All posts by Heidi Madden, Ph.D.

What is your Lesegeschwindigkeit??

Jakob Nielsen , a renowned Danish researcher in the field of web design for user satisfaction, compared the speed of reading (Lesegeschwindigkeit) in print, on the Kindle and on the iPad in his latest research
His conclusion is:” The iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book, whereas the Kindle measured at 10.7% slower than print.”  The article links to more information on what we can expect from e-readers and tablet computers in the future; the future is bright indeed (no pun intended).
On a related note…don’t miss this interesting classroom experiment comparing textbooks on Kindle versus iPad: “The E-Textbook Experiment Turns A Page,”  broadcast on NPR this evening. User satisfaction with the Kindle seems to be significantly lower than user satisfaction with the iPad: “The problem is that the Kindle is less interactive than a piece of paper…”
Use the comment section to share your experience with various devices.

What is new with with E-Books, Open Content, Mobile Learning, and Augmented Reality?

From the website: “The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC). Each year, the report identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less, two to three years, and four to five years. “
The areas of emerging technology cited for 2010 are: Mobile Computing ; Open Content; Electronic Books; Simple Augmented Reality; Gesture-based Computing; Visual Data Analysis. The full report is available at:
The July 12 Webinar presentations are also online at
This news item came to my attention via Resource Shelf

A ramble to foreign libraries

…Or, how to browse full-text collections of books and more in foreign libraries without leaving your chair. Contrary to popular belief, there is no single starting point for browsing open access Digital Collections for Western European Studies –the Europeana is as yet more of a vision than a reality.

Today’s spotlight is on finding digital libraries of full-text materials in German Studies as one example of browsing what is available from libraries abroad. Your best first stop is this excellent list of digital production centers dealing with German language materials: Digitale Sammlungen [Dr. Klaus Graf]. Add to this a website on Digitalisierung und Digitalisierte Bestände that lets you browse digital libraries by subject or by geographic area: you will find materials for the study of witchcraft , travel literature , this includes travel in the Americas , and cook books for immigrants, to highlight just a few themes.

Digital Collections add international materials previously unavailable in US libraries. Take the debates of the Reichstag as an example: I remember well standing in the stacks at the Historisches Seminar Tübingen combing through the heavy volumes of the Reichstagsprotokolle to write a paper on the German politician Eugen Richter. These volumes are not held in US libraries, but today, I could search all of these volumes from my desktop through the free digital library of Reichstagsprotokolle.

A combination of free online content hosted abroad and Duke Holdings can add dimension to your syllabus. Contact me for help with Western European Studies: Heidi Madden