Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tech Tip: Total NoodleTools Makeover Bonanza!

Dear NoodleTools:

You were already the most awesome of all research tools for citations, notecards and collaboration; I didn’t think you could get any better. Seriously, I couldn’t believe you could be even more epic. But you did it.
For those not in the know, the NoodleTools folks did a major overhaul of their interface this summer. Here are the major changes. And bam! There are even video tutorials for all but a few of the changes linked below.

Source Check & Tutorial

The old interface required you to step through several screens when selecting a source. The new interface has a source check that will ask you to confirm your choice, but you can choose to hide it in the future.
There is also a Show Me tutorial. It shows you how to identify, evaluate and cite the source.

The tutorial:
  • shows an example of the citation type
  • provides a definition
  • gives the characteristics of the source.
  • gives hints about how to find more information using steps outside of the software.
  • The evaluation tips are based on the specific types of sources.
  • Future plans include allowing teachers to see which tutorials students have viewed and when.

Formatting Guide
An optional formatted citation example is in the top right corner of the citation. As you click in each field, the corresponding part of the example is highlighted.

Video Tutorial

Dynamic Citation Form
If you messed up a citation in the old interface, you had to start over. Now, if you want to change a citation from a book to a magazine article, you just change the drop down menu.

Video Tutorial

Worldcat Integration
If you are citing a book you can use an import function to get citation information from Worldcat.org. You can look up the book by title, ISBN or author. Use Worldcat or Amazon to verify the citation before you import it.

Video Tutorial

iCyte Integration
Noodletools now has a partnership with iCyte.. The service allows you to archive and annotate web pages and pdf files within you Noodletools account. You can highlight a specific part of the page and add an annotation. An archived version of the page will be available next to your citation. If you grab a web page or pdf file that is not in your list, Noodletools will create a placeholder citation that you can finish later.

Video Tutorial

Quick Cite
The Quick Cite feature allows you to copy and paste a preformatted citation from an LRC database into a Noodletools list. If you use this feature, you will able to change the source type, but the program will not check for errors. In general, it allows less flexibility, but it is quick.

Video Tutorial

Other Stuff
The layout of the notecards has changed a little as well. Basically, the Direct Quotation and Paraphrase or Summary fields are now side by side, making it easier to, you know, not plagiarize.

Although they don’t have an iPad or iPod app yet, the citation form will work on these interfaces. Changes to the notecard and tabletop area so that they will be compatible with the iPad should be coming soon.

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