Thursday, May 26, 2011

2 Week-ly reader

WiFi Attendance
"With British students expected to become increasingly consumerist after the hike in tuition fees, universities may start to view campus Wi-Fi as a strong selling point. But plans at De Montfort University may give students pause for thought about the virtues of an ever-present Internet connection: the institution is considering using its network to monitor attendance via electronic chips in students' ID cards." -- John Morgan, Times Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed News, 5/26/11

Students Say Tablets Will Transform College, Though Most Don't Own Tablets
"More than two-thirds of a large group of college students say that tablet computers will change the way students learn, according to survey results released today. The Pearson Foundation sponsored the survey of 1,214 college students, as well as 200 high-school seniors who are heading to college, and found overwhelming interest in the devices." -- Josh Fischman, Wired Campus, 5/25/11

Thanks, YouTube Community, For Two Big Gifts on Our Sixth Birthday
"In May 2005, the YouTube founders launched, providing people with a platform to broadcast themselves to the world. Six years on, the world is watching and we wanted to say thank you to the YouTube community for a couple of amazing birthday presents." -- YouTube Team, YouTube Blog, 5/22/11

Academic Crimes and Punishments
"Everyone hates cheaters, right? I certainly do … well, actually, the truth is that what I really hate is catching them. I wish the University of Washington were on an honor system, not so much because I believe in honor but because I don’t like catching crooks. Let me be clear: The awkward thing isn’t catching them, but rather figuring out what to do with them." -- David Barash, Brainstorm (The Chronicle), 5/18/11

Online Ed Trends at Community Colleges
"Community colleges reported a 9 percent increase in their distance education enrollments from fall 2009 to fall 2010, according to a national survey of two-year institutions released Tuesday by the Instructional Technology Council, an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. This increase is higher than the 7 percent increase in overall student enrollment in all of higher education and the 8 percent increase at community colleges during the same time period." -- David Moltz, Inside Higher Ed News, 5/18/11

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CMCIG Workshop 2011

Friday was the annual Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Curriculum Materials Center Interest Group (CMCIG) Spring workshop; this year our host was Stephanie Bange, Director of the Charles & Renate Frydman Educational Resource Center at Wright State University. Our workshop theme, "Local Resources and Collaborations," presented a wide-range of valuable resources to attendees.

The day began (after a continental breakfast) with a presentation and discussion of Audio Books led by Stephanie Bange, Wright State University's ERC director, workshop hostess, and member of the Odyssey Award committee. Next on our agenda was a tour of the Virginia Hamilton & Adoff Resource Center featuring an introduction by Dr. Dana Murray Patterson, Director of the Bolinga Black Cultural Center at Wright State University. We had opportunity to learn about resources housed in these centers and were granted access to explore the Virginia Hamilton collection.

The next presenter was Mary Anne Kirk, manager of the Educational Projects & Services, ThinkTV Network, Greater Dayton Public Television. Ms. Kirk highlighted local PBS resources available to educators, specifically those in Ohio. We ended the morning with a tour of the ERC, including the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center housed at Wright State.

A short road trip later, thanks to our proximity to Wright Patterson AFB and the National Museum of the United States Air Force, we enjoyed a picnic lunch followed by a docent led tour of the "Prejudice and Memory" exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force conducted by Renate Frydman, director of the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center.

Many thanks to our workshop host and current CMCIG chair, Stephanie Bange, for her efforts designing and presenting our spring workshop! Take a few minutes to watch the CMCIG 2011 Flickr slide show featuring workshop photos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Google URL Shortener

I was energized to attend the Ohio Google Apps Conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus on May 9th. There was an abundance of great sessions and an enthusiastic crowd of educators in attendance (registration was capped at 750). A technology friendly conference, every session - and corresponding room sign - had a QR code that led users to a web page with presenter information, handouts, and links. One frequently used tool in session handouts was Google's URL shortener, I have used Bitly on occasion, shortening and creating single URLs for link groups, but wondered what Google may have to offer in comparison.

