My quest continues. I didn't think it was all the way back in January that I last posted about this dream, but it was! Postifier is a little gizmo intended to be put inside a mailbox that will alert you when there's actually something placed inside:
The device lives on the inner roof of your postbox, attached with adhesive. It has a sensor that detects changes in infrared light when new mail arrives. When it detects mail, it activates the Bluetooth module and waits for the Postifier/smartphone reunion, at which point it will connect with your paired device and tell you the news.
So it's not quite the reporting structure I imagine, but the technology would be perfect to detect whether there's a pair of legs under a given study table, no?
Postifier doesn't actually exist yet, as it's looking for funding on Indiegogo. Waffling about whether to throw in some money just for testing. At $20-$25 each, it's still not an economical way to cover a couple hundred seats :-(
I should also point out this project at Oregon State that Cathrine linked to in the comments of my earlier post: http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/projects/44x201213. Can anyone tell if these design files are enough to manufacture? I had been in touch with the students involved in the project, but haven't heard anything from them lately...
Oh, and there's this too: Wimoto.
Just wanted to draw your attention to a great article I finally got around to reading: How Users Search the Library from a Single Search Box, May 2013 College & Research Libraries, vol. 74 no. 3 227-241. It's the story of how the search box at NCSU Libraries was developed, and word for word it pretty much mirrors why and how we built ours here at the U of Calgary.
I received the following via email:
The Journal of Library and Information Service in Distance Learning, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor & Francis, welcomes the submission of manuscripts.
The journal is devoted to the issues and concerns of librarians and information specialists involved with distance education and delivering library resources and services to this growing community of students.
Topics can include but are not limited to:
If you are interested in submitting an article, this journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts (previously Manuscript Central) to peer review manuscript submissions. Please read the “Guide for ScholarOne Authors” before making a submission.
Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided at http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=journal&issn=1533-290X.
The Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning receives all manuscript submissions electronically via their ScholarOne Manuscripts website.
Inquiries and questions are welcome and can be sent directly to the editor, Jodi Poe, at email@example.com.
Please note: We accept manuscript submissions through the year; however, the deadline to have your article appear in our next issue, if accepted, is August 1, 2013. Accepted and approved manuscripts received after this date have no guarantee of being included in the next published issue.
Oh wow, this might actually be a real game-changer. Clippick is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) tool / app that does one thing only: you copy something on one device, and then the next time you hit Paste on any of your other devices, whatever you copied on the first device ends up there. In my very limited testing so far, text and URLs are available to paste almost instantly. Haven't tried yet with images.
I distinctly remember sitting next to a student while helping him work through a search back in, probably 1995 or 1996 - it was when I was working at Nova Southeastern University. We were running the same search on computers next to each other, and I had found something with a long URL that I wanted to share. I thought, "self, wouldn't it be cool if there was some way I could just copy this URL and have it appear on his screen?". THIS is that tool!
As it's currently configured, you couldn't just install this on all the machines in your reference area 'cause people would be pasting other people's peanut butter all over their chocolate. But if this could be configured with multiple accounts, or some sort of trigger that support staff could flip when desired, this tool could come in play as necessary.
Check out the intro video - There's no specific iPad app, but you can install the iPhone app there and it works just fine.
As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the CBC, Edwin Mellen Press has dropped ONE lawsuit; the one that names both Dale Askey and McMaster University, but according to an email sent to the ARL board of directors by Vivian Lewis, Acting University Librarian at McMaster, EMP has NOT dropped the original suit against Dale personally! This is mentioned in passing in an update to the Chronicle piece as well, though seems to be glossed over in favour of the good news for McMaster University :-/
Notice that in their press release, EMP says they're dropping one of the lawsuits not because they were in the wrong, but because "The financial pressure of the social media campaign and pressure on authors is severe. EMP is a small company. Therefore must choose to focus its resources on its business and serving its authors. Accordingly, EMP has discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey."
Oh, and I find it hilarious that EMP opens their press release by stomping their foot and crossing their arms in a huff, "The Edwin Mellen Press (“EMP”) is a scholarly publisher. This has been confirmed in a recent Open Letter to the Scholarly Community posted on the web by the Association of Canadian University Presses." (emphasis mine).
Keep up the pressure all - Dale's not out of the woods yet!
Just a quick post to point to Publisher hits new low: Suing librarian for criticizing their books, John DuPuis' comprehensive and always updated timeline of events / statements of support for Askey / condemnation for EMP. I won't mention the situation again until something breaks...
As reported on the Princeton Academic Librarian blog, and by Inside Higher Ed, Edwin Mellen Press has filed a lawsuit against McMaster University librarian Dale Askey, for a post Dale wrote on his personal blog while he worked at Kansas State University. That post, critical of Edwin Mellen Press, has since been taken down, but there's a link to the legal documents which contain a copy at the top of the Academic Librarian post.
