Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

Let's have none of this Season's Greetings stuff! This is my 100th post this year - just made it - not so much news this year - and next year will bring some surprises.

We're covered with snow again and not coping too well. My proposed trip yesterday aborted through car with flat battery!

This is just to wish everyone who reads this a very Happy Christmas and let's have a great 2011
(Twenty eleven, not Two thousand and eleven!).

Pics are of the Nativity with a Scottish flavour ; and St Albans Abbey this weekend.

How Twitter is changing : new study reveal's Twitter's new direction

Brian Solis writes about a new report from the social media monitoring service Sysomos.
It is true that twitter has changed so much in the past year with users being more willing to share their identity and personal information. Only 2.05% connect to over 1000, and 22.5% of users post 90% of tweets. An interesting read - see here.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Engaging Millenials through Problem-Based Learning

Henri Mondschein is holding an event simultaneously in California and in the virtual world Second Life: Engaging Millenials through Problem-Based Learning. It takes place on 17 December 2010 at 11am SL time (which is 7pm UK time). A bit late to sign up for the real life event, but you can for the session in Second Life. Go to https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dGxwTmNfVnFSUjZFRmNSN2pwcDBQN0E6MQ#gid=0 and fill in the form if you want to attend the hour long workshop. You must have an SL avatar and download SL software in order to participate through SL. This is a LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) workshop. Henri Mondschein is Specialist/Manager of Information Literacy, California Lutheran University, USA.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Academic excellence in 140 characters

This YouTube video about the use of Twitter to encourage engagement and improve grades could be imp-ortant amd is worth a quick look.

They say :
"This is a video created by one of my students to summarize the research we conducted on the effects of Twitter on student engagement and grades. The journal article summarizing the study and our findings is available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10...


Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This paper describes our semester-long experimental study to deter-mine if using Twitter -- the microblogging and social networking platform most amenable to ongoing, public dialogue -- for educationally relevant purposes can impact college student engagement and grades. A total of 125 students taking a first year seminar course for pre-health professional majors participated in this study (70 in the experimental group and 55 in the control group). With the experimental group, Twitter was used for various types of academic and co-curricular discussions. Engagement was quantified by using a 19-item scale based on the National Survey of Student Engagement. To assess differences in engagement and grades, we used mixed effects analysis of variance (ANOVA) models, with class sections nested within treatment groups. We also conducted content analyses of samples of Twitter exchanges. The ANOVA results showed that the experimental group had a significantly greater increase in engagement than the control group, as well as higher semester grade point averages. Analyses of Twitter communications showed that students and faculty were both highly engaged in the learning process in ways that transcended traditional classroom activities. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role."

Next is Now!

Another futuristic video which is useful as a discussion trigger.

They say
"Advancements in technology are quickly creating a mobile environment, and one that has students hooked. This isn't new news, but what's telling is that it's not stopping, or slowing down. The video you are about to see paints the real picture of how students are connecting more and more heavily with the digital world. They reap 24/7 access to all the information they could ever want, and enabling them to learn and absorb whatever information they choose. For education, what we fear we should prepare for is already here. In order to bring our students the information they need to take on unknown careers of the future, we have to discover now who they are, and what it is they are dealing with. We have to choose to participate, and openly share and collaborate with them. Yesterday was the day to be present, and this video will bring you more reason to believe that what is next is definitely now."

PubChem instruction videos

Cam across this interesting article from Jeffery Loo at University of California Berkeley demonstrating how they created several videos about using PubChem. They used Powerpoint for the slides, GIMP to edit graphics, Audacity to recoird and edit the audio, Screen-cast-o-matic to create the screencasts, Windows Live Movie Maker to edit it, and Youtube to store and distribute.
They last about 6 minutes each. Here is a sample

It's all about social media, stupid!

This is the title of a session I gave at this year's Online Inormation Conference at Olympia, London on 1 December 2010.It is a rather different topic to my usual concerns, being an overview of the problem of trying to define how libraries can get value out of social media.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Library 2.0 Bah Humbug! in Oxford

It seemed a while since my last gig so I enjoyed speaking at the excellent COFHE and UC&R day conference "Web 2.0 untangled : reaching and teaching our users with new technologies" at Wolfson College, Oxford.

Sheila Webber was also there and has blogged on her Information Literacy Weblog about :
my talk here
Eric Davies Web 2.0 : ethics and law here
Helen Clough : Elluminate use at the OU Library here
Lucy Power : Scientific social networking here
Philippa Levy and Sheila Webber Technology enriched IBL here

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

How can you help Tom? A school librarian's guide for preparing students for University.

Thanks to my Twitter stream I came upon this presentation by Jo Alcock to a school library conference. The link between schools and Universities is crucial and any work here is going to be an improvement! I liked the concentration first on social networking : I always stray into those areas when first seeing new students. There is a virtual transcript of the talk here and the slides are below.

Libraries in a transliterate, technology fluent world

This presentation by Bobbi Newman is hard hitting and has some great quotes.

I liked the one by Douglas Adams (of "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy" fame) best :

"I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
    • Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    • Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    • Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things. "

Best Video creation tools for the classroom

This article from School Library Journal, 1 Nov. 2010, by Richard Bryne looks well worth following up. He says :
"There was a time, not too long ago, that making a video required expensive video equipment and software. That’s no longer true. Now, without spending a dime on cameras or software, your students could craft the next great documentary or YouTube sensation."

All that is needed is creativity and patience...oh and the time to try these out!

15 easy to use apps for adding multimedia to Twitter

Want to add multimedia to your tweets on Twitter? Then this article could be your answer : 15 easy to use apps for adding multimedia to Twitter, by Aliza Sherman. I'd come across Twitpic and Audioboo and I love Screenr, but here are a load more.

Attention !

