Students and faculty can easily share what’s in their ‘bookbags’

RIT multidisciplinary team develops open source software; demonstrations April 27




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Have you ever been searching the Web and found the perfect article for your class or research? Have you ever found a library resource that you would like to share with your professor or other students in your class?

A new, easy to use tool called Bookbag that works in all browsers makes sharing and saving resources as simple as a click.

“The Bookbag tool also helps to enhance the classroom as a social networking experience,” says project director Chandra McKenzie, RIT assistant provost for Academic Affairs.

RIT’s Open Publishing Lab engaged a multidisciplinary project team of students and staff from the Wallace Center, ITS, the School of Print Media, computer engineering, information technology and a retired librarian emeritus to develop the open source software that enables finding, saving, tagging and sharing class- and research-based resources. The software works with various types of resources, including eBooks, blogs, RSS feeds, PDFs and other digital content and Web-based material. To further enable the class experience, it also integrates with myCourses and Wallace Library databases.

Members of the Bookbag team will be doing demonstrations of the software from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 in the Student Alumni Union.

Sponsored by RIT Provost Jeremy Haefner, the Bookbag framework allows faculty who search for new print or digital material to add them to their courses as required material or supplemental reading assignments.

“We think that Bookbag is a new mechanism that will help unify the campus,” says Michael Riordan, director of the Open Publishing Lab. “It’s a simple way for faculty to share relevant content with their students at any time, from anywhere. Students can easily access and download course materials. The ultimate goal is to make it simple for people to connect with one another.”

The interface is currently in the beta stage of testing. Faculty and students are invited to try out the software and provide feedback through the spring quarter. A mobile application for the iPhone and the Android operating system is also in the testing phase. To access the software, go to http://bookbaginfo.rit.edu and click on the documentation tab.

For more information, e-mail Michael Riordan at mprppr@rit.edu.

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