Professional Development

In the 'EDUCAUSE' Category...

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Update

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 1:54 pm

On Monday, June 14, Kaeley and Molly watched an EDUCAUSE webinar on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), “Checkpointing the ACTA Debate – Where Are We, and Where Do We Go from Here?” In the webinar, Jonathan Band, an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, and Michael Petricone, senior vice president for government affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association, outlined the provisions of ACTA and discussed how it might impact IP, copyright, trademark, and patent enforcement globally.

Negotiations over ACTA began in 2006, but it wasn’t until April 21, 2010, that a draft was released, and the secrecy surrounding the negotiations has raised concerns and led to rumors. ACTA objectors are primarily concerned that it is not really about counterfeiting or trade, but rather about IP rights enforcement among developing nations. As Mr. Band put it, “[the] goal is for developed countries to sign ACTA and use as a club to beat up on [developing countries].”

Another concern is that because ACTA is an executive agreement and not a treaty, it does not require Senate approval, and would be in effect until a future President decided to terminate the agreement.

None of the countries involved in negotiating ACTA – US, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, and NZ – want to change their copyright laws, so there is a large challenge in drafting language that all agree with and is enforceable without requiring a change in laws. Much of the draft text is still in brackets, indicating that it is still under debate/revision, so it is difficult to predict how ACTA will impact IP enforcement, assuming it is adopted at all. The provisions still under debate/revision are not those addressing counterfeiting (there is consensus, even among detractors, that those provisions are warranted), but rather those that would affect copyright and trademark enforcement and violations, patent infringement, geographical indicators, and statutory damages. There are concerns that some of the provisions in ACTA as currently drafted would stifle innovation by exporting provisions analogous to DMCA safe harbors and anti-circumvention without simultaneously exporting provisions that cover exceptions, such as fair use (unique to US copyright law).

As much of ACTA is still under negotiation, and the bulk of the webinar was on dissecting the legal framework of ACTA, it was a tad difficult to extrapolate how ACTA would impact libraries and academe. Nevertheless, one example given mentioned that American universities with overseas campuses in developing nations are not currently too concerned that actions covered under fair use in the US, but not technically allowable under the host countries’ copyright laws, are going to be stopped, as there is little incentive for enforcement. However, with the increased enforcement provisions in ACTA, without accompanying exceptions provisions ( which are not currently included), host countries would have more incentive to enforce violations that take place under their laws, potentially hindering scholarship at those campuses.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Educause Southeast 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010 11:47 am

Susan did a great job of summarizing our Educuase experience. Her use of embedded media, contextual links and insightful observation has made my own post little more than an afterthought!

Like Susan I was struck at the diverse content of the presentations. I went to a session on virtual computing labs at Georgia Tech. It turns out that locally hosted ‘cloud’-based VCLs are very popular (Our own UNC system is running one). What was interesting about the GA Tech presentation is that the data they collected showed a steady adoption of these virtual machines by students over the course of two semesters.

The second session I went to was on Talent Management. This session discussed identifying individual talents and finding ways to make sure that they are utilized in the workplace. As always, it is good to find out more about something outside of your area of expertise and this session had an interesting view of how to bring talent management approaches to an IT department.

Although we were only there for a very short time we did do some sight-seeing. Susan did not highlight our pre-conference tour of Georgia Tech or her expert photography skills from the 55th floor of the hotel but you may want to hit her flickr site to see some of the goings on outside of conference time in ATL.

EDUCAUSE Southeast: A Quick Trip to Atlanta

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 8:36 pm

Atlanta Skyline
Atlanta Skyline from the 55th floor of the Westin Hotel

Those of us who aspire to be active professionals are regularly looking for conferences where we can submit proposals to present on the interesting projects we are involved with at ZSR Library and Wake Forest University. This was the case with the EDUCAUSE 2010 Southeast Regional Conference held June 2-4. Its theme was timely: “Higher Education IT in Today’s World: Making the Most of the Economic Reality.” Erik and I had spotted the call for proposals late last year and submitted one under the “Teaching and Learning” track about our use of social and mobile technologies in last year’s Social Stratification South Course. I give this background because it sets the scene for what follows. We received notification that our presentation had been selected as a “backup presentation.” Translation: we were wait listed in case someone else had to cancel (a much more common occurrence these days with the current economic landscape). Fast forward a couple months and we received word that, indeed, there was an opening in the schedule and we were in!

