Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Engaging Generation Y(ouTube)

Creating Video for Instruction

Ben Archer, Linda Zehr, and Mary McGlasson from Chandler Gilbert Community College created a web page for their session that includes sample videos.

A faculty colleague, Matt Fisher, has filmed YouTube accounting lecture videos shot with a Flip video camera. They have tested video quality using a range of basic and more advanced Flip cameras and haven't noticed a large difference. They advised buying the least expensive Flip model.

Archer uses Camtasia to create instructional videos for online classes and discovered students have responded better to these than the narrated PowerPoints he previously used. Why? He includes an inset video of himself talking in the upper right corner of the videos. It establishes a human connection. Camtasia allows the scripts for lectures to be imported and converted into closed captions. This supports the college's goal to make online courses accessible.

Mary, aka mjmfoodie on YouTube, writes scripts, creates storyboards, and draws pictures on large index cards. She scans the cards in a receipt scanner and then uses MovieMaker to create her movies. Washington State University has asked permission to use her videos and agreed that their Open Course Library Project would create closed captioned versions.

Mesa Community College's video library is compiled at video.mesacc.edu. They used an OpenSource system provided by MediaCore.

Mary has assigned students to create video posters with Pluster. She shows them how to access Creative Commons-licensed videos on Flickr for these projects.

Mary's Delicious site with links to resources she has bookmarked is here.

OER (Open Resources)-- What, Where, Why and How

Donna Gaudet and Roberto Ribas, mathematics instructors from Scottsdale Community College, introduced Open Educational Resources (OERs) using a Mindomo mind map Donna has been compiling. Most of the resources -- including textbooks, labs, videos, animations, learning resources, graphics -- are licensed so they can be redistributed and repackaged.

Another good source for OERs is the OER Commons.

Gaudet's and Ribas' motivation was to find free resources so students would not need to purchase expensive textbooks. SCC is starting to note courses that don't require a textbook in the schedule of classes as are other colleges.

Ears and Hands-On Learning

The Library iTour for Developmental Education Students

Candace Komlodi, a GateWay Community College reading instructor in Phoenix, Arizona, and GateWay librarian Lili Kang use Sansa Fuze media players with developmental education students. They have designed the iTour, an interactive library tour to introduce the library and build information literacy skills through hands-on activities. The tour is preloaded on the player and is used in combination with a printed worksheet.

The iTour offers an alternative, self-paced delivery method. A key goal is to reduce research anxiety. The worksheet incorporates basic reading and critical thinking components beyond information literacy. Some of the activities require summarization.

The iTour has been used with students in a number of classes, including ESL classes.

As the program was in the planning process, a couple of students volunteered to be recorded for the iTour and offered to contribute their sound editing skills.

The project was funded with an Innovation Grants mini-grant from the Title V Grant Administration. Lili developed the goal and objectives for the project, researched the players, collaborated with faculty, IT staff, and the students and staff who did the recording and editing.

iTours began during fall semester in 2010. Ten classes participated in the pilot -- six RDG, one CPD150, and two ENG091 classes were involved in the iTour as an outside classroom assignment. An ENG071 class comprised predominantly of ESL students completed the iTour during class time with the instructor and librarian to help.

The iTour offered a solution to the frustration students experienced when more than one of their developmental class instructors scheduled library introductions. Instructors agreed the iTour would take the place of a traditional introduction.

Lili visited classes during the final ten minutes to introduce the iTour using a Prezi presentation to minimize student anxiety about the assignment. Lili also has created an iTour page on the library's website. One student provided feedback saying he would have liked the tour to be more difficult. There were several positive comments.

Circulation staff at the library resisted this program because it added to their workload. Equipment needs to be checked out and in and charged to be ready for the next student.

Lessons learned:
  • Add a library jargon glossary.
  • Have two versions of the worksheet available to accommodate different student reading levels.
  • Order enough earbud covers. They are replaced for sanitary concerns. Students are encouraged to use their own earphones.
  • Increase communication with library colleagues to discuss the extra workload.
  • Offer handheld equipment assistance to ESL students.
In the future, Lili wants to expand the iTour to CPD/AAA students by collaborating with the counseling faculty. When the new library at GateWay opens, a video tour will be added.

