Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wordle word cloud from my Delicious tags

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Remembering Ascilite 2009

Auckland really turned on some fabulous weather for Ascilite 2009, which was held over December 6-9 in the bright new University of Auckland, Faculty of Business, Owen G. Glen Building. Over 400 attended and for over 100 delegates, including me, it was their first Ascilite. The themes were Same places, different spaces: Blended Space, Virtual Space, Social Space, Mobile Space, Work Space.

There were many mentions of libraries and how they are re-inventing themselves in the digital age and the convergences are obvious. For libraries too, it is getting harder to engage students, and we face the same challenges as faculty and tertiary learning and teaching. One keynote speaker, James Clay, is also the Manager of the Library at his institution, Gloucestershire College. A few other NZ librarians attended, but no others from Australia as far as I could gather.

The full Ascilite Programme, with all the papers, posters are available online.

Some keynotes are online in various places:

GrĂ¡inne Conole, Pushing the boundaries into the unknown, trajectories of user behaviour in new frontiers. These slides are at SlideShare

For James Clay, The future of learning, see Cloudworks . James ran the Twitter backchannel during his keynote (see above), and had his tweets all automated. Pretty neat and folks in the UK were joining in!

The following are links to some of the conference papers that I found especially interesting:

Don't dilly dally on the way - driving towards digital information literacy. Kelly, O etal

Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0. Cochrane, T & etal. This paper won an award.

Introducing Jass Easterman: My Second Life learning space. Sue Gregory and Tynan, B

Our paper was: Adding value to first year student learning with embedded library pod/vodcasts. Julia Gross and Eva Dobozy:

Others have already written some great blog posts about Ascilite09. In particular, check out:

James Clay's blog

Col's blogroll


Some of the Twitter action post Ascilite 2009 is at Twapperkeeper and the Twitter search hash tag is #ascilite09

The Ascilite09 Conference Hub has some presentations and loads of other good info for delegates.

Also Cloudworks which was new to me and I love it! Go here for the Cloudworks Cloudscape for Ascilite 2009

Take away messages for me were:

  • Digital literacy and information literacy, what relationship do they have and, where do library/searching skills fit. (Digital information literacies is one of the in EDUCAUSE 2009 challenges too).
  • The potential of Web 2.0 tools to enhance the learning process. With Web 2.0 we need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk: you need to be doing web2.0 or you don’t get it.
  • Is the LMS just another repository of courseware, or can the full potential be realised of it being a fully interactive, dynamic learning space?
  • Second Life is not dead! Several papers had good applications for Second Life: There was an excellent paper from UNE on SL (see above) with ICT teacher education students really engaging them. Also applications in the medical area, language teaching, cultural awareness teaching, and in the NZ TAFE equivalent area with preparation for job interview skills.
  • Use of mobile devices to access learning materials is not yet high. (Our teacher education students are still mainly using desktops/laptops to access the LMS material). This will change over time as smart phones become common within the next year or so in Australia.
  • Question everything, don’t jump on the band wagon without interrogating: Nichols challenged the notion of “the wisdom of the crowd” comparing it to Groupthink. We have all been guilty of that at some stage.
I had a terrific time, met some great people, and came back inspired. Special thanks to the organisers and the Kiwis for the hospitality. And someone (?) for the awesome weather ;)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Ascilite here we come

I’m heading off to the Ascilite 2009 conference in Auckland in a few days. The Ascilite (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) conference is held every year and this will be only the second time that the conference has been held in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The themes for Ascilite Same places, different spaces December 6-9, 2009 are: Blended Space, Virtual Space, Social Space, Mobile Space, Work Space.

Keynotes are:

Scott Diener, who has led the development of the University of Auckland's simulation island in Second Life; Grainne Conole, a Professor of e-Learning at the Open University, UK; James Clay ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College.

The full programme and all the papers went online last week. I really like the idea of putting papers up ahead of time so delegates can get a better idea of what is on offer. Most library conferences seem to do this after the event.

There is the Ascilite09 Conference Hub , a fabulous way to facilitate communication and interaction, before during and after the conference. There's lot of great stuff here for delegates including a Twitter stream which is starting to take off.

An Ascilite SlideShare account has also been set up, but nothing has been uploaded, yet.

You can follow Ascilite on Twitter. And if you are tweeting about the conference the hash tag is #ascilte09

This will be my first Ascilite conference, so should be a blast. I’ll be presenting a paper:
Julia Gross and Eva Dobozy: Adding value to first year student learning with embedded library pod/vodcasts PDF

The other thing about Ascilite is they publish the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

Monday, 30 November 2009

Learning spaces: students tell us what they think

The ECU Library’s learning spaces photo competition attracted some interest from ECU students when it ran during October 2009.

