100 Words

100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know is an ad for a book but the hundred words are listed on the web page. "If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."
I think I'll print them off and try to use as many of them as possible in my everyday conversation. Hmm... some may be a bit a difficult. After all when did I last maintain a soliloquy about how to subjugate a supercilious suffragist?
Some of the words would confuse a Scrabble player. I wonder how many of them you could use correctly?

The digital native thingy

I knew that my obsession with video style games such as Morrowind and Oblivion was not just a case of my being a "gaming granny" but something a bit more deep and meaningful. Now, as reported in insidehighered.com, College and university librarians have some unconventional advice: Play more video games. When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library.
This irks me somewhat in that it categorises librarians once again using the Digital Native/Digital Immigrant tags. I recently attended "Nerd School", hoping to become more familiar with new terminology and usage of new technologies, but was instead subjected to a test to see whether I was an immigrant or a native. I defy many so-called "natives" to achieve as high a score as I got! I suffer from insatiable curiosity and am always trying out new things and learning all the time.

Google vs. Library

I think I'll use this Unshelved cartoon next time I present a web search skills class:-)


Educational Projects in Second Life

Many of Central TAFE's staff last week attended AFLF's E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference. Much of it was conducted via Eluminate but there was also a session online in Second Life, In-World Presentation: Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life something that made people start to question why no-one in our college has access to this phenomenal new teaching and learning tool.
With educational sites popping up everywhere in SL it is a shame that our Department of Education has seen fit to block it with a dirty great firewall. Too many people see it as just a game and a place to waste time. Certainly you can have fun in SL (I attended a very lively party there on Info Island on Friday night, Saturday morning our time), but you can have fun in a classroom situation too.
Our IT Department has been working with the Dept. of Ed to try and overcome the resistance and, fingers crossed, they may actually be getting somewhere. I look forward to the time when, in the Library at Central, we'll be able to offer courses to our students and lecturers advising them how to make the most of their Second Lives, as well as offering virtual library services in addition to the real life ones.


Best SL session so far

Classroom in the sky

Last Friday's session on Second Life was the most well-planned of all in the course so far. The class met at the usual meeting place on Info Island and students were directed to a teleporter which took us to a classroom in the sky. A copy of the Reference Desk was adjacent to the classroom so when we visited that we didn't cause any disturbance to the SL librarians who were rostered on duty at the "real" desk on the ground.

Reference Desk

The discussions revolved around Reference Desk experiences, griefing and how to resolve problems with difficult clients (yes, those are not limited to real life situations). We were also informed about an application called Babbler that ref desk librarians can use to translate their messages into any one of 10 different
languages (including Pirate).

Griefing example

We started at "sunset" then watched clouds drifting across a starry sky and finally the sun rose slowly as a beautiful orange fireball.


SL as a showcase

The Virtual Librarianship course I'm doing is very stimulating. It's great to thrash out ideas with other librarians, mostly from the US, with the same problems that we have here. I'm currently trying to persuade our IT people of the need to lower the firewall so we can utilise all the wonderful possibilities.

SL also has great potential as a showcase for our colleges. Visit the new Swedish Embassy in SL to see how they do this.

This wiki has great ideas for using SL as a teaching and learning tool http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life_Education_Wiki

And here is the URL for a wiki relating to an education island maintained by an Ohio University in SL. http://www.bscsecondlife.info/. I met one of the lecturers while I was online observing a reference librarian in SL for my course this morning.

Or this YouTube video from The New Media Consortium (NMC), a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. http://www.bscsecondlife.info/


Bits and Bobs

In LibraryStuff I came across this video ridiculing copyright. It's very clever.

Why should libraries blog? Here's an article about why the Wilton Library is doing it.

There's a new human-powered search directory in cyberspace, Mahalo. If it's as good as the first page is attractive it'll do well. Like all true directories, however, the amount of information it can deliver is limited, though what there is is usually of high quality.

More from Second Life - Sweden has opened an embassy there. I haven't had a chance to visit yet (damn this firewall) but it looks like fun and I plan to travel there when I get home this evening. To get to the Second House of Sweden, go to http://www.sweden.se/secondlife and follow the instructions.
Images at: http://imagebank.sweden.se/, User name: second_life, Password: sweden

Do you want to get into podcasting but aren't sure if you have the necessary software? Most people I've spoken with are using Audacity but here is a possible alternative, PodcastPeople. It advertises itself thus: a simple web-based service that allows individuals to create audio and video episodes, write blog posts, and interact with their audience. There’s no software to download and nothing to install.


"Web 2.0-centric" librarians

The meeting last Saturday with like-minded "web 2.0-centric" librarians was awesome. See Kathryn's post in her blog, Librarians Matter. I was particularly enamoured with being introduced to lolcats and lolbrarians. Why have I not heard about them before? Does no-one in my milieu have a sense of humour about our jobs?
It was great to meet
face to face with real people in real time. Great too to hear about the variety of responses that various IT departments give to our access requests. Perhaps I should move to another library, though on a recent Second Life chat room one of the participants asked if we all (from diverse corners of the globe) had the same IT department intent on blocking access to any possibly controversial site without investigating our needs.
The meeting renewed my interest in running a course on
Learning about social computing the “23 Things” way. I've been given the go-ahead and will now try to drum up some enthusiasm among my colleagues.