And the next big thing is …

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The rate of change we are seeing these days is similar to that seen in the industrial revolution. The changes are not just about how we use banking services or how we communicate with friends and employers. The changes affect fundamental aspects of our lives such as how we learn or how we are treated when we are ill. To be able to take advantage of these changes we have to be aware of what they are, so I thought I’d tell you about a few things I’ve been reading about.

I enjoyed reading this article that appeared in the Telegraph about how and why digital literacy is being (or is not being) embedded in UK compulsory schooling. Hearing about what some people, like Don Wettrick in the USA, (No 9 in the list) and the Play-i robots are doing in classes is really exciting. I do wonder just how many children get these sorts of opportunities, will it just be the lucky few?

Healthcare doesn’t miss out on all these new inventions either. Sandra Winkler, an occupational health researcher in Nova Southeastern University in Florida, has received a $1 million dollar grant to investigate the use of Second Lifeยฎ to support amputees in leading more functionally effective lives. In another instance of technology enhanced healthcare is an operation performed using Google Glass. Two surgeons, in hospitals more than two hours apart from each other, performed a shoulder replacement. This enables inexperienced surgeons to have the support of experts as if they were standing right next to them.

In academia we see yet more potential changes. This article is asking if Google Help with replace librarians?

For a few tips before I finish you might find these helpful. You can help keep yourself safe online by controlling who has access to where you are – this article tells you how to do that. Next, a list of apps you might find useful. Finally, a discussion from LSE on copyright, open access and moral rights.


What is this DL thing?

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I’m running a bit late today, I’ve been looking for natural science, science research bloggers. Yes I know they are few and far between but they are out there ๐Ÿ™‚ Now for something for the rest of us!

When people talk about DL it often seems that the most important topic is safety. I think safety is important but it is not the only thing we should be focusing on. This journal post from the “I need a library job” journal is about using LinkedIn to help you find a job. This is not an activity that should be left until the end of your degree to work upon!

Some people might think that this next subject is not about DL but DL is about being able to function in this new digital world we are in. Such things as digital Wearables are changing the way we live and work. We need to be aware of what is just around the corner. Watch the video and listen to what the people in the know have to say on the matter ๐Ÿ™‚

People often ask about how to write online. This post on the Langwitches blog will be really helpful if you have ever asked this question. If you want to you can download the info so you can go back and read it off-line too.

For those of you who might have a little time to spare there are two online courses you can follow to help improve your DL skills and knowledge. The courses are provided buy TechSets and start on July 8th this year.

Just to finish off I thought I’d also mention the Jisc Content site a resource for, “Digital collections and archives for learning, teaching and research”. Loads of interesting stuff here, take a look even if you don’t need something just at the moment. This is a really good site to put on your Bookmarks for Favourites.

The complex and the simple

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What do I have for you all today? To start with here is an article from the University of East Anglia (UEA) INTO Partnership. Tim Powell-Jones has introduced the use of iPads to the International Business Diploma programme, he is really pleased with the results. Have a read and see if you think iPads would be useful as part of your course.

Paul Williams suggested this next piece from the Guardian to me. I must admit that, like Paul, I get very frustrated by the whole ebook/ejournal divide and Digital Rights Management (DRM), there really should be a better way of dealing with ebooks by now. I’m not too sure that I agree with Jefferson Pooley that we should make everything into Portable Document Format (pdf) it’s really difficult to read. On a semi-serious note I don’t even agree with his statement that, “[M]odern academics don’t read supine, snacking on grapes”. I thought modern academics read anywhere. I suppose part of the problem with pdf is that publishers insist on using stupidly old-fashioned layouts and font-faces. With all the clever digital stuff we do now we really should have a better option. Wolfram brought out Computable Document Format (CDF) ages ago, why do we not see more of that for ebooks.

Now for something completely different ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a site from the Government of South Australia, it has loads of really useful stuff for those people who would like some basic questions answered. This link is to their information about Skype. Do take a look and encourage other people to make use of it too ๐Ÿ™‚

A new semester

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Here we are again at the start of a new semester – all keen to do our best with this new opportunity! Well aren’t you? I’m sitting in a very quiet Pear Tree (no I’m not passing myself of as a partridge!) thinking about all the fantastic stuff I’ve been reading about, which is nice. I’m also trying to sort out the plans I have for work in the coming nine months – which I’m trying to look at through squinted eyes in order not to frighten myself too much ๐Ÿ™‚ So let me see, what goodies am I going to bring to you today?

One thing I must remember is to draw your attention to our site. It’s mainly aimed at lecturers – which is fairly obvious ‘cos it’s called, Calling all lecturers. I put at least three new things on there most days, it covers all sorts of stuff to do with, social media, educational technology, pedagogy related to social media, modern technologies, so that means anything from supportive technologies to virtual worlds – go and have a look leave comments and make (polite) suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚

Just had a quick look at the Guardian Live Digita Literacy blog and the article. Go and put your own ideas and comments forward – go on – get involved:)

I rather like this post on the cogdogblog. Please read, inwardly digest then see what you come up with. Do we feel compelled make patterns where none exist or are there really patterns in everything around us? Let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

Ways of communicating

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I don’t know how much all of you are into metadata but I just had to bring you this smashing little video from some guys at Ghent University. These three guys make metadata sound really interesting (well of course it is).

Now this is one for our budding researchers doing their PhDs. I keep trying to convince them that they have to get out there and get their names and their research known. This short but sweet post is from the Mobilize this! blog which is, “A research impact blog from Canada’s knowledge mobilization network”. I just have one question – how on earth do you keep 70 people in a pub sober enough to have a discussion?!

Carrying on with our theme of Communication for this post. JISC fund lots of interesting things, some of the funding comes under the heading of Digitisation and Content. One of the things JISC funds, which comes under e-Content 2011, is the Cataloguing of Kays (Body Image in 100 Years of Kays Worcester) which has nurtured the World of Kays website in the bosom of the ILS family. Go and have your say on the Your stories page and upload a pic of your granny in her new frock ๐Ÿ™‚

You see my little chickadees you have to get out there and get noticed ๐Ÿ™‚

So much to say – so little time

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I had so much I wanted to say to you today! Let me see just how much I can fit in to the time allotted.

First of all here is the Creative Commons leaflet. It will come out in hardcopy eventually but everyone is a bit busy at the moment.

First little snippet is about Google searching. I like this video produced by Google – most importantly the part where the chap says Google does not search the whole of the web.

I like this site for researchers/PhD students Vitae. This particular post on the site, about making the most of your PhD in a recession, was very interesting.

Finally a little something for lecturers, librarians and everyone else – this article from The Chronicle on ebooks and how they are developing in academia. I’m rather disappointed that they are still talking about .pdf but then it’s all a move in the right direction.

More tomorrow folks ๐Ÿ™‚

Return of the blogger

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Hi everyone I have returned from my hols completely refreshed – I expect this feeling of wellbeing will have worn off by the end of the week so I won’t be blasting you with happiness for long ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I started my holiday I attended a really interesting conference at University College London (UCL) – The Fifth Bloomsbury Conference on e-Publishing and e-Publications. There was a great mix of people there, publishers, authors, academics, librarians, archivists, etc, and some fantastic speakers. I’m just going to pick out a few of the speakers as examples but I could have chosen any of them. The first person who comes to mind is Professor Dave De Roure from the Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford. Dave was talking about the online sharing of tools, data and methodologies. Do have a look at the Digital Social Research blog, the Digital Humanities @ Oxford site and the site. They are all sites about sharing data and workflows in the Humanities – shows you what can be done if we put our minds to it.

I’ve mentioned Mendeley before in a previous post but it is worth mentioning again. One of the speakers was Jason Hoyt who is Chief Scientist and Vice President of Research and Development at Mendeley. To describe the amount of documents they process Jason said that Mendeley processed the same number of documents in 24 months as Web of Knowledge did in 5 years. Mendeley now holds over 100 million documents and is the largest crowd-sourced database in the world. An excellent way to find, share and publish research papers.

That’s all for now I’ll write more about the conference tomorrow.

Preparing for annual leave

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Catching up on everything today. Trying to make it all shipshape before a have a little time off, which is why this blog is a little late going out.

Just as a parting shot before I go I thought I would leave you with this post from Scott’s eLearning Library. I think you should read Scott’s article (if you haven’t already) and his links to Karl Drinkwater’s post and SCONUL article. There’s plenty out there now telling us about how badly the traditional publishing services are doing but the academic world in the UK still seems to be trying to manage with paper based books. Please, please let me know if anyone knows if this isn’t true. Even our ebooks tend not to be produced on standard ebook platforms! This is a technology that is here to stay, I used to read quite a lot of paper-based books but since I downloaded Kindle to my iPad I have read far more books. As Scott says, with a leather cover on my iPad it is just like reading a good book – and I don’t get the eye-strain I used to either.

I’m not saying we should do away with books completely. I love old books – I love them because they were works of art, the covers are beautiful, the typeset is beautiful – let’s keep them as works of art, encourage people to create books from hand-made paper, and gold-leaf the lettering on the spine. Books and eReaders should be used for different purposes. I don’t know anyone who would rather lug round a great pile of books rather than an iPad. If lecturers could do their marking on an iPad instead of having to print everything off because the screens on laptops and desktops are so awful I’m sure they would choose to do so. And just think of all that re-shelving ebooks could save ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m away until 18th July so just keep talking between yourselves until I get back ๐Ÿ™‚

Picking through the pieces

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The news from ICANN should start to make our lives a lot more interesting. As I’m sure many people know by now, come January 2012 there are going to be lots more variations of the well known URL. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will allow a far broader range of URL endings than those we are currently familiar with. I just bet the Librarians will love teaching that now ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a little wander through Twitter this morning. Stopped to read a few things in #infolit, caught up with what went on at the i3Conferenc in Edinburgh. Read through what was happening in #Coadec – yet more discussions but that’s not a bad thing. Then riffled through #medialiteracy and found something that I thought could be quite useful. The American, Project Literacy Amongst Youth (PLAY) blog posted an article about the Microsoft, “techtopian view” of learning and teaching. They provided this very useful checklist to use whilst viewing a film they had posted.

That’s it for today – more tomorrow. Just off to a webinar ๐Ÿ™‚

Librarians turn

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I’ve been trying to think what I chat about for a few days for the librarians (knowledge managers) – I’m not sure which term people prefer these days – can someone let me know which term I should use? I think I’ll try starting with some online resources of one type or another – let me know if there is something you’d rather look at.

I’ve been looking at a few online courses, Open Educational Resources and online content (there’s a nice little discussion about OER and online content). This MSc on elearning from Edinburgh – well-known and worth looking at – got me thinking about what is it that the ILSs of this world contribute to this sort of program. Are librarians constantly involved in these courses or do they do a load of work during the set-up period and then stop? I think this is a question worth asking ‘cos it can really change the way we/you work. I know there’s all the technical set-up to organise but I’m thinking more about finding resources and providing knowledge management support. Look on the left of the screen at Resources and Programme Environments.

Under Resources there are the usual, Programme Handbooks, Support Contacts, Course Application Form, and e-learning journals. Under Programme Environments there are, WebCT, Course Blogs, Wiki โ€“ Holyrood Park (PBWorks), Second Life โ€“ Holyrood Park, Student Mail Service (SMS), University of Edinburgh Library, MyEd. Of course these aren’t exactly the same as ours but we do have all these facilities – Blackboard, blogs, wikis, Second Life, Library and SOLE. If, as I expect, we do move closer to this type of learning how much of this will librarians be involved in and what will be the role they fill?

Sorry have to go and meet a special person from the library ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be back next week.

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