Thursday, December 31, 2009

InsideHigherEd: Obsolete Learning Technologies

According to the Silicon Alley Insider, 21 technologies have become obsolete by 2009. Some will be missed (such as coursepacks!). You can read the details and comments from the InsideHigherEd article.

What learning technologies have become obsolete this decade? Here are eight examples:

1. Scantron Sheets

2. Overhead Projectors and Transparencies

3. Classroom VCR/DVD Players

4. Course Packs and Course Readers

5. Photocopiers

6. Microfiche

7. Language and Computer Labs

8. Paper Journals and Periodicals?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Decade in Review: Events that Changed Our Lives

The Detroit Free Press has an alphabetical list of events that have changed our lives this past decade. It's amazing to think that things we take for granted now have only been around within the past 10 years. I will list a sample, but you must read the five-page article for more details.
AIRPORTS: Remember when you didn't have to take your shoes off before getting on a plane? Remember when you could bring a bottled drink on board? Terrorism changed all that.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: From acupuncture to herbal supplements to alternative ways of treating cancer, alternative medicine became more mainstream than ever.

APPS: There's an app for that! The phrase comes from Apple iPhone advertising, but could apply to the entire decade's gadget explosion, from laptops to GPS systems (want your car to give you directions to Mom's house in Chinese, or by a Frenchwoman named Virginie? There was an app for that.)

AARP cards ... for boomers! Some prominent Americans turned 50 this decade: Madonna. Prince. Ellen DeGeneres. The Smurfs. Michael Jackson — who also died at 50. And some prominent "early boomers" turned 60: Bruce Springsteen and Meryl Streep, for example.

AGING: Nobody seemed to look their age anymore: Clothes for 50-year-old women started looking more like clothes for 18-year-olds, tweens looked more like teens, long hair was popular for all ages, and in many ways women's fashion seemed to morph into one single age group.


Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year! See you in 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians Are Still Important in the Digital Age

I found this article by Will Sherman stating 33 reasons why libraries and librarians are still important today as society enters the digital age. Information literacy and outreach instruction will become more important in the near future so that librarians, also known as information professionals, can educate diverse populations on how to effectively search for information. I won't list every reason on this blog, but it highlights some of the important skills librarians learn and practice: ensuring people have the best access to information. The digital divide is still real and widening around the globe. Computers (particularly the Internet) alone cannot replace the libraries, but it can complement libraries. Various organizations have adapted to cultural and social changes over the years (libraries are no different).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Link: Why You Should Fall to Your Knees and Worship a Librarian

I found this blog post on a LiveJournal site, and instantly laughed at this common question ("Why are you in school for that?"). If friends, relatives, or strangers ever ask why you are pursuing a degree in library and information science, heed these author's words!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fall 2009 Reflections

I am officially done with finals! One semester down!

I survived my first semester in graduate school! Yay! This semester flew by quickly, and the workload was quite intensive. I had moments where I thought I couldn't handle the workload. My peers came from diverse educational and geographic backgrounds. We are specializing in different areas (a strong benefit for the school). I took two foundation courses, two specialization electives, and a cognate in another school.

I believe I enhanced my teamwork and critical thinking skills. I also demonstrated my creative (artistic) side in several class presentations. The faculty also encourages students to pursue cognates outside the school; therefore, I plan to take cognates in other professional schools around campus. I had the opportunity to attend a conference and network with other professionals. I plan to attend similar events in the near future.

Happy Holidays everyone! I resume classes next month.

Update (11/23/2011): I am no longer enrolled in the School of Information. However, I will continue to support libraries and digital divide initiatives that connect people with information.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What are iSchools?

The University of Michigan School of Information is a member of the iSchools Caucus (also known as School of Information). It is a 24-member organization that is interested in the relationship between people, information, and technology. iSchools members combine five core academic fields (archives, business, computer science, human-computer interaction, and library science) to create an interdisciplinary curriculum. These schools are interested in the uses and users of information, and the application of information technologies. Scholars conduct research on the nature and fundamental aspects of information.

Degree programs in iSchools include course offerings in areas such as information architecture, design, policy, and economics; knowledge management, user experience design, and usability; preservation and conservation; librarianship and library administration; the sociology of information; and human-computer interaction and computer science.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

USNews: 11 Skills You'll Need for a Career

U.S. News posted an article about which career skills every college graduate should learn. I think this list (click on the link for a more detailed description) also applies to graduate students (especially those enrolled in professional programs). I will say these transferable have helped me succeed in my previous positions.

1. Writing clearly and forcefully.
2. Systematizing and organizing data.
3. Doing research.
4. Presenting material orally.
5. Taking notes.
6. Meeting deadlines.
7. Working on a team.
8. Getting along with a boss.
9. Multitasking and time management.
10. Seeing a big project through to completion.
11. Creative thinking.