ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:


**Celebrate National Coming Out Day, October 11

The National Coming Out Project is part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. National Coming Out Day is celebrated every Oct. 11. The day was born out of the 1987 GLBT march on Washington , D.C. , where hundreds of thousands of Americans rallied to support equal rights. Today, National Coming Out Day events are held in hundreds of cities across the country and around the world.

Visit the Web site : Human Rights Campaign

--Essentials of Ramadan, the Fasting Month

Read this excerpt from the Introduction:

The institution of Fasting is a unique form of worship prescribed as part of an overall system of Islam. Its uniqueness mirrors the uniqueness of the human being, a creature of physical and spiritual parts whose excellence depends on the right proportion of these two parts. Too much of the physical material will ruin man, and too much of the spiritual will, too. Fasting orients the observer to the art of balancing the spiritual essentials with physical needs, a vivid proof that there is in all of us the will power, a pivotal element that controls our actions. This will be needed to help us curb the animalistic tendencies originating from the stomach, in full. It makes us forget about our beginning, it awakens the mind and kindles clear thinking and consciousness of Allah. Fasting is the sobering of a mind and reconstruction of our spiritual faculties.

Essentials of Ramadan


--Asynchronous Learning Networks Conference

November 12-14, Orlando Florida.

Asynchronous learning networks (ALNs) are helping to transform education and training from site-based, time-bound experiences to anytime-anywhere online learning environments. By connecting learners with each other, with their instructors, and with a wide range of resources, ALNs allow a high degree of interaction and collaboration.

Asynchronous Learning Networks Conference

Service Learning / Civic Education

--The Green Toolshed : Environmental Activism

Green Media Toolshed is a powerful technical resource, particularly for a young organization like SkyTruth. A big part of our mission is making our satellite and aerial images available to environmental advocates and the news media. Building and maintaining the web-based tools and services to accomplish that would be very time- and resource-intensive. Fortunately for us, Green Media Toolshed does all the heavy lifting behind the scenes on our behalf, hosting our image galleries and creating a seamless interface between SkyTruth and the public. Their suite of image management tools allows us to easily build and modify image galleries for either public or internal viewing, and their technical staff are quick to respond whenever we have any requests. SkyTruth is looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Green Media Toolshed.


--Civic Education Among College Students: A Case Study

Read the abstract:

The purpose of this study is to analyze the extent of civic engagement among college students and to determine some of the factors that are associated with civic engagement among these students. To this effect, a survey of students at North Carolina Central University, a predominantly Black institution, was conducted and analyzed using correlation analysis. Most of the respondents considered voting to be important in civic engagement. The study also found that institutions of higher learning that have integrated community service in their academic programs are contributing to the promotion of civic engagement.

Civic Education

This is a 19-page PDF file.

--Bridging Community Service and Life's Great Questions: Thoughts on Co-Teaching a Service Learning Course

This article is from The Journal of College and Character (2:2004).

Bridging Community

Libraries / Knowledge Management

--The Changing Information Cycle

On the Internet, the traditional information cycle is broken in a variety of ways. News may be reported, analyzed, debated, corrected, and reinterpreted in a matter of hours. Old stories from decades ago may be re-examined. Factual information can be evaluated, expanded upon, and expounded on by a wide variety of readers. Instead of reading through complete Web pages or sites, searchers can browse results and choose to read a variety of extracts from pages created by completely different organizations. Finding a community of Web sites that together provide an answer can offer a deeper and broader understanding of certain issues.

The Changing Information Cycle

--The Mentality of Homo Interneticus: Some Ongian Postulates

Because typical experiences will differ, the mentality of the typical Internet user, or Homo interneticus, is likely to be significantly different from that of the typical reader of printed works or of writing or of the typical member of purely oral cultures. These differences include deep assumptions about time and space, authority, property, gender, causality and community.

