Here's an interesting infographic from Educause- 2012 Students and Technology (PDF).
So you may have noticed I haven't been blogging much over the past year or so. In part, this presentation explains why. At the University of Calgary we (not so) recently opened a new building, the Taylor Family Digital Library (aka TFDL). I was heavily involved not so much in choosing, but in implementing a fair amount of the technology we put in place in the building, which we wanted to be one of the most technologically advanced in North America, if not the entire world. Last week, my colleague Dr. John Brosz and I presented on the new building at Internet Librarian 2012 in Monterey. You can read Info Today's writeup of the presentation (with correct URL to virtual tour), and you can watch the presentation via slideshare below, or follow the link and download the presentation to enjoy offline.
I took the kids down to the East Village today for the inaugural Calgary Mini Maker Faire, and we all had a blast! I've been wanting to get involved somehow in the maker movement for quite some time, but never made the effort to get down to our local hacker lab, Protospace. That'll probably change if the kids have anything to say about it.
I was very impressed by the organization of the event. I was a little worried about running in to some anti-social nerds, but every single one of the tables we visited had a friendly, articulate, passionate person behind it. Nobody talked down to me or the kids, and they were all, without exception, eager to talk about their projects and answer as many questions as we had.
The thing that surprised me most was how much time my daughter spent with the "old-school" makers, learning to comb wool and spin it into yarn. I think I learned more from those ladies than I did from any of the more "traditional" robotics, 3D printing and electronics booths as well! At one table we were looking at silkworm cocoons and learning how silk is made from them. We had just been working with the wool, and I hadn't yet touched the silk, which from a few feet away kinda looked like the wool we'd just left. It wasn't until about 5 minutes in that it dawned on me that we weren't talking about some sort of silkworm wool, but frickin' silk! I know, I'm slow, but I'd never seen the stuff coming off a cocoon. Truly amazing.
Not to say we didn't learn a lot about 3D printers and robotics as well. My son picked up a Cybug Scarab (ooh, there's a website redesign contract I can suggest!), and I finally got an Arduino beginner's kit that I've long thought would be a good way to get started. My son and I sucessfully built the first blinky light experiment this evening :-) There were quite a few 3D printers going; I think another year or so and they'll be well under $1,000. I'd hoped to see an egg-bot in action, but no such luck.
Here are a couple more random pix:
Apparently this series of videos has been around for quite some time (the first released on YouTube in Feb 2011), but I hadn't seen them before a colleague forwarded a link yesterday. Some really interesting glimpses into the future of displays as envisioned by Corning Glass. The second and third videos simply expand upon the first, with the third giving some hints as to what's actually possible now, and what some of the speed bumps are for the technologies that aren't yet ready for prime time.
Educause has just released a new ebook called Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies, which you can download for free. I just ran a quick search through the 388-page PDF version and see that libraries are mentioned in a significant way about a half-dozen times, so you might find it worth your while to take a peek at least. Follow the link above to get to the table of contents as well; it's far too long to repost here! Here's the blurb from the site:
How can we reach more learners, more effectively, and with greater impact?
Education changes lives and societies, but can we sustain the current model? New models and new technologies allow us to rethink many of the premises of education—location and time, credits and credentials, knowledge creation and sharing.
Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies is a collection of chapters and case studies contributed by college and university presidents, provosts, faculty, and other stakeholders. Institutions are finding new ways of achieving higher education’s mission without being crippled by constraints or overpowered by greater expectations.
Find out who is changing the game and what we can learn from their different approaches in Game Changers.
Two big announcements from Techsmith last week. First Jing Pro is being retired. Looks like the free version will stick around, but in order to use the more advanced features offered by Pro you'll have to switch over to the latest version of Snagit, which now records video. The folks who've taken the time to comment don't seem pleased with the decision to retire Jing Pro, so we'll see what the next year brings; maybe Techsmith will reconsider.
The second piece of news was alluded to above: there's a new version of Snagit out for both Windows and Mac, and it sports a host of new features, including greatly-enhanced video recording. From the Techsmith blog post:
What's new in Snagit?
