On Wednesday, I was at Rutgers University for the day, visiting with LIS students and giving an evening presentation on makerspaces. The presentation went great – here’s a link to my slides.
That afternoon, I had the privilege of visiting Joyce Valenza‘s LIS class. Her class is focused on social media, and the students discussed QR codes and AR (augmented reality).
Most of the students had smartphones, so they were able to test out some AR apps, like Layar and ChromVille, during the class. I even helped a bit, by answering questions and showing how the app connected to the book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore works.
But this is 2014, so Joyce also called the ChromVille developers (who live in Spain) using Google Hangouts, and the LIS students were able to have a really cool conversation with them (and with Shannon Miller, who also visited via the hangout).
The photo in this post shows the developers previewing their not-yet-released updated version of ChromVille to the students.
Just sorta mind-boggling to me. I graduated from Library School in 1995 (University of Tennessee). Technology things like LCD projectors existed, but were hard to deal with. Video conferencing was around, but didn’t work all that great. Most of my classes involving that type of technology were spent, quite honestly, watching the professors trying to make things work.
Today however, that stuff is so much easier. If you have adequate wifi, you can connect to practically anyone in the world. Wow.
Besides Google Hangouts, Joyce was using some online content curation tools, some Ed Tech stuff I’d never heard of, and Dropbox as part of her class. And probably a whole bunch of other handy online tools, too. All of which help make her class easy to deal with – collaboration and connecting with her and other students (and app developers in Spain) is a breeze.
The coolest thing? All of this technology helps make the face-to-face class time that much more enriching.
We’ve come a long way, huh?