OLJ task: Second Life

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 30, 2015

If you wish to use this task as one of your three (3) OLJ tasks for Assignment 2, you will need to write a short evaluation (no more than 400 words) of your use of Second Life as a 3D virtual world throughout this session. Include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features/functions and learning experiences encountered, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise Second Life to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. 

A review of my experiences in Second Life. I first attempted Second Life back in 2007 for my previous M Ed (Teacher Librarianship) degree. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to run on my laptop at the time so abandoned it. I couldn’t remember my avatar name when I went to login this time and the email address that I used to log in was closed as the provider no longer provides access to emails so I couldn’t get a reminder email.

I explored Second Life twice through INF506, 11 December 2014 & 21 January 2015.  I have included some photos of my visits at the end of this post.

In some ways I found the first time a lot easier to control my avatar. The second time I got stuck in a lowered area in the Standford Uni Plaza and had a lot of trouble trying to get out to see what everyone was doing. I was concentrating so hard on getting out that I missed what Carole was saying about the area and had to ask for a repeat of what we were supposed to be doing.

The first visit was basic and simple with expectations of what we were to attempt to do. Apparently I had my hand up while sitting on the floor rather than a chair which I thought I was sitting on.  With only one teleport location to go to it was fairly easy to get around the location.

While the second visit did go to more places, I had trouble directing my avatar a lot more in general space. I was not the only person to get stuck in something, one of the others got stuck in an artwork at Uni WA.

Some of the places we visited I could see having some use in the secondary classroom setting, the exploratorium was interesting and engaging. However, there are concerns with the potential adult content that students could encounter, which at this stage, is a little too off-putting for me. I can’t see education departments letting students have ready access to this at school for this reason. Many still block most social media/networking sites for students. South Australian education department has blocked/limited much of the networking capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 which doesn’t lead me to expect Second Life to have much of a chance of being able to be used in the secondary school setting.

The bandwidth needed to have smooth operation of the avatar is also of note, the second visit for some reason for me was a lot more jagged and stuttery in the movement of the avatar. This didn’t help my finesse of movement and actually detracted from the experience for me.  I suspect that if students were trying Second Life, this could be a turn off, along with the need for time to practice movements, which many may feel lessens the time that they could be spending time learning other things related to their subject.

Overall, at this stage I don’t see Second Life being taken up by many secondary schools. The main concern being the adult content that can be readily accessed and the blocking of many social networking sites by education departments. Areas may be useful and worth exploring but until education leaders in schools/departments are ready to come on board with such experiences possible in Second Life, I don’t think it will have a huge uptake amongst secondary schools.

Snapshots of 11 December visit to Second Life

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Snapshots from 21 January visit

Uni WA  #4

Uni WA #4

Uni WA #3

Uni WA #3

Uni WA #2

Uni WA #2

standford 5 book garden 2

standford 5 book garden 2

standford 4 book garden 1

standford 4 book garden 1

standford

standford

Standford archives

Standford archives

Standford

Standford

Exploratorium #1

Exploratorium

 

OLJ Task: RSS feeds

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 13, 2015

Activity

Now that you have explored some examples of how libraries and the media make use of RSS to deliver updated information and the applications that can tailor and aggregate feeds for specific users, find two (2) additional examples of ‘RSS in action’, and develop a 350 word post to your OLJ on how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.

RSS in action

NSW Department of Education and Communities School Libraries and Information Literacy RSS

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/rss/index.htm

This looks interesting especially as a teacher librarian. A pity for me that it’s NSW based and I’m in SA and looks not have been updated for a while. 2010 seems to be the latest article.

Prince Alfred College (PAC), Adelaide, South Australia

http://pac.libguides.com/content.php?pid=460610&sid=3770518

Private school library with several RSS feeds in operation, ABC radio & news sites, The Advertiser (local state paper). It also offers a RSS subscription for updates to the page.

Berri Barmera Library (school & public library in country South Australia)

http://www.berribarmeralibrary.org.au/

This looks more like a public library than a school library. However some rural schools also host the local public library as a community library as a combined resource in the community. Berri Barmera library look like they only offer RSS feed for book reviews.

 

I can see the use of having some RSS feeds on the library page. However, this would depend a little on the clientèle of the library.  In a school library, I can see that having a feed for the local/state newspaper would be useful, particularly in secondary schools where students need to research a current issue/topic for class. Being able to create the library page updates to go on a rss feed would also be useful to students and parents. It would probably also encourage the updating of the library page regularly. The PAC page hadn’t been updated since Sept 2014 when I looked. I thought it might have updated in October at least, given that Yr 12 students are completing work until late October/early November in South Australia.

