Sunday, November 29, 2009

Module 3: Software

Software: I actually did look at the software for this project and based my hardware choices on the software. Now that I think about it - choosing software first would have made more sense. I did agree with Dr. Farmer's feedback on defining my core group better in my needs statement so I revised that on the software section as well as how these items would be used to help this group of students. I develop all my rubrics in Rubistar and developed one for my software project that I posted on this week's discussion board.

The software downloads from this module were very interesting and easy to use. I really liked Inspiration. I played with some mind maps last year thinking that my students would really like them. I downloaded a free copy of Buzan's Mindmapping Software. I thought this would work for my students but their eyes just got glazy over it. I think that if it's not like Google or Wikipedia (Good, fast, cheap) and requires more than one or two clicks, most students don't want to have anything to do with it. I think there are some students who get a lot out of this software but they really like computers and aren't overwhelmed by work. I do think this is a great tool for a whole group project that might include the teacher to implement it. A more student interactive tool that is kind of like this is voicethread.

I can't say I thought a lot about disabled student before this project because our school just doesn't accomodate them. I think they should and as a member of the Academic Technology Committee at my school I will recommend this. I think this whole section has expanded my thinking about accomodating all kinds of learners and I've looked at my own students in a different way because of it.


Odin Chapter 2: Last week there was a great overview chapter about hardware. My library's policy about hardware is that it needs to be flexible. Most of our computers are laptops for this reason. We have 30 Macbooks and 10 stationary i-Macs. We do this so we can keep our library program flexible in terms of students working in groups and utilize all our classroom spaces, which in some cases, can not hold stationary computers. I should have made this clear in my Hardware selection process that laptops are often used on the library floor by individual students. Unfortunately we do not have administrative rights over these computers which is a problem we are currently fighting but it was validating to see it in this textbook. This week it was again a great overview chapter about software. Our software choices are driven by the curriculum so we have Microsoft Office installed on all computers. Unfortuanately, Office was designed for PCs and there are often problems associated with it being installed on Macs. Administrative rights to all computers would help this problem also.

Chapter 9: I have never worked in an unautomated library so I wouldn't begin to understand the issues associated with it. However, my son's school has an unautomated collection and the school decided to go with a web-based automation system. I have recommended that a friend who is a librarian work with the school as she has the time to devote to the project. We recently upgraded to TLC which I think was a 50,000 dollar mistake as it is a program designed for public libraries and we are a 1,000 member student population. I liked this chapter because it made me aware of all this issues a librarian needs to think about before deciding on an automation system and I wish my head librarian would have read it before she spent the money on TLC.


  1. thanks for sharing your insights about automation system decisions -- they're very important

  2. You have an interesting perspective on laptops in the library. We have a lot of desktops but not many laptops. We are all PC too so Office is working well so far. We are moving towards thin client and one to one computing so the Tech. Director wants us to go more with Google Docs and open source software. Have you tried that? Lots of changes!