Links Roundup #48: Highlight Manager, Content Curation, Facebook Security, Google Translate and Podcast Recommendation

saddle and ropeHighlight Manager 

As e-books continue to become more mainstream in academia, the nifty features that allow researchers to record notes and mark quotable passages bring up some additional problems when trying to integrate those items into our citation systems.  Enter  the Note Hound Study Companion.  Created by Graeme Summers, this online highlight manager works with PC or MAC using Chrome browsers.  While originally created to work with Zotero, it now integrates with all the major reference managers. APA, Harvard and MLA bibliographic styles are supported. Notes can also be sent to Word, Google Docs, OneNote and Evernote.

Consider Scoop.it

So we’ve heard about content curation now for ages, and many of you may have even dipped your toes in the world of Scoop.it before.  Even if you have not, you may want to give this tool a second look. Disclosure: There is both a free version and a paid version.  I’ve only used the free version which limits the topics you can “scoop”.  Here’s a quick, getting start guide to give you an overview:

How You Can Edit and Organize Your Content with Scoop.it.

Making Facebook Even More Secure

The folks at Wired recently released their most recent Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings.  Privacy settings seem to change faster than the GNP, so this is a helpful summary.

Google Translate adds new languages

In a Google blog post, author Isaac Caswell, a Software Engineer for Google Translate, announces five new languages now available on the Google Translate product:  Kinyarwanda, Odia (Oriya), Tatar, Turkmen and Uyghur.    Both text and website translation is available.  This brings the total number of languages supported by Google Translate up to an impressive 108 languages.

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast Recommendation

We’ve talked several time about Bonnie Stachowiak and her Teaching in Higher Ed blog & podcast.  She reached her millionth download recently and Ed Tech included her and her podcast as one of the top 30 Higher Education IT Influencers.  If you haven’t found her yet, check out this sample post where she identifies her top 19 episodes of 2019.

Trello Tips

The systems engineering librarian in me was drawn to this article on the Trello blog: The Kaban Way: How to visualize progress and data in Trello. The Kaban Method was a Japanese technique first developed for streamlining Toyota Production.  It was developed by Taiichi Ohno and is one of several lean processing system techniques still used in businesses today who want to look at their processes in a new way in order to develop some productivity improvements.  Pairing this technique with Trello makes a lot of sense to me, so I was pleased to see this how-to get started article that I could share with all of you.

Book Review: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink

cover of the book One aspect that individuals interested in personal knowledge management find fascinating is time.  The productive use of it, the seeming scarcity of it, ways to lengthen it and just the best way to squeeze more into our days. Enter Daniel Pink with his book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. While not a new book (it was originally published in 2018), it was an instant New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestseller and worthy of taking a second look at if you missed the initial release.

Pink spends the first part of his book explaining that timing is not an art, but a science, based on well researched theories of circadian rhythms which cause us to follow the same general cycle each day no matter our age, nationality or time zone. Pink assimilates research findings from psychology and biology and neuroscience to help extrapolate scientific knowledge into practical applications to help us all live more successful and productive lives in a way that complements our natural rhythms.

For example, Pink discusses the common progression of team-based projects, where early brainstorming and false starts in the wrong direction are often looked at negatively.  Instead, Pink suggests, consider this just an expected part of the project cycle, recognizing research has shown that teams generally gain greater focus and momentum slightly after the midpoint of a project so this earlier “slow start” is actually much more on target than it appears.

Part three of his book changes the focus to “Synching and Thinking” and centers around ways to energize groups to improve overall results.

Pink’s book includes engaging stories and each chapter has a practical “Time Hacker’s Handbook” section of strategies and suggestions for implementation. His engaging delivery makes this a quick read.  Take a look at the video below for an interview with the author.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

                                                                                                  At this Most Blessed and Holy Time of the Year, my wish for each of my readers is a totally Joyful Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Book Review: Bigger, Faster Leadership by Samuel R. Chand

image of chand's bookBigger, Faster Leadership: Lessons from the builders of the Panama Canal by Samuel R. Chand is an interesting treatise on leadership using the lessons learned by the builders of the Panama Canal as a concrete (pun intended!)  metaphor for massive challenges that leaders face.  Chand is a public speaker, leadership consultant and author of more than a dozen books.  He was the past president of Beulah Heights University, which became one of the largest predominantly African-American Christian colleges in the US during his time there.  He has mentored leaders in churches and ministries as well as international corporations and business start-ups. He was named one of the top thirty global leadership gurus by www.leadershipgurus.net. (per publisher)

Chand states his thesis in his introduction (pg xvii): ” The only way organizations can grow bigger and move faster is by accelerating the excellence of their systems and structures.”  His explaination of the five basic lifecycle stages that every organization passes through in Chapter 1 is helpful in orienting the reader to how his or her organization fits into the framework of Chand’s discussion.  Chand reminds the reader that “the systems that brought you to this point may not be the ones to take you to where you believe God wants you to go.” (pg 13)  Instead, “Systems must continually adapt to the needs and opportunities of the moment, Static systems gradually lose relevance, but dynamic systems anticipate evolving needs.” (pg 14)

