Making sensible decisions about tools

I would like to discuss at THATCamp@Penn ways to make better sense of the multitudes of tech tools we use at Penn. I can think of more than ten tools that faculty and graduate students use to create websites, and at least a handful of individual-use database tools. So many options are available for annotating PDFs, working with references, making screen videos, sharing files with students, helping students to create digital content, and presenting research. The number of tools keeps growing. Many tools do many things – the overlaps are complicated, and change over time.  When I encounter a new tool – Mendeley comes to mind – I would love to know of a local place to look up who at Penn is using that tool already, how they use it, and why they chose it. I would love to find examples of projects for that tool, so I know if it is worth my time to learn it and possibly switch to it.

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About Anu Vedantham

My 2011 dissertation looked at how theories on self-efficacy and technology acceptance could explain differences by gender in online video creation by college students. Through this work, I have become interested in why we adopt some new technologies and ignore others. I enjoy working with databases and statistics and have also recently come to enjoy qualitative research methodologies. I’ve studied computer science, public policy and higher education administration – so quite a mixed bag. I love trying out new tech tools, and helping others make sense of them. I’ve directed the Penn Libraries’ Weigle Information Commons since 2007. Looking forward to my first THATCamp.