Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

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QR Code Update: December 2012

I have written a number of posts about Quick Response (QR) Codes in the last two years. One of the posts has been one of the most popular posts on Clyde Street.

I have a QR Code for Clyde Street on the front page of the blog.

grabRecently, I have been interested in Vocaroo’s use of a QR Code to link audio recordings. Earlier this year I used Daqri QR Codes to share augmented information with students.

Perhaps it is my fascination with orienteering that has led me to think QR Codes have real potential to enrich personal learning journeys. I just like the idea that resources can be shared in a minimally intrusive way.  (There was a lot of publicity about this example from a building roof top.)

This morning, I was delighted that a Diigo Teacher-Librarian alert took me to Andrew Wilson’s recent paper, QR codes in the library: Are they worth the effort? Analysis of a QR code pilot project.

Andrew notes in the Abstract:

The literature is filled with potential uses for Quick Response (QR) codes in the library setting, but few library QR code projects have publicized usage statistics. A pilot project carried out in the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library of the Harvard College Library sought to determine whether library patrons actually understand and use QR codes.

ucniss-qrAndrew reports that:

There is no way to describe the usage statistics as anything but extremely disappointing. None of the three on-line resources were viewed via QR codes more than five times each over the course of the entire semester, and the actual utility of those page views was minimal, at best. Of the three sites, only the “Finding Concert Reviews in Periodicals” appears to have been accessed for use, as the other two research guides had only single page-views, and no recorded time on the sites themselves. Legacy and current usage statistics indicate that the sites are being used, with anywhere from 31 to 53 site visits over each of the past two academic semesters, but once the data is examined at the platform level, mobile usage was negligible in comparison to conventional on-line access.

 Notwithstanding these results I like Andrew’s evaluation of the potential of QR Codes.  He observes:
Despite their ubiquity in the public space, a significant portion of the population appear not to know exactly what they are, or even what the term “QR Code” means. Further, while polls of Harvard’s student population, particularly undergraduates, indicate a high percentage of smartphone usage, there is still a disconnect between the smartphone hardware/software and how they apply to QR Codes.
7913818456_7a4588999a_bAndrew concludes:
Much of the argument in favor of QR Codes in the library (or virtually any other setting) comes down to a simple cost/benefit analysis. And in this case, as long as a few simple rules are followed, the cost of employing QR Codes is so low that any benefit derived from them outweighs the minimal effort involved. There is a reason that QR Codes have become so ubiquitous in print advertising, points-of-sale, and other venues: they are so easy to use, and cost so little in terms of resources, time, and money,that despite low acceptance by the public, it is a technology simply too easy to ignore.
I think QR technology is important and I am delighted that Andrew’s paper provides some usage data in the context of a detailed literature review.
Many years ago when I lived in Devon in the United Kingdom I wanted to explore the delights of letterboxing on Dartmoor. I see QR codes as contemporary letterboxes and ideally suited to treasure hunts. Augmented reality opportunities make these codes very powerful.
Photo Credit
Observation Posts and Datums 1 (Polhigey, CC BY_NC_SA 2.0)


Accidental Readers, Altruistic Editors

I have managed to catch two of the three Digital Tribes segments on Geraldine Doogue’s Saturday Extra on Radio National.

Both encounters were by accidental listening.

The trail for the first Digital Tribes discussion was:

… there are clearly differences in the way we are processing information, communicating with each other and forming communities of interest. But what are some of the unintended consequences of readers consuming their news online rather than in print — has the accidental reader disappeared? Does it matter? Is the switch to a more visual medium just an aesthetic shift or is it part of a broader trend of simplifying our knowledge base? And how do these differences feed into the broader debate about politics, democracy, and generational wisdom?

Geraldine discussed these issues with Hugh Mackay.

For the second episode the trail was:

With more and more people consuming their news online, communicating, learning and even spending our leisure time online, it’s clear we are in the midst of some profound social changes. But in what ways the online world is transforming how we think of ourselves and each other is still to be determined. Many argue that the screen and its speed is making us less empathetic, less curious, and less able to think through complex ideas—and yet there is also evidence that our IQs are going up as technologies increase the amount of information and stimulation we receive. So, is the digital revolution leading to a cultural focus on reaction rather than rumination, on answers not questions? And is the death of the generalist newspaper a by-product of that change?

McKenzie Wark was the guest for this program.

The third program in the series was a conversation between Geraldine and Kathy Bail. I liked Kathy’s discussion of blended approaches to content creation and curation.

