Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Current CITE-ings from the popular and trade computing literature: e-learning
Article Type: Regular column From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 31, Issue 10
E-learning is hot in libraries from massive open online courses (MOOCS) to the development of small e-learning modules. In academic libraries, the focus is more on support of the curriculum, and in public libraries, the focus is as a gateway to lifelong learning. For librarians, Webinars and meetings are becoming much more of a norm, often replacing face-to-face discussions and presentations. New and emerging technologies are available and libraries are looking for opportunities for incorporating them into their marketing and service efforts. Makerspaces in both public and academic libraries provide opportunities for users to experiment with many of these technologies, such as three-dimensional (3-D) printers and the Raspberry Pi to create their own content.
Campuses are now trying to train teachers to be better online instructors. This article gives six strategies toward being a better blended or online instructor. First, learning your learning management system (LMS) can help. It provides ways to manage documents administer tests, create surveys, support blogs and support wikis and multimedia. Next, foster personal connections by having a discussion forum and replying to posts. Send e-mails to students who are having difficulties. Next, be creative in how you transfer face-to-face teaching to an online format. Teachers can engage students by following tweets. Also engage your learners with tools that are Web 2.0 enabled. One can assess learning by creating small group projects, case studies or debates. Try to encourage students to create video documentaries, podcasts or video blogs. This allows students to unfold their learning in a coherent matter. Finally, not all things will work out perfectly, so be open to change. Share with colleagues your ideas for success (Beaudoin, 2014).
Apple has dedicated 30+ pages on learning with their products. They’ve included the best apps and accessories for lifelong learning. For learning new skills, they’ve included the best apps for foreign languages, computer programming, speed reading, cooking and musicianship. They also have the best apps for curricula in school. You can also learn with iTunes U that includes the world’s largest digital catalog of free lectures, videos and books. This article talks about losing motivation and offers some tips for students to stay motivated, e.g. create a study schedule, hold you accountable and create good study habits. Tablets in school can augment learning (iPhone Life staff, 2014).
Adaptive learning is gaining traction. It uses technology and data to provide customized adjustments based on a student’s level of mastery. Also known as personalized learning, it has been spearheaded by the Gates Foundation. Gates produced two white papers, one is “Learning to Adapt: Understanding the Adaptive Learning Supplier Landscape”. The other is “Learning to Adapt: A Case for Accelerating Adaptive Learning in Higher Education” (Waters, 2014). Blended and adaptive learning through technology are becoming more important in information literacy instruction and teaching students important critical thinking skills.
For online meetings and Webinars, Howen (2014) highlights three Webinar packages that are suitable for every technology professional, regardless of expertise or industry. Ideal for small business is Any Meeting. that has a ticketing feature. ON24 mixes easily with marketing automation platforms such as SalesForce, Marketo and Eloqua. The top option is Cisco’s WebEx Event Center as it has scalability, reliability and robust features.
Networking, hardware and software
Cuyahoga Community College faced the question on how to upgrade their core network and across layers with less time per person, less money and less downtime, while delivering a significant upgrade. They assigned weighted values to all kinds of categories and examined basic usage data to determine the best investments to make in upgrading their networks. They upgraded their Cisco equipment in the computer labs and then upgraded their Cisco Wireless Services Module/Wireless LAN control to Cisco Flex for their core and wireless services. They updated their Cisco equipment for data center switching and campus link replacements. Finally, they upgraded their Cisco switch for their primary access layer (Anderson, 2014).
Apple iCloud is useful because any updates that are made are transferable to the iPad, the iMac and the new iPad Air. Your information is synced between all of your devices. It is also useful because if you lose a device or your hard drive fails, you still have your data and documents backed-up on the cloud. If you have the iCloud Web interface, you can access iCloud with any device. iCloud is most commonly used for e-mail, calendars, contacts and documents but can also store photos, music, e-books and videos. This article gives information on how to get started, and how to use iCloud in non-Apple environments (Karpen, 2014a).