This article by Howard Rheingold on "Attention and other 21st century social media literacies" is interesting.
Howard Rheingold (howard@rheingold.com) is the author of Tools For Thought, The Virtual Community, Smart Mobs, and other books and is currently lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

He says :

"I focus on five social media literacies:

  • Attention
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Network awareness
  • Critical consumption

Although I consider attention to be fundamental to all the other literacies, the one that links together all the others, and although it is the one I will spend the most time discussing in this article, none of these literacies live in isolation. They are interconnected. You need to learn how to exercise mindful deployment of your attention online if you are going to become a critical consumer of digital media; productive use of Twitter or YouTube requires knowledge of who your public is, how your participation meets their needs (and what you get in return), and how memes flow through networked publics. Ultimately, the most important fluency is not in mastering a particular literacy but in being able to put all five of these literacies together into a way of being in digital culture."

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

We've launched our Android App !

University of Bedfordshire Learning Resources now have our own Android app to help students and staff access our services from anywhere 24/7. How this will affect access and help us to get our Information Literacy message across better we shall have to wait and see. I am very excited by it. It will suit some students and if it reaches those who ignore us at the present, this will be really good news.

It features :

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Plagiarism resources

If you want some resources to use to combat plagiarism you might try Guide to Online Schools Complete Plagiarism Resource. It pulls together a number of tutorials from various institutions in the USA.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Finding our students at their point of need

Lauren Pressley has done a humdinger of a presentation here! This is the keynote at the Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference today 29 October 2010, at Thomasville, North Carolina.
She says: Higher Education is changing ; The point of need is changing ; What we do changes too ;
It's not about us..... it's about them.

This is the best presentation I've seen this year - love the images and style, but it's the message that is really important. I was only thinking about some of the same issues earlier this week (for a Conference talk) and pleased (and a trifle relieved) to see common ground! Not going to tell you what ! Do take a look at it!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

How to use Delicious : the King of Socialbookmarking

Kristi Hines (on Socialmedia Examiner) has produced a useful guide.
For exisiting users it gives some ideas you may not have thought of - particularly with use of tags. For new users ( and I am a great fan of delicious and could not do without it...) there is good guidance on how to get started.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Libraries in a Digital Age

Here is a detailed write-up by Lyn Robinson of a recent one day Conference on Libraries in a Digital Age organised by the Association of Independent Libraries at the Royal Astronomical Society, London, 14 October 2010. Of particular interest here is a presentation by Gwynneth Price (Institute of Education) on Social Networking : just a lot of twittering?

Tara Brabazon : the end of shhhhh in the Library

Tara Brabazon makes a spirited defence of the use of podcasts in her article in the Times Higher, 20 October 2010. She argues :

"In a time of shrinking funding, librarians’ savvy use of time- and space-shifting podcasts can aid diverse groups of students and scholars and highlight valuable resources".

Saturday, 16 October 2010

John Palfrey: Rethinking Plagiarism in the Digital Age?

Plagiarism is such a hot topic and John Palfrey (co-author of Born Digital : understanding the first generation of Digital Natives.) features in an interview on the Project for Information Literacy (PIL) site here.

He says "we need to find ways to give students a finer-grained understanding of what plagiarism means in the information context in which they are growing up. My view is that we start with first principles."

It's quite a short but interesting read.

Information Fluency Strategies and Practices to Help Enhance Critical Thinking Skills

Thia presentation by Chad Mairn of St Petersburg College, Florida is full of ideas for your information literacy classes.
I particularly iked the idea that
"Information fluency is the intersection of information literacy, computer literacy and critical thinking."

Web 3.0 : enhancing reality with mobile applications

This is a good summary of the possible future : as the summary says :

"A visual exploration of current possibiilities of augmenting physical reality through new mobile/wireless applications and the mobile web. New reality augmentation methods for business, advertising, travel, geolocation, social networking, history and information literacy through mobile devices, QR codes, geolocation, barcode reader and reality augmentation applications for the mobile web, web 3.0."

Prepare yourself for an aural assault....

Friday, 15 October 2010

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 Information Literacy

Here is a great presentation I came across by Mark Mitchell, from the schools sector in Australia.There is some excellent thought provoking stuff here about what 2.0 means and how students now need to have what he calls E Information Literacy ability.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Librarians Do Gaga

Been doing too much "inducting" anbd teaching to post lately.Now here is a video to cheer us on a Friday afternoon or anytime!
Thanks to a query on lis-link I have come across this video Librarians Do Gaga. Students and faculty from the University of Washington's Information School get their groove on!!Directed, edited, and produced by Sarah Wachter and lyrics by Sarah Wachter. It's aiming to get students to get to the Ca-ca-ca-catalogue and those databases! Must try it out with a group sometime. Maybe 4 minutes is a bit long??

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Future of screen technology

This has been a barren month for my posts! So before October starts take a look at this fantastic vision of the future.
It is the result of TAT's (The Astonishing Tribe)Open Innovation experiment - an experience video showing the future of screen technology with stretchable screens, transparent screens and e-ink displays...

I'm not sure I could cope with the displays while I am shaving....

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Principal who wants to ban social media in his school

THanks to Stephen's Lighthouse blog I have come across this US story about a principal (headmaster) who wants to protect his pupils from social media by banning them. This little video is a response to this blinkered view of education!
It comments :
“Kids beat each other up in the playground all the time. We don’t ban schools”

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Not fully commissioned : Do not use

After a holiday break in Scotland I am back but I feel like a sign on a water machine here :

"Not Fully Commissioned : Do Not Use"

I was amused by this because it is a good example of official language that is designed to be hard for the users! Could be added to Michael Stephens' collection of notices on his Tame the Web blog : here is an example.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

How the internet is altering your mind

John Harris wrote an interesting article in the Guardian (see here) recently following a look at a forthcoming book called "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr. Is the extensive use of the internet affecting our brans? Or our ability to think deeply? Worth having a read.
I tend to agree with comments from Professor Andrew Burn of University of London Institute of Education"Temporary synaptic rewiring happens whenever anybody learns anything," he says. "I'm learning a musical instrument at the moment, and I can feel my synapses rewiring themselves, but it's just a biological mechanism. " (Yes!! so that's why I am finding it so hard learning to play the organ at the moment reading two bass lines, one for feet and one for left hand...")

Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives

This article derives from a paper given at IFLA recently by Huy Nghiem (Vietnam National University, Hanoi). As I was cited I felt I should blog about it! Amusingly my name has become Godwill but the references at the end are OK. Sheila Webber has already blogged about this paper here.I am grateful to the article for the emphasis put upon the nature of the information landscape and global network society and how this might alter the way we look at information literacy. It is not easy to pin down yet ... however I found the diagram which maps the individuals' information landscape and the role of information literacy on page 7 very interesting and well worth investigating.

Friday, 20 August 2010

No link between social media and student grades

Predictors and Consequences of Differentiated Social Network Site Usage is a report by Eszter Hargittai and Yu-Li Patrick Hsieh, published in Information Communication and Society, 13(4) June 2010, 515-536.

There is a useful commentary of the report on Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning blog.
Here is the abstract :
"Applying a typology of social network site (SNS) usage that takes into consideration the intensity with which people use such sites, this piece offers an empirical investigation of how users' social practices on SNSs differ and whether different levels of engagement have consequences for academic performance. We rely on a unique survey-based data set representing a diverse group of young adults to answer these questions. We find, not surprisingly, that the more intense users of such sites engage in more social activities on SNSs than those who spend less time on them and only use one such site. This finding holds both in the realm of stronger-tie activities and weaker-tie activities, that is social practices involving one's close friends as well as less established ties. Our analyses suggest gender difference in level of engagement with SNS social practices. Women pursue more stronger-tie activities than men, such as interacting with existing friends. In contrast, women engage in fewer weaker-tie activities than men, such as developing new relationships on such sites. However, neither SNS usage intensity nor social practices performed on these sites are systematically related to students' academic performance, findings that challenge some previous claims to the contrary. "

Blended Librarian talks Information Literacy

This little article in Chronicle of Higher Education 2 August 2010 tells of the work of Mark McBridge at Buffalo State College of the State University of New York. The work of this "blended librarian" should not be too much of a surprise to readers of this blog. "Mr. McBride teaches a course called Library 300. Its goal is not just to teach college students how and where to find information but how to weigh it—what counts as a reliable source and what doesn't." But there might just be some ideas here which could be of use in developing or justifying a service.

Google chief's fears for Generation Facebook

The Independent carried an article this week based on comments by Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google.

"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," he told the Wall Street Journal. "I mean we really have to think about these things as a society."

The weirdest thing he came out was " a stark warning over the amount of personal data people leave on the internet and suggested that many of them will be forced one day to change their names in order to escape their cyber past."
Bet the Passport Office and ID Card development staff are not too keen on this...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Want some good advice about screencasting?

Then look at Tips from the Experts Five Minute Screencasts - The Super Tool for Science and Engineering Librarians, by Olivia Bautista Sparks, Noble Science and Engineering Library, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. This excellent article comes from Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Winter 2010.

She often uses screenr. a free screencasting serice. There are some examples of her work introducing herself (Meeting your chemistry librarian) ; Exporting references from PubMed into RefWorks (this one really impressed me because I thought no-one can make this intelligible and yet I stayed wake through the whole 5 minutes..) ; more stuff on class instuction voia screencast ; and a very useful comparison chart comparing four screencasting services.

Finally : this is not just for Science and Englibneering librarians! All subject librarians can gain hugely from this brilliant little article!

Pic is of St Albans Abbey

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content

Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web content by E.Hargitti, L.Fullerton, E.Menchen-Trevino and K.Y.Thomasi of Northwestern University, is an important article. Net Gen Skeptic blog comments on how this article draws upon user research at that University into how their students evaluate web content.It throws further doubt onto claims made by such as Tapscott and Prensky that the digital natives know instinctively how to assess what they find.They conclude :

"As our findings show, students are not always turning to the most relevant cues to determine the credibility of online content. Accordingly, initiatives that help educate
people in this domain – whether in formal or informal settings – could play an important role in achieving an informed Internet citizenry."

Web 2.0 in the classroom? Dilemmas and opportunities inherent in adolescent Web 2.0 engagement

Sandy Schuck, Peter Aubusson, and Matthew Kearney of the University of Technology, Sydney have written an interesting paper on Web 2.0 in the classroom and adolescent attitudes to engagement with Web 2.0.
"Young people are increasingly active Web 2.0 users, and their interactions through these technologies are altering their social identities, styles of learning, and exchanges with
others around the world. The paper argues for more research to
investigate this phenomenon through the use of virtual ethnography and
identifies the ethical challenges that lie therein. It raises questions for
school education and presents an argument for studying the area in
culturally sensitive ways that privilege adolescents’ voices."

If you build it will they come? Researchers and Web 2.0

If you build it, will they come? is a Research Information Network (RIN) report about researchers and Web 2.0.

They conclude "Our study indicates that a majority of researchers are making at least occasional use of one or more web 2.0 tools or services for purposes related to their research: for communicating their work; for developing and sustaining networks and collaborations; or for finding out about what others are doing. But frequent or intensive use is rare, and some researchers regard blogs, wikis and other novel forms of communication as a waste of time or even
Uptake of Web 2.0 varies according to discipline. There is a lack of trust and a good deal of conservatism around. It is a useful document for all librarians who have to support researchers to have a look at.
The message is :
"Information professionals should not seek to re-establish centralised provision, which might
inhibit the dispersed processes of innovation and experimentation. Instead they may need
to rethink their current roles and organisation, and to broaden their agendas to include
effective support for web 2.0.
Their roles might usefully include:
• raising awareness of the range of tools and services and their relevance for different
kinds of activities;
• publicising examples of successful use and good practice by research groups and
networks across a range of disciplines;
• providing guidelines and training to help researchers make informed choices;
• helping to set standards and providing advice on curation and preservation."