Of the 10 ways libraries can use RSS, there are some that I would not use in the school library setting.

5.  Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories.

7.  Create an RSS feed for library job openings.

10.  Subscribe to a few professional RSS feeds and share with library staff on the library intranet.

I’d probably encourage any library staff to follow professional RSS feeds but I wouldn’t be sharing them on the school library site. At this stage I’m not sure that #5 & #7 would be appropriate for school libraries that I have usually worked in. It would be pointless having job opportunities in the library page for a school library, however this could be okay on a public library or university library page. Most of the time these would be on the school’s main site (or advertised via the education department’s website).

However, I would like to consider using or creating RSS feeds for the following in a secondary school library.

1.  Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalog.

2.  Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials.

3.  Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website.

4.  Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter.

6.  Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings.

8.  Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website. This could be included on a page containing other local resources and local links.

9.  Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library customers and share the content on the customer’s personalized library webpage. Customers can choose to access selected RSS feeds, their library account information, subscription databases, and email/chat with a librarian all in one spot.

I’m not sure #2 would work in a school library context but it may, if students have authenticated logins for the library page. #9 may work in a school library but I don’t know how many RSS feeds of school library information there would be able to be with reasonable  time constraints to set up. Often it seems that the school library is staffed by one or two people (larger schools may have more).

 

I think that I’d like to include some RSS feeds in my next school library. I’d like to have a basic (at least) website that I could include some of these RSS feeds in. Most of my previous schools haven’t had a dedicated school library webpage. It would certainly help senior students at the least with Research Project ideas and resources.

 

References:

Berri Barmera Council. (2015). Berri Barmera Library Service. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from http://www.berribarmeralibrary.org.au/

Cathryn Harris, M. G. (n.d.). LibGuides. The Frederic Chapple Library. Library Home. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from http://pac.libguides.com/content.php?pid=460610&sid=3770518

School Libraries and Information Literacy RSS. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2015, from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/rss/index.htm

Wolfe, C. (n.d.). 10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS. Retrieved from https://moxielibrarian.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/10-ways-libraries-can-use-rss/

OLJ Task: Tagging

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 12, 2015

Activity

Set up an account a social bookmarking service such as Diigohttps://www.diigo.com/ – or Delicioushttp://delicious.com/

Explore the functionality for storing, tagging and sharing your bookmarked resources.

Get started – go out and tag a few resources!

If you wish to use this task as one of your three OLJ tasks.  You could write a short evaluation (no more than 350 words) of your use of social bookmarking – include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features and/or functions, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise such a tool to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees.

I’d created a Diigo account early in 2014 as a part of my INF530 studies and then INF536 studies and started occasionally tagging into Diigo. I haven’t really started to use this as fully as it could be.  One reason is probably time and another that I haven’t been able to easily add the extension to my school laptop to tag things easily. Another problem for me in using Diigo better is that I don’t tend to browse of search for stuff generally on the web. I typically use ideas from textbooks, or if I’m looking for a particular topic & type of media, I’ve saved it in a bookmark in my google chrome bookmarks bar as I’ve usually got access to that at home & school. Although I did find that I was having trouble accessing some saved resources as my bookmarks weren’t updating at school unless I’d taken my laptop home to allow it to sync outside of the school network. However, this has made me consider using Diigo more. I have set up an educators account and an working on developing my Diigo use throughout 2015 and beyond.

Having seen how often some M Ed (DI&KN) people tweet about what they’ve saved to Diigo, I’m starting to understand and see how useful it can be, especially sharing articles & resources with others who are interested in similar topics. I can see the possibilities for helping students who are doing research topics that I can provide some resources on a topic to get them started or to further their research and ideas.

I can see how Diigo can be useful. I just need to use it more for my school related bookmarks more and make sure I know what the url for Diigo is so that I can easily add it to my school computing device wherever and whatever that may be.

This will revolutionise education

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506 | Posted on January 8, 2015

An interesting listen, particularly when considering what we (teachers) keep getting told that we have to learn how to use a new tool as it’s going to change everything(!!) about teaching. I don’t think they’ll change everything but it does impact on teaching. We need to select the right tool for the occasion.

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