November 2010 Archives

Eric Schmidt (CEO/Google) and Jared Cohen (Director of Google Ideas) recently spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. Their discussion centered on disruptive technologies with the smart phone highlighted as a prime candidate for the newest disruptive technology. This hour long discussion while very interesting is mostly about the role of technology in emerging markets and Third World nations. However, the first part is worth taking a look at.

 A couple of highlights are that Google expects there to be 1 billion new smart phone users over the next couple years. This growth they feel will lead to mobile becoming the dominant platform for computing. Statements like this continues to reinforce the need for libraries and academia to get serious about mobile computing. One thought I had is how this trend will influence our international students who may view a handheld as their primary computing device. 

Another fun tidbit is that 15% of Google queries each day are unique. Not sure what that means but it is interesting.

Here is the video:

camera.jpgPost at ProfHacker on images. Seems to me that everyone should know about using Flickr and Creative Commons....

"Here at ProfHacker, we've long believed in the power of images to engage, amuse, and instruct. In addition to the wide-ranging images attached to each post, we've written a few words about pictures, too." 
image from claudiaveja

Musings on G.S.

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Two items that have me thinking about Google Scholar:google_scholar.jpg

"Our problem doesn't lie so much with Google and Google Scholar so much as it does with our students' information literacy levels. Do they have a sense of their subject matter? Do they have an understanding of the different places in which they can research? Do they know how to brainstorm, how to tie loose ends together into an argument, and how and where to find evidence to support it? If we decide to focus only on the students' poor use of Google Scholar, then we're treating the symptom as opposed to its cause, which are information seeking skills and research methods that haven't been fully developed. We shouldn't blame the student if the only search strategy she's ever known is to type a few key words into a Google search bar and then troll through results, because the difference between research and good research is instruction, practice, and experience." 

 I like this idea of "information seeking skills and research methods that haven't been fully developed". This seems to be a much better way of thinking of students skills levels instead of has them or doesn't have them. We can only hope students continue to develop these skills throughout University and beyond... 

 2.) Search engines and the production of academic knowledgeresearch_blogging_icon.jpg 
José van Dijck 
November 2010; 13 (6) 

"This article argues that search engines in general, and Google Scholar in particular, have become significant co-producers of academic knowledge. Knowledge is not simply conveyed to users, but is co-produced by search engines' ranking systems and profiling systems, none of which are open to the rules of transparency, relevance and privacy in a manner known from library scholarship in the public domain. Inexperienced users tend to trust proprietary engines as neutral mediators of knowledge and a

Pecha Kucha's posted

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20by20.jpgTo see the source of Jon's inspiration for his blog post, A Pecha Kucha Lesson: How The Library Is Like A Forest, you can view the presentations and hear Jon describe why librarians used to wear aprons.

Death of PowerPoint (for me)

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As one of the beta testers for SlideRocket's latest upgrades, and I just thought I would share a few of the reasons I prefer to use SlideRocket over PowerPoint these days. 

  • Like with Google Docs, SlideRocket is in the cloud.  However, you can download it for back-up (I always do.)  You can also make it public or private.
  • Much easier to integrate media into a presentation.
  • it's worth it to just get an account to get their awesome newsletter w/ presentation tips. 
  • If you pay for the Pro version then you get access to polls, discussions, audio narration, etc.  It's pretty sweet, but a bit steep.
  • And most of all, I feel I have better creative control of the layout, style, etc. 
No matter the platform for presenting information, we all want to improve our skills.  My favorite presentation resource is SlideRocket's page.  Full of presentation techniques, examples of great design, etc.  Get Creative and Check it Out.


Here's the conversation I like to imagine between these two guys.  "Hey how do you tell whether or not an article comes from a refereed, peer-review journal."  (Ref 1) "Uh...Ulrichs?"  (Ref 2).

This very question has been coming to me a lot recently since one of the big freshman seminars I work with requires that for the big research project of the semester that the centerpiece be a peer-reviewed scholarly journal article.

The students seem to have a pretty firm understanding of whether the article that they are looking it presents a scholarly experiment, but when it comes to whether it's peer-reviewed I'm sensing more uncertainty (this "sense" comes directly from my email inbox).

The professor for the class asked me come up with a quick email or handout that he could forward on to students and this is what I came up with:

 Here are some ways to determine whether the article that you've found has been peer reviewed.

