Sunday, 30 November 2008

Is YouTube the next Google?

Alex Iskold came up with an interesting post on ReadWriteWeb recently. He uses some evidence from recent Conferences and eventually says "because video was not possible before, the web was dominated by text. Now that video cameras and broadband are cheap, information that is better served by video is getting converted. As a result, YouTube is now the second largest search engine, and traffic is through the roof." So video is on the increase on the Web and many kids are video natives.
I would add that YouTube is a phenomenal teaching resource whic we librarians could all use much more. The challenge is to keep up with what is out there.

Online Conference and Exhibition, London Olympia

I shall be away at this Conference during the week and chairing a session on Wednesday featuring offsetting Media and Information Literacy.
Media Literacy matters. (Fiona Lennox, Policy Executive, OfCom, UK) "In this presentation, Fiona will discuss the findings of recent Ofcom research which sheds light on how people in the UK population access, understand and create digital communications. She'll examine the skills gaps highlighted by the research and discuss how media literacy initiatives can help to address these."
Ort Argentina virtual campus project: a case study about information and media literacy in K12/compulsory education. (Guillermo Lutzky, Professor, Virtual Campus CEO, ORT Argentina ORT.)
I'll be blogging about it in due course.

Also on Wednesday I shall be giving a free Information Seminar in the Exhibition area called
Supporting Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs Today, which will about our innovative curriculum for Business students at University of Bedfordshire where I work.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Information Literacy and Web 2.0 for scientists

There is an important collection of articles in a special issue of "Issues in Science and Technology Libraarianship" Fall 2008, which you can access freely!

An Undergraduate Science Information Literacy Tutorial in a Web 2.0 World
by Jeanine Marie Scaramozzino, California Polytechnic State University
"In order to engage students in a Web 2.0 world, the tutorial has evolved to incorporate interactivity, graphics, and self-assessment. " Very interesting article, showing how active techniques, including YouTube videos were employed.
Chat Widgets for Science Libraries
by John J. Meier, The Pennsylvania State University
Making Research Guides More Useful and More Well Used
by Michal Strutin, Santa Clara University
Podcasting the Sciences: A Practical Overview
by Eugene Barsky and Kevin Lindstrom, University of British Columbia
Web 2.0 as catalyst : Virtually reaching out to users and connecting them to Library resources and services, by Norah Xiao, University of Southern California.
Demonstrates use of Web 2.0 tools to improve outreach to chemistry.students.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Why did we write this book?

Long time ago Jo Parker and I recorded a little audio file about the genesis of this book and intended to do a series of podcasts featuring all the contributors! Here., at last, are our dulcet tones...

As this series develops I shall collect them all on the left of the front page of the blog.

Head Hunting?

This is my take on getting our heads together.

Glasgow ,Kelvingrove Museum...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Digital Consumer - Our Customers of the Future

This was the title of the CILIP ISG one day event at CILIP HQ in London on 13th November,where I was invited to speak. Ian Rowlands spoke first about the "Information Behaviour of the Researchers of the Future". Having quoted his work so many times it was great to hear him speak for over an hour about the findings of the research at University College London.I loved the analogies he made with eating radishes : are they really hot now, or have our perception of how hot they are changed? Was Len Hutton a better batsman than Geoff Boycott? How can we be objective when viewing different generations? I am sure that I have tended to overestimate the differences between generations, and the CIBER report has indeed pushed aside many myths about the "Google generation". So there is much more continuation with past generations and difference is more about individuals. There is a group in the Google generation age group who are digital dissidents. It was interesting to hear him say that libraries do not give clear enough maps of their e services, compared to a supermarket. He challenged me really to choose between redesigning the systems or redesigning the users.
I then presented "Using Web 2.0 to help the Millennials" which is on SlideShare.
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: information literacy)

In the afternoon Clive Izard and Roderic Parker from British Library updated us on initiatives taken there. I was particularly stunned by the quality and adaptability of the Online Gallery Turning the Pages versions of famous books.

Juanita Foster-Jones then told us about "Beyond Google" the new Information Literacy course TU120 at Open University. One of the lecturers there who took the course said " I refer to it constantly and have done all sorts with my students online and at day schools. That course changed my life! :-) and this is no exaggeration...All my students are delicious'ing away now".
I felt it was a very informative day and thanks should go to ISG for arranging it.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Penguins and pixels: virtual world users

I am still hosting discussions regularly on Infolit iSchool in Second Life (SL), the virtual world. The users of the main grid of Second Life have to be over 18, and quite a lot of them are a good deal older than that. That has led to discussions about whether, since SL does not seen to be drawing in lots of young people, librarians in the education sector should be ignoring it.