Teaching Strategies for the Net Generation

This article by Ronald A. Berk of John Hopkins University is worth a read. The author acknowledges the limitations of a wide brush approach but still "acknowledging those limitations, I still think there is legitimacy to suggesting a set of characteristics and cultural trends derived from sound scientific research that can guide future teaching practices for faculty." When I was at London South Bank we had a Learning and Teaching Day and we had the pleasure of hearing Professor Berk speak. It was a name I could not forget.

Pic is of student group at Luton in our Library some years ago. I wonder how different they were?

Information Literacy in context

Miss Sophie Mac did a great post "Information Literacy in context" which emphasises the connect between their studies and everyday life. I have believed for a while that the breakthrough in public understanding of information literacy would come if there is an understanding that this is important in whatever task we seek to undertake. At a simple level we require to read the up to date bus timetable to get to work, or reliable health information on the web rather thana site that has a vested interest in selling to us.
She goes on "Within an everyday life information seeking context there are socio-cultural contexts to consider when planning IL training. For example, an academic library IL program might be three tiered consisting of: generic skills, subject specific skills, assignment specific skills. When teaching subject or assignment specific skills is there a way to apply an everyday life lens so the experiences can be applied to formal and informal settings? I believe we can achieve this by understanding the needs of learners and the socio-cultural context of their learning."

Pic shows the activity going on in our LRC over the summer!

21st Century Information Fluency

If you haven't come across the IMSA (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy) projects before, I can heartily recommend that you do. It is now under the direction and banner of 21st Century Information Fluency.
The latest material that I have had a brief look concentrates on Web 2.0. There is a comparison chart between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. here. Also material on digg, twitter, delicious, Google bLog Search etc. Very useful for teaching ideas.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Library Day in the Life

This post is part of the 5th version of this little project "Library Day in the Life" wiki so that we can share what we do!
I used to think : how has anyone the time to do this? Who cares anyway? In fact it can be an interesting little time capsule for others and ourselves!

Here goes :
This morning began early : at 5.30 I began to think "how can I best contribute to the brainstorm sharing on use of presentation software that we are going to have at work at 10.00 today?" Maybe I should use my iPad for the first time to show how some of these little projects I have been trying have turned out? How well will it work in the wireless environment there?
Let's forget yesterday's 3 hours bafflement with Camtasia Studio followed by trying to play the feet and left hand at the same time on the church organ in the evening...

6.00 and time to get up. No time for exercises or piano playing today - it's straight into trying to get a Photo Story movie working on PBWorks on my iPhone.
Plenty of time to make the tea and still no image. Could do a full English and eat it before this would work...
Time to get the bus to work. Still so keen ..no time today for Paul Wellman's 'Glory God and Gold' about the Spanish excesses in 16th century New Mexico! Reading latest updates on TweetDeck, favouriting the best for later scrutiny.. then deep little sleep..where am I? Is this the ride home...oh no it's the journey in!!!

8.30 Hiding the iPad on the desk - don't want to let on about it yet. Hear that there's a video conferencing and "Oh no there's no meeting - the presentation software sharing is next week!"
What a relief so can forget the agonising over the merits of Jing, Photo Story, Camtasia, Movie Maker, Audacity etc. and how it all fits together.
Let's relax and try out a little video I made on Jing in one of our blogs : loads beautifully - so easy. Let's try it on my iPhone ...aargh it's invisible.
Tomorrow is my day off : Friday is the Mashup event in Huddersfield. We have to make our own badges - have to do something for this....
Let's return to yesterday's battle with Camtasia - that slide just didn't line up with my dulcet tones - 30 more minutes or dragging, cursing, poring over help pages - time for tea.

Let's put some photos on flickr - find out about possibility of storing a short video there. Will thisd help with the badge if I can get a QR code on the badge?

11.30-12.30 moving and shelving books as part of the rebuilding exercise overthe summer.
12.30 Lunch i9n the Business School building - more building work going on. Glad to see that the wall that was being constructed yesterday in front of the main door is only partial, creating a new slim-line ingress! Lamb Rogan Josh with rice - excellent.
1.00 My first Photo Story movie placed in flickr, and works with a QR code created in BeeTagg and read via I-nigma! It was a spoof "Art Show" made up of some photos I took last year, introduced by a certain John Farquhar-Robotham.

2.00 Create new little movie in Photo Story about University of Bedfordshire using photos taken today on iPhone, put on flickr create barcode and badge for Friday! Feel like a lie down.
3.50 Phone rings and have to meet earnest new researchers and give short tour of the library (hard hats not necessary).
4.20 Return to writing this. Decide not to mention the iPad - looking forward to playing with it tomorrow planning Scottish trip, Last-fm etc.

Monday, 19 July 2010

InfoWhelm and Information Fluency

Here is a really powerful video from the 21st Century Fluency Project.
They say
"We live in a 24/7 InfoWhelm world. We have access to more information than we will ever need. This video will tell you just how much information there is out there. It requires a different set of skills than the ones we leave school with today."
I say
"What a world we live in and what an exciting opportunity for librarians to act as information guides".

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

New students require new librarians

Just found a really interesting video via Dean Giustini's Search Principle blog where four High schoolers discuss how they use technology for communication, problems they have with traditional education, and how they learn best.
They speak of the convenience of texting; e-mail is for corresponding with teachers or your aunt; used to multi-tasking ; bored with lectures ; texting with th ephone that is like an extension of your arm ; you can learn via mobiles, text Google for definitions and social media helps "like to give us independence and freedom to learn".

So much of this we have read in other places but like the thing that stood out to me was like it was WHY do they have keep saying LIKE all the time? There were 78 LIKES in 6 minutes 18 seconds!
There's been a lot said about the Web generation not being able to write (I do n't really accept this - twitter can be a great way of making us succinct) but it's the way that they express themselves which I notice. At that point my grumpiness will cease.
I do- like- recommend the video!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Ever wondered how Google searches?

Dan Nosovich has come up with an interesting infograph of how Google maybe works based on clues. He says "Google search really is amazing, and it's even more amazing that this entire flowchart (which is just a basic overlook) all happens in milliseconds."

