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Archive for the ‘Educational Technology’ Category

Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age

Posted by Editor on September 1, 2011

By Cathy N. Davidson 

Five or six years ago, I attended a lecture on the science of attention. A philosopher who conducts research over in the medical school was talking about attention blindness, the basic feature of the human brain that, when we concentrate intensely on one task, causes us to miss just about everything else. Because we can’t see what we can’t see, our lecturer was determined to catch us in the act. He had us watch a video of six people tossing basketballs back and forth, three in white shirts and three in black, and our task was to keep track only of the tosses among the people in white. I hadn’t seen the video back then, although it’s now a classic, featured on punk-style TV shows or YouTube versions enacted at frat houses under less than lucid conditions. The tape rolled, and everyone began counting.

Everyone except me. I’m dyslexic, and the moment I saw that grainy tape with the confusing basketball tossers, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of their movements, so I let my mind wander. My curiosity was piqued, though, when about 30 seconds into the tape, a gorilla sauntered in among the players. She (we later learned a female student was in the gorilla suit) stared at the camera, thumped her chest, and then strode away while they continued passing the balls.

When the tape stopped, the philosopher asked how many people had counted at least a dozen basketball tosses. Hands went up all over. He then asked who had counted 13, 14, and congratulated those who’d scored the perfect 15. Then he asked, “And who saw the gorilla?”

I raised my hand and was surprised to discover I was the only person at my table and one of only three or four in the large room to do so. He’d set us up, trapping us in our own attention blindness. Yes, there had been a trick, but he wasn’t the one who had played it on us. By concentrating so hard on counting, we had managed to miss the gorilla in the midst. Read the rest of this entry »


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Top-Ten IT Issues, 2011

Posted by Editor on June 6, 2011

From Educause – read all here.
1.   Funding IT
2.   Administrative/ERP/Information Systems
3.   Teaching and Learning with Technology
4.   Security
5.   Mobile Technologies
6.   Agility/Adaptability/Responsiveness
7.   Governance, Portfolio/Project Management
8.   Infrastructure/Cyberinfrastructure
9.   Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity
10.  Strategic Planning

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Tomorrow’s Academic Libraries: Maybe Even Some Books

Posted by Editor on May 12, 2011

By Jennifer Howard in CHE’s Digital Campus (login required)

Imagine a library that is not only bookless but is not necessarily tied to a building, one that takes its personnel and services to patrons rather than expecting them to come to it. Two projects—one now under way at the undergraduate level and one well established at a medical library—suggest where the untethered library is headed. One approach focuses on space; the other on librarians.

Academic libraries have been beset by changes that have led some observers to wonder whether they have a future at all. Their budgets have been hit hard even as the cost of buying and storing information—whether print monographs or journal databases—continues to climb. Search engines have replaced librarians as the go-to source of information for most researchers. And students headed to the library now are more likely to be in search of a cup of coffee than to be looking for a book. If they do want a book, it might have been moved to remote storage because the library has run out of room.

Like many institutions, Drexel University, in central Philadelphia, faces a space crunch. On the positive side, Drexel’s undergraduates aren’t even close to abandoning the main campus library, says Danuta A. Nitecki, the university’s dean of libraries. “We are just so overcrowded and packed to the brim that I don’t think we will see an absence of people coming here,” she says.

But what those crowds of students need and want from the library has changed. They don’t come for books. They come for study space and company. Once upon a time, “you had to go where the book is,” Ms. Nitecki says. The time has come to “put the library presence closer to where the students are.”

So the university is building what it describes as a “bookless learning center” near where undergraduates live and eat. It will occupy what used to be a breezeway outside a student residential hall. “We identified a space that’s in the heart of where our residential life is,” Ms. Nitecki explains. “We used the problem—the challenge of the lack of adequate space—to redefine what the library of the future should be.”

Called the Library Learning Terrace, the center will be open around the clock to give students access to the library’s digital resources as well as a place to gather. It won’t be staffed at all times, but students will be able to arrange for a librarian to rendezvous with them to work on projects, and professors will be able to meet groups of students there.

