November 21, 2013, 3:29 pm
The aspiration was once a power outlet for every table– but the stakes are rising. Are we entering an era where students need (and expect) a monitor on every table?
Virginia Tech students bring their own monitor to the library for collaboration.
Earlier this week I heard about a group of students who brought their own monitor into the library. They were coding together and required a shared display to collaborative effectively. We do provide group monitors, but they are always in high demand… so they used their own.
While I appreciate the ingenuity of this group to improvise on a solution, I also feel like I let them down. As soon as some funding opens up in January I’m going to purchase a handful of monitors and have them installed at group tables. This has been in our renovation documents for a while…
November 15, 2013, 7:31 pm
I just gave a campus interview about our GLASS project. Here is the gist of my answers in long form.
Giving a campus interview. I’ll link out once the video is online.
I’m really excited to be involved with GLASS. It’s an interesting technology and wearable computing seems to be one of the next big things.
I love what Virginia Tech is doing by building a cohort of faculty who are using GLASS in different ways and representing different disciplines. Arts, sciences, building construction, public policy, it’s a wide mix.
And it is exciting for me to represent the library in that effort because I get to work hand in hand with faculty on rethinking their teaching and research practices. We want to build new apps together, new software together, new pedagogies, new capabilities. So it is valuable for me …
October 10, 2013, 2:50 pm
I joined the Google Glass community last week. A Glass Explorer at Virginia Tech invited me in and it has been an interesting experience so far. We are forming a cohort of Glass Explorers on our campus. This is an effort to apply the technology to both teaching and research situations.
Together the four of us will be exploring new practices and we also want to develop applications that could benefit higher ed. I’m glad that the library was invited in the mix; it’s interesting to observe the way faculty think and to contribute to the venture.
I’ll post more about our progress in the coming months but today I wanted to share a few quick observations about Glass and libraries:
1. QR codes mean something now
I’ve never liked QR codes. They’ve always felt desperate to me. It is very awkward to hold up a phone or tablet and to click an app or button. Glass changes that and …
September 23, 2013, 1:11 pm
I recently criticized Wired but I have to commend them for a great October issue. One of the articles outlines the ambition of Dropbox, which is to become the “pervasive data layer.” I love that phrase.
The key quote:
Going forward, the company wants to power a new breed of syncable apps that would let you share any kind of data with anyone across any device. In theory it’s an epic shift that would put Dropbox at the center of everyone’s digital life, turning it into a powerhouse on the level of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.
Any file with anyone on any device! That’s a powerful vision. It’s the heart of the new web infrastructure that is being built and it is the red-hot topic in research libraries. Good whitepaper: research data services. Libraries are offering new services and creating new positions, and I hope someone is working on a compatibility feature…
August 21, 2013, 3:43 pm
Yesterday’s post resonated with people. There seems to be a lot of focus on the importance of the “proper” way to do research—and the proper tools. That’s how much of our current value is delivered so I completely understand the concern and passion.
Obviously the case I described is just one example and things may be different for you, but in this instance the interfaces we offer were not effective for simple keyword searching.
Here is an example. Forget about limiters, options, date ranges, licensing, access, etc. I know those are important and distinguishing features, but let’s leave those out of the conversation. Right now I’m interested purely in keyword-based results. Let’s test some algorithms!
Let’s say you’re researching Woodstock and that you need to find articles from the New York Times that were published while the concert what happening. You…
August 13, 2013, 8:52 pm
Lauren and I were recently talking about the evolution of the social web. There had been some press about the kids today don’t use Facebook anymore. The articles use to be about how such-and-such was no longer cool. Now we’re starting to see a generation completely bypassing Facebook. They are not leaving it because they were never on it. Facebook is for grandparents!
So what’s the alternative? What’s next big thing? What’s the Facebook Killer? I’ve been out of the social media scene for a while now, but the shift seems to be away from the single solution and more toward multiple products for different needs. This is why Vine, Instagram, and Tumblr are popular. Each tool focuses on different things (strengthens?) as opposed to trying to do everything like Facebook.
We seem to be entering (or have entered) an era of specialization. The one-stop-shop is emptying…
July 1, 2013, 8:50 pm
Gardner is in shock by Glass awesomeness. I’m looking mad that I have to wait twelve months for my own device.
Wow. I just experienced something special. This afternoon Gardner and I sat down with a Glass Explorer. It was a 60-minute meeting that turned into 160 minutes of mind bendiness.
Flashback I was in high school when the transition from cassette tapes to CDs happened. I was in college when my roommates and I dialed into the Internet to figure out “what’s the web for?” I was in Atlanta when I first held an iPhone and then bought one the very next day. Flash Forward Those were all critical technology experiences for me. Today, in Blacksburg, I had another one… it was Glass.
I should just end this post right now because I’m still trying to process what I saw. You may think I’m feeling…
June 14, 2013, 12:58 pm
It’s been a little too serious around this blog lately, so here is something fun to stimulate your lateral thinking.
A good friend of mine is at InfoComm13—a tradeshow I wish I were attending. He texted me this photo:
Apparently this woman was in California and interacting with folks in Orlando. She could hear him standing/walking nearby and engaged him in conversation.
This is BEAM. It’s a mobile, WiFi powered, video-conferencing, remote presence system. The features are listed on the website, and it is an interesting concept. The fact that it has wheels and can move at 3 mph following someone around is different; I have not seen this full package before.
At first I thought—could this work as a reference tool? Could it push us beyond the desk as a new twist on roving reference? Or what about tours? What about meetings? Could students or faculty use it for…
June 11, 2013, 3:36 pm
This is going to be a rare personal post. If you’re looking for your fill on libraries check the Bell Tower because I’m going somewhere else today.
Context is an interesting phenomenon. When conversations or attitudes from one space merge or are invaded from the outside, there is a good chance for misunderstanding to occur. This happened to me last night.
People who know me– people who really know me– know that I love Apple. I came into their products later in life via my wife, but I’ve never looked back. I am firmly and admittedly in the Cult of Mac.
Much of it has to do with brand and mythology. Steve Jobs was an amazing persona, but the early connection with IDEO is also special for me. Apple’s priority on design resonates with my user experience side and they talk about technology differently than everyone else… although yesterday’s WWDC was a little…