Posts tagged: information commons

Information Commons February Newsletter

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By , February 23, 2012 12:25 am

The end of January marked a historic moment politcally and for information technology. Two bills were presented to Congress– the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)– in an attempt to stop copyright infringement. SOPA, created in the House of Representatives, was intended to expand the capabilities of law enforcement to regulate websites that host or link to known sites that have violated intellectual property rights. This would allow the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies to blacklist websites, cut off advertisement income for websites, and limit search results of sites known to have violated copyright laws. Alternatively, PIPA, developed in the Senate, was designed to specifically target websites overseas that are known to violate copyright laws by means of Domain Name System (DNS) blocking. A similar strategy is currently being used in China to censor the Internet and block access to Facebook, Twitter, or other American websites. Among reactions to these bills were online protests and blackouts of popular websites, most notably Wikipedia. Major websites do not dismiss the need to stop online piracy; however, SOPA and PIPA would allow government the ability to regulate search results and force websites to police all possible hyperlinks. For example, if a Wikipedia page has a link in the references section leading to a domain that has any copyright violations, then all of Wikipedia would be forced to shut down until that link is terminated. Several protests have brought to light such flaws in these two bills. Since the protests and blackouts, the bills have been shelved and are not going to a vote. The possibility still exists for amendments and another attempt to vote on SOPA and PIPA or similar bills.After SOPA and PIPA were rejected from the Congress on January 18th, 2012, Republican Darrell Issa introduced a draft of a new Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) to the House of Representatives.This proposal is an effort to settle public unrest about the two previous bills as well as an attempt to increase protection for intellectual property rights. In contrast with SOPA and PIPA, which would give power to content owners and the Department of Justice, OPEN would cast over the International Trade Commission. With this new international focus, all foreign-based websites subjected to intentional publication of copyright infringing content would have to pay fines, in addition to having all financial activities that encourage the illegal acts cut off.Currently, a draft of the OPEN bill is posted online for “open” discussion at When accessing the website, users will be able to edit individual sections of the draft, as well as insert personal comments on the direction the bill should be heading towards. So far, the new Act has acquired support from major technology companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
When he was asked about the OPEN Act’s outlook, Rep. Issa confidently told the press, “
OPEN is a targeted, effective solution to the problem of foreign, rogue websites stealing from American artists and innovators.” However, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the main proponent of SOPA and PIPA, is not in favor of the new bill, saying that OPEN is too lenient on the piracy problem. Similarly, Rep. Lamar Smith, who drafted SOPA and PIPA, expressed his opposition , “The OPEN Act creates loopholes that make the Internet even more open to foreign thieves that steal America’s technology and IP without protecting U.S. businesses and consumers.”Two sides of the argument both have their merit, and are fighting relentlessly for their goal. Yet, whose goal is the most beneficial to this country, is a question that can only be answered by the people of the United States of America.

(Sources: “The OPEN Act Introduced”,SOPA, PIPA: What You Need to Know, and Why We’ve Censored



Moodle, an Open Source Learning Management System (LMS), has become very popular among education institutes in the past few years due to its user-friendly interface and low cost. Moodle has similar features to Blackboard, Butler’s current LMS. Guided by a “social constructivist pedagogy”, Moodle devotes its design to sharing knowledge and information within the group. The department of Information Technology is piloting Moodle for the entire 2011-12 academic year. There are approximately 40 instructors and 1050 users participating in this semester’s pilot program.Kenton Smith, an Academic Technology Specialist in the Center for Academic Technology noted, “Butler has been using Blackboard for 10 years. With technology evolving and changing, we haven’t done any type of re-exploration or re-evaluation of Blackboard over that span of time. Right now, with our timeline, we’re basically trying to confirm if Blackboard is the right solution for our community or not.” Smith also provided data that shows the majority of instructors found Moodle straight forward and intuitive (83%), easy to navigate (77%), and enables them to easily complete class assignments (84%).Dr. Brian Giesler from the psychology department informed his first impression of Moodle as being “more efficient” than Blackboard since he has experienced problems with the latter. Dr. Chris Wilson from the math department, though, has viewed Moodle as “less intuitive” compared to Blackboard in basic tasks without receiving training on either LMS. He is looking forward to receiving more training on Moodle.To learn more about the LMS pilot project, please visit, and contact the Center for Academic Technology with any questions.

Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity

Irwin Library is currently hosting the annual Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity exhibit through the month of February. The exhibit features recent pieces of work from Butler faculty and staff members that emphasize scholarly and creative achievements. Examples include: books and textbooks, journal articles, CDs, DVDs, paintings, programs, musical scores, and costumes. The exhibit recognizes and congratulates university members for their research and creative endeavors—especially since many of the pieces have been published outside of the University.

The library held a formal reception on Tuesday, February 7th from 5-7pm for faculty and staff. The physical exhibit will be up for the month of February for all campus members to view. For more information or guidelines on submitting pieces check out the “Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity” Libguide.


Technology Poll


How do you feel about using Moodle in your classes? (1: I dislike it, 10: I love it!)
How to send a meeting request on Outlook
Have you ever planned a meeting where some of the guests forgot to mark it on their calendar? Or how about an event where it would have been nice to see who was showing up? Well now you can with your Outlook account! Through Outlook you can send your attendees a calendar appointment that once opened automatically puts your meeting/event on their Outlook calendar. The attendees also have the option of clicking ‘Accepted’ or ‘Declined’ to indicate whether or not they will be attending. The information is then sent to your email account so you can keep track of who has accepted and declined. To access, open Outlook and click ‘Calendar’ on the bottom left of the screen. Once opened click on the arrow next to ‘New’ at the top left of the screen. The dropdown menu will then give you the option of sending a ‘Meeting Request’. Select that option and you are ready to send your meeting request!

Irwin Library 119

View this video to learn about what Irwin Library has to offer!


Technologies We Love

Valentine’s Day Photo App: Valentine’s Day is this month, and what better way to show that special someone how much you care than with a custom made Valentine’s Day card? With Valentine Photo Free you can take a photo or use an existing photo to create a card featuring you and your lovely to post on Twitter, Facebook, email, or even print. This application has a variety of hearts, flowers, and presents to insert over a photo which can be adjusted in size, rotation, and transparency to create a romantic setting. It’s easy, fun, and very cute! The perfect Valentine’s Day photo is just one free download away. Have you ever wanted to arrange a group meeting and had trouble determining a time that works for everyone? There is a solution for that. is a free website that helps people select the perfect time for their meeting. The way operates is quite simple: you send a link to an interactive calendar to all group members, asking each person to highlight when he or she is available. The website then integrates all the input information, and decides the best time for everyone to meet. You have the option of registering for an account, or simply just using as a guest. Whichever option you choose, there are instruction videos that will lead you step by step of how to utilize this awesome service.Kindle Fire: After Apple introduced the iPad and created a new market for tablets, other technology giants were quick to join the competition with their own products. Most recently, the newest tablet on the market is Kindle Fire from Inc, an improved version of Amazon Kindle e-reader. Kindle Fire is built with a slightly smaller dimension in comparison to its competitors (iPad, Xoom, etc.), with the multi-color touch-screen being close to the size of a standard 4×6” picture. Despite the small size, the new tablet from Inc. has some of the best features that one will need: wireless connection, up to 8 hours of battery time, and an internal storage of 8 GB. As schools are adapting new technology and introducing e-books into classrooms, Kindle Fire is becoming more attractive to customers, especially young students attending college. With a huge collection of available books, music, and other applications, Amazon Inc. has what it takes to make Kindle Fire a successful tablet, and definitely a worthy opponent of the original iPad.


