Every so often I am asked by students, especially students who are new to academic research, “How do I organize my research and writing?” This usually begins with a discussion of the research process and finally moves on to a discussion about how the student is organizing “the stuff” of research—that is the papers, notes, articles, the paper trail of research.
For many years, I lived by a binder system for my research. Copies, highlighters, post it notes, and a trusty printer were the tools of my organization. In the past year, however, with the nagging of my college age children, I have moved to a more eco-friendly method of research. My research has moved to the cloud and with this move, I have made the iPad my device of choice for managing my research tasks and paper trail.
The iPad has come into its own as the best choice as a primary device for your college or university work. With carefully selected accessories, it may serve not only as a note-taking, presentation, and study device, but also a serious writing device as well. Even better, with certain accessories, it may serve as a lighter weight alternative to the laptop for the student or academic professional on the go.
There are a number of apps available for the iPad that provide you with better organization and productivity. Here are my favorites:
Things 3 is a personal task management app that is designed to help you to keep track of activities and tasks. This app has a friendly, intuitive design with drag and drop gesturing. It has a wonderful feature in the “To do list”, called This Evening, which allows you to list tasks that you may have for the evening, bringing together your entire day in one place. Assignments, deadlines, and priorities can be cleverly color-coded with reminders set for more effective productivity.
Trello is a project board style/note card hyper-visual productivity app that really can help you organize your projects. Add tags and due dates, create work streams and share your boards with colleagues. This is especially effective for group project work. Attach documents to cards, create to-do lists, set deadlines, and more. If you are an index card/bulletin board junkie, this app will allow you to take the bulletin board to digital.
While there are many good citation management apps on the market, the mobile version of Zotero allows you to access and edit your Zotero Library. Zotero features a bookmarklet to save items to your Zotero library through your browser. While there are no official Zotero apps for mobile devices, there are some third party solutions with the most popular app being Papership. Manage your research well by keeping track of the research you have read and cite with good citation management.
Annotate is the best app to read, mark up and share PDF, DOC, PPT, and image files on the iPad. This app offers you the convenience of writing on the printed page without the printed page. With the iPencil or other stylus, this app allows you to highlight or add comments and mark up, then export those highlights and comments. It also makes this information searchable. Gone are the folders and binders of printed pages. Your annotated documents may be stored in iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or Box and/or shared or sent to others.
I use two notetaking programs, One Note and Notability, but in two very different ways. One Note is used as a place to store static material that I may need to reference in the long term or for making note of theories and work that affect my research and largely, text drawn from various resources. Its familiar Microsoft interface is friendly and the notebook approach for organizing speaks to our familiarity with organizing paper notebooks. If you are new to this application; however, it does have a bit of a learning curve for a newbie.
Notability, on the other hand, with its clean and modern design with infinite scrolling in a note is intuitive for the beginners and perfect for handwritten notes. Making use of the iPencil or some other paired stylus, this app converts handwriting to text very well and has a quicker and easier erasing tool. It has typing features and supports outlines and checklists and a search tool for finding information within your notes. There is an option to record audio with a note and the notes menu is gestured from the left side of the screen giving you more writing space. With multi-document view with a split screen and the ability to import custom paper templates as some of the other options, this app is a wonderful handwriting notetaking application.
Finally, all of my writing is currently stored in two Cloud solutions for organizational purposes as well. I use One Drive to store all of my scholarly writing and Google Drive for personal writing and career documents. Over time my scholarly writing has taken various twists and turns and using the familiar Microsoft interface and folder system of OneDrive has made organizing my documents a snap. When I am on the go and want to work on a document, I am able to do so with the Office 365 platform.
Since I am using Gmail as a personal email account and need a place to save personal documents, Google Drive serves as the home of my personal and career filing cabinet. Bills, tax information, one of my children’s high school assignments, vacation lists, my transcripts, curriculum vitae, etc. all can be found here. I feel more organized keeping these items separate from my scholarly writing.
With the iPad, these apps and digital textbooks and materials, the loaded backpack of the past is gone. My iPad is tucked away in my shoulder bag and ready to come out at any time for my scholarly writing projects.