It’s close to the end of the fiscal year and by the time we knew we would be going, funding was tight. However, library administration (yea, Lynn) was supportive of the opportunity. So we examined the possibilities and decided to register for one day of the conference and just go down to Atlanta the night before. This meant that we had enough time to doing a little walking tour of the immediate downtown area Wednesday evening and catch a couple sessions Thursday morning before we gave our presentation, “#socstrat: leveraging social and mobile technologies in experiential courses.”

Susan and Erik at EDUCAUSE Southeast

Briefly, I’ll recap the two sessions I attended. The first one was “Social Media and Strategic Communications: forming a New partnership in a New Medium,” with the presenters hailing from University of Florida. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting as the presenters talked about the importance of having a strategic communications plan for social media including consistent branding, guidelines and policies. Although that seems to be counter to what social media stands for, it was understandable when you consider that UF has over 22,000 employees and they all could initiate social spaces that represent the institution. A strategic approach may be the best way to maintain effective branding (branding is everything about your institution).

The second session was a case study of the use of the Thayer Method to engage science students at Georgia Gwinnett College. In this method, students are responsible for their own learning, they prepare in advance for class so they already have questions ready for what they don’t understand. The instructor is the facilitator, the approach is problem-based and small class size is the model.

Our presentation was well attended with about 40 people in the audience. We found out later that a few attendees actually tweeted about our talk during the session. More surprising was the man who waited patiently to speak to me after the session to tell me that he had texted a mutual acquaintance (Tommy Jackson, previously with IS) during our talk and had discovered that Tommy had just sold my husband a pickup truck! Small world these days…..

Here is a slideshare version of our presentation:

Educause Webinar – “What Happened to the Computer Lab?”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:12 pm

Last week among all of the closings and delayed openings I was able to attend a webinar entitled “What Happened to the Computer Lab?” Our presenter was Beth Schaefer, Associate Director in Client Services and University Information Technology Services, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her discussion centered on changes the university computer labs have taken over the past year. With an enrollment of over 30,000 students the campus has 6 campus computer labs housing around 450 computers running Windows XP or Mac OSX. Along with the 450 computers there are also 130 SunRay Kiosks scattered across the campus that the students can use for web base applications such as twitter, checking in on facebook, or checking their email. Computer ownership among the students run about 49% desktop and 83% laptops. She said that the percentage of students using their labs was 19%. Using a program called Lab Stats they are able to tell how many users log into the machines and what applications are launched. Last year they averaged 62,000 total users with over 578,000 total logins and an average of close to 1600 logins a day.

The Student Union lab went through a few changes in the past year. To make it more open, enclosure walls were brought down. It also saw expanded hours and became more food friendly. Several of the labs have also become unstaffed and now contain security cameras and have security guards walking through periodically. In the past year they also closed a 24/7 lab and opened a 24/5 (Sunday thru Thursday) lab in the Library Learning Commons. The Library Learning Commons now houses 200 computers, made up of both PCs and MACs and is staffed by library staff, IT staff, and students. The Library Learning Commons also houses several Classroom/Teaching labs and group study rooms. In the past year they also saw the addition of a coffee bar. A couple of projects they are looking at for the future are a quick print release station and virtual desktop computing.

Her conclusion was that university computer labs aren’t going away any time soon and I tend to agree. Even though our students are given a laptop they continue to come to the library and use our labs. Many sit at a station using both desktop and their laptop. Like at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the biggest draw for our students seems to be printing and the software available on the desktops, along with the collaborative space available here in the library.

Educause 2009 – Day Two

Thursday, November 5, 2009 4:47 pm

I could go in chronological order in this post, but that would require me to “bury the lead” and talk about Lawrence Lessig’s presentation in the middle of the post! Lessig is a rock star in my world and it seems only right that when writing about a copyright guru I “steal” his bio from his website!

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school’s Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

For much of his career, Professor Lessig focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He represented web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. His current academic work addresses a kind of “corruption.”

He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, and was named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing “against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online.”

Professor Lessig is the author of Remix (2008), Code v2 (2007), Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He is on the board of the Creative Commons project, MAPLight, Free Press, Brave New Film Foundation, Change Congress, The American Academy, Berlin, Freedom House and iCommons.org. He is on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation and LiveJournal. He has served on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. He was also a columnist for Wired, Red Herring, and the Industry Standard.

Professor Lessig earned a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.”

-from http://www.lessig.org/info/bio/

Lessig opened by discussing how in the past copyright had a tiny role at the turn of the century as the law was technical and difficult and only applied to a small group of businesses. Then things changed, and now copyright reaches across the spectrum, the law is more technical and difficult to understand, but applies to so many daily transactions. We collide with copyright constantly in our lives. It all changes because the platform we use to get access to our culture has changed. The current paradigm is that if we don’t secure this money for professional creators of content they will not be incented to create this content. But where is the role of the amateur (all those remixers on YouTube) in keeping culture alive?

Educators and scientist rather than questioning copyright have embraced it over the last 20 years without enough skepticism Lessig says we should all feel entitled to question the legal system (as lawyers do) rather than just roll over! Scholarly journal costs are blocking access to knowledge except for the richest Universities.

Necessary evils are still evil and should be avoided. It should not take years and over $500,000 to re-clear the rights to the “Eyes on the Prize” series. Documentaries suffer under current laws. Items will turn to dust before some items can be transferred and preserved

What to do about this? Well, Lessig thinks changing the law is hopeless. So he likes to change the norms with project like Creative Commons. He said we all need to be radical militant activists on this issue!

The Google Book Search Project was his next talking point. He has concerns the settlement is pushing us toward a radically complex model that pushes books toward the same issues faced by film (documentaries in particular!) He quoted Drucker that “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

He wondered how to convey to lawyers that the current system is a failure that can’t work in the digital age? Copyright is essential, he is not a copyright abolitionist, he believes it needs reworking. He is a great speaker and if you ever get a chance to hear him, take it!

The e-books session was at capacity and also very engaging! Robin Schulze from Penn State discussed their program with the Sony Reader 505. (The new model, 700 series is more interactive, highlight underline, annotate) This reader has no backlight, long battery life, and is readable in daylight. Sony E ink is great for readability. Sony loaned the readers and the put them to use in English 30. Sony is a single use device on purpose to encourage immersive reading. Those running the study were struck by the reviews that commented on the coldness of the device. One described it as “The book John DeLorean would have designed.” The lack of interactivity and custom fonts made it hard to get everyone on the same page. It became obvious that everyone wanted consistent page numbers.

At the same time the students did not say it hindered their general comprehension. This discrepancy was hard for those conducting the pilot to reconcile! Students said the ebooks did not seem friendly or companionable. Need to change patterns of infant instruction in reading and need to include more interaction, Flash, and features that change/augment the reading experience! (Do what books can’t do now!)

Kindle was not interested in partnering with any of these schools!

Next I attend a Google Wave Demo. I’ve written and talked so much about Google Wave in the last few months and I still don’t have an account! Still, I can’t wait for an account for myself and accounts for all my friends and coworkers so we can start collaborating with this new tool! I do have some concerns that it will be a paradigm shift that will require some change in my processes!

The program “I’m Thin and Green” : Reducing the Desktop Carbon Footprint while Offering Anywhere, Anytime, Computing Services, was led by Richard Toeniskoetter of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff who described the school of 15,000 students on a mountain campus (between Sedona and the Grand Canyon) 7,000 additional students statewide (elevation 7000ft) as one that is epitomized by small class size.

They have a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. They engage and educate the community both locally and globally and offer hands on sustainability learning opportunities to students. Both the Business and Engineering buildings are Gold LEED certified and the Applied Research and Design building is Platinum LEED certified.

Thin clients in use there use only 4 watts of power, with no need for UPCs as the data is all saved at data center. Hotdesking allows a session to follow you anywhere. Questions like offline usage (Network is down?) and licensing were important when considering this switch. Thin clients allow the applications in a lab to be changed at a moments notice, but do require the infrastructure to support this new model of computing. These clients are goof for about 80% of users, but not for those who heavily use multimedia. He said resistance to thin clients is natural and we should not force it where it does not fit. For those wanting more information he suggested reading an article by Karla Hignite in Business Officer, Oct 2009 on thin clients.

This post is getting too long, so I’ll end with the wild program “Bricks and Mortar Libraries in the 21st Century: An Oxymoron? This was a Point and Counter Point session between Suzanne Thorin and Richard Luce. Thorin said the library as place is dead and we need to move on. She said new discovery tools and resources are all digital. ILL is a scanning activity, only buying books on demand of faculty; we are moving our books off-site. Students use us as social study space with their laptops, still quiet spaces, often not using our services on those laptops. She described roving librarians, saying we have abandoned the reference desk and that our organizational structures are “a blast from the past”. She said we need to stop counting numbers of books and other things that don’t show what we do. She also said we should count how we impact student success and retention and scholarly publishing instead.

Then Richard Luce spoke saying that she had been talking about print v digital, not about the library as place. He said we came here today (to Educause) to interact with one another. The library is a place to be with one another. There is a social, community, role, with libraries becoming classrooms and laboratories. Library is the neutral/mutual location on the college/university campus.

This was a wild session with too much point and counter point to capture, but you get the idea. I think it is interesting that ZSR has made many of the transitions discussed, creating quiet study areas, cool new collaborative spaces, and doing more with instruction.

Finally, some quick stats! There are about 4000 attendees at Educause this year, over 6000 if you count all the vendors, and there are over 1000 people participating in the online Educause conference. Oh, and I’m the only person from WFU here!

Educause 2009 – Day One

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 5:49 pm

After spending the better part of a day traveling and with only 14% power left on my iPhone (I never like to get below 20%) and with only six minutes before the close of registration on Tuesday night, I checked in at the Educause 2009 registration station and collected my conference materials! For those of you who may not have heard of Educause, it is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. This year the conference is in Denver.

I’ve never been to Denver, and on the walk back to the hotel after registering, I discovered that since the blizzard last week things had warmed considerably and many other attendees were enjoying the weather and the 16th Street pedestrian mall near the convention center. I was wiped out after a day of travel and hit the bed early to be ready for the general session early Wednesday.

Wednesday began bright and early thanks to crossing two time zones, and this gave me a chance to catch up on email, exercise and plan my session strategy. Diana Oblinger, the president and CEO of Educause opened the general session, reminding us that Educause is not just a conference, but a community. The planners of Educause 2009 asked for feedback and listened. There are more on managing the enterprise in a tough economy and more sessions on sustainability issues. The Point/Counterpoint sessions are back as are the Lightening Rounds sessions where multiple presenters offer new ideas at a fast pace. As many of you at ZSR know, there is an online conference option this year and a new feature, Educause Central Online, where you can connect with colleagues and chat with Educause staff in the online conference virtual meeting hub.

The keynote speaker was James C. Collins http://www.jimcollins.com/ Author of Built to Last, Good to Great, and How the Mighty Fall. (We have them all in ZSR!) Collins spent much of his time discussing the five step-wise stages of decline he found in his research and outlined in How the Mighty Fall. He also focused what makes some good organizations become great. He states that “greatness is not a function of circumstance, but rather a matter of conscious choice and discipline”, and that “good” is the enemy of “great”. His research focuses on the business sector rather than the social sector, but he states that the results are applicable and the two are both necessary for a successful country. He has some interesting ideas about leaders and leadership, and his “Hedgehog Concept” is an interesting model to determine where you can be the best based on skills, resources and values. I plan to read some of his work, but it isn’t currently available for the kindle reader!

During my first pass through the exhibit hall I decided to shoot some video and post it on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/user/gizwomack#p/a/u/0/tXrOi1s6X20

The E-Portfolio Lightning Round was great! While it was familiar content it was good to see where various schools stand with E-Portfolios and to see that they are various uses. While some use them to show a student’s work to potential employers, many are only using E-Portfolios as an assessment tool. Some even used Google Sites to host the portfolios. Helen Barrett’s name always comes up when discussing E-Portfolios. She was described as the “mother of E-Portfolios” by one speaker. (Helen will be visiting WFU in the Spring.) Jeffrey Middlebrook from U of Southern California described their blog-based solution as a “blogfolio”. The University of Wisconsin is using the Desire2Learn E-Portfolio application. I also saw a demo of the open source portfolio add-on to Sakai.

In the Cloud Computing session “Cloud Computing and New Research Services: A Case Study”, The speaker. Beth Secrest, took a poll of the group before beginning, and there were only two librarians and many IT professionals present. Beth is the program officer for IT services for the Association of Research Libraries. She began with some definitions. “Cloud computing refers to the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters.” She then defined “campus cyberinfrastructure” as serving the underserved and average rather than extreme scholar. It is flexible, agile, scalable, and sustainable. Needs to be implemented fast or users will go find these sources on their own! She described using SAAS Service: FormSpring. In the past a class or a researcher would send database specifications to IT and wait for a response. This method is much more interactive. There are challenges and policies to create. Questions come up such as who owns the data, and who can create the form. Newer tools include backup options and more export tools. In their pilot there was only one interruption of service for only a few hours and the service reported not only the outage, but which users were affected by it. The pilot collaboration with Ithaca went very well! The reason for using FormSpring for the study was that ARL did not have the infrastructure internally to manage the technology of this research project. Beth stated that “Cheap and Simple” can often be “Good Enough” (This is exactly how I feel about Google Sites!)

More to come in tomorrow’s post!

