Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Thing 17: Prezi and Slideshare

OK I'm going to be brave. I've made a Prezi, my very first one and it's here Thing 17

It's not fantastic but I don't think it's the worse either. I found it very strange to do, however I know that Richard at work would/will help me make a better one if I should ever need to. I think my main hang up is dragging the canvas around, it's definitely out of my comfort zone, I like linear which makes Powerpoint easier for me. I do like Prezi and would like to try to use it instead of Powerpoint.

Slideshare - i've never really used this. I have been directed to them from different posts I've read and am always caught out by the fact you have to click to move the slides along. I seem to think that everything in a small box will automatically play when you click - obviously I do too much You Tube-ing.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thing 19

OK I'm going to do a run down of what i'm doing now because of participating in cpd23.
  • Blogging - I hadn't blogged before cpd23 because I didn't think I had anything interesting to say to anyone. It turns out that actually some people have read it and that I'm not as bothered about how many people read it (or not) as I thought I would be. I'm finding it a very useful tool to record my thoughts. My Senior Librarian has asked if we can use a blog to share information between the LRC staff. Although I haven't looked into this yet, it sounds like a very good idea.
  • Twitter - I am trying to Tweet more, I rediscovered my Twitter account in the summer after attending the CoFHe Conference and I am checking it everyday but not necessarily posting anything. I've also started favouriting things I think would be useful to go back to in the future.
  • Reflective practice - primarily driven by the fact i'm doing my Chartership. I know it is good practice and am trying to do it more in the workplace to help make the service better.
  • LinkedIn - I joined this a few weeks ago and have sporadically dipped in and out of it since. I really like the LinkedIn Today feature, I've joined some groups but not yet participated in any discussions.
  • Google Calendar - I'm still not using it, as I have Outlook at work and an electronic calendar on my phone. I've ditched the paper based diaries though and think I need an iPhone now. My phone is old and doesn't do apps - iPhone 5 possibly in October, my birthday in November.....
  • Google docs - I've started to use this to help virtualise myself! I am using it for back up of personal docs, I probably won't use it at work as I don't have any need to.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Thing 18 Jing / Screen capture / Podcasting

Screen capture - A few years ago I read an article about screencasting and thought it a great idea. I asked our e-learning manager if we had any tools to do them with, as I thought we should give it a go. She pointed me in the direction of ActivStudio, which is the software we used with our interactive whiteboards and Audacity. I set about making a screencast about how to log onto Athens.

The screen capture bit was very straightforward, the voice over part wasn't. Audacity is easy enough to use but what to say wasn't and the timing proved awkward. It was decided that we needed a script, so that was written and then we watched the video through to see what needed to be said where. Once we had got this sorted out, we recorded the voice over. Nerves got the better of me, so some bits had to be recorded more than once in order to take out me tripping over my words or just completely forgetting what to say, even though I had it in front of me!

Finally we managed to get it quite good, even if I hated my voice over, and in fact compared to other screencasts I'd seen at the time, I thought we made a very good job of it. Things have moved on since then and we now have Camtasia. And thankfully I don't have to do voice overs anymore, as our ILT Advisor has a great voice for them.

Podcasting - technically this is something I have never done. However I have recorded myself in an interview situation with an mp3 recorder, which is what I would have used if I was making podcasts. Again this is something I don't do because the ILT Advisor has the right voice. However I was involved with the content of the podcasts. Again we scripted what needed to be said before recording it, to try to make the recording as smooth as possible. This, along with the need for recording in a quiet room, is probably the most useful advise I would pass along to others trying these out for the first time. The actual using of the software seems to be the easy part, it is what to say and how fast / slow, script it out first and The Book Gryphon is right, speak much slower than you would normally otherwise the demonstrations will be too fast.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Thing 16: Advocacy

This is becoming an increasingly important part of my work, not only promoting to staff and learners at Middlesbrough College but also outside the College to help raise the profile of both the LRC and the College. It is very important that we can evidence what we do and how well we do it, in order to demonstrate the value of the services and the sterling work that the LRC staff do.

I have for a long time been advocating within the College what we do, now increasingly I am sharing this good practice with external partners and more recently with other librarians at the LibTeachMeet I went to. My next formal opportunity to do this is the Mini Umbrella presentation i'm doing.

Much of the advocacy recently has been about strengthening curriculum liaison links, this will continue in the new academic year. This involves 5-6 Learning Resources staff presenting to the College directorates to inform them about the services the Learning Resources department offer and to try to get their feedback about what we offer and how they think we can improve. Although our traditional services are mentioned, we are very keen to advocate the new technologies we use or services that lecturers may not associate with us such as the assignment submission service we offer. 

Last year's were hugely successful, there was an increase in demand for the e-learning equipment, the assignment submissions service nearly doubled and e-book usage continued to increase. These services we knew were fantastic, however we didn't know if everyone was aware of them, so we wanted to give them some publicity. This year we will build on this success and advocate what is new and exciting in the LRC like our fabulous 3D interactive library tour.