Friday, March 27, 2009

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – March 26, 2009

We had a small group this time, but we ended up looking at some very interesting tools. Just before the meeting started Lee stopped by on his way to another meeting and made a few suggestions too... we ended up looking at a variety of project management and personal planning tools, as well as QRCodes, and some data. Interesting!

Annie: showed us Highrise, by 37Signals:
This tool is being used by Wendt for coordinating contacts for reserves as well as liaisons, so that information about the contacts is managed better, specifically the continuity of contacts over time. For example, it should be possible to record a patrons (esp. professor’s) preferences regarding certain services such as instruction or reserves.
Watch the Video:

Lee and Annie: mentioned/showed Basecamp, also by 37Signals:
This is a project management tool, that allows you to track projects, documentation, and assigned staff during the project duration. Wendt has been using it for tracking IT projects such as programming needs or upgrades.

Lee and Annie: mentioned/showed Backpack, also by 37Signals: This tool helps with personal to-do lists, calendaring, and some file management.
Watch the video:

Lee: mentioned Liquid Planner before the meeting, and we took a look at it!
This is another project management tool that facilitates management of staff time allocation to multiple simultaneous projects, and the tracking of costs.
They also have a video:

Ian: broke us out of the efficiency-application mold, and led us on an adventure into the realm of cutting edge barcode-to-mobile-device technology. QRCodes can be generated from free sites such as and then physically posted in paper documents or on physical objects. The QR code can be “photographed” with a mobile device and then read with an application on the mobile device, which converts the QRCode into a text message or URL, which can then be visited using the phone/device. Ian expects the process to improve and become common in the next few years. He notes that it is already very popular as a promotional tool in some other countries like Japan. Ian could see this being used for SOAR. So can I.
Watch a video of this working:
Here is a short article about how this can be used for promotional purposes.

Group discussion about Camtasia and Captivate, and the drawbacks of Captivate with regards to file management and lengthy updates to guides.

Annie: Showed us the Google Sites tool that Wendt is using for building a staff intranet: Annie notes that it is good for building staff web pages (procedural guides, staff information), but the document management functionality is not great. Instead she suggests using Google Sites with Google Docs. Together these cooperate to form a robust intranet experience.

Ian: Mentioned that College was looking at Confluence as a possible internal content management system, and that DoIT had also been experimenting with it. Unfortunately, DoIT has been taking a long time to fully implement a robust wiki tool, though it may happen soon.

Tom: finished up the hour by passing around copies of the EDUCAUSE documents related to Judith Caruso’s recent campus discussion of her work on the 2008 ECAR “Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology.” Jean Ruenger-Hanson had mentioned these via email earlier on the LILI IT list.
ECAR Key Findings:
ECAR Research Studies:
ECAR Roadmaps:

Tom also mentioned the similar DoIT Surveys. DoIT Research Reports on Campus IT Usage: