Posts Tagged ‘vr’


Metabook line

Film isn’t the only medium that gets the virtual reality treatment. The best-selling author Wally Lamb has a new book called “I’ll Take You There” that’ll launch as part of the Metabook line — a series of works that include extras like 360 degree videos and photos.

More on ebooks in this IMS blog


Code4Lib Proposed Preconference Workshops

Introduction to functional programming principles, including immutability, higher-order functions, and recursion using the Clojure programming language. This workshop will cover getting started with the Clojure REPL, building programs through function composition, testing, and web-development using ClojureScript.

Proposed by: Sam Popowich

This workshop will do a deep dive into approaches and recommend best practices for customizing Blacklight applications. We will discuss a range of topics, including styling and theming, customizing discovery experiences, and working with Solr.

Proposed by: Chris Beer, Jessie Keck, and Jack Reed

We all encounter failure in our professional lives: failed projects, failed systems, failed organizations. We often think of failure as a negative, but it has intrinsic value — and since it’s inevitable that we’ll eventually experience failure ourselves, it’s important to know how to accept it, how to take lessons from it, and how to grow from it professionally. Fail4Lib, now in its 5th year, is the perennial Code4Lib preconference dedicated to discussing and coming to terms with the failures that we all face in our professional lives. It is a safe space for us to explore failure, to talk about our own experiences with failure, and to encourage enlightened risk taking. The goal of Fail4Lib is for participants to be adept at failing gracefully, so that when we do fail, we do so in a way that moves us forward. This half-day preconference will consist of case studies, round-table discussions, and, for those interested in sharing, lightning talks on failures we’ve dealt with in our own work.

Proposed by: Andreas Orphanides and Bret Davidson

Intro to programming in Ruby on Rails

Proposed by: Carolyn Cole and Laney McGlohon

Amazon Web Services currently offers 58 services ranging from the familiar compute and storage systems to game development and the internet of things. We will focus on the 20-some services that you should be aware of as you move your applications to their cloud.

The morning session will be mostly overview and the afternoon session will be more practical examples and discussion. This could be broken into two sessions.

Proposed by: Cary Gordon, t/b/d, and t/b/d

FOLIO is a library services platform — infrastructure that allows cooperating library apps to share data. This workshop is a hands-on introduction to FOLIO for developers of library apps. In this tutorial you will work with your own Vagrant image through a series of exercises designed to demonstrate how to install an app on the platform and use the data sources and design elements the platform provides.

REQUIREMENTS Laptop (4GB) with Vagrant installed.

Proposed by: Peter Murray

Have an idea for an app? Want to work with FOLIO developers and others in the community on the FOLIO platform to make it happen. Come to this half-day hack-a-thon! Ideas for new developers will be posted in the project Jira, or bring your own concepts and work with others to make them reality.

REQUIREMENTS Laptop (4GB) with Vagrant installed. Attending the FOLIO Tutorial is recommended, but not required.

Proposed by: Peter Murray

Google Apps script is a server-side implementation of JavaScript which supports API calls to Google Services. This can provide an excellent platform for developing simple library applications. The libraries at Georgetown University and the University of Dayton have successfully deployed applications built with Google App Script.

In this workshop, we will step through the various types of applications that can be built with Google Apps Script.
(1) Custom cell formulas
(2) Spreadsheet Add On Functions (menu items, time based triggers)
(3) Google Apps Script as a Web Service
(4) Google Apps Script Add-Ons that can be shared globally or by domain

In this workshop, we will build sample instances of each of these types of applications (wifi-permitting) and spend some time brainstorming additional applications that would be useful for the library community.

Sample Applications:

Proposed by: Terry Brady and Craig Boman

Calls to mindfulness and self care can have mixed reception in our field. While some view this important work as navel-gazing or unnecessary, it is integral to being present and avoiding burnout. Often this skewed attention to output comes at the expense of our personal lives, our organizations, our health, our relationships, and our mental well-being. Learning to prioritize self-care is an ongoing project among those who perform emotional labor. While some view the work of mindfulness as self-indulgent, it has proven to keep many on the track of being present and avoiding burnout.*

The purpose of this preconference is to provide a short introduction to self care and mindfulness with practical work we can use regardless of setting. We’ll discuss microaggressions and allyship (microaggressions being the brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities that marginalized people of various groups experience daily and allyship referring to the powerful role that individuals from privileged groups can play in supporting marginalized individuals). We will then transition to a modified unconference setting where participants can practice scenarios and learn practical solutions. Each of the presenters has different set of skills and experiences that allow for many techniques and strategies to be explored. Preconference attendees will participate in sessions like “Mentor Speed Dating” where they get to talk to and question potential mentors/mentees. They may be coached through a guided meditation or walked through a calming breathing exercise. For those looking to a more physical space, office yoga and stretching techniques may be shared depending on the outcomes of the unconference interest.

