May 30th, 2013 § Comments Off § permalink
The nets have been abuzz the past few days with the release of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report (ppt embedded below). There’s plenty of information about mobile tech, the immersion of tablets, and innovative digital services, but the slide that caught my attention was #75, regarding the youngest U.S. generations. These “Selective Formative Events in the Past 20 Years” offer an interesting view into the mindset of current and incoming college students and their expectations for post-university life.
- September, 2001 USA Terrorist Attacks – Destabilized sense of security
- Rise of China as Global Super Power – Altered global competition
- Global Financial Crisis, 2008+ – Destabilized financial security
- High Unemployment Levels – Destabilized career optimism
- Potential Fiscal Debt Challenges – Rise in need to depend on selves
- Rise of Cheap / Available Computing – 24×7 global access to loads of stuff including shared goods
- Rise of New ‘Geek’ Entrepreneur Heroes – Jobs + Sergey / Larry + Zuck…
- Rise in Social Connectivity – Ability to find / create / share / provide + get feedback
- Rise in Value of Social / Virtual vs. Financial + Physical Currency
Just food for thought: how have these events changed us [libraries] as well as the services we offer?
September 17th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
This past weekend, I attended my first THATCamp. I was only able to attend the first day of events, but even in those few hours there was much to take away.
After a bit of socializing and breakfast (generously provided via sponsors), Colleen Greene and Amanda French kicked things off by explaining how THATCamps work and how they started. Friday’s schedule consisted almost entirely of predetermined workshops and I attended three: DIY Project Management, Intro to Omeka, and Text-Mining.
DIY Project Management was led by USC’s own Tim Stanton. Tim briefly discussed the history of project management and gave an overview of the basic steps (based on Rita Mulcahy’s method). Other discussions included working with stakeholders, meeting outside demands, and specific tools. Here are the notes and slides from that session.
Intro to Omeka was led by Amanda French. Omeka is a free and open-source online platform (there are paid options if hosting is needed) for collecting, organizing, and exhibiting digital objects, especially for smaller institutions that may not have a team of programmers. It is both simple and scholarly. Here are the notes from that session.
Text-Mining was led by Scott Kleinman. He introduced us to the study of lexomics and illustrated a number of tools for preparing, analyzing, and visualizing textual data. You can learn more about text mining and topic modeling from the notes from the second text-mining session. See especially the reading list at the end.
The second day was full of interesting workshops, including How to Get Funded in the Digital Humanities, Writing for Broad Audiences, Introducing New Tech to Faculty, Linked Data, Digital History Mobile Apps, and Advanced Zotero.
That is just a sample of what you can get out of a THATCamp. [WARNING: shameless plug coming]. In fact, a few of us are planning a THATCamp for ACRL 2013 in April. We hope you’ll join us for a spontaneous, low-cost, highly creative discussion of technology, libraries, and the academy next year in Indianapolis!
September 13th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink
I’m uber-excited to be attending my first THATCamp tomorrow at Cal State Fullerton. If you’re not familiar with the concept, THATCamps are “an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot” (learn more). And I happen to know that there will be a number of technophile librarians in attendance as well. I’ll be going to workshops on Project Management for the Digital Humanities, Omeka, and Text Mining… unless something else catches my eye. I’ll let you know how things go.
May 22nd, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I realized something completely obvious the other day:
30-day free software trial + tutorials + 1 weekend = new skill set
I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me before, but in the spirit of the aha! moment, I signed up for a free trial of Adobe Connect and started playing around. MPOW has access to Lynda.com, which offers a great selection of video tutorials for software and web development tools. So I spent most of last week walking through the Adobe Connect tutorial and creating a mock e-classroom session.
If you are not familiar with the software, Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform. It creates online meeting rooms that exist as a static URL and can be opened or closed as needed. It’s similar to products like Elluminate and WebEx, but has a few features that stand out (not the least of which is its smooth, sleek look). Click on the images below for a larger view.
My favorite feature is the ability to create multiple layouts of your content that you can change out during a session. For example, if you want to focus on collaboration, you can pull together your chat module, file sharing module, and whiteboard. If you want to focus on presentation, you can fill the screen with the share module and the webcam. In the images above and below, you can see the various layouts I’ve set up in the right sidebar.
If the host uses the screen-casting feature or needs to take control of another user’s desktop, Connect let’s you freeze the live feed and annotate it, like I’ve done in the screenshot below where I’m highlighting a few elements of a search page. When you’re done annotating, you can switch right back to the live screen-cast.
There is also a Q&A module that allows users to submit questions which can then be fielded by the host(s). At the end of the session, the questions and answers can be exported as a .rtf file.
Connect offers modules for polling, sharing files, makings lists of web links, and sharing content (ppt, pdf, mp3, jpg, flv, and swf files). All the content and modules are stored on the server and sessions can be recorded. The administration features are robust and offer a granularity that only a sysadmin could love: providing the ability to manage multiple users and groups, content, meeting templates, and recordings.
These are just a few of the features that caught my attention right from the start. Adobe Connect is a versatile tool that provides teachers with a flexible, online classroom space. Having spent the last two year working online to earn a master’s degree, I can confidently say that this would significantly enrich the learning experience.
Have you used Adobe Connect? What are your thoughts? Or is there another e-learning platform that you prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments!
February 17th, 2010 § Comments Off § permalink
Recently, USC professor Dr. Jeffrey Cole spoke to a group of librarians, faculty, students and staff on campus. Dr. Cole has been analyzing mass media since the early 1990s when he was Principal Investigator of the Network Television Violence Monitoring Project. His initial interest in the internet came from a 1998 study which showed that for the first time since the birth of television, the hours children spent watching TV dropped: the internet had became a competitor for the hearts and minds of the younger generation.
Dr. Cole is the director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. According the Center’s website, it is “committed to work that has a real and beneficial effect on people’s lives, while seeking to maximize the positive potential of the mass media and our rapidly evolving communication technologies.” The Center recently produced two reports: the Digital Future Report 2009 and the World Internet Project International Report 2009. Both are available for purchase on the Center’s website (highlights are also available).
In anticipation of future discussions on information access, some of the claims made during the presentation may be of interest to librarians and educators. Dr. Cole spoke at length on the future of newspapers and the digital life of the younger (12-24 yrs) generation. Some notes:
-Despite claims about the “death of X” (where X equals any media format), mass media will survive (even thrive!) but it will get smaller. The exception to this is television, which will escape from the home and the clock to find increased life on mobile and asynchronous platforms.
-Newspapers, perhaps the poster child of “dying” media, are missing out on the fact that the younger generation is more interested in the news than it has been in the last 70 years.
-In order to be considered “up-to-date”, newspapers need to publish within 30-60 seconds of an event.
Concerning the Center’s study of 12-24 year-olds’ habits:
-wear watches each year
-read magazines each year
-schedule TV viewing and are dominated by it
-trust peers over experts
-use mobile devices
-are willing to pay for digital content
-see community as the center of their internet experience
-think they are not interested in or affected by advertising (but they are)
-prefer IM to email
-want content to move freely between platforms
If you have the chance to see Dr. Cole speak, I highly recommend it. He is engaging, charismatic, and obviously passionate about his research. For more information, please visit the Center’s website.