Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

NASA’s New Software Catalog is Here!

March 15, 2017

At the beginning of the month, NASA released its 2017-2018 software catalog. The catalog is free for the public to use without needing to worry about copyright.

“Space Wallpapers” by tableatny is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By releasing this catalog, NASA is making it easier for you to used the latest software available and currently used by the American government agency.

Not into space? Don’t leave just yet!


Student Feedback: Some Technology Concerns

September 18, 2015

You Said:

“Just wanted to make a formal complaint about a couple things:

1) Its rather difficult to forward RDC emails to personal emails. I tried at home, at the computers at the library, called IT and finally figured out how to do once I spoke with a librarian. Even then, we have to use their specific computers with a specific browser. Its a bit of pain, especially considering some of my courses rely completely on my RDC email, not Blackboard.

2) From my understanding, if a student connects to the RDC free wifi on their devices, as long as we are connected to that wifi, our emails wont be uploaded. This is a problem for students such as myself who rely on regular emails pertaining to work, courses, and other discussions.

If this is not the appropriate place to lodge these complaints, please pass this message along to the correct group.

Thank you for your time. ”

We Said:

Thank you for your message. While the Library is a place where students can get help with technology, you’re correct that we’re not “the owner” of these decisions or solutions. However, we certainly don’t mind collecting your feedback and passing it along to IT Services. If you wish to follow up, visit them in Room 814, email them at, or phone them at 403.342.3580.

Introducing BrowZine, the application revolutionizing academia

June 19, 2014


… an easy and familiar way to browse, read and monitor scholarly journals across the disciplines.



What Does BrowZine Do?

For Users

  • Easily read complete scholarly journals in a format that is optimized for tablet devices
  • Create a personal bookshelf of favorite journals
  • Be alerted when new editions of journals are published
  • Easily save to ZoteroMendeleyDropbox and other services

Coming to RDC Library soon….


Cambridge Journals Online Releases API

May 16, 2013

For the programmers out there…

A couple of weeks ago, Cambridge Journals Online announced that they were releasing an API: “Releasing an API allows other pieces of software to communicate directly with the CJO application. It can power mobile apps, desktop widgets, and a whole host of new applications. With it we open some of our data up to the creativity and ingenuity of 3rd party developers, and hopefully find surprising new contexts for our content.”

It will be interesting to see what kind of new programs and ways of interacting with the journal literature are created through this initiative.

For those interested in following the progress, Red Deer College Library subscribes to several Cambridge Journals, including Aging and Society, The Canadian Journal of Political Science, and The Journal of Economic History.

What kinds of apps would you like to see developed for journal archives like Cambridge Journals Online?

What Device do You Prefer When Surfing the Web?

March 28, 2013

This week I came across this Adobe Digital Index report, which reports that “After ana­lyz­ing more than 100 bil­lion vis­its to 1000+ web­sites world-wide, Adobe Dig­i­tal Index has dis­cov­ered that global web­sites are now get­ting more traf­fic from tablets than smart­phones, 8% and 7% of monthly page views respec­tively.”

Reading the report got me wondering – what device do you prefer to use to access the Web (and especially the Library’s website)?

Let us know in the comments.

Got a question? Text RDC Library!

September 8, 2012

Got a research question? Need directions? Wonder when we’re open? Now you can text us your question!

green text iconIf you’re ever sitting in your PJs and need last-minute help citing an article, have a great spot in the Library and don’t want to leave your stuff, or are in your office and can’t remember how to find RefWorks,  RDC Library has a solution just for you.

Starting this Fall, you can Text RDC Library @ 403.800.8945.   Text us your questions during Library hours and we will text you right back!

Longer question? No cell phone?  RDC Library is available by phone @ 403.342.3152, by email @, and by chat.

And, of course, you are more than welcome to come to the Library and see us in person!

Playing with Google Books’ Ngram Viewer

December 1, 2011

I just came across a link to a fascinating new Ted Talk via Library Link of the DayWhat we learned from 5 million books is a 15-minute video of researchers Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel talking about what they’re learning about culture by charting the frequency of words over time in the books so far digitized as part of the Google Books digitization project.

They call the study “culturomics,” which they define as “the application of massive-scale data collection analysis to the study of human culture.”  What it lets them do is chart things like how frequently the words “God” or “aargh” appear in books over time.  They argue that this allows them to get a clear picture of what people are talking about at any particular point in time, and also trace the importance of a concept over time.  Jump down to the comments posted below the talk and you’ll see that a lot of people feel this is flawed theory because it ignores word context.  I’m not sure yet what I think, but I know I’m intrigued.

The cool thing is that Google liked the tool Michel and Lieberman Aiden have been using for data analysis so much, they made a version that’s available to all of us.  So now you can go in and do your own analysis, for any word that you like.  And you can see a sample of the books the word appears in.

Try it out, and see what you think.  Just “nerdy fun” or a useful tool for looking at how culture develops and changes?

Just as a side note, it’s possible Michel’s graphs for “awesome vs. practical” are the best graphs I’ve ever seen, and the quickest visual summary of how realistic an idea is.


Poll Everywhere!

October 6, 2010

Mobile devices are a reality in all classrooms- and what better way to engage the wayward texters than to get them using their thumbs for the powers of  good! Polleverywhere is an excellent example of another way to integrate mobile devices into classroom use.  Through Twitter, texts, or the web, you can create real time surveys to use with your students.  The website offers free polls for 32 users or less (in Higher Education), and  a subscription fee based on the number of participants thereafter.  Now if only students could learn everything through some kind of  text osmosis…..

Are We Still Capable of Thinking?

April 27, 2010

In his article, “Don’t Touch That Dial!: A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook,” Vaughan Bell addresses the fear and suspicion that arise each time a new technology emerges: how is this going to affect our ability to think?

“These concerns stretch back to the birth of literacy itself. In parallel with modern concerns about children’s overuse of technology, Socrates famously warned against writing because it would ‘create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories.'”

Imagine what he would think of calculators, automatic spellcheckers, and the internet! But is technology really so bad, or are we simply resistant to change? Bell argues that there is always going to be some form of new technology that “scares” us. But this fear will only persist until something else comes along — a newer, scarier technology.


To tweet or not to tweet?

April 28, 2009

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users (“Twitterers”) to send and read other users’ updates (“tweets”). Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters which answer the question, “What are you doing?”

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with post secondary education? To find out about Twitter and its potential place in post secondary education, have a look at 7 Things You Should Know About Twitter, published by ELI (Educause Learning Initiative).

RDC Library is tweeting. Follow us.