Category: Open access

What up at StatsCan

A collague passed on this interesting article by Andrew Duffy from The Ottawa Citizen dated August 30, 2014, titled “The State of StatsCan Survey“. Mr Duffy provides important information about our national statistical agency.

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University Libraries think about textbooks

A colleague of mine highlighted a few articles which explain how university libraries are engaging faculty and providing assistance to switch to open textbooks. Here are the links:
– For more on open textbooks
– The Alt textbook from Temple’s Teaching and Learning Technology Roundtable
CBC radio (Calgary) interview about open textbooks

ALA on MOOCs and Open Education Resources

The American Library Association just published a report by Canadian librarian Carmen Kazakoff-Lane called “Environmental Scan of OERs, MOOCs, and Libraries: What Effectiveness and Sustainability Means for Libraries’ Impact on Open Education” (pdf).

Of particular interest is the 6-page bibliography (which I will reproduce in the comments section of this post).

UNESCO on info lit assessment

Composite concept of Media and Information Literacy from UNESCO's Global media and information literacy assessment framework: country readiness and competencies 2013 p. 31

Composite concept of Media and Information Literacy from UNESCO’s Global media and information literacy assessment framework: country readiness and competencies 2013 p. 31


UNESCO, it seems, is quite interested in media and information literacy (MIL). It just released an “Assessment Framework for Media and Information Literacy” to assist countries in devising effective MIL strategies. According to the United-Nations agency:

A central component of UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy strategy, the Global MIL Assessment Framework would enable Member States to carry out comprehensive assessments of the information and media environment, and to monitor at the regional and national level the extent to which citizens have acquired MIL competencies, particularly targeting teachers in service and training. This evidence-based information will subsequently help Member States monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of education and ICT policies in developing 21st century capacities, and help to design new strategies and action-oriented plans that fit best within country-specific contexts and conditions.

The publication presents an overall assessment framework composed of two tiers: country readiness, and assessment of competencies. It also includes a plan for national adaptation as well as concrete suggestions for data collection, analysis and application. It is intended as a living document to be further tested, adjusted and adapted to national needs and circumstances by its users – policy decision makers, teachers and local professional communities in information, media and education.

The 150+ page document is available for free in PDF format from UNESCO .

In fact, UNESCO has launched an open repository under creative commons licences for all of their publications and more !

3D printing in Libraries & welcome Mike Groenendyk!

Mike Groenendyk at DAL I just learned that Mike Groenendyk is joining Concordia University Libraries as a fellow business librarian. Michael comes to us from Dalhousie University Libraries, where he’s had quite a bit of impact !

In my lazy-yet-mysteriously-efficient-googling, I’ve stumbled on this really interesting project to bring 3D printing to the DAL Libraries, funded by CARL. Watch a YouTube video of a joint presentation at the Access 2012 conference:

Also if interest is this video from PBSoffbook on 3D printing:

My favorite use of 3D printing so far? Making the characters of the stop-motion animation film ParaNorman. That and a harmonica. Harmonicas are cool.

Also of interest is this thread from the blog at MakerBot on 3D printing in Libraries.

Makers By Cory Doctorow If you want to read up on the potential of 3D printing, I highly recommend a novel by Cory Doctorow called Makers, available in print or free download. I devoured it during my summer vacation and it really speaks to the potential of this technology. The protagonists are two hacker/artists and they meander through a seemingly probably web of open communities, fans, fellow hackers and corporations spanning the evil/good axis. I personally thought that there was just a tad too much romantic melodrama, but in the end it was pale in comparison with Cory’s vision about 3D printing.

And my new RSS reader is… Feedly

Google Reader is dead. Long live Google Reader. I’ve presented on RSS feeds before on this blog, but now I have a new feed aggregator. See also a presentation I held, in French, on blogging as a doctoral student (slides here).

After much investigation, I have settled on Feedly to manage my daily information feeds. I like the interface and the multi-platform support. I tried the Old Reader and NetVibes but the former was too slow when switching categories on my phone and the latter, I just could not get used to the interface.

e.SCAPE Conference


I gave a talk at the e.Scape conference at Concordia University on the topic of :
The unexpected journey from a 60 minute lecture to a MOOC: a librarian’s mid-way report
Here is the description:

Information Literacy can be understood as the curriculum Librarians must curate without a classroom. Traditionally, this has meant organising library services as well as in-class lectures to advise students on research skills and strategies. But two factors have moved me to explore a new approach. Firstly, the Internet and open education offer incredible opportunities to disseminate knowledge and collaborate with colleagues worldwide. Secondly, as one of the Business Librarians working closely with the John Molson School of Business, my community is broad and their needs are as deep as their passion for their field. In order to meet this challenge, I’ve implemented a series of training videos in order to test a new curriculum deployment strategy.

Learning objectives for the session
Determine the resource implications of designing a MOOC, in terms of effort (time), technology and skill
Evaluate the relevance of the MOOC model for one’s teaching

I briefly discuss MOOCs. More on MOOCs here (this is the video I show in my lecture):

I position MOOCs as the extreme end of the elearning continuum – both in terms of structure and pace. I may never achieve this end-game in my development of curriculum and learning objects. In fact, I realistically envision that I will develop a series of learning objects that will be embedded in various courses throughout the undergraduate experience at the John Molson School of Business. Taken as a whole, these learning objects may constitute enough content to be called a MOOC or an online class. But for now, I am focussing on developing my curriculum and building meaningful learning objects from that.