Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Technology

When to Stop

I had a very busy weekend.  I finished most of my digital libraries project and I am very happy with it.  The only thing I haven’t done is write up my annotated bibliography, but that shouldn’t take too long.  I also spent a lot of time on an assignment for my programming course, which I was not expecting.  We have a lab and an assignment each week, and they both take time, but nothing like this.  I simply could not get my code to work.  I spent more than two hours just on the first question.  I tried over and over to make it work.  I changed my names, variables, punctuation, formulae, and it still didn’t work the way it was supposed to.  It was almost there, but not quite, which was even more frustrating.  I decided to take a break and try next question, but I could not get that to work all the way, either.  So I put the assignment away for the day.  When I picked it up the next day, I…


Intro to Programming

I wrote a post last year explaining all the different ways that discussion happens in online classes (http://blogs.simmons.edu/slis/student-experience/2019/04/participation.html).  This semester, I have another new format for my Introduction to Programming course (LIS 485), and it relies on mainly on classmate feedback.  Each week, we have to complete a lab and an assignment.  The lab is where we practice our coding skills, and the assignment is where we answer questions and/or perform a coding task related to what we’ve learned in the lab.  It’s very similar to the format of Technology for Information Professionals (LIS 488), except that now we are required to post our work to the forums for our classmates to review.  I was pretty anxious about this at first.  In a normal class, if I mess up, I’m the only one who knows besides the professor.  With this format, there’s no secrecy.  If I struggle or have the wrong answers, everyone will know.  What if my classmates judge me for being wrong?  Thankfully, this has not been the case.  It turns out that…


Focus on EBSCO

On August 13th I was able to participate in a focus group for the new EBSCO mobile app! I really love workshopping, and this felt like that to the extreme. It was awesome to have a say in a product that I will get to reap the benefits from, as well as pass on to patrons, friends, and future researchers alike.  This particular focus group was definitely saturated with library and information science students. I personally knew half of the group members, and recognized most of the others! Involvement in LIS definitely informed our reaction to the EBSCO mobile app. Most people in this section of the focus group entered with an understanding of EBSCO’s products and an interest in user experience (at least enough to sign up for the study). It was great to hear the opinions of other library science students, but I would have also loved more input from people outside the field. Does the average Bostonian conducting research care about how many times a paper has been cited in other academic…


Crunch Time!

It’s almost the end of the semester and I can’t believe it.  Where did the time go?  I am really looking forward to having a break, but I still have a lot of work to do before I can relax.  I have two big projects due the last week of classes: a group project for my info organization class, and an individual project for my tech class.      My goal is to complete the tech project early, partly because I want to use the last week to focus on finishing up my group project, and partly because I just plain want to get it done!  Our assignment is to create a personal website for prospective employers.  It’s a really great project because it requires us to use and showcase all the skills we’ve learned in class this semester.  I have learned so much this semester, and I am definitely using everything I’ve learned, and more. Right now, I have the formatting all set up, and I just need to play around with the wording…


Baptism by Twitter Fire

Somehow I never caught twitter fever. I’ve technically owned a twitter since 2013, but I’ve done very little in terms of operating it. Paging through the archive, I can tell I was stressed about starting college, because the summer of 2014 was by far my most active and angst-filled twitter period! Even so, I only tweeted 50 times. I bring this up because my Collection Development and Management course (LIS 453) had a social media assignment due this week! We had to tweet about promotions, publicity, displays, and other relevant & useful information related to libraries. Some posts had to feature original content in the form of photos, while the rest could be exceptional retweets with commentary. While I like taking photos and think I’m funny (sometimes), brevity has never been my strength. Starting this assignment, more often than not I was hitting (or going over) the 280 character limit. That meant making four or five drafts until the tweets were slimmed down and ready to post. According to this TechCrunch article, twitter’s limit used…


Changing Direction

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to when I was applying to college for the first time.  I had several conversations with my dad that went like this:              DAD:    You should major in computer science!              ME:      Ugh, no!  I’m artsy, not techy! My dad is a computer engineer (happily retired now, although still the go-to computer troubleshooter for everyone in our large extended family), and he wanted me to major in something useful that could get me a job after graduation.  I, on the other hand, wanted to major in something that I enjoyed, like history and writing.  I majored in art history and ended up working at an accounting firm, which was not what I was expecting, but I have no regrets. I’m bringing this up because I had a full-circle moment last week.  I decided to switch out of the archives concentration and into a design your own concentration focusing on…drumroll please…computers.  Specifically, my focus is going to be on digitalization, digital libraries, and programming. …


HTML-ove Affair?

This week in LIS 488, we learned the basics of HTML. As my last post shows, I was really quaking in my boots for this course! This week went really well, as we worked through a Code Academy tutorial, and coded a simple HTML site about bears! My (very minimal) experience with HTML stems from a tumblr blog I’ve been updating since I was 14. I remember the excitement of selecting my first theme, and writing my first little bio. With the help of the Wayback Machine of www.wayback.com, introduced to me by Danielle Pollock, I don’t have to just fondly remember my blog in 2011: I can see it! And now, on display, my greatest pride and greatest shame, all rolled into one.  Check out this screenshot of my blog from November 6th, 2011. My first background was a wicked cool purple and black flannel. I “hated people,” and loved tea. I remember sitting in a newly funded computer lab in 3rd grade, and wondering why I was being forced to complete my report…


Reflections

As of last night, my final project is complete and turned in!  As I mentioned last week, the final project for my LIS-488 class (Technology for Information Professionals) is a personal website and portfolio, coded by hand using the skills that I developed over the course of this class.  There were some shaky moments during the process of doing this project, but I was able to either troubleshoot and solve everything, or compromise and change my original plan to work with what I had.  All in all, I think that my final product looks pretty similar to the original paper mock-up that I sketched out over Thanksgiving.  I’m really proud of this final project, although I should really stop looking at it, because I’ve noticed a few things that I would like to go back and change, but what’s done is done and I need to walk away and not dwell on it.  This semester has been a wild ride for me.  If you’ve been following my past posts, you know that I was a…


Next Level Research Paper-ing

I think it would be really interesting to know exactly how many research papers I have written in my life. You would think with all my years of academic experience that I’d be getting better and better at writing papers, that each one would be just a bit more polished (or at least easier) than the last. But for some reason, every time I start a new paper it feels like I’m starting over, back at square one. Choosing a topic is so hard. Reading and sorting through all that literature and selecting the most relevant and important bits takes so much time and work. Generating creative analysis and original thought involves some secret formula that I still haven’t mastered. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? You will not have many tests at Simmons SLIS, but you will have lots of papers. As you may have guessed, I’m working on a big research paper due at the end of the semester for my archives class. This time our professor has really upped the ante by requesting “publishable”…


Halfway There!

Well, we’ve just about reached the halfway point in the semester!  My fall class has certainly been keeping me busy.  As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m taking LIS 488 (Technology for Information Professionals) this fall, and I’m taking it online.  The last time I talked in detail about the class on this blog, it was still the beginning of the class, so we hadn’t really taken a deep dive into anything too computer-y.  I thought I’d give you a quick update on how things are going since then as we have now reached the halfway point.  I have learned how to code.  I mean, I am still a beginner, but we’ve gone through units on HTML and CSS, and we’re starting JavaScript this week.  The random strings of numbers and letters that make up the backbones of webpages actually means something to me now.  As you may recall from previous posts, this was one of the things that made me nervous about taking this course.  My mindset going in to this class was that…