We were asking students to take photos of what they considered “good” and “bad” learning spaces around the campuses and to give us some reasons why they made their choice. Photos were taken of a range of areas such as e-labs, libraries, teaching spaces and outdoor areas on all campuses: Joondalup, Bunbury and Mount Lawley.

Adrianna Pracas, a final year Teacher Education student from Mount Lawley Campus was the lucky winner of teh photo competition. Dan Archibald, University Librarian, presented the iPod Touch prize at a morning tea function. Thanks to all students who participated.

This is a small part of a much bigger ALTC Project: Retrofitting university learning spaces: from teaching spaces to learning spaces. Queensland University of Technology is leading the project, joined by Charles Darwin University and Edith Cowan University.

The outcome of the project, including student photos and comments, will inform the redesign of learning spaces and contribute to developing an integrated campus learning environment.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Embedding library media in the LMS

Here's my presentation from Friday November 20, 2009 at the WISE ShareCase held at Notre Dame University, Fremantle, Western Australia. WISE stands for WAGUL Information Sharing Exchange. And WAGUL is the Western Australian Group of University Librarians.

Each university library in Perth and also TAFE presented. A great event and thanks to the organisers.

If anyone else puts up their presentation can you let me know and I'll link to it.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Impressions of LIANZA Conference October 2009

I got back to Perth last week from the excellent LIANZA Library Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand. The conference was a great mix of outstanding keynotes, targeted papers, with some opportunities for interaction with colleagues in the embedded unconference and workshop settings. The conference started with the Powhiri which is the NZ equivalent to our Indigenous "welcome to country" and was all conducted in Maori (see pic). Luckily I was standing next to an ex-Aussie who explained what was going on and how the local tribe were welcoming the visitors to their patch. The theme of the conference was: He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata meaning It is people, it is people, it is people.

New Zealand is ahead of Australia in terms of digitisation projects which are capturing local history and knowledge, in development of open source softwares (eg ketes), and funding for public libraries. And, it goes without saying, way ahead in terms of recognition of indigenous knowledges and the need for librarians to have cultural awareness.

Some of the abstracts are on the LIANZA website, but not the full papers yet. I do hope the papers or at least Powerpoints will be added in due course, but as the conference papers are not peer reviewed before, this may not occur.

All the keynotes featured high calibre international and local experts, so I’ll just highlight a few:

The opening keynote, Generation Ngai Tahu was Sir Tipene O’Regan and Hana O’Regan, engaging father and daughter team talking with love and humour about sharing of indigenous knowledges across generations.

Libraries Building Communities: Communities Building Libraries Jessica Dorr of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation talked about the Foundation’s work in United States libraries starting back in 1997 and how this work raised so many related issues about local and indigenous communities and lack of services. The Foundation is now spreading this work internationally.

Penny Carnaby, the National Librarian of New Zealand is a very inspirational speaker. Her keynote, A new equity emerges: citizen-created content powering the knowledge
Economy brought home for me how New Zealand is a world leader in cultural digitisation projects.

Some of the conference sessions I attended were Our journey into the future: Using ePortfolios to capture our learning and development with Gillian Hallam of QUT. She was speaking about an ALTC project using Pebble Pad software to help new career librarians develop E-Portfolios. Librarians involved in the project found this very beneficial for career advancement and finding work in this difficult financial environment. Co-incidentally some Australian tertiary organisations are using New Zealand Open Source software, Mahara to develop E-Portfolios.

Talking to the World: Using Online Identities for Professional (and Personal)
Communication: Brenda Chawner of School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington talking about how librarians are using Web 2.0 and social software for professional development and to build learning networks, how her surveys show how this has changed over time.

Here, there and virtually everywhere. Library services for distance learners with Anne Ferrier-Watson, Information Services Librarian of Waikato University Library, Hamilton. This was of particular relevance to me as it dealt with my subject area of services for teacher education. The Waikato University School of Education has developed VERD (Virtual Education Reference Desk) which provides an online communication channel to meet the needs of distance and online learners. It is a Moodle based online resource which combines web technology and learner-focussed service to help distance students find the resources and information they need. This could be implemented in many learning environments and across other disciplines where the majority of students are distance students.

