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Archive for the ‘higher education’ Category

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Today I have been thinking a lot about book discussions and libraries, particularly academic libraries.  My library is sponsoring a faculty book discussion next week, around the book The View From the Center of the Universe, and it got me thinking about why my library doesn’t do more book discussion projects.  Time is, of course, the first reason which comes to mind.  But it shouldn’t be that hard considering we are an academic library and have access to great material and a faculty who are generally fond of the library and the programming we provide.   Laura Cohen writes about adding value to the library; not just through marketing our collections, but also through engaging users in social and participatory websites that discuss books.  One example she uses is the creation of discussion blogs revolving around campus reading programs or visiting writers.  A library website or blog is the perfect place to start these virtual discussions.  People recognize the word “library” and may have an old-fashioned idea about our mission or may see us as just dusty warehouses of books.  Since people are going to the web for book discussions, shouldn’t we be there when go looking?

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EDUCAUSE Centre for Applied Research has just released the latest report in its longitudinal study of undergraduates and their use of information technology. It is called, “The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007” and is,

“…based on quantitative data from a spring 2007 survey and interviews with 27,846 freshman, senior, and community college students at 103 higher education institutions. It focuses on what kinds of information technologies these students use, own, and experience; their technology behaviors, preferences, and skills; how IT impacts their experiences in their courses; and their perceptions of the role of IT in the academic experience.”

There could be some really useful stuff in this report for institutions of higher learning who want to use information technology in a meaningful way for their students’ learning.

 Read what Inside Higher Ed has to say about the report…

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A couple of social networking blogs that caught my attention tonight. One is from a colleague over at the University of Rochester who actually attended my workshop last week. Cynthia’s blog is Long time listener, first time caller — I love the title! Cynthia works in IT at the library and is doing much the same thing as me — collecting lots of good library & web 2.0 gadgets and tools and taking them back to her institution and teaching others. The second one is called Mashable! The Social Networking Blog and I found it through Cynthia’s blog. Mashable has lots of great widgets and code for inserting into your blogs, websites and social networking apps like MySpace and YouTube.

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Many campuses of higher education are dealing with budget and staffing issues, as well as a lack of time.  Thus, Second Life has enormous appeal for all academic and student life departments, not just the academic library.  collegewebeditor.com is a web, PR, and marketing blog for higher ed institutions, aimed primarily to admissions and marketing folks, but has lots of posts about web 2.0 and marketing higher ed institutions, probably including the library.  I say probably, because, their aim is the overall institution and attracting students, not marketing to current students.  They do have some interesting posts about SL, such as using SL for emergency drills and disaster preparation for campuses that really can’t afford to do this in the “real” world.

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Great compilation of 2.0 tools for students.  The tools are aimed at mostly college students, but I suppose the list could be adapted for elementary and secondary ed students.  Tools like Zoho Office Suite which has a whole cadre of free word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.  JotCloud and ShortText for taking notes, Facebook and Stikipad for collaboration on documents, plus many more…

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Found a link to this great article about Facebook and college students’ use of social networking through Michael Habib’s blog.

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