Hillcroft LRC

Archive for October 2015

Freebooting and Facebook sitting in a tree, piracy is rife and woe be we. In all seriousness though there are reasons why watching videos on Facebook or other social media website might be aiding the wrong people. “What is freebooting?” I hear you ask. This article on Social Media Examiner says it is a form of video piracy, usually taking someone’s else’s Youtube video and uploading it to Facebook without asking permission or saying whose work it is.

You know about academic copyright from being in college, but how about the copyright implications of sharing cat videos?The internet expands the ability to create and share information with millions of people. Copyright law impacts not just in the academic setting but in the everyday setting too – people need to give permission to share their work and have their work attributed to them. Smartereveryday uses a metaphor with sheep and rich men to explain how Facebook don’t care about video piracy and how Youtube video creators’ livelihoods are affected (with some insights from some very smart kids). Watch the video below to find out more about freebooting and what you can do to help creators:

Advertisements
El Planeta Apple by Jorge Elias is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

El Planeta Apple by Jorge Elias is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

This week Pre-Access To Higher Education students have been putting forward working titles for their projects. Many are tackling current health and social issues.

The research process has lots of steps. Some steps might not even seem like steps at all because they all overlap and you may go back and forth between them. One ‘step’ in starting a project is scouting out possible information sources for up-to-date numbers and research to spark ideas.

Getting a feel for what information is out there will also help you narrow your topic down to something manageable.

It is also perfectly normal to feel anxious about the amount of information out there. Don’t worry yet about analysing your information sources – they exist, and you can access them if you need them, that is what is important to start with.

Here are some free, authoritative and timely sources of information and data on the web:

Check out the VLE eresources page too for paid subscriptions to information sources.

Of course we have lots of books such as subject encyclopaedias to start you off too. Come in to the LRC and browse.

iPad standingThis week we’ve been digesting all of our data for our Self-Assessment Report (SAR). You may be scratching your head wondering what it is! Basically it’s a review of the impact of what we do on our students. We produce one every six months and this one is looking back at 2014/15. Part of the process is to identify our strengths and weaknesses as well so we can flag up improvements for the next academic year which go into our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) for 2015/16.

Here are our some of our highlights from 2014/15:

Increased audovisual material for learners to borrow by 7%.
Introduced iPads into the classroom for learners to boost their digital skills – included reading apps.
Increased use of eresources by 47.2% – getting more learners used to ereading material and building digital skills.
Improved Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) material – embedded videos to reinforce induction content, new Reading for Pleasure section to encourage reader development and apps to help to hone information/digital literacy skills.
Greater promotion of reading – National Libraries Day, more Six Book Challenge completers, World Book Night and Reading for Pleasure Moodle VLE block.
Extra refresher/consolidation sessions on information literacy skills eg referencing.
Rolled out dyslexic friendly labeling for books to help navigate our material – based on the International Libraries Association Federation (IFLA) Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia.

IMG_0043October is Black History Month, but Black history is important no matter the month.

However, it is a chance to turn to our LRC collections to see whether we are providing information for everybody. We would like to highlight our new books that focus on people and cultures who haven’t received adequate visibility in our mainly White-centred literary and academic world. At Hillcroft we acquire resources that are reflective of students’ various backgrounds and ethnicity whilst being of interest and importance to studies and lives. We are always open to suggestions for authors to try out, so keep your eyes peeled for new books and other resources to suggest too.

Here’s our list of new resources to find out more about the people, history and heritage from West Africa, the US and Britain:

Fiction: From Pasta to Pigfoot (England and Ghana), Ghana Must Go (United States, Britain, Ghana and Nigeria)

DVDs: Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria), Skin (South Africa)

Poetry: Citizen (United States), Evolution (England)

Non-fiction: Looking for Transwonderland (England and Nigeria), Black British Intellectuals.

Let us know what you think of our new books and DVDs.

This week we have had the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of ebooks to the classes. Here are a few notes to refresh your memory or if you missed the class.

You can access ebooks inside and outside the college through the VLE: learn.hillcroft.ac.uk. Log in then enrol on the LRC eresources page and go to the Eresources book. We have two ebook providers with different sets of ebooks: Dawsonera and ebrary. Follow the links on the page to their websites. You can do this on any electronic device with a internet browser (tablet, smartphone, Kindle Fire). If you are outside college then it will prompt you to log in via ‘Shibboleth’ and then find the college in the list and type in your Hillcroft email and password.

What can I do on Dawsonera?

Download in full (pdf) – most will allow you to do this for a loan period (1-7 days).

Copy or print text/pages – Be selective! You can print between 5-20% of an ebook or copy quotations to paste directly into your assignment.

Add notes to pages online – You can export notes and print them all out with the relevant page numbers automatically added.

What can I do on ebrary?

Download chapters or in full (pdf) for a loan period – with printing and copying enabled.

Copy or print text/pages (with citations).

Highlight, add notes and bookmark (together called ‘Annotations’) online. Saves them for you on ‘Bookshelf’ when you log back in to Ebrary.

Extra benefits!

You only need Adobe Reader (free) as an app to read the downloaded ebook offline. In college you can use Read&Write Gold for its text-to-speech feature. The free app version is called ‘Natural Reader‘ if you want to use the read aloud feature on your own phones and computers.

We will be putting together a detailed guide for you in the near future.

Also the good news is that we will be able to change it so that no purple padlocks will be seen on the Dawsonera site, so you will be able to access and browse our content better.

Keep an eagle eye out for more tips by subscribing to our blog.

DBanned Books logoid you know that books can be requested to be taken off the open shelves of schools, bookshops and libraries? Books are banned for political and social reasons. Books can convey powerful messages and change people’s minds. In extreme cases, books can spread corrupt and poisonous ideas to vulnerable people who may carry out terrible actions in consequence. However, what makes an idea corrupt or poisonous is subjective. This week the world has been celebrating the freedom to read books no matter their subject. Here’s a list of frequently challenged books including:

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini challenged for “Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence.”

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrap challenged for “gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

Both of these are critically acclaimed works and have demanding subjects which should be tackled with care and insight by the reader. Perhaps you would like to borrow and read these works from the LRC and write a balanced review for the catalogue to help others tackle them too. The key is to reflect and weigh up the arguments and ideas of authors for yourself – that’s what makes reading interesting!