Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Free Google Search Tools You Might Not Be Using So Much

More Free Google Search Tools You Might Not Be Using So Much

search tools

The Googleplex must be a busy place indeed. There is always something happening around Google. Take their flagship product, Google Search for example. Google Search alone is a maze and it takes quite something to use it in different ways to call oneself as a ‘power user’. Google Search operators and Advanced Search are just barrels of a multi-barreled canon.
Too confusing? No…look at it this way – each filter and operator on Google Search is designed to be a crosshair on a scope mounted on that ‘canon’. You need to use them appropriately for the relevant search result. So, I am advancing this article with the assumption that you don’t use most of the search tools as much as you should every day. Let’s explore a few neat search tools which we miss in the flurry of typing in the queries.

The Idea behind Google’s Revamped Search Tools

The Google Search page was minimalistic to begin with. But when there’s so much to dig around on the web, it practically turned into a maze. Earlier this month, Google went in for a more uncluttered look. The update took a cue from the Google interface on tablets and mobile devices. The idea is to provide “more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for”.
search tools
Most of the filters that were on the left have been moved to the top. Now, the More menu hides other Google search services like news, books, blogs and a few more. Search Tools to its right gives you a set of filters to finetune the primary results. Let’s take a look with an example.

Using Google Search to Hunt For Free Applications & Future Technology

Yes, you can just search for free (or paid) applications on Google, completely removing the clutter of irrelevant results.
tools search internet
Put in the keyword for the app you are searching for.
Click on More – Applications to view filtered search results from a variety of app hosting sites and stores.
Now, you can click on Search Tools and filter the already narrowed down results by Any Price and Any Source.
tools search internet
You can use Search Tools with any of the other search services to finetune the results. For example, you can use Google’s Recipe Search for getting low-cal diet recipes that can be quickly prepared.
tools search internet
In my lazy hours, I also find it interesting to look at what major companies are up to. As you may know, every company is trying to make a beachhead in the patent wars. Also, filed patents give us an early teaser into how the world is shaping up. Check out this screenshot which uses Google’s patent search tells you about an interesting swim wear developed by an inventor which has a retaining device for swim goggles. Try out some of your own searches.
google search tools

The Filters That Strip Down All Results to the Bare Essentials

The Filters that you see in the above screenshot are supplemental to advanced search operators you can use. The filters make it a one-click deal as opposed to typing it out. Let’s look into how we can use each filter to not only get better content, but also cut short the time it takes to separate the wheat from the chaff on a regular Google Search results page.
A Use for Sites with Images: You can do a regular Google Image Search. But Sites with Images gives me a better view of images organized around sites hosting them. With a glance I can see how the image I am searching for and the sites hosting it are connected.
google search tools
A Use for Related Searches: A related search helps you to cast your net wide and then bring it close. Let’s say, you are unsure about what you are looking for. Try a general search and then start narrowing it down by using related search. Alternatively, related search helps you go deeper into results and discover more. For example, you can use it to sieve out ‘brand’ names that have already been trademarked. One of the more common uses is to find related keywords for quick search engine optimization.
A Use for Reading Level: Filtering your results by reading level is very useful, from a teacher to a Nobel laureate. You’ll now see a percentage breakdown of results by reading level on a bar graph. If you are a teacher looking for basic reading material for kids, you can click on Basic. If you happen to be a Nobel laureate reading this humble post, click on Advanced.
google search tools
A Use for Dictionary: This filter gives you the meaning of the word in a single click. It is also what you get when you use the [define] operator and click ‘More info’ below it. You will get links to definitions on other sites, and also an option to translate it to another language.

A Use for ‘Nearby’: Using this filter is a trigger for a local search. One of the uses could be to find local businesses or someone like a freelancer based near your city, state, or region.
A Use for Translated Foreign Pages: Translated foreign pages can have some great content too in comparison to the English ones. It is also a great language learning aid. If you planning a visit to a foreign locale, you can read through some of the native language sites in their translated English versions pr any language of your choice. As you can see from the numbers below, there are quite a lot of them.