Image: Amazon.com

Keynote 2011 Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference

EdTech Transmissions: We Control the Vertical and Horizontal

Jim Groom, Instructional Technologist and Adjunct Professor at the University of Mary Washington, introduced blogging at UMW. Now there are 5109 UMW Wordpress blogs posted by 6656 users at this small university in Virginia. It's a community of students and faculty working together.

They used a blog to distribute student research on Civil War markers and realized how the community could be reached with this approach. They didn't dictate how students could use their blogs and Groom appreciates the creativity and the ability to capture and aggregate what has been happening at his institution. It's important to give students their own space -- "a domain of one's own" -- that they can take with them when they graduate.

Examples include an online exhibit, History of American Technology, has aggregated student research blogs on different aspects of the topic. Other blogs include documentation of the struggle to offer a women's studies program at UMW. Student travel blogs are aggregated in Study Abroad Blogs because over 35 students responded to the invitation to add their travel blogs' URLs to the site. Art students have used blogs as portfolios of their work. Some students are using their blogs to document all of their academic work. They post their research, writing, resumes, etc. The blog is a consistent space that can then be transferred to a post-graduation domain. Faculty who move to other institutions do this as well.

UMW analytics track visits, page views, and average time spent on the site. It's obvious from this data that the content the UMW community has created is generating hits.

Groom challenges MCCCD not to invest in Blackboard but rather to invest in people. It's a bigger institution and could really control the vertical and the horizontal!

The great Wikipedia project involved a faculty member whose students did library research to improve Wikipedia articles. The FA.team got involved.

An Asian American literature class started using the UMW Wiki to share resources for the class. Blog content can be moved into wikis to serve as an ongoing resource.

How are we thinking of the classroom itself as a space for revolution?

#ds106 is a digital storytelling course Groom has taught for three semesters. The last class was completely open. Anyone could submit assignments. It was available as an open online noncredit class. 150 people who were not students participated. He wanted to put students in a position of power. Students were told to obtain their own domains. They added their work to a central site. MOOC Students could submit their own assignments. Over 800 students submitted work. An assignment regarding iTunes playlists was permutated and appeared in various places online.

Take iconic media images from a movie or TV show. This became a dynamic repository to which many contributed.

DS106 Radio was an attempt to get away from Elluminate, which was dismissed as follows: "It's a box." They used a Nicecast server to broadcast from computers and used it to tell stories and play music. People from around the world could participate.

The next step was DS106TV for live broadcasting. Old media can be used in new ways. We need to imagine new uses for old tools that can be changed and reimagined.

Twitter offered a way for former students to participate in the class.

No one dropped the class. "They were in for life." This is a class about consistent engagement over time, not just a couple of papers and a final exam.

Minecraft, an online sandbox building video game, also was utilized.

This summer he'll teach the class as a character. When the instructor and students are all playing characters isn't that the ultimate digital storytelling class?

#4life - DS106 isn't necessarily a class. It's an experience, a way to share. Education is packaged but it should be a process, an experience.

You can listen to Jim Groom's keynote here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Retronym Contest: What Do You Call a Non-Internet Librarian?

Last year, Information Today, the organizers of the Internet Librarian conference, held a contest to find a "retronym" for a non-Internet librarian. A retronym is the revision of a word or phrase necessitated due to technological advances. For example, acoustic guitars were just guitars until the electric guitar came along. Other examples of retronyms are rotary-dial telephone, snail mail, nonfat milk, and analog watch. Information Today's President and CEO Tom Hogan announced the winner of the contest this year as he presented the list of finalists in reverse David Letterman style.

