Thing 11: Reflection…

After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.     Sophia Loren

Thing 11 of 23 is on (my) schedule (1 post per week) with none left undone. It’s been rewarding, albeit tough.  I’ve always been up for a challenge, but 10 blogposts later, Rudaí23 is proving a lengthy one. 😀

Lessons learned? Oh yes!

leaf vectorAbout online tools:

  • Podcasting is fun; the software out there is becoming more user friendly for this medium, and it can be put to many uses within a library. An idea to record interviews with authors, and tips for writing, which can then be posted on the library website, is one of my favourites.
  • Curation tools are vital for organising stuff that comes to your notice as you happen along the information highway. Pinterest is so popular, but can be used for education and professional curation. I’ve gone on to use Storify more than once, now, as I endeavour to keep a record of my volunteering days at the museum library.
  • Screencasting is harder to execute than it looks, but a really effective teaching tool. It was an exercise in perseverance, but Screencast-o-matic made it less stressful.
  • Live streaming is not for the faint-hearted. The fact that one is broadcasting live to the world can cause a nervous sweat if you’re not the confident extrovert. But it was thrilling to receive comments and see the interaction with the video for 24 hours afterwards. Periscope, YouTube and Facebook are making it possible for us to share things in real time.  Not always attractive, but interesting nonetheless.  Last, but not least…an online (live) tool is best used when you have more-than-a-vague idea of how it works… and … REMAIN calm!  😀

leaf vectorAbout myself:

  • The urge to try out these tools has always been there for me, but being pressed to do so and to blog about it, according to a schedule, has been a challenge.
  • When given the option to take an easier route, like, say, watching a live broadcast and not necessarily recording one, I go for the more difficult option. 😮
  • I try!  Although not perfect, the satisfaction and experience gained, is immense.
  • Searching for information on each topic has led me to some interesting articles and websites, for which I am so much the richer.
  • Balancing the course with everyday demands and routines has not always been easy. Once or twice I’ve considered throwing in the towel.  Fortunately, online learning taught me to persevere…every day is a new opportunity to think ahead, plan, focus anew.
  • I’m especially grateful for the encouragement from loved ones.  🙂

The secret of concentration is the secret of self-discovery. You reach inside yourself to discover your personal resources, and what it takes to match them to the challenge.       Arnold Palmer

Overall, I am glad that I embarked on this course. I admit that I can’t wait to complete it for some extra time on my hands. That said, I also look forward to new learning opportunities in the next few ‘things’.

If you’re following this blog, thank you!  I hope that it challenges you to try out new things too.

When we lose our fear of making a mistake, looking foolish, or appearing ignorant, we can step out into the unknown to discover and gather experiences that can turn into golden-nugget-memories.                                                                                                                LibSandy

Curly vector 2png

Speaking of technology… I stumbled upon this, shared by Stephen’s Lighthouse: 17 ways technology will change our lives by 2050.

Hope you all have a great week.  I’m off to start thinking and researching about conferences for next week’s blog entry.

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Featured ImageThe lonely woman by Johan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Thing 10 – Live streaming is interesting but not always pretty…

Periscope

PERISCOPE  by Ognjen Odobasic on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The idea of broadcasting live is probably intimidating to most.  Then there are those special types, who are confident and know just how, what and when …and then you get those who throw caution to the wind and decide … what the heck…I’m going to give this a bash.  smiley_026   Yesterday I fell into the latter category, I’m afraid, to meet my commitment to Rudai23, Thing 10.

At first I was only going to watch a live event and write about it.  But then I decided first-hand experience is probably best.  Since it is summer in Doha and many are on long leave, there’s not much happening in the library world to live broadcast.  So I decided to record a tour of the Museum of Islamic Art’s library, where I volunteer.  It was an experience I shan’t forget.

I chose Twitter’s Periscope app because I felt that having the video disappear after 24 hours is probably not a bad idea…for me. 😀  But I understand how some people, wanting a longer effect from their effort, would rather go for Facebook Live, where the video is then placed on the person’s (or page’s) timeline. I had thought of what to say beforehand, so that I could concentrate on my camera skills, to ensure I don’t make the potential viewers quite dizzy in the head. When it came to being ready to press the ‘go live’ button…I found to my horror that it had already gone live a few seconds ago.  I must have inadvertently pressed the button while trying to type the video’s title in the strong wind, because I was outdoors for a courtyard-view of the city.  That totally threw me, and I lost the thread of my ‘script’…I did the tour, ended it, only to view it and find that I had, after all, made everyone dizzy.