A Use for Verbatim: A search using the ‘Verbatim’ filter gives you exactly or the exact literal word you search for. It makes Google ignore your browsing history, synonyms, similar terms, spelling corrections etc. It is also a replacement for the ‘+’ operator, that now finds use in Google Plus. But I didn’t find it absolutely accurate but nearly so.
search tools
Google Search tools and filters can be worked around in alternate ways. The idea is to grab the vast information out there and make use of it in ways not envisaged normally. What about you? Do you use these filters consciously? Have you explored them lately? Tell us if you use them in some specific ways. We would love to grab a few hints without ‘Googling’ around for them.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Call for Presentations: The Sloan Consortium and MERLOT - The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium


Call for Presentations


The Sloan Consortium and MERLOT invite you to submit a proposal for the 6th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, to be held April 9-11, 2013 at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, a joint Symposium of Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is designed to bring together individuals interested in the review and evaluation of emerging technologies' impact on online teaching and learning. We seek interactive sessions that engage and inform participants. Presenters and facilitators from the following areas are encouraged to submit proposals:
  • Higher Education and K-12 Faculty
  • Future professors and graduate students
  • Educational technology leaders
  • Students
  • Instructional designers
  • Instructional technologists
  • Academic administrators
Proposed sessions can be targeted to all attendees or novice, intermediate, or expert levels of proficiency.

The symposium, devoted to the emerging and innovative uses of technology designed to improve teaching and learning online, will accept presentations that offer attendees “real solutions,” pioneering practices, and future trends. Symposium tracks highlight and demonstrate research, application and effective practices and emerging technological tools in the following areas:
ET4Online seeks submissions which emphasize evidence-based practice and the impact of topic tracks on teaching practices and student learning outcomes using a range of research methodologies (e.g. case study, longitudinal comparisons, within group comparisons, quasi-experimental, etc.) and rigorous approaches to the analysis of supporting data, qualitative or quantitative.
The Conference Committee is also planning another Unconference Event to take place in conjunction with the 2013 ET4Online Symposium. More details on this event will be forthcoming as conference planning continues.

NOTE: All links on this page will open a new browser tab (or window).
2011 Symposium CFP We are no longer publishing a pdf version of the CFP.
If you miss or had a use for the pdf version, please feel free to email us with your feedback.


Please review this information before submitting your proposal.
  1. Submission checklist
  2. Conference Tracks (also below)
  3. Session Types
  4. Selection Criteria
  5. Timeline
  6. A/V & Media
  7. Presentation Repository
  8. General Conference Information
  9. Sloan-C Vendor Presentation Policy


Register at the submission site. Please include as much information as possible, including your biography and most current contact information. All corresponding authors need to also be registered, however, this can be completed at a later stage. Sloan-C and MERLOT elect to use a robust, third-party call for paper and abstract management service. Please keep in mind that once you have registered or submitted a paper, all conference-related information can be found here at the Emerging Technologies For Online Learning Symposium website.

Once registered, return to this site to complete your submission.

Begin the submission process by selecting your track below.

