January 2010 Archives

  • "We are no longer just consumers of content, we have become curators of it too."
  • "If someone approached me even five years ago and explained that one day in the near future I would be filtering, collecting and sharing content for thousands of perfect strangers to read -- and doing it for free -- I would have responded with a pretty perplexed look. Yet today I can't imagine living in a world where I don't filter, collect and share."
  • "In the past, I may have used this time in the day to read newspapers, magazines or books. Now I have just substituted the same time with reading and sharing news online."
  • metacuration
  • "Sharing has become a reflex action when people find an interesting video, link or story."
  • controlled serendipity
from 'Controlled Serendipity' Liberates the Web By Nick Bilton
January 22, 2010-New York Times

And...Some Thoughts on "Controlled Serendipity" by Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy (aka Resource Shelf)
  • "We also know that the real challenge is teaching users and POTENTIAL users that research is more than just tossing two or three words into a search box."
  • "Other increasingly important issues? Personal archiving"
  • "But when we harness the brains of savvy intermediaries, the odds are pretty good that we're not going to miss something significant."

How does this play into instruction? Great discussion could be had on that one. Partly-after just watching a Lecture Capture webinar from EDUCAUSE--I think recording our workshops will allow others to "share" our stuff and spread the instruction.

Has everyone seen this?

Text a Librarian?

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Did you see this....

textalibrarian.jpg"OCLC and Mosio are working together to enable seamless integration of Mosio's Text a Librarian text messaging reference software with OCLC's QuestionPoint reference management service to provide a comprehensive virtual reference solution for libraries."
Read more

Has anyone ever texted a librarian?
I am posting this message from the Wilson Reference Desk list:
"The Arts & Humanities / AP Department have purchased the complete electronic backfile for Gale's Dictionary of Literary Biography.  These are all available through the Databases A-Z link as well as through MNCat."
After a few technical difficulties...and a few tries here is a short intro video for College in the Schools program. I am now trying to figure out how to send this out in an email to teachers to share with their students....any ideas? You can't embed a video in an email, right? Maybe Youtube? Here is our little University of Minnesota Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/umnLibraries)

Short article about incorporating info lit (not specifically stated as an aim in the article) through course software for undergraduates. C&RL News, December 2009, pp. 630-633. URL: http://crln.acrl.org/content/70/11.

This might be interesting for us in context of the Libraries  beginning to "push" CourseLib pages into Webvista and Moodle sites.
I've been playing around with Foursquare a geo-locating social networking application, for a few months now. Foursquare allows you to tell friends where you are currently, and to share tips and other information with others about the places you visit. You can also use Foursquare to push notifications about your current location out to other applications like Twitter.

It was a friend I follow on Twitter who alerted me to this article about how Harvard is using Foursquare to encourage new students to explore the campus.

The application turns social networking into a running competition by creating incentives for users to explore neighborhoods, discover new venues, and make recommendations to the entire foursquare network. Individuals who download the free app can "check in" using their phones from different venues to earn badges and points. Updates and posted tips and suggestions can be shared across other social networking and microblogging sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
I wonder if this would also make a good platform for a game that would incorporate library orientation. 
New Yorker.jpg

As usual I'm about 2 months behind on my New Yorker reading but over the long weekend I saw this book review by Elizabeth Kolbert from the November 2 issue:

"The Things People Say"

In the article Kolbert reviews the book "On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done" by Cass R. Sunstein.

Throughout reading the review, I thought to myself, "This is exactly why info lit is so important!"

Sometimes it feels like the skills we teach are only of import in the bubble of academe...finding real world examples of places where good information literacy skills could make a difference gives me a better perspective on the role these skills have in forming well-rounded university graduates.

Articles like this always re-invigorate my interest in finding ways to make these skills engaging to our users and my enthusiasm in my role as an advocate for their integration into the larger curriculum.
Untitled picture.png

I can only imagine how much work went into this. This Russian website is dedicated to telling the Soviet story of WWII. The amount of content in here is unbelievable. The way they blend archival footage with modern oral histories is fantastic. I tend to be a more visual learner and really appreciate the animations on the map showing the progress of the war.

January Workshops in Brief

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Running Meetings like Google

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google.jpgOkay so this has rather little to do with Learning but does seem to be worth sharing--since we do have lots of meetings the discuss Learning:


1. Set a firm agenda.
2. Assign a note-taker.
3. Carve out micro-meetings.
4. Hold office hours.
5. Discourage politics, use data.
6. Stick to the clock.

What do you think?
MPR reports on the increase in hybrid and online courses being offered to students at Minnesota colleges and universities.  This U of M web page links to technology enhanced learning offered through the University. 

This discussion reminds me of a presentation at last spring's U of M Teaching and Learning conference by faculty from the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Helen Mongan-Rallis, Terrie Shannon and Paula Pedersen discussed ways to enhance teaching and learning though hybrid courses.   Here is a link to the wiki they created for the presentation.

How do we as librarians become a part of these new learning spaces?

This video does a great job of presenting a complex concept, (the explosion of diverse life on earth) in a simple yet dramatic way. The challenge of introducing this topic is that the time scale is in the billions of years, a number that is astonishingly hard to appreciate. The strength of this video is in the way the quiet beginning of earth (4.6 billion years ago) is contrasted to the flurry of activity of the relatively recent (500 million years ago)

While videos like this barely scratch the surface of the topic I think they do an excellent job of conveying the overarching theme. In this case a lot of stuff happened quickly after a very, very long period of quiet.

I imagine that there are many library or information concepts that could benefit from this approach; not necessarily this format but the idea of coming up with creative succinct ways to introduce the meat of the idea.

Source [SEED]

There was an interesting Future Tense story this morning on MPR about a study conducted by Google and the University of Maryland regarding the searching behavior of children.  As the paper describing the research points out, these children are the first generation of what is being called "digital natives," and the next generation of undergraduates that will be attending the U of M. While many of the issues identified by the researchers (especially things like lack of typing and spelling skills) are likely to be less problematic as the children get older, others may be examples of generational differences in search behavior.

Google is using the study to inform the design of search engines optimized for children.  Would the use of such search engines actually hinder the development of more sophisticated searching skills?

Lecture Caputure

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As we get ready to learn more on recording the Library workshops here is a post from the Emerging Tech Expo on the technology we will be talking about:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/emergingtexpoblog/2009/11/class-capture.html p.s. webcams not needed

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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