The Mentality of Homo Interneticus

--American Library Association Washington Office Newsline: Court Decision on PATRIOT Act May Affect Libraries

September 29th marked an important victory for civil liberties when the federal district court judge in the southern district of New York struck down Section 505 of the Patriot Act which permitted the FBI unchecked authority to obtain subscriber information, toll billing records and other transactional records from electronic communications service providers 'without any judicial oversight or opportunity for challenge'...Since many libraries may be "electronic service providers" if they provide public access to the Internet, libraries are among the entities that may benefit from this ruling.

Court Decision

--Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Research Impact?

Although many authors believe that their work has a greater research impact if it is freely available, studies to demonstrate that impact are few. This study looks at articles in four disciplines at varying stages of adoption of open access philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematicst o see whether they have a greater impact as measured by citations in the ISI Web of Science database when their authors make them freely available on the Internet. The finding is that, across all four disciplines, freely available articles do have a greater research impact. Shedding light on this category of open access reveals that scholars in diverse disciplines are adopting open-access practices and being rewarded for it.

Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Research Impact

This is an 11-page PDF file.

This resource is courtesy of Gary Fine, The Resource Shelf, 30 September 2004.

--Open Directory Project: The Republic of the Web

The web continues to grow at staggering rates. Automated search engines are increasingly unable to turn up useful results to search queries. The small paid editorial staffs at commercial directory sites can't keep up with submissions, and the quality and comprehensiveness of their directories has suffered. Link rot is setting in and they can't keep pace with the growth of the Internet.

Instead of fighting the explosive growth of the Internet, the Open Directory provides the means for the Internet to organize itself. As the Internet grows, so do the number of net-citizens. These citizens can each organize a small portion of the web and present it back to the rest of the population, culling out the bad and useless and keeping only the best content.

Open Directory Project

--Seeking an Educational Commons

Schools are hindered by cost and flexibility problems as they try to obtain resources such as software and textbooks. Open source development processes are producing products that can address many of these problems and, as importantly, provide a better alignment with core educational values. Indeed, open source products potentially encourage the development of an educational commons.

Educational Commons

--Manifesto for the Reputation Society

Manifesto for the Reputation Society by Hassan Masum and Yi Cheng Zhang .

Information overload, challenges of evaluating quality, and the opportunity to benefit from experiences of others have spurred the development of reputation systems. Most Internet sites which mediate between large numbers of people use some form of reputation mechanism: Slashdot, eBay, ePinions, Amazon, and Google all make use of collaborative filtering, recommender systems, or shared judgments of quality.

The authors suggest the potential utility of reputation services is far greater, touching nearly every aspect of society. By leveraging our limited and local human judgment power with collective networked filtering, it is possible to promote an interconnected ecology of socially beneficial reputation systems to restrain the baser side of human nature, while unleashing positive social changes and enabling the realization of ever higher goals.

Manifesto for the Reputation society

--The Web Book and the Web Forager: An Information Workspace for the World Wide Web

The World-Wide Web has achieved global connectivity stimulating the transition of computers from knowledge processors to knowledge sources. But the Web and its client software are seriously deficient for supporting users' interactive use of this information. This paper presents two related designs with which to evolve the Web and its clients. The first is the WebBook, a 3D interactive book of HTML pages. The WebBook allows rapid interaction with objects at a higher level of aggregation than pages. The second is the Web Forager, an application that embeds the WebBook and other objects in a hierarchical 3D workspace. Both designs are intended as exercises to play off against analytical studies of information workspaces.

The Web Book and the Web Forager



Dowser is a research tool for the web. It clusters results from major search engines, associates words that appear in previous searches, and keeps a local cache of all the results you click on in a searchable database. It helps you keep track of what you find on the web.



Scirus is a search engine specifically geared toward scientific sources A newly enhanced, scientific-only search engine gives students, scholars, and other academics another tool to conduct effective, comprehensive internet searches to find bona fide scientific information.


Clusty is a clustering tool offered by

In Beta.


The new GoHook PDF database includes about 500,000 documents. According to the company, more than 10,000 documents are added to the database each week. The company is also developing a database of .WAV sound files. At the moment GoHook Audio search contains only 5000 files.


--TimeLine Tool

The Timeline Tool is a web based learning object template which allows an instructor to quickly construct an interactive timeline with audio and visual effects. The finished timeline can serve as an re-usable learning object which can be easily distributed and shared over the web. This learning object template is built in Flash, PHP and XML.



