Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekly reader

The Future of Higher Education
"A majority of technology stakeholders polled in a Web-based survey anticipate that higher education in 2020 will be quite different from the way it is today. They said university-level education will adopt new methods of teaching and certification driven by opportunity, economic concerns and student and parent demands." -- Janna Anderson, Jan Lauren Boyles and Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 7/27/12

Professional Digital Practice in Academia: From Online Networking to Building Apps
"In my previous post, I explained the concept of digital sociology and presented four aspects I considered integral to this sub-discipline: professional digital practice, sociological analyses of digital use, digital data analysis and critical digital sociology. In this post I focus on professional digital practice, or using digital media tools for professional purposes: to build networks, facilitate public engagement, receive feedback, establish an e-profile, curate and share content and instruct students." -- Deborah Lupton, Impact of Social Sciences, 7/24/12

Dropping Out of MOOCs: Is it Really Okay
"I’m starting to get more than a little grumpy about MOOCs, what with all the hype about the revolutionary disruptions and game-changing tsunamis. I’m tired of the mainstream media punditry and their predictions that Stanford University’s experiments with online education (and by extension Coursera and Udacity) will change everything; I’m tired of Silicon Valley’s exuberance that this could mark the end-of-the-(academic)-world-as-we-know-it – a future that its press, its investors, and its entrepreneurs are all invested (sometimes literally) in being both high tech and highly lucrative." -- Audrey Watters, Hack Higher Education, 7/23/12

The GoodReads Bullying Drama
"In case you wanted to take a break from libraryland drama but wanted some other kind of related drama to occupy the space, there are things afoot in and around the literary social community, GoodReads. There’s a lot to sift through (especially as someone who is not familiar with the site, its social dynamic, or posting policies), but in doing my research into the matter over the weekend I found what I considered to be the best summary of the current state of drama." -- Andy W, Agnostic Maybe, 7/22/12

Monday, July 23, 2012

Are you setting board covers on Pinterest?

When first working with Pinterest, I liked the idea of the most recent pin being the default board cover.  It was rather 'blog-esque;' but I admit being guilty of re-pinning to items to move them into a more prominent area. A few months later, Pinterest added the option of choosing your board cover (it can be easily changes). I was able to pick a favorite image to draw interest to any given board.  I've featured three boards for expanded interest, to encourage input from students; What we're reading will include additions by IRC student workers; Mock Caldecott Panels will be introduced this fall with invitations to participate in the conversation planned as part of the session; and Cumulative Tales will be used during a scavenger hunt and is already linked to a LibGuide.

I want the boards to be immediately recognizable, so I've been experimenting with creating and setting permanent "covers" for three boards. Using a combination of personal photographs of the IRC and library second floor, clip art students (signed releases are required for actual students), and word art, I developed a simple conversational board cover using PowerPoint and saved the slide as an image.  I'm satisfied with the results - and the combination of set covers verses newest image displayed covers. Time will tell if the students feel the same.  Is anyone else manipulating their board covers on Pinterest?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekly reader

Still Here
"Sometime last year, the New York Public Library (NYPL) retired its pneumatic-tube system, which had been used to request books for more than a century. This change was made without ceremony or fanfare; I learned of it unexpectedly, when I walked into the catalog room prepared to deliver a call slip to a clerk behind a large wooden desk, only to find a notice directing me elsewhere. For a few moments, I stood there, unmoored, before moving along as instructed. That pneumatic call system had changed little since the library’s open-ing in 1911." --Mark Lamster, Metropolis Magazine, 7/20/12

Opening Ceremonies
"A lot has changed since I first started working at the Little College on the Prairie. When I arrived, one of my first tasks was to explain to the community how to use the online catalog, which arrived a month or two before I did. Searching involved typing commands and search words into one of a handful of terminals that were surrounded by the card catalog that we weren’t quite ready to dispose of. A few years later, we were able to search for articles through those terminals with their beady yellow characters. The library filled with the chatter of dot matrix printers. We dabbled in CD-ROM-based databases until the Web became the standard means of delivery. It’s a long way from the days when the H. W. Wilson indexes and Psychological Abstracts filled the shelves near the reference desk." -- Barbara Fister, Library Babel Fish, 7/18/12
"For our public librarian colleagues it is a busy summer reading with and taking care of all the children out of school for the summer.  For us school librarian folks, summer can be an opportunity to re-charge through professional learning.  At my school district’s Summer Conference, one of our keynote speakers was Angela Maiers, @AngelaMaiers,  who passionately spoke about the power of social media in today’s world.  Because of a session with her, I was pecked by the Twitter bird, and have become an avid fan.  If you haven’t already been pecked, as literally millions have, maybe I can entice you to join the Twitter universe with some ideas and information I’ve learned from my favorite tweets and tweeters."-- Debra Marshall, ALSC Blog, 7/14/12

6 Ways to Drive More Pinterest Engagement
"Are you engaging your fans on Pinterest? Pinterest has been growing at an amazing pace. Recently, comScore reported that Pinterest grew by 4377% since May 2011. This is because people like to be engaged with images. The good thing about Pinterest is that every new post is an image around which a lot of engagement can be driven. So there’s great potential to drive a lot of engagement on this social media network." -- Mitt Ray, Social Media Examiner, 7/17/12

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

more with Pinterest

One of my newer LibGuides supports a freshman level phonics class. The professor developed an introductory scavenger hunt, highlighted with an embedded Glog in the LibGuide, which requires her students to visit the library, become familiar with the IRC physical space and collections as well as online resources.  During the term, an assignment activity requires students to locate pattern books, also known as cumulative tales, in the juvenile collection. Subsequently, the LibGuide includes a Pattern Book tab providing additional information (reference resources, catalog links, and samples). While revising the guide, I decided to develop a Cumulative Tales board on Pinterest; the board presents examples of cumulative tales currently in the juvenile collection.

I work primarily with Amazon and Barnes and Noble for pinning book covers as Pinterest does not recognize book cover images (size)in our library catalog. After pinning the image, I provide a catalog link in pin descriptions with the call number and book location. However, when electing to pin larger images, they were often watermarked with a copyright statement. Discussions with our campus copyright advisor helped me refine use of these resources with attribution. Changes to Pinterest over the last few months, including updated guidelines and a code snippet that protects images (users see "This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!").

An increasing number of sites are providing 'pin it' buttons with their share buttons (like LibGuides). Today when working with the Cumulative Tales board I noticed both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have added Pinterest to their share options for books.

Amazon's share button details book title and a persistent link in the pin description. If electing to not use their text, attribution is noted on the pin and the link directs users to the title. In my opinion, the best reason to use their pin button is the image promoted is NOT the 'click to look inside' image.

Barnes and Noble's share button works in a similar manner, I did note some of the older titles pinned smaller images with an abundance of white space around the image. There was not an option to select a different image on the page when using their 'pin it' button. In both instances, if using the Pinterest book-marklet, a number of book image options display. Pinterest continues to refine their product and it seems more sites are facilitating it as a 'share' choice along with Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New blogs to read

One of my every summer projects is working with the juvenile collection; shifting books in the stacks (because you never know what letter of the alphabet is going to need more room), adjusting shelves (because I'm shifting books in the stacks), cleaning shelves with disinfectant wipes (because you can only imagine), weeding books (is it historical or just old with outdated information), and contacting faculty with questions about titles in their subject areas, all made a bit more difficult because of the finite space (but, I digress). I am always satisfied when the job is complete and I can make new signs for the stacks. Finishing this job for another summer means the collection is ready for new books, of which selecting, purchasing, and reading is a great job perk. So, while in the weeding mode, it is time to review blog and news feeds in my reader.

I find it oddly easy to be complacent about outdated feeds, after all, I can simply mark them read and move on to the next entry. But there is the nagging feeling of wasted time and it bother's my happy librarian's soul to proverbially waste the space better suited for something else. I've gone through my reader and removed blogs that have not posted in the last six to eight months, have changed their locations and/or feeds, contain topics that are no longer of interest to me, or are duplicates of Twitter (feeds) and Facebook (likes) I'm also following. Now it is time to add new blog feeds to my reader, starting with library blogs. 

A good place to start for library blogs is  Salem Press Library Blog Center; they have several categories of library blogs detailed with short biographical blurbs about blog authors and contributors. For the last three years, Salem Press has sponsored the Library Blog Awards (and in all honesty, we see an increase in traffic during their voting) and I enjoy perusing their nominations and winners. I viewed the academic blog listquirky library blogs, and newly discovered blogs and chose to add these blogs to my reader (yes, the list is alphabetical).
As you are reading my list, feel free to add library and educational technology blog recommendations in the comments.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly reader

Do Librarians Need to Know Anything?
"A kind reader sent me this link to a blog post that’s mostly about the changing face of librarianship. It’s sort of about the Spectrum scholarship, the success of which is why the racial and gender makeup of librarianship has plummeted from its former 90% white women to the significantly more diverse 88% white women." --  Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal Blogs, 7/9/12

The Revolution: Top Ten Disruptors of Education
"New online learning models are bursting from startups and top universities, bridging the educational divide. We are in the midst of a revolution that will bring high-quality education to hundreds of millions of people who have never had access to this level of learning before. These tools will reach those in developing cities and countries but also foment a revolution in the U.S. classroom as they change our perception of what learning can be."-- Jack Hidary, Huffington Post Education, 7/6/12

How to Move Towards a System that Looks to 'Publish, Then Filter' Academic Work
"Every week there’s something new in the open access debate. A couple of weeks ago the Finch report concluded that all publicly-funded research should indeed be made available free online (hurray!). But it favoured the so-called ‘gold’ model of open access, in which the highly profitable academic journal industry carries on as normal, but switches its demand for big piles of cash away from library journal subscriptions and over to authors themselves – or their institutions (boo!). Campaigners such as Stevan Harnad questioned why the Finch committee had not favoured the ‘green’ model, where authors put copies of their articles in free-to-access online repositories – the answer being, it was assumed, a successful blitz of lobbying by the publishing industry."-- David Gauntlett, Impact of Social Sciences, 7/10/12

