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Posts by Michelle Boule

ECAR Survey Finds That Colleges Are Missing Technology Opportunities with Undergraduates

Submitted by Michelle Boule on October 17, 2011 - 10:35am

Last week, ECAR, the EDUCASE Center for Applied Research, released their most recent study on undergraduate students and technology. Some of the findings were quite astounding--a majority of the students own over a dozen technology devices--and some were common sense, like the finding that technology is not being used strategically in the academic lives of students. The report is only 35 pages, and its worth taking some time to look through. Nonetheless, here are some of the more interesting tidbits.

Students did not think their competency with core technology was sufficient and they wanted to learn more specialized technology skills.
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Finding Technology Answers in Science Fiction

Submitted by Michelle Boule on September 19, 2011 - 8:59am

Recently, I reached an intersection of a few marginally related things that made me think about how important books, information, and libraries are to the inspiration of culture, education, and technology.
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What Smartphone Internet Usage Means for Libraries

Submitted by Michelle Boule on August 16, 2011 - 9:26am

eBooks have been the hot topic in libraryland for a few months now and with good reason. It seems like every other day there is some new revelation that makes us either jump for joy or groan in agony. While these conversations and revelations have been happening, there has been another revolution underfoot.

The Pew, Internet, and American Life Project released a report last month on the usage of smartphones. We have known that smartphone ownership was increasing dramatically, and that use was up among minorities, and this report confirms the trends.
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Engaging an Online Community

Submitted by Michelle Boule on July 19, 2011 - 8:47am

Libraries have always been about community. Whether the library serves an elite clientele or is open to all, a library is defined by its community. Librarians fill shelves and populate web pages based on the information needs and desires of their communities.

Serving a communities that now spend more and more of their lives online has shifted they way libraries, and everyone else in the world, serve their communities. As librarians, we have freely acknowledged and embraced the idea that our communities do not always walk through our physical doors and often do not live in our geographical area. We have been searching for ways to serve our expanding communities while utilizing the technology and limited funds we have available.
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Becoming Nodes of Information

Submitted by Michelle Boule on June 16, 2011 - 9:15am

Lee Rainie has been directing the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project for the past 10 years. He was recently interviewed by Project Information Literacy about a new book he is writing about what he calls the “new social operating system.” In the interview, Lee says some interesting things about the way information is used and created and the role librarians play in this new operating system.
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Quick Tips for Technology Training

Submitted by Michelle Boule on May 17, 2011 - 8:49am

Summer is almost upon us. For academic librarians, finals are over and the students are already gone. The lull between sessions is like music to your to-do list. If you are a school librarian, you are still shepherding the kids through their finals. Public librarians are gearing up for all the summer programs. Here in the south, the heat of summer is blazing and I am already looking forward to the Fall.

Summer is also the season when we take the time to conduct training for our staff, because for many libraries, summer is slower than other seasons (I know, public libraries, not  for you!). For those of you planning some technology training for your staff, I have compiled a list of technology training tips to keep in mind.

Choose a tool or process that is already being used in your library but not being used well--a process that could be made easier, or a service that could improve.
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National Library Unconference Day and #makeithappen: an interview with JP

Submitted by Michelle Boule on April 20, 2011 - 9:27am

I love unconferences. I think that there is something beautiful about people getting together and challenging each other to make something better. For librarians, unconferences are a way to level the playing field among participants and allow everyone with a passion for libraries to raise their voices and ideas. Unconferences are largely unscripted and unpredictable. What is not to love?
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I Confess...I Dislike Facebook

Submitted by Michelle Boule on March 16, 2011 - 9:27am

I have a confession. I realize what I am about to admit will make me a curmudgeon to some, but so be it.

I dislike Facebook.

Hate is too strong a word because Facebook is good for finding people I have lost track of, but that is about the only thing for which I'm willing to give it credit. I would rather everything else that Facebook does elsewhere. My reasons for this dislike boil down to a mix of a dislike of user agreements as well as the lack of intellectual property rights, lack of privacy, and my general annoyance that very few people know or care about these issues with Facebook.
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Email, Teens, and the Workplace

Submitted by Michelle Boule on February 10, 2011 - 10:02am

Anyone who works with teens, has a teen in the household, or pays attention to communication trends knows one thing for certain: young people do not use email. In a revealing discussion with four high school freshman about technology, communication, and education, the girls in this video say that they only use email to talk to “ aunts, uncles, teachers, and older people.” (quote is 2 minutes in) According to comScore’s whitepaper, “The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review,” email usage is down a whopping 59% among teens. Instead of email, teens are using text messages and facebook as their main methods of communication.
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Being Articulate and Finding Context

Submitted by Michelle Boule on January 13, 2011 - 10:10am

I was thinking about the verbal skills of my two-and-a-half year old and his peers last week and it made me realize something. There are two main reasons that people have trouble understanding little kids, articulation and context.

Most kids my son’s age have an articulation problem. They either do not say the word correctly or they make up a nonsense word that stands in the place of an actual thing. My son has a context issue. His articulation is usually sound, but he randomly throws sentences into a conversation that have absolutely no bearing on either the situation at hand or the current conversation. As adults, we expect to hear certain things in relation to a situation or conversation, so when our expectations are not met, it all sounds like inarticulate babble, though the words are all correct. Of course, parents frequently know what the babble or the out of context conversation holds, though strangers usually do not.
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