Rachel's 840 Learning Blog

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Collective Intelligence June 14, 2009

Filed under: Emerging Technologies — rhodges1 @ 4:26 pm

The 2008 Horizon Report describes collective intelligence as “the knowledge embedded within societies or large groups of individuals.” It goes on to explain two forms: explicit and implicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is collaboration by many people like Wikipedia, E-bay, and The History Commons from http://www.cooperativeresearch.org. Implicit knowledge is the creation of new knowledge by collecting consumer data over time like LibraryThing and Amazon.com.

I enjoyed listening to Thomas Malone’s interview and the use of collective intelligence as a “find-it” strategy. I think this is a great way to poll the resources available on the web that you normally would not have access to. I find that when I need to “find” out some sort of information, I tend to first go to my personal network of friends, family, and collegues. I ask the ones I think have the background knowledge to help me find the correct information I am looking for. If I do not know of someone within my network, then I have to search outside resources. Collective Intelligence is very useful as a “find-it” strategy by providing a place with many people and a variety of backgrounds that can help each other even though they most likely have never met. If you ask around enough, you are bound to find someone who can lead you in the right direction. Having a community online that you can go to and post your information needs, increases your likelihood of finding the answer and in a much more timely fashion. I can see how providing a monetary incentive, like in the cases that were discussed in the interview, can also speed up this process and create a motivation for people to submit their best work.


Digital Repositories and Education June 13, 2009

Filed under: Emerging Technologies — rhodges1 @ 1:16 pm

I enjoyed reading Tiah’s blog post on how digital repositories could be used in education.  I too had trouble finding applications for this, but I think Tiah’s idea of creating a repository of student product examples (good and bad) is an excellent use of this technology.  When teachers explain an assignment or project they can refer to the examples from this repository, showing pictures of past projects that met or did not meet the criteria.  It would be an excellent way to get students to think about what the teacher’s expectations are and spur new creative projects.

I think it is also a great tool for teachers to store their Instructional videos as education continues to seek to work beyond the four walls of the classroom, instructional videos are a great alternative for students who miss class due to serious illness or other extentuating circumstances.  This is also a great alternative for students who get in- or out-of-school suspension, so they continue to stay with the rest of the class and have some teacher contact.

Thanks Tiah for sharing your inspired thoughts!


Digital Repositories

Filed under: Emerging Technologies,Readings — rhodges1 @ 12:58 pm

5 characteristics of Digital Repositories include:

  1. Manages & preserves large amounts of digital media (pictures, videos, music, etc…).
  2. Makes resources readily available online to multiple users with minimal boundaries (must be a library patron within that district, patron may not have access to internet outside of the library hours).
  3. Advanced search capabilities with controlled vocabularies using metadata.
  4. Customizable for individualized needs.
  5. Large storage capacity needs (terabytes).

Opensource Content Management Systems

Filed under: Emerging Technologies,Readings — rhodges1 @ 12:46 pm

5 Characteristics of opensource CMS include:

  1. Free website development software
  2. Stays current with frequent updates
  3. Requires minimal web development background knowledge to create and maintain simple sites.
  4. Customizable – many add-ons available and  able to adapt to your own needs if you know php, sql, xml language.
  5. Consistency and control provided within the administration framework.

Final Project Outline

Filed under: Final Project — rhodges1 @ 12:35 pm

Website to be evaluated: http://www.manhattan.lib.ks.us/myaccount/borrowing.shtml


Content – pdf documents, blogs, databases, online catalog, pictures, online forms, calendars, RSS feeds

Context – non-profit, government funded institution

Users – patrons & potential patrons (community members, parents, students K-12 and college, researchers, leisure readers), librarians.

Team members – Representatives from each area: library board, IT dept., Circulation dept., librarians (children, teen and adult), and administration.

Project Suggestions:

  • Create an online form for Interlibrary loan requests
  • Re-evaluate organization, labeling, search features, and navigation
  • Create more redundant links (navigation and organization) o Use of pull-down tabs (organization and labeling)
  • Always have a link to the previous page and home page (navigation)
  • Add a site search feature with a controlled vocabulary (search)

Next Steps:

  1. Meet with web development team to create project mission and vision statements.
  2. Meet with IT department or web administrator to find out limitations of web software.
  3. Complete content analysis with content map.
  4. Heuristic Evaluation – will have to be approved by the library board for funding
  5. User Testing – before and after
  6. Use Card Sorting method for organization and labeling with development team members.
  7. Research other library web sites (similar in demographics, collection size, and user population) and complete a Competitive Benchmarking evaluation.

Final Project Process Update June 7, 2009

Filed under: Final Project — rhodges1 @ 9:48 am

I found this week’s assignment to be a very good start.  It helped me organize my thoughts and get a good picture of what is next and where I want to end up at the end of this project.

I am excited to start working on gliffy.com and create my concept map and wireframe.  I think this will be very helpful for me as I am a visual learnerand this will be a great visual layout to see how the website is laid out now and what it will look like when I’m done.

I will be evaluating the Manhattan, Kansas Public Library web site:



Chapter 10 June 6, 2009

Filed under: Readings — rhodges1 @ 10:45 pm

In reading Chapter 10 of “Information Architecture”, I found the guiding questions for the pre-planning stages of web site development  helpful for working with each team member within their respective areas of contribution.  These questions help focus in on the purpose of the project and help keep the team on task.

I found the concepts of heuristic evaluation as well as competitive and before-and-after benchmarking crucially important at this  stage in the process.  If the team waited  until the end of this process,  too much would be at stake for anyone to want to make the changes necessary to make this endeavor successfull.