(Click on track name to enter submission)
Learning Spaces & Communities The evidence of the impact of the environments in which students learn and instructors teach has been growing considerably over the past decade. The places and spaces of learning and teaching – whether physical, virtual, or blended, formal or informal, fixed or mobile – create both affordances and limitations on the cognitive, affective, creative, and procedural aspects of our educational endeavors. This track welcomes submissions that explore the impact of learning environments, broadly construed, on teaching practices and student learning outcomes using a range of research methodologies (e.g. case study, longitudinal comparisons, within group comparisons, quasi-experimental, etc.) and employ rigorous approaches to the analysis of supporting data, qualitative or quantitative. Suggestions include:
  • What are the most important features of learning spaces and environments for enhancing and improving student learning? How do the spaces improve or hinder learning, facilitate or disrupt the learning process, and strengthen or weaken student interaction?
  • Are some pedagogical approaches and learning activities more conducive to some learning environments and not others?
  • What learning objects, exercises, and approaches work best in different types of learning spaces?
  • How do students and instructors navigate and manage their learning experiences between learning digital learning environments and physical classroom spaces?
  • Is it important to alter one’s pedagogical approach to accommodate the space or environment in which it is being taught? Why or why not?
Open and Accessible Learning This track will explore three key issues in online and blended learning: openness, accessibility, and affordability. It invites papers which share evidence and practice through discussion of these issues in relation to Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, Open Textbooks, MOOCs, Open Practice or relevant topics of your choice. This year a focus on the impact of these issues and topics on the learner’s experience is encouraged. Suggestions include:
  • Which emerging open practices work in everyday instruction? How open is open?
  • What evidence-based practices exist concerning the inventive uses of open content or open content adoption to improve outcomes in learning, accessibility, affordability, faculty satisfaction, or student satisfaction?
  • What tools do we have to evaluate the sustainable impact of emerging trends in openness, accessibility, and affordability?
  • What benefits, risks, and costs are there for an institution in using open content?
  • What emerging practices or technologies can make credentialed education more affordable today?
Please note, it is the intent of this track to have a balanced program to promote the discussion of how these three issues intersect.
Evidence-based Learning
Sessions in this track will explore the intersection between learning, technology, and assessment, highlighting innovative assessments and analytics that foster rich and lifelong learning. The track seeks to answer the question, how do we know students are learning: And, in what ways can learning be enhanced by technology, innovative assessments, and learning analytics? Topic in this track include: ePortfolios, performance assessment, project-based learning, experiential learning, authentic learning techniques, and learning analytics. The track will also include sessions that focus on the iterative uses of data to inform decisions at the course design level, departmental level, and institutional level. Sample questions include:
  • How can analytics be woven into the fabric of student and course assessment to provide holistic views of student learning? How can analytics assist learning in technical disciplines? What are ways to best teach the use of analytics online?
  • What examples do we have of effective electronic portfolio practices? Performance assessment practices? How are electronic portfolios best integrated into learning and institutional practices?
  • What technologies best support “evidence-based learning” and what significance does this hold for the future of education?
  • How can institutions use analytics culled from learning platforms to enhance learning and teaching practices? What role do MOOCs play in informing and changing the culture of learning and assessment?
  • How can we effectively and holistically analyze student learning data? What is the role of our analyses in decision-making and in the design of learning experiences? How might our analyses change the structures and roles within our institutions?

Faculty and Student Development

This track focuses on new paradigms for learning and information technology to support student and faculty services, emphasizing support for online and hybrid environments, including 24/7 learning, professional development, and academic continuity. Suggestions include:
  • How have the myriad new applications and technologies affected student, faculty and staff support systems and models?
  • How do we know what technology to adopted?
  • What best practices exist in the development and support of faculty in STEM fields including mathematics, engineering, technology and science topics?
  • What type of instructional delivery works best for faculty? for students? How should faculty development efforts be evaluated?
  • What are creative and cost effective applications of technology for student, staff and faculty development and training, library, academic and student support services?

Innovative Media and Tools
This track is especially for practitioners to share information about using media and tools for specific learning objectives, to explain results of media studies, and to describe inventive approaches. Suggestions include:
  • Which emerging technologies make sense for use in everyday instruction?
  • Which emerging technologies make sense for use in STEM instruction?
  • What is the evidence that inventive uses of media and tools really improve outcomes in learning, accessibility, affordability, faculty satisfaction, or student satisfaction?
  • How can we use mobile learning to reinforce what we teach? How can social networking tools be used in your classes?
  • What types of tools do we have for valid student assessment?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Emerging EdTech: Gaming and MOOC Technology


Longwood University Combines Gaming and MOOC Technology to Offer Free Career Readiness Education to High School Students Everywhere


Badgestack and Longwood U combine forces to offer students a head start on what they need to know to succeed in today's work force.

Can it get much more innovative and community-focused than this? Longwood University in Virginia has worked with one-of-a-kind learning platform creator BadgeStack to offer a MOOC designed to help High School students learn about career readiness. The non-credit course, "5 Skills You Need to Succeed: What Employers Want You To Know", is a free online offering that teaches interpersonal communications skills, presentation techniques, critical thinking and more of the skills needed to land a job and succeed in the workplace ...

