Monday, April 21, 2008

Library-2-LMS Conference

A report from the recent conference I attended at the gorgeous SUNY Brockport campus: Integrating Library Services into a Learning Management System

Overall: I enjoyed it and met some great people, but must admit to being a little disappointed in the keynote and session content. While the sessions I attended were informative and for the most part, well presented, I was surprised that no one seemed to be that far ahead of us as far as innovation in this area. For example, there wasn't one mention in the sessions or discussions I sat in on of integrating RSS feeds or podcasting or synchronous software such as Wimba or Elluminate or Angel Live.

But the discussions did help stimulate some ideas for our own integration in ANGEL and that is invaluable in my opinion and keeps me coming back to these smaller, more intimate conferences (besides the super-affordable registration fees).

"Putting the Library into the Student's Hands" - Elizabeth Pyatt and Loanne Snavely, Penn State U
  • they have an "Ask!" module/nugget embedded in every Angel course - includes e-mail, IM, co-browse and phone modes of communication
  • Subject guides embedded into LOR (guides created for college/dept/course levels)
    • created in-house template to create guides (crude process in my opinion) and share across depts/courses, etc.
    • auto/batch link checking? appears not...
  • they have single sign-on! (we need this functionality desperately!)
  • created new Angel person category: librarian - separate authorization and access levels?
Using WebCT for Teaching and Building Information Literacy Skills - Mona Florea, Univ. of Rhode Island
  • she created a modular library learning module that faculty could embed directly into their courses
Library Research Tutorials: Right at Home in Angel LORs - Lisa Forrest and Meghan Pereira, Buffalo State College
  • created a critical thinking skills module/component that stresses reasoning, argument (analysis and eval), and constructing written assignments
  • titled module w/scholarly title for faculty buy-in" Foundations of Research" [great idea]
  • includes an information literacy assessment piece
Custom Library Services and Resources within Angel Courses - Pauline Shostack, SUNY Onondaga CC
  • they renamed the "Resources" tab to "Library Resources" [this seems like a no brainer to me, yet other presenter Angel versions had not done this and we are meeting with admin resistance to such a move for some reason]
  • using an online reference appointment tool (Angel tool or outside widget?)
  • have added search boxes to Angel (EBSCO, PQ, etc. - code will be posted?)
  • some of the widgets can add to the library nugget without admin authorization (Edit nugget > HTML editor > add code)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2.0 addiction?

If, like me, you follow lots of the leading web 2.0 and library 2.0 bloggers, and read their conference entries and Tweets, your head is constantly swimming with all the cool applications and possible uses for them in providing lib services and organizing your life and just plain having fun. It's also great that this allows me to get something out of conferences (like the recent CIL) that I couldn't attend (because I'm going to the Off Campus Lib Services Conf in UT in 2 weeks!).

But in reading all about CIL presentations the last few days and how 2.0 issues seem to dominate, it got me thinking: is it possible that because 2.0 (and beyond) is the cutting edge and conference presenters, of course, always want to be perceived as on that edge, that we're making a bit too much out of it? Are non-2.0 presentations being ignored or just not even thought of? In other words, is the fact that our conferences are now totally dominated by 2.0 gadgetry and lists of free apps, and ways to use these apps, making us put too many of our eggs into the 2.0 basket? Is it making us spend more of our time and resources than might normally be prudent in such a fast-changing and unstable technical environment?

I certainly don't have any answers, but I like pondering such questions on occasion, even if I am neck deep in 2.0 apps myself...