Tag Archives: Google Voice

Tech Sharecase, 19 November 2010

Stephen Francoeur, Ellen Kaufman, Jim Livornese, Ryan Phillips, Stella Varveris

Facebook Messages
We watched a video from Facebook about its forthcoming Messages service, which aims to integrate email, chat, and text messaging for Facebook users. We discussed how Google seems to be doing similar things with its Gmail service, which lets you chat and make VoIP calls in its interface as well as see text messages and voicemail messages from the Google Voice service. We also discussed whether we’d trust Facebook with all this personal communication.

RockMelt Browser
We looked at the new RockMelt Browser, which integrates tightly with Facebook and Twitter and watched this video explaining the browser’s functionality.

Firesheep is a worrisome new Firefox extension that makes it easy for people to hijack usernames/passwords people use as they login to various websites while on unencrypted wifi networks. What is alarming about this new packet sniffer software is that it is so easy to for the uninitiated to set up and run.

Web Conferencing Software
We talked about ooVoo and Adobe Connect as options for web conferencing. In addition to online learning uses, the software might also be useful for virtual office hours and for students working on group projects.

Interactive Pen Displays
We looked at a couple of companies (Wacom and Promax) that offer monitors that have built in tablets that allow you to write on the screen. These might be useful on instructor’s podiums (podia?)

Next Tech Sharecase

The next get together will be on Friday, December 10. Please come prepared to share any tips, tricks, or questions you have about Microsoft Office 2010. Don’t forget to check out the new BCTC page about Microsoft Office 2010, which offers tutorials, help sheets, and a form to sign up for training sessions.

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Tech Sharecase, 18 September 2009

Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Mikhail Gershovich, Tom Harbison, Gerry Jiao, Louise Klusek, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Luke Waltzer

Mobile Web Development
A recent post by John Blossom on Robin Good’s blog (“Future of Mobile Web Applications: Applications Centered or Browser Centric?”) argues that the era we are in now of downloadable apps for phones may parallel the early days of the web when AOL and Compuserve offered the web via walled gardens; as the web developed, users left those walled gardens behind mostly and explored the open web. Blossom argues that the mobile apps are somewhat like AOL and Compuserve in that they enclose a small world of the web to make it manageable.

Google Voice
Stephen demonstrated Google Voice using his personal account, showing how it unifies phone numbers , allows web-based access to voice mail (including transcripts of those messages), and the abilit to send and receive SMS. Some libraries are using it for a text message reference service. The web-based interface for voice mail messages would be useful for a telephone reference service.

Blogging for Freshman Seminar
Luke talked about the blogging initiative for the Freshman Seminar this fall. In just two weeks, there are already 600 blog posts. You can search across all the blogs to see how students are talking about the library. As most students are new to blogging, the college offers guidelines for them. As a test of the possibility of making student blogs universal at Baruch, students in the Baruch Scholars sections of the freshman seminar will get to keep their blog accounts after the seminar is over and may continue to post.

We also discussed how the FRO blogging initiative and the Schwartz Institutes VOCAT tool might be incorporated into the library’s evolving plan for videos created by FRO students. (Note: VOCAT was discussed at the 25 June 2009 meeting of the Tech Sharecase.)

Online Video
As we discussed how student videos could be shared, it was noted that CUNY set up YouTube accounts for each college (Baruch’s is here). Our library had already set it up its own YouTube channel a few years ago. We discussed the functionality of our Digital Media Library and that there is an upgrade of it being planned now.

Stephen showed the LibGuides system briefly, including a draft of one of the guides that the committee working with testing the software has created. It was noted that LibGuides offers embed codes and a Facebook application that allows you to deploy widget versions of a guide.

Space for CUNY Faculty to Share Instructional Materials

Mikhail brought up Curriki as an interesting model for a project he’s part of that is looking for ways to make instructional materials created by CUNY faculty made available online. CUNY’s nascent institutional repository, a hosted DSpace instance, was mentioned as another possible tool that could be a part of the solution. MERLOT was also mentioned, although its collection is limited to multimedia instructional materials.

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