It's possible to create the shortened URL without a Google account, but with sign-in user statistics are generated and displayed. The first thing I noticed using It creates a QR code along with the finished shortened URL. The QR code is small, conveniently located on the page, and easy to save as a png or bitmap file; having both available means I do not have to save the QR code image and URL separately for later use. However, there is an image clarity consequence for that convenience.

Creating slides in PowerPoint for the library's digital sign, I used the QR code generated by to feature more colorful QR codes for the library web site, IRC web site, and LibGuides. However, the image (QR code) became significantly pixilated and blurred when adjusted, regardless of if method used - copy and paste or save and insert - for placement in the PowerPoint slide. To get the results needed, I used the shortened shortened URL in conjunction with the Kaywa code generator (options for a small, medium, large or extra-large QR code) to create what I needed. For display purposes, the slide is saved as a .jpeg for compatibility with the signage system. It's necessary for the image to be clear on the original slide; it will be enlarged significantly on the flat screen.

I like the convenience of as a URL shortener, but will stick with the Kawya Code Generator when I need to create a QR code for publications and the web.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ACRL 2011: Videos!

From the ACRL Insider, two 2011 ACRL Philadelphia Conference videos - the Closing Ceremony Montage and the All-Conference Reception's "Faces of ACRL." See anyone you know? I do!

"Relive your ACRL 2011 experience, or see what you missed, in these videos that were shown at the conclusion on the conference in Philadelphia. And make sure to mark your calendar for ACRL 2013, to be held April 10-13, 2013, in Indianapolis!" -- David Free, ACRL Insider, 5/18/11

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Revisiting ACRL: To the Cloud!

I planned to 'live' blog during ACRL in Philadelphia, using Facebook and Twitter updates to keep track of sessions attended. I planned to upload session photos from my camera and iphone and publish wonderfully compelling blog narratives using the digital images and QR Codes saved to my RedLaser app. Both plans were stunningly simple, supported by technology, and made with the best of intentions.  Reality took a bite out of those plans when the end of the semester took center stage upon my return; I was oddly stunned to see as of today it has been five weeks since our Cyber Zed Shed presentation at ACRL 2011.

As mentioned here previously, To the Cloud: Exploring Tools to Enhance Teaching and Learning, focused on cloud applications we have successfully used within LibGuides and learning management systems. We used a LibGuide to present our session.  However, it was important the accompanying materials were presented so attendees understood they could be used in a LibGuide and LMS, as well as embedded in blogs, web sites, or information portals such as Netvibes.  We created 'mirror' sites to accompany our presentation, developing the presention on a Stark State College LibGuide and then duplicating it on a free Netvibes page.

Though initially concerned with presenting such an early session it was soon obvious CZS sessions continue to be popular, the room was full. We had a nice confidence boost before our presentation started when an attendee came up to our table, pointed to her highlighted program, and whispered "did we miss this session? It's why I came so early." It was exciting to see the session in question was ours and I was happy to reply, "No, we're next." She graciously wished us luck - and stopped us after the presentation with an additional question and business card request. Our time moved swiftly and soon there were questions to answer and it was time to move on to the next presenter. Several times that day we were stopped by attendees with comments and questions about the session, it was exciting to talk to so many interested (and interesting) people.

After the conference concluded, I read various online discussions (blogs, articles, etc.) regarding the location of Cyber Zed Shed sessions in Philadelphia - it was a large traditional room as opposed to the open area at previous conferences - and the possibility that it was a presentation format no longer in demand.  I will admit to missing the open area Cyber Zed Shed enjoyed in Seattle, it was a more informal location and provided opportunity for attendees to 'drop by' for a presentation or two. In Philadelphia the room doors remained open, there were tables with seating, electrical outlets for attendees needing to 're-charge,' and an assortment of pub-style tables were available for those passing through the sessions. If the number of attendees in sessions is any indication, the CZS has not lost any of its appeal.  These sessions remain a great resource for quick technology ideas. That said, I would recommend an effort be made to return it to a more informal venue for the next conference.