--The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom

This paper explores the role of weblogs or "blogs" in classroom settings. Blogs, which resemble personal journals or diaries and provide an online venue where self expression and creativity is encouraged and online communities are built, provide an excellent opportunity for educators to
advance literacy through storytelling and dialogue. This paper explores the importance of literacy and storytelling in learning, and then juxtaposes these concepts with the features of blogs. The paper also reviews examples of blogs in practice.

Using Weblogs...Literacy


--The Map of Creativity

Given the enormous number of innovative projects, many of which are unknown outside a narrow circle of researchers, the NGf has developed a tool to make educational innovation visible.

The Map of Creativity contains hundreds of projects recommended to us by educators around the world. If you know of an innovative project to support creativity, learning, or play, you can follow the simple instructions to put it on the Map. To help other users, consider rating some of the projects you discover on the Map. The Map is only as good as you make it!

The Map of Creativity

--Online Journal: Innovate

Read the introduction to Innovate:

These pages feature cutting-edge research and practice in the field of information technology, but Innovate invites you to do more than simply read. Use our one-button features to comment on articles, share material with colleagues and friends, and participate in open forums. Join us in exploring the best uses of technology to improve the ways we think, learn, and live.


This source courtesy Mark Peterson.

--Brain-Based Education

This site provides links to various sites dealing with brain-based education.

Brain-Based Education


--specialty Majors are the Rage on Some Campuses

This article is from the October 5, 2004 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

Popular choices for majors: sports sales, video-game development, casino studies, and homeland security.

Specialty Majors

Educational Trends

--Panel Hunts for Ways to Cut College Costs

Experts propose giving more federal aid to students in their first years of college, creating programs to allow some students to graduate debt-free and making sure students can transfer from community colleges to state universities without losing credit hours. The speakers make their comments at a forum hosted by the Atlantic Monthly. Almost half of the nation's high school students who are prepared academically can't afford to attend a four-year institution, and more than 20 percent can't even afford community college, Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said. (Quoted from, 7 October 2004.

Panel: College Costs

--Adult Education United States /National Center for Educational Statistics
Participation in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: 2000-01

This is the first full report using data from the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Survey of the 2001 National Household Education Survey Programs on the educational activities of adults in the United States. The report shows that 46 percent of adults in the United States participated in some type of formal education between early 2000 and early 2001.

Adult Education and Lifelong Learning

This is a 31-page PDF file.

This source courtesy of Julie Benolken, who acquired it from Gary Fine's Resource Shelf.

Blog Grab Bag

--Mount Saint Helens on Webcam

This is an image of Mount St. Helens, taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The Observatory and VolcanoCam are located at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, about five miles from the volcano. You are looking approximately south-southeast across the North Fork Toutle River Valley.

This image automatically updates approximately every five minutes. Please make sure your web browser is not set to cache images or you may not see the updates when the web page refreshes.

Mount Saint Helens

I acquired this reference from Windley's Enterprise Computer Log, 5 October 2004.


Google is launching a new service that performs the same function as Amazon's A9, namely, letting users search inside print books.


--Daily Calendar of the Greek Gospels

This site is designed to help you read through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in Greek over the course of a year. The readings vary in length, usually around 10-11 verses, but sometimes more or less depending on the specific passage.

Daily Calendar of the Greek Gospels

--Everyday Mysteries

Did you ever wonder why a camel has a hump? If you can really tell the weather by listening to the chirp of a cricket? Or why our joints make popping sounds? These questions deal with everyday phenomena that we often take for granted, but each can be explained scientifically.

Everyday Mysteries will help you get the answers to these and many other of life's most interesting questions through scientific inquiry. In addition, we will introduce you to the collections of the Library of Congress in science and technology.

Everyday Mysteries

--Photographic Collections

Twenty major categories of photo collections here. Great repository.

Photographic Collections

--Zip Code Locator

A tool for identifying ZIP code locations on a map of the United States. As you type in digits, the map highlights the region covered. From a doctoral student at MIT. Neat!