Many colleges and universities have replaced some stack space with a learning commons, a dedicated spot within the library where students can come to work and study together. Most academic libraries have a social-media presence too, with the aim of interacting with students and serving them virtually….read entire article here.

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Librarians Talk Google Books, Orphan Works, and What’s Next

Posted by Editor on April 4, 2011

April 1, 2011, 11:49 am, by Jennifer Howard.   HERE in CHE

Philadelphia—Like a lot of other people, academic librarians are wondering what happens now that a federal judge has tossed out the proposed settlement in the lawsuit over Google’s book-scanning project. Some of them got together for an informal roundtable discussion of the ruling at the Association of College and Research Libraries’ conference, which runs here through Saturday.

The discussion was led by Corey Williams, the associate director of the American Library Association’s Washington office. (The ACRL is a division of the ALA.) Ms. Williams tracks legislative issues for the association. She made it clear that her remarks did not represent any official ALA position.

“The world has changed a lot since 2005, when this lawsuit began,” Ms. Williams told the group. “Now it’s 2011, and the marketplace, many have observed, is just moving forward. Where does this leave us in our day-to-day operating of our libraries?”

Librarians are especially keen to figure out what to do about orphan works, which are under copyright but whose rights owners can’t be identified or found. Who gets to make use of those works has been a big issue in the Google case.

“Many of us have those in our collections and would love to make those available,” Ms. Williams said. “Some of us do make them available.” Read the rest of this entry »

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OCLC Symposium via Michael Stephens

Posted by Editor on February 23, 2011












View video here:

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From Michael Stephens’ Tame the Web

Posted by Editor on February 15, 2011

Every semester in LIS768: Participatory Service & Emerging Technologies, one option for the Context Book Report assignment is to produce a video or media project. Here are this semester’s submissions.



Latino Link:

Setting the Table:

Born Digital:

Legendary Brands:

Michael’s Note: I struggled with a WP glitch to embed so please just follow the links. I appreciate the work and thought these students put into their reports.

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Edupunk goes mobile: Mobile library sites with zero budget

Posted by Editor on February 1, 2011

DIY aesthetic

As a kid I loved punk rock and had no money. So I spent my time making t-shirts based on album covers or gig flyers that I meticulously taped around my teen girl bedroom. Perhaps this is why the concept of edupunk appealed to me and has become my approach to librarianship and instruction for the last couple of years. Basically, edupunk is “an approach to teaching and learning practices that result from a do it yourself (DIY) attitude.”(Wikipedia) Thus it was only natural that when I can’t get something done by traditional means, I will just make it myself. I recently presented my latest DIY project at the Mobile Computing Interest group during ALA Midwinter in San Diego. The following is a fleshed-out version of my brief presentation.

Mobile services and libraries

In 2007, a study funded by JISC found that sophisticated learners use personal technologies (PDAs, Mobile Phones etc) to enhance their learning (JISC, 2007). With the increase in smartphone ownership by students and faculty there is an expectation for libraries to have a mobile presence to support educational needs. While many libraries have created pages to link to basic services, options for the mobile learner have been absent thus far. Recent findings regarding use of mobile phones, access to information, and information-seeking behavior bolster the argument for creating mobile access points to library content as well.

Pew Research reported that 87% of blacks and Hispanics own a cell phone and “take advantage of a much wider array of their phones’ data functions compared to white cell phone owners” (Pew 2010). With such a large population of mobile users relying on phones for internet access, it is important for libraries to offer content in a mobile-friendly format. For teens, the numbers are an even more significant indication of this need, with 65% of mobile users accessing the internet, and 40% watching videos on their phone (Pew 2010). Both of these findings illustrate anecdotally that mobile users may be served well with access to library instruction and content for point-of-need use. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Evolving Use of Tools

Posted by Editor on September 16, 2010

by Roy Tennant on LJ, September 16th, 2010

Lauren Pressley has a thoughtful and interesting description about how her use of current awareness tools has changed over time, and how it will continue to change. This struck a chord with me, as my use has changed over time as well, and although some aspects were similar, others were different.

