Online Law Degrees: Friend or Foe?

Oct 14th, 2009

Earning a law degree seems to be one degree that would not be accessible via an online university, but online education has evolved to such a degree that it is now possible.  Online law degrees present a difficult challenge to students since the American Bar Association has not accredited any online law school.  However, California is the one state around the nation that allows online law degree graduates to sit for their bar, assuming that these students reach the same expectations. 
   
Online law degrees therefore have been one type of degree that is difficult to earn and put into use.  Many students may still receive law degrees around the country, but run into various problems when attempting to sit for the bar in any state other than California.  This rule presents at least slight leeway though, since you can still become a practicing attorney in California with an online degree and eventually transfer to another state after a few years.  While California’s Bar Committee does not accredit online law schools, they still allow distance learning schools to register with them if the school meets their requirements.  Thus far, the Committee recognizes fourteen schools: Abraham Lincoln University School of Law, American Heritage University School of Law, California School of Law, Concord School of Law, Esquire College, MD Kirk School of Law, Newport University, Northwestern California University, Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, Southern California University for Professional Studies, University of Honolulu, West Coast School of Law, Inc., West Haven University, and William Howard Taft University. California’s Committee still requires online law degree students to jump through several hoops before becoming a registered lawyer within the state, including many exams, moral character determinations, and a multistate professional responsibility exam. 
   
After all this work, you may still be able to practice law in a different state after five to seven years of practicing law in California.  Most states will allow California lawyers to take their bar exams after this amount of time.  If you want to choose a different route, you could always attain a Master of Law program which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is available online as well.  However, online law degrees do come with more drawbacks than many other degrees.  Law is a much more hands-on graduate degree, which many employers are aware of.  California may allow students to take their bar, but this still does not guarantee a job placement after taking the bar since many employers will look at an online law degree and know it is not accredited by the ABA.  While online law degrees still lack accreditation, it is not impossible to become a practicing attorney with one, and one day the ABA may recognize such a degree, lessening the process of using it.  

How an Online MBA can Better your Career

Oct 14th, 2009

Online MBA programs have quickly become one of the top ranking degree programs within online universities because of the strong weight such a degree carries in the business world today. With the economy on the rebound, people across the country are anxiously looking to the future to secure a higher level job, many times continuing their education by getting an online MBA degree.  The economic times also have encouraged many people to get additional degrees in order to get higher paying salaries.  While the economy is bound to fluctuate over the years, many people do not want to risk a job loss in the future and therefore are securing a more protected job.
   
Online MBA degrees have become the wave of the future as they allow people of literally any career genre to learn a different aspect of the business industry.  Additionally, the joy of an online MBA degree is that you will not need to take off the extra year of work in order to gain the degree, but can work at your own pace.  Rather than spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on a degree that will force you to take time off from work, these degrees cost much less but still serve the same purpose in rewarding you with an accredited MBA in the end.   Moreover, an MBA degree has been found to more than double your average work salary, causing it to be a wise investment over the years with the return benefits obvious after the first year. 
   
Determining what you want to do with an MBA is one dilemma which should be decided before you decide to give up your extra time in pursuing the online degree.  Many fields require such degrees, although some may not be hiring or may pay less than you thought you would be making.  Doing some background research in your field before you begin your study can help encourage you to finish the program and define your future career choice.  Receiving an online MBA is still quite a bit of work, however, and before you commit yourself to a year-long academic pursuit, make sure that you intend to use the degree and what type of career you want to use it for.  Online MBAs have become quite helpful over the past years as more and more universities have opened their doors to the opportunity for online distance studies.  There is now a wide variety of schools and degrees across the internet, thereby allowing students to pick and choose which school is best for your needs.  Deciding to make such a drastic career change is no easy choice to make, but online colleges make this decision much easier by providing an alternative method in which you will not be forced to take time off work nor commute every day. 

10 Things That Increase Your Intelligence

Aug 26th, 2008

We’re often told that there are three styles of learning and that the way in which we learn new things can fall into one of three areas: Behaviorism, which is the process of learning through the observation of something else, or “seeing it”. Cognitivism, which focuses on brain-based learning and memory-related information. Finally, there’s constructivism, which is learning through “building” new ideas based on one’s own experience, or “learning through doing”. However, these are really just the three main philosophical frameworks from which all learning theories are derived. In reality, there are around 80 different learning theories with other theories branching out from those. This article aims to clarify and to look at in more detail, the ideas behind a number of the more popular and commonly talked about theories of how we learn and why.

  1. Observational Learning: Also referred to as the “monkey see, monkey do” method of learning. This happens when a person (or animal) exhibits behavioral changes after having observed another “model” do a similar thing. Also called the social learning theory, the observer will often mimic or imitate what is seen if the “observed” possesses characteristics that the observer finds attractive, for example, wealth or good looks. So, if we ever see someone (or ever do it ourselves) copying someone or indeed learning something from someone they admire, it’s all down to how we learn from observation and how people behave in the world around us.
  2. Learning Styles: Because we’re all different, we have difference needs and desires, likes and dislikes. This can also be applied to the field of learning, in that we all have different ways of doing so. This theory is basically about how well a person can learn depending on how the learning experience is geared towards their particular style of learning or not. How a person will learn from an experience all depends on how their psychological type is when compared to the experience at hand. Concrete/Abstract learners will learn through solid experiences like learning and doing, analysis and observation, similar to what has been mentioned previously. Whilst active/reflective learners will learn better through though and reflection on the experience.
  3. Communities of Practice: This refers to the process of social learning that happens when communities of people work and live in close approximation to one another. These “communities” may be neighborhoods of residents, or even people with common goals, it’s all about how they act towards each other as they strive to reach those goals. The term was coined by anthropologists Barbara Rogoff and Jean Lave, and has come to refer to communities that “practice” some sort of lifestyle, and into which new people that entered the group would enter and then attempt to pick up the social and cultural practices of said community.
  4. Right Brain and Left Brain Learning: At one point or another, we’ve all heard about how the brain can be divided up into two hemispheres, with each side responsible for difference aspects of thinking (sometimes referred to as “modes” of thinking). It’s commonly thought that the left side is responsible for logical/scientific thinking, as well as analysis. While the right side is usually linked to more creative thinking, emotional and reflective in nature. Right/Left Learning also appears to be the subject of a number of short tests on the internet, supposedly letting you find out which “side” you lean towards.
  5. Control/Choice Theory: Conceived by William Glasser, his theory states that behavior and learning are not caused by outside stimulus rather than what a person wants or needs at any given time. A better understanding of Control Theory will enable those who teach to better get their lesson across, because the learners will actively want to learn, and if students are unwilling to finish their homework, then it might well be because they view the work as basically being irrelevant to their basic human needs, as in, they don’t need to do it. Glasser came up with several ”drives” that every human has a need to fulfill in some respect, these are: Survival, power, love, freedom, fun and belonging. So if teachers are willing to motivate, care for, reward/praise and have faith in students and fulfill these innate desires, then learning is going to be whole lot easier.
  6. Multiple Intelligences: Is a theory proposed by psychologist Howard Gardner and states that there are a number of ways in which people have a learning and understanding of what goes on around them, and that each of these ways are labeled as an “intelligence”, or a set of skills or methods in which people understand things. Gardner breaks these down into seven identified subsets of “intelligence”: Verbal, Logical, Visual, Body (physical motion and control), Musical, Interpersonal (interactions with others) and Intrapersonal (knowledge of oneself).
  7. Brain-Based Learning: Is what it says, basically, that the brain is responsible for the learning aspect of life. That as long as the brain isn’t stopped from doing what it’s supposed to, then learning will happen. The theory also states that the morn we learn about the brain and the way it functions, the more we can relate how it processes learning and we can adjust our teaching patterns accordingly. Some examples of the main principles of this theory of understanding our minds include: That we have two types of memory – spatial and rote, each brain is unique, learning something usually involves peripheral attention as well as focused attention, and that learning is developmental.
  8. Behaviorism: Briefly touched on at the start, Behaviorism is the theory that we learn via observation, that we “mimic” what behavior we see from those that come before us, and some even go so far as define learning as not much other than purely the acquisition of new behavior: We see what a teacher does/says and make that “behavior” our own. Research has gone into identifying different types of what is called “conditioning”, and that different types of conditioning may return different behavioral results. Classical conditioning is when a natural reflex occurs in response to some sort of stimulus, the experiment involving Pavlov’s dogs is arguably the most famous example of this, in which Pavlov gets dogs to salivate when a bell rings, this bell is – for the dogs – associated with the providing of tasty food. Another example of conditioning is ”operant conditioning”, when a response is reinforced through some method. A good example of this would be in the classroom, if a teacher rewards a student for good work, then because of reward, the response is likely to become more probable in the future (the response being good work from the student).
  9. Theory of Cognitive Development: Also known as Piaget’s Developmental Theory, after Jean Piaget, a Swiss philosopher. His theory applies to the learning patterns of children whilst they’re growing up, that they build “cognitive structures” of how the view the world, which would involve the mental processes (schemes, concepts and responses, being some examples) required for dealing with a given situation, and that these structures would become increasingly complex as we grow up, that our intellect would grow as we learnt more and had to process ever more information.
  10. Constructivism: Is the theory that we all learn by “doing”. It’s the philosophy that as we reflect on past experiences, we come to a much greater understanding of how the world works. Because our experiences are unique to us, so are our “rules” and “cognitive structures”, and this contributes to making each of us unique as a person, both in personality and in knowledge. Constructivism is when a learner is actively involved in creating new experiences that one can learn from, together with a teacher, who has these experience to pass on, thus creating unique cognitive experiences for all of the learners involved.

Google For Librarians: 50 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Power Searching

Jul 16th, 2008

Librarians are known in their communities as the go-to resource for power searches, research projects and answers to every kind of academic query. As informed as librarians are, however, they can always use some help harnessing the overwhelming amount of information available online. This list of 50 tips, guides and tools is designed to give librarians some help when searching Google for quality, relevant information for themselves and their patrons.

Advanced Search Tips

To perform an advanced search on Google that will narrow down your results, consider the following tips.

  1. Choose a domain name: If you’re looking for quality, authoritative information, select the Google Advanced Search option that only brings up .edu or .gov sites.
  2. Select a time period: This tip is especially helpful for science searches or if you need to find information that falls between a specific time period.
  3. Top 5 Google Search Tips: Get tips for using "hardcore Google" by watching this video.
  4. Usage Rights: Google lets searchers use the User Rights feature to specifically find material of any file type that can be shared and modified.
  5. Change language: To find source material, sometimes you need to bring up the content in its original language. Don’t forget to set this preference during your search to increase your chances of finding the original document.
  6. SafeSearch filtering: If you only want kid safe or public appropriate material brought up during your search, choose either the moderate or strict filtering option in your preferences.
  7. Negative terms: Weed out information you don’t want by putting the minus sign behind your keyword and then typing in another keyword that represents the definition of what you don’t want displayed. For an example, follow the link.
  8. link: If you want to find secondary source material that still links to a widely known authoritative site, type in [link:] and then the address of the site you want links to.
  9. Other Information Needs: Visit this page to find shortcuts for finding pages with certain words in the title, at certain domain names and more.
  10. related: The related feature gives you the option of searching for a page that is very similar to a website you already know. If you need an extra source or two for your project, you can type in [related:] and then the address of the site you’re using as an example for what you want to find.

Google Search Tools

Take advantage of Google’s many different search tools that can quickly connect you to literature and nonfiction guides, patents, academic articles, news archives and more.

  1. Google Blog Search: When you want your results to include blog content only, use this search.
  2. Google Book Search: Besides being able to search for actual books, this search also lets you find keywords and phrases that appear in books.
  3. Google Image: When you’re only searching for images, turn to this search engine powered by Google to find the most popular pics on the Web.
  4. News Archive Search: The days of microfiche and microfilm may be over thanks to the Google News Archive Search, which "provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives" and can display your results in a timeline.
  5. Power Search Tool: Watch this video for an introduction to Google’s Power Search Tool, which can narrow down your search by file type, search engine, definitions, history and a lot more.
  6. Desktop: Librarians who work on Macs can easily search all of the overwhelming content, saved websites and other files on their computer with this handy tool.
  7. Patent Search: For scientific, product, engineering and historical searches involving patents, you can look up over 7 million patents with photos and other information here.
  8. Google Custom Search: Create your own search engine powered by Google that reflects the needs of your library and community. You can choose to include certain websites, customize display options and more.
  9. Search by Number: For administrative purposes, use the Search by Number tools to track packages, find patents and look up U.S. area codes.
  10. Earth: If your library needs maps or aerial images of buildings, the community, or virtually any place on the planet, use the free Google Earth tool for your searches. Google Earth Plus and Google Earth Pro offer paid upgrades that include GPS and "access the ultimate research, presentation, and collaboration tool for location-specific information."
  11. Google Scholar: Google Scholar is a popular search engine that connects you to quality sites, journals, articles, abstracts, citations, research material and more.
  12. Finance: Help your patrons find stock quotes, market information and industry news on this niche site.
  13. Google Power Search: With a keyword search box and a drop down tab for different file types, this easy search engine lets you find images, Web content, video, music and more.
  14. Special Searches: When you need to conduct a search within a specific topic, like computers, politics or colleges and universities, use this tool to only bring up information that’s truly relevant.

Google Apps and Resources

Watch these videos and learn about Google’s apps and secret search commands to tap into parts of the Internet you never thought you’d be able to reach.

  1. Advanced Search Made Easy: Google’s Web Search Help Center provides great advice for maximizing the benefits of the advanced search, including choosing a specific domain, language, file type or period of time.
  2. Top 5 Hidden Google Search Commands: This YouTube video reveals simple tips for finding exactly what you want, including file types, metric conversions and answers to math problems.
  3. Language Tools: Find websites in different languages, translate a web page, and even alter the Google interface so that it reflects a particular language or country, from Sweden to Albania to Colombia to Liechtenstein.
  4. Google Toolbar: Install the Google Toolbar into your Firefox browser so that you can conduct a search from any place online.
  5. Improve Your Search Experience: This Google site gives tips on using reference tools, local searches, searching by number and other features.
  6. Google Notebook: Google Notebook is a librarian’s best friend, as it help you organize all of your clips, frequently visited websites and other research information.
  7. Translate: View websites in other languages by having them translated here.
  8. Web Accelerator: Speed up your searches and make your library run much more efficiently with this Google tool that helps your browser run more quickly.
  9. Search Results Page: Here, every part of a Google search results page is explained, helping you figure out where to find search statistics, navigation links, suggested sites and more.
  10. Google Sites: Librarians can use this Google app to share results and research with patrons or other librarians, making power searching a lot faster and more community-driven.

Power Searching Guides and Ideas

Here you’ll find how-to guides and ideas to help you with your power search, from finding different file types to using Google Book search in new ways.

  1. How to do an advanced search on Google Book Search: Watch this short YouTube tutorial for tips on doing the advanced search on this specific Google search engine.
  2. How to Use Google Search Like a Professional User: In this video, you’ll get tips for looking up basic information and getting the results you want to appear higher up in your queue.
  3. How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Search: Learn how checking statistics can give you an edge in your search.
  4. How to Find Any Type of File Using Google: If you’re having a hard time finding music files, images or specific downloads during your search, consider the tips presented in this video.
  5. Google Search Tips: This tutorial goes over Google search tools that can help teachers, students and librarians find what they need.
  6. Google Book Search: Researching Your (Ancestral) Roots: Get inspired to use Google Book Search for a genealogical project.
  7. 12 Quick Tips to Search Google Like and Expert: Tips in this guide include knowing when to exclude words, doing a site specific search, and searching for specific document types.
  8. Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks: To help patrons find even the most obscure material, use this guide to learn Google’s secrets.
  9. 10 Most Amazing Google Search Tricks: From abbreviations and definitions to live commentaries, get quick search tips here.
  10. 20 Tips for More Efficient Google Searches: The Dumb Little Man offers up 20 tips for efficient Google power searching, from quotes to the wildcard symbol to vertical searches to types of numbers to cached pages.

Google Hacks for Librarians

These hacks are great for librarians who want to learn about the Google tips and tricks that will help them find information for students, teachers and the public.

  1. Secret Google Tips for Researchers: Part 1: This is part one of a five-part series that helps serious researchers use Google more efficiently, including searching groups, using quotes and stems, and more.
  2. Librarians and Google: Tips of the Trade: Librarians and librarian media specialists talk about the Google tools they love to use.
  3. Internet Librarian: 30 Search Tips in 40 Minutes: Elizabeth Lane Lawley from the mamamusings blog gives great tips for online searches, including many Google hacks.
  4. Google Guide: Making Searching Even Easier: This page is full of shortcuts, abbreviations and tips for conducting specialized searches.
  5. Google Hacks: Tips and Tools for Finding the World’s Information: View this book online through Google Books to find very useful tips for getting to the information you want on Google.
  6. Create a Google Custom Search Engine: The website Google Librarian Central provides this how-to for librarians who want to create a custom search engine for their community.

100 Cool Things You Can Do With RSS

Jul 15th, 2008

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) allows you to get information sent directly to you, eliminating the need for you to that information individually. Using a reader will allow all the RSS feeds to come to one spot for you to read at your leisure. While reading news and blogs has been a traditional use for RSS feeds, there are also tons of fun ways to use these feeds. The list below touches on some ways you can read the news, but it also lets you learn, share, keep up with your interests, and so much more.

Entertainment

From your favorite NPR shows to movies to video games, the list below offers some form of entertainment you can have sent to your reader every day.

