The Scout Report
March 22, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 12
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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This site compiles historic films, images, and text related to the coal miners' strike that took place in Kentucky's Bell and Harlan Counties during 1931 and 1932. Created by the Appalachian Studies Program at the University of Kentucky, this educational resource profiles the cultural and economic milieu surrounding this event. First-time visitors would do well to read the introduction to a recent book on the subject, "Harlan Miners Speak," authored by John Hennen. Moving on, visitors can dive into the Archives and the Archival Exercise area for an archive of the work of newspaper reporter Herndon J. Evans, who was on the scene in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky during the time. Other sections include Local Elite, Miners, National Media, and New York Writers. This serves as a wonderful model for others seeking to create a similarly rich learning experience. [KMG]
This interactive website begins with a young woman named Lia talking about her favorite female scientists. It's highly engaging and designed to get young women excited about entering scientific professions. On the homepage, visitors can read through answers to questions like "How do bones tell a story?" and "What's inside an atom?" The site also includes a wonderful Time Travel Timeline, as well as a 10 Cool Scientists area including profiles of scientists like Heidi Hammel, Adriana Ocampo, Marta Tienda, and Amy Vedder. Overall, this is a website that does a tremendous job reaching out to curious future scientists in a way that's both inviting and fun. [KMG]
This fascinating and informative website was created by a high school teacher in Granite City, Missouri. It brings together a wide range of resources designed to help students learn about anatomy. The materials are divided into three sections: Anatomy Galleries, Anatomy Topics, and Virtual Cat Dissection. The Anatomy Galleries area provides slides, photos, and illustrative materials related to eye dissection, sheep heart dissection, and cat muscles. The Anatomy Topics area includes overviews of the major body systems, including the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine systems. The site also includes a Virtual Cat Dissection, which walks interested parties through this process. [KMG]
Every Federal Reserve Bank has an education outreach component; the branch in Kansas City has a full range of offerings for the general public. Visitors can go through News Releases, Banker Resources, Speeches, and Economic Symposium portions of the site. There is also a useful For You area. The In the Classroom section is a treasure, as it contains grade-specific activities, lesson plans, and personal finance overviews. There are fascinating anecdotes found in the Financial Fables area, combining economics and personal finance into life lessons that feature money morals. Visitors should also read the "It Makes Good Sense" book, which deals with earning, saving, and spending. [KMG]
Benzene rings and other aspects of chemistry come alive with these "living textbooks." This collection of key chemistry documents and primers is made possible via the Chemical Education Digital Library (ChemEd DL) and its contains eight separate items. They are called "living" because they are updated by their owners and those responsible for their continued success. Users will find "Practice in Thinking: A Laboratory Course in Introductory Chemistry," "Chemistry Leaflets," and "Wiki: Quantum States of Atoms and Molecules" here for their consideration. The Chemistry Leaflets provide an interesting wrinkle as they were originally published between 1927 and the mid-1940s. Visitors shouldn't miss "Chemical Principles through Integrated Multiple Exemplars (ChemPRIME)" as it is designed so that general chemistry concepts can be presented in an order that reflects the conceptual structure of the discipline. [KMG]
What is this Musee des Horreurs? Visitors will find out soon enough: it is a remarkable collection of 52 hand-colored lithograph caricatures of individuals involved in the Dreyfus Affair in France. These lithographs were originally produced from 1899 to 1900 by an artist who used the pseudonym V. Lenepveu and they document the anti-Semitic upsurge brought about by this well-known event. Those represented in the caricatures include prominent members of the Jewish community, Dreyfus supporters, and Republican statesmen placed on grotesque animal bodies. Visitors with an interest in the subject may wish to use the images in a class on graphic design, illustration, European history, or cultural affairs. [KMG]
This website from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) brings together almost three dozen helpful instructional laboratory videos. The videos are contained in three sections, including Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each video has been recorded in a high-quality digital format and a number of them are available in Spanish as well. Some of the offerings here include "Preparation of Cholesterol Ester Liquid Crystals," "Synthesis of Nickel Nanowires: Beaker," and "Synthesis of a Superconductor." It should be noted that there is an important disclaimer at the bottom of the homepage that is worth reading before attempting any of these activities. [KMG]
Published biennially from 1858 to 1887, the Brevier Legislative Reports are verbatim reports of the legislative history of the Indiana General Assembly during those years. Taken as a whole, they are fascinating documents, as there exists no other such detailed and comprehensive record of the debate and speeches delivered on the floor of the Indiana Senate chamber and the Hall of the House of Representatives from this time period. The amazing thing is that these documents offer the reasoning behind the enactment of laws, which can be difficult to determine in other locales. First-time visitors might click on some of the key issues covered here, which include the state debt, horse thieves, voting law, and temperance. Also, visitors can perform their own full-text search across all of the documents. [KMG]
Based in Chicago, Brown Baby Reads is a not-for-profit organization with a mission "to celebrate, encourage, and promote literacy in African-American children." On the website, visitors can learn about their initiatives and find out about age-appropriate books for children. In the "Database" area, visitors can peruse information on over 1,500 books that feature African American children as main characters and books written by African American authors. Visitors can also search the books by author, title, illustrator, age group, category, or themes. The site is rounded out by a number of links to free online resources from around the web related to reading, literacy, and cultural diversity. [KMG]
During World War I, a number of newspapers aggressively worked to take advantage of the rotogravure printing process to offer their readers higher quality images. Expansive pictorial sections helped document the wartime experience and brought the war vividly home to people a long way from the front in Europe. This digital collection from the Library of Congress's American Memory Project brings together hundreds of images from the New York Times, the New York Tribune, and the War of the Nations. Visitors can browse these items by date or start by reading one of the five essays that accompany the collection, including "Events and Statistics," "Military Technology in World War I," and "Pictures as Propaganda." The more casual users will want to browse through the Gallery for highlights like images of young soldiers, American munitions in use at Argonne, and the Egyptian Camel Corps. [KMG]