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EmergingEdTech, 4 Schuele Drive, Wappingers Falls, NY 10606, USA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mediasite by Sonic Foundry FREE Webinar: Video in Education – A Vision for Your Campus

The Future of Video in Education: A Vision of Your Campus in 2013 and Beyond
Register today for our free live webinar

The Future of Video in Education: A Vision of Your Campus in 2013 and Beyond
Friday, November 16, 2012
11:00 – 11:45 a.m. (convert to your time zone)

Do you believe the knowledge shared in a classroom is important? Your students do. Meteoric student demand has prompted universities large and small to evaluate how best to harness the power of video in support of their academic missions. Your words, your knowledge - they are the essence of what makes a university. But what’s the best way to capture that knowledge before it evaporates into thin air? Campuses that are wired for video are the digital sources of the future and will be the catalysts for making knowledge transfer prolific. This new student-driven phenomenon is pushing academic video to the forefront of institutions' technology planning initiatives. Learn how leading institutions have already harnessed this power and the unique features of technology solution they use to make it happen.

Join the decade-long leader in rich video capture as they describe their vision for the future of instructional media on your campus – from virtualized cross-campus content capture to searchable video automatically indexed and tagged – with a Mediasite heartbeat at the center.

Sean Brown, Vice President Education, Sonic Foundry.
Sean has nearly 20 years of product management and education business development experience at IBM, Apple, and Oracle before coming to Sonic Foundry in 2002. He is a past president and board member of the Hopkins Foundation for Innovation in Education. His core focus is simplifying digital media to improve use and outcomes.
Sean Brown
John Pollard, Events Program Director, Sonic Foundry.
©2012 Sonic Foundry, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sonic Foundry

222 West Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53703

Campus Technology: Reflecting on the Top IT Issues of 2012


MOOCs may seem to be at the tip of every IT leader's tongue these days, but the No. 1 concern for IT in higher education is staff and skills development, according to the annual "Educause Top-Ten IT Issues 2012" research project run by Educause's Center for Applied Research (ECAR).
According to Susan Grajek, vice president for data research and analytics at Educause, the list of issues was developed with input from a panel of 19 higher ed leaders who met quarterly to identify and prioritize the IT issues their institutions faced. Grajek and others reflected on the findings this month in a session at the Educause annual conference, which took place in Denver.
Top 10 IT Issues for 2012
  1. Updating IT professionals' skills and roles to accommodate new technologies and changing IT delivery models
  2. Supporting IT consumerization and bring-your-own device programs
  3. Developing a cloud strategy
  4. Improving the institution's operational efficiency through IT
  5. Integrating IT into institutional decision-making
  6. Using analytics to support the important institutional outcomes
  7. Funding IT initiatives
  8. Transforming the institution's business with IT
  9. Supporting research with high-performance computing, large data, and analytics
  10. Establishing and implementing IT governance throughout the institution
Source: "Educause Top-Ten IT Issues 2012" from Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR)

TLT-SWG FREE Webinar: Cell Phones as Clickers; Clickers in Classroom; Facebook for Profs: Experimental 3 session simulcast (Lilly Conf/FridayLive!)


Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:28 PM PST
Cell Phones as Clickers;  Clickers in Classroom;  Facebook for Profs:  Experimental 3 session simulcast (Lilly Conf/FridayLive!) 
BEGINS 1:45PM ET Friday November 16, 2012
Register free for online participation:  tlt.gs/frlv
3 Sessions in a row.  Register, free, once and participate in any/all 3.  
§ Live from Lilly International Conf 2012, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Room: Marcum 186 (Conference session codes: 11f, 12i, 13h)
§ Live Online from FridayLive! the TLT Group's weekly free online interactive Webinar series Fridays, 2:00PM ET
For more info, registration:  tlt.gs/frlv  
Participants - onsite or online:  You are welcome to enter (login), depart (logout), or actively participate, or merely "lurk" in any or all of these 3 sessions as you wish.  Each of these Lilly International 2012 sessions will be offered live, online (and by recording thereafter) thanks to the Lilly Conference's generosity, but  if (and only if) each presenter also agrees to this experimental step.  
§ 1:45pm ET "The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers"
§ 2:50pm ET "Technology and Clickers: Enhancing the Learning Environment"
Download a PDF file of the full
  session paper
§ 3:45pm ET "Facebook for Professors: Retrospective Inquiry-Based Assessment of Teaching and Learning"
Download a PDF file of the full session paper
View Steve Gilbert's slides for the entire "simulcast":  tlt.gs/nov16slides