Out Google Your Students!

Here is a short presentation given by Dean Giustini recently to some education students at University of British Columbia. Contains some really good ideas

and this great handout useful to help us use Google for more than a search engine!

Evaluating Websites Tutorial

This TeacherTube video from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott may suite your need for a video to tackle the problem of how students should evaluate what they find.It's only 3 minutes long (I always favour the short ones...) and you may get some ideas here.

How do they (even) do that?

Pew Internet guide to teens, mobile phones and social media. Here is a presentation about this report by Amanda Lenhart.
Here are her Final Thoughts
  • Cell phones leap frog connectivity roadblocks for low income, minority teens and adults
  • Teens and young adults are not monolithic – so a multi-pronged approach is prudent
  • Changes suggest a move towards mobile…
  • … but teens and young adults do not always embrace the newest thing
  • Young adults know that you are watching, and are increasingly taking steps to manage their online reputations

Digital Literacy Handbook

Cassie Hague and Sarah Peyton have produced a useful Digital Literacy Handbook, for Futurelab. It is aimed at eduactional practitioners and school teachers in primary and secondary schools who are interested in creative and critical uses of technology in the classroom. Really useful for teachers and school librarians trying to influence teachers. With sentences lioke "Digital literacy supports th eprocess of young people becoming active meaning-makers" there is much here to warm of hearts of information literacy advocates.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Library Mashups

Library mashups, exploring new ways to deliver library data, is a presentation by Nicole Engard, who also wrote Library Mashups Exploring new ways to deliver library data Edited by Nicole C. Engard - ISBN 978-1-57387-372-7 Published by Information Today, Inc., 2009.

Adventures in Library Instruction Podcast

The Adventures in Library Instruction podcast series is a mine of information from well-known practitioners like Buffy Hamilton and Lauren Pressley.
In the latest episode, Jason and Rachel interview Chad Mairn, and talk about a variety of technology issues and questions, including bringing technology to new populations, QR codes, the future of technology, research, and the library, and how to teach Wikipedia. Oh, and how to update an information literacy tutorial.

Pic shows Apple store in London on day of launch of new iPhone.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Savvy Web 2.0 Teens Forge Critical Thinking Skills

This article by Lauren Barack on 15 June 2010 in School Library Journal tells of a study by Natalia Ronda, a PhD candidate at York University, Toronto. She is discovering that 14 year olds are using critical thinking skills independently online.For example, "One teenager used YouTube as a social networking tool, viewing videos of potential friends in order to make a judgment whether this person would be interesting as a friend." Another interesting finding was related to privacy. Those in the study had a good idea of what their privacy options were, and all put some time into researching their privacy settings, says Ronda, explaining that teens made decisions on who they connected to and what they shared, after exploring options and reflecting on how these decisions would affect their online experience.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0 on Vimeo by Kate Ray, is a brilliant 14 minute which introduces the semantic web. Includes interviews with
Tim Berners-Lee
Clay Shirky
Chris Dixon
David Weinberger
Nova Spivack
Jason Shellen
Lee Feigenbaum
John Hebeler
Alon Halevy
David Karger
Abraham Bernstein.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Kate Ray is a recently-graduated NYU journalism/psychology student.

This looked great!

When we started this blog IL and Web 2.0 were not that connected. It is really good now to see examples of how things have moved on. Here is the programme for an event "Everything you wanted to know about teaching Information Literacy but were too afraid to ask " which was a Summer Information Literacy Workshop sponsored by the User Education Committee
of the NJLA College and University Section/ ACRL/NJ and the Shared Information Literacy Committee of VALE‐NJ, the Virtual Academic Library Environment.
And I've just noticed that the Instructional Design course was moderasted by Jacqui DaCosta from the College of New Jersey, who is an old friend from the UK!

Pic is of our LRC here at University of Bedfordshire and it is sunny today just like that.

Twitter Tutorials

Pam Dyer has posted about the best 10 Twitter tutorials on YouTube.
Includes Twitter in Plain English, Getting started with Twitter, Twitter lists in a nutshell, How to do a Twitter profile, Best Twitter tools, Finding Twitter followers, Tweeting from any cell phone, and Twitter for business and branding.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Is it Social Media or Web 2.0?

An interesting post on ReadWrite Web suggests Social Media is set to peak in 2012.This is the view of Justin Kistner, a Social Evangelist at web analytics company Webtrends.THere is a graph of Google Trends showing how Web 2.0 has been replaced by social media.

Google Scholar launches a blog!

Scholar is trying to be more helpful to academic users. In the first post of a new blog they say they have recently added email alerts to Scholar. You can now create alerts for queries of your interest. When new articles that match your alert query are added to Google Scholar, they will send you an email update with links to these articles. This service has meant they have to update entries quicker than in the past with articles now being added twice a week.
Sounds as though this could be useful to some researchers.
Anybody tried it yet?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Web 2.0 integration in information literacy instruction

I blogged about this (Luo, Lili "Web 2.0 integration in Information Literacy instruction: an overview" in Journal of Academic Librarianship 36(1) 32-40 ) earlier in the year without having access to the text. Having read my interlibrary loan copy I can now firmly recommend it as an interesting update to this blog.
It contains a survey and semi-structured interviews examining the adoption of Web 2.0 in IL instruction.An e-mail message was sent to the ILI-L listserv. I found it disappointing that only 50 valid responses were received and then 8 follow-up interviews were then undertaken. However the results are encouraging and very follow up our case studies in the book.
There was mention of use of Web 2.0 tools to illustrate importance of evaluation :
e.g.Facebook as a metaphor for evaluating stuff on the web - a friend request = like evaluating information.
e.g.Change an article on Wikipedia to demonstrate active participatioon of the Web.
e.g. Using flickr to snag digital images and apply attribution and how to put stuff on Wikipedia emphasising copyright and creative commons.

