The Lede: Visual Information Literacy: A New Teachable Moment
“Seeing is believing” –except that it isn’t. Have you seen this video?
“Deep fakes” are better called "really good fakes." Just enough is wrong with Jordan Peele’s Obama imitation to be both plausible and fake. How long before high-quality faking is much easier and better?
One SHU instructor said to me, ““When my students need an image, they just grab it from the Internet.” Would the same instructor say the same thing for just any “fact?” The era of convincing fake images is upon us.
Consider this painting:
More convincing? This was created by Bas Korsten, creative director of J. Walter Thompson advertising firm in Amsterdam. With 346 paintings, and 150GB of rendered graphics, he used a 3D printer to mimic Rembrandt’s brush strokes. (See this BBC story.)
“But I don’t teach art,” you say. What do you teach that uses visual imagery? –in marketing, social work, biology, psychology, physical therapy, or almost anything else at SHU.
Teaching our students to be literate in a digital environment involves numbers, words, and images. We rightly teach our students that not just any “fact” is accurate: what constitutes authority varies from field to field, but always matters. We teach skepticism of statistics, claims, and conclusions unless they are properly warranted. We will have to teach the same skills with images.
The Library can help teach visual information literacy: Artstor.
Artstor is more than its name: it’s not “just” art (with apologies to all artists!) Arstor images span environmental studies, women’s studies, and global studies, as well as traditionally image-rich subjects such as graphic arts, photography, and American studies. But why bother, when images can just be grabbed from Google instead? Artstor offers:
A synergy –if you search for a JSTOR article (within JSTOR itself), you will see associated and relevant images. Example: search federal reserve
Artstor offers significant support for faculty. See their Instructor’s Guide to Artstor and self-paced training for Higher Education . Artstor offers a number of webinars --and if you can’t make the scheduled time, you can ask for session recordings. As always, SHU librarians also stand ready to help you – see our Art & Design Research Guide (https://library.sacredheart.edu/art-design/articles )
A Resource You Should Know About: Small Business Resource Center
Thinking of starting a blog? A small secondary business from your home? Do you have a plan? Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) publishes a lot of information that is useful far beyond the usual reference point for "small business" or "entrepreneurship."
Published by Gale, SBRC is a comprehensive database covering all aspects of planning, financing, starting and managing your small business. It combines authoritative content to support prospective and current entrepreneurs as well as business students. The interface is easy to browse and is mapped to four key stages of small business development to fit your research needs at any point. Additionally you can browse by “Business Topics” and “Business Types.”
Beyond the expected subjects of accounting, taxes, human management, and marketing, SBRC's content includes multi-resource business plans, eighty digital books focused on small business, and articles from 300 journals. Directories will guide you to associations, trade shows, consultants, and others. You can listen to podcasts and see videos oriented to small business and entrepreneurship, as well as find a glossary of over 2,200 business terms (in case you're not a business professor).
A Resource You Should Know About: Sports Market Analytics
Sometimes a resource or database grows into something much better than it used to be -- see Sports Market Analytics.
Sports Market Analytics (SMA) was formerly known as SBRnet (Sports Business Research Network). It has become a leading provider of sports marketing research in the United States. SMA features market research and industry news in the area of sports business. Contents include industry-developed market research, government statistics, facility reports and news, international market publications, customized research, and directories for governing bodies, college athletic, employment agencies, and marketing agencies.
Coverage includes sporting goods, sports e-commerce, sport marketing, sport sponsorship, sport facilities, sport broadcasting and new media, fantasy sports, eSports, consumer product brand share, demographics, mobile device usage patterns.
SMA includes wide-ranging content including all sports demographics, fantasy sports, online viewing trends, social media, sponsorship, fan market size, and TV viewing trends; Sporting goods, including financial summaries, equipment by product, imports, online purchase trends, total market for apparel, footwear, and equipment; Market segments including college sports, participation, women’s sports, and youth sports.
SMA provides full-text coverage since 2011 and is mobile-friendly. A brief tutorial (.pptx) is available for more details.
SensusAccess is a web-based service that provides Sacred Heart University students, faculty, staff and alumni the ability to convert documents into accessible and alternate formats. For example, a user can turn a text-based document or book into an audio, e-book or more accessible text-based document.
The Library website provides the link for file conversion, and brief “best practices.” SensusAccess is sophisticated, but some of the results can be alarming or occasionally unintelligible. For example, a blog entry, saved as an .html file, may have several internal codes that result in a few odd words at the beginning of a conversion to a sound file (.mp3). When you send a file to SensusAccess, it can take up to 30 minutes to receive a converted file back.
Sensus Access itself as excellent support, a helpful FAQ, an a nine-module e-learning course on file conversions and how to improve accessibility. The support site links to several useful tools, including two sites for creating accessible math contents, including symbols and equations. The SHU Accessibility Resource Center has links to helpful resources for our university community, including video captioning services