The Oral History in the Digital Age website connects interested persons and organizations to a range of resources related to crafting a meaningful and dynamic oral history project. Crafted by people at Michigan State University with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the site contains critical essays, How-To guides, and an elaborate wiki. The Getting Started area is a good place to begin, as it features helpful playlists about oral history projects. The Essays tab leads to another highly informative section of the site. The short pieces in this section are divided into three topics: Collecting, Curating, and Disseminating. The individual essays include "Enhancing Discovery: Connecting Users to Your Oral History Collections Online" and "Oral History and Social Networks: From Promotion to Relationship Building." Finally, the Ask Doug option features expert responses to key questions on oral history projects from noted oral historian Doug Boyd. [KMG]
This massive collection from the University of Southern California's Digital Library brings together approximately 1.4 million prints and negatives from the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper. The paper shut down in 1962 when it merged with the afternoon Herald-Express. The collection is divided into two sub-collections: Prints and Negatives. Almost every major and minor event during the time period is represented here. Visitors can get started by browsing through a few suggested topics such as communism, divorces, adoption and orphans, and the Korean War. Visitors can also type in key geographical locales such as West Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, and Olvera Street to find a wide range of images. [KMG]
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a state-supported, privately endowed educational institution created for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its purpose is "to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, to encourage the study of the arts, and thus to enrich the lives of all." The site’s homepage provides a variety of resources to experience the rich array of the VMFA's holdings and programs. In the Collections area, visitors can look through representative examples of their items from the ancient world, Africa, ancient American art, and twelve other areas. In the Learn area, visitors can take advantage of online art tutorials and learn about VMFA programs throughout Virginia. The Exhibitions area contains links to a range of images and printed materials that relate the stories of their current, past, and upcoming exhibits, such as "Indian Silver for the Raj" and "Say What? How Ancient Writing Began." [KMG]
This unique digital collection compiles featured materials from an exhibit at the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami. This collection tells "a story of struggle, community challenges, and hope for Black Miami in the 20th century." These featured items have been drawn from four separate collections, including those from Professor Michael L. Carlebach (a photography professor at Miami) and civil rights and community leader Bob Simms. Visitors can scroll through the four collections here to view selected images of community meetings, protests, celebrations and so on. The site also contains Biographical Notes and a very extensive bibliography of sources. [KMG]
Most states have a housing development authority; Michigan’s SHDA is well known for its work in encouraging downtown redevelopment projects and a range of creative solutions to providing long-term housing solutions for the state's residents. On the homepage, visitors can look over the Spotlight area to learn about the long-term projects that the SHDA is working on. On the left hand side of the page, visitors can look over fifteen different thematic areas, including Historic Preservation, Homeownership, and Property Managers. Contractors and other groups may want to pay close attention to the RFP's and Grants area, which includes information about applying for statewide housing grants and information on key statewide programs, such as the Housing and Community Development Fund. Visitors can also set up email alerts to learn when new material is added to the site. [KMG]
Are you looking for a new, quick utility to send files, photos, and applications? The Send Anywhere application may be your new solution. The user interface is simple and accessible, and the site includes a FAQ area for tweaking the various functions within the application. This version is compatible with mobile devices running Android 4.2 or iOS 5.0 and newer. [KMG]
The Giada audio tool is designed for live performers and DJs to load or record up to 32 samples, which can be played in single mode or loop mode. Users can tweak their sounds from external sources, and modify existing samples. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]
Colleges Assess Cost of Free Online-Only Courses
The Professors Who Make the MOOCs
Google Will Fund Cornell MOOC
California’s Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves, but Key Questions Remain Unanswered
UW-Madison to offer free public online courses starting in fall
Who Owns a MOOC?
The new wave of technology-based education has now gone one step further: colleges and universities, large and small, are developing programs to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs). The ensuing debate over how these courses can alter the future of higher education is ramping up: while more institutions are signing on to pioneer MOOCs, there is controversy over whether credits should be applicable to degree paths, as well as over proposed legislation that forces institutions to accept MOOC credits. Companies such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity are already offering MOOCs for college credit, while universities such as Cornell and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have plans to consider this option in the near future. Many interested parties have been wondering whether MOOCs will bridge the education gap, or simply become another roadblock to the coveted college degree. [MP]
The first link will take users to a New York Times profile on how colleges are responding to this new development. The second link is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education that decodes the hype behind MOOCs and the professors who are leading the way in creating them. The third link is an announcement from the Cornell Sun about its new venture with Google to create MOOCs at the prestigious institution. The fourth article, from the Chronicle, covers the recent debate in California over SB 520, a proposal to use MOOCs outside of the state higher-education system for credits in the system. The fifth link goes to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s plans to offer MOOCs beginning in the fall of 2013. The final link is an article from Inside Higher Ed about the controversy behind MOOCs and how they affect collective bargaining and intellectual property rights for professors.
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published every Friday of the year except the last Friday of December by Internet Scout, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences. Funding sources have included the National Science Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Libraries.
Internet Scout Team Max Grinnell Editor Carmen Montopoli Managing Editor Edward Almasy Director Rachael Bower Director Andrea Coffin Information Services Manager Autumn Hall-Tun Internet Cataloger Sara Sacks Internet Cataloger Tim Baumgard Web Developer Corey Halpin Web Developer Zev Weiss Technical Specialist Evan Radkoff Technical Specialist Debra Shapiro Contributor Holly Wallace Administrative Assistant Michael Penn II Administrative Assistant
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