I think a different perspective on this was provided by Jackie Marsh (Jackie Darkstone in RL) a Professor in the School of Education here at Sheffield University. 10 days ago she gave a talk on Out of school play in online virtual worlds and the implications for literacy learning (6th November 2008). She has done research looking at how young children are using virtual worlds, particularly Club Penguin (which is a world specifically for young children, where they are penguins and have igloos). About half of the children she surveyed were using a virtual world, with Club Penguin and Barbie World most popular. As with social networking sites like Facebook, people were mostly communicating with people they knew already. When the time came to leave they were moving on to teen worlds like Habbo Hotel. In about 6 years these club penguiners will be hitting university ...
Jackie observed that the children did seem able to find the information they wanted for their virtual lives (her focus is literacy, rather than information literacy). She was speaking in chat, and the chatlog is here: She also has a blog, Digital Beginnings, at

Last week, another speaker, Robin Ashford (a librarian from the USA, Robin Mochi in SL) led a discussion about the Academic librarian in Second Life. She was speaking, and other people were using text chat: there is a transcript of the chat here : Robin recently did a presentation at a conference in SL and her powerpoint is here:

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tips about Learning Styles

The Art of Learning Better: 101 Tips to Find and Fit Your Learning Style, by Heather Johnson is an excellent list for all of us who teach.
"Here are a few tips to help you start improving your learning experience by helping make it work a little better with your needs, whether you’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner."

Teacher Training Videos

Sheila Webber has already posted about this series, but I cannot resist mentioning them too! Looks a very useful resource for us to become more acquainted with the tools.
Russell Stannard was awarded the Times Higher award for "Oustanding Initiative in ICT" sponsored by Jisc.
Teacher Training Videos were created for teachers to help them to incorporate technology into their teaching. Just click and a video will open and take you through how to use that technology.
Includes easy podcasting ; using Audacity ; presenting with flickr ; how to use Blogger ; Simple mind mapping tool ; Second Life ; On-line surveys ; RSS feeds ; All about YouTube ; How to use BlackBoard ; How to use delicious ; how to use and make wikis ; how to use iTunes to get podcasts.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

For flickr fans

60+ tools to enhance your flickr experience, from
" Flickr is more than a normal image management website. It’s a source of creativity, a pilgrimage of natural beauty, a fun and interesting place for inspiration too (at least for us).
If you’re a Flickr regular user like us, we believe you can explore Flickr in a better way with below quality tools which based on Flickr API. Here’s 60+ tools to enhance your Flickr experience."
Includes downloaders and uploaders, search engines, slide show and gallery makers, and many miscellaneous tools.
Orchids in Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Screencasting for libraries

There was a very useful post by iLibrarian recently featuring many resources which will help you get started making instructional videos for your library. Includes articles, presentations, podcasts, blogs, wikis, software, workshop handouts, and link s to examples. Fantastic.

How to master screencasts in seven steps by Torley, may also interest those who are more techie.

Gaming and learning

"Gaming and learning :winning information literacy collaboration" by Marsha Spiegelman and Richard Glass. C&RL News, October 2008Vol. 69, No. 9. Interesting and inventive collaboration between faculty and librarian using innovation Web 2.0 tools for a maths class.

"Academic librarians have embraced Web 2.0 technology as the engine of change. We post and poke, friend and follow to maintain relevancy in the new millennium. These applications help us organize our materials, engage our users, and enhance internal functions. Information literacy (IL), once the driving force in academic libraries, has been moved to a side rail in the process. At the same time, gaming has begun to gain mainstream acceptance in academia because today’s students are team players who thrive on the interactive nature of social networking and use games as “social/socializing activity.”1 In this collaboration Marsha Spiegelman, instruction librarian, and Richard Glass, math/computer science classroom professor, sought to get IL back on track by integrating games and Web 2.0 tools into IL instruction. "

Does Library instruction matter to students?

Lauren Pressley in Lauren's Library Blog put her finger on a central point that I have often thought about.

Are your classes showing :

"Information literacy as how to do library research, information literacy as how to navigate the larger information environment, or information literacy as both?"

She then did a little survey : here are the results from those who replied :

13% Information literacy as doing library research
27% Information literacy as navigating the larger information environment
60% Information literacy as a combination of both

Wonder what you think?

It would be great to get some feedback? Is anyone alive out there? Who's still telling them about the library? Who's trying to make them into librarians?

Search Cube search engine

Judy O'Connell drew this new search engine to my attention.
Search-cube is a visual search engine that presents web search results in a unique, three-dimensional cube interface. It shows previews of up to ninety-six websites, videos and images at once.
I agree it's quite fun, and can be used to draw attention to different facets of a topic visually.

List of Information Literacy diagnostic questions

Mark Hepworth has compiled a useful list of questions here which could be used to diagnose how information literate your students are.

