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Content Curation by people not Ai

Currently, I am exploring digital content curation and have been searching out visually interesting curation tools.

I initially started with Vodpod as a way of curating all the audio-visual material I stumbled upon. Vodpod is very effective for collecting videos and following the video collection streams of other collectors. You can collect videos from others that are of interest and others can collect from you. It is also a great place to store the gems you find. I have embedded a link to my vodpod account on my blog as a way of sharing further.

Another curation tool I started with last month is Scoop.it. Via Scoop.it, my curation efforts are focused on the topic of Poetry, just one of the plethora of interests I have. When I first started with my curation, I would initially trawl through web search and scoop what I found interesting, I would even share some of my scoops via Twitter. However, it wasn’t long as a scooper that I discovered you could set up a search via the curate button. You effectively set up  a trawl through the web sources via keyword suggestions, and specify what sources to accept ie blogs, twitter, google etc. Content suggestions are gathered based on this and you decide whether or not to collect suggested content to your topic.

Scoop.it provides opportunities to follow other Scoopers and to even offer suggestions for their Scoop.it topics. Potentially you can have an endless number of topics that are being curated concurrently.

What I have learnt from my Scoop.it adventure is

  • Even with my keywords, I still manage to come to content that has no relevance to my topic.
  • I still need to trawl the web to find interesting sources that have been missed. With the add-on button to my web browser scooping a page or video is very easy as it is just a click away similar to other bookmarking tools.
  • Many suggestions that have come my way have been great and I could easily have missed them if I had not set up the search and suggestion keywords via Scoop.it.
  • I love the visual quality of Scoop.it as it looks like a scrapbook collection of clippings. These clippings are the links to the actual webpage, video or information source. This visual element is very effective when I look though my scoops as it jogs my memory immediately as to what the source is. Thereby, making access to the information quick.
  • Sometimes, I come to the suggestions page and there are about hundred waiting for evaluation. I sigh when I think of the work ahead of me in evaluating each suggestion and whether it is suitable to my topic. This could happen daily for avid scoopers… and if you are curating numerous topics, it could be a fulltime vocation!
  • I love the ability to curate something I love and feel passionate about. Combined with sharing via Twitter. hopefully, others can stumble upon the found items and enjoy them too.
Another curation tool I have stumbled upon is Pearltrees and I have started experimenting with collaborative curation in Pearltrees only a couple of days ago. What is interesting about Pearltrees is that visually it is similar to a concept map that can keep growing and expanding. You can as a result have a variety of interests branching off your initial pearl and further branches can keep travelling from joined Pearls thereby, creating a tree visually or an ever-expanding concept map. You can collect other curated pearls you find interesting or that relate to your Pearl topics; adding them to your chosen Pearl. This results in following the curation of that particular Pearl as it expands. You can request to team up and curate a topic/Pearl and more than one person can add content and potentially change the direction of the Pearl with sub pearls added that can then become sub teams.
I have only just started on Pearltrees and have a great deal to learn still but the following are initial learning points
  • It provides the ability to participate and curate on very diverse topic areas. For instance I have an Everything Library Pearl, a Literature Pearl, a Music Pearl, Visual Art Pearl and so forth. Within these Pearls I have sub topics and have joined teams. Potentially the branching out can continue forever.
  • Sometimes I have chosen not to join a Pearl but collect it and add it to my Pearl topic like I would add a webpage. However, this collected Pearl is a curated topic and not just one source of information. Thereby I follow it like I would follow a blog.
  • I have realised efficiency can be improved by working collaboratively on topic curation. Therefore, instead of everyone having a topic on ebooks for instance, you can have an aggregate of collectors/curators contributing to the same Pearl.
  • In a work context, I can see Pearltrees as an effective curation tool where teams can focus on specific topic areas in planning and then come back to a central point to put the ideas together.
  • There are forums within curating teams where you can post.
  • There is a search facility where you can search the whole Pearltrees based on keywords or just search within your own Pearltree to locate content.
  • I need to definitely work out effective categories or it can become unwieldy.
  • Just like Scoop.it you can share via social media. However, to be able to view a Pearltree a person would have to join Pearltrees.
  • I have had some technical difficulties with Pearls dropping into my dropzone, disappearing and not behaving as the videos suggest.
  • I have had difficulty joining my Pearls to topics. You are meant to be able to pick them up and move them to a chosen Pearl and they connect. A few times this has not occurred.
  • My brand new iMac doesn’t allow the program to work effectively and I am unable to utilise the trackpad to move the Pearls around.
  • Sometimes the add-on for my web browser has failed to work.
  • Even though you can embed your Pearltree on your blog, I have had great difficulty trying to embed it here as it would not work.
I can certainly see the benefits of Pearltrees and its potential for curation on an expansive level. Collaborative content curation is potentially very efficient.