Previously published with permission:
Pacetti-Donelson, V. (7 January 2020). “Achieving Your Academic Goals in 2020 with Better Digital Management on the iPad,” The Sports Digest. Available at: http://thesportdigest.com/2020/01/achieving-your-academic-goals-in-2020-with-better-digital-management-on-the-ipad/
In 1987, I was a teenager attending a popular right of passage in Florida for high school seniors: Grad Night @ Disney World. Magic Kingdom was closed to general visitors for the evening and high school seniors from all over Florida bought tickets to attend a concert in the park event. Several popular bands were contracted and stages were set up throughout the park for live concerts. My favorite band, Glass Tiger, was playing in Frontierland. It was a long walk and I didn't want to miss them, so I took the train. Little did I know, the train was not supposed to stop in Frontierland, but it did and I got off the train.
The band was using the train station as a back stage area. I had unintentionally found myself face to face with the one band I had come to see. They saw me and I saw them and they waited for the inevitable screaming that comes along with rabid fans finding their way into backstage areas without an escort. It did not come.
I begged their pardon and simply said, "I believe I am lost.." They laughed. I smiled and they invited me to sit down. So, for the rest of the evening, I hung out with a group of guys that were looking for five minutes of normal as they coped with fame far from home. They asked me about school and my family. What I did for fun? How far were we from the beach? What was I going to do after I graduated? We just talked.
At the end of the evening, as I said goodbye; they asked me if I had a camera. I did not, but I told them that it didn't matter and that I had a good time hanging out with them. They told me I had tickets anytime they played in Florida and I only had to give my name to their manager. For an awkward moment, I invited them to go to the beach if they could carve out time on a future visit.
According to Team ISTE, a group of writers contributing to the ISTE blog, 2017 was the year of AR and VR in the instructional environment. The team highlights that the key to being successful with AR and VR is too go beyond the “wow” factor and develop content related experiences. Don’t worry, if you have not yet experimented with or used Augmented Reality in your classroom or library, you have not missed the boat. This year at FETC, that is the Future of Education Technology Conference in Orlando on January 23-26, 2018, there is a host of AR and VR experiences that will propel you to the next level, but you have to sign up!
FETC offers workshops, concurrent sessions, learning labs, poster presentation, skill builders, theatre presentations, and seminars, but the best learning about AR and VR is to be found in the fee added workshops. This workshops are not to be missed! I hope you are signing up now.
The move toward "Open Science" that is a movement toward "transparency in methodology, observation, and data collection with public availability and re-usability of scientific data to provide public accessibility to scientific communication using web-based tools to facilitate scientific collaboration" is a trend affecting the future of research services within academic libraries (Gezetter, 2009). "In 2016, there were an estimated 2.1 million subscription articles and 0.5 million open access articles published worldwide" (Elsevier.com, 2018). With this move that is influenced by national and international policy mandates, grant funders, and open science advocates, many in academia wonder what is the sustainable future of academic publishing?
Over the last ten years, national and international policymakers have made mandates to promote the growth of Open Science. The National Institute of Health began to support Open Science in 2008 with its public access policy and the White House Office of Science and Technology 2013 memo on public access has encouraged other US government agencies to develop their own data sharing and Open Access policies. Research councils in the UK, Australia, and The Netherlands have developed strategic plans to move toward full open access policies for Open Science (ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee, 2017). Most major grant funders now have “Open Science” policies as a requirement to funding support.
Brian Nosek, an Open Science advocate, and the Executive Director of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia indicates that there is a threefold need to “encourage more researchers to share data and research methods, and to replicate research as a matter of course, to focus on developing technologies to support more open and reproducible research”, and to change the culture of incentives so that researchers will produce open and reproducible science (Cited in Winerman, 2017, p. 90). Indeed, this call to action can be summarized as Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science Tools. To support this call to action, we must have culture shifts that include copyright reform, the development of sustainable infrastructure, and the reskilling of librarians to support Open Science.
For the academic librarian, a shift in librarianship may create the research environment to support researchers in developing Open Science. Academic librarians must be mindful of the functions, supports, and developments in Open Science and develop workflows that will support researchers. In addition, consultation services should be modified to include Open Science information and educational initiatives should be developed and promoted to support the use of Open Science Tools to perform research.
Open Science offers an opportunity for researchers in the field of Education research in that data collection for the purposes of a study can be difficult to obtain. Open Science offers educational researchers data, shared methodologies, and the opportunity to reproduce science which has been of significant need in the field of education.
Academic Publishing is undergoing a transformation in the way we access and fund science. Open Science is the sustainable future of the way we should share science for the betterment of our society. Librarians play a key role in aiding researchers in understanding the role they may play in Open Science.
Open Science Graphic Organizer by Vandy Pacetti-Donelson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.eliterateandlevelingup.com.
ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee. (2017, March). Environmental Scan 2017. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/publications/whitepapers/EnvironmentalScan2017.pdf
Elsevier. (2018). 5 surprising facts you may not know about Elsevier and open access. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/about/open-science/open-access/surprising-facts
Gezelter, D. (2009, July 28). What, exactly, is Open Science? The OpenScience Project. Retrieved from http://openscience.org/what-exactly-is-open-science/
PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2018). Technological breakthroughs. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/megatrends/technological-breakthroughs.html
Winerman, L. (2017). Trends report: Psychologists embrace open science. 48(10), p.90.
I hope to find myself with an offer for a position as a MLIS program professor in the future. This would be my teaching philosophy.
Our English teacher formed in us a straight line of giggly prepubescent soldiers marching single file to the mahogany square masses of tables to learn “The rules.” As I sat on the cold chair next to Marita, I was barely aware of the shadowy figure that approached us in the sunbeams that shielded her from our view. Her words were crisp with a musical lilt that only an extensive education can provide. Hours, procedures, and passes—we absorbed the commonality of the information and were settling into the comfort of the shelf-lined room when she approached over the table:
“What are we reading today?”
Unsure, I let Marita speak first. Marita blustered out something about romance and the voice dispatched her quickly to the shelves and Sweet Valley High. The owner of the voice stepped through the sunbeams. Her eyes were leveled on me and she asked the question again. I stammered out the words and waited to be judged for asking for help in choosing something to read. A few questions later and she lead me to the shelf with memoirs and travel journals that promised to speak of exotic places.
“Which one will I choose,” had escaped from my lips as a confession of indecision.
Her words cut into my thoughts, “I remember your father. He visited me every day.” She whispered now, “He never managed to return his books on time, but he read every one of them.” After a pause, “Choose whatever you like and comeback whenever you need something to read. We won’t worry about late fines.” While standing there, she had read me so clearly and made me the most committed patron of the library. Ms. Lemon was the first meta-human that I had ever met.
After twenty years’ experience in education, I do not believe that we are offering intangible goods with intangible benefits to the patrons of the school library media center. At our best, we are, according to David Lankes (2016), on
“a mission to improve society” by creating a safe environment for patrons with a variety of tools and opportunities to explore the world, ask questions, develop content, and find or create solutions to make life worth living and the world a better place. “To accomplish this mission, librarians [or school media specialists] use a set of tools to facilitate knowledge creation; they build participatory systems; and they empower their community members [students, teachers, patrons] in accordance with the core values of service, learning, openness, intellectual freedom and safety, and intellectual honesty” (p.73).
This is the “kinship” found in all libraries. To be effective, however, we must become “fully conscious of the research and practice paradigm from which we operate” (Bates, 1999, p. 1043).
In my students, I challenge myself to create the colleagues with whom I would like to work in the future. I want to spark in my colleagues the eternal quest to stimulate new questions, raise new possibilities and challenge discourse with thoughtful arguments that influence and contribute to the understanding of the profession. With every student, I am on a grand adventure to find out who they are, where they are, and how can I provide the best possible experience that will transform and hone their abilities and find in themselves the power to “tilt at windmills.” I want to equip warriors who bravely stand up for intellectual freedom, who advocate for user-experiences, who are self-motivated and self-directed risk takers, who create environments where all students feel valued and confident and where diversity is respected, who use their “meta-perspective” to be flexibly innovative and actively participate in the global conversation via their expertise, shareable content, and time (Bates 1999; Rosenthal-Tolisano 2016). I want my students to have the spirit of a lion, the soul of a reader, and the heart of a child. I want to create meta-humans.
My teaching is a carefully crafted symphony introducing the counterpoint of ideas, theory, research, and authentic problems to provide transformational experiences that mimic the challenges and work of the school library media specialist. In order to engage students, themes are narratively introduced and guide clearly stated objectives and outcomes. Concepts are explored through a variety of approaches with carefully selected media and instructional technology. Students invest in their own learning through shareable content creation, research, and reflection. Assessments are student-created and provide another lens of the meta-analytical perspective.