Educause SE Wed. AM

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:27 am

This morning started with a session on student computer use in the classroom. They looked at tablets and laptop use by students at the Univ. or Vermont School of Business where they REQUIRE TABLETS of all their students – undergrad and grad. Their faculty struggle with needing the students to have computers in the class with the fact that computers are now fully-functional entertainment centers (sound familiar?) They revamped the class to use the tablets and installed activity monitoring software on the computers to track what the students ‘really’ do in class. They found that 20% of the time students were not doing class-related activities. The found that tablet users did less instant messaging but more gaming, email, web surfing than the laptop users. They also found that the more time a student spent instant messaging the worse grade they got in the class (shocking!). They also found that 50% of web browsing done in a class is unproductive. They also found that to some degree the tablet students did better on the course final grade. There are still some questions to be answered, but an interesting empirical look at classroom computer use.

Tuesday at Educause #2

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:02 pm

Finally able to write about the other sessions I attended today. One about the use of iPods in English Composition classes was particularly interesting. The professor (from Miami Dade Univ.) based his comp class around James Bond (great idea — no Cliff Notes for the books, great fodder for composition in comparing the books to the movies, and the students love it). He taught two sections and for one handed out iPods and created podcasts with supplemental material like a ‘Villians Gallery’ and other content for students to listen to and watch outside of class. For the other class, the same material was available on the web. The grades were significantly better in the one with the iPods. He found that his student athletes, especially, would listen to the material on the bus, on the treadmill and on the trainers tables. He thought the students who benefited the most were the ones who were at risk of falling through the cracks — those who needed just a bit more experience with the material to be successful.

In a different look at the same issue, however, was a professor at the poster session who surveyed his students about iPod use and found that they did not want ‘educational’ material encroaching on their ‘recreational’ device. They very clearly saw the dilineation between work space and play space and never the twain shall meet…..
This question about how far into student spaces we should venture before we start to get pushback was the topic of a discussion session I went to. Lots of discussion about how schools are using wikis, blogs and even Second Life but no consensus about how far we should take it. Anecdotally there is a lot of evidence that students don’t want grown-ups in their spaces, but also anecdotally you have some success stories about faculty using Facebook groups successfully in classes. I think the key is to know your students and your campus culture. The group did recognize that a lot of the social software technologies that we are experimenting with (RSS aggregators, Second Life, etc.) have yet to ‘catch on’ with undergrads, and there is some evidence that even Facebook is becoming less popular with college students as High School students are now allowed and employers and grad schools are now looking at profiles in hiring and admission processes.

The general session this afternoon was on disaster preparedness and recovery. Presented by people from Southern Miss. Univ. and LSU we got a first hand look at how disasters can affect all areas of a campus even when your campus is not the one hit. Southern Miss. was nearly completely wiped out by the storm, LSU just had all of the issues around being an evacuation point. They gave good advice – and sobering account of how Katrina affected so many. I know I’m going to go home and make an inventory of our house and store it online somewhere I can get to it even if the house is gone!

Tuesday AM at Educause

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:39 am

My first session this morning is about a faculty development program at Florida comunity College at Jacksonville. They put together teams of 4 faculty and gave them extensive pedagogy, tech training and interactive learning training. The faculty use these skills to create courses that can be taught face-to-face, blended or fully online. The faculty get 15 hours of pedagogy, 12 hours of Blackboard and 6 hours of multimedia training. In addition they get mentoring, beta testing for their courses and other support for developing the class. They also get financial compensation and rewards for participating in the program which has been a key to its success. This is a remarkable program and makes me wish we had a centralized faculty development office at WFU to develop these sorts of programs. Perhaps that will come out of the strategic plan.

Someone just stopped me in the hall and told me my postings from yesterday got big play in the Program Committee breakfast this morning. They gave us out the tag to use if blogging the conference and I did and they found it. Good thing I didn’t say mean things! It really is a well-run conference.

Educause Post 2

Monday, June 11, 2007 5:59 pm

The keynote speaker this afternoon on the technology at the Georgia Aquarium was fascinating. Can’t wait to go there to see it all first hand. I was hoping to get there this trip, but it will have to wait until November when I’m brining Erin down to meet up with a college friend and her daughter.

The second session of the afternoon was an interesting one from Georgia Gwinnett College, a brand new campus in the Univ. of GA system. They did a pilot with with two classes and gave them cell phones for data collection and to use as an audience response system. They did some cool things and learned a lot. They are now REQUIRING faculty to have cell phones (numbers published in the staff directory). They can use their own phones, or use a state provided one which is paid for, but they cannot use it for personal calls. They will be requiring cell phones with text messaging capabilities for all students starting next year. They plan to start providing grades and other information to students on them.

The reception was very nice tonight (who can fault a reception where you get a free glass of wine AND chocolate fondue??) and tomorrow will be filled with more sessions – another on podcasting, one on social software and a couple on Information Literacy.


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