Thursday, October 29, 2009

Write a novel in November

It's time again for NaNoWriMo, the annual National Novel Writing Month that encourages folks to write 175-page, 50,000 word novels by midnight Nov. 30
"Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved," according to the group's website.
Participants have permission not to worry about mistakes, agonize over quality or fuss about details. The point is to get people to write, and once they start, who knows where the stories or their efforts will take them?
More than 120,000 people gave it a try last year.
Don't procrastinate! Visit the website for more information, pep talks and advice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New and vast online source for quick research

What if you could have a library of 435 reference books at your fingertips?
You can. The multi-disciplinary Credo Reference electronic database allows you to search the full-text of more than 3 million entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, guides, handbooks and more.
Here is just a sampling of titles available: The Handbook of Aging & Social Science, World of Criminal Justice encyclopedia, Dictionary of Human Resources & Personnel, and Key Concepts in Early Childhood Education & Care.

Those, and 431 other titles, are available by opening the UNT Dallas website and clicking on library services and then clicking on electronic resources. You'll see an alphabet on the screen. Click on the "C" and scroll down to Credo Reference.

From Credo, you can save the articles and then e-mail them to yourself, print them, or send them to your RefWorks account. Students will like the fact that the APA citation style appears at the bottom of each article.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Organize information with Google Reader

Google Reader is one easy way to organize your online reading.
How so? Google Reader displays the headlines of favorite websites and blogs. Instead of surfing 10 websites, you can display all 10 websites' headlines on one page. Just click on the headline and you are taken to the article.
Google Reader is free of charge and easy to set up. Head over to Click on "Add subscripton" and type in the web address of your favorite site.
Click the star icon on items you particularly like and they will be saved in a separate folder. You can further organize your favorite articles by adding tags, or descriptive words that let you organize articles by subject. You can share articles to your own blog or you can share articles with other selected Google Reader users, making this a good tool for collaborative learning on the web.
Illustration courtesy of dannysullivan via flickr's Creative Commons attribution license

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October is National Information Literacy Month

Information Literacy
President Barack Obama declared October to be National Information Literacy Awareness Month. He states that the ability to seek, find, and interpret information can be applied to everyone including fields in education, technical, financial, medical, etc. President Obama believes that everyone has the opportunity to be information literate.

Information Literacy is the understanding and use of a set of abilities that enables a person to recognize when information is needed. This understanding allows individuals to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. In regard to information literacy, a person can evaluate, organize, access and use information from different sources. An information literate person will know how to define and investigate a subject in addition to selecting appropriate terms that will be used for expressing a subject or concept. Information Literacy is having a better understanding of where and how to find information. It gives individuals the ability to judge whether the information is reliable or not.

By having an enormous amount of information, regardless of coming from the television, radio networks or online resources, information literacy is important so that a person can determine what amount of information is needed, how to access the information successfully, and how to seriously evaluate the information and its sources. Furthermore, individuals can effectively use information as a way of accomplishing a specific purpose. Information Literacy gives a person the opportunity to identify, retrieve and apply relevant information for studying, teaching and researching.

Websites to visit for more on information literacy:

For Educators: Here are some lesson plans that you can use to teach information literacy to your students: