teaching & learning


Graphic of keyboard with keys spelling out PRIVACY

CC Photo courtesy of g4ll4is on Flickr

The recent EU court’s ruling on the “right to be forgotten” is an interesting wrinkle in the debates around privacy and public information in the world of cyber-connection.  Even those who have carefully guarded what information they have “put out there” can find that information related to their name or face exists online and can be mined and redistributed in any number of ways.   While the EU  just forced  Google to institute a procedure for removing items from the “results” for searches originating in Europe (Google.fr and google.de), they were not forced to delete those items from their “repositiory” of sites.  Those who were hoping to  have the request option for the US version of Google are out of luck; no court has forced Google to do this for US yet.   However, if you want to clean up your “international image”, Jill Scharr’s helpful blog entry has more info on doing that.

Google does offer a procedure to remove “outdated” content. It may take some following-up with them (as the page suggests, since I guess they can take their time and/or refuse).  You will also need to do this in conjunction with the webmaster of your site (if you are not your own webmaster).

In the short-run, you can delete passages or pages on your site; however, since they were indexed by Google shortly after you “published” them, they would still show up in a google search.  The old/deleted materials will  “sink down” in the search-results as more people click on your more recent materials.   Your best bet in the interim, is to make old content “private”, and use either text-links to let people know that there is a more current page with a link to new info and/or implement a  re-direct URL to the now-current information….an inelegant solution until the google request is acknowledged, but a quick and dirty solution for the time-being.

For more information on privacy and security in relationship to your “online presence” check out our Info Ethics LibGuide

The 2013 Digital Humanities awards came out relatively recently, offering an array of amazing projects to peruse — some public, some academic, all worth a gander.  It is worth highlighting that the best InfoGraphic award covered statistics on why “Humanities Matter” [PDF]  — making the infographic a meta-DH project of sorts.

As a follow-up to the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities’ “Quantifying Digital Humanities” infographic from 2012 (PDF), The Humanities Matter! starts a more expansive effort by the Center and 4Humanities to gather statistics and create infographics about the humanities. The Humanities Matter! is part of the 4Humanities Humanities Infographics initiative, including Infographics Friday online posts.

Another DH-for-fun award went to Serendip-o-matic — which acts as a federated-serendipitous-search engine:  insert a block of text, and the applet finds related images culled from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana digital Libraries.

If you are curious about Digital Humanities at St. John’s, the next CTL Interdisciplinary Roundtable discussion will focus on Digital Humanities, on Monday April 7th; where Jen Travis will facilitate discussions about “projects and pedagogies of this emerging field.”  If you are interested in learning more about creating infographics, or using them as an alternative research project, the University Libraries are hosting an edutech workshop on infographics on Wed. April 2nd.  Does unearthing the treasures of the DPLA sound appealing?  Does making your own a mash-up of the DPLA resource-data sound sound intriguing ?  If so, join us Wednesday, April 9th, for a workshop on DPLA and engage with new treasure trove of primary resources and the meta-data that makes it tick!

Screenshot of APA tutorial

APA tutorial: screenshot features Journal citations.

Even if you use a bibliographic manager to generate citations and/or bibliographies, it is always a good idea  to check the final version of your citations and bibliography against an authoritative Citation guide. The Citation Styles Libguide has links to some of the more commonly used citation styles, including APA, MLA, Turabian; additionally, you might check with the Reference desk or the Writing Center for a guide in book form.  One of our “frequently asked questions” is about the inclusion (or not) of URLs in APA journal citations:  the Citation Styles hosts a link to  the Basics of APA style, which may help you with the finer points of spacing, placement of URLS, etc.

Here also a link to a short  video that focuses on the “journal article”  slide of the APA tutorial, so that you can see several versions of what a Journal Article might look like in an APA bibliography and see what adjustments you may need to make if you are using Refworks or Zotero to auto-generate bibliographic information.

If you are using RefWorks for the first time with a new computer (either using your new laptop, or using a lab or home computer for the first time to connect to an existing RefWorks account) you may encounter an “untrusted connection” certificate error.

In general it is a good idea to heed the certificate warnings, but as long as you are accessing RefWorks (or any database) from the Databases A-Z LibGuide or from a Resources by Subject LibGuide,  it is a trusted connection.

Note: If you click on Firefox alert screenshot (above & right), in the larger picture you will see the URL has the database name refworks and the library server name jerome.stjohns.edu in the URL, in this case the library is providing the assurance that Refworks is a trusted site, rather than an “impersonating” site.

If you need help getting around the certificate error, this video tutorial will provide more information.

Leaf used as a bookmark, CC image courtesy of emrank

"bookmark" CC image courtesy of emrank

In case you haven’t heard the news, this week, two big e-resource-sharing platforms announced changes that may impact (and hopefully improve) your ability to find and share information within the next few months.