Here are some samples :

I type in the whole title of an article or book to find it.
I can narrow my search by searching for phrases using “ “
If a book is on the reading list and seems relevant I read it from cover to cover.
I constantly adapt, change and refine my search strategy while searching.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Using Google My Maps

Mikael Jacobsen writes in the Library Journal (16/10/08) "Librarians use online mapping services such as Google Maps, MapQuest, Yahoo Maps and others to check traffic conditions, find local businesses, and provide directions. However, few libraries are using one of Google Maps most outstanding applications, My Maps, for the creation of enhanced and interactive multimedia maps. My Maps is a simple and free means of adding valuable content to any library web site." Article tells about innovative uses of My Maps at Franklin County Public Library.

Thre is also an interesting screencast tutorial.

Web 2.0 in US schools

A post in the AASL (American Association of School Libraries)blog suggests Web 2.0 tools are gaining in popularity in schools.
"These findings are exciting because they signal the timely, if not prescient, nature of the Standards for the 21st Century Learner. Even a year ago, Web 2.0 tools in schools were less widespread, and so was the need for standards that spoke directly to the role of the school library not only in fostering information literacy and knowledge management. The Standards support a library in which students take responsibility for discovering lifelong curiosity and powerful communication in addition to locating, using, and making sense of information."

Use of the tools is still in the early stages and shows four levels of influence that produce digital divides derived from access, skill, policy and motivation. Very interesting diagram emphasises this. Worth investigation.

ECAR study 2008 on Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

This important longitudinal study (yearly from 2004 to 2008) has appeared again. It is US- based and draws on massive quantitative data and also has a special section on student participation in social networking sites.
This year they asked 3 questions on Information Literacy, derived from the ACRL standards. Surprise surprise 79.5% gave themselves glowing reports on their ability to "use the internet effectively and efficiently to search for information" , with half saying they were "very skilled and another third saying they were "experts. About half also said they were "very skilled" or "expert" at 2evaluating the reliability and credibility of online sources of information" or "understanding the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access and use of digital information."
As the report continues the "potential gap between actual and perceived skills and literacy is important to understand and factor into strategies for teaching and learning at the institution".

On social networking : 85.2% now use SNSs.. Half of these users now integrate SNSs into their academic life for communicating with classmates about course-related matters, but only 5.5% use them for communication to tutors about academic matters.No consensus on whether SNSs should be exclusive realm of students. Guess this gives some support for libraries to link into SLSs, with caution!

Blogs: strategy and deviance

Came across a post in NewTechnologiesInterestGroup's weblog referring to Georgina Payne's chapter in our book on use of blogs at University of Northampton. Food for tought, as he says...

Fantastic guide to finding and using images safely!

I cannot overpraise the new image search tutorial "Internet for Image Searching"from intute and TASI. At last we have an easy place to go to find out about how to find images for our own use, to recommend to academics and for use by project students. The pros and cons of using search engine collections are explored along with specialist sites and the implications of Creative Commons licences. I shall be looking at this site in detail myself, for good advice and to keep abreast of the many subject collections available for use. Perhaps I should start a favourite site of the month : this would be it!

Using Wikipedia for IL

There's a great post on Burning Windows by a young librarian in the Tennessee Valley, who was enthused by Anne-Marie Deitering's article about use of Wikipedia.(see chapter 7 of our book).In particular the author enthuses about browsing, collaboration and discovery and likes to get away from the "wretched demo comes to mind here in which the instructor stands like a statue at the front of the classroom while students sleep or talk to their friends". Bravo!

Plagiarism : a shocker and some good advice

This little video on YouTube has been highlighted many times : just in case you haven't seen it : features a new younger plagiariser who seems so unaware of how exposed she is by posting this video.

Sheila Webber blogged about some resources called Acknowledgement from Monash University for helping teachers combat plagiarism, particularly by students from different nataionalities. May be of interest to some librarians who are working on this angle to promote Information Literacy.

Bridging Worlds Conference, Singapore, 16-17 October

It was a great experience to be invited to speak at the recent "Bridging Worlds Conference" organised by the National Library of Singapore. Unfortunately it was at a really busy time and I have been recovering ever since! Still catching up with e-mails and mounds of Information Literacy teaching back at base in University of Bedfordshire (12 hours last week and 18 hours the week before...)So that's the excuse for not posting for so long!
Memories of the Conference ? the great people I met, the food and the hospitality. But the climate was so hot and clammy - not the place for me to live. It was good to meet Kathryn Greenhill from Fremantle, Australia, (who I'd met electronically) and she has blogged about the Conference here.
My presentation "Information Literacy and Web 2.0 : is it just hype?" is on Slideshare here.

Shall post more about the conference soon.