Thing No 16: Mapping tools

I’ve used Google street view a lot, I used it once to find a particular shop that I couldn’t remember the name or address of, found it by ‘walking’ there as I remembered where I started and some of the streets on the way! Very handy also for booking accommodation, to know what the area looks like..I’ve used Google Earth as well.

The map overlay tools, particularly Old maps online and Georeferencer were really interesting tools.

Thing No 14: Reference management software

I must say I don’t use any reference management software but need to be able to assist students to use these tools – I’ve pointed people to the handy Libguides for Endnote http://libguides.acu.edu.au/endnote or Refworks http://libguides.acu.edu.au/refworks when neccessary.

The limitation of Endnote not being accessible in the ‘cloud’ seems to have been addressed to some extent with Endnote online, but apparently without the same functionality. The upside of that is it’s stability, from all accounts. I’m wondering how often the tools that ACU makes available to students are reviewed, Endnote and Refworks are the tools of choice made available through the website, but there are seemingly new ones coming out all the time?

Thing No 13: Presenting your research

As I mentioned before regarding Prezi, the message has to be clear and concise whichever tool is used to present it. I loved the ‘Steal this presentation’ presentation, great advice.

Slideshare is something I’ve looked at before and liked it as a way of sharing presentations, and so good that people are prepared to share their knowledge and expertise this way. Sharing and collaboration are a huge part of the 23 research things, what a long way we’ve come since the inception of the internet (and I’m old enough to remember when it began!)

Thing No 12: Digital (social media) curation and content aggregation

It’s interesting that some of the tools that have been created to save us time seem to lead us further down paths that take up more time! There’s so much out there to explore it seems..I joined Pinterest a while ago mainly to follow house design ideas, looking at it again it’s a great visual resource for looking at items held by the Victoria and Albert museum for example. Feedly and Learnist I hadn’t come across before. These tools seem more suited to personal interests than sharing academic research (?)

Thing No 11: Web conferencing and communication tools

I hadn’t used LYNC before coming to ACU but it seems to work well, I’ve used Skype a bit while travelling, obviously the quality of that experience varies greatly according to the internet connection. But it’s free! Ok for personal communication but in a work situation clear and reliable communication is essential.

Something Ned Potter said in a recent blog post was relevant to all of this talk about communication: So if you have a set of views, and you find others who share them, then you can DEVELOP those views rather have your rough edges smoothed off and your rebellion derailed... So I don’t think we can really bemoan our fragmented profession – in a way it should always have been like this, but people couldn’t find each other so easily before. 

I also just read that: The open source web conferencing system, BigBlueButton, has been made available within MoodleCloud sites with a seamless integration in the Moodle platform making it simple to open a quick session for up to 6 users with full video, audio, whiteboarding and presentation support.

It seems that integration of these tools together makes a powerful package.

Thing No 10: Using images

Instagram is something I’ve used for a while as a phone app but I learned from this that it’s web based as well which is great, because it’s always annoyed me that you can’t zoom in to images on the app. One of the great things about these image banks is the creation of special interest groups who share their resources, which is obviously the advantage to researchers.