Wright State University is now providing students with sound-proof spaces for podcasting. This is clearly a trend to watch!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This week was pretty productive, technically speaking. I did a Cyber 6 Pack workshop with some school library media specialists, and made lots of notes about how I need to adjust the presentation as I forge ahead. But in other news, we discovered that we might have problems giving wireless access to a local school participating in a 1:1 laptop program (Macs!).
Our crack IT teams are exploring the issue and will try to isolate the problem. Even though this school isn't in our service area, the kids with the laptops use our libraries. I think it's vital to provide all users with a great experience to the best extent possible, so the outcome of this situation is important to me. Plus, when we have users bringing in their own laptops it greatly eases the demand for our desktops - resulting in more access for all patrons. It's a win - win.
Another awesome thing I saw this week was a recording studio in a NZ library. I have agreed with colleagues for some time that what we need is a sort of library "gadget lab," where users can come in and explore new technology and find out what it's all about. If it doubled as a recording studio for video and audio, all the better! We are doing more and more podcasting and vidcasting so a room like this would help us as well as patrons. It's called Beatbooth, and lots of users are flocking to its affordable hourly rates and cool library location. You couldn't wedge a 5 piece band in there, but it's got a keyboard, mic, and Mac. Awesome :)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tonight I think I hit a tipping point: I decided I'd rather watch a TED talk online than channel surf after class... that's a huge content choice that indicates, for the first time, that television and streaming video are equal choices in my world. *applause for the 21st century girl*
And this is what I watched:
I am going to recommend this to everyone when I start giving Creative Commons workshops (already have one group of librarians interested, woot woot!). It's too long to share during a session since we usually have such a short time together, but it will be good "homework."
What struck me as I watched it was the connection between the message we send to students and the standards we then hold them to... lots of educators (and I include myself here) say to students "oh, we can use (this video, this article, this picture, this music) and it doesn't matter, we're not making any money, it's for SCHOOL." And I'm afraid all they're hearing is the sound of the teacher in Charlie Brown (wah wuh wah wuuuh wanh) and "it doesn't matter." The rogue librarians or teachers who emphasize the importance of copyright are treated as pariahs who are just totally out of touch.
Then when it comes time to create a works cited page for their term papers, we wonder how they became such flagrant plagiarists. Oh, the morality!!!
Creative Commons gives us a wonderful parallel road to travel and an awesome model to emulate. The most common license I see used is the "non-commercial/attribution" which, in a sense, is the one we have been presuming exists in our classrooms and libraries all along. And what a wonderful thing for students to hear over and over: "We're not making any money here, and we just need to give credit where credit's due."
Now that's a term paper I can't wait to read ;)
Today I tried to imagine how Rollyo could revolutionize our library practice. Here's what I came up with:
Would you like an easier way to find county school information? Try my new Rollyo search! I took all our individual school websites and “rolled” them into one customized search: http://www.rollyo.com/erindowney/joco_schools/
This is but one of the awesome tools we learned about in the Internet@Schools sessions. I can see recommending this tool to patrons who need the “right” information rather than a Google search dump… especially for homework. Help kids pick a handful of trusted and authoritative sites, and they can roll their own search engine that gives them very specific results.
If we don't like to rely on Google, now we have an alternative. Of course, this means adding an extra step and selecting sites in which we place authority. That means that we need to have a better sense of what's out there to use on the web. And again, more librarian job security to the rescue ;)
Sunday, November 4, 2007
One of the most frustrating things about finishing an article is looking around the world of information and seeing all the awesome things you could add. I have been collecting examples, anecdotes, and tools from the web for ages and every day there are still more. Fortunately, this latest article (on how we adapted a patron class to the education environment) is due soon, and I can dive further in to advertising said class to more patrons. I'd much rather conduct a few experimental versions of a new class and then perfect it afterwards, but I totally understand that from the patron side that nobody likes being a guinea pig ;) I hope that after learning 6 new 2.0 tools in an hour or so, participants will want to go on and create localized cohorts that will experiment together in a more in-depth process like 23 Things or 5 Weeks to a Social Library.
I hope to make some super short Adobe Breeze-style presentations using Camtasia to advertise two of our services to start with: homework help and the Cyber 6 Pack 4 Educators workshop. From there, I want to try and forward these to key people in school districts that can show the presentations in front of large audiences... like department meetings, PTA meetings, and maybe even post them on web pages. I want to create a compact, powerful message that can travel widely and be seen in less than 2 minutes (considering this an asynchronous version of my various "elevator" speeches). More to the point, I want to spend less time personally talking up these sorts of services and spend more time actually delivering said service to patrons. I will be sure and post a follow-up on this topic letting you know how it works.