 1.  Google the name of the journal and find the journal's web page.  On the "about us" page it will sometimes say "peer-reviewed" or you can look at the "information for authors" that will usually detail what process a manuscript must go through to be published.  If it mentions a review process or sending to reviewers you're set.

 2.  Check it in Ullrich's ( this is a library database that gives information on journals.  Just search the title of the journal and in the results page if the journal you're looking for has a referee's jersey icon (black and white striped shirt) next to it, it means its peer-reviewed.

 Most of the journal articles that recount a research experiment in Engineering Village should probably be peer-reviewed.  It is important to note that some peer-reviewed journals also include letters and editorials that are not peer-reviewed.  So make sure the articles are experimental research articles (detailing an experiment's methodology and findings) and not one of these other types of article.

Does anyone else out there in the LIbraries have another method that they teach?  I'd like to make something more polished and formal to share with students next time and would like to provide students with the best methods possible--so if you have a way of teaching this information I'd be interested to hear it!

Images from Jeffrey Simms Photography via Flickr. CC

Helping folks make Posters

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Just noticed on the Quality Fair & Forum 2011 page--a great link to our tutorial about making posters (

It would be interesting to see where some of our tutorials are linked....

Toolkit Traction

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Did you see the Information Literacy Toolkit was mentioned in the November 2010 issue of C&RL News?  You will see it listed under Toolkits, along with UIUC's, and many other great sites for getting assessment techniques, assignment design and others. 

Have you added something for our local and national colleagues to get inspiration from lately?

Information literacy and higher education A toolkit for curricular integration
by Jennifer Jarson

Please consider attending...

Date: 11/18/2010

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Location: 125 McNamara Alumni Center

Cost: Free


Demystify faculty support at the U of M.

Do you provide support and consultation to faculty and instructors? We invite you to join a discussion with a panel of University staff members who regularly consult with faculty on topics of teaching and learning. Learn about how others do this and meet colleagues doing similar work.

Consultants on campus provide support for educational technology, research, instructional design, writing, universal design, accessibility, service learning, outreach, study abroad, and more. In learning about other faculty consultants on campus, we hope that productive connections will be made that lead to more integrated and collaborative work in the future.

Panelists include consultants from Center for Teaching & Learning, Center for Writing, Disability Services, Office of Information Technology, and University Libraries, but we hope that individuals from many offices/locations/places will attend.

Please go to to let us know if you can attend or, if you can't, if you'd like to be notified of any future events.

forest.jpgYesterday I presented with Kate Peterson at the OIT 20 by 20 Pecha Kucha Event.  We talked about all the collaboration tools that the libraries provide and the ways that librarians can collaborate with instructors and researchers...but that's not really the point of this post.

Instead I wanted to talk about a presentation that was surprisingly relevant to libraries that was given by Eli Sangor who is part of Forestry Extension in St. Paul.

Eli talked about how Extension tries to get information and good resources to owners of forest land throughout he presented I thought to myself..."This sounds just like librarians."

He told that much of their audience likes to get information from peers and that they facilitate this by bringing in local experts to provide information sessions.  This got me to thinking how we might bring this Extension model into library instruction.  

Here's my idea: I have a huge freshman seminar (100-200 beginning engineers) that I give a short 15-20 minute presentation on how to find articles to, that I meet with every semester.  Next semester I want to look into partnering with a Peer Research Consultant to co-present with me to make that peer connection that Eli discussed in his pecha kucha.

Once the recording of yesterday's Pecha Kucha goes up we should link to it here...this is just one idea that popped into my mind while watching all the presentations.

Did others attend?  Any other exciting take-aways?

Image from Lutz-R. Frank via Flickr.  CC.
camtasia_relay_package.jpgCamtasia Relay 3 has some new features which caught my attention:
  • Add captions to videos with ease
  • Enhanced audio capture
  • Improved search accuracy
  • Powerful editing
Not sure how long these might take to get to our version, Class Capture through OIT, but maybe soon...

Designing for the iPad?

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We just got a request from the CEHD to use the Intro to Library Research in a first year class--with their new iPads. Hum...good question.ipad.jpg The way we created Intro to Library Research--it is in Flash (by way of Captivate) which doesn't work on the iPad. So we are retro fitting the content to HTML pages to increase accessibility both for iPads and Screenreaders. We will share the final product soon.

