I recently had an excellent summer scheming meeting with my amazing colleague Sarah Cohen. I like when we put our heads together. It gets me energized and excited about new ideas and initiatives that we could try.
Sarah had just gotten back from a trip to the UK and while there she visited Champlain College’s study abroad campus in Dublin. She related that immediately when she got there she had reference questions from the students there. Apparently students are doing significant research while they’re abroad, and are not quite sure where to get appropriate resources.
Even before she told me her idea I was on the same page as her: we should offer in depth reference to these students using a service like Skype or something similar. They do have our Digsby/IM chat available to them (which they have made use of), but with in depth research something more is needed.
I think we are going to look into it this summer and then maybe run a pilot of the service in the fall. The only missing piece that may be necessary is screen broadcasting software. I really like Procaster, which allows you to live stream what is going on on your screen.
But I really would like something that would allow me to use Skype and then simply switch from my camera to viewing what is on my screen. Is anyone using anything like this? Are there any free or cheap options available? I’ll do some more research, but it should be fun trying something like this.
Yesterday I went to the Vermont 3.0 Tech Career Jam. I did not go into the actual gym with the tables set up since I am not actively looking for a job, but I did attend two panel sessions that sounded interesting.
The first one was called “So you wanna build websites.” It was interesting to get a perspective on the field of web design today and where it will be going in the future. The future clearly is mobile computing and handheld devices (cell phones, etc.). and the future is here. They gave excellent advice to students and career seekers. First they told them to concentrate on designing to standards not browsers. “The browsers will come around,” they said. They also said that it was necessary to have a concentration. You cannot be a Jack of all trades in the web-design world doing graphic design, web app programming, and actually designing the site. You need to find your place and hook up with a few other people who have complementary skills. Web design is far to specialized now.
The second session I attended was “So You Wanna be an Internet Marketer.” This session was mainly about Google Analytics making conversions. It made me want to do some more reading about making sense of web traffic numbers. The most important thing that was said in the session, in my opinion was to be open to play with technology. Champlain professor Elaine Young and others noted how important it was to try out technologies instead of instantly deciding, “that’s not for me.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy. I need to constantly do this for my career as an Emerging Technologies Librarian. Playing with technology is the only way you will stay current with what is out there and what your users are doing. I hope to foster this environment and idea of play at Champlain College, along with other colleagues who are already playing and enjoying it.
Overall this Vermont 3.0 Tech Career Jam seemed like a great event bring businesses and students from around the area together to fill mutual needs. I look forward to it next year.