All entries for June 2007

June 28, 2007

The value librarians add to resource discovery…

Writing about web page debated in the comments on the blog I’ve linked to. I haven’t even had time to read the original article that was blogged, but the debate gets into the nitty gritty of what librarians are for, which is great to read.

June 25, 2007

Second Life info island

Writing about web page

An interesting clip showing the scenery on Info island, but it doesn’t really give you a feel for what Info island is for, what you can do there, how libraries can use Second Life, which is a shame.

June 18, 2007

Useful links if starting in Second Life

Writing about web page

As I posted to the Second Life educators list to recommend the Youtube tutorials, I was sent a link to this page, which looks very promising…

I have lots to do with planning for the e-learning Showcase day tomorrow, though, so will have to check out some of these links further later in the week!

June 14, 2007

DOIs explained

Writing about web page

This is a succinct and handy explanation of DOIs.

June 13, 2007

Second Life campus – Ohio University promo video

Interesting introduction clip to what Second Life looks like… in an educational setting.

June 11, 2007

Library 2.0 discussion

Writing about web page

Another social networking software I’ve been checking out… Ning. It’s pretty good as a way of discussing with other librarians what they’re doing with Web 2.0 and social networking stuff in a professional capacity. Using the very software I’ve been asked to investigate to find out what it does feel pretty satisfying!

June 07, 2007

What about Second Life?

Writing about web page

There are lots of librarians talking about Second Life, and I have been investigating if and how the library could use it.

Classes could be taught on SL, perhaps information skills classes, but then you would have to make sure that all your students had access to a computer with SL software on (I don’t think they can they download softare to networked PCs on campus), high processing capacity and a fast broadband connection. All your students would need to create an avatar (character) and work out how to reach the class in SL. This is all too much of a major hurdle to have to overcome before learning about information skills!

In theory we could try to create an info skills class in SL with the aim of reaching just those people who are in there, but it would be worth finding out how many of our students are on SL first.

SL can overcome some barriers and inequalities that exist in the real world, as characters (avatars) can walk around, fly and teleport to anywhere, and can be made to look however you want them to. There is a certain level of anonymity provided, which can be both helpful and a barrier in itself, depending on the circumstances. However, the visually impaired cannot really use SL and those who can’t type fast are at a disadvantage. The way to talk to other characters is to type in the “chat” box that acts like instant messaging, which makes SL something of a glorified chat room. If you want to overcome real life physical distance, then video conferencing would probably work better for a small group.

The connectivity that can be made with Internet resources through SL has enormous potential for the electronic library but unfortunately links to the Web are extremely slow from SL at the moment, which of course is another disadvantage if you’re trying to teach information skills. Web pages open up in your browser, rather than on a “screen” in SL, as far as I can see, although presumably SL could be made to work in that way. SL is full of notice-boards although I haven’t seen an interactive whiteboard in SL. Books in SL can be read on screen, but it is not easy to do this, or to find the books in SL libraries. It is much, much easier to find and read a web page.

So what can we do with SL? Well, you can put video clips into SL, so Captivate tutorials and videos of information skills teaching could be put into a library in SL. The University of Hertfordshire SL Learning Resources Centre has a video, although I couldn’t watch it as I don’t have Quicktime installed!

I hear that there are conferences in SL, and that this offers the synchronous networking opportunity that is sometimes missing from other virtual conferences. So I might attend a SL conference if I hear of one on a library topic.

SL is exciting and has potential but there are other far more practical Web 2.0 tools out there, that could be used with far less investment of time at the moment… but I would still like to ask a question or two at the SL library reference desk!

June 2007

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