One session I did not attend, but which was very well received, dealt with the problem of engaging university students with library orientation and first year student sessions. Simon Hart and Charlotte Brown of University of Otago Library, Dunedin delivered this session called: “I had no idea that the Library has so much to offer!” The Cephalonia method of library induction: shaped by students, for students, and starring students! Their ideas are soundly based in constructivist pedagogy and I feel could be adapted to other settings.

Connecting your Library to DigitalNZ delivered by Andy Neale, Jo Eaton, Virginia Gow, of DigitalNZ, National Library of NZ, Wellington. The DigitalNZ search system brings together NZ digital content from a wide range of content providers. They use search widgets, gadgets, enhanced catalogues, and mashups to enhance and deliver the data. DigitalNZ content can be embedded in blogs and on websites etc. I'd like to explore this more and embed some DigitalNZ into this blog.

There was a LIANZA 2009 Conference blog which is continuing to post follow ups. All in all a great conference, smaller and more accessible and interactive than some of the larger library conferences. The next LIANZA will be held in Dunedin in December 2010.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Richard Stallman will speak at LIANZA Conference 2009

I'm really looking forward to hearing Richard Stallman the free software activist an author of Free as in Freedom, deliver a keynote at the LIANZA Conference in New Zealand, October 2009. He's been getting some press in New Zealand during his visit there and was interviewed on NZ radio. If the podcast of the interview is anything to go by, this promises to be an inspiring and controversial keynote. Of course Wikipedia has lots of background information on Richard Stallman

The LIANZA conference blog is full of all sort of news and advice for attendees too.

Fires burning at Perth Library Camp

We had another really successful Library Unconference in Perth on Saturday October 3rd 2009. This year called Libcamp 09 LibraryCamp Perth 2009: Keeping the fire burning.

One of the highlights for me was our last minute surprise guest participant and Web Tamer: Michael Stephens.

Michael is part way through a CAVAL research project looking at outcomes of the 23 Things Learning 2.0 program in Australian libraries and he presented some of the preliminary findings of the research and also generously made himself available to answer questions and ask questions of the group.

Along the same vein it was also great the hear the Murdoch library people talking about implementing their 14 things ( an updated version of the 23 Things) for academic, library and other staff at Murdoch University.

One of the best parts of these days are the serendipitous lunchtime chats with people about all sorts of things like the recent: IAML conference in Amsterdam ...makes me wish I was still a music librarian!

Also heard about Central TAFE signing up to Microsoft Live@Edu

Another good session was on the New Zealand Kete. Kete Horowhenua is “a knowledge basket of images, audio, video and documents which are collected and catalogued by the community”. Kete seems to be like a Digital Commons for community and local history information

Coverage of called Library Camp Perth is at the wiki

Session notes here and there is also a Twitterfountain harvesting all the Twitter feed on the Librarians Matter blog.

Thanks to Michael, all the un-organisers and those who gave up their Saturday to participate and make the Library Unconference a great success.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Learning spaces, good and bad, what do university students think?

We are about to embark on a “photo elicitation” project with ECU students to taking photos of what they consider good and bad learning spaces around the campus. Participants will go in the draw to win an iPod Touch

Our students will be taking photos during October and it will be interesting to see what campus spaces students value for their learning.

This project is a small part of a much bigger ALTC Project: Retrofitting university learning spaces: from teaching spaces to learning spaces. Queensland University of Technology is leading the project, joined by Charles Darwin University and Edith Cowan University (ECU).

The project will develop guidelines, principles, exemplars and evaluation rubrics to guide the sustainable refurbishment of existing tertiary learning spaces to support a range of current and emerging pedagogical practices. Guidelines for academic staff development, facilities, AV and IT support, and for architects involved in institutional refurbishments are also included.

Eventually a selection of photos will be stored and made available on a Flickr photo site

Monday, 14 September 2009

Special guest at Perth Library Camp in October

Dr Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University and author of the influential Tame the Web blog, will be a participant at LibraryCamp Perth on Saturday 3 October 2009.

There are a few places left. Just go to the wiki to register your place and then put your name down to facilitate a session or do some other job on the day. Further details are on the wiki, Library Camp Perth.

If you have already registered, it would be great if you could add to the list of sessions on the wiki so far, or think about facilitating a session on the day.