10. Shelf pointer librarian
9. Analog librarian
8. Legacy librarian
7. Librarian unplugged
6. 3x5 librarian
5. Internot librarian
4. Retrobrarian
3. (Insert the name of your supervisor here) librarian
2. Wallenda librarian (flying high without the net)
1. Librarian 1.0 - the winning entry!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aswhelan/2806849990

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Digital Marketing: Successful Plans and Organizations

Sarah Houghton-Jan, Digital Futures Manager, San Jose Public Library and
Aaron Schmidt, Director, North Plains Public Library, Oregon

The goal is to connect users with librarians. Libraries want and need to transform lives but this requires the establishment of relationships.

When serving people online, we’re serving everyone, even people who aren’t carrying one of our library cards. Serving all digital inquiries should be a cooperative arrangement between libraries like interlibrary loan service.

What Are You Marketing? Snake Oil or Substance?
Make your library website two-way. Can people register for cards? Share their opinion? Have an identity? People expect these possibilities today.

Be good! This is crucial. It’s imperative to have great content online. Develop a plan to get it, update it, and make it relevant to your community. It’s the number one thing you can do to get people to your website and engaged. Once that happens, they’ll return.

Free Is Nice!
Take advantage of library directory listings using LibDex, MapMuse, Libraries411, PublicLibraries.com, and Libraries on the Web. Make sure the information on these sites is correct. Many offer links to your catalog.

Blog Search Engines
Feed Submitter submits your RSS feed to 15 sites at once. Good for posting your programming calendar. Consult Robin Good’s list of where to submit your blog and feed. RSS Specifications provides a list of where to submit your feed. Enter your feed URL and your email address and you’re done.

Blog Geo-Search Engines
List your library blog on geographic blog search engines such as Frapper, Feedmap, Blogwise, and gFeedMap. Sarah finds these get used a lot and brings people to her site.

Wikimapia is like Wikipedia but with a map. Add locations for your libraries and other community features of interest by drawing a box and adding a link. It's great to bring in visitors to the community.

Search Engine Findability
Search for variations and mispellings of your library’s name. Try minor non-Google search engines and metasearch engines, too. Buy AdWords from Google. (The words libraries need are inexpensive.).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a professional service that will cost money but is well worth the expense. They will help you get noticed and give you a plan to keep their efforts updated. Get teaser information out in as many places as possible.

Wi-Fi Service
Get your library listed in Wififreespot, Wifihospotlist, Wifi411, Wifinder, Jiwire, and Wi-fi zone. These listings will get people to your website as well.

Community Website Presence
Americantowns.com, booksalescout.com, artsopolis.com; Eventful, and LibraryThing Local. The latter catalogs local collections. You can click on the Do You Work There? link and prove your relationship. They’ll let you update your library information regularly. Be sure you’re listed on Yelp! and other community ratings sites. You can use positive Yelp! quotes -- short and pithy -- on your marketing materials. If you get five 5-star Yelp reviews, you'll get a sticker to put on the front door.

What Are They Saying?
Searh link:yourlibraryURLhere in Google or Altavista to find sites that mention your library.

Social Review Websites
What are your customers saying about you? Be there, compliment good comments, and initiate conversations. Offer explanations and apologies for bad experiences. Use negative comments to plan changes in service.

Where Are People Looking for Phone Numbers?
For many, they're not consulting a printed phone book! They look online. Make sure you’re listed in AskCity, Yahoo! Local, Google Maps, and MSN. Tiy can add photos to your entry and harvest Yelp reviews and reviews from similar rating services. It can take a long time -- up to two months -- to get information corrected.

Make Your A/V Content Findable
Make sure your podcasts and videocasts are listed in YouTube, Google Video, blip.tv, Blinkx, Singingfish, Yahoo Podcast, Podcast.net, and Podcast Alley.

Be Sociable
Create a profile for your library on social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, and Ning. People will friend you and form positive relationships with your library. Being in these spaces communicates to people in a way they understand and are comfortable with. You must have follow-through!

Aaron's plea: Please don’t use your building as your avatar image on these sites!

Iowa City Public Library has a lot of fans on Facebook. Yes, friends, reference transactions are taking place in public. Some is fun stuff, just talking back and forth.

