ATG Hot Topics 9/4/15

Erin Gallagherby Erin Gallagher

I must admit that, this week, the hottest topic in our library isn’t related to libraries at all, but rather the 8-foot-long King cobra on the loose in our fair city of Orlando.  Our slithery friend escaped his cage during some rollicking storms this week, and is now carousing around the city, most likely in search of Disneyworld.  Only in Florida, folks…

One of the items on my list of long-term to-do’s this year is to finally take a MOOC.  I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews of the MOOC experience from friends and library colleagues over the years, ranging from “this was the best and I learned so much!” to “what a waste of time”.  Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, you’d be willing to share?  Open Culture lists over 240 MOOCs starting up this month.  Topics range from Dinosaur Paleobiology (oooohh….) to Scrolls in the Age of the Book (aaaahhhh…) to Superhero EntertainmentsQuite a few are offered in languages other than English, though I would first need to take a MOOC for learning another language before taking those.  Happy learning!

It seems like everywhere I look I see libraries and conferences focusing on OERs.  Our upcoming FACRL (Florida Association of College & Research Libraries) conference theme involves leveraging OER technology to reduce textbook costs.  It seems librarians and educators are realizing more and more that high textbook costs are not just annoying realities of higher education for today’s students, but factors that influence recruitment and retention.  This is a bit dated, but we’ve been perusing this list of 10 OERs from the MindShift site.  I find it interesting that they mention Wikipedia as an OER; I guess it is in the true definition of “open”, but I’m not so sure how “educational” it is.  Would you consider Wikipedia to be a valid educational resource for college students?  I’m still up in the air…


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