Overall respondents reported positive reaction to Web 2.0 tool usage in IL classes.
The article suggests 3 levels of IL and Web 2.0 :
1. Librarians use for own purposes without engaging students.
2.Librarians (84% of surveyed) use to facilitate delivery of content to students.
3.Librarins (38%)draw on certain features of tools to better illustrate IL concepts.

There is a very useful Table (Table 2) to help us develop Web 2.0 integrated instruction.

She concludes "the landscape of Web 2.0 is constantly evolving and it is crucial that librarians stay current with its development....following professional blogs....."
I guess that is where this little blog comes into the picture (although I cannot see any evidence of awareness of it in the bibliography!!!)

Pic shows me on a boat trip in Scotland - yes it was wet - but it also looks as if I am about to broadcast a declaration, presumably about Information Literacy, down the white tube!

E-Readers and the Device versus the books

This is not particularly about information literacy!
But e-readers are still very topical and if we want to encourage our users to use them to read text books then the Educause 7 Things you should know about E-Readers is a must read.
In the "where is it going" section it says :
"The introduction of the iPad might signal another tangent for e-readers...these trends could result in an all-purpose device capable of containing all of a student's texts and course materials, providing notification of campus emergencies or weather alerts, and allowing access to academic applications such as backchannel tools or remote lectures."

The Device versus the Books on Campus Technology tells of 3 instututions in the USA which have trialled e-book readers.

Reading for learning is not the same activity as reading for pleasure, and so the question must be asked: Do these devices designed for the consumer book market match up against the rigors of academic reading?

Campus Technology recently spoke with three universities that conducted e-reader pilots on their campuses to address that question. Northwest Missouri State University tested the Sony Reader PRS-505 during the 2008-2009 school year, while Princeton University (NJ) and Arizona State University are participating in a pilot of the Kindle DX with five other universities over the course of the 2009-2010 school year.

This is the student comment which sticks with me :

“This is the future, but we’re not quite there yet.”

So, what is the ideal e-reader for students? Northwest Missouri’s Rickman sees the assimilation of e-readers into the academic setting as a merger process, with notebook computers becoming friendlier for reading books and textbooks while e-readers incorporate more of a computer’s capabilities—and he thinks Apple’s iPad will be the device that sets off this process. “The iPad is the beginning of this merger,” Rickman states. “It will be interesting to see what the feedback is. If it doesn’t provide that interface to the rest of the arch—the course syllabus, the course management system, the online library—then I think most students will continue using their notebook computers as e-readers.”

Pic is of the Queen's Drawing Room on the yacht Britannia which is docked at Leith. Rather a surreal choice for this post because I can't imagine the Queen with an e-reader...

Information Literacy 2.0

It has been great to read posts on Miss Sophie Mac blog in which she says
"In general the debate seems to be divided over how we can use web 2.0 to enhance our IL instruction delivery versus how we can do that and also teach how to use web.2.0 to effectively organise, evaluate, create and reuse information. Quite different perspectives. In case you can't tell I'm for the latter. "
I guess that in the book we emphasised how 2.0 tools could be used to enhance our IL delivery. It has always been important to encourage the students themselves to use the tools to help them become more information literate.

Plagiarism video

Here is an amazing Norwegian video about plagiarism. I must think how to use it with my students.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Kids more likely to own a phone than a book

Fast on the heels of the last post : here is another shocker (to some) : that children in the UK are more likely to own a phone than a book!
Findings from National Literacy Trust research published on 2 June 2010 revealed that 86% of young people in the UK owned a mobile phone, while only 73% had books of their own. The study of over 17,000 young people revealed a strong link between both young people’s reading ability and access to books at home.
A thoughtful post by Chris Cameron on ReadWriteWeb suggests this mobile ubiquity need not be connected to any declin ein children's reading abilities. In fact mobiles give new opportunities for giving children access to content.

Is the Internet making us dumber?

Matthew Ingram in Gigacom gave an interesting post "In the Internet making us dumber?" Guess we've all heard this before, and it's pertinent to this blog, because if we are using Web 2.0 tools we may be adding to this reliance on the Internet...
Matthew Ingram begins :
"Is the internet making us smarter or dumber? The Wall Street Journal put together a couple of provocative essays this weekend looking at that question: one from Nick Carr, whose most recent book The Shallows argues that the internet is making us less attentive and in general less intelligent, and the other from Clay Shirky, whose latest book Cognitive Surplus argues that the internet is on balance a good thing for both individuals and society."

From the debate on the post it seems to be a matter of which you think is the more significant :
The decline in the people's ability to reflect.
The collisions and connections in ideas made possible by the interent.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tools for helping your students choose their topic

By a roundabout route I have come across this useful collection of free web tools from University of Mississippi Library which could be used by us in teaching students how to choose their topic. One of the must cover elements of my teaching (facilitating student learning, sorry!) is use of keywords - defining what it is that is being researched.

The Google Wonder Wheel is one that I should have known about before. Recommend you try this. It's not infallible in the links it makes, but it's easy enough to find and may engage our users - the ones that think visually, that is!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Library of the Future in Plain English

Here is great trigger video to help discussions about the changing library : from University of Technology, Sydney. It's complete with the usual Plain English "boos" when there's some out of date technique mentioned...

Social Media Revolution

If you ever need a quick punchy video to demonstrate the kind of world we live in, then this could be your answer. Particularly good for business and media students.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Netvibes dashboards are great!

Every now and again I come across something online that changes my life! Tweetdeck was the last one that I remember immediately. Now it's Netvibes.
Thanks to Phil Bradley's Weblog I was reminded to take a look at Netvibes again. See his post here. It makes the creation of a collection of RSS feeds so easy! Just put in your subject and it creates a page of feeds and you can then add your own selected ones! Brilliant!This will be really useful for setting up pages of resource feeds on subjects for staff and students.
I've always used PageFlakes for my home page : guess I should change to Netvibes.

LRC induction using iPod Touch and quizzes

Ashton Sixth Form College made this little video of their LRC induction with a group of sixth formers. Instead of the usual tour or talk, they used iPod Touch with quizzes.

