Friday, June 24, 2011

New IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – June 23, 2011

Ahh, summertime in Madison... The GLS Conference and the NMC Conference were held recently and they sounded fascinating. Several of our members attended. ALA is coming up and other conferences are on the way too...

Tom C. started our discussion this month. He is interested in maybe planning and developing a game focused on encouraging more extensive use of Music Library resources. He became interested this topic after listening to the OCLC/Library Journal “Play, Learn, Innovate” online symposium: Tom heard Kurt Squire and Erika Halverson discuss educational games, and he had also heard about the ARIS platform, and wondered about how he could use this to help music students. Ian brought up the excellent point that game building is a skill and an art, and good educational games are successful because of the game mechanics. Great data alone won’t make a great game. There is a “meta-skill-set” that is very beneficial for a game designer to have when creating a new game. The GLS group meets about every month to discuss new educational games. Game fun-ness is very important! Joe furthered Ian’s point by showing a great video from the Escapist Magazine about “Gamifying Education” The group then discussed a number of examples of useful educational games. Anna mentioned a “mini golf” style game/tour in libraries that has also been used as a fund raiser. Joe mentioned that many summer reading programs are presented as games in that the reading challenge is accumulative and frequently based on “levels.” Joe also mentioned that Steve B is building a game to encourage citation comprehension. Tom C. further explained that in the study of Music, the community tends to be split between academic researchers and instrumentalists. He is looking for a way to “cross-train” the students so that they will be familiar with the research resources that are available to both tracks. Kathleen mentioned that she has frequently used card sorts as a way of organizing her ideas for future projects. Ian followed up with an explanation of an interesting-sounding game that was played at the GLS conference: each attendee was issued a set of topic cards that were used to frame debate and discussion on a variety of points. As people met, they would deploy their cards to create a discussion. Whoever “won” the discussion collected all the cards. The debates continued in pyramidial elimination until only two debaters remained. They debated using all of the collected cards. Ian also described the “hall of failure” (look near the bottom of the list) where people would describe projects that failed and explain why they failed and what they learned. Kathleen mentioned Elliot Masie’s rule for presenters that the only get one slide per presentation. Kathleen also mentioned that Masie had done some work on mind-mapping tools. Ian mentioned that at the NMC conference, Jared Lanier had spoken about three books that looked interesting: 1) What Technology Wants, by Kevin Kelley; 2) You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier; 3) Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, by Douglas Rushkoff. Looks like some very interesting summer reading! Both Joe and Ian expanded on the discussion by pointing out that Jared Lanier was concerned about the cyclical recycling/repetition of culture online without new creativity added, and the detrimental aspects of free (non-paid for) information for creative people who are trying to make a living off of their creativity.

The group then switched gears and began to look at some tools...

Anna showed us the fantastic Bubble mind mapping tool. Very easy and intuitive to use! Anna also showed us the site that explains the revolutionary Lytro Light Field Camera that allows you to refocus the image after you have taken the picture! Anna mentioned the Forsquare app Checkmate that allows you to auto-check-in to your favorite venues as you arrive without having to do anything. And finally, the Fodey “newspaper clipping generator” that allows you to create your own news clippings (for “entertainment purposes only” of course, as they used to say). Whew! Thank you Anna!

Kathleen asked the group for reflection regarding her work on ISIS documentation. She has used Captivate and Word documents as a way to capture the many “how-to” tutorials she has created. The group also recommended DoIT’s KB tool and Confluence Wiki subscriptions as alternate possibilities.

Tom D. finished up the hour by mentioning the Hidden Mac app that allows you to monitor your laptop if it is stolen, including using the built in camera. One recent story of MacBook retrieval was chronicled in the blog.

See you all next month! Good Luck Katy!

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