I also ran across this post in the Chronicle but by a University of Minnesota faculty... The iPad, the Kindle, or a Manual Typewriter?

November 7, 2010, 5:31 pm
Chronicle of Higher Education

"We need e-book readers that can handle color and that are reasonably priced. Make it so, Amazon, Apple, or anyone else. I'll be working away on material for your reader, doing first drafts on a typewriter."

LCP in Brief

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We got the Library Course Page advertised in the Brief this week!


10 new tutorials in PRIMO

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10 new projects were accepted into the PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online) database. The accepted projects from the Spring 2010 round of reviews are as follows:

Answering Clinical Questions (ACQ), University of Western Australia
Description:     The Answering Clinical Questions (ACQ) program is a series of online learning modules covering an introductory curriculum for Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). The ACQ program: •exemplifies the University of Western Australia (UWA), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences approach to EBP •ensures that geographically dispersed UWA staff and students have access to the introductory curriculum for EBP •supports the EBP teaching and learning activities of UWA staff and students

Research Basics 101, East Carolina University
Description:     Research Basics is a collection of six online, self-paced tutorials covering the beginning of the research process through finding resources. It highlights keyword generation, types of resources, the information time line, research evaluation strategies, and library website navigation. Each tutorial includes a concept check with time for reflection. The tutorials enhance library instruction sessions and provide undergraduate, graduate, and distance education students with asynchronous instruction.

The Productive Researcher, Syracuse University Library
Description:     The Productive Researcher is a set of six modules intended to provide an introduction to general library research skills. It also may serve as a quick review or update for the experienced researcher. You may choose from text, video, video with captioning, and audio podcast versions of these lessons. Topics include defining a topic and generating keywords, finding databases on the library's web site, finding articles in library databases, finding full text articles, using the library's catalog, and using databases to find information in different formats.

Harold B. Lee Library Virtual Tour, Brigham Young UniversityLeeLibTour.jpg
Description:     Design a library virtual tour for the BYU-Salt Lake Center so satellite students can fulfill the library tour requirement for First-Year Writing without having to travel to Provo, Utah.

Articles, Books, and Beyond: Library Orientation Workshop, Sonoma State University Library
Description:     Articles, Books & Beyond Online Workshop is a series of 8 quick tutorials that introduce the basic resources and services of the Sonoma State University Library. A quiz is available as an optional resource to test student understanding and application of the basic library skills taught in the tutorials. Once passed, the quiz provides an option to print out a certificate of completion.

Newton Gresham Library Information Literacy Tutorial, Sam Houston State University
Description:     A module-based information literacy tutorial that addresses each stage of the research process, including selecting a topic, identifying information needs, selecting sources, locating information, evaluating information, and citing sources. The tutorial uses Flash, but the slide text is also accessible to screen readers such as JAWS.

**Consumer Health Complete, University of Minnesota**

Author: Matt Lee, Minitex
Description:     Consumer Health Complete is part of an ongoing series of tutorials thatConsumerHealth.jpg provide an introduction to databases available statewide to libraries, schools, and residents via the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) program. Minitex manages the ELM program and created these tutorials to promote it to schools and libraries, and to provide an introduction to database content and navigation to library staff and MN residents.

What is a Database? Ursuline College

Description:     This interactive tutorial explains the concept of a database. It explores familiar databases such as Amazon and YouTube, and uses them to illustrate the concepts of records and fields. These concepts are then applied to library databases, including the library catalog and Academic Search Complete. Users must answer a few multiple choice questions to confirm their understanding of key concepts.

Goblin Threat, Lycoming College
Description:     The Goblin Threat game was created to be a fun way for undergraduate students to learn the basics of plagiarism in a non-threatening game environment.

Understanding Wikipedia, Raritan Valley Community College
Description:     This section if part of a longer information literacy tutorial designed for undergraduates. The Wikipedia section begins with an explanation of Wikipedia and is followed by a guided Wikipedia search that instructs students how to use the References section of a Wikipedia article to find additional sources. Using 2 frames - one which provides instructions for the guided search and another which allows the student to actively explore a Wikipedia article - this learning object provides an interactive approach to helping students understand how Wikipedia can be used in their research appropriately: by referring them to additional sources.

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

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