It can be viewed via this link.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Library students' posters in Second Life

There is a poster display from library students at the University of Hawaii, in Second Life, until 29th April. "The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Student Chapter of the Special Libraries Association and American Society of Information Science & Technology and the Second Life LIS Student Union group invite you to the LIS Students in Second Life Poster Conference, Spring 2010." There is a pdf about the event at http://slpostercon.wordpress.com/poster-program/ and you can go directly to the poster display (if you have a SL avatar and the SL browser) at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Info%20Island/45/200/33

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Mobile Literacy at Computers in Libraries

Another Prezi presentation ! Mobile Literacy : competencies for mobile tech, by Joe Murphy, Yale Science Libraries. I heard him speak in an online Mobile conference last year. These are his latest thoughts on how mobiles are affecting our services.

Virtual Libraries month in Second Life

April 15 to May 15 is Virtual Libraries Month in the virtual world, Second Life. There are two key sites in SL
1)Information on Community Virtual Library activities (a Second Life international "ask a librarian" service and more e.g. they mount exhibitions and events)

2)A sampling of other libraries in Second Life (this is an Italianate garden with posters with links to a sample of Second Life libraries)
To go to these locations you need a Second Life avatar and the SL browser on your computer.

Reading and Writing the Wotrld : School Libraries as sponsors of Transliteracy

Here is another presentation from Computers inLibraries 2010. This time by Buffy Hamilton, whose work I have come across and applauded before. She says :

In this brief talk at Computers in Libraries (CIL) 2010 on Monday, April 12 2010 she discusses how librarians can use the frameworks of participatory librarianship and sponsors of literacy to conceptualize the ways we can integrate transliteracy seamlessly into our library programs.

I must admit being sceptical of another attempt at solving the tangle of literacies and would the idea of transliteracy be helpful? The first few slides included the idea of sponsors of literacy are the delivery systems for the economies of literacies. (?) But it's a really good slide show with some great images and begins with the work of Deborah Brandt defining literacy as a "valuable - and volatile property"which can potentially help individuals gain "power or pleasure,[accrue] information, civil rights, education, spirituality, status (and) money." Schools and libraries have a key role "inviting critical and active uses of media that strenthen democratic potential." Goes on to define transliteracy as "the ability to read and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, tv, radio and film, to digital social networks". As sponsors of transliteracy libraries can close the participation gap. Hey I wish I had been at that presentation. This begins to make sense. This is certainly the most interesting take on literacies I've yet seen and all school librarians should take a look - this may be a real way forward but I still worry about labels like "transliteracy". Does it sound tendentious?

More about Prezi and LibGuides

By pure chance just after doing the last post I have just received a Googlemail Alert about LibGuides : Web tools to enhance Information Fluency. This was a presentation using Prezi just given 12 April at Computers in Libraries 2010 by Diane L. Schrecker of Ashland University Library! Wish my Library used LibGuides.

Google Search Tricks and more

I'm always on the look out for ways of helping students to get the best out of Google. I came across this rather whizzy tool by Tony Vincent using software called Prezi. I like it.

Is Wikipedia a valid source?

University of Wolverhampton held a poll about this question. See here

With 1108 votes cast, the results were:

  • Yes: 45%
  • No: 55%
Interesting! And there's a good post from Chris Lambert, Helen Curtis, and Tom Hicks the Academic Liaison Team, from Learning and Information Services.

Monday, 12 April 2010

LILAC Conference 2010 : discussion in Second Life

Jo Parker, my co-editor has just passed this through to me :

I went to Sheila Webber's InfoLit School SecondLife session yesterday
where a few of us gathered to talk about the recent LILAC conference,
the main UK conference on IL, held in Ireland last month. Sheila
(Sheila Yoshikawa in SL) introduced our speakers, 'Pancha Enzyme' and
'Ishbel Hartmann', and with a mix of text chat and voice they
presented some of the highlights from the conference, including an
overview of the pecha kucha technique (20 powerpoint slides of 20
seconds duration each ‑ no mean feat; we agreed that it would be
useful for getting a powerful message across though less good for
audience participation); Geoff Walton's work 'demolishing' the Sconul
7 pillars model of IL; and a research project (Stephanie Rosenblatt)
looking at the impact of IL interventions on the quality of student
bibliographies. The work being undertaken in Newcastle's public
libraries was also mentioned (I remember the tweets about this at the
time, people were very excited), along with Edinburgh's support for
students in SL (via the 'IS cream van'), and the use of QR codes on
mobiles phones to support IL.

The session lasted about an hour and I took away lots of new and
useful stuff to follow up. Sheila provided SL 'notecards' with the
links, and also a very fetching LILAC t shirt for our avatars to wear!
When we did a quick check, there were participants from the US,
Australia and the UK ‑ so if you get the timing right, you probably
get as good a spread of people as you would at a f2f conference.
Sheila usually makes a transcript of the events available, so look out
for that.

The next session is in a couple of weeks, when John Kirriemuir, who
wrote the gaming chapter in the book, will be talking about SL in
I am not a regular visitor to SL (I haven't entirely mastered sitting
down, and 'flying' successfully is completely beyond me!) but there is
something strangely compelling about the environment. I'm 'Isla
Darwinian', by the way, in SL, so do introduce yourself if we bump
into each other!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Information Literacy - where next?

Came across a paper by Dr. Stephen Thornton, from the School of European Studies at University of Cardiff. It is good to read a supportive article about IL by an academic! It draws upon some of the recent research (CIBER report; Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World (2009), by the Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience chaired by Sir David Melville; Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age (2009) by Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg of the Information School at the University of Washington and Andrew Whitworth Information Obesity. Chandos).

