Entering the Digital Age

ImageHow does one now-a-days enter the digital age for the first time.  For me, it all started with dial-up modems, BBS and Prodigy.  A got my first email address from Earthlink and registered a domain name for my astronomy club. Time progressed, Hotmail came out then Yahoo, then Google and Facebook.  Now I have at least 5 email addresses.

Yet what would you do if you needed to start in on the Internet now?  This is the question I face with my mom who has not owned a computer and has now received a Kindle Fire for her birthday.  In order to get the most from her Kindle or even register it, you need to have a footprint in the digital turf.

I started by creating a Gmail email account for my mom.  Interestingly, Google has a field for secondary email address which does not make sense coming from the prospective of first starting an email account.  Next, I created a Facebook account for my mom whereby FB needs an active email account.

The next step will be to register my mom’s new Kindle and create an Amazon account.  I don’t know if it will require a payment option or not.  That is a delicate subject because to go from no Internet footprint to registering a credit card in an account is a big step.

MLIS Start

Well, Aug. 22 was the official start of my MLIS program at San Jose State University with my first core class LIB200 – Info & Society with Dr. Critchfield.  So far a lot of reading as I expected.  What I did not expect was that I would have to keep a reading notes.  I understand the reasons, enforcing the absorption of the material, but it does take longer now to finish a section when I have to right down the summary too.

I also finished LIB203, the credit/no credit class on learning the aspects of the digital classroom.  I am happy to put that one behind me so that I can concentrate on reading notes.

SJSU and Innovative

I was pleasantly surprised, although I shouldn’t have been,  that San Jose State University’s library catalog is III (Innovative Interfaces, Inc.) the same as my work library.  So the look and feel of the catalog is very familiar and interesting to me to see how another university has customized their catalog.  I also see that SJSU is moving toward’s Innovative’s Encore discovery platform which is another parallel to our library except that we converted a couple years ago.  Lastly, I am happy that SJSU is a member of Link+ same as my library so I know I have a easy avenue to acquire books if I need them.

Online Skills and Teamwork

Coming back to classes after taking the summer off, the same old feelings of anxiety are starting to well up.  After listening to Enid Irwin’s lecture on teamwork and hearing about the team project(s) planned for LIB202, I am feeling a little less confident.  But I have to remember that I have done this before and succeeded.

I am comfortable with technology; it’s my job.   I am able to organize my time.  I use Google Calendar to keep track of my personal appointments.  I like it that Google calendar syncs with my phone so I am always in the know.  I keep a class folder on the desktop of my laptop and I do find that it is a reminder.  I also make sure that I backup that folder all the time to an encrypted flash drive.  On the San Diego assessment quiz I scored a 45 = ready for online learning.

The first skill that I find necessary for a good online class is to organize my time.  I begin by reading the entire course objectives paying particular attention to the projects and due dates.  Then, I concentrate on one week at a time.  On the first day of the week, I set my goals as to what I need to accomplish per day.  Usually the first day or two I set aside for reading.  The second to fourth for the weekly discussion questions; fourth to seventh for the weekly assignments and responses to discussion questions.   I plan on working at night after my son goes to bed and stay with it until my nightly goals are met.  I also do not plan on try to accomplish much of any additional activities at this time so, no planned vacations. However, being an online class does not preclude the ability to attend a library conference or two.  I take advantage of whatever time or technology can help.  If need be, I study during lunch and I especially like using the Endnote program to organize my references and create APA style citations.

When listening to Dr. Haycock’s lecture, I instantly connected with the discussion of the differences between a committee and a team.  Dr. Haycock’s assessment is that a committee is usually picked by an outsider with a leader in mind, the committee continues to function despite the members’ participation or attendance, the committee does not have authority behind its recommendations and is mainly advisory.  I have been on many committees and this is exactly what happens. We meet, some members show up, topics are discussed but in the end, the members go back to doing whatever they were doing previously.  I like the definition that a team is goal oriented and participation is a must so that the objectives are met.  I usually experience this when working on a known project.

Lastly, I took note of the keys to a successful team.   Dr. Haycock spoke that setting up the ground rules in the beginning is a critical step.  Both Dr. Haycock and Erid Irwin discussed that team dynamics, identifying each other’s strengths and weakness and establishing the common performance expectations are important factors for a good team.  Throughout the lectures I was thinking how best to apply these ideas to future SLIS teams and work teams.  I think that dedicating the first meeting to working out the ground rules and establishing the common expectations for the team all without discussing the actual project details would be a benefit to establishing a team that can function well together and accomplish its goal.

An Introduction (Hello World)

Hello, my name is Gerald Rezes and I am a first year student at San Jose State University’s School of Library Information Science.   I am starting this blog partially as  the necessity for an assignment and partially for the experience of blogging.  It seems to me that blogging was big in the 2000’s but Facebook and the like have taken over the spotlight.  For me, the relevant part of blogging is keeping things up-to-date and active.  I have seen many a blog start with enthusiasm and die due to lack of input.  My goal is to continue this blog throughout my MLIS program.

My other passion is astronomy. I have been interested in the night sky since I was a little boy.  I am a member of my local astronomy club the San Bernardino Valley Amateur Astronomers; I am also responsible for maintaining their website.  My other interests include music, video gaming and staying out of trouble.  🙂