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.