Makers Are Getting Their Own Social Network [Beta] | Engadget #makerspace

Maker Media founder Dale Dougherty speaks with such an infectious exuberance about creating and building that after speaking to him you want to go home and resurrect that project that’s been sitting in your garage or bedroom. From a magazine, to a series of faires and camps for children, Doughterty’s Maker Media reach – and enthusiasm – spans the globe and beginning today, it’s launching a beta of its new MakerSpace social network.

MakerSpace beta invitations are available [on request]. Like the Google model of beta invites, anyone that gets an invitation, can invite a few friends. If you don’t get into the beta, the full site will launch out of beta later this year. But, if you’re lucky enough to get onboard, you can create a profile, find and bookmark projects you find interesting, and post your own projects. Maker is calling it a place to “show and tell.” READ MORE: Makers are getting their own social network | Engadget

I just signed up! Looking forward to finding some ideas for the CoderDojo program I volunteer with. Also available from is a free makerspace playbook with all you need to know about getting a makerspace up and running in their school or community.

Even Tiny Updates to Tech Can Be Obstacles for the Disabled | WIRED #tech #disabilities #access

I completed a web design for usability course during my MLIS program. For one of the sessions, guest lecturers with disabilities demonstrated how they accessed the Internet and provided insight into the challenges they experience with this activity. An eye-opening learning experience which I’m grateful to have had, which has provided me with greater understanding of the issues the disabled confront accessing the web and how designers can improve web content, layout and features to aid access. I highly recommend reviewing W3C Schools Accessibility Guidelines for more information on removing barriers to web information and communication. The article below discusses another challenge for the disabled when using tech: iterative updates.  

WHEN THE AMERICANS with Disabilities Act was passed 25 years ago, it was intended to usher in a new age of accessibility. It promised recourse from discrimination in employment, transportation and communication—in other words, greater access to the physical world. Since then, the world has evolved in radical ways—physical boundaries have come down as our lives have transitioned by varying degrees to online spaces. It is almost impossible to imagine our daily routines without the use of personal technology. For people with disabilities like myself, technology has opened new doors in ways the historic legislation never could have conceived.

As a person with autism and apraxia—a condition that leads me to have great difficulty with planning and organizing everything from moving my mouth when I speak to the steps needed to wash my hands—I rely upon personal technology for many things. A device that translates my typed words into a voice is my link to the world. And the rise of social media and online classrooms has expanded my networks and ability to participate in activities once closed to me.

But often these are positive outcomes of technology made for the masses rather than benefits baked into the design. And as technology is iterated, I can already see ways in which it has and will continue to create new barriers unless its creators consider a more universal approach.

READ MORE: Even Tiny Updates to Tech Can Be Obstacles for the Disabled | WIRED

The Story Behind The Web’s Weirdest, Hardest Riddle | Co.Labs

The Story Behind The Webs Weirdest, Hardest Riddle ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code + community

In 2004 a small website appeared that contained a browser-based game called Notpron, which has since been hailed as “the hardest riddle on the Internet.” It consists of a series of 140 puzzles and riddles that get progressively more complex. Completing the game requires knowledge in a diverse range of fields including HTML programming, sound and graphics editing, music apprehension, research skills, and even remote viewing.

Out of the 17 million players that have attempted the game in the last decade only 31 have completed it. That’s just one in every 550,000 players–or, to put it another way, the chances you’ll be hit by lightning once in your lifetime are 41 times greater than they are for you solving Notpron.

To celebrate the games 10th anniversary I asked David Münnich, Notpron’s creator, to go down the rabbit hole of how and why it was created–and what it all means.

READ MORE: The Story Behind The Webs Weirdest, Hardest Riddle ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code + community.

10 free tools for creating infographics | Creative Bloq

For all the importance we place on text, its an indisputable fact that images are processed in the brain faster than words. Hence the rise and rise of the infographic which, at its best, transforms complex information into graphics that are both easy to grasp and visually appealing. The only problem is, infographics that look like they were simple to make are often anything but. Creating something beautiful and instantly understandable in Photoshop is often beyond the limits that time allows. Which is why its occasionally useful to use a quick and dirty infographics tool to speed up the process. We’ve selected our favourites here. They’re all free, or offer free versions.

READ: 10 free tools for creating infographics | Infographic | Creative Bloq.

20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED

Teaching digital literacy is about more than just integrating technology into lesson plans; it’s about using technology to understand and enhance modern communication, to locate oneself in digital space, to manage knowledge and experience in the Age of Information.

These are vague descriptions, as are most of the descriptions you’ll find of digital literacy in blog posts and journal articles online. What teachers need, more than a fancy synopsis of how digital publication affects the meaning of a text, is a practical and applicable guide to helping students think productively about the digital world.

[These are] the top do’s and don’ts we’ve come across–in research and in our own experience–when it comes to making students digitally literate. The post reviews 5 Teaching Practices That Destroy Digital Literacy (e.g. criticizing digitalk) and 15 Habits to Cultivate in Your Students (e.g. get used to multiple literacies).

READ: 20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED

New Article: “Supporting the Next-Generation ILS: The Changing Roles of Systems Librarians” | LJ INFOdocket

First Paragraph of Abstract:

This paper compares current responsibilities of systems librarians supporting the traditional ILS with anticipated responsibilities associated with supporting the next- generation ILS.

Read more and access a direct link to the journal article: New Article: “Supporting the Next-Generation ILS: The Changing Roles of Systems Librarians” | LJ INFOdocket.

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge |

When General Stanley McChrystal started fighting al Qaeda in 2003, information and secrets were the lifeblood of his operations. But as the unconventional battle waged on, he began to think that the culture of keeping important information classified was misguided and actually counterproductive. In a short but powerful talk McChrystal makes the case for actively sharing knowledge.

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge | Talk Video |

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper | WIRED

Paper books were supposed to be dead by now. For years, information theorists, marketers, and early adopters have told us their demise was imminent. Ikea even redesigned a bookshelf to hold something other than books. Yet in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper.

Count me among them. When I need to read deeply—when I want to lose myself in a story or an intellectual journey, when focus and comprehension are paramount—I still turn to paper. Something just feels fundamentally richer about reading on it. And researchers are starting to think there’s something to this feeling.

READ MORE: Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper | Science | WIRED.

35 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in December | Ellyssa Kroski |

‘Tis the season for online learning, especially in the library field!  December’s calendar is brimming with exciting and free learning opportunities for librarians looking for professional development.  Check out this list of 35 gratis webinars, just in time for the holidays!

Read: 35 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in December | Ellyssa Kroski |

The Best of Internet Librarian 2013 | Ellyssa Kroski |

Every year there are two amazing conferences focusing on information technology and libraries hosted by Information Today – Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian. They feature the field’s top innovators sharing their insights, recent project experiences, and practical tips. If you couldn’t make this year’s event, here are 10 stellar presentations that will catch you up:

Presentation topics:

  • Managing Devices & Gadgets
  • Open Source Solutions & Apps
  • Project Management
  • Tech Tools for Engaging Communities
  • Usability Testing: On Board & On a Shoestring
  • Using Web Analytics for Site Improvement
  • Super Searcher Secrets
  • The New State of Search: Google, Discovery, & Apps
  • Clarifying Copyright for the Classroom Teacher
  • Embedded Librarianship With Google Docs

Access them here: The Best of Internet Librarian 2013 | Ellyssa Kroski |