Tool #9: Delicious

Originally called del.icio.us, you can find this web site at delicious.com.

Delicious web site for tokyokevin
Delicious web site for tokyokevin

Using Delicious has several advantages over regular bookmarks (or favorites). First, the sites you save are saved to the delicious computer, so you can access from any computer. Once you save a bookmark, you can give it many different tags (for example, my web site here might have 3 ro 4 tags, such as teaching, learning, language, tokyo, kevinryan, japan, computers, and women.  I can then search b any of these terms to find the web page I want.

By far the most important, though, is that you can share your bookmarks and tags with other people. You can find other people that are interested in the same kinds of things you are, and look at their bookmarks.

I often get all my students in my computer literacy class to sign up for delicious, and we make a small group to share bookmarks. When we do a research project, we can help each other find interesting sites. They are shared immediately and automatically. Very simple, very powerful.

Tool #8: Tagging

Tagging is a simple concept with great power. Tags are similar to bookmarks (or favorites, in Internet Exporer), but they are also so much more. Tags are central to the new social media and web pages in the last few years.

Tags are labels. You can put as many tags on a web page as you like. That way, when you search for information, you can get different lists of web pages depending on the key words (tags) that you use.

Email, for example, in Google (called Gmail) is not put into folders to organize. You tag the emails you are interested in, sometimes with 3 or 4 tags, and then you put all your emails into one folder. It is easy to find simply by searching for tags. Tomorrow, I will show you a specific web site that does tags.

This isn’t happiness

Great blog with pictures, video, lots of unusual stuff like this artwork of Joe Lacchi. From the blog this isn’t happiness. Peter Ndzgorsky is involved there somewhere. Take 5 minutes and feast your eyes.

When will Showa go Co-ed?

In a recent article in the Asahi News, the trend started in America years ago is starting to affect women’s universities here in Japan. A group of 5 women’s universities in Tokyo (not Showa Women’s where I work) have banded together to study the problem.  A couple of warning-laden statistics:

the number of women-only four-year universities has dropped nearly 20 percent over the past decade to 82, from a peak of 99 in 1998.

and

There were 4.8 applicants for every vacancy at 75 private women’s four-year universities for this school year, compared with 6.8 for all private universities.

The women’s universities advocate that it is a good place to teach leadership skills without men interfering, the closed nature of the management in Japan this reason is not borne out.

only 10 percent of those in managerial positions in Japan were women, far lower than 37 percent in Germany and 43 percent in the United States.

The outlet for an advanced education not accesible to women historically also rings false.

In 1970, only 6.5 percent of female high school graduates went on to universities or colleges; the ratio was 40.6 percent in 2007.

So my question is, when will my university go co-ed? I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be too late when they finally do decide. I just hope I can retire before then.

Photosynth amazing

Microsoft has gotten its act together in forming a small team to develop software independently. The results are amazing. Photosynth is online software that “stitches” you photos together. We used to do this with paper pictures, taking many shots of the same thing, and pasting the pictures together in kind of a collage. Here it is done automatically, and beautifully. There are a million ways to exploit this. I’m going to make my first one this afternoon.