Kansas City is Rockin My World

I’m finishing up the first draft of my “technolust” article today. IMing with Jenny and reading over my notes, I’ve decided Kansas City is, in the words of Beck, “where it’s at.”

David King, cool IT/Web guy there just sent me this page for the KC initiative to get 100 wifi hotspots in KC, including some parks:”That’s right – KC (the city) is providing free wireless access, through this company – http://www.flashnetwork.net/hotspots/? I think the goal is to have 100 hotspots in KC. They have about 87 now (some free, some not, I think). The cool thing is that some KC parks are now wired.”

Cities, towns, burgs and villages – Please take note!

(Thanks David!)

Liz lawley on Teaching New Technologies

Nice post at Liz’s mamamusings::

http://mamamusings.net/archives/2004/05/03/teaching_new_technologies.php

I enjoy Liz’s stuff a lot. This one I particularly liked.

As a fella who someday would like to teach, this bit was interesting:

The future, I think, is to let go of the traditional approach of teaching how to do things in a specific language, and instead offer a more studio-like environment in which students are given access to resources and tools, and then work on developing a project. (We teach most of our classes in ?studio mode,? but in most cases they?re far from real studio approaches?they?re lectures with occasional hands-on exercises.) Surprisingly, it?s the students who are often most resistant to this mode of teaching?we?ve successfully conditioned them to see school as a series of core dumps, and switching gears into a more user-directed model often generates resentment and confusion rather than enthusiasm and creativity.

Weblogs in Higher Education and the IUSB Librarians

Librarians are great!

One of the real pleasures of talking about blogging is seeing what people start to invent for themselves with the tools, rather than assuming that the tools are good for some handful of particular things. – Ken Smith

http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P2679

I had lunch yesterday with IUSB Director Michelle Russo. We always have so much to discuss in the realm of librarianship and technology. She told me about a professor at IUSB who blogs and who presented a session for her staff on blogging. Ken Smith teaches in the English Department at IUSB and writes about blogs and higher education.

He has some great things to say about RSS, libraries, etc.

Take a look at his posts about the IUSB Librarians and his Libraries category.

Poem on Your Blog Day

Ok icontemplate, I’m in. A bit of verse that Stevie eventually turned into a song about the AIDS crisis:

And walking through the room together
In suspended animation
No one saw us go – No one said goodbye
And from my heart I leave behind
Great expectations
And that you find the answers to your questions
And that life will once more be a celebration
And that you will be touched by an angel

Stevie Nicks

Pondering a New Service?

Library consultant Richard Dougherty detailed the 5 requirements of offering digital reference in the May 2002 issue of American Libraries. They include:

? Staffing
? Acquiring the Technology
? Training staff
? Promotion
? Creating policy

These five gems could be applied to any technology planning in a library setting. You can’t do one part and not do the other or you are setting your service up to fail. An untrained staff? No promotion? Forget about it!

I Own a PC!

I have mixed emotions for sure but I am now the “proud” owner of a Sony VAIO laptop that meets the UNT Tech specs for our PCs. What a learning curve! I’ve used Apples and Macs since I was at IU in the 80s… and now…

It’s good to be biplatform!

Thanks to the ladies of the cohort who gave me good advice and nudges!!

PS: To offset my guilt, I ordered a decked out PB 17″ to replace my older one!

That Instant Messaging is so HOT right now

Jenny points to this…while Aaron and Chris are blogging about it as well.

Here’s what I’ve gathered in the year or so I’ve been connected:

IM with colleagues works! I have planned conference presentations with some good library folks, cried on a dear colleague’s virtual shoulder when things seemed opretty dark, discussed my upcoming dive back into academia with numerous IM library pals, scheduled training and meetings with my SJCPL colleagues — all VIA IM!

IM is great for a quick shout out — better than e-mail really… “Hey did you see Jenny’s post about THIS?” will always get me clicking to see what cool thing is coming up next.

Libraries can use IM as a means of virtual reference. Small investment..big results. There are libraries that do this! Aaron is! I’m changing the article I’m working on to highlight this stuff instead of Virtual reference — which, according too many good folks, is DEAD or should be!

And in general, it’s darn cool too be connected this way and hear from friends and family from all over the US in this “in the moment” way.

I do agree libraries and businesses will have to develop an IM policy to insure consistency of communication and some protocols. Note, I said libraries will have too… because I believe libraries should take this new HOT thing VERY seriously!

Cheers!

Update on Doctoral Program

I realized I hadn’t said much of late about my beginning the UNT PhD program. Here’s where things are:

The cohort consists of ten people: 9 ladies and me. :-) Typical for the library world, yes?

We are receiving a budgetary allotment for broadband access at home and a laptop. We received tech specs that outline how the laptop should be configured. I’m totally ready to upgrade my PowerBook but I heard that at UNT the SLIS faculty prefers students use PCs. I am waiting to chat with the director of the program down there to see if my Mac, running OS 10.3 will be compatible. I think it should be.

We will meet in Denton, TX on Friday June 11 for our first weekend of class. Here’s what our typical weekend schedule will be:

Friday, 3:00pm to 9:00pm;
Saturday, 8:00am to 6:00pm;
Sunday, 9:00am to 3:00pm.

The hotel — a brand new Hampton Inn — has a classroom built in — fully wireless. Nice.

I’m still trying to figure out some of the details and what I should be doing… more will come clear soon.

Watch this category for my contunuing news of moving toward a PhD!

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens