Monday, August 10, 2009

Free course on Instructional Games

I guess I gave it all away in the title. This is a free course from Utah State University in Instructional Games. I've just scratched the surface of some of the readings, but it looks interesting.

Got this link from Learn-gasm.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Nethernet

I may have gone on about this before, but I'm going to be trying an experiment in the First Year Seminar class I am co-teaching, The Study of Games. I was trying to find a way to enliven the annotated bibliography assignment that we have been giving to the students. So naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a game.

That's when I thought of The Nethernet, which was formerly known as PMOG, Passive Multiplayer Online Game. The gist of this game is that you install a firefox extension that tracks the sites you visit and allows you to interact with everyone else that has that extension. You accumulate datapoints (DPs) by surfing around, but also by finding crates that other users leave on websites. Or you might leave a crate, or a mine (which detonates when someone else visits the site, costing them datapoints). You can wear armor to protect yourself from mines, you can throw grenades, build portals and lightposts to take people to new websites, and lots of other activities.

The lightposts were the functionality I was looking for, because the game allows you to string together a set of lightposts, annotate them and call it a mission. Someone taking your mission would be led on a tour of these sites with your commentary.

So my thinking is that I will create library missions for the students to go on to learn about services, etc. I will have the students produce a number of missions, finding scholarly articles, books, websites, etc. for topics based on the class. Hopefully, this will all be much more fun and interesting (and possibly they'll learn a little bit more). Stay tuned to see how it works out.

Teens don't Tweet

Just read a report from Nielsen (found here) that notes that although Twitter has received an immense amount of media notice and exponential growth, this growth is mostly fueled by the 25-54 age group. Only 16% of teens use Twitter.

That seems like a sobering statistic for those of us wanting to start up Twitter services in the library. If only 16% of our biggest user group, students, are using the service, is this the group we should cater to. It seems like the best use of Twitter would be to figure out what our faculty would like to see and provide that, as that age group shows the greatest growth in twitter users at 64%.

Here's the chart:

Friday, July 17, 2009

TechNotes Fall 09

Here is my list of topics for TechNotes in the fall. I think I'll try going to a bi-weekly format, which will hopefully improve attendance. I'll be cranking out a schedule within the next few weeks.

AsULearn - Basic
AsULearn - Advanced
SynchronEyes (or whatever it's called now)
Using the Online Assessment Survey tool
Using Games in BI sessions
Using Clickers in BI sessions
LibGuides - Advanced

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Proxify-er Bookmarklet

If you have need of providing proxied links to our databases or articles or any of the resources we have that are not available to the general public, try out my Proxifyer bookmarklet.

The bookmarklet is basically a little bit of javascript that you save just as if it was a bookmark to a web page (or a favorite in Internet Explorer). This particular bookmarklet will allow you to highlight a link on a page and press the bookmarklet and a little window will pop up with the correct proxied URL to use for off-campus folks.

If you don't highlight something a popup box will ask what link you want proxied. And if you want to just have a link to a database (like Academic Search Premier), type in the letters "db" and a space and then put the name of the database you're looking for. So you would type in "db academic search" if you were looking for ASP. A little popup will then give you a list of all the databases that match those search terms, along with their correct links.

You can find the bookmarklet here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Google Forms Test

This is me trying out the Google Forms functionality. Haven't heard of that, have you? Me neither. That's why I'm testing it out.

Monday, August 4, 2008

TechNotes Returns

TechNotes will start up its weekly run beginning August 27. The sessions will start at 9:30 and run for a half hour and are very informal.

If you have any ideas for topics, please let me know.

Here is what I have so far:
Augsut 27: SynchronEyes
September 3: RSS
September 10: Screencasting with Captivate
September 17: Screencasting with Camtasia
September 24: Word 2007