Following are some videos specific to the areas discussed.

The Need for Online Curation
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

 

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Transforming to a library 2.0 ~ Part 5.

Search Help

Search Help cc licensed and shared by mister bisson

Another exciting journey is about to begin as the decision on a Library Management System has been finalised and it is Oliver Junior, (for the various reasons outlined in the earlier posts).

Next week, Oliver Junior will be installed remotely to the network. Then the process of transferring from Athena to Oliver will take approximately a term to complete this transformation.

In the meantime, we are embroiled with the other logistics. For instance do we already have z-cataloging with SCIS and do we want the Syndetics module included.

Mary was a little concerned about the jargon, however after a couple of phonecalls to SCIS and Oliver support, we discovered yes we do have the z-cataloging and now have been enabled by SCIS for integration via Oliver. I understand there are a few more configuration details and hopefully Oliver support can help with the troubleshooting when the time comes to set it all up. Here are the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry.

Oliver’s support end calls the integration Z-39.50. In my speak, all this means is that you can search the bibliographic details via Oliver without needing to go to SCIS and import the MARC records directly. As a result, a more streamlined and efficient approach.

As for Syndetics, confusion set in as SCIS offers a module and we are not subscribed to this. When I spoke to SCIS, I discovered that this module does not integrate with Library Management Systems and was informed that Oliver has their own Syndetic module that can be integrated. Did we need this? was the question all were asking.

After looking up the benefit of Syndetics it is clear that it would enhance the system significantly. Not only does it allow the importation of book covers, but also other relevant information such as awards and author information. Clearly, this provides a better experience for the students and teachers. As a result, we chose to add this module via Oliver.

Where to now? Installation is next week and we are keying in some training sessions. It is starting to feel exciting but the road is still a way off and not too clear just yet… Mary has some trepidations at present but the playing is about to begin!

Visions of fall

Visions of fall cc licensed and shared by Kaitlin M

 

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Transforming to a Library 2.0 ~ Part 3

catalog

catalog cc licensed and shared by Justin Henry

As I mentioned in the last related post Transforming to a Library 2.0 ~ part 2, the response to the request for information and help with the Destiny Library Management System was fantastic. I keyed up a visit to a local Girls High School in Fitzroy that implemented Destiny at the beginning of this year. Heather, the Librarian responded to my OZTLnet request and said we were more than welcome to visit her school and have a run through of the system in use. The High School is not large with a student population of just over six hundred students. This is a good comparison to the Primary school as the student numbers are just over five hundred.

Mary from our Primary school, the TL from the neighbouring primary school and myself visited Heather at the High School Library on June 3rd. It is a beautifully set up library with zones spanning over two rooms. The larger room is the information and research library with computer pods and information related books and the second smaller room is the literature room. In the literature room there are some group tables and comfortable bean bags promoting reading as a leisurely experience. Heather informed us that wide reading classes are held in this room and one was in progress when we arrived.

Whilst here, Heather showed us the set up of Destiny including the different screens that can be navigated. She explained that Destiny Quest is the visual search face of Destiny and this the screen that students see as it is more visually appealing. Here is an example of the appearance of Destiny Quest of the Harpeth Hall School Library. She demonstrated various searches and was able to answer our plethora of questions.

The Library technician went through Destiny with us and displayed the various interfaces related to cataloguing, borrowing, user information and reporting functions. Similar to Access-it, Destiny can be manipulated and added to as a process of personalisation for a school setting. At this school everything has been catalogued via Destiny including musical instruments, iPads and other equipment in the school. This centralised approach is great. Destiny has the ability for interactivity with blogs and links that can be set up to enhance this. The school utilises a provided link for students to post reviews of books they have read and recommend them to others with ratings. Heather pointed out that they are still finding their way around the program and have not utilised Destiny to its full potential yet.

The positives of Destiny after this visit are that it is more cost-effective than Oliver and may be similarly priced to Access-it. It is a program that is utilised across the world with many examples available of its use. There have been the least negative responses to this program of all three programs from the various schools that have responded with evaluations that are using the programs. The support for Destiny is Melbourne based and Heather stressed how responsive and supportive they have been including through the training sessions provided. Access-it is New Zealand based and Oliver is based in QLD.

The overall appraisal of Destiny was very positive. We now have one more system to evaluate and that is Oliver. If you recall from my first post on this Journey, Transforming to a Library 2.0 ~ Part 1, the first High School I contacted was undergoing the same transformation and the Librarian there had visited a trade show of Library Management Systems at the end of last year and seemed most impressed with Oliver.