So far we have:
• * • iPhone apps – Kathryn
• * • Can we use Kete or Omeka in Western Australian Libraries? (eg. Kete Horowhenua) – Kathryn
• * • Setting up a new library
• * • RFID
• * • Using drupal for library web sites
• * • What are the next 23 things- technologies on the horizon
• * • Keeping up to date – what tools do you use? – Con
• * • Mandatory Internet Filtering in Australia – Amy
• * • LibJam
• * • What should we stop doing to make room for new library services?
• * • Outrageously expensive, ambitious and impractical ideas for libraries
• * • Beyond death by Powerpoint try Keynote!..and how not to use everything Rosemary
• * • Engaging non-users
• * • Open Source and libraries
• * • How do we prepare now for the library of 2019?
• * • My favourite web tools and tricks
• * • Step-by-step hands-on creating a LibX toolbar for your library
• * • Zotero vs Refworks vs Endnote Cage Match
• * • If our brand is books, then what is the future of the format and how does this affect our future ?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Perth Library Camp 2009

Registrations are now open for the third Western Australian Library
Unconference. More than 60 have registered so far and it promises to be a great day. There are still spots available.

This year we are calling the event: *LibraryCamp Perth 2009: Keeping the
Fire Burning* .

The agenda will be decided on the day by the participants.
To register and for more information about unconferences and what happened in 2007 and 2008, go to our Library Unconferences page.

*Date:* Saturday, 3 October 2009*
Time:* 9:30am for a 10am start. 4pm finish.
*Venue:* Central TAFE, 140 Royal St, East Perth. Map here

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

It's Google 2.0

Here's my Google 2.0 presentation from our Library 2.0 Training Day

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Our Library Facebook page - pros and cons

Many libraries have a Facebook page where they post library information, announce special events and respond to queries. Anyone can become a “fan” of the Library Facebook page if they are already on Facebook. Those who are not already on Facebook will receive a link, inviting them to join up. Pages are free, however the option of placing paid advertisements is also available.

What has been our library's experience with the Facebook page?

We started the Edith Cowan University Library Facebook page back in March 2008 and now, 15 months later, we have 300 fans. Initially we took the minimalist approach and kept the Facebook wall locked down, as we were not wanting to devote too much staff time to page maintenance. We opened the wall in mid 2008, and we find we do get some messages from our students there.

What Benefits can a library Facebook page deliver?

What I like about the Facebook page is you can you can run an RSS feed into your page, so all our blog posts come up there. You can add videos and photos to give more of a presence. If you are tech savvy you can write a Facebook catalogue search widget. Database search widgets won't work unless you adjust authenication settings. Since June 2009 Facebook page owners have been able to claim their organsiational name for the page, so this will help with brand recognition. We are now Facebook also provides statistics so you can get some good demographics on your fans.

Any Downside?

What I don’t like about the Facebook page, is the lack of control over the interface and the closed network (i.e you need to be a Facebook member to access the site). Facebook’s interface has had two new revamps over the last 15 months and each time we needed to take stock. The latest design gives a more Twitter feel to the pages which we are now trying to exploit.

Where to now?

We probably need to market the Facebook page more and use some of the functionality it does provide. 15 months down the track we are still exploring ways to engage with our fans and keep them coming back.

Was it worth the effort?

Given that it did not take a lot of setting up I would say the return on investment has been OK, but I would not throw huge resources into it. I view it rather as a test bed which will give us a glimpse into future opportunities for libraries to use social media to connect with customers. Facebook may not the best medium for a university library to reach students. It’s just one of many social media options around and worth investigating and we know our students love it. Also, the exercise of setting up a page can expose library staff to social networking media and help them learn new skills ... until the next big thing comes along.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Book review Ben McNeil The Clean Revolution

Photo from jety's photostream

Book review of Ben McNeil’s new book The Clean Industrial Revolution

I recall hearing environmentalist David Suzuki speaking during a visit to Perth in 1999. He was addressing the global challenge of climate change. Someone from the audience asked him: “can science save us?” and Suzuki replied that he wasn’t convinced that it could.

Since that time our region is experiencing the impact of climate change, with fires and record low rainfalls in much of southern Australia. Perth rainfall in 2009 so far is 60% below average.

Ben McNeil’s timely new book, The Clean Industrial Revolution, takes us through the latest scientific research, and provides strong economic arguments that support urgent action on climate. Australia faces a particular challenge in the new low carbon age. Our vulnerable position as a high carbon, high energy economy is isolating Australia from the rest of the developed world and our trading partners. The book outlines many opportunities for business in the new carbon free environment which will include new “green collar jobs”. But, as McNeil points out, business will always act in self interest, so government must lead the way with legislation to introduce a strong carbon trading scheme. Our Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) or Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is a long time in coming.

To quote from the video Discovering the future :the business of paradigms: “when the paradigm shifts everyone returns to go”. McNeil’s book does a good job of outlining ways forward as the paradigm shifts and Australian’s trading partners turn away from high carbon economies like ours.

Ben McNeil is a climate scientist and an economist. He’s also a senior research fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW and is on the executive of Federation of Australasian Scientific and Technological Societies

McNeil’s book should be picked up by public, government, university, TAFE, school and special libraries.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Samuel Pepys tweets

I've found another "lit-twit" even more exciting than Moby Dick: the Samuel Pepys diary.

Some say Samuel Pepys was the original blogger. His famous 17th Century diary gives us a detailed account of personal and public life in Restoration London.

I've been following the diary which is being published online, day by day, on the The Diary of Samuel Pepys website. And since May 2009, the diary is being tweeted day by day at

How is the Tweet being done? Phil Gyford manages the website and the Twitter account. Check out what Phil Gyford says to say about the Twittered diary: for someone already immersed in Twitter it really feels like having a sense of what Sam is up to right “now”.

On the Diary website and on Twitter we are up to June 1666, as the days are more or less synced. The Great Fire of London occurred on 2 September 1666, so stay tuned for an amazing eyewitness account of the Fire in September 2009.

Samuel Pepys maintained his diary for nine years, from 1660-9, writing a personal account of his life, penned in a type of shorthand. He left us "eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London"

I confess I have not read the whole diary which runs to several volumes, but there's a fascinating account of Pepys' life by Claire Tomalin which first brought Pepys to my attention and I've been fascinated ever since: Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Presentation on Privacy and Web 2.0

Presentations for the June ECU Library 2.0 Training day are now on the Wiki.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Blogging coverage in Iran elections

I wrote back in November 08 about the political role of blogging in the Maldives election of 2008.

Now in Iran the New York Times live blog is doing a good job covering the Elections and getting on the spot information from bloggers on the ground there:

The wider issue of Iran and blogging is covered in Antony Loewenstein's The Blogging Revolution, Melbourne University Press, September 2008, 9780522854909

Here's a link to Literary Minded interview with Loewenstein on Crikey last year

This quote from the interview seems very pertinent today:

"When visiting a country like Iran – a population of 70 million, the majority under 30 years old and millions of web users – it’s immediately clear that solely relying on state-run media isn’t an option"

Monday, 1 June 2009

What is Google Wave?

Google's new Web 2.0 killer app is coming later this year: Google Wave.

Here are some links I've found that help explain what it's all about:

10 reasons why Google just reinvented online communication

Google Wave: A Complete Guide

"Google Wave is a real-time communication platform. It combines aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, web chat, social networking, and project management to build one elegant, in-browser communication client."

Could Google Wave Redefine Email and Web Communication?

Monday, 18 May 2009

Top downloads for 23 Things article

We have just received stats on downloads from The Electronic Library (TEL) for the first quarter of 2009. Our article on Twenty three steps published in TEL has been downloaded the most times by Emerald customers (excluding search engine crawlers). It was downloaded 508 times during the first quarter of 2009, compared to 379 for the second highest article.

So there's still a lot of interest among librarians and others in Learning 2.0 and how to implement some type of training in Web 2.0.

The bibliographic details are DOI:10.1108/02640470810921583
Julia Gross, Lyn Leslie. The Electronic Library Twenty-three steps to learning Web 2.0 technologies in an academic library. 2008 vol 26 no.6 pp.790 - 802

TEL is published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Tweeting Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Now that the Moby Dick tweet I wrote about is finished, "danco" (Dan Coulter) is moving on to tweeting the two Lewis Carroll books: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Tweeting will commence on Monday May 18th 2009. If you want to follow the daily Alice tweets then you need to be on Twitter and follow the publicdomain tweet.

I've been intrigued about this whole project and how it was achieved. The whole 1000+ page book took danco nine and a half months. Read More on the Moby Dick tweet

Friday, 8 May 2009

Trendy EDUCAUSE tweeters

At the EDUCAUSE Conference in Perth Western Australia this week the Twittering delegates on Tuesday May 5 2009 contributed to the conference tag #edaust09 reaching the dizzy heights on the Trending ranking in the new look Twitter. EDUCAUSE tweeters ranked, at one stage, the 3rd most tweeted topic for the day.

