th in Heelan 143.  We tried a later time this term — 3:30 to 4:30 and it worked out great!  There was a wonderful turn-out and fantastic discussions.

Some of the gadgets that made appearances included cell phones, iPod Touches, cameras, and iPads.

The conversation went all over the place, which is exactly what Let’s Talk was designed for.  Here are some of the tips and resources mentioned this week:

  • Don’t have a data plan?  You can send a search to Google via text message using the number 466-453 — yep, that’s the whole number.  Text something like “weather 51104” and you’ll receive a text message back in just a minute with the forecast and current conditions.  Keep in mind, these text messages will cost the same as any other text.
  • Prof. Tom Kleen talked briefly about Prezi – an online presentation tool that creates non-linear, mindmapping-style graphic presentations.  They have a short explanation video on their home page – check it out and see what you think.
  • In an earlier conversation, Fred had mentioned the website StumbleUpon — for anyone who wishes there was a way to combine the serendipity of discovering books in the stacks with the chaotic nature of the web, try out this free online tool to discover other websites similar to the ones you frequently use.
  • A couple offices on campus are using textPlus to keep in touch with their work study students and student club members.  There are free options and paid options, as well as apps for mobile devices.
  • A very important topic — Back Ups!  Do you back up your home computer?  Can you afford not to?  We’ve mentioned Dropbox before here on Let’s Talk, but another service that comes highly recommended by our discussion group is Carbonite.  It has unlimited off-site back-up for $55 a year.  It syncs your files automatically so you don’t have to worry about it.  The website has a quick 2-minute video overview.
  • We also talked about textbooks on the iPad.  CourseSmart is offering many ebook editions of popular textbooks for roughly half the price of the paper equivalent.  Inkling is another e-textbook company that is trying out some innovative interactive features in their titles, such as Music Appreciation.
  • Last, but not least, we looked at iTunes U — free educational content from universities such as Stanford, Oxford, and many many others.   According to the website, they have “more than 350,000 free lectures, videos, films, and other resources…”.   An amazing warehouse of excellent educational materials.
  1. […] quickly made the changes back at the library before running out again to the Let’s Talk session – which, I am delighted to report, had the highest attendance yet! And the funny thing is, it […]

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