Category Archives: Success Stories

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New Media Showcase on ScholarlyCommons: Highlights!

Last October, we introduced the ScholarlyCommons New Media Showcase, a repository of exceptional student work created using new media (like videos, comic books, images, posters, maps, and web projects). ScholarlyCommons is open access and allows us to share student work on a local, national, and global level. In fact, the front page of ScholarlyCommons has a map which shows downloads in real-time! You can see student work downloaded by users globally (be careful, it can be addicting to watch!).

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When our Digital Literacy and Research Librarian, Vickie Karasic, asked if I would like to help with the creation of the New Media Showcase by talking to students and uploading their work, I was thrilled. My favorite part of working at WIC is supporting students through technology workshops, course interactions, contests, and one-on-one consultations. The New Media Showcase is an extension of this support–we now get to show off student work to the rest of the world! The showcase is robust and growing, but today I am going to highlight some of the excellent work from each showcase category: Comics, Images, Posters, Videos, and Web Projects.

Comics: Adventures with Austin by Katharine Cunningham

Our Comics section is popular, and Katharine Cunningham’s Adventures with Austin is a big hit. This comic won 2nd prize in Penn Libraries’ Comic Book Contest in 2009.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.24.07 PM.pngImages: There is a Whole Other World Inside by Jiali Sheng

Sheng created this image for the Got Visual? Poster Contest in 2010. Penn Libraries and the Weingarten Learning Resources Center sponsored this contest to promote visual literacy on campus. Sheng created this image based on four guiding questions:

  1. What does learning mean to you?
  2. How does learning happen?
  3. What helps learning happen?
  4. Where does learning take place?

Sheng hand drew this image using a tablet. If you are interested in trying something similar, come check out our Cintiq tablet in the Vitale Digital Media Lab.

Poster by Jiali Sheng.
Poster by Jiali Sheng.

Posters: Is Feminism Still Relevant? by Madeleine Stevens

Madeleine Stevens’ poster, Is Feminism Still Relevant?, has been downloaded globally a total of 165 times since February 2015! She created this poster for the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF) Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Key visual elements:

  • Cloud-like image formation
  • Central box to highlight main problem
  • Predominance of red, white, and blue colors

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Videos: WE by Mengxi Cissy Tan

Mengxi Cissy Tan won 1st prize for her video, WE, in the 2014 Video Contest sponsored by WIC. In this video, Tan tells a story from her childhood in her native language.

Web Projects: Coastal Zones by Gavriela Reiter

Gavriela Reiter created a beautiful web project using Piktochart. Created for Alain Plante’s ENVS 400 course in Spring 2015, Reiter creatively uses images to illustrate statistics.

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This is only a small sampling of the incredible student work we showcase on ScholarlyCommons, and we are adding new work as quickly as it comes in. Please take some time to peruse the site and see what your fellow students are up to! The showcase is another step in WIC’s 10-year history of supporting students.

Are you interested in seeing your own work published for the world to see? Fill out our permission form!

Festive Library Board Meeting

alexThis guest post by Alex Burns C’17 describes a presentation for WIC’s 10th birthday at the February 2016 Penn Libraries Board of Overseers meeting. Alex is studying political science and you may meet him staffing the WIC Desk on weekday mornings.

The latest Penn Libraries board meeting was a little more festive than usual. Not because spring break was on the horizon, but because it was time to celebrate Weigle Information Commons’ 10th anniversary! At the meeting, a diverse group of students, professors, staff and alumni had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences at WIC.

It was really great to hear how Weigle has positively impacted people’s lives. Selamawit Bekele, a junior and Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows, spoke about how the technology at WIC has helped her grow as a student. She went from having limited computer access before Penn to becoming an expert coder. It was also interesting to hear alumni echo my appreciation for the technology available at WIC. Ryan Leonard (C’10) shared a hilarious music video with the audience. He said it was made possible with the help of video production equipment from WIC. The highlight for me was watching Samantha Kannegiser’s slide show of her 10 favorite moments working at WIC. Her light-hearted presentation featured crazy Halloween costume pictures that drew a lot of laughs from the crowd. Overall, it was a fun event. I had the opportunity to talk about my experiences staffing the WIC Desk. Happy birthday WIC!

Here is a listing of the ten stories told at the meeting.

Penn Libraries Board Meeting – 10 WIC Stories

Wednesday, February 24, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm,

We share 10 stories to celebrate 10 years of the David B. Weigle Information Commons (WIC).

  1. Dr. D. Kent Peterman, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs, The College, School of Arts and Sciences, discussed the vision that led to the creation of the Commons and will share a bit of history about a “Collaboratory” process. Kent has guided the WIC Program Partnersfor the past decade, and helps WIC maintain a strong connection to curricular needs.
  2. The Weigle Music Video created in October 2007 has brought smiles to audiences around the world.  Ryan Leonard C’10 was a freshman when he won our first Mashup Contest. He created this video with his prize camera and his two best friends. Today he manages data analysis with Tableau at Anthem, Inc in New York City. Ryan reflected on his adventures with video and WIC’s role in his career with healthcare consulting.
  3. Taylor McLendon W’15 worked as a lab consultant in Vitale and presented on our 2012 symposium student panel. Taylor was selected for the first Daily Pennsylvanian Penn Ten. Today she works at Makuu, continuing to contribute to the Penn community.
  4. Dr. Peter Decherney, Professor of English and Cinema Studies, helped create the WIC Faculty Advisory Group. He leads the Mashup Contest Selection Committee and the undergraduate student panel each year. Peter’s latest book Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction builds on his long-standing commitment to media law and policy, especially the regulation of Hollywood. Peter shared faculty perspectives on WIC’s work.
  5. Sarah Jacoby created a powerful portrait of five Penn faculty during her time here as a lab consultant at the Vitale Digital Media Lab. Today, she is an an artist and illustrator with many exciting accomplishments to share. She has received many awards for her work including the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
  6. Alex Burns C’17 is a junior in the College studying Political Science. He has staffed the WIC desk on weekday mornings for the past year, and has taken the lead on several WIC projects. He shared some reflections on how the space is helpful for students who have different backgrounds and expectations for support.
  7. Samantha Kannegiser will graduate this May with a Masters in Library Science from Rutgers University. As a graduate intern at WIC, she led the creation of our New Media Showcase where we display, and permanently chronicle, the amazing works our students create for contests and classes. Samantha especially enjoys the lighter side of WIC’s work.
  8. The Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program reflects a board priority, and brings together a cohort of 15 students each year to “demystify technology, provide hands-on training and a website building project, and foster career connections.” Selamawit Bekele C’17 is a junior in the College majoring in Health and Societies, and shared experiences with the current cohort, managed by Vickie Karasic, Digital Projects Fellow.
  9. The Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards supports innovative student projects using new technologies. Now in its ninth year, currently managed by David Toccafondi C’95, Manager of the Vitale Digital Media Lab, the awards get campus-wide attention. Carolina English C’16 is a senior in the College majoring in Visual Studies, and is a member of both the Seltzer and Hoesley programs this year. She shared her experiences with the programs as she approaches her graduation from Penn.
  10. For many years, Ian Seltzer C’09 has supported the Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards by mentoring current students and serving on the awards selection committee.  Ian is a media consultant having worked at Hulu and Michael Eisner’s digital studio, Vuguru. He has developed, licensed and launched thirty original titles for TV, Film, the web in over 110 countries worldwide. He shared his reflections as an alum and a mentor.

Commons’ Publications: Reviewed

CoverLearnerInteractionsOnlineThe Commons’ staff are no stranger to publishing and have written about technology, learning, collaboration, and teaching tools, all things we love at WIC. Recently, WIC Digital Projects Fellow Vickie Karasic and director Anu Vedantham wrote a chapter for Researching Language Learners Interactions Online: From Social Media to MOOCs (Dixon and Thomas). Their chapter, “Video Creation Tools for Language Learning: Lessons Learned” focuses on digital video creation tools and the benefit of using video assignments for language learning. Their chapter received a brief mention in a book review by Elena Martin-Monje this month:

 

“…video assignments enhance the understanding of other languages and cultures, while at the same time they enable students to be more aware of their own identity through this learning process.”

Vickie has written about this project before, including details of interviewing language faculty members at Penn. She has also showcased her workshop on using Audio and Video in PowerPoint for Beginning Japanese.

Read other reports and publications written about the Commons (the Educause article made 2014’s Top Ten Most Read list) and check out our monthly workshops if you are interested in learning some of the same tech tools referenced in the book!

Fun with Bengali Comics

This guest post by Mallika Sircar, library staff in our South Asia Collection, describes a visit to WIC by students who attend the Shopan Bangla School in Wilmington and the Bangla School in Bear, Delaware.

‘Fun and educational’ – these were the words used by parents to describe the experience of the Bangla School students, during their field trip to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. The program on 19th December 2015 was a resounding success with parents and students requesting more such events.

The strong South Asia collections of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries were on display as the students explored Bengali language material. Traditional resources and modern technology were both used in tandem. Exploration of the rich Bengali children’s literature collection was an extremely popular exercise; it was followed by a story-telling session in the Kislak Special Collections Center with the use of digital tools that magnified the story book characters on a big screen. The most popular activity, however, was the creation of comic strips in Bengali by the students in the Collaborative Classroom. In a short span of time, the students were able to write a story using pictures and Bengali script, which was truly commendable. The event concluded with the screening of an award-winning children’s science fiction film from the Penn Libraries’ video collection.

This trip to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by the Bengali school community opened new doors in creative thinking for language teaching and learning.

We share below the event flyer, photos and comic books created by the students.

Symposium videos reveal our robust campus community..

Symposium 2015 LogoThanks to our dedicated team of sponsors and organizers and our powerful presenters, we have received wonderful feedback from the 2015 Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium. One of my favorite comments inspired the title for this blog post:

“The community of people doing innovative things with tech at Penn is actually quite robust, and I felt like I was reintroduced to it in a really delightful way. We could probably do a better job maintaining that community all year long.”

We brought together over 150 faculty, staff and graduate students from all twelve Penn schools for an intense program of speakers and discussions. Our student survey responses and student and faculty panel presenters inspired conversation.

As our photo album shows, our audience stayed active and engaged throughout a very long Friday. I welcome you to browse the recently-posted presenter slides and videos and share with colleagues.  Highlighted tools include Twitter (with Alain Plante and Emily Steiner), the LightBoard (with Phil Gressman), wikis (with Joe Farrell), Panopto lecture recording (with Peter Fader) and a variety of apps and web resources. The playlist below includes 22 videos!

Save the date: The 2016 Symposium will take place on Friday, October 28!

Design, Bared

Posters in Mark's Cafe
Posters in Mark’s Cafe

Tuesday’s workshop on graphic design with Marjan Gartland and William Hodgson was such a treat! I’m sure you have seen many of Marjan’s wonderful designs all over campus. I see them every day on crowded boards such as the one pictured here at Mark’s Cafe in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center competing for the attention of the Penn campus.

Marjan is the Visual Project Manager on the University Life Administration Team in the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL). She helps create beautiful graphics for many purposes and audiences, serving the many departments in that division including the cultural resource centers and campus safety.

She brought dozens of posters to show us, and we enjoyed looking at them displayed on the walls of the Collaborative Classroom. Marjan and William shared their insider tips-and-tricks with us, and Marjan did a live demo of creating a graphic using PhotoShop and Illustrator. We talked about using tablets like our new Cintiq and tools like InDesign and Kuler.

Often, when I see a powerful poster, I have little understanding of how it came to be. What I found most helpful about the workshop was watching a graphic take shape one step at a time, one tool at a time. Marjan started with a photo of a face and created a complex graphic in minutes!

I am looking forward to facilitating an online workshop in October with William on logo design and I hope you will join us.

Where Are They Now? Interview with former WIC staffer turned illustrator, Sarah Jacoby

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© Sarah Jacoby 2015

Hello, PennWIC readers! My name is Elizabeth Crowder and I’m a new(ish) graduate intern at the Weigle Information Commons. Our inaugural post in the “Where Are They Now?” blog series features former Vitale Digital Media Lab consultant (2007-2011) Sarah Jacoby who resides in Brooklyn, NY. She currently works as a production designer with the creative team at Tinybop, an educational children’s app and media company. You might be wondering what a production designer does. According to Jacoby, her job as a production designer involves anything from creating art for Tinybop’s apps to helping prepare art for the apps as well as myriad miscellaneous design-oriented things.

In addition to her work at Tinybop, Jacoby works as a freelance illustrator and designer. Current exciting projects include working on a children’s book for a UK publisher and a line of wedding invitations for friends. She has also contributed to books about illustration, shown art internationally and throughout the United States, published with folks like The New York Times, and won awards in fancy places.

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© Sarah Jacoby 2015

Sarah was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to discuss how she landed her job as a production designer and all the hard work that went into propelling her from a lab consultant at the Vitale Digital Media Lab to where she is today. Continue reading Where Are They Now? Interview with former WIC staffer turned illustrator, Sarah Jacoby