He concludes :
"So, where next for information literacy, at least in the world of higher education? All
the work highlighted in this paper does suggest that there is a growing problem about
the superabundance of information in society and that we, in HEIs and beyond, are
struggling to come to terms with it. Some, like Andrew Whitworth, see the danger as
one that threatens the very health of society: like Morgan Spurlock’s liver in the film
Supersize Me, over-consumption is threatening to turn our critical faculties into pâté.
Information literacy is generally perceived as offering some salvation, but there are
major problems with this concept that are getting in the way of its saving of the world.
As was evident in the Melville report, there seems to be uncertainty about the very
nature of the concept: whether it is a simple competence-based frame, or something
grander. An increasing sense of ‘conceptual stretching’ is being generated, and there
does appear to be a disconnect between what experts, such as Whitworth, mean by the
term, and how it is perceived by the wider world. Here it is more likely to be identified as a few lessons taken by a librarian as part of a – probably rather dull – research skills module, rather than as a vehicle of empowerment and political liberation. Tackling this identity crisis is the necessary next step for supporters of information literacy."

So let's go out and tackle this identity crisis, but how??

Social media best practices for libraries

This is a bit beyond the scope of this blog, but for those of us who use Web 2.o for promotion - this list by Kasia Grabowska which was reposted by Michael Stephens on Tame the Web is useful to check out. So if you're monitoring your brand take a look here.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Information Source Evaluation Matrix

The new SCONUL Focus contains an article written by Mike Leigh and colleagues at DMU on the Information Source Evaluation Matrix, which they are using to enable students to assess information sources. Please send any feedback to Kaye Towlson (kbt@dmu.ac.uk).

Towlson, Kaye, Leigh, Mike and Mathers, Lucy (2009) The Information Source Evaluation Matrix, a quick, easy and transferable content evaluation tool, SCONUL Focus (47) p15 - 18

The Information Source Evaluation Matrix (ISEM) was developed by Leigh, Mathers and Towlson (2009) as part of a Research Informed Teaching Award funded project at De Montfort University. It is a quick, easy to use, information evaluation tool which identifies common criteria used in the evaluation of information sources. It provides a range of descriptors allocated to each evaluation criterion to allow a weighting to be allocated to a source within the context of a given task. This generates an overall score which gives a strong indication of the value of the source to the students’ work. This article provides background to its development and purpose, plus a copy of the matrix.

Online at http://www.sconul.ac.uk/publications/newsletter/47/5.pdf

At first sight this looks a very useful tool and its use would force students to apply all the criteria concerned in evaluating a website or any material.

There is also a copy of the matrix on the DMU site here.

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Future of Publishing

Came across this really clever little video : its about what the Web Genaeration may or may not think about published stuff. Originally done for internal use by Dorling Kindersley Books. Glad they have shared it because it's a good conversation trigger.

Times are a changin' at Wikipedia

According to a post today on ReadWriteWeb some major changes are on the way at Wikipedia.The aim will be to make editing simpler. Will this encourage more to participate? Just about every student group I see I ask how many of them have done or edited a Wikipedia site and the result is always only 1 or 2. Wikipedia is often quoted as the example of the wisdom of the crowd, etc. The truth is that 50% of the edits are done by 1% of the users.
The new design can be expected 5 April with further changes later.
The article in ReadWriteWeb asks : is it too late? Have people given upon it?

I think not, but it is up to all of us involved in eduction (and especially libraries) to encourage everyone to edit. We all know something unique : it's just that we lack the confidence and initiative to go online to share it! Also it's a telling experience to write a Wikipedia site : where will you get your information? Where will you check it? It's a pity that some of the academics critical of Wikipedia had not got their students to write a Wikipedia site as a learning exercise!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy

I came across this preprint for College and Research Journal, by Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson.

The abstract said :

"Social media environments and online communities are innovative collaborative technologies that challenge traditional definitions of information literacy. Metaliteracy is an overarching and self-referential framework that integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types. This redefinition of information literacy expands the scope of generally understood information competencies and places a particular emphasis on producing and sharing information in participatory digital environments."

This proves to be a critically important article for taking the content of our book further.

They argue that social media (Web 2.0 tools like Facebook, Twitter, Delicious etc.) environments are transient, requiring comprehensive understanding of information in order to critically evaluate, share and produce content in various forms. Various iteracies such as digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, transliteracy and IT fluency have arisen to respond to this challenge.They prefer the development of a metaliteracy, within which information litracy plays a central part. They feel "Information literacy is more significant now than it ever was, but it must be connected to related literacy types that address ongoing shifts in technology,"
"Through this overarching approach to information literacy, we examine the term within a new media environment. Metaliteracy promotes critical thinking and collaboration in a digital age, providing a comprehensive framework to effectively participate in social media and online communities. It is a unified construct that supports the acquisition, production, and sharing of knowledge in collaborative online communities. Metaliteracy expands upon the traditional skills-based approach to understanding information as somehow disconnected from emerging technologies and related literacy types. Standard definitions of information literacy are insufficient for the revolutionary social technologies currently prevalent online."

There follows an excellent summary of the prevailing literacy frameworks : Informatin Literacy, Media literacy,Visual literacy, Cyberliteracy, Information fluency. These literacies were being challenged by the need to cover active individual creation and distribution. A further examination of literature in this area includes articles by Kimmo Tuominen where she suggests Web 2.0 technologies have led to an "erosion of information contexts" : a point I have made several times.

In developing the idea of an overarching metaliteracy the authors want to see a change from seeing IL as primarily skills-based toward collaborative production and sharing of information using interactive technologies. The discussion of metaliteracy in practice which follows is a very thoughtful analysis of the challenge of using social media. However, despite agreeing with so much of it I remain in doubt about the wisdom of creating another new term. The purpose would seem to be to ensure understanding of how content is developede and distributed in the various online environments. I would maintain that exisiting frameworks like the SCONUL 7 Pillars can already accommodate this changes and that the importance of certain pillars has shifted over the past 5 years : for example the type of information carriers in pillar 2 to include participatory envioronments like blogs, wikis etc. and the increasing importance of pillar 5 to compare and evalute material from a variety of sources and media.
My other problem with the concept of metaliteracy is that it is even less attractive as a term than Information Literacy. We want to engage our users, the public, the politicans (even) but how would they like metaliteracy?