I use Snagit every day on my Windows machine, but almost never on my MacBook, opting instead for Skitch. I'll certainly give Snagit another go on the Mac though...
Well wouldn't you know it - just days after my last post lamenting the lack of options for capturing screencasts, a new tool called Reflector has been released that allows the iPad2 and iPhone4S to stream to any Mac running OSX Lion (pretty much just like airplay on AppleTV). It's $15 for a single-user license.
Over on Digital Inspiration, Amit does a nice job of wrapping up all your options to date, including examples of content produced via each method.
Stay tuned for some library-related iOS screencasts!
The OpenCourseWare Consortium announces the first annual Open Education Week from March 5-10, 2012. Open Education Week is a global event that seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of free and open sharing in education, especially Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are high-quality, free and open educational materials that offer opportunities for people anywhere in the world to share, use and reuse.
Open Education Week is being coordinated by the OpenCourseWare Consortium. The event will take place online and in different locations around the world, with opportunities to participate in webinars, discussions and live events. Projects and events will be featured from institutions and organizations from around the world, including: University of Cape Town, University of Michigan, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University of California, Irvine, Delft University of Technology, and Creative Commons. Participation is free and open to all. Visit www.openeducationweek.org for more information.
About The OpencCourseWare Consortium: The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) is a community of more than 250 universities and associated organizations worldwide. The mission of the OCWC and its member institutions is to advance formal and informal learning for educators and self-learners around the world through the sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials packaged as courses readily accessible on a digital platform. The Consortium showcases its members to a global audience and provides information and training through webinars, newsletters, and free and open materials. For more information, visit http://www.ocwconsortium.org.
In a nutshell, the NRC now has data from a week in Jan 2011, and a week in Jan 2012, so they're able to give us some information about book sales AND book circulations from Public Libraries in Canada, including both hard and e-copy. Some of the interesting numbers:
Check the full press release for further details.
Jason Griffey's currently Down Under, and last week he gave a plenary address at VALA2012 entitled Libraries & the Post-PC era. The whole address is available online, and it's a good use of an hour of your time.
When it started, I remembered a quote I'd heard a while back that if a keynote speaker said lots of things that were new to you, then you weren't reading enough, and for the most part I *had* heard what Jason was talking about. Where it got interesting to me was about halfway through when he started talking about gadgets, and some examples of just how connected our up-and-coming users really are.
I hadn't been paying close enough attention to notice that Jason's slides were all tricked out, but he just posted how he used Keynote to do this. "My goal with the presentation was to make it look and run like no other presentation that people had seen…I don’t think I got 100% of what I wanted to achieve, but I got about 75% of the way there, and definitely got the idea across."
Neat stuff, and good infomation!
Looking for somewhere to host your videos or screencasts besides YouTube? Hongkiat.com has a nice annotated list of 19 video hosting services for you to take a look at.
A preprint from College & Research Libraries is well worth your read, even if you're not a webmaster: How Users Search the Library from a Single Search Box (from NCSU, Cory Lown, Tito Sierra, and Josh Boyer)
Academic libraries are turning increasingly to unified search solutions to simplify search and discovery of library resources. Unfortunately, very little research has been published on library user search behavior in single search box environments. This study examines how users search a large public university library using a prominent, single search box on the library website. The article examines two semesters of real-world data, totaling nearly 1.4 million transactions. Findings include that unified library search is about more than the catalog and articles, though these predominate. Additionally, a small number of the most popular search queries accounts for a disproportionate amount of the overall queries. Also discussed are the merits of ongoing evaluation of library user search behavior.
(it's not nearly as long as you'd think upon initial download; the last half of the PDF are the images and a couple of pages of references)
A quick followup to my post earlier this month noting Sarah Houghton-Jan's (LiB) rant about Overdrive's different catalogues. TeleRead point out that OverDrive has in fact clarified their position, but without making any mention of Sarah's post, which is likely the cause of theirs. It'd be great to hear a debate between these two parties :-)
I actually don't follow any of these folks, but if you're looking to pick up some new feeds, this might be a good place to start! (none of them appear to be librarians)
Oh, and I'm trying to close browser tabs by the end of the year, so a few more posts to follow!