Yep, it takes effort to keep interesting content on these sites. You get results if you make the commitment.

Find Local Blogs
Use Blogdigger Local, Metroblogging, Feedmap, and Blogs by City to establish a community and interact with it. Don’t intrude but be available. Don’t talk like a librarian! Don’t be heavy handed. Have authentic interactions. Don’t exhort everyone to “come to the library” on every post. You need to build your street cred.

Monitor blogs and forums and offer help and information.

Aaron featured Hennepin Public Library’s Bookspace, which offers one-stop shopping for avid readers. Readers are discussing their love of reading with each other. They can sign up for a newsletter. People can create book lists similar to the ones on Amazon. There is book club and audio book information. There are links to research books and authors. Featured lists, book events, new titles, etc. are included.

Aaron’s point: Readers are featured here instead of being faceless and nameless. This is a way to drive traffic to the site. Input is allowed from anybody anywhere.

List your staff as experts in free expert finding tools such as Allexperts.com, Ziki, Illumio, Qunu, Yedda, FAQQLY, Otavo, Yahoo Answers, or Ask Meta. Since these sites offer payment for correct answers, it could be a revenue stream for the library.

Slam the Boards is held on the 10th of every month. Librarians jump on the sites listed in the paragraph above, answer questions, and then identify themselves and gently mention that this is what librarians provide as a free service.

Push the information on your site OUT!
Invest in newsletter software or use free Open Source software. You can get email addresses from your ILS if you have had the foresight to specify that the library can send promotional emails in the user agreement your cardholders sign when they apply for a card. Send updates periodically but don’t spam. Only send news out once a week or once a month, not every day. Offer a way for users to specify the frequency for these updates and to opt out.

Get an entry on Wikipedia. Promote free wifi, reference service, and programs. Some libraries attempting to do this have been contacted by Wikipedia monitors and asked to remove the promotional content.

Make sure you have a short URL that people can remember. Register variants of your URL including a variety of domains such as .com, .org, .net, etc.

Instant messaging should be a primary form of communication. It's free, easy and therefore has a huge rate of return. Choose a fun screen name and advertise it.

Text messaging: Cellphones and SMS continue to grow. Offer both circulation and reference information via SMS. Distribute hold announcements and overdue notices via SMS. There’s software for this.

Text a Librarian combines instant messaging and SMS into one web-based monitoring system that allows for queues. Can have 20 people monitoring one screen name. Can form text messaging and IM cooperatives with other libraries similar to the Ask a Librarian service.

Twitter - Use this microblogging service for short informational messages. Be clear about what you’re sending out -- book recommendations and program announcements, for example. Casa Grande Public Library is using Twitter very effectively.

Second Life: Aaron isn't a fan. He says it's a huge time sink. There are many more things you can do that offer more bang for the buck.

Be tech leaders in your community!

Contact information:
Aaron Schmidt
AIM address: xxagentcooperxx

Sarah Houghton-Jan

2.0 Learning and 1.8 Users: Bridging the Gap

This session was presented Rudy Leon, who is the Learning Commons Librarian at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Colleen Harris, a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Myths about College Students
  • All students are skilled online searchers
  • They are at ease with new gadgets
  • They are always connected
  • Students are effective multi-taskers
  • They require constant stimulation
  • They must be entertained
  • They learn by doing
In reality, our generation is the one that doesn’t read the manual and is cyber-connected.

Myth Busting

Student do use the stuff, but in a dummy box way. They don’t understand the information environment. For example, they don’t know the difference between Google and the library. They don’t understand how Google works. They don’t have a mental map and don’t realize the tools they are using. We have to build the mental map for them.

Student don't have transferable skills. They can’t remember resources or apply research skills learned in previous classes.

The Digital Divide Is Alive and Well


Only 61.8% of U.S. homes have computers, while 99% of U.S. schools have computers. Newer schools have newer equipment and software while older schools have older machines and students are trained by drills.

  • 83% of those with a household income of $75,000+ have a computer at home.
  • 62% of households with an income of $25,000-35,000 own a computer.
  • 31% of households with an income under $15,000 own a computer.

Persistent Effects

In colleges, the expectation is that everything will be done online. Course syllabis, corrections to those syllabis, term papers, wikis, class work, etc. However, there is little training in the use of these technologies. “Welcome to Blackboard. Click on what you want.”

Statistics issued by the National Science Board indicate computer science BAs show racial issues. More Caucasians and Asians, fewer blacks and Hispanics.

Faculty Issues
  • What faculty know (or don’t) - Chicken burrito syndrome - focused on one type of research style, which is what they and their predecessors did
  • Belief about students: they’ll figure it out. Sink or swim! But students need context just like everyone else. We need to break professors of this belief. Get students away from using technology as equipment. They need to build their skill set.
  • Equipment - Teaching faculty to fish
  • Challenges - Faculty II
  • Faculty not highly trained in teaching, but they’re hostile to the implication.
  • Tech training is also Educational Tech training. Who does it? How do we discuss tech as teaching? How can we implement these technologies as educational technologies?
  • We can make a huge difference on campuses by sharing our skill and love of technology as a tool.
  • If we spend the time upfront, we won’t have to spend a ton later on working with students.
  • Getting Faculty on Board
  • Owning our own expertise - don’t think profs know everything. They’re experts about their subjects. We know about organizing and accessing information. We need to evangelize about this expertise.
  • Competitive processes for course development. Faculty seminars and workshops to improve their courses. An exemplary one is a 3-day session with lots of one-on-one time with librarians. Free lunches and a stipend are offered.
  • Getting out there to make connections. Embedded librarian programs with librarians as part of departments. Coffee works wonders. Make a personal connection. Let faculty see you as an intelligent person.
  • Faculty attend class instruction with their class. Single most useful tool ever! Ensures students show up and prof. is trained, too. Afterwards, when prof. is raving, say “I’ve got more!” Word of mouth starts working for you. Especially effective if you’re a good instructor.
  • Leveraging reaccreditation processes. Get on committees and inject yourself and technology and the library into future programs. Best way to force people to deal with it: It’s part of the university’s curriculum.

Campus IT
  • What they do - emergency hardware folks at some institutions.
  • Scarce resources - campus ref. libns. and liaison libns. take on some tech. roles
  • Kittens and beer - free software requires upkeep and hours to develop and to keep functional. Otherwise library tab in Blackboard will result in broken links.
  • Multiple models: Who trains? Why? Why librarians? Figure out model and where libns. fit in. We’re at a unique nexus of faculty, students, and technology.

Learning Spaces
  • Safe learning spaces - students can experiment and fail without consequences
  • How-to strategies for engaging students/faculty
  • Workshops aren’t intimidating when librarians conduct them for students. It's the professors who are intimidating.
  • Make equipment available - check out laptops, cameras, etc. for student work.
  • Actionable assignments such as creating a documentary, shooting and writing a photojournalism essay using the library's equipment.
  • Partnerships on campus: integrate yourself. Go out to lunch with support staff. Build bridges.

Moving Forward: Learning Spaces
  • Libraries are safe learning spaces.
  • Tech is fun and libraries are for learning.
  • Promote critical thinking and mental maps.
  • “Ripped from the headlines” night sponsored by the library. Ask professors to discuss news stories with students. Not a lecture opportunity. Invite media folks to discuss coverage. Learning is not tied to a discipline. Professors will like getting off the beaten path and having contact with their peers from other departments.
  • Movie night
  • Game night
  • Building the Bridge

  • Create a service to build student and faculty skills.
  • Realize that gadgets support learning.
  • We decide what must be; we’re the grown-ups. Students want Cliffs Notes, MTV and to buy their tests. They don’t always know what they need.
  • Space and structure for play are needed.
  • We need to exercise more skepticism about the assumptions we hear regarding student mastery of media.

Colleen S. Harris
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Rudy Leon
University of Illnois Urbana-Champaign