It’s been far too long … and a technical puzzle.

I have been spending far too much time on Twitter and G+, but thought I’d better return to this.

My current task is updating and preparing materials for a new Unit, a University Ambassador Scheme based Unit.

We’d already got one in the Maths department, so updating the links, changing Maths specific sites to Computing Specific sites took time, but was useful – as I found out quite a bit of background, schools have changed a lot since I did my PGCE!

However, I then wanted to extract all the URLs in the document, to import them into the Talis reading list we have. Not such a straightforward task. I found a useful set of instructions, though you have to follow *all* points. On the mac, it was easier to set the preferences to showing the field codes via Word’s preferences, rather than cmd F9, as that’s already mapped to other things in OSx. Making sure you close the find dialogue box *before* copying is also important, or you only get the first link in the list.

The next stage was more challenging, one I gave up on! It was relatively easy to convert the list of URL to a HTML page, so I could add to a browser’s bookmark list, and thus to Diigo. But, I wasn’t able to find a way of converting to a list that I could add to a bibliographic tool, does anyone know of a way to convert CSV to RIS?

Will just have to do it manually, which, is, in many ways, no bad thing, as I can double check the links. I was just trying to be lazy.


Changing faces!

Decided that it was about time to have a (minor!) change of appearance here; so have gone with one of the default themes (Twenty Eleven). I ran into a minor problem with header; I’d uploaded a couple (incidentally, if anyone knows of a tool, like Wordle & Tagexdo, that allows you to specify the size of canvas to fit the text to, I’d be interested to know) – but didn’t like one of them. Removing them wasn’t that easy - though I eventually found a solution.

I may yet make some more changes, as it is pretty similar to the old one – the main change really is being able to have links to (selected) pages at the top (or, indeed, anything else I’d like to link to)

Raspberry Pi vs ZX 81

My first computer was a ZX 81 – cost 69.95 (assuming Wikipedia’s correct; I can’t remember!) That’s c 236 (This is Money) or 0.3% of an average house (House Price Crash). Came with 1kb of memory (expandable to 16kb) – Operating System & Keyboard inc; monitor required (monochrome output).
The Raspberry Pi goes on sale today … for 21.60 (0.01% of average house [does that say more about cost of houses or electrical components, one wonders!]) – you get 256mb memory, though you do have to add a keyboard and Operating System, as well as the monitor!

Me: I’d have one on order, were it possible to get through to a website!

Deciphering student search behaviour – SEARCH – Research Information

Some interesting questions arise here …

Deciphering student search behaviour – SEARCH – Research Information.

… firstly – does it matter?
On the assumption that it does; why?
I certainly don’t see any problems with students discussing what they’re learning with each other; whether it’s via Facebook, MSN, over a cuppa, or whatever.
The second is something that I’d like to know more about; so, when students say they’re using Wikipedia, but citing from the items it references; are they doing something that I see as fine – using Wikipedia as a starting point, to then go and *read* the refs; or are they using Wikipedia & claiming they’ve read others?
To me, a lot of this returns to the question of assessment design; is the assessment ultimately to test whether or not facts are known, or is it how facts are used? If truly the latter; then, finding (and *verifying*) facts is only a starting point. And why not find them wherever is easy.
Oh, and have a look at ref. 1; in a bit more depth & some useful Presentations (inc. lots of refs)