Foundational materials and articles will be shared with the registrants prior to the meeting with the option of further discussion at the workshop. An open access guide to all the resources and readings will be available after the preconference, and people will be encouraged to share additional their tools on a website.

Suggested Hashtag #c4lselfcare

* Abenavoli, R.M., Jennings, P.A., Greenberg, M.T., Harris, A.R., & Katz, D.A. (2013). The protective effects of mindfulness against burnout among educators. Psychology of Education Review, 37(2), 57-69

Proposed by: Carmen Mitchell, Lia Friedman, and Torie Quinonez

In this preconference, participants will be introduced to Virtual Reality uses in library settings, notably, by way of the VR Reading Room. Within the VR Reading Room prototype, users can collaboratively explore digital collections (e.g. HathiTrust) by way of VR headsets. Participants of this workshop will have the opportunity to experience HTC Vive functionality. The system will be setup with a prototype e-book experiment in order to model several VR affordances. Once attendees have been introduced to the HTC Vive hardware and sample project, groups of participants will have an opportunity to further brainstorm novel uses cases.

Proposed by: Jim Hahn

Python[1] has become one of the dominant languages in scientific computing and is used by researchers around the world. Its popularity is due in large part to a rich set of libraries for data analysis like Pandas[2] and NumPy[3] and tools for exploring scientific code like Jupyter notebooks[4]. Join us for this half-day workshop on the basics of using Pandas within a Jupyter notebook. We will cover importing data, selecting and subsetting data, grouping data, and generating simple visualizations. All are welcome, but some familiarity with Python is recommended, e.g. the concepts covered in the Codecademy[5] or Google[6] Python courses.


Proposed by: Bret Davidson and Kevin Beswick

Learn about the features and capabilities of Sufia, a Hydra-based repository solution. Attendees will participate in a hand-on demonstration where they deposit content, edit metadata, create collections, and explore access control options. Attendees should bring laptops with Chrome, Firefox, or Safari installed. Please plan on bringing at least one image, document, or other digital content that you’re comfortable uploading and using for demo and experimentation purposes 🙂

Proposed by: Mark Bussey and Justin Coyne

The web can be a trove of openly accessible data, but it is not always readily available in a format that allows it to be downloaded for analysis and reuse. This workshop aims to introduce attendees to web scraping, a technique to automate extracting data from websites.

Part one of the workshop will use browser extensions and web tools to get started with web scraping quickly, give examples where this technique can be useful, and introduce how to use XPath queries to select elements on a page.

Part two will introduce how to write a spider in Python to follow hyperlinks and scrape several web pages using the Scrapy framework. We will conclude with an overview of the legal aspects of web scraping and an open discussion.

You don’t need to be a coder to enjoy this workshop! Anyone wishing to learn web scraping is welcome, although some familiarity with HTML will be helpful. Part two will require some experience with Python, attendees unfamiliar with this language are welcome to stay only for part one and still learn useful web scraping skills!

Proposed by: Thomas Guignard and Kim Pham

Paper prototyping is a low-cost, structured brainstorming technique that uses materials such as paper and pencils to better understand the way users interact with physical, visual, and textual information. It can help us learn how to better think through workflows, space design, and information architecture. Session attendees will learn about the ways low-fidelity prototyping and wireframing can be used to develop ideas, troubleshoot workflows, and improve learning and interaction.

In the first half of the workshop, participants will step through activities in icon design, persona development, and task development. In the second half they will develop a low fidelity prototype and step through a guerilla usability testing process with it.

Proposed by: Ekatarina (Eka) Grguric and Andreas Orphanides

ePub3 and more

Hello OLC Colleague,

Are you preparing students for job skills required in 2020?


Attend our webinar to see how the Embellisher™ Mobile Publishing, Training and Education platform can give you  a way to move your organization’s mobile collaboration and publication systems to a powerful new level.


Whether you are in the public or the private sector, you can benefit from learning how to use VR/AR as well as seeing how multimedia (ePub3) and live streaming technologies can enhance your collaborative and publishing skills.

Student-Centered Instruction Webinar
Nov. 8, 2016 | 1 PM (UTC-7)


We will be covering:

  • How to use live streaming video to collaborate on projects and assignments.
  • How to use AR and VR to create “empathetic” point-of-view.
  • How to give each author/teacher a publishing platform to feature live broadcasts of new books, book trailers, live chat with readers/students, and even “casting” a virtual book tour to bookstores and libraries as patrons can view on their mobile devices.
  • A guided tour of our three ePub3 Creator Studio Templates that are used for collaborative work inside our web app.

Bonus! All attendees will receive a free copy of Professor Jim Musgrave’s book, Running with the Big Dogs: A Creator’s Guide to Using Electronic Media. Also, if you teach online classes, he will give you an Insert-text Grammar Template to use when grading your students’ papers.


Join our free webinar on November 8, 2016 at 1 PM (UTC-7). Register today.

Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality

Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents

Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents

G+ link

In an address to the VRX conference in San Francisco, noted game developer and tech wizard, Jesse Schell predicted that over 8 million VR gamer headsets will be sold in 2016. Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, presumably laying the groundwork for a future where friends and family will interact in rich virtual spaces. All the major players, including Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google and an HTC and Valve partnership are jostling for the consumer headset market.

Experimenting with VR in his classes as part of a project piloted by Seattle-based foundry10, a privately funded research organization that creates partnerships with educators to implement, research and explore the various intersections of emerging technologies and learning, including VR..

And the technology’s potential for good is vast. It has already been used to help with autism, improve personal financial management, treat PTSD and manage pain. More and more news outlets, including the New York Times, are adopting immersive journalism, where news stories can be experienced through VR.

As an educational tool, VR might prove transformative. Google Expeditions allows students to take over 100 virtual journeys from ancient Rome to the surface of Mars. It might also have a big impact on social emotional learning (SEL), as VR’s unique ability to produce empathy recently led Wired magazine to explore its potential as “the ultimate empathy machine”. Addressing a persistent anxiety, Suter used Samsung Gear’s Public Speaking Simulator to successfully prepare a few nervous students for class presentations, reporting they felt “much more calm” during the live delivery.

Ethical Considerations

In a recently published article, researchers Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany review a series of ethical considerations when implementing VR. The illusion of embodiment may provide VR’s greatest value to education, but also lies at the heart of its ethical implementation. Madary and Metzinger believe that VR is not just an evolution from television and video game screens, but a revolution that will have an enormous social impact. In their paper, they claim that:

VR technology will eventually change not only our general image of humanity but also our understanding of deeply entrenched notions, such as “conscious experience,” “selfhood,” “authenticity,” or “realness.”

It’s important to remember that many current VR uses in schools, like Google Expeditions, are not interactive VR, but simply 360-degree video experiences. In these cases, students experience immersive 3D pictures or panoramas, but do not deeply interact with the content. The illusion of embodiment is a product of interactive content and motion tracking, where users can alter and affect their environment and engage with others who share their virtual space. Headsets like the Vive and Occulus Rift fall under this latter category, but it won’t be long before most, if not all, consumer oriented VR technology will be completely immersive and interactive.

1. Long-Term Effects and Prolonged Exposure

2. The Impact of Environment on Agency and Behavior

3. Aggravating Preexisting Psychological or Emotional Issues

4. (Un)Reality and Diminished Real World Interactions

5. Privacy and Data Gathering



more on virtual reality in this IMS blog

VR gaming backpack

HP’s VR gaming backpack is light, thin, and still a prototype; It feels pretty good!

By Adi Robertson

Alienware, Zotac, and MSI have all shown off self-contained backpacks that can be used with the HTC Vive, and companies like The Void have created their own “backtops” for location-based entertainment.


more on virtual reality in this blog:

Google Expeditions on VR Tours

Google Expeditions Takes Students on VR Tours of Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace

Sign in here: A minimum of 6 interested teachers. In order to take as many students as possible on an Expedition, we’ll visit schools showing the most interest first.

Here is a taste of what lies ahead:

When viewing on a mobile phone, the user can change the point of view of the video fluidly in 360 degrees simply by moving the device around.

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