Category Archives: research

BYOD in Your School Library

Businesses are embracing the BYOD trend for a number of reasons. Eighty percent of respondents in a 2012 Forrester Research study said increased worker productivity was the key reason behind BYOD program deployment and 70 percent cited an increased padding to their bottom line.

Along with their reasons for embracing BYOD programs, businesses also have reasons for concern, such as security breach issues and malicious motives from outsiders. However, businesses are not the only ones juggling the pros and cons of BYOD programs. Libraries implementing their own BYOD programs are faced with similar benefits and struggles. Just as workers prefer to use the devices that they own rather than being stuck with those issued by an IT department, students prefer to use their own devices rather than the desktop computers sitting in the library.

Concerns of BYOD in Libraries

Libraries need programs that are both compatible across multiple platforms and can be used anywhere, anytime. Ramona High School in California has a BYOD library program that supports a variety of devices — both Android and Apple-based tablets and smartphones. Students simply bring their device to the library for verification.

BYOD security is also a concern. How can libraries protect the information of users and data on their networks? The technical director at the New York Law School makes sure all BYOD devices are authorized to use the campus network that don’t bring in any computer viruses by using a ForeScout Technologies hardware appliance called CounterACT, according to Network World. Other solutions, like BlackBerry’s Enterprise Service 10 protect against BYOD security concerns by letting you manage your users, groups, apps and services all from one primary console.

How Does it Work?

Some Texas school libraries are using a digital platform called OverDrive. OverDrive allows students to access digital books on multiple platforms — computers, smartphones, tablets, e-readers and MP3 players. It even allows librarians to build their schools’ digital collection based on grade level or school curriculum. Overdrive uses the Adobe DRM (Device Rights Management) system to protect files from piracy and manage the lending period of library e-books. The Texas BYOD program is being expanded to allow students to check out books to their devices using the school’s network and account, according to the journal.

Some other online resources for digital librarians include:

Clevnet: An association of 44 library systems across 12 different counties in Northeast Ohio that allows access to the collections of every participating library.

OneClickDigital: A new E-Audiobook database.

3M’s Cloud eBook Lending: Let’s readers explore and borrow ebooks.

eBooks on EBSCOhost: Claims to offer a powerful search function unparalleled to other digital libraries.

Amazon: A huge selection of fiction and non-fiction books that can be downloaded to mobile devices including Kindles and iPads. It works with the Whispersync service allowing people to connect their devices with library accounts.

Ibiblio: An online public library that has freely available software and information on topics like music, literature, art, history, science, politics and cultural studies.

JSTOR: An online resource for searching journals, primary sources and books.

This article was provided by the Continuous Content  program from BlueFirePR.

Graduation Day

Speaking of graduations…I forgot to blog about my very own! The never-ending story of the Thesis has finally come to an end! From March until mid May I was intensely writing the paper with the assistance of my two AMAZING advisors, Dr. Diane Tabor and Dr. Betsy Grady. I most definitely would not have been able to even imagine the finish line without these two mentors. Although at times the stress of daily writing and analysis had me seeing double through tears of fatigue, I really did enjoy the overall writing process. I enjoy writing, but collaborating with such experienced writers and researchers as my advisors clearly eased the pain. So I started with 17 pages and not enough data in March, and ended up with 150+ pages and rich data that revealed significant and relevant findings entitled “Making Media and Making Citizens.” I ended up winning the Dean’s Thesis Prize for Most Outstanding Thesis, and graduated June 11 with the Masters in Liberal Arts Education Technologies program from the Harvard Extension School. I was asked to present my topic at the Thesis forum – it was actually quite challenging to take it from paper to powerpoint!

Graduation Day was a wonderful experience. Although I had to get up “wicked” early to attend the all schools ceremony in Harvard Yard, I am glad I witnessed it. The long list of honorary degrees were “impressive” to say the least. The skies opened up in time for the smaller program ceremony afterwards in which we received our diplomas and prizes. I finished the day off with my family at dinner by the Harbor at the Daily Catch, low-key and delicious!

I am so relieved that it is done and over with, and very proud to have finished so strongly. The question posed to me already is…what’s next? I say: the beach!

I will post the abstract here from home…soon.

Here I go again on my own

(Yes the title is a White Snake reference – in honor of the PATS)

I attended the first of 2 classes at Harvard this week to mark the kickoff of semester #2. Tuesday’s Human Development class looks like it will be extremely interesting – the 2 profs are engaging and extremely knowledgeable. The only down side is that it starts at 7:30 pm! Makes for a loooong day. And the very next evening is the ProSeminar in which I will be refining my thesis topic and diving in deeper to the literature review. I am excited but weary, as I find more and more of my energy and time and money is being poured into my professional life, with little left for the personal. The apartment hunt is put on hold, the spa vacation remains a travelocity bookmark, and my view of the gym seems to be more of my monthly statement these days. I promised myself (and that Guy upstairs) that I’d take better care of myself this year in my “new age” bracket, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day or dollars in the bank! Keep on keepin on. I’m just one of those people (schmucks?!) who believes that hard work, sincerity, and passion will pay off some day.

“Things been a little tight, but I know they’re gonna turn my way.”
- the boss

Catching up and winding down

I’m obviously posting some news way after the fact, but I needed a wee time out from my computer screen every evening after work!

I managed to get my research paper in on time, and I just found out today that I got an A- in the class! Whoopee! I learned how to conduct qualitative research and analysis…and that I have soooo much more data to collect and literature to review before I can even propose my thesis. I was aiming to have it proposed by Feb 1 and done by Nov 1, but I’ve got further refinement of the topic to do and I want to keep my sanity during the study, so it looks like it will be instead a March 1 2009 graduation date. Sigh. The Neverending Story of the Masters continues! I did talk to my advisor at Harvard for over 2 hours last Thursday and left feeling inspired and focused on the journey ahead of me.

In other news, I turned 30. I joined the 20-10 age bracket last Sunday at the Patriots game. And well last Saturday too at Ole in Cambridge over gourmet Mexican food and margaritas! I was so touched by the support and appreciation by my loving friends and family!!

Lastly, I am finishing up Term 2 at TBA, which means it’s September all over again for me next week.  I am super excited about the Media Seminar videos…the kids are taking so much pride in their work and polishing the PSAs up in the edit room with voice-overs and beats (which often results in free-style raps about class and Spice Girls dance routines, both much to my delight). My mantra is “work hard, play hard”, so if students are able to get the work done, they can and should have fun too. My freshman work so well together in web design class – there are at least 3 in each section who walk around and help their classmates out. And the advanced web students were reportedly “sad” and “gonna miss you miss” when they realized they had just 2 classes left before the final launch of their client’s web site. I am so proud of how every student has found a way to contribute, to listen, to trust, to manage, to creatively solve a problem, to help, and to take pride in and have fun with their work.

A gift from the weather gods…and facebook fulfillment

Winter Wonderland

I snapped this photo through the window at my desk today. I have been glued to the desk lately as my pilot study paper and presentation is due this Thursday! So today’s cancellation of school was indeed a gift. One of the “perks” of the job I guess! I will have next Monday off as well for MLK day, which is also a gift because I will need to recover from witnessing yet another AFC Championship battle in Gillette Stadium. Never fear, Patriot Nation, I have been present at all 4 of the last 6 AFC Championships that the Pats have won (one of which the Pats were not present at either, actually).

Speaking of Gillette, I won a Gillette-sponsored contest on Facebook! My “Get your game face on” video won me a JVC camera, a Brady Quinn autographed football, and a Gillette shave kit. I’m psyched! Its taking a while to redeem the prizes from “fulfillment at facebook” though, so I guess I’ll just have to wait for my shaving cream. ?! (you can view the video here)