Sunday, May 31, 2009

Google Quick Tip #19

Summer is upon us, and you may be flying somewhere soon or making a trip to the airport to pick-up or drop-off someone.


Google helps you check flight arrival and departure times.

Simply type in the airlines and the flight number and see if the information appears.

Happy travels!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Personal Learning Environments: the new era of education

Technology has taken learning to an entirely new level in the 21st century. No longer do students learn by just receiving information from instructors in the classroom or lecture environment. Tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and smart mobile devices fold in multiple layers of alternative delivery of knowledge and communication.

Students no longer just write papers or take tests to show what they've learned. They create websites, blogs, and videos to capture and showcase their learning. I, for one, am very excited to see this wave of creativity surge in education. These new tools empower learners to develop a hybrid approach to exploring and defining their own learning styles.

What I've just described is the personal learning environment (PLE).

Watch & listen to this presentation by Graham Attwell, an "educational technologist, researcher and blogger based in Pontypridd in Wales and Bremen in Germany. "

Read more about PLEs:

- Attwell's compendium paper to the presentation above

- 7 things you should know about PLEs

Watch this great video that clearly paints the picture of our future, if not already present, medical students.

PubMed Quick Tip #10

Did you know that PubMed can help you quickly find the commercial and generic names of a drug, as well as its drug classification? Well, it can!

(1) Connect to the MeSH Database in the blue left margin of PubMed

Type in the name of a drug (ie, Tylenol)

(3) The MeSH database result for your search should bring up the drug information (ie, Acetaminophen is the listed result when I typed in Tylenol)

(4) Scroll further down the page, and below the Entry Terms section are the synonyms for the drug.

(5) Scroll to the very bottom of the record to see the drug classification that the substance falls under (ie, Acetanilides)

(6) If you click on that drug classification, you will get a listing of other drugs in that same family
For example:

So the next time you're near a computer and need quick access to general drug definition and classification, remember to look it up in the MeSH Database!

Yale Image Finder

Gosh - I love technology! Think of an idea, and most likely someone's come up with an answer. Or at least a pretty awesome prototype.

YALE IMAGE FINDER is a search tool that allows you to look for images and figures from free full-text articles in the PubMed Central database of Open Access articles.

This tool debuted in July 2008 as a project of the Krauthammer Lab of the Yale Pathology Informatics Department that specializes in text mining and translational informatics.

View this short narrated tutorial on how to search Yale Image Finder:

The Krauthammer Lab published a paper that describes their search algorithm:

Krauthammer, M, McCusker, J, & Xu, S. (2008). Yale Image Finder (YIF): a new search engine for retrieving biomedical images. Bioinformatics, 24(17), 1968-70.

ABSTRACT: Yale Image Finder (YIF) is a publicly accessible search engine featuring a new way of retrieving biomedical images and associated papers based on the text carried inside the images. Image queries can also be issued against the image caption, as well as words in the associated paper abstract and title. A typical search scenario using YIF is as follows: a user provides few search keywords and the most relevant images are returned and presented in the form of thumbnails. Users can click on the image of interest to retrieve the high resolution image. In addition, the search engine will provide two types of related images: those that appear in the same paper, and those from other papers with similar image content. Retrieved images link back to their source papers, allowing users to find related papers starting with an image of interest. Currently, YIF has indexed over 140,000 images from over 34,000 open access biomedical journal papers.