Why I love DuckDuckGo

From their website:

 DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the “filter bubble” of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term. DuckDuckGo also emphasizes getting information from the best sources rather than the most sources, generating its search results from key crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia and from partnerships with other search engines like Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing and WolframAlpha [emphasis mine].

Privacy. Avoiding the filter bubble. Need I say more?

Google is mad about it. So is everyone else.  With NSA issues of privacy so close in the news, I love DuckDuckGo on premise.  They are a private company.

Read More:

Schwartz, Barry. “DuckDuck Go Announces Redesign and New Features.” Search Engine Roundtable Blog, Retrieved 5/23/2014.

DuckDuckGo Community Platform: For hows and FAQs on the search engine.


Internet Archive & Awesomeness

I was asked to do a 20 minute presentation of the Wayback Machine and the Internet Archive.

If you are not familiar, the Internet Archive is awesome.  But I should explain.  20 minutes is a bit longer than just saying “It’s awesome!”

It has kept record of what internet pages were when they were first created, in a section called the Wayback Machine. I use the Wayback for looking up what my institution library website had on it, looked like, the hours that we had over holidays, and whether or not we listed certain databases and where.  It goes all the way back to when we started a webpage at all. If I select certain dates from a given calendar, it can show a snapshot, BUT, if you are in the archived site and hit the back button, it can show the linked pages too.  It is extremely helpful to me, but just as an archive, I think it has value.

From its homepage, you can see it offers video, texts, live music and audio files that like the Wayback, includes archives from past dates.  But don’t stop there, because if you click on any one of these, it opens up many “child” pages that live within.  Take video for example.  Videos that live here are from news broadcasts, old commercials, old black and white silent films, shorts, old cartoons (so fun!), sports films (mohammed ali vs. [whoever!], tons and tons of archives here.

It was so fun teaching this 20 minute class! People were so excited to show their kids old cartoons, or in the audio section, show them the live concerts of Maroon 5 or the Grateful Dead.  There is so much to explore and I didn’t even get to the Open Library- to borrow ebooks! Do you understand why I am so taken to saying, “Awesome!”? Because it is. In every way.

Featured Articles to Read More:

Lynch, Jim. The Internet Archive: The Digital Library of Alexandria? Techsoup for Libraries Blog, January 31, 2014.  Retrieved March 10, 2014.

Michelle. “Wayback Machine Hits 400, 000, 000, 000! The Internet Archive Blog. Retrieved May 23, 2014.

Active Learning Exercises to Use in Your Next One Shot

This is a great blog-post on active learning for One-Shots- The reality being, that given 50 minutes, you can either give them a bit more information, but they’ll be completely unengaged…or you can give one main piece of information and let them do it for themselves to be interested in the relevance to their task. Read on:

Two-Year Talk

I have a love-hate relationship with the one-shot session. This is a shame, because my college does not offer dedicated information literacy or research skills courses. While some instructors have invited me into class for two sessions, it’s rare. Almost every class I teach is a one-shot session.

And I teach a lot of them! In the three and a half years at my college, I’m proud of having significantly expanded our instruction program (another topic for another post!). Since August 2012, I personally have taught 197 one-shot sessions, so it’s not surprising that I reflect on the one-shot session a fair amount. And while I believe its limitations far outweigh its advantages, I do have some love for the one-shot.

I love to teach, and I love working with a wide variety of courses and assignments. Some one-shots go so well that they’re a huge ego boost. I swoop…

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