Okay, so I got home from the conference Friday afternoon, posted some initial impressions, and promised to post again ‘over the next few days.’ Instead, I got lost in new Twitter feeds and links and documents and slideshares, oh, my!

I’ve got one more day off (as I begin to write this post), and lots of ground to cover from the conference…

CFTT Conference – Day 1

The “Extraordinary Extreme Makeover” of PowerPoint 2010 presented by Margaret Britt, Colin Community College

Not a lot of difference in other Office products between 2007 & 2010 *except* PowerPoint 2010.  Ms. Britt’s slideshow was impressive; I hope to get hold of a copy, because I did not take detailed notes assuming I could review the presentation at a later time. Several new things of which I did make note:

Office Button. Gone. Only tabs on Ribbon and menu bar across top.

Sections.  Portions of a slide show can be designated as a ‘section.’ These sections can be collapsed or expanded within the slides tab (thumbnail view). I’m finding this very helpful: when I know one section is finished, I collapse it and move on (or back) to another section.

Collaboration within PPT using Windows Live™ SkyDrive.

“Broadcast” presentations (requires Windows Live™ account to broadcast; anyone can view).

Add-Ins available, such as YouTube Downloader, Live Web, Author Stream.

Laser pointer, Picture Fix, Remove Background, Animation Painter; Ms. Britt suggests use Smart Art instead of bullets.

Video improvements: embed in presentation; trim inside PPT, create video from PPT slideshow; rollover-to-display video controls. Ms. Britt suggested videos in small segments, between several slides.

I’ve been using the “Mac 2011” version for the last month; not all of the features are the same in the Mac version (e.g., I don’t seem to have Backstage View and can’t find the Laser pointer).  Why a MicroSoft product on my Mac? Because it doesn’t matter to me if Apple’s productivity suite is “better,” Office is what I am used to and what I use everywhere else, so it makes sense to me to keep using it. I was not pleased with the compatibility, or lack thereof, between Open Office and MS Office created/edited documents, nor was I happy with the limited use of online versions of MS Office – though I do use those products in Skydrive, Google Docs, etc.

When Do I Teach & Where Do They Learn? presented by Jennifer Seal, Pearl River Community College (Co-presenter Judy Roane)

Course redesign process for developmental mathematics courses with the goal to improve student success & lowering withdrawal rates

Free Visualization Tools for Teaching & Research presented by Teresa Welsh, University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Welsh presented a variety of tools which emphasize visual elements. Visual content is powerful as tool for teaching (including blogs, glogs, wikis, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook) and researching, such as spatial analysis and text/data analysis (GIS, word clouds, timelines, maps, AR).


Augmented Reality (AR) in Education presented by Steve Yuen, University of Southern Mississippi



Amazing videos shown during presentation included 3D Printers Create Edible Objects and Wikitude Drive, a mobile AR navigation system.

Dr. Yuen’s Links:  Twitter @scyuen, blog, website, diigo library tagged augmented

The keynote speaker for Thursday’s luncheon was Reuben D. Jones, Maj. Gen., U.S. Army, who spoke to the IMCOM and GLIS programs, which serve educational needs of Army personnel and dependents.

I attended one additional session the first day, Using Social Media & Multimedia in Education presented by Craig Jackson, Mississippi State University. Details will be in next post.


In Sean Fitzpatrick’s Perpetual Beta blog today, two statements stand out. Speaking about Drupal,

If invented today, […] it would be designed for mobile devices first, with data output for desktop/laptop markup […]

The (return?) to simpler, cleaner web pages is certainly appealing, if for no other reason than to be able to quickly process information. Right up there with aggregators, to pull together information I want to see from sources I choose, whether it’s TweetDeck, Google Reader, paper.li, or Flipboard (among many).

Fitzpatrick sums it up well:

Buytaert [Drupal project lead] sees the future of technology and computing as an environment where any information can be accessed on any device and in an environment where users can become more and more interactive with the applications.

Reminding me of my alma mater’s athletics motto:

Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.


Now we are home from a two and one-half day conference, Creating Futures Through Technology, held at the Beau Rivage in Gulfport, MS.  2011 was the 15th year for this event, billed as “Mississippi’s Largest Higher Educational Conference.” First, let me say, it was an excellently run conference.

Material provided about session topics and locations was thorough, conference staff were visible and helpful. Exhibitors displayed some amazing products (which had everyone drooling but commenting realistically about funding cutsthankyouverymuch Gov. Barbour and Mississippi Senators). Vendors supported the morning and noon meals, as well as the breaks. It was delightful to have hot coffee and cold soft drinks available between sessions, and to have a breakfast waiting at the top of the escalator each morning was a real time-saver. It also provided time to socialize and network that wouldn’t happen in groups of four or more or less in the restaurant.

I’ve only been in my current institution a year and a half, and outside my campus I know practically no one other than library personnel. (Even on my campus I don’t know many people outside our building unless they are frequent library users.) There were a handful of the 400+ attendees I know well enough to speak to, and another handful I recognized. I do believe I was one of only two librarians in attendance, and so to say I felt a little out-of-place — even though the topics were quite interesting and helpful to me personally — would be an understatement. I don’t doubt that some attendees would feel I had no need to be at the conference at all: I’m not a teacher; I’m not in IT.

Technically, my position is as an administrator, but like many academic librarians who are faculty (but don’t always teach in the classroom), I’m also an instructor.  The most obvious of this instruction occurs in the form of our library orientations for literature, composition, speech, and history classes. More common, however, is the one-to-one instruction which happens throughout my day, every day, not only with students, but with staff and faculty. I came away from my 2.5 days wishing that all faculty and administration realized how helpful the librarians could be if incorporated into the learning management system (LMS, a new acronym for me).

Perhaps there is a future presentation in that final statement…

Over the next few days, I’ll round up the tools and information from my session notes, talk about the presenters who impressed me, and reflect a bit more on the event.

Four sessions, plus the luncheon speakers.

Smarthinking Online Tutoring with Danny Clark.

Four ways to interact with the tutors: Connect Now, Scheduled Tutoring, Submit Writing/Paragraph, & Submit Question. Not all topics are available to all users; Nursing & Allied Health services may be available for us soon. There is no ‘information literacy’ topic or anything which would work like Ask-A-Librarian. Math and writing are the main topics used by MS to this point. Instructors often require first drafts to be submitted to Smarthinking, then submitted to instructor in course dropbox, or turned in with final draft. Attendee told how she has her students submit their discussion board posts using the Submit Paragraph option before posting in the course shell.

Desire2Learn with Jon Baker, CEO. Overview of D2L progress over the last year and near future. Currently half of staff is R&D.

ePortfolio (focuses around learner rather than courses), Learning Repository, CampusLife. Audio available in 9.2; video perhaps this summer. Mobile access started with 9.1; can be locally branded. Scoring by percentage AND points. Blind grading and grading by question (see all of one question at one time. e.g., grade all Essay #1 together).

Wimba Pronto & Collaborator (help desks) with Scott Smith.

Can see potential for use by librarians to interact with students, faculty & staff.

Really amusing thing happened in this session. Smith was role-playing with an attendee to illustrate help desk situation: he was a student – on the phone – who needed help finding sources for a sociology paper; she was a librarian (she “used to work in a library). Smith as student was totally clueless: “Databases? Do I download those?” It perfectly illustrated (to me) the reason why the “reference interview” is so vital!

Online Tools: “Free & Fabulous” with Corine Hoisington (sponsored by Cengage).

qik.com – video via phone camera uploads to Internet


xtranormal.com – create animated videos

live.com – MS Office and 25Gb storage

polleverywhere.com – polls voting via SMS

docs.com – also MS Office document creation/viewing ; can be accessed/used via Facebook login. (She created ‘professor’ identity on FB for interacting with students; clears it out of ‘friends’ every semester.)

The skeptic in me always wonders, “free” like a kitten? Free is good, just remember they are getting something, too. We might want to know what that is.

Lunch session included:

  1. Overview of MSVCC history (11 years) by one of the original members of the establishing body (name escapes me).
  2. Scott Perkins of Abilene Christian University spoke about ACU’s use of mobile technologies, i.e., iPhone/iTouch to all incoming freshman in 2008 & 2009. Before Apple’s App Store, they used (2008) a web portal to ‘apps’ they had created. See acu.edu/connected or m.acu.edu Lots of interesting content in the PowerPoint; too fast to note very many. Two especially notable: 90% of the instructors felt comfortable requiring usage even though ubiquity is questionable (that is, not everyone in class had to have the iPhone/iTouch to make assignments which made use of the tools); students are willing to fund an iPad if at least 50% of their textbooks would be available over their four-year education. The ACU Mobile Learning Report is available at http://www.acu.edu/promise/innovative/mlreport2009-10.html – thanks MSVCC for the link!)

In the general gathering area, there was a display of iPads set up with a collection of apps useful to educators/students. I made note of a few I’d not seen before:




Printopia 1.0


The World 2011 (find in iPad Apps; by realazy)

After a day of perusing catalogs preparing a book order, I thought I was tired of looking at new and back-listed book titles. Then I opened an email from ALA.

About once a week, I receive an email from ALA Editions. There is always at least one publication promoted in the email which I would like to read. Wouldn’t it be nice if if ALA ran promotions on their Facebook or Twitter accounts with new titles (or, heck even old ones) as prizes? (Do they and I just don’t know about it??) Or if lucky attendees at the annual conference received gift certificates at the ALA Store?

What would you choose?

I think I’d choose a couple of management and supervisory titles, something else on privacy issues, information literacy, and, of course, technology.  I save the emails with interesting titles so I can find them easily again. Now I want to go nose through those and make a real list!

And, while I’m thinking about this summer’s ALA conference — did I mention it’s in New Orleans and I’ll be presenting a poster with a friend & colleague? — I wonder if there will be any hot new READ posters released at that time…

My, my, this is going to be a busy spring!
Today I received word that the poster proposal a colleague and I submitted to ALA was accepted. This was my first attempt to submit for ALA, and I must give all the credit to my co-presenter, Erin. She’d been through it several times, and kept asking those prodding questions that enabled us to prepare a successful proposal.
In addition to ALA in June, I am presenting a break-out session at the 2011 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, to be held on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, April 6th to 8th.
Between now and May, I will be reading and reviewing a selection of books for an award committee. Since I’m not sure if it is appropriate to discuss that, so until I know for sure, I won’t.

Oh, yes, I’m heading to a 3-day education/technology conference on Wednesday, the Society of Mississippi Archivists conference (April 20-21) materials went up on the website today, but my application to State’s doctoral program is still in-progress.

The telephone interview will be (if/when it happens) a new experience for me, as was the interview by committee for my current job, and the whole cover letter/curriculum vita application process for professional positions.

Several things stand out in the material I’ve reviewed to prepare for the possibility of a telephone interview (a simple Google search for “telephone interview” turned up some great information).  During the interview:

Stand up while you are talking.

Look in a mirror if possible.


Use a hands-free headset, so you move more naturally, as you would during a face-to-face interview.

Practice out loud, with someone, using a recording device.

The MLIS is in your hot little hand, your resume is perfected, you are subscribed through an aggregate reader to all the job posting lists, and you are churning out cover letters to every one for which you even think you are qualified.

The letters come (or don’t come… which is worse?) and generally indicate you lack the experience required.

How are you to overcome this barrier?

Shortly following my return home from ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, I was invited to serve on the ACRL Keynote Speaker Selection Committee for 2010. The committee co-chairs are busy setting up all the communications technology for us to meet next week.

This will be my first foray into ALA committee service. I am eager to become as involved at the local, state and national levels of professional librarianship as I have always been in EGA.

A new blog is like having a brand new notebook for the first day of school. Like a clean, piece of paper, new pencils and crayons, and maybe even a new bookbag.

A new phase of my life begins today. Yesterday, I received my master’s degree in library & information science from the School of Library & Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi.

At the top of my agenda is, of course, obtaining a professional position. Unlike many who come into LIS, I have had no specific position in mind (other than not to be a school librarian). I am confident I will be just as content, and effective, in a public setting as an academic, in reference or instruction, or access services.  While I now have a strong background in cataloguing and technical services, courtesy of over two years in a bibliographic department, I do not plan to seek a job as a cataloguer. I neither love or hate cataloguing; I understand how foundational it is to all library services. I know the experience will help me greatly in future endeavors… but I believe my best efforts will be in reference services.

What I hope to present via this blog are progress, insights, assistance, and amusements from my little corner of the bibliosphere.

scriggle tweets



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