  1. Books. Read books with DailyLit. They will send sections to you each day via RSS feed.
  2. Recipes. Get a recipe of the day, recipe raves, recipes from chefs and friends, and more from bigoven.
  3. Vegan Recipes. If you are a vegan, get recipes, articles and more from VegWeb.
  4. NPR. Find your favorite NPR show updates, local NPR stations, and more each with their own feeds.
  5. Blogs. Find your favorite blog and read it in your reader every time it’s updated rather than visiting the site waiting for updates.
  6. TV listings. Have local TV listings from TV Guide sent to you every day.
  7. TV reminders. Use mytvrss to customize RSS feed reminders on the day when your favorite shows will air.
  8. Watch TV shows. Find out as soon as free downloads are available of your favorite shows on Hulu.
  9. Movies. Read movie reviews from major critics and the editors themselves at Rotten Tomatoes with their updates.
  10. DVD. Find the latest about DVD new release and bestsellers with Movies.com.
  11. Viral videos. Get those crazy videos everyone loves from YouTube sent directly to your reader with their RSS feed.
  12. Music releases. Get the top 10 songs or albums among other music feeds from iTunes Store from RSS at Apple.
  13. Video games. Go to your specific console’s website, like Xbox.com and see if they have RSS feed updates for video game releases.

Sports

Sports fans have no reason to be left in the dark with all these great feeds available.

  1. Baseball. Baseball fans can get feeds with news about favorite teams from both the American and National League at MLB.com.
  2. College Football. Find feeds with all the latest news on your favorite college teams from Fanblogs.com.
  3. Professional Football. For the latest news and more on professional football teams, visit NFL.com.
  4. Hockey. You’ll get news, features, stories, and videos of your hockey favorites at NHL.com.
  5. Basketball. Basketball lovers will get news, scores, and videos from your favorite teams delivered from NBA.com.
  6. U.S. Soccer. If you want audio podcasts, US soccer news, and news on both men’s and women’s teams, sign up at ussoccer.com.
  7. World Soccer. With World Soccer, you will get all the latest news on soccer games around the world.
  8. Olympics. Get an RSS feed to update you on any number of aspects of the 2008 Olympics from the official website.
  9. Cycling. If cycling is your thing, get updates on mountain biking, road riding, BMX, and more at USA Cycling.
  10. Nascar. Racing fans can follow their favorite driver, specific series, or specific races with feeds from NASCAR.com.
  11. Skateboarding. SkateboarderMag.com offers videos, photos, feature articles, and more with their RSS feeds.

Fun Stuff

Become smarter, more centered, or get a laugh with all the following feeds that you can read.

  1. Word of the Day. Get a new vocabulary word sent to you every day with Dictionary.com.
  2. Quote of the Day. Need some inspiration each day? Get a quote every day with Quotes of the Day.
  3. Joke of the Day. Find a joke every day on your reader with Comedy Central.
  4. Fortune Cookie. Get an unusual bit of advice from Random Online Fortune Cookie sent to you.
  5. Horoscope. Get a range of specialized horoscopes each day with Astrology.com.
  6. Urban Word of the Day. Have Urban Dictionary send you the word of the day and you’ll know what dress flops or carbon guilt means.
  7. Comics. Find your favorite comics that are published on the web and subscribe to an RSS feed with Comic Alert!
  8. Weird Stuff. Find the oddest blog posts with this feed dedicated to the best of weird blogs.
  9. Astronomy. See beautiful and amazing photos taken by two professional astronomers with Astronomy Picture of the Day sent to your reader.
  10. Puns. If you appreciate the unusual humor of puns, then Pun of the Day is a must for your subscription list.
  11. Random fun. Subscribe to get some fun daily updates like famous birthdays, articles, and this day in history with Cool Site of the Day.

Computer and Internet

If you want software information or just want to change the wallpaper on your computer, these feeds will help you out.

  1. Free software deals. Each day you can receive free downloads of software that would normally cost money. Get the feed to let you know what is available each day with Giveaway of the Day.
  2. Software releases. Find out when software is released for your specific operating system with Track Version.
  3. Virus alerts. Get alerts from Viruslist.com any time a new virus is detected.
  4. Wallpaper. Change your wallpaper with this fun tool that also serves as a news aggregator.
  5. PageTiki. This tool will let you know when your favorite webpages have been updated via RSS so you don’t have to keep going back to check for new information.
  6. Follow trends. Learn what other web surfers are bookmarking with del.icio.us hotlist feeds.
  7. Wikipedia. Hardcore Wikipedia fans can learn when there are any changes to the information with their recent changes feed.
  8. Tutorials. Get video tutorials teaching complex tasks in a simple, easy-to-understand format with commoncraft feeds.

Dating and Social Networking

Whether you are staying in the loop with friends or looking for a date, these feeds will guide the way.

  1. Singles events. Learn when a singles event in a city near you will occur with updates from Singles On The Go.
  2. Matches. Some online dating sites will alert you when new matches pop up so you can find out immediately.
  3. Speed dating. Find speed dating events all over the world with this RSS feed.
  4. Relationship advice. Need relationship help? Perfectmatch.com will provide you some dating tips and advice straight to your reader.
  5. Twitter. Follow your friends’ updates with Twitter RSS feeds.
  6. MySpace. Add an RSS feed to your MySpace page with this application.
  7. Facebook. Subscribe to RSS updates from Facebook with multiple options such as friends’ statuses, posted items, and notes.
  8. Friendfeed. Get all your friend’s updates in Friendfeed, then have them sent directly to your reader with an RSS feed.

Travel

If you are taking a trip, make use of these helpful feeds to plan and implement your journey. If you can’t make the time for a trip, then there are a few options for those stuck at home, too.

  1. Airfare. Travelocity provides low fare alerts and alerts when fares to your favorite cities drops below 20%.
  2. Flight delays. Get delays that are happening at any airport in America with FlightStats.
  3. Hotels. Find top deals, exclusive offers, and hotels under $99 with Orbitz RSS feeds.
  4. Currency rates. Select from one of these feeds to receive the most up-to-date currency exchange rate from CurrencySource.
  5. Travel itinerary. Use TripIt to organize your travel itinerary, then sign up for alerts which will send you RSS feeds any time something on your itinerary is updated or changed.
  6. Virtual sightseeing. Subscribe to weekly updates with Google Sightseeing to visit places around the world using Google Maps or Google Earth.
  7. Map fun. Google Maps Mania will send you updates with all the fun mashups and tools making use of Google Maps.

Weather

Keep up with the weather in your city or find out if it’s raining at Aunt Emma’s house with these feeds.

  1. Local weather. Get daily updates to know what your local weather will be from The Weather Channel. Plug in your zip code and start now.
  2. Alerts. Receive alerts when the weather threatens your area from National Weather Service.
  3. Tides. Find tidal information from tides.info for most coasts around the world and have it sent to you.

Family and Friends

Keeping up with family and friends or updating them with your information just got a lot easier with these feeds.

  1. Share photos. Use RSS feeds to share your Flickr photos with loved ones and buddies alike.
  2. Share calendars. Share updates from your Google calendar with others whether they have a Google account or not.
  3. Plan a party . Use online invitations with mypunchbowl and get RSS feed for the Punchbowl Buzz.
  4. Name your baby. Use the baby name wizard at iVillage and get updates on your reader.
  5. Find an activity. Search for fun events in your city with Eventful and have them sent to you with their RSS feed.

Productivity and Career

Jumpstart your career with these handy feeds that will keep you on track or help you find a job.

  1. To do lists. Create to do lists with FLEXlists that you can send to yourself or share with co-workers.
  2. Traffic updates. Make the most of your commute time with Traffic.com’s traffic reports from major cities around the nation.
  3. Job openings. Find a job with Monster and get an RSS feed specialized by location, category, or keyword.
  4. Specific emails. Set a filter, then use MailBucket to have those emails sent via RSS feed. Be aware that these messages are public.
  5. Reminders. Reminderfeed lets you receive reminders straight to your reader with this easy tool.

Shopping

Internet shopping is hugely popular, so take advantage of these feeds to help you find what you want, save money, or track your package.

  1. Best Buy. Get the latest sales going on for movies, game consoles, electronics, and more at Best Buy with their RSS feed.
  2. Target. Sign up for Target’s weekly ads to be delivered to your reader by clicking on "Sign up for reminders" here.
  3. Gift registry. Whether it’s a wedding or a new baby, you can create a gift registry and make it available to your guests with an RSS feed on TheThingsIWant.
  4. Coupons. Get the latest online coupon codes with this RSS feed from Retailmenot.com.
  5. Deals. Find out when the latest internet shopping deals come through with a feed from Ben’s Bargains.
  6. Ebay. Get specific searches from Ebay auctions sent to you via rssauction.com.
  7. Package tracking. Follow your package from most of the major package carriers with this tool from simpletracking.com.
  8. Price changes. If you are watching an item and waiting for the price to fall, use RSStalker to do the work for you.
  9. Under $10. If you are really on a budget and want to find only the least expensive deals on the Internet, sign up for the SpendFish update that will alert you with any product under $10.

News

Getting news with RSS feeds is nothing new, but some of these options are truly cool. Check out the offbeat news or National Geographic updates for something a little different.

  1. Medical news. If medical news is your thing, you’ll love HubMed, which sends daily update feeds of results from your searches on PubMed medical database.
  2. Legal news. Choose your favorite legal news to be delivered through RSS feed via LexisNexis.
  3. Business news. Not only can you get business news at Yahoo!, you can also get a variety of other news touching on such topics as science, politics, and technology.
  4. National news. Get all the latest national news from such well-known agencies as ABC News and Fox News.
  5. Local news. Visit your local news station’s website to find out what RSS feeds they offer.
  6. World News. One of the top news agencies offering world news brings it to you via RSS feed at Reuters. They offer their highly entertaining Oddly Enough by RSS as well.
  7. U.S. Government. Find a huge amount of information that the government will send you through RSS feeds on USA.gov.
  8. Offbeat. Find offbeat news that others might not be reporting with Topix.
  9. Gadgets. Learn the latest news on technology gadgets with Engadget’s feeds.
  10. National Geographic. Get updates that include beautiful photos from some of the most talented photographers around with National Geographic News updates.

Tools to Do Stuff with Your Feeds

Now that you have so many new feeds coming into your reader, learn what else you can do with them. From changing them to voice, sending them to your IM, or just filtering through all you’re getting, these tools will help you manage your feeds.

  1. Page2RSS. Monitor websites that do not offer RSS feeds with an RSS that you create with this tool.
  2. RSS Mix. Use this aggregator to blend several RSS feeds into one feed you can post on your website.
  3. Ping-o-Matic. Ping other sites when you update your blog with this easy RSS feed.
  4. Feed Crier. Get real time alerts from all your favorite feeds sent to your IM with this free tool.
  5. NewsAloud. Transfer your RSS feeds to voice with this tool if you don’t have time to read your feeds.
  6. flurry. This tool will allow you to send and read RSS feeds on your mobile phone.
  7. RSS2PDF. Change your RSS feeds into PDF format documents with this tool.
  8. RSSMicro. Find RSS feeds with this feed search engine.
  9. TapTXT. Monitor all RSS feeds for specific keywords and get alerts you via IM, email, or on your mobile as soon as something is posted with those keywords.
  10. AideRSS. If your RSS feeds are out of control, this tool will help you manage them by customizing to your interest and then filtering out less popular stories.

The Most Popular Online Graduate Degrees

Jul 10th, 2008

Online degrees have become more and more useful over the past few years which now begs the question as to which online graduate degrees are the most popular.  While some students are securing their first college degrees, there are many who are earning additional degrees for themselves, including MBAs and related Masters Degrees.  The easy accessibility of online classes has created a newfound approach to attend school and therefore has culminated in a wide range of online degrees that are offered.   Online graduate degrees allow many business professionals to carry on with their daily lives while still earning a graduate degree that is sure to improve their job title.  
   
Online graduate degree programs have become a popular method in increasing your education, with many employers requesting their employees to enroll in classes to gain additional degrees.  MBAs are especially significant in the business world, as more and more employees are finding that online classes can improve their position at work.  MBA degrees specifically have classes that are catered exclusively to executive level students who have been in the business world for years and are simply going back to school to solely gain an MBA.  This has therefore culminated in online MBAs becoming one of the fastest growing degrees within the online education community.  This has become widely recognized by the online education community as nearly every online college offers MBAs in addition to the many other degrees which are offered.
   
Related graduate degrees have also grown in prominence, depending on the field you are most interested in.  There are a wide variety of graduate programs offered amidst online schools, many of which are geared specifically to people who have been in the work field for years, and simply want to go back to school without the time to commute after work.  Masters Degrees and PhDs are popular in every industry, allowing students to take classes and hold on to their jobs.  Many business graduate degrees are equally popular because they are some of the most applicable to nearly every job.  Accounting graduate degrees are also helpful in different fields and can open doors to a more in-depth career within the business world.  Finding the graduate degree that will be most applicable to your career future is not a difficult task anymore, since more and more opportunities exist online.  Many prominent universities around the country offer distance learning classes for graduate degrees and the economy has caused many other people to look toward getting a graduate degree in order to secure their job.  Popular online graduate degrees are bound to fluctuate according to the economy and the jobs people are looking for, but for right now they seem to be particular centered around business degrees and MBAs. 

100 Insanely Useful Web Tools You Never Knew You Needed

Jul 9th, 2008

There are so many tools available on the Internet, it’s difficult to keep up with them all, and some are just downright silly while others make life much easier. This list highlights 100 web tools that fall into the latter, more useful category and help you with some aspect of your life, whether it’s managing your time, more efficiently surfing the web, or planning a perfect vacation.

Productivity

Find ways to take notes, schedule meetings, and plan your day with these handy tools.

  1. orangoo. Either paste your text into this site or give it a URL for a blog or website and you will know immediately if you have any spelling errors.
  2. Jotlet. Create an online calendar and share it with friends, family, or co-workers through your website.
  3. MeetWithApproval. Plan a meeting at work or organize a happy hour with friends with this meeting planner.
  4. FLEXLists. Create online lists that you can share with others. This is a great idea for getting a grocery list to your partner or organizing your book group’s reading list.
  5. Evernote. Never forget anything again with this tool. Capture an image, be it a photo, web page, to-do list, or whatever you want to remember, then this tool makes it accessible from your computer or phone with tags attached so you can easily find your stuff.
  6. Stickies 6.5a. Create virtual sticky notes on your computer desktop with this fun tool. Just like real stickies, they stay there until you remove them, but unlike the real thing, these can be iconified and remind you of tasks.
  7. Jotcloud. Similar to Stickies 6.5a, but with a bit fewer bells and whistles, you can write down your notes on virtual stickies with this tool. No download is necessary.
  8. HassleMe. If you need a little nudging in the right direction, this tool will give you a hand. Let it know about how often you want to be hassled and what you need to do and you’ll receive an email reminder. If you need to go to the gym every three days or call your mother every seven days, you won’t be able to forget.
  9. Remember the Milk. This to do list tool will not only keep you on track, but you can use it with your cell phone, Google maps, and more.
  10. Bla-bla List. If you want something more simple than Remember the Milk, this to-do list is simple and you can email it to yourself or update others via RSS feed.
  11. SlimTimer. If you work from home, this tool will help you track your hours, create tasks, and run reports for free.
  12. l8r. Send emails up to five years in advance with this tool. You’ll never miss a birthday again.

Making Life Easier

In this world of multitasking and busy schedules, everyone can use a little help to make life go more smoothly. The following tools will help you with getting a real person on the phone, finding the perfect music, creating a goal chart, and more.

  1. DailyLit. Think you are too busy to read? Now you can select a book and have daily installments sent to you via email or RSS feed. Many of the books are free, but others require a small fee to read.
  2. Bringo! Calling an 800 number and not being able to reach a real person is quite frustrating. This handy tool makes it all better by cutting through the phone tree and getting a human on the line.
  3. eSnailer. Write a letter and mail it through the postal service with this fun tool. You just fill in the envelope, write the letter, and have eSnailer send the letter.
  4. Surprise.com. Buying gifts can be difficult, but this tool just took the work out of gift-giving. It even links you to presents you can purchase online.
  5. Franceradio.net. Search for music for you MP3 player with this fun tool. You can listen and download your favorite tunes free of charge.
  6. Podlinez. Listen to your favorite podcast on your phone by calling a number associated with each podcast. If the podcast you want isn’t available on this site, add it and you can listen within minutes.
  7. My 50. This tool will help you keep focused on your life goals by managing your list of places to go, things to do, and anything else you want to do in your lifetime.
  8. Joe’s Goals. This simple chart allows you to input your goals (or what you want to avoid doing), then you check off each you complete daily.
  9. Musicovery. Choose your mood, decade, and genre and you will receive a web of music to choose from.
  10. Alphabetizer. Need a list alphabetized quickly and easily? Just paste your list into this tool and get results fast.
  11. Timeanddate.com. Find out what time it is anywhere in the world, look at a calendar for any year, or determine time zones with this handy tool.
  12. Sizeasy. If you are shopping online or need to visualize a size dimension for any reason, use this tool to get a visual comparison to help you know what the numbers mean.

Mobile

Using your mobile phone to get things done more efficiently is even easier with these tools.