 see no evil

{I knew I’d get to use that little guy somewhere this week… 🙂  }

Given the option to delete, I never thought twice and got rid of the offending piece; I decided it was a practice run… let’s do the real thing. *laughs out loud*  The 2nd time was slightly better, but the near 40 degrees / 80% humidity outside made me thoroughly hot and bothered (not a good move, but wanted to show the awesome view), while the stress of the actual task made me breathless.  :p  While recording, concentrating on filming and using the right words simultaneously helped me to forget that this was ‘live’. Only once it came to the end and I had to wrap up, did I again get that “OMG! This is live” sensation, and although I’d practised an opening and a closing, the words escaped me and, well, yes…you get what you get.  LOL.

One it was posted ‘out there’, I noticed that there were live viewers and even a few comments. 😀

It was quite thrilling in the end, and I can imagine that if it is a skill one could hone, it could really be fun to use in a library situation, to engage more with the community.

It’s a great way of reaching out to users to promote a special service or event happening in the library.  Different librarians could share the task of promoting the same event to make it even more interesting. The library’s Instagram or Twitter account could advertise the live broadcast beforehand.  Also, it must be useful to be able to share live events with folk who cannot attend. The importance would then be to alert everyone of the intention to broadcast, beforehand, so that they can make plans to fit the viewing into their schedule.  It is obvious why marketers would use this method of reaching potential customers. I’ve since discovered that the Periscope subscriber can decide to choose (in the settings) whether to delete in 24 hours or not, so that is an option.

An article comparing Periscope, Facebook live and YouTube Mobile Live was helpful with planning.  Facebook live was in the news a lot just recently with a tragic incident in the USA being broadcast live. There has been a lot of debate on the pros and cons following that incident. Mediashift investigates its uses, and touches on some of the controversy in its article Facebook Live Grew Up Quickly. Here’s How Broadcasters Are Jumping In. Facebook also recently increased the time period of live streaming to four hours. This article explains.

I’d love to know your thoughts on live broadcasting.  🙂  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Next, moving on to Thing 11…another reflection post.  Woohoo! I’m progressing.

Running track

Image by PhotoKanok on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

Gif smiley image from GifAnimations.com

Thing 9: Screencast video

Sssshhhh screencasting

Shhhh by Betsy Weber  on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Oh gosh!! Rudaí23 Thing 9 was a particular challenge.  As one of those individuals who seeks tutorials on YouTube for much, I am especially appreciative of the amazing folk who take the time to teach others – even the most basic concepts of computing are needed by some.  Because this is something that I imagined I would enjoy doing, I’ve always wanted to try a screencast (audio visual recording of a process on the screen) to see how it is done.

Little did I imagine how tricky!  What I thought would take 3 mins, actually took +- 9. Apart from the fact that I once again had to listen to my own voice over and over (and over, and over…. does this give a hint of how many times I discarded and restarted…? :/ ), each time I began recording either the doorbell rang, the dog barked, or the A/C rattled in the background, until I was totally exasperated. What’s the saying…

Keep calm and carry on

Anyway…after 3, or was it 4? hours, I decided I was going to do the very last take. EVER!
Apart from the frog in the throat, and the mixed up vocab, I decided to use it, and here it is Rudaí23…my effort at screencasting. LOL!

onenote app for iphone

 

 

Opening a new Notebook in MS OneNote 

by

LibSandy

 

I used Screencast-o-matic, which was really user friendly.  I downloaded the audio file onto my PC, which I then uploaded into my YouTube channel (can’t believe I have succumbed to opening a YouTube channel! 😉 ). I decided to tackle annotations, because living in an environment where most use English as a second language, I know how important it is to get the message across clearly. I was totally amused at some of the auto annotations; it gave me a much-needed giggle.  After roughly 30 mins of editing the annotations were acceptable.

Once I had calmed down and published the video, I began to realise, once again, just how valuable a tool this is. Visual and auditory learners benefit much from this form of learning, and if it were incorporated more into teaching it might serve a dual purpose and make the teacher less…ho-hum. This article says it all.

Of course, if there are teacher librarians having a week like mine, where they struggle to meet the demands of domestic bliss with professional devoir, let alone development, this is the go-to tool, isn’t it?

screencast infographic

Narrated slide show = Screencast by Wesley Fryer  on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A ready store of these in hand, on any given topic  is just the thing (yes, it would take time to put together – say over the year you do one every so often). In a really fraught week you could pop one on for that 20 min time slot that you are allocated to try and impart some media literacy into the always-tired-not-another-library-lesson minds. Or what about those times when the class pours in and the teacher goes…”Didn’t I book this with you? I was sure I had.” (Yeah, right!)  Librarian to the rescue…(remember above meme)…librarians are never supposed to show botheration.

