Archive for August, 2014

7 Scenes from Great Literature in Legos

What better way to teach people – both young and old – about great literature than to intrigue them with a captivating Lego display? These Lego creations each depict scenes from well-known classic and modern works of literature.

 

1) Dante’s Inferno

inferno2inferno3

These legos traverse the seven circles of Hell.

 

2) Ovid’s Metamorphoses

meta

Glaucus and Circe chilling out.

 

3) Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

greyhavens

The port city of Grey Havens comes alive in this intricate creation.

 

4) Melville’s Moby Dick

moby

Capt Ahab and crew take their best shot at the famous white whale.

 

Read the full post 7 Scenes from Great Literature in Legos on OEDB.org.

7 Things Librarians Are Tired of Hearing

We’ve all heard them. Probably more than once or twice. These are the reactions and responses librarians receive when they introduce themselves to those who aren’t in the field.

1) “Do people still even go to the library now that there’s Google?”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-14961-1377121677-9
It’s amazing how many people respond this way when I tell them I’m a librarian. I assure them however, that we are somehow soldiering on in the library field, along with all of the doctors who are still attempting to stay relevant in spite of WebMD.
 

2) “So, are you like, a volunteer?” Usually followed up with “What? You need to have a Master’s degree to be a librarian?!!”

anigif_enhanced-25836-1406113261-1
Nearly everyone I’ve ever met has been astounded that librarians hold advanced degrees.
 

3) “But isn’t print dead at this point?”

anigif_enhanced-13579-1406123426-7
Yes, this is still a thing people are saying.

 

4) “You’re a librarian? That’s so hot!”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6959-1376326653-6
I have no words.

 

5) “That must be great to just be able to read all day.”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-13815-1377122036-17
Translation: “That’s cute”.
 

Read the full post 7 Things Librarians Are Tired of Hearing on OEDB.org.

10 Best Wearable Tech Devices for Back to School

Wearable technology is the next big thing, and tech-savvy college students will want to be in-the-know about these new and just launching consumer devices.  From sleep monitors to fitness trackers to GPS-enabled shoes, there are some truly incredible wearables now available for consumers to purchase.  Here are my top ten picks for back to school:

1) Vigo Energy Gauge

vigo
This Bluetooth headset is the perfect companion for all-night study sessions.  Vigo uses an infrared sensor and accelerometer to track patterns in your blinks and movements to learn when you’re the most alert and when you need a break.  The device can even give you gentle nudges to keep you alert when you need to be in the form of a soft pulsing vibration, a discrete LED light, or even your favorite pump-up song!  The Vigo app will also log and track your alertness data and provide you with visualizations and reports.  It’s $79 and ships out this October.

2) Nike Lunar TR1+

nike
These amazing fitness trainers have pressure and motion sensors built in along with Bluetooth accelerometers.  The sensors work with the Nike+ Training app that offers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced daily or weekly drills and workouts and the Nike+ Running app that tracks your jogging.  You can share your progress and get ranked on the Nike+ website.  What I love most about these trainers is that the sensors detect your weight distribution when you’re doing the exercises and will correct you if you’re doing a position or exercise the wrong way, so they are in essence just like having a robotic personal trainer!  They are $110 and are available in a variety of colors.

3) The Pebble Steel Smart Watch

pebble
This great-looking, 5 ATM water resistant watch can hold up to 8 apps at a time, displays texts and notifications from your phone, and will even pay for your latte at Starbucks!  The new and improved version of the Pebble smartwatch can control the music on your phone, track your fitness workout, and display your grocery lists.  You can change the watchface by downloading other designs and choose from thousands of apps in the official Pebble app store.  The Steel watch is $249 and is shipping now.

4) Smarty Ring

smarty
This fashionable stainless steel smart ring sports an LED display on the front that delivers notifications from your phone.  Similar to a smart watch, this wearabe enables you to make phone calls, screen your calls, receive text notifications, and control the music and the camera on your phone like a remote.  It’s waterproof, has a 24 hour battery life and is currently available for $175.

5) Lechal GPS Shoes

lechal
The Ducere Tech startup has created GPS-enabled “smart shoes” that literally mean “take me there” in Hindi.  These amazing shoes work via Bluetooth that connects to your phone. You just tell the app (for Android or iOS devices) your detisnation and they will vibrate the directions for you.  The best part is that if you like your current sneakers/shoes, you can just buy the insoles!  They range from $100-$150 and are available in red and black.  Perfect for those students who have trouble finding their way back to their dorm!! They won’t ship until the spring semester, but still made this list due to their uniqueness and affordability.

Read the full post 10 Best Wearable Tech Devices for Back to School on OEDB.org.

10 Remarkably Free Digital Tools for Educators and Students

1) Hemingway Editor

hemingwayapp

This is a free Web-based app that lets you paste in your writing to be analyzed and edited for optimal readability. The app quickly identifies hard to read sentences, passive voice, and overuse of adverbs. It also will instantly grade your work according to level of writing. I pasted in a couple paragraphs from my last article and got a grade 16 but needed to fix 6 hard-to-read sentences. I’ll be using this for all of my writing going forward! They’ve just released a desktop version for $6.99.

 

2) Coffitivity

coffivitity

I absolutely love the idea of this app, especially being a New Yorker. This creative app gives you the ambient noise of a coffee shop, university campus, or lunch-time conversations on your phone or Mac desktop. The best part? You can still use your music apps at the same time!!! This one is genius.

 

3) TheBrain

thebrain

TheBrain combines the best of note taking, file synchronization and mind mapping apps to give you the ultimate digital memory. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to get super organized and have brainstorming tools at their fingertips. There are apps for Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. The Wall Street Journal describes the app as “Software that thinks like you do”.

 

4) ZooBurst

zooburst

ZooBurst is a ditial storytelling tool that lets you easily create your own 3D pop-up books and even interact with them via augmented reality. This is a fantastic app that’s quick and easy to use. Educators that want to teach lectures in a visual way or assign 3D books such as the one pictured above titled “the Battle of Hastings” will get a lot out of this free application

 

Read the full post 10 Remarkably Free Digital Tools for Educators and Students on OEDB.org.

50 Library Stories You May Have Missed in July

library

Library stories and news articles flourished this summer including these fifty resources discussing everything from Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited service to librarian salaries, to 3D printing.  Whether you’re just getting caught up on your reading or want to refresh your memory, here’s what was written last month:

  1. How to Create a Video Press Release for Your Library with Adobe Voice
  2. 4 Great iPad Apps for Creating Educational Videos
  3. 16 Conference Networking Tips for Educators and Librarians
  4. What Happens if Your Library Systems Go Down?
  5. 15 Perfect Etsy Gifts for Librarians
  6. Trashy, Crafty, & Literary: Upcycling for the Win!
  7. LJ Salary Survey 2014

Read the full post 50 Library Stories You May Have Missed in July on OEDB.org.

13 Resources to Help You Make the Most of the Workday

It’s that time of year when we all start to think about being more productive and organizing our work lives. I’ve identified 19 excellent resources which will help you do just that.
productivity

  1. 16 Things You Should Do At The Start Of Every Work Day – Excellent article from the Leadership section of Forbes.com
  2. Being Effective at Work: Essential Traits and Skills – The Mind Tools website has put together a guide chock full of great tips for better time management.
  3. 50 Ways To Increase Your Productivity – Lifehack not only has some great tips here, but also lists several websites to which you can outsource your more mundane tasks.
  4. How to Be More Efficient at Work – WikiHow has a tutorial for increasing productivity that’s been viewed nearly 60,000 times.

Read the full post 13 Resources to Help You Make the Most of the Workday on OEDB.org.