Student Caitlin O’Neal Relies on Emerging Technology to Earn her MLIS Degree while Living in Korea

Community Profile

When student Caitlin O’Neal moved from Ecuador to Korea, online learning got easier. “Korea has some of the fastest Internet in the world!” she said. Two years later, still living in Seoul, O’Neal often tackles coursework using mobile devices, on the go with just her iPhone in hand.

Currently enrolled in Dr. Michael Stephens’ INFO 287 course (The Hyperlinked Library – Emerging Trends, Emerging Technologies), O’Neal recently wrote about her experiences in the blog she keeps for the course, where students interact with each other and their instructor on a Wordpress blog  rather than in a learning management system course site. “I can access the Wordpress course site on my phone, so I’m able to read everyone’s postings and watch videos,” said O’Neal, who decided to take the course after hearing rave reviews about it from other students.

“This course really focuses in on what I want to do,” said O’Neal, who currently teaches high school ceramics and middle school art at Seoul International School. “As a teacher, I like incorporating technology in my classroom.” For that reason, O’Neal has taken many courses focusing on Web Programming and Emerging Technology since she enrolled in the information school four years ago.

In addition to Stephens’ course this semester, O’Neal is completing a virtual internship with the California Digital Library (CDL) Web Archiving Service, where she is creating tutorial videos for the CDL website. “At the start of the semester, I focused on sending out surveys to users of the site to determine what type of tutorials they wanted,” she said. “Now I’m focusing on developing short tutorials, which will soon be launched.” Her most recent tutorial taught users how to capture a website and then compare that capture to an older version of the website.

O’Neal decided to earn an MLIS degree to expand opportunities in the job market. “Being an art teacher can be an advantage,” she said. “When there is an opening, I don’t have to compete with as many candidates as I would if, say, I was an English teacher. The MLIS degree gives me even more options. I like that the degree will enable me to work in a high school, community college, or public library.”

As for living abroad, O’Neal loves the endless possibilities. “I never thought I’d be living in Asia, but here I am, and I like it,” she said. “And no one is seriously considering evacuation from Seoul, despite the reported threats from North Korea,” said O’Neal. “Every couple of years there’s a threat, but eventually the hype dies down.”

Favorite Blog

Virtual Internship Blog by SLIS student Anthony Andora. “I used to hold the student assistant position Anthony now holds, working for Dr. Patricia Franks. While I was a student assistant, I actually interviewed Anthony for a Community Profile story. I’ve followed his blog ever since – he has good tidbits for interns.”

Influential Classes

INFO 287 (The Hyperlinked Library — Emerging Trends, Emerging Technologies): “Everyone should take this class going forward. Libraries are changing and need to stay relevant. This course helps students realize ways to make libraries relevant.”

INFO 240: “I’m a hands-on learner, so it was such fun to create a website by the end of the course.”

Tech Tip

Google Apps: “I keep an extensive Google calendar for grad school deadlines, work, and my virtual internship. Google Drive is where I’ve done all my internship work.”