I guess the more you do this kind of thing, the easier it would get.  I did write the script beforehand, but it’s hard to read while working your mouse over the screen.  That means you’ve got to know your subject and be sure of where to move the cursor, what to show and what to say. Oh, and hopefully you have a speedy internet service if you’re going to hop between windows and websites. It must be soul-destroying with a slow connection, and then having to edit out all the dead sections.  Another tip: get your vocab sorted. 🙂  No stepping into the pitfall of using one term for a thing, and then another for the same thing further on. (I think I was guilty here…but hoping whoever would want to use my video will get the idea. Lol.)

The totally awesome Kathy Schrock has penned this great article – Screencasting and Screen Recording in the Classroom.  I couldn’t explore all the links, since I just didn’t have the time, but the one on “It’s like writing a play” (also from the TechSmith blog) is spot on!  I just need WAY more practice. Challenge accepted!   This method of demonstrating can be used to great effect in all libraries – screencasts linked to the website or embedded in Libguides to show users how to negotiate the catalogue, or how to access various databases, for instance. Any experienced librarians out there that can tell me how they use screencasting? I’d love you to leave a comment below.

For an example of good screencasting I found this:  how to find Creative Commons images with Google. The video is dated 2011, but the info is valuable.

Thanks for stopping by folks.  Thing 10 is coming up and I find myself looking for that monkey emoticon …

see no evil

Till next time. Cheers.

Meme created with ImgFlip Meme Generator
OneNote image via Flickr by Alan Parkinson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thing 8: Content curation

(c) S Brandt
The Curating Tree | S Brandt

Thing 8 requires us to work through one or more of a few popular web curation tools. Librarians are natural curators.  We love to organise things.  In the image above, the kiddies corner of the museum library hosts this ‘book review tree’, where the children’s book reviews are placed on display.  It’s easy to curate tangible things.  We do it all the time. Socks in their own drawer, books on a shelf, bank documents in a folder, garden tools in a shed, table cutlery all in one place.

So what do we do with the info we gather from the internet? How do we store the interesting articles, funny cat videos, beautiful images, the jokes, the stories that we encounter as we surf, read or research on the web? Enter web curation tools.

A few years ago I subscribed to Scoop.it, but consistently forgot to “scoop”.  :p (I recently deactivated that account, since I just don’t get to it at all.)  A  while later I enrolled on a webinar titled ‘Using Pinterest to be a better teacher‘ presented by Shannon Holden, via Newteacherhelp.com.  Having heard of Pinterest and how its users were waxing lyrical about what they found there, I was inquisitive when I saw that it could be called a teaching tool.  I subscribed, watched the webinar and was sold on the idea. Pinning, re-pinning and searching for content, friends or like-minded professionals is easy; content display is visually attractive and wow, do you get ideas from Pinterest!

File 2016-07-12, 6 44 02 PM

 

An image of my Pinterest profile page on iPad. With only 311 pins, I am in no way a serious pinner.  I have seen some accounts that run into the thousands of pins. 😀

 

I recall going into the school library one day, where I was an intern.  The librarian had called in sick and had left no instructions.  It was the first day of the week, and the display boards needed a theme…my first thought was “to Pinterest!”.  Sure enough, after searching ‘middle school library displays’, I was presented with a host of ideas and found one that the library assistant and I could put together in the 30 minutes before the first library lesson. File 2016-07-12, 6 43 22 PM

 

Here is an image of that display idea via Pinterest.                                (c) S Brandt

 

Of course, unless you don’t mind it, the downside with these sites is the amount of time (that elusive commodity once again) that one can potentially spend in browsing through curated content.  On Pinterest I can simply know that for the next hour I’ll be out of this current zone and visiting in the cyber world. Actually, for this desert-expat it’s really fun to visit other travel hotspots, gardens, homes, kitchens, bookshops, closets, fashion stores, art galleries…the list is endless.

One particular successful user on Pinterest is Jeff Bullas, a social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker.  Regarding librarianship, a whole world opened up for me, of fun displays, interesting books, reading lists, library challenges, activities, worksheets, innovative spaces, makerspace ideas, and fantastically techie, awesome, librarians.