See this Twitpic of the Trending list added by Kathryn Greenhill. We were up there with Swine Flu, wolverine and other daily trends worldwide

Librarians Matter blog has the twitter "fountain” for the tweets, to see what was being posted

Libraries Interact Blog has more live blogging links

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

EDUCAUSE Keynote Moodle Open Source

EDUCAUSE 09 Perth Conference is over, but it may be a few days before the papers go up. In the meantime, some are appearing on SlideShare.

here are the slides from the excellent Keynote from Martin Dougiamas on Moodle Open Source

Monday, 4 May 2009

EDUCAUSE iPhone, iTunes Workshop

It was a good EDUCAUSE workshop yesterday on From Creation to Delivery - iLife, iPhone, iTunes U, I'm done.

The Apple guys gave a quick overview of podcasting, and the iPhone and iTunes. Podcast Producer is useful to manage workflows. Touched in iTunes U also. Since I posted last year about iTunesU in Australian unis there's a lot of good stuff happening out there with iTunesU. In Australia the leaders seem to be Griffith and Swinburne.

A concurrent session I didn't get to, but which sounded great, delivered a timely reminder on what footprints we are leaving behind when we waltz around the Net, especially on social networking sites: Walking on clouds: managing your digital footprints

The Educause Australasia conference will be live blogged by Libsmatter using the CoverItLive widget

You can search all conference related tweets via the hash tag #edaust09. There have been a few different tags, but the one finally decided on is: #edaust09

Friday, 24 April 2009

Tweeting Moby Dick

There she blows!--There she blows!--There she blows!--Tweeting Moby Dick

Thanks to the Maud Newton blog via the reeling and writhing blog I am following Danco who is tweeting Moby Dick.

Follow at publicdomain

I confess I never did manage to finish this book. The tweeting has been going for nine months and they have just sighted the whale: There she blows!--

In a strange way the broken up feed of tweets strangely focuses you on the language, eg:

A gentle joyousness--a mighty mildness of repose in swiftness, invested the gliding whale

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


EDUCAUSE Conference is coming up soon in Perth May 3-6 2009 and some of the participants have set up an EDUCAUSE Perth09 Wiki at wikispaces:
A few are gathering there already.

I am going to one of the pre-conference workshops: From Creation to Delivery - iLife, iTunes, I'm done and also Day 3, Wednesday 6th May

Monday, 20 April 2009

Twitter newbie

Finally succumbed and started tweeting under @jaygee35 and using this icon of our dear old Max (R.I.P.)

There are some great Twitter for libraries guides out there:

Phil Bradley's webpage What is Twitter and Twitter for librarians

Ellyssa Kroski the iLibrarian wrote this Twitter Guide for libraries back in 2007 and if you search her blog under Twitter there are a few more ideas.

Things have got to the point that now we need some tips on how conference speakers can manage the "back channel". How about this! How to present while people are twittering

EDUCAUSE also has some resources on Twitter use in universities

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

In receipt of Vice-Chancellor's Citation

That photo is a bit too formal, but nevertheless...

great news, I am a member of the ECU Lbrary team of five who are in receipt of the Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for 2009.

the wording of the citation is:

For a sustained contribution to the improvement of teaching and learning through the provision of innovative and effective learning spaces and library services

This is on behalf of the whole library and has been several years in the making, steadily gathering evidence, interviewing staff and students and implementing many changes.

Details of all the award winners are on the ECU Website

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

One Australian Book Meme

After doing the One Book Meme a few weeks back I've done my own variation on that:

The One Australian Book Meme. Unlike the others, this one has some non-fiction in it.

One Aussie book you’ve recently read:
Doing Life: a biography of Elizabeth Jolley by Brian Dibble. Thoroughly researched and full of detail, but a good read for those who know a bit about EJ's amazing life

One Aussie book you’d want on a deserted island:
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail. If you were stuck on a desert island you'd need something to lift your spirits and remind you of the Australian bush

One Aussie book you’ve read more than once:
Highways to a War by Christopher Koch. I love this book and it's so evocative of time and place. It transports you into the life of a war correspondent in South East Asia in the 1970s. I had a thing for Neil Davis, on whose life the novel is loosely based

One Aussie book you’ve never been able to finish:
Illywacker by Peter Carey.
Enjoyed Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, Bliss, and several others, but couldn't finish this one for some reason

One Aussie book that made you laugh:
Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James. I'm chuckling just thinking about it. The others in the autobiographical series are great too

One Aussie book that made you cry:
Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner
Clearly a one sided picture of this terrible miscarriage of justice, but good on you Helen for tackling this story. Wonderful writing too.

One Aussie book you’ve been meaning to read:
Tree of Man by Patrick White. I have the first edition at home, bought by my father when it came out in the 1950s, so I have no excuse ;)

One Aussie book you keep rereading:
The Reader's Digest Book of Australian Birds.
This is the book that got me started on my whole crazy bird watching life. Parts of the book are imprinted on my brain.

One Aussie book you believe everyone should read:
The Man who Loved Children by Christina Stead. It's an Australian classic and should have been recognised as such at the time, except for its American subject matter. Apparently Stead had originally set the book in Sydney, but changed it to meet her U.S. market. It is a depressing, Depression story :(

Friday, 3 April 2009

Further to my post on EBL ebooks on your iphone , I came across this paper at the ascilite conference in Melbourne last year: Usability and usefulness of eBooks on PPCs: How students’ opinions vary over time

The paper by Paul Lam, Shun Leung Lam, John Lam & Carmel McNaught from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, was voted one of the ascilite paper award winners. It makes interesting reading. It seems even in a place such as Hong Kong, where acceptance of online would seem to be high, students have trouble adapting to reading whole books onscreen. Of course this is referring to reading on mobile readers and devices such as iphones. I don't find this a surprise at all, and it may be a while yet before we see changes in practice.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

EBL on your iPhone

EBL (Electronic Book Library) titles can be downloaded to the Sony Reader, but now also EBL’s new reader is already accessible on an iPhone and iPod Touch?

Users can access EBL titles on their iPhone or iPod Touch through the standard EBL interface. In fact, EBL's online reader will render the full book in just about any mobile browser.

And news just in… downloading EBL ebooks to the iPhone/iPod Touch is soon to follow. Adobe have just announced a partnership with Stanza Reader, the reader application designed for the iPhone. Read more on the EBL blog

This is really setting the scene for a mobile learning future.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) has had the whole EBL catalogue loaded into its OPAC for 2 years now. In this demand driven acquisitions model, our users have book choice within their control. Budget permitting, of course.

Monday, 23 March 2009

New Facebook doesn't impress

There's not much to like about the new Facebook interface.

They have created a Twitter type environment with the daily update feeds dominating the cover page. You can make adjustments and get feeds from specific friends, but it's all rather irksome. I find I am using Facebook a lots less now, so maybe that's a good thing.

However we would like to market our ECU Library Facebook page. FB are still promoting institutional or corporate pages, and The Facebook blog has some ideas on attracting millions of fans to the page. Maybe we can use the News Feed dominance to our advantage.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

EDUCAUSE Perth 2009

It's been late coming, but the EDUCAUSE program is finally out and Early Bird registration closes on March 18, 2009. There's an interesting program with a good mix of Web 2.0 Library and I.T.

I'll be following the trail to sessions on MLearning, training staff in Web 2.0, Moodle, ELearning.

"Perth, Western Australia will be host to EDUCAUSE Australasia Conference to be held 3 - 6 May 2009 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. This is the premier event for professionals working in higher education who manage technologies to advance scholarship, learning and teaching. With the theme Innovate, Collaborate & Sustain, this conference will explore the challenges in areas such as how to innovate in the knowledge economy, collaboration with virtual teams and the ever present green agenda and action."

Monday, 2 March 2009

A One Book Meme

The One Book Meme has been posted by:
reeling and writhing and Ruminations

Here's my go at it:

One book you’re currently reading: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
One book that changed your life: Bury My Heart of Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
One book you’d want on a deserted island: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. So many ways to interpret this book. After reading this my friend went into the Claremont bookshop and asked the owner what else they had that was like The Name of the Rose. She was told there IS none!
One book you’ve read more than once: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkein
One book you’ve never been able to finish: An Instant of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
It's the sort of book I normally like, but when Pears started looking at the story again through different eyes I sort of lost interest. I should give it another day.
One book that made you laugh: The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
This one was hard. And then I remembered this hilariously anarchistic adventure I came across in the 1980s. I must read some more fun stuff.
One book that made you cry: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
It's wonderful, but pretty grim
One book you keep rereading: Pride and Prejudice and everything by Jane Austen, what a genius. How many novels of that period are still so fresh?
One book you’ve been meaning to read: Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
After buying it some years ago it's still sitting on my shelf
One book you believe everyone should read: 1984 by George Orwell

This was fun, but if I did it again next week I'd probably come up with a different result.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Perth's abysmal power supply

Excuse me a little rant. I guess I should get into micro-blogging from my mobile. A blog about new technology usually needs some power, which was not be be had in some areas of Perth on Feb 25, 2009.

Yesterday our suburb was without power for more than 8 hours. The reason? A few mm of rain fell during the day. It seems incredible, but Perth's above ground power poles cannot cope with being rained on, after a long period of dry weather. There were 10 pole fires caused by the rain and teams of technicians were working well into the night to replace the poles. This is the third time in several months that we have had major outages of power.

