So, last week, two Stanford professors made a courageous proposal to ditch lectures in the medical school. “For most of the 20th century, lectures provided an efficient way to transfer knowledge, But in an era with a perfect video-delivery platform — one that serves up billions of YouTube views and millions of TED Talks on such things as technology, entertainment, and design — why would anyone waste precious class time on a lecture?,” write Associate Medical School dean, Charles Prober and business professor, Chip Heath, in The New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, they call for an embrace of the “flipped” classroom, where students review Khan Academy’s YouTube lectures at home and solve problems alongside professors in the classroom. Students seem to love the idea: when Stanford piloted the flipped classroom in a Biochemistry course, attendance ballooned from roughly 30% to 80%.
The past five years have seen a proliferation of sites like Academia.edu, which, with 1.2 million registered users, is one of the heavyweights in the field.
The free sites, which also include Mendeley.com, ResearchGate.net, Zotero.org, and a number of discipline-specific platforms, typically offer users a way to organize their research, create personal profiles, and search for people with similar scholarly interests.
Here is something I composed for a recent application. Tell me what you think?
Special Collection and Archives philosophy
April 30, 2012
My philosophy on Special Collections and Archivesis to provide a forum for various patrons (librarians, archivists, and those in the academic community whom I serve) with a resource that can be actively used while still being preserved for generations to come. For this purpose, I believe any supportive activities including archival groups and discussion sessions with goal of deciding the “best use” practices in order to maintain the collections I govern over.
I believe in treating any Special Collections and Archives as a I would any other library; to help patrons reach their goals in terms of investigation by helping them develop good research skills that prepare them to examine and research topics across a spectrum of disciplines. My goal is to show that developing good research skills while respecting the nature of the various Information packages they are examining in a creative process based upon the analysis of information and engagement of information comparison. As a part of this process, it is also my duty to ensure that patrons are comfortable in an atmosphere of mutual respect and toleration of diverse opinions.
I am a proponent of active learning and use a variety of methods of teaching to encourage active use of specials collections. This requires patrons to engage in extensive participation via dialogue as well as other verbal and non-verbal forms of communal discourse. In summary, then, I am very committed to providing a learning environment that is both exciting and rigorous, one that empowers patrons using library resources no matter the state they are in.
The internet is an information delivery and telecommunications platform. It’s one of six that exist in our society. It’s one of two (radio is second) that combine both of the above into a single environment. Though radio is enormously limited in comparison to the internet in this. In fact the…
The classic definition for data about data has taken on a whole new twist… So it looks like
Instagram and Pinterest are turning our everyday photos into vintage snapshots. A bowl of soup can become that instant moment captured where think about the pleasant thought ” I will sip”. Now new camera prototype just literally spells out what you are seeing by producing a text description of each photo you shoot, rather than capturing an actual image. It’s called the Descriptive Camera, and it just might be the next big thing in photography.
Here is how it works: A person takes a random photo with a web-enabled camera, which is sent to a person via a text or tweet-like message. Then that person describes the picture using a short narrative. The information is then returned and printed on a small slip of paper.
- PC World
The prototype uses Amazon Mechanical Turk — a system whereby users can sign up to process various types of data for a small fee. For a little over a dollar, each photo is returned in just a matter of minutes. A reputation metric is in place to ensure that the person processing the photo does a quality job.
The implications………. For Weed Scientist, ( I am not talking about the illegal crap that people smoke) who study eco-unfriendly plants like Congongrass that not only destroys other plant life that it surrounds, but burns at a higher temperature than normal planets; a photographer can take pictures of the area where the weed is located and send the description or even Metadata back to Forestry service. It is a more conclusive version of Geo-tracking.
"A picture is worth a thousand words…" so goes the saying. Also, it would make Crowdsourcing less of a need. Instantly, a cute, attractive, intelligent women’s picture, name, phone number, place to meet for a blind date…… can be shared with a buddy looking out for him. :-) What ? I am just saying.lol
At the university I work at, we previously were interviewing librarians for our Information Services dept. Well, one of our candidates pretty much talked about the Flipped Classroom instructional model like she was a pro. As a more efficient model for learning, the flipped classroom ultimately gives instructors more time to focus on practical instruction in the classroom. As such, I found a pretty cool jpeg that explained the process in a nutshell. Enjoy!!
Is Crowdsourcing a sincere plea for help or another short cut to define and describe digital born objects?
"Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor and outsourcing it to a group (crowd) of people or community in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task, refine or carry out the steps of an algorithm, or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (citizen science). “
Ok, about 5 years ago, I could remember being in a workshop talking with a representative from OCLC about how modern day OPACs or Discovery tools would include a patron feature where students or whom ever could submit reviews on books in the catalog. In other words, the patron would have the privileges of an Amazon .com customer without being able to purchase a product. At the time, I found it kind of odd because we as librarians want patrons to check out our resources without bias. One of the best ways to skew a person’s opinion about an object is have opinions or reviews attached to the record. I have no problem with that with regard to a sales model. However, we are talking about libraries.
Why am I talking about amazon? I only mentioned it because Crowdsourcing can become a double edge sword. To put it simply, if I was given the opportunity to tag an image or video, I could be a good steward of communal information gathering or be an ass and tag an image in a misleading way. However, just with other forms of crowd sourcing like open source software and community driven information resources like Wikipedia, they are generally considered a good idea in terms of being guides. I attended a lecture recently at the University of Montevallo conducted by Kee Malesky. She is NPR’s longest serving Reference Librarian. During her lecture she commented on how the accuracy of written academic sources vs. Wikipedia. What she said was nothing I had not heard before. Basically, from her view, you can’t trust Wikipedia. However, I thought about something that she really did not touch on when it came to monograph journals Vs. their electronic counterparts. I did not hear her say or comment on the fact that electronic resources can easily be edited whereas paper journals have to be amended or republished in order to show discrepancies in facts.
