Tag Archives: workshops

Social Media at the Commons: Facebook

Hi, there! I’m Jaime and I’ve been consulting/interning here at the Commons since 2014. My personal passion is helping students, staff, and faculty learn how to connect their personal and professional brands online by engaging with others on social media. This past Saturday, I worked with two long-time patrons dedicated to getting their social media game on point. Kemuel Benyehudah and Sandra Andino have been coming to the Commons since November 2015 to work on maximizing the effectiveness of their public Facebook accounts.

Continue reading Social Media at the Commons: Facebook

Need a Better Way to Study?

Image of the inside of the Butler Technology Room.Welcome to the Butler Assistive Technology Room! Join us on Wednesday, March 16th from 3:30 to 4 p.m. for an introduction to the new Butler Technology Room located on the ground floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

Do you prefer to listen to your readings or dictate your writing out loud? This private study space provides software to convert both your speech and text as well as a quiet room for you to work in.

Located on the ground floor of Van Pelt Library and just around the corner from Mark’s Cafe, the Butler Assistive Technology Room was designed to facilitate and enhance learning.

Image of the outside of the Butler Technology Room.Created in collaboration with the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL), the Butler Assistive Technology Room has 24-hour access and is reservable online. After your reservation is confirmed, you can pick up the room key at the Rosengarten Reserve Desk.

The room includes an iMac and a PC desktop, a scanner, a video magnifier, and a variety of assistive software, including text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and OCR conversion technology. This assistive software allows users to have documents read out loud, to dictate and transcribe writing, and to convert and edit documents without retyping them!

Interested in training or have questions? Feel free to email WIC staff for technology and instructional support. We are here to help you out!

Can’t make it on to our orientation on March 16th? We’ll be back again on Wednesday, March 30th from 12:30 until 1 p.m. Come see us!


Free Website Platforms: WIX and Weebly

If you’re thinking of creating a website and not sure where to start, this is the blog post for you. Fortunately, we lilogoswixweeblyve in a time where you no longer have to know everything about how to code your own website scripting with HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. You can use a content management platform! Content management platforms allow you to build a full website, directly in your browser without any prior knowledge of website development.  Even better, there are free content management platforms (which allow you to do a lot, without having to bump up to the premium packages with additional features), such as WIX and Weebly.

Continue reading Free Website Platforms: WIX and Weebly

Trip to the Archives Part II, The Scholar’s Perspective

If you are planning on making a trip to the archives this summer or in the months to come, you will want to attend the last of our Digital Scholarship Workshops, A Trip to the Archives Part II. For those of you who didn’t make it to Part I, our Archival Manuscript Cataloger, Holly Mengel described the archival organization of material, and the tools prepared by archivists to make that material discoverable.

On Tuesday, April 15 at noon, please plan to join us for the scholar’s perspective on making the best and most productive use of archives. We are happy to have Emily Merrill,  PhD candidate in history and Penn Humanities Forum Fellow and Dr. Jean-Christophe Cloutier, Penn Professor of English joining us to talk about their own personal practices of discovery, collecting and recording, filing and scholarly use of archives. Emily Merrill is an 18th century American history specialist and Dr. Cloutier works with 20th century literature and has worked as a rare books and manuscripts archivist.

In addition to describing their own experiences and methodology, our two presenters will provide guidance in establishing a relationship with the archives in which you’ll be working and recommendations for tool selection and purchase.

We hope to see you at the Kislack Center, Room 625, on April 15, Tuesday, at Noon.


Make Your Own Music Video with Final Cut Pro X!

When: February 19&26, March 5; 3PM-5PM
Where: WIC Seminar Room

There’s still time to sign up for this three-part workshop where we will develop, shoot, and edit small music videos using the videography equipment that the Media Lab has to offer and Final Cut Pro X to edit. Each workshop builds on the last, so attendees should plan to make time for all three in order to benefit from the full experience!

In this first of three workshops, we’ll spend time talking about how to shoot boring things in interesting ways (how do we make footage of someone making a cup of tea beautiful and romantic but also tragic and terrifying?). Depending on the weather, we’ll roam the library or its surrounding areas and shoot footage for our projects. We’ll then reconvene and go through Final Cut X’s logging, capturing, and categorizing process, thinking all the while about the music we’ll choose, and the tone we want to create with our edits.

In the second of three workshops, we will begin to edit our projects in Final Cut X. We will bring our music in (anything from your own music, the Beyoncé song you dance to every morning, or whatever muzak you hear in your apartment building’s elevator) and practice cutting the visuals to the audio, with an emphasis on rhythm and clear artistic decisions. Are you cutting on the beat? Are you cutting off of the beat? Are your takes long and thoughtful? Quick and curious? We will work, in this class, towards a visually locked music video (meaning one whose sequence of shots won’t change).

In the final part of this three part workshop, with our visually locked projects, we will continue on with learning the basics of color editing to create final music videos. If what you thought as you were shooting would look better in black and white, this is where you’ll make that edit! We will then watch and workshop one another’s final pieces. Each participant can export their music videos and share them widely and wildly.

You can register now, and I hope to see you next Wednesday!

The dust has settled. Now what?

dust on a computer monitor
Dust, settled. From flickr user Floater Ya-Ya.

Congrats on surviving the first two weeks! We are so excited to see WIC packed with students again. Now that the dust has settled a bit, we wanted to remind you that WIC staff are here to help you use technology to get organized and get stuff done. Below are a few to-dos to keep you on track this semester:

  1. Apply for a job! WIC is hiring students to work at the WIC desk and in the Vitale Digital Media Lab.
  2. Download the Canvas app! You may have heard that Penn is making the switch from Blackboard to Canvas this year. Keep up with your courses and readings with the free Canvas app for iOS and Android.
  3. Configure AirPennNet on all your devices! You can find instructions for all your different gadgets on the Penn Computing website. Tip: We’ve noticed that iPhone/iPad/iPod users setting up AirPennNet for the first time MUST use Safari to navigate to the setup page. Chrome users, don’t worry! You can use your favorite browser once you’ve connected for the first time.
  4. Print from your laptop! You can install drivers for all library printers online. No more frantically logging in to a library computer five minutes before your assignment is due.
  5. Back up your files! You’ve got a few options for backing things up, but storing files on the cloud is one of the simplest. Did you know that Penn offers all faculty, staff, and students 50 GB of free cloud storage space on Penn+Box? Want to learn more about Penn+Box? Come to a workshop on September 20.
  6. This one is a meta-to-do: Figure out all of your to-do lists and learn to organize your tasks! Come to our Tools, Not Toys workshop on time management apps TONIGHT to learn how to manage your calendars and plan your semester. Can’t make it tonight? Check our schedule for workshops later this semester.

Looking for more to-dos? Check out a great list of must-have resources from our friends at Apps on Tap.

PhillyDH@Penn Takeaways


Last Tuesday was the much-anticipated PhillyDH@Penn event, inspired by the recently formed PhillyDH group and held in the new Special Collections Center.  For me, the event was a wonderful way to round out my almost-one-year anniversary of starting my WIC internship. Last summer, I tried to articulate what DH is (or rather, how difficult this is to articulate) via my brief DH encounters in graduate school. From there, I’ve spent the year reading articles, attending events, writing blog posts, and playing with new tech tools, all of which has given me a much better sense of DH scholarship. So many takeaways emerged from Tuesday’s unconference sessions and workshops that I could create a laundry list (or, more appropriately, an interactive word map). Instead, I’ll share my favorite takeaways that helped me better understand my role in DH as a WIC intern and librarian-in-training.

1) Don’t force the DH. Undertaking new digital projects is by no means an easy task for anyone, let alone time-crunched college professors and students. Before you think about incorporating DH into your classroom, think about what your goals are for your students and what you would like students to do at the end of the course. Once you figure this out, find out whether there are any digital tools that would enable or enhance students’ learning experiences. From what educators discussed at this topic’s unconference session, this approach has proven more productive than building a class around a specific digital platform.

2) Use your libraries (and librarians)! Because people have little time to learn new technologies, the library can provide a significant training grounds to teach and learn digital tools. Today’s librarians have become more “blended” not only in teaching research skills but also instructional technologies; further, the library is a neutral space on campus or in the community where everyone can come to learn. It was refreshing to hear this message from librarians, educators, and information professionals alike. It also allowed me to realize how our WICshops and special WIC programs help to meet this digital teaching/learning need.

3) Metadata is your friend. I don’t know very much about metadata, but I do know that it has great potential to change the ways people search for and find various materials. Folks from the Penn Libraries spoke about the Penn Provenance Project on Flickr, which started out as a rare book cataloging endeavor and has now captured the attention of those all over the world as they recognize books’ signatures, titles, and authors. By tagging the Flickr photos, patrons help create the metadata that link these images to Penn’s library catalog, Library of Congress records, and even Wikipedia, making information more easily accessible and retrievable for all involved.

4) Social media can be overwhelming. But, making comparisons can help! We’re always looking for the newest social media tools to use here at WIC, but I haven’t really taken the time to see which ones are most effective for which tasks. Browsing lots of graphics, online materials, and “about” sections of social media websites helped me to create a social media comparison chart to sort out all of this. I hope this information will be helpful for both our WIC staff and for all those trying to make sense out of multiple social media accounts.

These are just a few ideas I took away from PhillyDH@Penn. The event initiated so many productive conversations among folks across the humanities in universities, libraries, museums, and archives (workshop materials and unconference notes are now online).  I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I came out of the day with the challenge to not only think about new models of teaching and learning with digital tools, but also to keep up the conversation with colleagues in the Philly area and beyond, as collaboration in DH is key to getting successful projects off the ground.