Here we are back for a new semester. At the September meeting we looked at and discussed several very interesting tools/technologies:
1) Jim: started off the meeting by showing us the free Prezi presentation tool: http://prezi.com/ It is really very cool! This presentation tool can replace PowerPoint, but functions in a way that is significantly different. Instead of moving sequentially through a series of slides, Prezi presentations are created as one large "screen" that can be rotated and focused in on at varying levels of magnification as a way of bundling packets of presentation information. If that makes no sense, go to the site and watch the demo. The Prezi site also include tutorials. The entire package is slick, and artistically mesmerizing. Jim notes that the presentations can live on their servers, or you can also download the file.
2) Entire group: discussed smart boards in libraries. Jim notes that the MERIT library recently purchased two smart boards, and they look like they have a variety of potential uses in library instruction. Depending on the brand/type of SB, they function differently. Some require an external device (ie. stylus) to interact with the board, and others just use the touch of a hand. Jody (welcome!) notes that in the K-12 school environment they are in use already. She notes that some come equipped with built in keyboards. Jill and Bob both mentioned that they had seen museum displays (example: Art Institute - American wing) that used these tools. They can run/display the standard computer applications too. The group noted that this looks like a promising item that libraries could experiment with in public spaces.
3) Bob mentioned a very handy desktop set-up that he had been working with. This includes two monitors with a single PC. He has also been experimenting with Windows 7 since June, and he likes it. Phil mentioned that it is possible (it looks like for students) to get the Windows7 home version for $30 if you use a university email address. Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5361767/students-get-windows-7-for-30 Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/5361566/get-windows-7-home-premium-for-30-with-a-college-email-address