Every organization has a “compelling need” that it was designed to fill.  Clearly identifying that need and building support systems and processes designed to meet that need is critical. This need must drive the organization’s vision (and the corresponding vision of the leaders of the organization). However, gaining buy-in from employees is critical.  Leaders can help this by the way in which they approach change or new ventures. Rather than simply presenting the new venture, Chand suggests prefacing the presentation with an invitation to employees that positions the new venture as “an idea that I think is a great idea but that I would like your input to expand it and shape it for our organization.”  Chand states that the key characteristic of a great leader is a person who brings out the best in their team.  They surround themselves with people who will challenge them to strive for more, not people who are mere mirrors of themselves.

Interwoven throughout Chand’s basic leadership philosophy were stories of the people and challenges faced throughout the building of the Panama Canal.  Aficionados of history will love the flavor this adds to a traditional leadership or business improvement text. This was especially noteworthy in the 2nd chapter where Chand drew parallels between the colossal failure of the French in 1885 to build the canal. In chapter 6 he uses the mosquitoes carrying Malaria and yellow fever to the Canal builders as a metaphor for the problems (sometimes hard to detect) that today’s leaders face.  Chand also weaves personal leadership experience stories into the chapters in order to illustrate key points making this a practical book rather than a philosophical tome.

Links Roundup #47: Best Bookmarking tools, CitNetExplorer, RSSMailer

saddle and ropeFall is in the air and it’s time for another roundup of cool tools from around the Internet.

Bookmarking Tools

If you are not satisfied with the browser bookmarking capabilities you currently use, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning is coming to your rescue with their updated list of Some of the Best Bookmarking Tools for Teachers and Educators.  I have used Diigo for this purpose before, but I hadn’t really thought of some of the others as bookmarking tools but more as content curation tools, though perhaps that is splitting hairs (Pinterest, Scoop.it, Instapaper, Flipboard, Evernote Web Clipper, Pocket) and Trello I had considered more a project management tool.  That’s what is great about these kinds of posts; however, because fresh eyes see and use tools in ways that I had not considered.

RSS Feeds

Anyone out there still reading RSS Feeds?  If you are like me, I forget to check my RSS reader very often and those feeds get lost or backlogged.  If so, you might also be interested in this app:  RSSMailer which will send your RSS feed directly to your email.  It will work on blogs, Instagram public profiles, and YouTube to name only a few popular sources. It is free to use and emails are sent once daily.

Visualizing Citations

image of Citnetexplorer in actionWere you an avid user of Web of Science’s citation mapping feature before they removed it?  Well, grieve no more.  Enter CitNetExplorer . This software tool designed for analyzing and visualizing citation networks for scientific publications is specifically designed to allow citation networks to be directly imported from Web of Science.  The tool was created by Nees Jan van Eck and Ludo Waltman at Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in 2019.

Has anyone out there used any of these tools?  How have they worked for you?  Do you have other favorite tools instead?  Share with us!

 

Book Review: People Fuel by Dr. John Townsend

I have long been a fan of Dr. John Townsend with my first exposure being his earliest collaborations with Dr. Henry Cloud. As well as being a New York Times Best Selling author and highly respected psychologist, Dr. Townsend is also the founder of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.

Many readers will be very familiar with his blockbuster hit (over 3 million copies sold!), Boundaries, co-authored with Dr. Cloud, which has since spun off into various other Boundaries In… type books.  I also loved their later followup, Safe People.  Now Dr. Townsend is back with a new book focused on helping leaders most effectively utilize one of their most valuable resources — the people around them. While his primary focus may initially appear to be church leaders or those leading nonprofit organizations, I think there is valuable content applicable to all organizational leaders today.

People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love and Leadership is a practical, relaxed read with a myriad of stories and clinical advice to help professionals recognize and leverage the value that relationships bring to the successful leader.  “People are the fuel we need to grow, be healthy and prosper,” Townsend explains.  “… we need to know what we need, recognize who can supply it, and have the skills to get it.”  He explains that leaders can contribute to greater energy in the workplace, or can drain the energy of those around us.  His Four Quadrants of Relational Nutrients helps organize the characteristics leaders can use to help fortify their workers in ways similar to that of vitamins for physical vitality. (See the interview clip below for his discussion of this.)

These same nutrients that the best leaders provide to their employees are nutrients that they need themselves in order to not become drained and burned out in their roles. In Part 3 of his book, Townsend turns the focus to seven commons types of people who can help provide the vital relational nutrients to leaders: Coaches, Comrades, Casuals, Colleagues, Care, Chronics and Contaminants. (Hint:  The last two categories are more groups to watch out for!)

Summing up:  Whether we  have formal leadership roles in our organizations, all of us have leadership aspects in the various roles of our daily life. Dr. Townsend offers valuable guidance in the area of relationships and the vital part they play on our inner health and outward effectiveness.  I loved his book.  I hope you do too.