Meet the Staff

This month, we would like to introduce you to two returning Information Commons staff members, Rocky Huynh and Jessica Biggs!Rocky is a sophomore who just joined the Information Commons team last fall. He was drawn to the job because of the opportunities to learn within the sphere of Academic Technology. The project Rocky is most proud of is an iMovie introduction video he created last semester which showcases interesting facts about himself. His favorite technology to work with is Adobe Photoshop.Jessica loves learning about new technologies! That’s why she chose to join the Information Commons team last fall. Currently a junior, Jessica is an Early Childhood/Middle Childhood education major. Last semester she helped create and edit a LibGuide that suggests helpful websites for generating citations. You can find theLibGuide here.  Jessica also enjoys working with the free blog website WordPress.In addition to these returning members, Information Commons welcomed six new members to our team: Leslie Cyranowski, Derek Hazelwood, Erin Holm, Megan Houchin, Christina Tiernan, and Jacob Wade.

To schedule an appointment with any of our Information Commons staff, please visit our Appointy website.


How to check the Butler Calendar for Room Reservations

Plan a lot of meetings? Constantly struggling to find an empty room? Well look no further than My.Butler! With My.Butler you have access to the Butler Room Calendar which allows you to see what rooms are available and at what times. You can even see if places like the Johnson Room or Starbucks are available! The calendar also allows you to see how many chairs are in the room and whether or not it is mediated. To access the calendar log onto My.Butler and under ‘Campus Calendar’ on the right click the link ‘My.Butler Calendar’.

 Upcoming Events 

Last month, we introduced a new student group: P3~Professional Presence and Profile.  This group will prepare students for the professional world and will assist members to develop a professional online presence using a variety of tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Diigo, and RSS feeds.  The next meetings will be on February 9th and February 23rd at 7:00pm in PB156.Please if you have any questions!
When Are You Available?

At Information Commons, we do our best to support you in all of your academic technology endeavors.  One way we do this is by hosting Open Sessions, a time where we train attendees on specific programs.  For us to determine what time will work best for the Butler community, we ask that you complete a survey.  Thank you in advance and we look forward to seeing you there!



Information Commons Hours
Center for Academic Technology (JH037)
Monday-Friday                          9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday                      UnstaffedIrwin Library
Monday-Thursday                   10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday                                         10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday                                     Unstaffed
Sunday                                       5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.Rich Media Resource Area (JH048)
Monday-Thursday                    9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday                                          9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.



New Detailed Indianapolis Wall Map

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By , December 12, 2011 9:52 am

We now have a detailed wall map of the Indianapolis Area hanging in the Information Commons near the Reference Collection. It covers all of Marion County and the surrounding cities, such as Carmel, Noblesville, Brownsburg, and Greenwood. Every road and highway is depicted (unless it was just built in the last year or two).

Here’s a mini version:

Color Printer in Irwin Library

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By , August 17, 2011 9:14 am

Color printing is now available  in Irwin Library! The printer name is IL_Color and anyone can print to it.

The cost is 50 cents per page (single-sided only), which must be paid in cash at the Information Commons Desk before your print job can be released to the printer.


  1. Send your print job to IL_Color.
  2. The print job is held in the printer queue.
  3. Go to the Information Commons Desk and pay 50 cents per page, cash only.
  4. The Information Commons Assistant collects your money and releases the print job to the color printer.

New Laptop-Charging Station in Irwin

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By , August 15, 2011 7:11 am

Irwin Library has a new Laptop-Charging Station in the Information Commons area on the main floor.

If you are using a laptop in the library and need to charge your battery, we have two “universal” chargers available near the Information Commons Desk. Use the Manual on the table to determine which tip to use, plug it into the end of the adapter, and charge away!

As always, if you have any questions, please ask at the Information Commons Desk.

Information Commons Hiring for Fall 2011

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By , April 14, 2011 7:01 am

The Information Commons is now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 academic year. There will be several openings for new students to work as Information Commons Assistants.

For more information about the Information Commons program, its mission, job description, and how to apply, visit

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