Category Archives: SocialMedia&Learning

March 24, 2014, 3:31 pm

DATA ACROSS THE CURRICULUM: is personal data the key?

Jer_Tea

Jer Thorp talking with the Honors Residential Community @ Virginia Tech

Last week we hosted data artist Jer Thorp for several days. As part of our Distinguished Innovator in Residence Program (a partnership between University Libraries and TLOS with others contributing as well) we bring in creative thinkers to meet with students, brainstorm with faculty, give a public lecture, and essentially spark new conversations across campus. I highly recommend his Ted Talk.

I was fortunate to hear Jer speak four different times to diverse audiences. A theme that surfaced and resonated with us was the notion of Data Across the Curriculum, which is analogous to Writing Across the Curriculum. Our CIO added, “what if we had a common data set?” similar to the Common Book concept. Imagine the interdisciplinary possibilities …

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October 2, 2013, 5:26 pm

“I’ve been researching wrong this whole time” – instructional insight via Twitter

I enjoy seeing social media used in classrooms. We’re definitely in the next wave now with many faculty members expressing excitement about these tools. Several years ago the conversations I had were: “that’s interesting but it just doesn’t work for my needs” and today it is: “I want to foster more interaction and I think this app might work, what do you think?”

 

I recently stumbled upon a Twitter instance here at Virginia Tech via the College of Natural Resources and Environment. They integrated Twitter into their First-Year Experience program. Here is some documentation.

 

Obviously using hashtags in class isn’t a new practice. But beyond a course-wide tag they also use separate tags for individual topics or speakers. This enables the instructors to engage with the course during and after presentations. It also provides a direct channel for the presenters…

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September 5, 2013, 6:28 pm

Curating Learning Experiences: A Future Role For Librarians?

A few weeks ago I purchased a premium WordPress theme for my campus. This isn’t something I typically do, but it fit nicely with an initiative I am building around supporting new types of learning interactions.

 

A professor I’m working with uses blogs in her courses but wanted to push the experience further. I’m hearing this more often as faculty express interest in a more flexible and personalized learning environment as opposed to the LMS model. Sakai, Blackboard, and similar tools are seen as utilities rather than virtual communities.

 

I think we’re seeing a shift occur. In the past it was “how to use a blog in your course” and now it’s “how to build an online social learning environment for your specific needs.” These conversations are the result of faculty becoming more comfortable and sophisticated using the social web. I’m finding many who are…

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June 27, 2012, 3:19 pm

MOOC Fluency – some advice for future librarians

I’m glad that UVa reinstated their president. Seems like the only logical action after the backlash. I keep waiting for “the real reason” to surface because it’s hard for me to believe that the whole thing can be boiled down to MOOCs. Really? I guess it comes down to inventing the future vs. sustaining (current) excellence. But I do want to point out that this is exactly the type of thing I was referring to in my startup paper. There is growing pressure on higher education to change—and we, as librarians, will have to adapt to that.

 

Regardless of how you feel about UVa’s Board of Visitors – that type of thinking (ie: working with less funding) will continue around the country. Facing an uncertain future, we need to be ready for such seismic disruptions.

 

I do want to take a minute though to comment on MOOCs because I haven’t done so yet. I mentioned…

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July 6, 2011, 8:40 pm

Why does my library use social media?

ALA in New Orleans was a blast. The city has a great vibe—glad I finally got to experience it. Despite the humidity, it made me miss the South.

I gave a talk for LLAMA about managing social media. The theme I built upon was “from pioneer to policy-maker” –  which sums up my early work on the fringes experimenting with 2.0 tools, to where I am now as an admin overseeing the social media program. But I also envision this as an analogy for social media in general— as a profession, we’re past the “dabbling” stages and are moving into something more concrete.

While preparing I looked around for social media guidelines, policies, procedures, strategies, etc from others. I found a great article Protection, Not Barriers outlining the state of affairs of policies in academic libraries. The authors found that 82% of their survey respondents operated without a social media…

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May 10, 2011, 9:23 am

Using Students to Manage the Social Streams; or How to Use Social Media to Engage Students; or What We’re Trying Next w/ SoMe

Ah yes, social media. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this topic—a favorite one of regular readers. So what’s new? Well, I’m trying a different approach this upcoming fiscal year. The story goes like this…

A few librarians and myself oversee our social media presence, but honestly, it has not been a priority and minimal effort at best. The main reason is that there are simply too many other things going on—but a secondary reason might be our questions on impact and return on investment (in terms of effort.)

I decided to punt the rest of this year and to start fresh in the summer. Meanwhile, I noticed that the UCSB Recreational Center is very active, particularly with Facebook. They were extremely organized and consistently pushing out a variety of content. I dug into it and found that they hired a student to manage their social media–  a digital outreach…

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May 30, 2006, 8:31 am

endnote + iTunes

In Post-Memorial Day recovery I submit the thoughts of a student. The post asks: What do you do with papers that other people wrote?

    

I decided to stay out this one, but fascinating to read — students chime in about bibliographic management systems. I am intrigued by the “what if you had something that was kind of iTunes-like, but for papers and slides and stuff, and you could sort and search and organize and have a central place to stash all of them?”