  1. TeleFlip. Send your email messages to your phone as text messages with this free tool. You do have to pay any text fees your carrier may charge, though.
  2. GrandCentral. Consolidate all your phones into one with this tool that gives you one voice mailbox and one number for all your phones.
  3. bitBomb. Set up reminders that will come to your mobile phone as a text message with this tool.
  4. Cha Cha. Call or text a question to Cha Cha (242242) and within minutes you will receive the answer.
  5. phonezoo. Use this tool to convert your MP3 files to ringtones for your cell phone. You can also use other people’s music posted at this site.
  6. flurry. This tool will send emails, allow you to read RSS feeds, and participate in group messaging all on your mobile phone.
  7. mShopper. While you are out shopping, just jump on your phone to see if you can find your item for less money online, and then buy it right from your mobile phone.
  8. Qipit. Take a photo of any document with your phone, then use this tool to convert it to a PDF file that you can fax, email, or store.
  9. Berggisearch. Powered by Hakia, download this application to your cell phone to get an efficient search that brings results recommended by librarians, not advertisements.
  10. TelePixie. Get wake-up calls, reminders, stock alerts, severe weather alerts, and more right on your mobile phone.
  11. ShoZu. Don’t know how to get that photo you took with your phone on to your computer? No problem. Use this tool to upload photos and videos to many photo sites like Flickr. You can also send photos from Flickr to your phone and do much more with this tool.
  12. Mobyko. Back up the names, numbers, and information on your mobile phone with this handy tool. The next time you lose your phone, you won’t lose your information.

Making Computing Easier

These tools will help you do everything from combining IMs to reducing spam to converting files.

  1. Bugmenot.com. If you’ve ever had to register with a site just to read an article or watch a video, then you will want this tool. Find login information for many websites that require registration and never have to give your information again.
  2. The Complete Word. If you’ve ever been at school or work and couldn’t see what your friend posted to you on MySpace or were unable to view the YouTube video your girlfriend sent you, then you’ll love this tool that unblocks popular sites.
  3. Trillian. Combine all your IM accounts from Yahoo!, MSN, AIM, ICQ, and IRC into one with this free tool.
  4. 10 Minute Mail. Use this tool to get an email address that is good for 10 minutes, then expires. This is a great way to register with sites that require an email validation. Use a disposable email address and keep out all that unwanted spam.
  5. Protopage. Create your own homepage complete with sticky notes, your favorite website links, and more.
  6. PageTiki. This tool will let you know when your favorite webpages have been updated so you don’t have to keep going back to check for new information.
  7. TinyURL.com. If you would like to send a link to someone, but the long URL address is too cumbersome, then this tool will help you out. Just simply paste the long URL into the tool and it immediately gives you a smaller URL that links to the same page.
  8. LabPixies. Add any number of fun widgets like Google maps, calorie counter, games, calendars, and more on your home page, blog, or website.
  9. Agatra. Never worry about forgetting a password again. This encrypted tool securely stores all your passwords so that you don’t have to remember them yourself.
  10. Mail2Web. If your email is not web-based, it can be frustrating not being able to check your email when you are away from your computer. Now you can use this tool and check your email anywhere, anytime.
  11. YouConvertIt. Convert any kind of media file (documents, images, audio, video) to a different format without installing software on your computer.
  12. Down for everyone or just me? If you are having a hard time getting a web page to download, paste the URL for the website into this tool to discover if it’s down for everyone or if the problem is just with you. Super simple!

Google Tools

With the popularity and functionality of Google, many people are sure to find something handy in this list. Even non-Google folks can use some of these tools.

  1. Google SMS. Finding directions, addresses, phone numbers, and more is easy with Google SMS. Send a text to Google (466453) and put keywords in the body of the text for whatever you want to find, and Google will reply within a minute or so with the answer.
  2. Google Send to Phone. Take short clips off websites and send them to any cell phone in the U.S.
  3. Google Reader. Download this reader to get all your RSS feeds in one place. If you read blogs, this will make it so much easier.
  4. Google Alerts. Get email updates on a specific topic you are interested in following.
  5. Google Maps for Mobile. Get Google maps on your mobile phone–where you may find you need them most.
  6. Google Notebook. While you are browsing around the Internet, use this tool to save information you find.
  7. Goog-411. Call 1-800-GOOG-411 and get connected to local businesses for free. You can also get the business information texted to your phone and maps sent as well.
  8. Google Ride Finder. Find taxis and shuttles by city using real time Google Maps.
  9. Google Transit. If you’d like to use public transportation in your city, use this tool to map your route with Google Maps and learn how to get where you need to go.
  10. Google Web Accelerator. Download this tool to make web pages load faster. This works with DSL or cable connections only.

Finances

From managing your money to paying bills, you can use these tools to stay on top of your business and finances.

  1. mint. Manage your money with this free software. Connect with your bank, credit cards, and mutual funds to effortlessly gain control over your finances.
  2. wesabe. getting out of debt can be a struggle, but not with wesabe. This free software helps you track spending and create goals towards getting out of debt or saving money. Take advantage of the discussion groups with other members to find support while reaching your goals.
  3. Zopa. This social finance company brings borrowers and investors together to work out loans that benefit both parties.
  4. Retailmenot.com. Online shopping just got less expensive with this site that provides coupon codes to use for over 13,000 online stores.
  5. PriceProtectr. Shop from over 120 online stores and use this tool to let you know if the price on your new purchase goes down. If so, you contact the store for a refund of the difference.
  6. BillMonk. Keep track of your money with this fun tool. It also tracks items you’ve loaned to people or that you have borrowed.
  7. BudgetTracker, Inc. Create and track your budget with this tool. It helps with bills, investments, bank accounts, and more.
  8. StockCloud. This cloud shows stock ticker symbols with varying degrees of font size indicating how frequently that company issues press releases.
  9. PayScale. Compare your salary with others who have similar job titles, education, location, skills, and experience.

For the Family

The following tools will give most families a hand with gift wish lists, chore organizers, meal planning, and more.

  1. Handipoints. Create a task or chore chart for your children with this online tool, then your kids can check off each task as they go and monitor their progress until they reach the goal.
  2. MyHomePoint. This online calendar keeps track of your family’s activities, birthdays, reminders, and more. Easy access makes this a winner for families.
  3. myfamily.com. Get your entire extended family together with this tool. Family members can upload photos, videos, recipes, and more as well as plan events or map out the family tree.
  4. trydrugs.net. For parents who are talking with their children about drugs, this tool is handy. By going to this site, you will be taken through an experience for each of the most used illegal drugs. Try moving that mouse and clicking on the appropriate spot while under this influence.
  5. GreedyMe. Create a list of things you want and share with friends and family members. Despite the name, this tool is actually handy for families sharing wish lists for birthdays or other holidays.
  6. VisualDxHealth. Identify skin disorders with this visual health tool. From acne to skin cancer, you will be able to find it here.
  7. Calorie Counter. Find out how many calories you are burning with a specific exercise or how many calories your family consumed during that last fast food binge with the calorie counting tools here.
  8. Geni. Create your family tree with this tool. You can also share photos, remember birthdays, and memorialize loved ones.
  9. WujWuj. If you’ve ever tried to organize gift-giving as a group, you know how difficult it can be. This tool organizes the whole process so next time several family members want to go in on a wedding gift or baby shower present, it goes more smoothly.
  10. WeGottaEat.com. Manage recipes and shopping lists and share with family members with this helpful tool.
  11. Chore Buster. Enter family members and chores, then designate how difficult or undesirable each chore is and how often it must be done, then each family member will receive an email with their chores at the correct time.
  12. ChoreWars.com. Another way to get chores done, this approach uses a game. Family members can create their own character, too.

Travel

Whether you are going on vacation, traveling for business, or just keeping track of a traveler, you will find helpful tools from this list.

  1. TripIt. This travel organizer will and compile all your travel arrangements and create an itinerary for you. You can get your itinerary on your mobile device, too.
  2. ePassportPhoto.com. Take a photo at home with your digital camera, then use this tool to convert it to a passport photo that meets the specifications for over 60 countries–for free.
  3. The Universal Packing List. Enter the information about your trip and you will get a complete packing list customized to your needs.
  4. Jumpclaimer! Send text messages while traveling to create pins on a Google map that friends and family can access to follow along as you explore the world.
  5. Yapta. Plan your flight with this tool and it will alert you when prices drop so that you can purchase the ticket. If prices drop after you purchase, it will alert you again so that you can get a refund from the airline.
  6. YourGMap. Create a custom Google map that shows where you went or where you plan to go. This is not a Google tool.
  7. Happy Median. If you are meeting someone during your travels or back home for a night on the town, use this tool to find the halfway point between the two of you.
  8. Universal Currency Converter. If you are traveling internationally, this handy tool will help you know the exchange rate of each place you’ll visit.
  9. MizPee. Find a public toilet in the U.S. or Canada. You can have the results of your search sent to your mobile phone, too.
  10. Weather2Travel Climate Guide. Click on any place in the world to find current weather conditions. This is a great tool to use when packing for your trip.
  11. iSubwayMaps.com. Choose from cities worldwide and download subway maps to your iPhone, iPod, or iPod Nano.

Entertainment

While none of these tools are likely to change your life, they might make it a little more fun with party planning, movie selections, and more.

  1. MyPunchbowl. Planning a party is simple with this online planner and invitation generator.
  2. What Should I Read Next? Enter a book title or an author and other readers will recommend books to you based on their shared appreciation of the same literature.
  3. MyFilmz. Use this tool to discover what movie you should watch tonight. Type in a movie you like and you will get a list of several other movies that are similar.
  4. FreeRice. Play this word game to sharpen your vocabulary skills and help feed the hungry at the same time. Be careful, it’s addictive.
  5. someecards. Stay in touch with friends and family by sending one of these funny e-cards. Choose from several categories to find just the right one.
  6. soundjunction Composer tool. Create your own music with this online composing tool.
  7. Sloganizer. Enter a keyword and this tool will instantly come up with a slogan for you. You can even get your slogan put on a t-shirt.
  8. geoGreeting. Email a greeting to someone with this fun tool. Whatever your message, aerial views of buildings around the world create the letters for your text.
  9. Listen to a Movie. Download a movie or TV show and listen to it on your computer while you work. Be sure to hit "pause" when your boss comes in, though.
  10. Good Things Should Never End. This never ending website offers tons of fun graphics that you can interact with just by clicking your mouse. You can even share some of them on your website or blog.

The Value of Online Certificates

Jul 2nd, 2008

Online education has reached new peaks with its development of nearly every type of degree program, including online certificates.  Schools have begun to offer more and more online certificates for those students who wish to further their career through an additional certification.  Many businesses have begun to require their employees to become further advanced in a particular field by receiving added skills.  Online certificates are the perfect solution in this dilemma, since they do not require employees to take time off of work in order to attend classes and gain a certificate.  Rather, employees can simply work at home at their leisure in completing a certification program. 
   
Online certificates have opened up new doors for students and businesses across the nation and helps save many corporations thousands of dollars.  Gaining extra certification in various fields has never been easier.  Nearly every type of certificate is now available in many different fields, ranging from certificates in workplace Spanish to certificates in desktop publishing.  Many of these certificates are designed to teach people already in the work-world facts which were not necessary in their previous degree program but which are essential in the business world.  For example, gaining the knowledge of a new language can serve to help your position in work, especially if you work with many multinational corporations.  Online certificates in languages are one of the easiest ways to learn a new language without enrolling in a grueling language course that takes time away from your job and life.
   
Many other online certificates are specifically oriented to appeal to business professionals in very narrow fields.  The many online certificates for floral design are one example of a specified business requirement; gaining this type of certificate helps you learn exactly how to arrange floral designs, thereby increasing your job skills in this field without pulling you out of work temporarily.  These online certificates are also helpful if you are considering a drastic change in careers.  Securing certification in a new field is an impressive factor to include in your resume and can serve to land you a job in an area where you previously had no experience.  Interior design is another such field which is appealing but a difficult industry to break into without years of experience.  Online certificates can aid in this process by giving you more experience than others in your position would have.  Throw in your past business experience and you have an impressive resume!
   
Online schools across the nation now offer online certificates in addition to degrees, thereby allowing many of us to gain additional certification from accredited schools without leaving home.  The ingenuity of online certificates has caused the online education community to gain prominence within the academic industry, thereby appealing to thousands who wish to advance their career. 

50 Niche Search Engines That Will Make Your Everyday Life Easier

Jun 26th, 2008

Just about everyone has used a Google or Yahoo! search engine if they have been on the Internet. Certainly you can find what you need with them. But search engines that focus on a very specific topic can be really helpful too. If you are looking for a particular video, an old friend from high school, or the perfect handbag, a niche search engine can help. They can make life even better if you can use them in a pinch, like when you need to understand the wording on your grandfather’s will.

Discovering

All of these searches will help you discover something new, whether it’s a new author you’ve never read or what size shoe you wear in Europe.

  1. Gnod. Search for books, music, movies and people with this search engine. The beauty is that it remembers your interests and focuses the search results on those things you are more likely to enjoy. Save time and enjoy the results of your search with this fun tool.
  2. Icerocket. This search engine was designed to take the advertising out of blog searches and definitely does that. It also offers video and MySpace searches too.
  3. Online Conversion. Need to adapt a recipe, find out what size shoes you need when ordering from Italy, or figure out if it’s too early to call Aunt Edna in London? This online conversion site will help you find anything you need.
  4. Rollyo. You can choose your own niche with this search engine. Select a search from several different categories such as reference, parenting, or the news and receive customized results to help you discover what you need to know.
  5. Snopes.com. If your mom loves to send you those warning emails about rats and soda cans, then you can find out the truth about them using this search site. Each rumor, myth, or legend is explained and given a rating of true, false, partially true, or undetermined. Finally, you can put that persistent urban legend to rest!
  6. SearchBug. This search engine looks up people, businesses, reverse phone numbers, and more. You can also check the validity of email addresses, phone numbers, zip codes, IP addresses, social security numbers and more.
  7. Tablefy. Finally…you can compare apples to oranges! Or find out the similarities and differences between the top Internet browsers, popular beverages, sports players, and more. This is a great resource for anyone working on a school project.
  8. Soople. Search for information from a number of specialized categories such as music, movies, video, stocks, other languages, and much more. You can even discover who is linking to your website.
  9. Web 2.0 Search Engine. Find tools to make your life easier with this search engine. Whether you want to manage your to-do or grocery list or want to enhance your blog, you can enter your project and receive links to tons of Web 2.0 tools.
  10. WikiSlice. This search engine is specifically for searching Wikipedia. Suppose you want to find everything about tennis in Wikipedia. You will receive a link to the main article about tennis as well as links to other articles that mention tennis.
  11. Spock. This people search not only finds people without search pricetags attached, it will even bring up photos if they are available. Search by name, email, location, or tag to find someone you know.

Buying Stuff

Buying online is easy, but buying exactly what you want, at the lowest price, or locally can be a challenge. These searches will help make online shopping almost the same as doing it in person.

  1. Like.com. This search engine has taken online shopping to a whole new level. If you’ve ever waded through pages upon pages of shoes trying to find exactly what you knew you wanted, then you will love shopping here. The visual search allows you to choose details, color, pattern, or shape to find exactly what you want.
  2. Pronto. Shop with the lowest price in mind at this search engine for bargain shoppers. Get your results arranged by price (high to low or low to high), rating, or relevance.
  3. Local.com. If you want to find a restaurant, place of business, or a service and you want to keep it local, use this search engine. You can browse by category or search by your zip code or city and state.
  4. retrevo. "Matching people and electronics," this search engine will help you find any electronic you want. Not only can you find out where to buy stuff, you can also find articles, forums, blogs, and more. If you need that missing owner’s manual for your TV, you can find it here.
  5. Slifter. If you are looking for a specific product and want to buy it locally, you’ll like this search engine. Enter your item and receive a listing of your local stores that carry that item. You can compare prices, too. If you want to take this service with you, set up Slifter to work on your mobile device.
  6. The Find. Putting all the other shopping search engines together, this one will search through hip boutiques, large department stores, and local shops. You can find a bargain or buy the top of the line with this comprehensive online shopping tool.

Making Sense of It All

Life can be confusing enough without someone throwing in words or phrases you don’t know. Use these searches to cut through the chaos and be in the know.

  1. MetaGlossery.com. Find the definition to anything on this powerful search engine. Enter a term, phrase, or acronym and get results with links that you can email or copy to your clipboard.
  2. Everybody’s Legal Glossary. Whether you need help decoding the paperwork on your house closing or want to understand that threatening note from your neighbor complaining about your barking pooch, you can find the definition of any legal term on this site.
  3. Dictionary of English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions. You may know it’s raining cats and dogs outside, but do you understand what it means if someone wears belt and suspenders? Find out what people are talking about with their funny turns of phrases with this fun idiom search tool.
  4. WestNet IT Glossary. Whether you are trying to figure out what’s going on with your computer or just wanting to understand that hot guy from the IT department, find out what IT technical terms mean with this resource.
  5. Travel Industry Dictionary. Search or browse this site to discover travel terms. If you are planning your vacation or trying to understand what your tour group will be doing during tomorrow’s excursion, find out here.
  6. NetLingo. Find out what your daughter said in that text she just sent you or discover what a "poke" is on Facebook with this fun search tool. If you don’t have a specific term you want to search, you can always browse alphabetically or by categories.

On the Go

These search engines are all designed specifically for mobile devices. Whether they help you find your way or save you on your bill, these will keep you mobile.

  1. Boing. Designed for mobile devices, this search engine provides results with "mobile friendly load times and limited screen size formatting" so that you can get the best of the Internet on your wireless device. Save time and money with this great search engine.
  2. Cha Cha. If you are out and about and need to know the answer to any question, then call or text Cha Cha and you will receive a text with the answer. Need directions, forgot what time the movie starts, or just want to win that trivia game? Cha Cha has your answer.
  3. Berggisearch. Powered by Hakia, download this application to your cell phone to get an efficient search that brings results recommended by librarians, not advertisements.

News and Academic Searches

These search engines focus on news or academic results. From up-to-the-minute headlines to complete online texts, these sites will help you out.

  1. Google Scholar. This new Google search finds only scholarly literature. If you are trying to find the latest research or information on any topic ranging from diabetes to Oscar Wilde to tornadoes and don’t want to wade through the mess that can come up with other searches, this one will take your straight to the source.
  2. bookmach. If you are tired of all the spam that shows up when you are looking for news or searching blogs, then bookmach.com is the place for you. With over 3300 sources, you will only find the best when you use this search engine. You can save your searches to customize the home page so that your favorite topics are always there.
  3. Congoo. This search engine is a "real-time news, networking, and information portal." Get the latest news right on their home page or use the search engine to look up whatever news topic in which you are interested.
  4. Open Library. This search engine will find any book ever published. If you want to read one of those books online, you are in luck. Over 234,000 have full text available.
  5. Wikio. Search for the latest news here. Whether you want to search in video, blogs, or traditional text for your news or would like to explore a topic, you are sure to find the latest updates here.

Audio and Video

With so many photos, music, and video on the Internet, it can be difficult to find precisely what you need. These searches will narrow down the field and even help you find the perfect movie for tonight.

  1. Pixsy. This search engine is for photos and videos only. It works wonderfully if you are trying to find a photo of a potential hotel for your vacation, a movie trailer, or the latest photo of George Clooney.
  2. Blinkx. Enter your keyword and choose whether you want your video results in a traditional format or in a wall format. If you choose wall, you can see an entire page of results. Hovering over any one will move it to the right and begin playing.
  3. FindSounds. If you are looking for a new message alert for your text messages or want to have a Scooby Doo clip on your blog, you can find the sound you want here. The search is free, but if you want to upgrade to be able to organize and and edit, you will need to pay a subscription fee.
  4. Last.fm. Search for music on this site, then find other artists based on your music preferences. If you are a music lover, you won’t want to miss this site.
  5. Girafa. While the purpose of this site is to sell you on adding thumbnails to your website, it works wonderfully as a search engine that shows you what each resulting web site looks like. That way you can determine if the site looks interesting before you even have to click on it.
  6. SeeqPod. Search for videos, audio, presentations, or Flash with this search engine. You can choose your type of search from audio, video, text, or all three.
  7. What to Rent! Tired of standing in front of that imposing wall of DVDs at your local rental store? This site will help you decide which movies to rent. The first time you visit, you will need to select a user name and complete a short quiz. Next time you can go straight to movie recommendations.
  8. SkreemR. If you are looking for an MP3 file, here’s the place to go. Find music, podcasts, speeches, and more with this search engine. Only the best files show up at the top of your results list.
  9. Dailymotion. Search videos from real people on a variety of topics such as news, travel, or hobbies. Of course, there are those videos that are just plain silly, too.

The Search Engine is the Niche

With so many search engines out there, there are sure to be some that are so remarkable in their own right that they are the niche. The following search engines will change the way you view Internet searches. You may find a new favorite among these.

  1. Kartoo. Enter your keyword and you will receive a visual map of all the different topics that may pertain to your keyword. Hover your mouse over each and you will see an enlarged view of the first website on your left with a short description of the site. This search engine takes searching to a whole new level.
  2. Boxxet. Search for what interests you and you will get results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more. This site brings together the "unique combination of computer automation and community passion" to give you a totally new way of searching.
  3. Quintura. Enter your search terms and watch a cloud of related terms appear at the left while a list of links comes up on the right. Hover over one of the words or phrases in the cloud to get a whole new list of links. This search engine eliminates having to click through several spots to find what you want.
  4. Gimpsy. Gimpsy asks you to fill in your action word(s) to use this search engine. If you tell Gimpsy you want to travel, you will receive several different options from buying tickets to finding a travel agent.
  5. Ms. Dewey. If typical search engines are too impersonal for you, then give Ms. Dewey a try. Sexy, fun, and silly, Ms. Dewey will help you find what you want to know. Just be careful of that flying rubber band when you take too long.
  6. Ujiko. Reminiscent of a video game, this search engine gives you "expertise points" each time you use it. Ten points takes you to a new level. At each level, you receive new tools to enhance your searching experience.
  7. mnemomap. Enter a search term (this works best with just one word) and receive a graphic mapping out all possible directions the word could go as well as a list of links from the traditional web search, an image database, digg, del.icio.us, or YouTube.
  8. Trexy. Using the metaphor of trails, this search engine promises that you will never have to search twice again. By forming trails or following trails others have forged, you can eliminate unnecessary searching by getting straight to what you want. Happy Hiking!
  9. whonu. Try this search that takes the work out of narrowing down your topic. Type in a keyword and watch as several subcategories appear below. Selecting a subcategory brings more subcategories until you arrive at precisely what you want to find. From there, you can choose to search for text, video, images, news, blogs, and more.
  10. Yoople! Combining the searching power of Yahoo!, Google, and people, this search engine brings you results, then asks you to click and drag the results in an order you prefer. As more and more people rate certain links higher, then the results should bring a better search to everyone.

100 Awesome Youtube Vids for Librarians

Jun 18th, 2008

Librarians should no longer be thought of as fuddy duddy types with long dusty cardigans or pince-nez dangling around their necks. These days, public librarians and academic librarians are on the cutting edge, dedicated to bringing their resources and their patrons into the 21st century with technology. Librarians are also bloggers, IT professionals, database managers, technology mavens; and these YouTube videos and tutorials are just for them. Watch these vodcasts and recordings to learn about new library tools, interesting literacy campaigns and outreach programs, and even hysterical videos about library stereotypes that are circulating on the Internet.

Using Databases

From JSTOR to TexShare, you can access tutorials for working with all kinds of databases here.

  1. How to Search JSTOR: Pull quality articles and references from JSTOR by watching this tutorial.
  2. Brooklyn College: Searching Out Online Library Catalog: This video documents how to search this specific library site, but you can use the tips for searching at all CUNY libraries or any other school library.
  3. How to Browse JSTOR: Find specific article titles using JSTOR by learning how in this tutorial.
  4. Public Library of Law Statute Search: Law students and law librarians learn how to use this library database.
  5. Using a Library Catalog: This smart tutorial gives general tips for searching college libraries.
  6. TexShare Databases: Watch this advertisement for TexShare databases, which provide reference support and other resources for students, professionals, parents and librarians.
  7. K-12 Databases: Texas public school teachers will want to learn more about these library resources.
  8. Google vs. ProQuest Research Databases: Watch this podcast to compare online search engines and research databases like eLibrary and ProQuest.
  9. Academic OneFile: Check out this tutorial for hacks and tips for using this database.
  10. Advanced Search in Library Catalog: When you’re looking for something specific, use this guide to help you.

Academic Librarians

Academic librarians will find resources and inspiration just for them in this list.

  1. Primary Source Search in Library Catalog: This DePauw University library shares tips on searching for primary sources.
  2. EMU Library Basic Catalog Search: This informative video from Eastern Michigan University is a great example for teaching students and professors how to search your library’s database.
  3. How to Find…a Book in the Library Catalog: North Metro Technical College’s website shares information about finding different references and materials for their online catalog.
  4. Quick Search in Library Catalog: The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign goes over a basic quick search on an online library catalog.
  5. Building Academic Library 2.0: Watch this lecture from a UC Berkeley conference to learn more about how college librarians can provide more services and reach out to professors or students.
  6. The Case for Mutability: Library 2.0 and Implications: This video is from the same conference as the above tutorial. Listen to experts and librarians as they discuss organizational trends and internal structure of academic libraries.
  7. New Directions: This lecture goes over the fundamental values of college libraries and librarians, especially as they progress into the technological age.
  8. South Carolina Digital Library Initiative: Learn about this freely available program organized by USC and other South Carolina academic libraries which let visitors access archives online.
  9. The Library as Sacred Place: College librarians will learn about new evaluation techniques and trends in this video presentation.
  10. YouTube, Librarians, and Me: A college student put together this video to show how students work with librarians, professors and technology.

Librarians and Technology

Discover new ways to implement technology into your library system by watching these videos.

  1. Libraries and Library Web Sites: This tutorial explains how libraries still play an important role in the Internet age.
  2. Library Club Bookmark Tutorial: Learn to use bookmarking tools to save library pages online.
  3. The Librarians of Second Life: Librarians watched this presentation at the ACRL conference in 2007 to learn how they could use Second Life to extend their libraries and materials to a virtual world.
  4. How to Request a Journal Article Using Electronic Document Delivery: Consider introducing this service to your library.
  5. A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto: Help bring your library into the 21st century by pledging yourself to the ideals and values in this manifesto.
  6. Technology @ Your Library: Playaway Demo: The librarian in this video goes over the benefits of mobile books.
  7. Impact of Information Technology in Library and Information: This animated video from the National Open University in India goes over different applications of information technology in libraries.
  8. The Future of Libraries: Watch this presentation to understand how librarians’ personal touch can supplement the technological advances of library tools.
  9. Four Technologies for Libraries: Learn about open URLs, blogs, integrated library systems and RSS feeds and how they are important to libraries.
  10. Where Virtual Paths Meet: Libraries in Second Life: Find out why more libraries and librarians are turning to this virtual experience to reach more patrons.

Outreach and Special Program Ideas

Get your library involved in the local community or on a global scale by starting an outreach program, teen reading campaign or by offering a special service.