Time to write to the MP. I'll let you know how I go!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Victorian bushfires, books and libraries

With the devastating bushfires in Victoria many libraries and booksellers are rallying around and contributing to the affected communities.

There's a message from Jan Richards ALIA Vice President on the ALIA Blog outlining some of the action taking place: " libraries across the country are acting as collection points for local relief efforts and throwing their weight behind fundraising campaigns. "

One of the major Australian book suppliers, DA Information Services, is donating $5 to the Bushfire Appeal from the proceeds of every book ordered before the end of February 2009:
"This collaboration between members of the Australian Library and Information Association, Public Libraries Victoria, the Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Booksellers Association is demonstrating a unity of purpose for these times. Books are being consolidated at the Mitcham premises of library wholesaler DA Information Services located just 40km from the nearest affected region"

Borders are also donating books to schools and libraries in fire affected communities.

The major centre for cash donations via phone or online is the Australian RED CROSS Bushfire Appeal

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Organisational change, herding cats

At the Teaching and Learning Forum, at Curtin University last week, January 29-30, 2009, Barbara Holland gave the first keynote address. Her point about organisational change and the difficulties in getting staff involved in change, related quite well to our efforts with the
Web 2.0 training. We were trying to get staff to complete the Learning 2.0 program and thought 50% completion would be ideal. Barbara felt 20% buy in was quite good, so maybe we were aiming too high.

Holland also showed this hilarious video about organisational change: "Herding cats"....

Monday, 2 February 2009

Sophie Masson's love song to libraries

Staying with the theme of libraries and love of libraries, I read this a while back and starred it in my Google Reader account. It’s a beautiful post, written by Sophie Masson: A love song to libraries
What a great tribute to the power of parents to engender in their children a love of books and libraries.

Sophie Masson is one of the writers on the excellent literary group blog, Writer Unboxed, dedicated to the "craft and business of genre fiction".

Friday, 30 January 2009

Barack Obama on libraries

In June 2005 Barack Obama keynoted the opening general session at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, while he was still a U.S. senator from Illinois.

This article, published in the August 2005 issue of American Libraries, is an adaptation of that speech, which drew record crowds and garnered a standing ovation. Not surprising as it is inspiring stuff:

Bound to the Word

Guardians of truth and knowledge, librarians must be thanked for their role as champions of privacy, literacy, independent thinking, and most of all reading ...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

What is Cloud Computing?

The latest Horizon Report for 2009 lists Cloud Computing as one of the key teaching and learning technologies to watch, with its time to adoption one year or less.

So what is Cloud Computing? My understanding is that we are all using this without necessarily being aware of the term "cloud computing". For example keeping this blog on a server out there "on the cloud" rather than on a desktop would qualify as using cloud computing. Nothing new really.

This YouTube video interviewed Tim O'Reilly and other gurus at the Web 2.0 Expo last year. They don't all agree on what the term means, but it's worth watching what some of them say.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Press Freedom in Sir Lanka?

I am shocked by the murder of Sri Lankan Sunday Leader journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was was assassinated in Colombo on 9 January 2009.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was the editor of Sri Lanka's Sunday Leader and an outspoken critic of the government. Before his death, knowing that he was a target, he wrote an editorial entitled ‘And then they came for me’. The Leader published this 3 days after his death.

It begins:

"No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces - and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the last few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print institutions have been burned, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honour to belong to all those categories, and now especially the last...."

Read the full text of this amazing piece here on the Guardian website. It has now been republished in a number of sites.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Mobile Sri Lanka

While the ASAA Conference in Sri Lanka was not a rich experience in terms of emerging technologies, there were some interesting observations I made on the use of technology in the country generally and at the conference.

Sri Lanka, like many developing countries, has leapfrogged the wired era to some extent and are well into using mobile technologies. So you are more likely to get mobile coverage rather than wired. The major company providing mobile phone coverage is Mobitel

Of course mobile phones are everywhere. Monks even use them! I’m not sure why I should be surprised by that, but I was. Those ASAA conference delegates who used their global roaming had the joy of constant welcome messages from Sri Lanka’s mobile providers.

As far as internet connection goes there were some internet cafes in Kandy. At the Hotel Suisse in Kandy where the conference was held, the one wired internet computer for guest use, was pretty slow. The hotel rooms did not have internet access. However good wireless coverage was available in the hotel lobby for those who brought their laptops.