What a shameful approach to a critical review. Shame on you Edwin Mellen. The Inside Higher Ed blog notes that Dale is currently paying legal fees out of his own pocket. Dale, please don't give up your defense - I'm off to research how best to take up a collection in your support, but I'd love to be able to simply hold it in escrow so donations can be returned when McMaster or KSU step up, as they should.
Do any of you readers know of such a service?
Collaborating for Learning Conference
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
May 15 and 16, 2013
Call for Proposals
The University of Calgary invites you to present at its “Collaborating for Learning Conference”, May 15 and 16, 2013. Proposals are welcomed until March 1, 2013.
In learning and in life, collaboration is often central to achieving the results we seek. When we reflect on our most satisfying and successful learning experiences, they frequently involve collaborations among and between students, professors, or people who support our learning or who have provided us with opportunities to learn by working on projects with them.
Collaboration can take many forms. Plank (2011) speaks of how team teaching can create a learning environment where it is safe for students to confront intimidating subjects or challenging topics. She sees it as a way to move “beyond the familiar and predictable and create an environment of uncertainty, dialogue and discovery. And that is what learning is all about.” More broadly, Handelsman and colleagues (2007) observe that “biological educators … place high value on the collaborative nature of active learning strategies because they believe it plays a significant role in fostering the “spirit of science” among the students.” Perhaps at the heart of understanding why collaboration can have such a strong impact on learning across disciplines lies in a fundamental shift in helping students develop not only as critical consumers of knowledge, but in becoming producers of knowledge though authentic inquiry and problem solving (Healy & Jenkins, 2009). In this more complex learning task, diverse forms of collaboration enrich the deep learning experiences that prepare students to participate fully in work and in life.
Collaborating for Learning will focus on the many ways faculty, students and disciplines collaborate to produce the meaningful learning we strive to foster in our students. The conference will live up to its name, and provide opportunity for learning together in ways that allow us to enhance our practice, grow our research on how students learn, and build our community. It is a collaborative event where faculty, graduate students, post doctoral students, librarians, student services professionals and students are invited to discuss their insights, experiences and related research. Some of the themes for consideration include collaboration inside the classroom, outside the classroom, collaboration among the disciplines and collaboration in inquiry.
Keynote Speaker: We are fortunate to have Dr. Gary Poole, the Associate Director of the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Senior Scholar in the Centre for Health Education Scholarship at the University of British Columbia, as our guest speaker.
Submitting a Proposal: Proposals are welcomed until March 1, 2013. Further information, a detailed list of theme-related questions, and the proposal submission form can be found at http://tlc.ucalgary.ca/cflearn/
Questions? Feel free to contact us through the conference website at http://tlc.ucalgary.ca/cflearn/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to receiving your proposal and welcoming you to the University of Calgary and our city.
You might also want to book a few extra days while you are here and explore the city or take a trip to beautiful Rockies.
Rosalie Pedersen, Interim Director,
Teaching and Learning Centre
University of Calgary
We've got the whole workstation availability thing licked, but I want to be able to show our users which study seats are available here in the TFDL. That's one of the top two most common complaints here; that students spend too much time wandering around looking for a place to sit/study.
Here's my stream of consciousness on the issue. The solution can't be built in to the chairs, because those can move from table to cubicle etc. I think the most accurate bet is going to be a small proximity or motion detection device at every single table top, either above (subject to being blocked by study materials) or below (subject to confusion by a pushed-in chair?). The problem with that solution is cost and infrastructure. Unless very efficient, each unit would require electricity and a wifi transmitter. Building or buying and maintaining several hundred small Arduino-like devices seems too cumbersome and expensive.
Some other ideas I've come up with, or that have been suggested by colleagues, include cameras that can monitor a large space and tell which spots have bodies sitting at them. Possibly IR cameras? Tracking the number of active wifi connections on a floor, or around a particular antenna, and then guestimating that there must be a certain number of available seats, though not able to pinpoint them on a map.
Are you aware of any solutions out there already?
We're within a week of Halloween, so the zombie references are popping out of the woodwork.
First up, CommonCraft has updated their previous video, Zombies Explained:
Next, from the Zombie Research Society, we have a scientific look at what might be going on in a zombie's brain to make it a zombie:
Zombies seem to be important at the University of Calgary. From last year, here's a game called Nurses against Zombieism (back story), and here's a case study called Zombie Attack! An Introduction to Quantitative Modeling.
Stay safe out there!
On May 7-9, 2012 the University of Calgary hosted the 6th Canadian Learning Commons Conference. The theme of the conference was New Media, New Fluencies and Life Skills Development: Preparing Learners for the 21st Century.
The proceedings for that conference have now been posted in the UofC Institutional Repository. Enjoy!