30 Clicks: Dragon Naturally Speaking

Presentation Title: 
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Radka Ballada
March 11, 2015
LIB 103, 12:15-12:45 p.m.

Interested in creating accessible educational resources or mitigating RSI due to computer use? Consider Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software, used for dictation, text-to-speech conversion and command input. This session will be an introduction to Dragon basic features and some of their pros and cons.

Presentation Slides

BBC Languages

Collection of free online language learning tools in 40 different languages, from Albanian to Urdu. 

Full description: 

Collection of free online language learning tools in 40 different languages, from Albanian to Urdu.  This site features courses, essential phrases, audio and video clips, tutorials, vocabulary, pronunciation guides, grammar, activities and tests to assist with foreign language learning or travel abroad.


Brainstorm and Create Mind Maps


Learn how to brainstorm, and how to use brainstorming techniques on your research projects. Brainstorming can help you develop an idea for a topic or thesis and identify questions and keywords. (See Information Literacy Outcomes)

Brainstorming, mindmaps and concepts maps are terms that are often used interchangeably. There are some differences, but for this lesson they all refer to a quick, simple technique for generating and focusing ideas and making connections between concepts. All you need is a pencil and paper (or a whiteboard and markers!).

Start with a single idea: "The broad subject I'm thinking about is: [fill in with a single word or short phrase]." Then simply  write all the ideas and concepts you can think of related to the central idea. 

Regardless of what you call it, the secret is to free yourself from rules. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or formatting. Just jot down ideas until you can't think of anymore, then go back and make connections between the ideas. If an idea appeals to you, make it the center idea on a new piece of paper and brainstorm more details.

Brainstorming/mindmapping in action


Here's an example of a more structured mindmap. The student used colors to organize her ideas: red is the idea she started with, green are broader concepts, black are subtopics.  She put a red star on the topic she decided to focus on.

Mind Maps: A Brainstorming Tool

Here's another more formal example of brainstorming to go from a broad topic (global warming) to more narrower topics (like environment and political), to even more narrow topics (like rising sea levels and roles of government).

Brainstorming diagram

Try it yourself

When you're ready to brainstorm, just grab a pencil and paper and give it a try. There are also several online tools available. Try Popplet or for other online tools, just search mind mapping tools or brainstorming tools in your favorite browser.

Tell us

Do You Feel Confident in Your Ability to Brainstorm

Ask us

For more help and ideas, please Ask a Librarian.

Find Opposing Views (Pros & Cons)

This page contains sources and tips for locating opposing viewpoints, often called pros and cons, current controversies, etc.


Title link Brief Description
Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)

Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers for all academic disciplines. Link to Academic Search Premier Video. Opens in the same window.

CQ Researcher Weekly articles focusing in-depth on a single "hot topic" issue. more...
GreenFILE Articles and indexing from scholarly, government and general-interest titles covering aspects of human impact to the environment. more...
Opposing Views (Pros & Cons)

The library no longer subscribes to the Opposing Viewpoints database. See the handout Find Opposing Views (Pros & Cons) for alternative ways to find articles.

ProQuest Articles from academic journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. more...


Title link Brief Description
FactCheck.org: Holding Politicians Accountable Annenberg Public Policy Center site which monitors factual accuracy of statements in U.S. politics. more...
OneWorld Guides Extensive articles, statistics and maps covering issues relating to developing contries. more...
International Debate Education Association (IDEA) Articles and controversial topics written by and for debaters. more...
Frontline (PBS)

Streaming video documentaries on current issues in the news.

Population Reference Bureau Data, statistics, publications, graphics and more concerning world population and related issues. more...
ProCon.org Pros and cons of controversial issues. more...
Public Agenda

Nonprofit, nonpartisan organization researching and reporting public opinion on current social issues.

World Public Opinion

WorldPublicOpinion.org is an international collaborative project whose aim is to give voice to public opinion around the world on international issues.

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