  1. Library Welcome Video: Use this video as inspiration for creating welcome projects or games to introduce new college freshmen to your library.
  2. Books for Botswana: Consider sponsoring a book donation program like this one for your school or public library.
  3. Allen Reads One Book Project: Get your community involved by asking everyone to read the same book and participate in a city-wide dialogue.
  4. Central School Virtual Museum: This "vodcast" follows a project taken on by a librarian who encouraged students to build a virtual museum that explores their community.
  5. UNICEF and IKEA Reintroduce Albanian Children to Books: Learn about this outreach program that brings books, including recent releases, to Albanian students.
  6. Be a Part of Changing the World: This young man is trying to raise $13,000 in the name of education and nonprofits that fund education expenses for children and disadvantaged schools.
  7. Teen Summer Reading @ Birmingham Public Library: If you haven’t already, start a teen summer reading program at your library. This creative video can help you with ideas for a theme and advertising.
  8. Quincy Schools and Summer Reading: School librarians can get in on the action of summer reading by starting a program like this one.
  9. Ray of Light St. Joseph County Public Library Version: Watch this video, which "details a day in the life of a thriving public library system."
  10. Libraries in 2010: What will public libraries look like in 2010? Just two years away, you may be surprised to find out what new tools will be standard in public libraries.
  11. Can a Public Library Screw Your Constitutional Rights?: Public libraries that provide Internet access will want to watch this video, which continues the debate on Internet access policies and surveillance.
  12. Story Time: This award-winning commercial for a public library tells a story through popular book titles.
  13. Your Public Library: Public libraries are reminded of their democratic purpose and how to honor their neighborhood roots.
  14. Birmingham Public Library Social Software: This video discovers different platforms for public libraries to remain a part of the technology and Internet age.
  15. Promoting the Use of the Public Libraries as a Resource: Watch this training video to help you understand how your public library is an important resource for patrons with special needs.
  16. George Lopez for America’s Libraries: The American Library Association and George Lopez show that the public library is still an important place in society with this PSA.
  17. Day of Action Protest Rally: If your public library funding has been cut, watch this video of protesters who rallied against budget cuts in their area.
  18. MCLIB TV – The Library’s Television Branch: Find out if your library system can get its own spot on the public access channel. Use this video as inspiration for shows, skits and more.
  19. vpl.ca – Digging Deeper: Get motivated to learn more about your library’s homepage by watching this video.

Skits and Cartoons

Important library lessons are taught in these funny skits and cute cartoons that feature Sesame Street characters and librarian stereotypes.

  1. The Librarian Dialogues: This funny skit mocks fuddy duddy librarian stereotypes and concerns about beeping scanners, stolen DVDs, and trash bins.
  2. Reading Rainbow: "At the Library": Watch this animated short about a girl’s adventures at her library, where anything seems possible.
  3. No Cookies in the Library: If little kids are always bringing in snacks to your library, see if this Sesame Street clip will get the message across.
  4. Reading Rainbow: Tall Tales at the Library: Children can learn how to make their way around the library by watching this animation, which also features summaries of John Henry, Paul Bunyan and other tall tales.
  5. Borrowing Books from the Library…Permanently: Show this video or create a skit of your own to discourage patrons from stealing books from your library.
  6. Arthur Library Card: Arthur and friends sing the library card song in this five-minute bit.

Library Etiquette

Teach library etiquette by showing one of these cute videos.

  1. Library Limbo: This old cartoon confronts bad library behavior in an adorable, accessible way.
  2. The Muppet Show: The Library: Miss Piggy and other muppets cause a disturbance in the library in this video.
  3. Rod Library Services – Good Ideas and Bad Ideas: Use this video as a jumping off point for designing your own library etiquette program.

Spreading the Good News

Your biggest responsibility as a librarian is making information accessible for your patrons. Check out this list to help students and visitors how to research a term paper, find music at the library and avoid committing plagiarism.

  1. How Long Has it Been Since You Last Visited the Library?: Consider filming a PSA or commercial like this one to attract more visitors to your public library.
  2. Concept Mapping: How to Start Your Term Paper Research: Use this video as a guide to help students start the research process.
  3. Plagiarism: Don’t Do It: This funny video is a kind of PSA against plagiarism for students.
  4. Life is Like a Library: This short presentation encourages young people to read.
  5. Hip Music. Hip Library.: Show patrons how to search for music at the library by playing this video.

Digging Through Archives and Public Records

The public library is a great place to find public records and genealogy information. Watch these videos for extra tips.

  1. DIY: Find Articles, Business Profiles, Census Records, etc: This quick, soundless presentation has a few tips for DIY research on library sites.
  2. Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library: Take a tour of this well-organized genealogy center at the Allen County Public Library.
  3. Genealogy or Looking for One’s Own Peeps: The Birmingham Public Library gives a demonstration of how to use the library for genealogical research here.
  4. GRL.com: The Genealogical Research Library, Inc. asks for funding and goes over its history in this video.
  5. The Library is a Solution: Learn about the many library services that appeal to the public here.

National Library Week and Reading Campaigns

These library and reading campaigns will inspire any librarian.

  1. Cathy Campbell Promotes National Library Week: This community college librarian discusses special events and campaigns for this annual celebration.
  2. March of the Librarians: Learn about the annual librarians’ conference in this silly video.
  3. Library of Congress PSA: This creative ad is designed to inspire children to pursue reading and indulge their imaginations.
  4. Peanut Butter and Jelly: The Library Song: Did you know there was a special song just for the library? Listen to it here.
  5. Love our Libraries: This special report goes over all the different things you can do at the library, including socialize.
  6. National Library Week: Watch this funny commercial advertising National Library Week.

Library Tools

Get the most out of your library tools and the Internet by watching these tutorials, which teach you how to use microfiche, online archiving systems and more.

  1. Microfiche Copier 101: Many students and library visitors don’t know how to use this basic library tool. Use this guide to refresh your skills and enlighten your patrons.
  2. Loading Microfilm: Younger librarians may want to watch this tutorial to learn how to load microfilm safely.
  3. Adobe Lightroom Software: Librarians can learn to use this program for managing photos and videos.
  4. Using Bibliostat Collect for Public Libraries: South Carolina libraries use this tool for managing annual data.
  5. Free Tools for Libraries: Watch this video to learn about free tools you can use at your library to manage databases, contact your readers, "and keeping up with Web 2.0"
  6. Web 2.0 Tools in Libraries 2.0 — Which Ones are You Using?: This video encourages librarians to make use of MySpace and other 2.0 tools. Send in your feedback to participate in the discussion.
  7. Henry Madden Library, Library 2.0: Librarians who want to experiment with blogging should watch this video.

Just for Laughs

Get your library staff together to watch these funny videos that poke fun at librarians and the library as a workplace.

  1. Betty Glover Library Workout Tape Ad: This satire pledges to combat the "sedentary lifestyle" of most librarians by showing librarians unique exercise moves.
  2. A YouTube Salute to Librarians: This montage of librarian and library clips will make you laugh and feel appreciated.
  3. Angry Librarian: Watch how this smartie pants librarian deals with a persistent college girl.
  4. Librarian Lays Down the Law: Parker Posey plays a strict librarian in this hysterical parody.
  5. Mary and the Librarian: In this video, Mary Hartman gets a phone call from a librarian notifying her that her order of sex ed books has just come in.
  6. Annoying Library Patrons: Watch this parody of stereotypical annoying library patrons.
  7. A Librarian’s Day is Never Done: This sexy librarian shows what it’s like to work after hours.
  8. Mr. Bean Library: Imagine what kind of disruptions Mr. Bean can cause in a library.
  9. Having Fun Isn’t Hard: These librarians dance and sing while holding up their "Shhhh!" posters.
  10. The Singing Librarian: Stick with this video, and you’ll be amazed at this little librarian’s other talents besides shelving books.

Showing Librarians and Libraries Some Love

This list includes videos that show librarians they’re appreciated, from a trailer for a library documentary to celebrity PSAs.

  1. The Hollywood Librarian Trailer: Feel inspired and appreciated as you watch the trailer for this documentary about the real work of modern librarians.
  2. The L-Team: This tribute applauds librarians and "bibliophiles" from one college library. Even if you don’t know the librarians, you may feel like creating your own knock-off to advertise your library.
  3. Susan Sarandon Speaks Out for Libraries: Actress Susan Sarandon gives a shout out to libraries in this PSA.
  4. Super Librarian: This "super human of knowledge" tribute depicts librarians as real heroes.
  5. My Ode to the Library: Law librarians will enjoy this lighthearted ode played along to a country music song.
  6. Reading On a Dream: This popular "college musical" features a student who bemoans that "nobody sings in the library." The other students in the library aren’t part of the act, so it’s fun to watch their reactions to the impromptu show.
  7. Julie Andrews PSA: Listen to Julie Andrews sing the praises of your work in this video.
  8. National Library Workers Day: Watch this vodcast that honors everyday librarians.

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