--CIA World Factbook Updated

Posted update to The World Factbook which is now updated regularly with new features added as soon as available. Recent additions include four new economic measures which frequently foretell changes in a country's economic growth, welfare, and position relative to the rest of the world: Current account balance, Investment (gross fixed), Public debt, and Reserves of foreign exchange and gold. More new fields are planned, including Refugees and internally displaced persons and major endemic infectious diseases.

CIA World Factbook


A substantial portion of our cultural heritage from the 20th century is recorded in enormous collections of spoken-word materials. Yet much of it may be lost or remain hidden away in archives and private collections, making the voices inaccessible to students, teachers, scholars, and the general public. The purpose of Historical Voices is to create a significant, fully searchable online database of spoken word collections spanning the 20th century - the first large-scale repository of its kind. Historical Voices will both provide storage for these digital holdings and display public galleries that cover a variety of interests and topics.

Historical Voices

--Bioscience Literacy

Read the goals for this site: is a non-commercial, educational web site created to promote bioscience literacy by examining issues that will:

--motivate the public to play an active role in bioscience education --show how developments in bioscience research can affect everyone --promote an understanding of biogeography and the biodiversity of life --engage the public to reflect on the relationship between human activity and the natural course of evolution --promote global ecological awareness -- advance formal and informal bioscience education --encourage students to pursue studies in the biosciences.

Action Bioscience

--Meeting Frontiers

Meeting of Frontiers is a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It is intended for use in U.S. and Russian schools and libraries and by the general public in both countries. Scholars, particularly those who do not have ready access to major research libraries, also will benefit from the mass of primary material included in Meeting of Frontiers, much of which has never been published or is extremely rare.

Meeting Frontiers

--U.S. in the World

U.S. in the World Guide, a publication of Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Aspen Institute, supports the work of advocates of pragmatic, principled, effective, and collaborative U.S. engagement in the world. It draws on the latest communications research and the insights of experts to outline convincing facts and arguments, and offer effective ways to put them across to non-expert American audiences. The Guide flows from a straightforward core vision: an informed, empowered citizenry is needed to encourage policymakers to support the sustained investment, involvement and leadership needed from the United States to tackle 21st-century challenges effectively. Advocates and experts alike need reliable, cutting-edge advice on how to communicate those ideas to citizens.

US in the World Guide

This is a 164-page PDF file.

--National Priorities Project: Americans Pay High Cost for War

Americans Pay High Cost for War provides state-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists and National Guard troops on active duty. This data is presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions on national security policy.

What is the National Priorities Project?

The National Priorities Project (NPP) offers citizen and community groups tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice. Since 1983, the National Priorities Project (NPP) has been the only group in the country that focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. We link political analysis to action by serving as a bridge between policy organizations and grassroots groups. We translate policy information into everyday language and assist national and grassroots groups in their efforts on such issues as improving their schools, creating living wage jobs and providing affordable housing.

National Priorities Project

--The American Dream in 2004

This is an opinion poll conducted by the National League of Cities. Here is what the press release said:

Two-thirds of the American people say the American Dream is becoming harder to achieve, especially for young families, and they point to financial insecurity and poor quality public education as the most significant barriers....

The American Dream in 2004

This is a 44-page PDF file.

Until next week!

Blog editor

Image credits:

"America,"500 x 400 pixels - gfx/america.gif

"Careers," 209 x 225 pixels - trinityvc/careers/

"CIA Logo,"225 x 225 pixels - itp104/project/cia.jpg"

"Creativity,"281 x 319 pixels - images/creativity.jpg

"Gay Pride Poster," 255 x 184 pixels - Product-recordCount-4-CID--

"Greek Gospels,"214 x 287 pixels - christianityandbible_kjv/criti...

"Internet,"803 x 590 pixels - images/Internet.jpg"

"Knowledge Management,"450 x 378 pixels - knowledgemanconcept.htm

"Life-Long Learning Poster,"400 x 317 pixels - conference/main.htm

"Open Access," 148 x 212 pixels -

"Scirius Logo,"


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