Oliver is the next system to evaluate and from my initial OZTLnet response, there are a few schools in Melbourne that have implemented Oliver and were happy for us to visit. This visit may have to take place early next term as we have reached the end of this term already.

Before we conclude the Destiny appraisal, here is a Destiny Training wiki I discovered with many useful resources for further evaluation and answers to questions I may not have thought of. It includes many links to PDF documents as training resources as well as orientation videos and a section on ebooks. Ebooks are another area of exploration for the library transformation… more on that next time.

 

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Audiovisual Archives

Visit the National Film and Sound Archive or for more information on collections Australian Screen or Australian Screen Online. Another resource of audiovisual archives can be accessed via ACMI.

BREAKING NEWS: National Archives Australia wins Unesco Preservation Award

National Archives of Australia to receive UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize

Click here for National Archives Australia.

 

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What do TL’s teach

What do TLs teach? by Joyce Valenza

 

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Word Clouds ~ Wordle vs Worditout

Wordle: learning with information

Learning with information created at http://www.wordle.net

This is an example of a word cloud created utilising the Wordle tool. It is pretty straight forward. You go to Wordle click on create and paste in a group of words. The words I pasted were a combination of my tags from my blog and the addition of other words based on learning this semester. You can manipulate the look of your wordle by changing fonts, colour palettes, and text direction.

Another, word cloud web program is worditout, I discovered this after reading the blog http://priscillaslibraryreflections.blogspot.com/, (Thank you Priscilla!). Similar to wordle you click on create then you can paste in you’re selected text, add text and so forth. You can manipulate text size, word cloud size and colours.

21 Century Learning crated with WordItOut

21 Century learning created with wordItout.com

Word clouds are useful in enhancing presentations visually. They appeal to visual learners and can aid understanding. You can manipulate the word weighting to provide emphasis to some words over others and you can manipulate the shapes of your clouds, ie whether you want words to spill out the sides or be contained within border parameters.

The benefits of wordle appear in the ability to manipulate text direction whereas with worditout, the words appear as above, no vertical~horizontal mix up. However, in trying to embed both word clouds in this blog, I had difficulty manipulating the overall size of the wordle cloud, hence it remains small here. While I could paste the html code into this post with wordle and then view it visually, this did not occur with my worditout cloud. With worditout I had to download the word cloud to my desktop and then upload the image file into the post. More experimentation needed as I have seen word clouds created with wordle that appear larger on other blogs. Another benefit of both is that you can share them by making them public and others can use them in their presentations. Fantastic!

Who wins, they both do!

 

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Digital and Media Literacy

I started this post with this animation because it made me “Think” and contributed to further questions relating to my investigation of information literacy in the 21 century.

As I further my exploration of new literacies and how they pertain to Information Literacy, I am focusing on Media Literacy and Digital Literacy in this post. I have placed these two together as I perceive there to be a convergence happening between the two. Examples include broadcast yourself on youtube, self-publishing via blogs, podcasts, photo-sharing and even the move of traditional media formats to online formats. It is all underpinned by Web 2.0 tools and the idea that we are at once both consumers and producers ~ ‘Prosumers’,  in this digital world.

In terms of literacy, this is a fundamental shift and it raises many questions such as How to create? How to evaluate? How to understand cross-cultural contexts of the world in this convergence? How to understand social meanings? How to use technology and tools to participate? How to share? How to reach the widest audience? How to filter? What is relevant? How to locate? What is ownership? and so on and so on…

Harking back on concepts about how people like to learn there have been many, including myself, that respond to visuals as an enhancement of understanding or even as an inroad to ideas and planning for further creation. This brings into focus the importance of visuals for learning and necessitates the need for consideration when investigating notions of literacy. How do we read visuals and images? How do we utilise them in the creation of meaning?What is shared in terms of encoding and decoding that broadens access to understanding when we utilise visuals/images? How is this assimilated in our learning? Why are visuals so important?

The Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods below is a great summary of the types of visuals/images that aid literacy development in this area. Click on the image below and move mouse over the elements for more information.

The following video draws attention to this world of ‘connectivity’ that Web 2.0 has contributed to and is specific to the need for change in the teaching-learning context. It has a definition or summary of 21century literacies. I love the end quote “It is the death of education but the dawn of learning”

New Media literacies

Following are links to resources specific to Digital literacy and Media literacy. They are links to websites with more information or e-journals with articles specific to media and/or digital literacy

ACMA resources for digital literacy

http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_311470

http://www.medialit.org/

ejournal with article on “Digital literacy across the curriculum”

ejournal about digital literacy as literacy for 21century titled “Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century”

 

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