As the owner of a couple electronic discussion lists, I still find that method useful. I like not having to do anything to have the messages drop into my inbox. That’s why I never really liked bulletin boards, where you had to remember to go to a particular site to check messages. But I certainly can understand how others might find electronic discussions annoying or in the way. They may prefer “digest” mode or some other method of interaction entirely that doesn’t clutter their in-box.

The most dramatic change in my use of current awareness tools has happened just in the last year or two. Whereas before I would check my RSS aggregator on a regular basis, now I don’t bother any more than about once a month. Why? I rely on the people I follow on Twitter to alert me to cool posts they’re reading. In other words, I’ve applied a filter.

I’m also dabbling with some other current awareness tools, such as Google Alerts, iCurrent, and Flipboard on the iPad.

The point is obvious — as technology evolves so must our use of it. Some tools will recede in importance as others gain. We would do well, as information professionals who need to keep our fingers on the pulse, to regularly check in with ourselves to make sure we’re using the right tools in the right ways for our professional need to remain aware and engaged. Let me know which ways you find most productive these days to keep current in a comment below.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 at 11:36 am and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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UTSA opens nation’s first bookless library on a university campus

Posted by Editor on September 15, 2010

By Christi Fish, Public Affairs Specialist

(Sept. 9, 2010)–UTSA (University of Texas San Antonio) officials announced Thursday the opening of the Applied Engineering and Technology (AET) Library, the nation’s first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. The 80-person capacity library, which caters to College of Sciences and College of Engineering students, is a satellite of the larger John Peace Library on the Main Campus.

Electronic research is central to the AET Library. Instead of storing printed volumes, the library offers students a rapidly growing collection of electronic resources including 425,000 e-books and 18,000 e-journal subscriptions. Skilled science and engineering librarians are available during library hours to help students who need research assistance.

UTSA’s electronic library is catching on quickly with students, who are finding that the library staff is more available to assist them now that they don’t have to circulate and reshelve books. Publications that students want to read also are more accessible because the online format allows many students to simultaneously access the same volume.

The trend to move higher education library collections online began in October 2000, when Kansas State University opened the Fiedler Engineering Library. The branch library’s collection is completely electronic with the exception of a series of reference books and a few journals that are unavailable electronically. Earlier this year, Stanford University continued the trend when it removed all but 10,000 printed volumes from its Engineering Library. Read the rest of this entry »

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Serveral neat new posts on Merideth Farkas’ blog!

Posted by Editor on August 17, 2010

Inspiring stuff to read, Take 1

By Meredith Farkas | August 13, 2010

Between work, my son and the class I’m teaching at SJSU (which is about to start), I rarely have time these days to blog. It’s certainly not that I’m uninspired to do so, as I’m constantly reading things that inspire me, provoke me, or just plain interest me. But anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I put a lot of thought into my posts and have a difficult time keeping them short. So I thought that it might be worthwhile to periodically share the articles, posts, and other resources I find that get me thinking as they might get you thinking too. So here’s the first installment of “Inspiring stuff to read.”

Want to read all of the articles/sites/posts in one browser tab? Click here.

What Can We Stop Doing by Merilee Profit in Hanging Together – This is fairly old, but is something I’ve wanted to blog about for a long time and have realized that it’s never going to happen. Unless you have an influx of new money and people, in order to undertake new initiatives, you have to give up something. I really loved the quote in it from the President of the Getty Museum “‘If no programs are allowed to ever die, in the end you become captive to decisions from the past… Every now and then . . . you’ve got to step back and say, ‘Certain things have been very successful, but we should sunset them now.’” I think that the unwillingness to stop doing things is largely behind the failure of a lot of Web 2.0 initiatives, as people simply aren’t given dedicated time to make them successful.

Introduction to Online Pedagogy – This is a self-paced course designed by the WISE Consortium (a consortium of library schools that teach online and allow students to take classes at the other universities — SJSU is a member). It’s designed to prepare LIS faculty to design and teach effective online courses. Useful for anyone designing online instruction….read entire post here.

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