Friday, August 17, 2007

Inquiry-Based Learning in ICS

I just learned that the January 2008 issue of Italics will focus on Inquiry-based Learning in Information and Computer Sciences. In their call for contribution they stated that "... this Special Issue will provide an opportunity to explore current developments and questions in inquiry-based learning from the perspective of the ICS disciplines. Questions that may be addressed by the Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following: What is the current 'state of play' in inquiry-based learning practice and innovation in ICS? What methods are being used in different curriculum areas, with what effects? What is the value of inquiry-based learning in ICS contexts? What are the specific, discipline-related issues or concerns to which inquiry-based learning relates? What do experience, evaluation and research tell us about effective design, facilitation and assessment of inquiry-based learning, at different levels of the curriculum? What are the challenges and issues of inquiry-based learning in our disciplines and subject areas, and how can we address these? How are digital technologies, including Web 2.0 tools and environments, being used to support student inquiry and with what effects on the student experience? How do students from diverse backgrounds – including international students - perceive and experience inquiry-based learning? What are the implications for engaging students more effectively in inquiry, and for developing practice?"

Thursday, August 09, 2007

PIM and Disappearing Desktop

PIM 2008 (Personal Information Management) will take place in April 5 & 6, 2008 in Florence, Italy. PIM is one of my favourite areas. The workshop's website defines this area as "… PIM is the practice and study of the activities people perform to acquire, organize, maintain, and retrieve information for everyday use. PIM is a growing area of interest as we all strive for better use of our limited personal resources of time, money, and energy, as well as greater workplace efficiency and productivity. Good research on the topic is being done in several disciplines, including human-computer interaction, database management, information retrieval, and artificial intelligence." The topics covered by this workshop include (1) Understanding PIM to understand how people manage their personal information beyond their desktop, how they find and re-find information, how they keep and organize information and methods and methodologies of PIM fieldwork: How do we study PIM? (2) Tools and Techniques in Support of PIM such as mobile and Web-based PIM tools, underlying data representation and the unification of personal information, tools for finding and re-finding personal information, tools for keeping and organizing personal information, methods and methodologies for the evaluation of PIM tools, teachable/learnable strategies of PIM (3) PIM in the Larger World including group information management, privacy and projection of personal information, security, law and policies (public and corporate), and PIM for different people and situations (e.g., patients, aging populations)The workshop theme is the "Disappearing Desktop". The traditional desktop computer and even the desktop computing metaphor may soon be relics of our digital information past. Many people now rely primarily on mobile computers, docking only on occasion to a larger keyboard and display. Other people do not rely on a single device, but rather access, organize, and manage their personal information through any device that provides access the Web. A rush of developments with mobile and Web-based computing is pulling the traditional digital desktop apart. As this happens, we face new challenges and opportunities in personal information management.

Monday, August 06, 2007

ECIR 2008

30th European Conference on Information Retrieval will take place in Glasgow from 30th March to 3rd April, 2008. ECIR is the main European forum for the presentation of new research results in the field of IR. The conference intends to cover all aspects of accessing digital information with or without explicitly specified semantics. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) Theory and Models for Information Retrieval, Efficiency and Performance of IR, Platforms, Architectures, Applications of IR, Evaluation and Test collections, Indexing Query representation, Query reformulation, Structure-based representation, XML, Metadata. Summarization, Natural language processing for IR, Cross-language and multilingual Information Retrieval and ect.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summer Activities

This is my first summer after the completion of my PhD with less work and more free time. However, I am not totally on leave and do some educational activities. For example, I ran a one-day workshop at Astan Quds library on Tuesday 31 July. The workshop's topic was about my main research interest, the invisible web and information seeking behaviour on the web. I explored the differences between the literature-based definition of the invisible web and what I mean by this phenomenon based on my PhD research. More than thirty members of the library staff participated in the workshop. Some of the comments that I received about the model of cognitive invisibility (published in 2006 in JDOC vol. 62, issue 5) were very useful to view the model from the perspective of some experienced librarians. I tried to explain the practical implications of the model in theory, policy and practice.
I also had a speech today for a group of the librarians who work in the cultural centres. It was about the principles of library management in public libraries. I just illustrated a general picture of this issue and highlighted the pivotal importance of user satisfaction in evaluating library services. I also referred to the educational aspects of librarianship and the role that we as librarians can play to instruct library users to be life-long and independent learners.