Innovation Advice Inspired by a Children's Magazine
"A seminal memory of childhood for many Americans of my age was the arrival of the magazine Highlights for Children every month. The magazine was chock full of goodness, but my favorite part was the Goofus & Gallant cartoon. For those who didn't have the pleasure of reading the magazine, the cartoon taught life lessons through contrasts. Not surprisingly, Gallant was always polite, did his chores, and thought things through, whereas Goofus wasn't polite, didn't do his chores, and definitely didn't think things through." -- Scott Anthony, HBR Blog Network, 7/3/12

Protect Yourself from the Newest Hacking of Pinterest Accounts
"It is unclear how hackers are getting access to Pinterest accounts, but in the last three days there has been a number of signs that hacking is again becoming a problem on Pinterest. --> Updated 7/9: Based on user experiences, if you have been hacked, the first thing you should do is change your Pinterest password. This worked for at least one of the Pinterest users who posted in our comments."-- Josh Davis, L.L. Social, 7/7/12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

LibGuides & Pinterest

When revisiting Pinterest a few weeks ago, I noted an academic library - Valencia College West - pinning selected LibGuides to their boards. Yesterday I spent a bit of time tweaking images pinned to the IRC & LibGuides board, in some cases adding QR codes to pages with limited pin-able images, to better reflect the content. What I did not notice until editing a guide this morning was that Springshare has added Pinterest  to the Bookmark & Share menu (see below).

When selected, the Pinterest icon provides users with images from the guide that are available to pin; even better, it's possible to pin the main LibGuide page and/or individual tabs/pages within guides. Yes, it is still possible to use an installed Pin it button, but if students are using a lab or classroom computer (sans Pinterest) they may not be able to install to their browser. LibGuides facilitates Pinterest use immediately; students can pin after instruction sessions, directly from LMS embedded course guides, and while perusing the library's LibGuide collection.

Kudos to Springshare, they consistently keep LibGuides up-to-date for librarians and users.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Screencast-O-Matic, now downloadable

Creating tutorials for a library module in a new online education course (very exciting) last month, I noticed Screencast-O-Matic is now downloadable for Windows PCs!  The Screencast-O-Matic download page provides general information, with accompanying screencast. The screencast, embedded below, details pro account login. Keep in mind, a pro account is not required to download and use the free version with the same usage stipulations as the online free version (length, editing, and watermark).

I downloaded Screencast-O-Matic to my work (Windows 7) and home (XP and Vista) computers. After successful installation, it is quick and simple, pin it to your start menu or create a shortcut on the desktop. Here's what I discovered:
  • Each time it's accessed, you are prompted to Enable Pro Features. Upgrade options detailed in the video are not part of the free download.
  • It is possible to continue using use the free version.
  • It tooks seconds to open the recording pane/screen, there was little time needed for the java to load.
  • Functions available are the same as the web version; record, adjust the microphone (or mute), select screen size, enable web cam, and close.
  • Finished screencasts may be uploaded to Screencast-O-Matic, published to existing YouTube accounts, or saved MP4 to your system.
Overall, it's the same great free product on my desktop that it is on the Screencast-O-Matic web site. I'm experiencing a bit of a conundrum; the beauty of using Screencast-O-Matic is I do not have to download anything to my computer to create screencasts. However, now I have viable options online and on my computer.

Now, if only I could use it on my iphone.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Weekly Reader

On Creating Joy at Work
"When was the last time you were overjoyed by an inspired act or outcome at work? For too many managers, the very thought of joy at work is laughable. For employees? It’s not only laughable, but a notion left for dreamers — certainly no place for it in the cubicle nation." -- Shawn Murphy, Smart Blog on Leadership, 7/5-12

Where Wal-Mart Departs, A Library Succeeds
"A vast building in McAllen, Texas, was once home to a Wal-Mart -- but no longer. When the discount superstore moved to a larger location, it left behind a vast empty building. The community took advantage of the space and converted the warehouse-like building into a public library." -- Carolyn Kellogg, Jacket Copy, 7/3/12

Copyright for Librarians and Teachers in a Nutshell
"You may have wondered whether you hold the copyright to work you’ve put many hours into creating on the job. Who holds the copyright to works created by teachers or librarians? Short answer: In general, when employees create works as a condition of employment, the copyright holder is the employer." -- Carrie Russell, American Libraries Magazine, 7/2/12

QR Codes, Don't Believe the Hype
"Growing up it was Pokemon cards, in my early teens it was the constant use of MySpace and now, the latest trend to be hyped into oblivion, is QR codes. QR codes or quick response codes are the square barcodes that can be read by QR code scanners and smart phone cameras. They have been plastered on everything from billboards and magazines to business cards and t-shirts." -- Matt Thomas, Social Media Today, 7/5/12

Pinterest Provides Attribution for Pinned Sites
"Did you recently view an online Pinterest that really caught your attention? Well now, you don’t have to hunt through the web to find out more information about the product. Pinterest is now giving users access to online information about their product, by adding permanent links on pins from sites like Flickr, YouTube, Behance, and Vimeo. And in doing so, they are giving credit to companies that were blindsided by their products being mass-promoted on its site." -- Jessica Passman Daily Deal Media, 7/2/12