About a week ago, Kindle announced that it is finally working with libraries to offer the ability to share/lend books — this is great news, as Kindle was one of the last “holdouts.”  At this point it is working primarily with Overdrive — the main vendor for e-books in public libraries — but we will keep an eye on the efforts to share with academic and special libraries as well.   Using  Kindle would make bookmarking, note-taking and highlighting in a borrowed book easier.

Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced

In other “bookmarking” news, Delicious has been saved from the chopping block!  On Wednesday, AVOS announced that they acquired Delicious from Yahoo.  In order to have your account continue to work after June, you need to “opt in” to the transfer of your bookmarks… loads of details on the delicious transition page.

A new report from Sloan-C takes up authentication and academic integrity in the online learning environment.  While most schools are doing well with compliance on authentication, Sloan-C offers some pointers on Academic integrity for online learning (to combat the ‘perception’ of greater cheating in online course).  Note that the principles offer some sound advice for hybrid and face-to-face pedagogy as well.   The blog entry offers summary points and a link to the ” “Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education”. …[which] reflects exemplary principles and practices from online instructors and administrators from 170 higher education institutions in the United States in five core areas: Institutional Context and Commitment, Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty Support, Student Support, and Assessment and Evaluation.”  Both are worth a peek!

Welcome to those who are new to St. John’s…classes start soon, and we look  forward to meeting you and helping you acclimate to your new research environment! 

Welcome back to our student friends who are looking forward to new academic adventures.  If you need a little jumpstart on library resources and workshops, check out the new Queens Library Workshops schedule for Fall, or request a workshop  for your  cohort,  club,  graduate class or thesis support group.

Welcome  back to our faculty colleagues, in addition to working with you on your research, and helping incorporate Library resources into your courses, we pass along this link to the August “Special Issue” from the Center for Teaching and Learning regarding the new schedule and working around no “exam week.”  Look for more information about CTL on their CampusGuides page.    Interested in using CampusGuides for your class?  Contact campusguides@stjohns.edu  for more information.

We are also  working on a few book discussion groups  (including Graphic Novels, “Even Deadlier Sins” from the Great Books series, “Reading Memoirs” and “Read It, See It” (movie/book discussion group). Keep on eye out for more blog entries on these programs, or contact Outreach Librarian, Caroline Fuchs for more information.

Education Week  is sponsoring a free live chat — “Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?” on March 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM. This is a text-based chat, so there are not technological requirements other than an internet connection. No prior registration is required.

icann_meeting_sel_logoBig news out of ICANN’s recent meeting in Korea, as the ICANN  (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) board approved a process for registering new Internationalized Domain Names using the “Fast Track Process.”   Currently, international countries use Latin characters for country domain extensions  (like .jp for Japan, or .kr for the Republic of  Korea) , the new process  “allow nations and territories to apply for Internet extensions reflecting their name – and made up of characters from their national language.”   Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and CEO explains the historic  step this way:  

“This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet …The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online – people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives.”

Although this is just the start of a launch for numerous IDNs, this “first step”  comes at the end of  at least seven years of  research, development and tests conducted by volunteers and ICANN professionals, under the guidance of  ICANN’s  Senior Director of IDNs, Tina Dam.

A neat video explains the importance of this historic decision for ICT literacy and greater access to information around the world;  of course such changes will also have an impact on web-security and web-developers , among others.  Check out the ICANN blog, website, meeting proceedings and the IDN fast-track page for more information

Generation X, Generation Y (now the Millenials), Generation Z, the MTV Generation (between X and Y), and Generation Next (between Y and Z) – the labels keep popping up, slicing generations into ever smaller groups. We seem to be in a rush to name generations and ascribe behaviors, attitudes, and character traits to them – but is that useful in higher education or primarily for advertisers and pop culture? In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (More than ‘Millenials’: Teachers Must Look Beyond Generational Stereotypes, Oct. 11, 2009), Mano Singham discusses how the accelerated naming of generations may be giving us a false sense that we know our students by learning the traits ascribed to their generation.

Fundamentally, when we stop to think of it we know that can’t be true. We’re stereotyping these groups based on their age, which is something of a shift that began with Generation X. The Baby Boomers were defined not by generalizing their character traits and behavior, but by significant demographic trends. Interestingly, Singham points out that while we’re generally very sensitive about racial and gender stereotypes, we rarely recognize generational stereotyping. So what does that mean for those of us in higher education?

It means that we’re doing a disservice to our students by assuming that we know what ‘Millenials’ think or how they will act. We should remember that students are individuals, not generalizations, and make the personal contacts with them that we – and they – will remember and appreciate into the next generation, whatever we call it.

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