My syllabi are designed to promote meta-perspective thinking and understanding. Semester courses are structured into 3 or 4 cohesive units. Each unit is introduced with a multimedia presentation, lecture or demonstration, and a selection of readings from core journals and research in the field. Students are expected to participate in discussion and collaborative activities to build and strengthen knowledge. Each unit will provide an opportunity to respond to a professional practice activity through research and presentation or project-based learning. As part of developing a meta-perspective and reflective thinking, assessments are student-designed that answer the key assessment question, “What does a quality _____ look like?” Each course culminates in an opportunity to reflect on course products and polish them for inclusion in the students’ portfolios, which are a part of any NCATE-CAEP accredited program.
Since my teaching focuses through the meta lens, my research interests lie in the analyses of quantitative indicators to predict social behaviors. I am currently investing time in three areas of research: the evolving scholarly networks of instructional technology identified in conference proceedings to reveal and articulate its hidden culture; the development of concierge services to support students and transform digital learning; and the effective instructional partnerships between library media specialists and other educators to create meaningful experiences that may be analyzed to reveal “below the waterline” measurable and repeatable behaviors.
Bates, M. J. (1999). The invisible substrate of information science. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 50(12), 1043-1050.
Lankes, R. D. (2016). The new librarianship field guide. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Rosenthal-Tolisano, S. (2016). Langswitches Hub [weblog]. Access from www.curriculum21.org.
Every day, you have an opportunity to frame what you do for your employer. Sharing how important ALA Annual Conference is to you is just as important as actually going. Here is my letter to my employer about my attendance. Please use it!
Every year, librarians across the country meet at American Library Association Annual Conference. I will be attending June 22-28 in Chicago. I am very excited about some of the learning opportunities that I will have while attending and I can see some of them having a direct impact on some of the initiatives we have been working on.
Here is a list of the trainings, I will be taking…
In addition, I will be visiting the exhibit floor looking a demos of new and innovative approaches for distance education. I look forward to sharing what I find. I am also excited to hear H.R. Clinton speak at our closing session!
Why I attend: My librarian colleagues bring a deep level of expertise to the work I do. This expertise may be around information science, or open access and open resources, or how a new discipline is forming. This expertise may be subject matter related. We share and contextualize information within the cultural and organizational context. I learn from my librarian colleagues in our conversations new things about learning and knowledge production are changing, and how we can be most effective in an environment. (Joshua Kim)
Thank you for supporting my attention with time to attend.
“How much inequality should a sane society tolerate?” Pizzigati asks this question in his article, “The Rich and the Rest.” As painful as it is to admit, we are not the idyllic society of our founding fathers sacrificing to make our country free. We are here now to make sure “we get ours” because we think we deserve it. We fear what we don't understand and act as if the person unlike us is out to get us, so we act rather than wait for the unknown to happen. What we deserve is an opportunity to improve our lives AND a responsibility to improve the lives of our neighbors. Anything less is a dishonor to our citizenship and we don’t deserve it.
We are stuck in the ‘game’ of getting ours, no one really opting to take less in order to improve the lives of many. So many suffer in the shuffle of the masses. Roosevelt’s answer was a 100% tax on all income above a certain level and he managed to get Congress to pass a 94% tax. But this law, of course, did not last.
Sports leagues have accepted salary caps and have a league minimum. Is it so impossible that this structure could be imposed on all of society? No CEO could earn a billion dollars, while the lowliest worker struggles to pay his mortgage. We walk blindly among the homeless and disavowed, and expect their forbearance for the harsh treatment delivered from a privileged few. Pizzigati argues “that may hardly seem likely in the current political environment, but political environments change?” Can we change? Do our current political leaders represent that change? Hardly!
With the current economic and political climate, I can’t help but wonder if we are not currently experiencing one of those changes now. Have we finally reached a ‘tipping point’ beyond aggressive self absorption exploding in violence toward our fellow man (Gladwell)? Are the voices going to raise and demand humane treatment? Why are we always waiting for someone else to solve our problems? We sacrifice so little and expect so much. Is this what our founding fathers had in mind? Is it time to again have another revolution--not one of weapons, but of words and understanding. I hope we have the chance. Until then, we wear ribbons.
Gladwell, M. (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference. New York: Brown.
Pizigati, S. (2000). The Rich and the Rest. In K. Finsterbusch (Ed.), Social Problems (pp. 64-67) Dubuque, Iowa: McGraw-Hill.
Jullens, J. (2008). “Marketers, Meet the Millennial Generation.” Strategy + Business. Retrieved 5 October 2008 from http://www.strategy-business.com/press/16635507/07115
Rheingold, H. (2003). Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books, Incorporated.
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