The three podcasts provide a great resource for anyone thinking about changes to reading habits. They have taken me back to my first memory of public libraries in the late 1950s … a reading room full of people reading newspapers attached to dowel. They have taken me forward in my thinking too particularly in regard to editorial integrity and the potential of slow blogging to support real-time blogging.

(I have been thinking about this post since 14 July and have followed up a number of links to the three contributors. Kathy’s discussion of her work at the UNSW Press was the catalyst for this post after a couple of days of reflection.)

Photo Credits

City Public Library

Live-Blogging 100 Aspects of the Moon, after Yoshitoshi



Year of Reading: Mongarlowe

I am fortunate to live in the village of Mongarlowe in New South Wales.

There is a notice board at the entrance to Clyde Street in the village that shares news of events.

Last week the board was alerting everyone to Clean Up Australia Day on 4 March.

To my great delight there was an addition to the notice board this weekend.

I love the idea that the Year of Reading has come to Mongarlowe and that it is housed in a Tardis-like location.

The Year of Reading 2012 “is about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It’s about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It’s about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. And most of all, it’s about Australians becoming a nation of readers”.

I think a telephone kiosk library in rural Australia is a great place to look for the magic of books. Wonderfully, all the books are at readers’ heights.



For more information about the National Reading Year have a look at the wiki developed to support the Year.

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The Magic of Books

I received a great link from Kent Anderson at The Scholarly Kitchen this morning.

Kent writes about a stop motion film made in the Type Books Toronto bookshop.

The Joy of Books was made by Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp.

The film was posted on YouTube on 9 January 2012. By the time I saw it there had been 1,498,241 views.

I was delighted by the creative imaginations that made the film possible. In addition to admiring the passion that led Sean and Lisa to make the film I found myself thinking about how we can transform everyday learning environments.

I liked the soundtrack composed by Tim Westin of Grayson Matthews too.

If you would like more information about this project there is:

  • an interview with Sean Ohlenkamp in a Quill & Quire post
  • a CTV report
  • Organising the Bookcase (Sean and Lisa’s first stop motion film about books) “This weekend we decided to organize the bookcase. It got a little out of hand.”

After watching both videos I went back to a post I wrote last October about Brigita Ozolins and her Reading Room show at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. I thought Brigita, Sean and Lisa would have a great conversation.

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Cirrus 111212

In the last week I noticed these Cirrus items:

Audrey Watters’ post about EdTech trends in 2011. I enjoyed her links to Library Innovation and read with interest about Fayetteville Free Library’s FabLab. I noted the Library’s Executive Director’s observation that:

I believe it is our responsibility to provide the pathways and vehicles; the ‘access’ to transformational experiences.  When we do that, communities and individuals transform themselves by coming together, thinking, developing, creating and making.

The FabLab has a Transliteracy Development Director, Lauren Britton Smedley. As a makerspace, the FabLab will offer “free access to powerful information, and new and advanced technology”. (Margaret Portier has more information about Lauren’s role in her post on transliteracy.)

A Diigo links alerted me to A video bootcamp

OLDaily drew my attention to Jim Shimabukuro’s discussion of online and traditional courses.

Elsewhere I caught up with an INSPIRE post about James Steele’s presentation on metaview. James and his supervisor Martyn Jolly have published their work on metaview in the Journal of Australian Studies in the special issue of Media and Materiality. You can find his presentation on Slideshare.

I noted that the official Blended Synchronicity project launch occurred at the Australasian Society for Computers In Learning In Tertiary Education (ASCILITE2011) annual conference in Hobart. The project “will explore how synchronous technologies (desktop video-conferencing, web-conferencing, virtual worlds) can be most effectively utilised to unite remote and face-to-face university students.”

Photo Credit

FabLab Amsterdam Moving into a New Space


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QR Codes: September Update

Cathy Oxley is a regular contributor to the Diigo Teacher-Librarian Group.

She is a treasure trove of information.

Recently she pointed to a University of Central Florida Libraries’ presentation by Aysegul Kapucu and Rebecca Murphey (12 August) on QR codes. I have embedded the presentation here for reference. By the time I found the Slideshare there had been 8262 views. There were sixteen related QR Slideshares.


IASI in Leipzig 2011: Some Groundrules

I am in Leipzig for an IASI Workshop hosted by Hartmut Sandner of the Institut für Angewandte Trainingswissenschaft (IAT).

I am staying not far from the St. Nicholas Church that played a prominent role in the beginning of the end of East Germany in early October 1989.

To my delight I opened my hotel curtains this morning and discovered I have a full view of some guidelines. These advise me that I should (or should not):

I think this makes it a great start to the first day of the conference. I am using #IASIL11 to share news of events.