VRA 2013 Engaging New Technologies, Musolff
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VRA 2013 Engaging New Technologies, Musolff



Presented by Meghan Musolff at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, April 3rd - April 6th, 2013, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Presented by Meghan Musolff at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, April 3rd - April 6th, 2013, in Providence, Rhode Island.



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  • Good afternoon.  My colleague Betha Whitlow just discussed new technologies associated with the classroom.  For my presentation, I’m going to focus on technologies for teaching and learning and provide examples of tools that can be used in these new learning spaces or…
  • as is more and more likely, for use in the massive expanded classroom of online courses (ok, this isn’t really an online course--it’s a Genesis concert, but you get the idea).
  • Throughout the years, the Engaging New Technologies presentations have encouraged us to think about our professional mission of keeping up-to-date--not only for our sake, but for the sake of our users--be they faculty, curators, or students.  
  • And I think now more than ever, our educators, who are struggling to keep all theplates spinning at once, are depending on us for help.  As information professionals, it's our role to promote literacy of digital tools among our users and help them understand the potential of these new technologies.  
  • It’s about bridging the divide between what technologies are available and what are useful.  Basically, we’re circus performers in cardigans.  
  • So, while other presentations during this session focus on what we need to know, this presentation will focus the teaching/learning trends that are important to our faculty, instructors, and educators.
  • So, imagine you’re sitting at your desk and a faculty members comes in and asks:Tell me about these MOOC things.
  • One of the biggest trends in (or perhaps outside) the classroom is MOOCs.  And while you might think that a MOOC is a character on Sesame Street (so, this is a tweet from one of my favorite Twitter accounts “Fake Library Stats, so obviously this is fake---yet so true)…
  • or perhaps a character on the Fraggles…
  • ..the word is actually an acronym for Massive Open Online Courses.  Let’s break that word down a bit.  Massive:  With these courses, the goal is large-scale enrollment and participation.  It’s not always the case, but it’s the goal.  Students can work at own pace.Open:  In the beginning, these courses were put together using open available resources and offered free over the Internet.  This has morphed into “no charge” rather than the using of open resources.Online:  Hence, online.  Having materials online, moves the education experience away from a location based endeavor.  Now a student in India can take a class from Harvard (and vice versa).Courses:  And finally, these platforms provide access to structured courses with learning goals and objectives, assignments and tests. In other words, courses.
  • So what do MOOCs tend to include?  Well, there is a repository or hub where course materials are located--this includes syllabus, course readings, etc.  There are usually recorded lectures.  Sometimes there is a collaborative aspect:  online forums or study groups through Google Hangouts, for example.  And then assessment is done through easy to grade quizzes and tests.
  • There are a number of MOOC platforms and each works slightly different from the other.  Certain MOOCs partner with institutions, for example Coursera and EdX.Coursera: A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.  The model is to sign contracts with colleges (Princeton, U of Virginia, University of Michigan) that agree to use the platform to offer free courses.  There are over 200 courses with 2 million enrolled students.EdX:  A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.  EdX plans to give away software platform to offer free courses (so anyone can use it to run online courses).  A smaller effort with 23 courses and 500,000 students.
  • Other companies work directly with faculty/educators:Udacity: Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor. Udacity works with individual faculty instead of institutions and focuses on computer science and related fields--not really a player in the humanities game.Udemy (U-de-me):  A for-profit platform that allows anyone to set up a course.  The company encourages instructors to charge a small fee, with revenue split between instructor and company.P2PU: Peer 2 Peer University is an open education project with educational resources., courses and study groups.
  • And by the way, online courses aren’t just a higher education thing.....museums, such as the Tate and MOMA,  are also creating online courses as well.
  • So, a curator walks into your office and says:I want to get on the Internet.  Can you help me?
  • One idea is to start small and create microlectures.  Microlectures are short recorded audio/video presentations on a single, tightly defined topic.  Microlectures can be used as a component of online courses or as supplemental materials for face-to-face instruction.  Short lectures focus on a single topic and can be used to explain key concepts, demonstrate techniques.  It's about providing students options for on-demand playback of information.
  • Microlectures can be very DIY.  Use a stand alone webcam--or one built into your mobiel device to record videos.  Or use screen capture/screencasting software like Jing, Camtasia, Adobe Captivate, or Screenr.
  • Upload the videos to YouTube.  Done and done.  Getting on the Internet could be as simple as this.
  • Of course, the other option is to go big and create an online course.  
  • Testimonials from faculty about the process of creating an online course either talk about the mystical transformation that occurred and made them a much-improved instructor.  Or they talk about how it was an absolute pain in the ass and made them lose faith in humanity.  Online courses are a lot of work to design and represent a dramatic change in instructional design.  How do you design a course for an audience in the thousands?  How to you create assignments that can be graded by robots?  Let’s not even talk about copyright and the use of images.
  • Due to the  increase in popularity of online instruction, educators should be able to find institutional support creating online courses--especially if your institution partners with a company like (Coursera/EdX).  If not, there are options.  Not surprisingly Google is interested in online courses and has a nice site with tips for online course design.  
  • Google has also created a piece of course-builder softwarethat helps instructors build online courses--although it takes some tech know-how to work.  Sites like Peer to Peer University offer help in creating courses.
  • So, you may be asking yourself....What can I do to help my educators with online courses?
  • Assign a Creative Commons license and get it out there.
  • How many people in this room have taken an online course?  
  • Luckily, while there is a serious lack of art or art history online courses, there are a wealth of courses related to the field of visual resources on copyright, programming, digital imaging, museum, etc.  Your experience (for better or for worse) from taking an online course will be beneficial to your users.
  • One of the biggest complaints about online courses is the lack of real world interaction.  So, help your educators make the connections.  
  • One of the great things happening at the University of Michigan is that my colleagues organize group discussions around online classes. These informal gatherings allow people to make personal connections during an online course.
  • Chances are if folks are interested in taking an online course, they need help finding an online course.  
  • You can use online course aggregator/portal sites such as:  CourseBuffet, ClassCentral, or CourseTalk to help users find course options.  Simply search for a topic on any of these sites and the search results will return a list of available courses.
  • One of the most surprising things about MOOCs is how fast the concept has taken over the educational landscape.  For example, MOOCs appeared in the Horizon Report, the Holy Grail of emerging technologies for higher education, for the first time this year.  So, yes.  There is a sense of hysteria and MOOCs and online courses aren’t without controversy/challenges.
  • Studies have shown that only 10% of people who start a class, finish a classIt’s easy to violate copyright with online coursesConcern about plagiarism/cheating, and finallyLack of Certification/credit--currently, no colleges offer credit for MOOCs
  • Of this list of woes, the lack of recognition is probably the easiest problem to solve.  A common solution is to use badges--digital tokens that appear as icons/logos on a web page or other online venue.  The badges are awarded by institutions and award students of all levels for accomplishments, such as completion of a course, a project, mastery of a skill.
  • Badges are used by various MOOCs, Wikipedia, and others to reward users.  A popular badge initiative is Openbadges (http://openbadges.org) by Mozilla (the folks that brought you Firefox).  Openbadges is used by a number of organizations as a reward system for users.  
  • It’s used by a number of museums, such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art.  Here you can see that the DMA offers collection and ringleader badges to museum friends as rewards for certain activities.
  • So, often times we hear from our educators:Can you make my class fun?
  • Badges are one way to increase engagement in courses and the increase in popularity with badges is part of a larger trend with game-based learning.  Gamification is the application of game elements in non-gaming situations--such as college courses.  It’s a technique used to encourage interest in the learning process.  Along with badges, it can include a point systems, progress bars, etc.  Similar to MOOCs, adding game elements to a course takes a whole lot of work, but can be as simple as a feedback/reward elements.  On most campuses, there should be instructional design experts we can connect our faculty to for more help.
  • If you want to learn more about game-based learning, there is even a MOOC devoted to the subject.  And my presentation comes full circle!And for the rest of my presentation, I promise to never use the word MOCC again.  You’re welcome.
  • So, the faculty member walks into your office, plops down on a chair and says, I have five minutes, tell me:What are some cool things I can do with images? Hell, yeah.  Where do you want me to start?  I think the prevalence of questions such as this represent how our educators have a desire to move beyond repositories and start engaging with images in new and exciting ways.  For the remainder of my presentation, I’m going to quickly run (remember the faculty member only had five minutes!) through some tools to help educators do cool things.
  • Online exhibits are a nice first step from digital image collections to using images in a engaging way--providing the narrative/story behind the images.  
  • Omeka is a nice tool for online exhibits.  Omeka is a content management system that can be used in conjunction with a server…
  • at the University of Michigan we use Omeka to power the online exhibits for the Library.
  • Omeka.net. Educators can use Omeka.net out of the box to build and share collections and to create online exhibits of their digital content.  
  • This example is a collection of materials related to the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium and is created by family members of former patients of the Sanatorium. Not really art related, but a good example of how easy Omeka is to use.
  • There are a number of tools out there to aid in the creation of interactive timelines.  
  • Three examples are Timeglider, Timeline JS, TimeRime.  Now, I will admit that it takes a bit of tech savvy on the part of the user to make these timelines but the results are pretty great.  
  • Here’s an example of a timeline created with Timeline JS about the most controversial moments in the life of Madonna.  For Timeline JS, one creates a Google spreadsheet with the relevant data (which could include links to Flickr images, tweets, website URLS and other item types) and direct the tool to the spreadsheet and voila.  You then have a timeline you can embed in various other products.
  • TimeRime allows you to enter data for each point in the timeline--as in this example of a timeline related to the Italian Renaissance.
  • So, I think at last year’s ENT, we briefly touched on Pinterest as a source for food and interior design pics---and don’t get me wrong, it is great at that.  But over the past year, the site has become a nice resources for serious content curation--where folks can exhibit, categorize and share content visually on the site.  Pinterest is a quick way to curate images and other visual online content.
  • One faculty member has used Pinterest as a way for his students to collect images of LA public art.  
  • And the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum created a Board and pinned images of the artwork stolen in 1990.
  • Similar to my colleagues, I’m going to end my presentation with a couple of resources I used for my presentation.
  • ProfHacker:  Blog hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Lots of great posts about technology related to teaching and learning.Educause “7 Things You Should Know” series: Two page documents on emerging technologies that focus on practice and potential in the classroom.  Use these all the time to get a quick overview of a technology.Bamboo Dirt: Bamboo Dirt is a tool, service and a collection registry of digital research tools for scholarly use.  Nice search feature where you can refine results by platform or cost.

VRA 2013 Engaging New Technologies, Musolff VRA 2013 Engaging New Technologies, Musolff Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging New Technologies Meghan Musolff Special Projects Librarian University of Michigan Teaching + Learning Visual Resources Association’s 31st Annual Conference April 3rd – 6th 2013 Providence, Rhode Island #VRA2013
  • teaching + learning
  • Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anirudhkoul/3389240826/
  • up-to-date
  • Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/3168187123/
  • Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/krypto/14764708/
  • tech for educators
  • Tell me more about these MOOC things.
  • M=massive O=open O=online C=course
  • course materials recorded lectures forums/study groups quizzes/tests
  • I want to get on the Internet. Can you help me?
  • start small: microlectures
  • Jing Camtasia Captivate Screenr
  • go big: online course
  • Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/8183227679
  • What can I do to help my educators with online courses?
  • license materials
  • take a course!
  • copyright programming digital imaging museums
  • connect online learners
  • help find a course
  • 10% completion rate copyright violations plagiarism/cheating lack of certification/credit
  • Can you make my class fun?
  • game-based learning
  • What are some cool things I can do with images?
  • online exhibits
  • timelines
  • content curation
  • resources
  • thank you!