More descriptions, including identification of presenters, below:

1:45pm ET "The Pros and Cons of Using Cell Phones as Clickers"

From IUPUI: Debora Herold, Psychology; Dina David, Communications; Martin Vaughan, Biology; Michael Yard, Biology; Nathan Byrer, University College
Session may include opportunity to use your own cell phone to participate in an activity - possibly using www.PollEverywhere.com 
"Whether we like to admit it or not, the use of cell phones
  and other technology in the college classroom is common, and is not going
The challenge for instructors
  is to make the technology work to help improve the classroom environment,
  rather than allow it to be an obstacle to active learning, or to be a distraction.
  Students expect instructors to be technologically astute, and to foster an
  interactive learning environment." - excerpt from

2:50pm ET "Technology and Clickers: Enhancing the
  Learning Environment" 

  Indiana University: Greg Kitzmiller, Marketing
3:45pm ET
  "Facebook for Professors: Retrospective Inquiry-Based Assessment of
  Teaching and Learning"

From Sinclair Community College:  John Boucuvalas, Academic Foundations;  Kathy Rowell, Center for Teaching and Learning

IMAGE selected by Steve Gilbert 20121114
Photo of "Water-lily Indian lotus flower, one of many seen in a pond near the entrance to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.  Date 28 May 2005, 13:33:47 Source Flickr Author Steve Reviewer Andre Engels"
By Steve (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 11:23 AM PST
Reminder:  No “Moore’s Law” for learning ...ever.  No ATMs for the mind.
No new app or educational approach will double the speed of human learning in a couple years.  Not even the most promising xMOOCs, cMOOCs.  Not even the scariest brain enhancing drugs.  Not even intense economic and political pressure to extend the accessibility, increase the effectiveness, and reduce the costs of education.  
NOT about human learning!
At best, we will continue to develop more valuable combinations of technology and pedagogy.  We will continue to increase the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of education in many fields.  We will continue to make improvements.  Many will be significant.  Some may be dramatic.  None will be exponential.  Not like Moore's Law. 

Moore's law helps to describe and explain the extraordinary progress of digital information technology.  At best, educational institutions can help develop and then use new tools and resources based on the exponential progress of that technology.  However, the scale of gains achieved in education by using such technology will never result in exponential improvements in human learning.  

§ "Moore's Law: The rule that really matters in tech," excellent recent article explaining Moore's Law, providing an update on its progress/viability, and some implications. -by Stephen Shankland, CNET News Cutting Edge, CBS INTERACTIVE INC. October 15, 2012 12:00 AM PDT 
§ "Moore's Law BOTH Prescient AND Prescriptive" and "No 'Moore's Law' for Learning!" -by Steve Gilbert, TLT-SWG blog, June 13, 2011.

IMAGE selected, once again, by Steve Gilbert 20121114
Reproduction of graphic titled "Moore's Law, The Fifth Paradigm." "Date 19:37, 5 July 2005 (UTC) Source en:Image:PPTMooresLawai.jpg Author Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc."
"The permission for use of this work has been archived in the Wikimedia OTRS system.
It is available here for users with an OTRS account. If you wish to reuse this work elsewhere, please read the instructions at COM:REUSE. If you are a Commons user and wish to confirm the permission, please leave a note at the OTRS noticeboard.
[CC-BY-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)]
By Courtesy of Ray Kurzweil and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. (en:Image:PPTMooresLawai.jpg) [CC-BY-1.0 (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons