Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


Adobe Digital Editions and User Privacy

There’s a new thread of privacy discussions going on surrounding a recent uncovering of user activity data being collected by Adobe Digital Editions software. This software is used by most ebook platforms that libraries provide to their patrons. (TU has it installed on our public computers.) In addition to the privacy concern, there are also security concerns with the way this data collection is implemented. ALA released a statement criticizing Adobe’s current collection practices. What is interesting is that, while libraries uphold user privacy, we would also find the type of data being collected incredibly insightful for understanding the users’ ebook reading behaviors and experiences. It’s difficult to determine where data collection stops being helpful and starts becoming invasive. – David

Jeopardy-style Review Games

A quick round or two of Jeopardy can be a fun way to assess students’ knowledge at the beginning of a library instruction session or help them review what they’ve learned once an instruction session is over. While tools like Microsoft PowerPoint templates have helped librarians build Jeopardy games for a number of years,  Free Technology for Teachers recently posted “Three Nice Online Tools for Building Jeopardy-style Review Games” that librarians might also explore. Just remember to phrase your answer in the form of a question! – Kim

Google Releases Free Icons

As featured in Gizmodo, Google recently released a set of 750 icons via Github that are open source and free to use. Although intended for mobile designers and released as part of Google’s Material Design project, anyone can download the set of icons for use in other projects. Librarians looking for other free, open source or public domain icons should also check out the Noun Project. – Kim

“The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces”

Ellyssa Kroski at iLibrarian recently featured a run down (with examples) “The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces,” including FabLabs, Hackerspaces, TechShops, and Maerkspaces. As librarians continue to jump on the Makerspace train, it’s important to note that these spaces are not “one-size fits all” and fun to consider which iteration may fit our communities and our spaces the best. – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

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Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


dripread

If the only reading you seem to be doing is via email, dripread might be for you. Send yourself a page a day to read, maybe to break up the monotony of meeting requests or just to serve as a reminder that you have a reading list that you should be trying to get through. There’s a selection of free books you can utilize, or you can sync the account to Google to connect ebooks you already own. Alas, there is no synchronization to Kindle books, but if you have the epub files for any material they can be uploaded to dripread to be dispensed in small doses. – Laksamee

ARLIS/NA Multimedia Technology Reviews

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) recently published its latest bi-monthly collection of Multimedia and Technology reviews, which they describe as targeting “projects, products, events, and issues within the broad realm of multimedia and technology related to arts scholarship, research, and librarianship.” Included in the most recent review are projects and services like the reference manager ProQuest Flow, the mobile application Blek, and the Design Envy blog. – Kim

CamScanner

Tired of searching for a scanner to use at work? The solution might be right in front of you. CamScanner is an app that uses your mobile devices camera as a scanner, allowing you to scan and enhance scans on the fly. It’s not new, and I’m sure there are numerous other scanner apps available in your favorite app store. This one has worked for me, though – just enough functionality. I’ve even started using it to preserve my whiteboard scribbles during brainstorming sessions. The free version has been enough for me, but at $1.99 the paid app might be a good deal. – David

Data Analytics in Higher Education

This post from The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Wired Campus blog highlights trends in data analytics from the recent Educause conference. As colleges and universities find new ways to collect and use data about their institutions (and students, more specifically), what type of data are librarians interested in collecting? What do we want to know about our users? And what are the implications for privacy or other ethical considerations when collecting this so called “digital intelligence?” – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!