Today, 4K monitor resolution is here and affordable. Ultra high-definition (HD) with 4K doubles the standard resolution from 1,920 × 1,080 to 3,840 × 2,160, both vertically and horizontally. Already, some C companies like NVidia are pushing this standard higher. 4K is awesome for gaming. The migration to 4K started from HD 720 pixels to Full HD 1,080p to Quad HD, to Ultra HD. Picking a monitor involves choosing one based on in-plane switching (IPS) or TV panel’s refresh rates, pixel density and resolution differences. For 4K, you need a DisplayPort 1.2 or high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) 2.0 cable. You will need to purchase graphics cards, which are expensive. This article talks about how to pick a 4K monitor that could be useful for library display opportunities (Norem, 2014).
An article discusses how to perk up your personal computer (PC) after it starts to get slow. First, backup everything. Windows 7 provides this service. Next, check for dusty fans and cables that have wriggled loose. Next, do a malware sweep. Finally, de-clutter by using disk cleanup. Remove restore points by clicking clean up under system restore and shadow copies. Use CCleaner for free from http//bit.ly/mpc_ccleaner to delete unneeded files. Remove quick startups that you don’t need. If cleaning your pc doesn’t make it much faster, consider getting new hardware. Get rid of duplicate files and optimize your storage (Maximum PC Staff, 2014).
There are now ten major antivirus software contenders. They are Norton, Trend Micro, WebRoot, Ovost!, Panda, Eset, McAfee, AVG, BitDefender and Avira. This article reviews all of them based on performance impact and scan times, annoyance level, features and implementation, pricing and value and malware detection (Lilly, 2014).
Apple IPhone’s and iPad’s new operating system, iOS 8, has many new features. It allows one to text while on the Web. It allows group messaging. You can store your photos on the cloud. You can now shoot time-lapse videos. It has hands-free SIRI. You can now select a third-party keyboard. There are now more swiping features in mail. When you are looking something up, iOS 8 will make suggestions for search terms. You can enter your credit information for online shopping. There are new widgets available on the information center. Finally, there is a health app that lets you gather and analyze your health data. (#B5, #B6)
On the wearables front, this lighthearted article discusses proper tech etiquette and provides several examples. It says to limit wearing Google glasses in a more techie environment, until it becomes ubiquitous. Twitter can be used in bars. LinkedIn endorsements are short-lived. HBO Go password sharing should be secret and what is viewed should be erased. In MOOCS, finish two assignments before dropping out. The Secret app is not for secrets. Don’t become a stage mom by posting your children on social media (Wired Magazine Staff, 2014).
The Raspberry Pi, developed by the Cambridge based Raspberry Pi Foundation, is becoming popular. It only costs $25 and uses open-source programming. Kids and young adults are taking an interest in it to learn computing and libraries are incorporating these credit card-sized computers into their Maker Spaces. It comes with an operating system (OS) including Pidora, Rasbian and two versions of XBMC, all based on Linux. This article guides you through startup and programming for projects (Pounder, 2014).
Anderson, P. (2014), “DIY: network upgrade”, EDTECH Magazine, Spring, p. 40.
Beaudoin, P. (2014), “6 ways to BE a better online teacher”, Campus Technology, 26 March, p. 6.
Howen, A. (2014), “3 webinar solutions to know and love”, WebSite Magazine, August, p. 30.
iPhone Life Staff (2014), “The education issue”, iPhone Life, October, p. 34.
Karpen, J. (2014a), “Demystifying iCloud”, iPhone Life, June, p. 30.
Karpen, J. (2014b), “iOS 8 essentials”, iPhone Life, September/October, p. 16.
Lilly, P. (2014), “Antivirus battle royale”, Maximumpc, July, p. 42.
Maximum PC Staff (2014), “Refresh your PC”, Mamimumpc, May, p. 22.
Norem, J. (2014), “4K is here”, Maximumpc, April, p. 22.
Pounder, L. (2014), “Master the amazing raspberry Pi”, Maximumpc, November, p. 54.
Waters, J. (2014), “The great adaptive learning experiment”, Campus Technology, October, p. 22.
Wired Magazine Staff (2014), “Wired guide to modern style and behavior”, Wired Magazine, July, p. 81.
Lois Trapasso (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Independent Librarian based in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA.