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Using Web 2.0 Applications as Information Awareness Tools
The past few years have seen several new technological initiatives at Drexel University in interdisciplinary fields such as Nanomedicine, Engineering Cities, Drug Delivery, Plasma Medicine, Nanoscale Science and Technology, Microfluidics, and Bionanotechnology. These technological initiatives require faculty and students to work together in groups in a collaborative fashion. This has motivated librarians to experiment with new ways of reaching out to faculty and students. Drexel's emphasis on team based engineering design projects requires students to develop critical understanding of engineering subject areas. Developing awareness about the core electronic resources such as IEEE Xplore, Knovel, Web of Knowledge, Science Direct and Engineering Village is crucial in successfully undergoing research and completing assignments in their classes.
This presentation outlines innovative experiments using web 2.0 applications to increase information among faculty and students. Several web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, Friendfeed, Del.icio.us, Google Reader, Wikis, and blogs will be covered. Having engineering librarian's presence on Facebook is useful since many of the students are heavy Facebook users. Drexel's student Organizations such as IEEE and ASME are also on Facebook. Moreover, Drexel University's College of Engineering has recently launched its Facebook page where activities celebrating National Engineering Week have been quickly promoted among student. Drexel Engineering Information Awareness Campaign Group is a librarian-created Facebook group aimed at increasing awareness of new and existing resources among faculty and students. Feeds from Google Reader can be made automatically available on Facebook pages. For this to happen, a user needs to become ‘a friend’ with the engineering librarian on Facebook.
As faculty and students become more aware of new and existing information tools, the information skills learned during the process of exploring these resources will contribute to life-long learning among the engineering students.