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Really simple studying!

In the run-up to our first Media Zoo workshop (see post below) here are my thoughts on some of the technological wildlife that you can come to the zoo to tame for research purposes. Many of these technologies are not designed primarily for educational applications, but have nevertheless become valued research tools. RSS (Really Simple Syndication), for example, is essential to any researcher short on time. RSS allows you to subscribe to updated content from websites, so that it is downloaded directly to a feed reader. So your CFPs, journal articles, database searches etc will be delivered directly to one page, without you having to go and find them!

My favourite feed readers are Pageflakes and Netvibes. When you open an account on one of these, you can then start adding content and downloading feeds to your page. On my page, for example, I have a feed updating me on calls for papers in my field, as well as feeds for all my favourite journals, for a search term on the database I use and…

First Graduate School Media Zoo Workshop

We will be running the first ever workshop of the Graduate School Media Zoo next week. Come along for an afternoon at the zoo to find out about new technologies you can use in your research. Terese Bird (Learning Technologist) and I will give short tasters of some of the technologies available within the Zoo and provide advice on their applications for your research.
When: Tuesday 8th December, 4-5pm
Where: Library IT Room 2

Thesis Workshop Festive Special

At the beginning of advent research students start preparing for the holidays, getting ready to see neglected family and friends and thinking of a well-earned rest...but when embarking on such a long project it can be vital to keep up momentum over the festive period. The Graduate School Reading Room invites you to rev up your motivational motor over refreshments at the festive special of the Thesis Workshop with a theme of
Goals and Targets: maintaining motivation over the festive period.
~ Ideas and advice on motivational tactics and techniques
~ Guided practical exercise - come away with a plan for the next month
~ Time for questions and discussion over refreshments

Thursday 10 December at 4pm in the Library Seminar Room

The big launch

Today saw the opening of the Graduate School Media Zoo. We had a great time exploring Second Life, debating the research possibilities of various gadgets and thinking about digital media. Malcolm Read opened the Zoo with a few words about the importance of new technologies for the 21st Century researcher.
New History Lab and Creative Cuppa were strongly represented in the audience...and it was great to see so many postgraduates interested in web 2.0 and digital technologies.
We are now open for business, so come up and visit the Zoo on weekdays from 2pm or make an appointment to see how you can bring your research into the second decade of the 21st Century!

Grad School Media Zoo opens tomorrow!

Tomorrow sees the launch of the Graduate School Media Zoo, from 2-2.30pm in the Graduate School Reading Room. All postgrads are welcome to come along and play with the 'technological wildlife' and shiny gadgets. Malcolm Read from JISC will be cutting the ribbon and saying a few words, then we will open the zoo for demonstrations and experimentation. Come and try out Kindle and Sony e-readers, a digital voice recorder, a flip videocamera and Second Life.

Even more books...

We have another new addition to our exclusive GSRR postgrad-only bookshelf! How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J. Silvia. It's a short but effective tome on everything from motivation to style. Enjoy and be productive!

New books!

We are adding to the selection of books about writing your thesis in the GSSR. New additions today are: Authoring a PhD by Patrick Dunleavy and Your PhD Thesis by Prof. Robert Brewer. More soon to come so watch this space!

Launch of the Graduate School Media Zoo

A date for your diaries: the GSRR will be offering a new service to postgraduate researchers from Wednesday 25 November, when we will launch the Graduate School Media Zoo. The launch will take place in the afternoon, when the zoo will be officially opened by Dr Malcolm Read OBE, Executive Secretary of the Joint Information Systems Committee. New technologies to explore in the zoo include E-readers, Second Life, wikis and blogs, podcasting equipment etc... Drop in for advice on how these can be used in your research. We will be announcing a programme of workshops on themes such as Second Life for Researchers, RSS and Journal Portals, and Web 2.0 for postgraduates.
For more information visit the Graduate School Media Zoo website. To have your say complete the Media Zoo survey.

Countdown to Christmas with Special Collections

If you're looking for something to get you in a festive mood ready for December, look no further than the library. Special collections have already started their Christmas exhibition, looking at events from the festive season in times past, including shipwrecks, frost fairs and student political activity! Visit the exhibition cases in the Library basement for a productive, pre-festive break from your studies.

SSDS Workshops

November will be a good month for workshops: SSDS has a really good schedule with sessions on topics including publicising your research, developing enterprise skills, thinking about the future and structuring your thesis. Visit the SSDS website for more details of what's on offer.

Creative Cuppa

There was some hot debate on new media and the future of traditional journalism this lunchtime at Creative Cuppa (not to mention some very nice cakes!). Is the professional journalist a dying species? Is conventional news reporting obsolete in the face of twitter, the blog and the citizen journalist? The only consensus from the session was that more time for debate on these issues is needed!

First meeting of the Thesis Workshop

The first meeting of the Thesis Workshop was held at 3pm on Wednesday in the Library Seminar Room. The wide range of people who come along, from different departments and at different stages of the PhD process, made for a vibrant event with some interesting discussions!

After an ice-breaker of getting to know people from different disciplines, we settled into three groups (pre-apg, post-apg and final year) to discuss problems that crop up at different stages of the writing process. A summary of the main issues raised produced an overview the main stressors at different points, from "too much information" on beginning a thesis, to a sensation of "losing our grip on reality" when lost in the middle year(s), through to "not knowing how/when to stop" at the end of the thesis! The groups also had issues in common, such as problems with language, including the difficulties of writing in a foreign language and the challenges, even for native speakers, of getting …

Creative cuppa next event

I'm looking forward to the next Creative Cuppa seminar on Monday 26 Oct. The last seminar was a great opportunity to listen to an excellent paper, take part in some thought-provoking discussion and eat cake with like-minded people! Details below...

Upcoming Event: Creative Cuppa 12th Coffee Meetup
Theme: Digital Journalism / Media Convergence
Title: New media: New journalism?
Time: 12:00pm - 13:00pm (Monday, 26 October 2009)
Venue: ATT SB2.09 (Attenborough Tower), City Campus, University of Leicester
Guest Speaker: Dr. Kostas Saltzis
Event Coordinator: Mokhtar Elareshi

Event description: by Dr. Kostas Saltzis
"Faced with the challenges of the converging media environment, traditional news organisations expand their activities on the internet and they are slowly redefining themselves as multi-media instead of single media organisations based on media-neutral competitive advantages. At the same time, there is an impetus towards multimedia production and distribution which is achieved th…

The GSRR has a blog!

Welcome to the GSRR blog. This is part of the project to create a Virtual Reading Room that will form a counterpart to the physical research space in the Library. The GSRR and its associated events and community will be amplified online via twitter, facebook and on our own website (soon to come...watch this space).

The purpose of this virtual presence is to provide a space for interaction and networking, both for researchers who use the GSRR and for those who are based outside Leicester and would like to take part in an online community.

You can look here for events, research training and other news items relevant to postgraduate research students. Subscribe to us with RSS or atom to receive feeds of new posts and comments, or simply come and visit from time to time.

The blog also welcomes your comments and views. This is your reading room, and we want to know how you like to use it.

Emma