Focus on Curriculum not Who’s in the Code.org Video

Code.org produced a video with a message to kids. The message can be distilled to a few basic ideas. Coding is cool. Programming isn’t hard. Programming leads to awesome jobs. More K-12 schools should teach programming. And, everyone should learn how to code. However, instead of talking about the lack of programming in K-12 curriculum, Twitter and blogs are abuzz with news about the people in the video. Mark Zuckerburg. Bill Gates. Jack Dorsey. Will.i.am. Chris Bosh.

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The Quantified Self in Education

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Fitbit, a tiny sensor to measure steps taken, calories burned, and sleep. Photo used under CC, attributed to Pete Markham http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmarkham/6702638251/

A unique trend has begun to emerge in wearable technology. Most are referring to this as the “quantified self.” In short, it is the idea that daily, mundane activities, which we have previously paid no attention to have become interesting as technology has found a way to quantify them. Thus, I use a fitbit to count my daily steps. This information can then be catalogued and preserved for future reference. In and of itself, this is only minimally interesting (traditional pedometers have been around for years but have never seen the media or social buzz that products like Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, or the Jawbone Up have). The fascinating part of the data emerges when you can connect that information with other large data and see personal connections. I can look at how many steps I walked in a given week, see how many calories I consumed, how many miles I ran, even how well I slept! This creates an overall picture of me as a person…and it’s fascinating.

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Weekly Ed-Tech / Digital Scholarship Trends: February 27, 2013

Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections

As libraries continue to digitize special collections, ARL and Ithaka S+R have released a report  Appraising our Digital Investment: Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries (PDF) that offers a snapshot of research libraries digitization efforts.

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Weekly Ed-Tech / Digital Scholarship Trends: February 20, 2013

Oxford Blocks Google Docs

This week, the University of Oxford took the extreme action of blocking access to Google Docs, due to security concerns. The block lasted two and a half hours because “the impact on legitimate business was greater than anticipated, in part owing to the tight integration of Google Docs into other Google services.” Subsequently, Oxford University Computing Services apologized to their users.
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Understanding AltAc

My blog post “Alt-Ac: Breathing Life into Libraries or Eroding the Profession?” made me realize I didn’t fully understand what those who self-identify as alternative academics mean when they use the term AltAc. So, I turned to Twitter and began asking questions. Based on the conversation, I guess I’m an alternative academic, though I’ve never thought about it in those terms.

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Alt-Ac: Breathing Life into Libraries or Eroding the Profession?

jekyll-phd-hyde-mls

The Alt-Ac movement is a response to the dismal academic job market and the toxicity of graduate school an opportunity for scholars to use skills developed in their studies in new contexts. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Alt-Ac, it’s shorthand for “alternative academics,” and describes people that have left the professoriate to pursue jobs in non-profits, government, libraries, museums, and the private-sector. In this post, we’ll focus on libraries and continue the Alt-Ac conversation.

Innovation vs Protectionism

As was pointed out in the comments of my post, “What Does an Unsuccessful Academic Library Look Like,” libraries need to change and adapt. They need to ask faculty and students what they want from a library and plan accordingly. Does that mean libraries of tomorrow will look different than libraries of today? Does it mean libraries will no longer support core services? Or, does it mean libraries will continue to forge a hybrid role on campuses as an engaged partner in teaching, learning, and research?

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The Secret Titles of Librarians

In my post last week about skills and titles for libraries, I asked librarians what their secret or unofficial title is at work. The inspiration for looking at “secret titles” came from Rands in Repose. Of the librarians that responded to my survey, over 1/3 felt their title did not match well with what they actually did at work.

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Cultivating Prosumers: A Dispatch from Intro to DH

We are now three weeks into our intro to dh course! I appreciated this comment from my first blog post introducing the series:

“This is pretty exciting – I look forward to seeing how the course moves forward. I’m also very interested to hear what the students expect from the course, and how that lines up with what we expect them to expect from the course.”

It made me think of the engaging conversations I’ve enjoyed with Carla Martin over the past few months about pedagogy and inclusiveness. One of my major takeaways from those conversations is the idea of building a shared understanding in the classroom collectively, rather than simply relying on students’ previously acquired knowledge, which is something that can marginalize different students for a variety of reasons.

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