In the end, what all by blabber leads up to is that despite grunts and disapproval from the academic community, we need crowd sourcing foundations to fill in the gaps that librarians even with the best resources and the most talented or skills can’t answers question 100% of the time. All we can do is say “buyer or consumer beware.”
“We would say, instead of holding fixed the time and date when you learn something and the variable is how well you learn it, we’re saying let’s hold fixed how well you learn it, and you learn it at a deep level, and what’s variable is how long you have to learn it, and when you learn it, and when you revisit the material.”—Salman Khan in Q&A: Khan Academy Creator Talks About K-12 Innovation (via gjmueller)
So, it has been awhile since I published a blog. This had been for several reasons including: Work, stress, and new girlfriend. But, here is what has been going on.
I have been teaching classes left and right and have more to teach the minute I come back from spring break. I have also been working on my faculty evaluation. Not looking forward to it, but it must be done. Next, the relationship… You know, all my friends told me that I would find someone when I least expected it. Well it happen and it just feels weird. It feels weird to be in a normal relationship or starting one. No my nostrils are not completely open. They are only 99.999999999999 percent fully open.
Now, on to something dealing with libraries.
Lately, I have been experimenting with new instruction techniques associated with bibliographic instruction. Often, librarians have only “one shot” at teaching students how to use library resources. One type of instruction that has been talked about in my department is the “flip” model of instruction. This is where students watch a tutorial about an activity. Then they proceed to tell the instructor how to perform an action on in the case of libraries, search the catalog.
It is the feature technique of the Khan Academy; a concept that began as educational videos on YouTube. The videos are casual in scope, like a friend is showing you how to do something. In a TED video embedded in this Chronicle article, the Khan talks about these videos as a way of supporting a “flipped classroom.” There is a great video of Khan talking about digital learning of the blended/flipped variety: My personal jury is still out on this style of teaching. However, several professionals have made great strides with this teaching model. Even some of my own co-workers will be soon trying it to see how effective this pedagogy technique is. I think what is important is that each generation of students learn differently. We, as librarians, have to revamp our pedagogical methodology to accommodate students learning style. We have the classical visual learners who need only a demonstration with regard to learning a new technique or how to use a service.
Then there are the interactive learners; these are students who require not only demonstration, but interactive dialogue and collaborative activity that allows the instructor to give constructive feedback. They really children of a digital born age.
Buffoonery of the Week (Gotta catch up )
You know sometimes in life, words do not describe an event. Take last Tuesday, I went to a coffee shop to hear a couple of bands play ( yes, a coffee shop). While at the coffee shop, I witness something that no creature alive should see. I mean regardless of your sexual preference this was just poor taste….. I am not going to post the pic. However, I am going to attempt to describe what I saw; a man wearing nothing but a red thong, with a beer belly, and a short nighty?
The front part was cut out in order for his hairy belly could be shown. Think ZZ Top with a Victoria Secrets nighty on. That’s what I saw.
A well read man and commanding the american dream: Library Style
Last, night I decided to further fine tune some of my outline for a freshman English class I am teaching tomorrow. As such, while sitting in Starbucks I hear these two gentlemen talked as they played chess.
During their conversation, one of them said ” I have$250,000 dollars in the bank.” He then went on to explain that he was a history major drop out. To put the conversation into perspective, he was elaborating on investing money and how he had so much of it. Was I intrigued by his view on money and spending? Yes and no. But, what really got me was this statement; “I may be a college dropout, but I am well read.” ” I just went to the library and read books.” He kept repeating that fact and I was agreeably surprised. I have not heard someone make a claim or say something like that in a while. Going to the library and reading is still a fundamental way of learning. Don’t wait for some professor or school teacher to instruct you. Sometimes finding out the truth or leaning something on your own is even better.
It is often said that to convenience an audience to adopt and idea, one must create a Path to least resistance. In the case of QR Codes the path of least resistance seems to be what has been used to promote these strange codes: advertisement.
QR Codes or Quick Response codes are a type of matrix barcode original used by the auto industry. They have more recently been adopted for advertisement of products or consumer services to issuing proper gander in support of controversial remonstrations such the economic “Occupy Movement”. With their vast potential in terms information storage and variant size, sectors such as academia should be embracing these codes beyond display and summarized information sources. We need to get beyond the need for a smarty phone to use these devices. Non-cellular mobile devices can easily have the scanner implemented during the manufacture process. With libraries, research at universities such as Bath University Library use QR Codes posted on books to display summarized bibliographic information. UC Irvine Libraries uses QR Codes to direct users their Springer mathematics book collection. My summation is to remove the advertisement advantages of QR Codes focus on their stringent practical use.
As a result, patrons will recognize the benefits of these Codes beyond promotion.
Here’s a look at some significant things that have happened on a Friday the 13th.
Fidel Castro was born on Friday, Aug. 13, 1926, in Biran, Cuba.
Celebrity twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were born on Friday, June 13, 1986.
Rapper Tupac Shakur died on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, six days after being shot in Las Vegas.
Daredevil Sam Patch died on Friday, Nov. 13, 1829. Nicknamed “the Yankee Leaper,” Patch died after jumping from the top of the falls of the Genesee River in Rochester, N.Y.
Heavy metal music pioneers Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album on Friday, Feb. 13, 1970.
The Friday the 13th movie franchise, which spans 12 films, has grossed more than $381 million US in the U.S. alone. Opening days for four of the films in the franchise, which features hockey-mask wearing, machete-wielding killer Jason Voorhees, have fallen on a Friday the 13th.
“Friday the 13th: the superstitions and the skeptics - World - CBC News.” Web. 13 Jan. 2012.