Interesting thoughts on the future of teaching and digital Scholarship

Happy New Year and welcome back to School.  Over the past few days I have been directed to some interesting websites, and I will share a couple with you here.

The first one is an NPR story that addresses a change from the lecture style of teaching, the so-called “sage on the stage” to the “guide from the side”.  It is thought that engaging the students in more active learning will help them actually retain information. 

The next article deals with digital scholarship, especially when issues of hiring, tenure and promotion come up in academia.

Digital scholarship is recognized as legitimate research, publishing and communication.  For those of you thinking about going into academia, or already in teaching and research, both articles will give you something to think about.

What should I do with my old slides?

Here in the Visual Resources Collection we are taking an inventory of everything in the room.

We have LCD projectors, slide projectors, cameras, video cameras, light sets, some books and travel guides; even film cameras of the Nikon variety.

However, the slides, slides, slides, are what I have in the most quantity.  Now, slides are small, so it takes alot of them to take up any amount of space – we have at least 265 drawers full of slides. As part of the stocktaking, the Graduate Assistants are looking at boxes of slides, drawers of slides, scans of slides. We have your pink variety, your purply-orange variety, your overexposed and your really dark variety.  Then there are the fabulously colored Fujichrome and Kodachrome slides of trips from around the world that our professors and students have shared with us over the years.  Records of moments in time, a particularly sunny day, a freshly painted facade, a brand new structure or a really old structure.  Images that document not only an architecture, but a city, a style of car or hairdo, caught on the film chip.

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

The challenge for me and my student assistants is to decide what stays and what goes.  What is relevant to the School’s mission, and what is just taking up space. Is this slide primary source material or outdated copywork from a book that has been re-issued and updated umpteen times since that slide was taken? For slides that are going to go, here is a beautiful and useful project: Curtains. Or maybe a handbag would be nice.

I plan to post more lovely pictures as we continue with the collection assessment.

Presentation Method Powerpoint: Extract images, Compress Presentations

Although you are often building a powerpoint by adding images, occasionally, you want to extract images from a powerpoint presentation.  This particular post on this tech blog, explains just how to do it –
How to Extract Pictures from PowerPoint Photo Slideshow
Another issue is compressing a huge powerpoint so that it can be transported, or just to get it to run more efficiently. To start with, images in the Powerpoint should be jpegs, not tifs. Jpegs allow for compression, while tifs do not; therefore the tif files are much larger than the jpegs.
Both these weblinks take you to different blog posts written by the same person.

The Past Superimposed on the Present.

Take a look at What Was There: http://www.whatwasthere.com/ This website adds photos to places, tagged by location and year.  If there is a street view in Google maps, the photograph is  lined up from the same point of view to provide a glimpse of the same place at a different time. You can see how the streetscape has changed, as well as the architecture, car design, and fashions.

The site even allows you to fade the photograph in and out.  Cities in the United States have more photographs than other parts of the world, but I am sure that will change as more people travel the site. You can upload photographs yourself, although I have not tried that yet. This could be useful for preservationists, architects, and urban planners.

Enjoy.