It is a reality that web-links become broken (that is, the web pages are deleted or moved).  So, although one curates, some links won’t be there when you re-visit them.  That said, the value one gets out of curating and sharing with others is truly rewarding.

Here are some cool pinterest logo tips and ideas.

 

content curation

Free image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Another one of my favorite curation tools is Storify.  A Twitterchat, for example, that has been ‘storified’ is great, because while the chat is on there is little time to read each tweet or to visit links that others might share.  The Storify makes it so much more enjoyable and it’s also accessible later on.  In thing 8’s write up, the author Christine Jordan, gives a useful step-by-step explanation on how to Storify.  Do take a look.

Here is a Storify of an #auslibchat Twitterchat, that I took part in last week, via ALIA NGAC.

Having signed up for a free Storify account, I went ahead and used it to curate some of my own tweets pertaining to my volunteering effort at the museum library.  I keep a daily record on Twitter of what I do at the museum, using the hashtag #MIALibrary.  Here is my Storify…(click on the link below the image to access the Storify).

 

Libraries can use content curation in many ways…

  • curate content to place into a library blog;
  • curate about your library’s history and development (don’t forget to MARKET THE CURATION) to engage your users;
  • curate a twitter feed, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. about displays, book reviews, book lists, clubs/services offered in the library, etc.
  • news…curate for librarians’ current awareness, to keep them up to date with new tech, new databases, professional advice, new games, etc.

And finally, libraries need to market their services, their resources, their hub.  Without knowledge of their community and their environment they could not offer a valid service.  Web content curation can help to keep the library’s stakeholders and decision makers informed of what is happening and why it’s vital to meet their users’ needs. This article from Social Media Today, provides tips to content curation for marketing purposes.

This link provides ideas for more curation tools. Let me know (below) which is your favourite.

Till ‘Thing 9’ and the topic of video recording technology.  Thanks again for stopping by.

Image credit:  Pinterest logo by Family Creative via Flickr on Creative Commons licence (BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

 

 

 

 

Rudaí 23 – Thing 7: Podcasts

Podcasting

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

What is a Podcast? Think iPod and Broadcast….you get Podcast. These are MP3  recording files that can be streamed or downloaded via the internet. Each mobile phone has a recording device, and most have a built-in app for listening to podcasts, such as the Podcasts app which is default on all iPhones. There is Stitcher, for Desktop, Apple and Android systems, and software like Audacity and Soundcloud to record with.

Why are Podcasts important? According to Williams & Sawyer (2013), who wrote the book Using Information Technology, podcasts are an expression of personalised media. Today there is virtually a podcast on any topic.

A few days before I read through the Rudaí 23 Thing 7 write-up about Podcasting, I spent some time thinking about what I would do with a podcast. The idea of making one for librarians came to mind. So I was thrilled to discover the link in Thing 7’s write-up, to Steve Thomas’ Circulating Ideas podcast for librarians. 😀  What a treasure trove! Food for librarians. Here is a link to his interview with public librarians attending the PLA 2016 Conference in Denver, Colorado. Bonus: at the end of this particular episode, Steve gives a talk on the ‘how to’ of Podcasting. Thanks Steve!

Dolphin-03

I took my time about getting to Thing 7. I had decided to challenge myself and record a Podcast. But with the challenge came procrastination. Well, besides the fact that it is Eid and the entire family is at home (making it rather difficult to get any serious writing done), I don’t relish the sound of my own voice. And it’s the Tour-de-France! And Wimbledon! Aaaah, choices, time, priorities…. I know that I am going to record, re-record, RE-record…etc., so I’m trying to find the moment when it’s going to (sort of) go smoothly. 😉

Anonymous_a_man_singing

How can libraries incorporate podcasts? I’d love to hear suggestions from librarians who read this, or from anyone with great ideas. One use I thought of, was to record stories from folk in the community, and to post them on a page affiliated to the library website. These could be stories of survival, historic times, how tos (from experts), mothering, business tips, etc. Whatever the community has to offer, really. Thing 7’s writer, Emmet Keoghan, provides a link to a site that is an example of this. Personally, I’m sad that I did not think of recording my parents when they spoke of days gone by in the town where I grew up, or of their young days. These are stories that belong to the community really; conversations that we should foster. In current times we are connected by various devices and apps, but we are often disconnected from each other. Libraries can bring a whole community together, building a sense of belonging.

“To be a librarian is not to be neutral, or passive, or waiting for a question. It is to be a radical positive change agent within your community.”

R. David Lankes

In libraries they can be used for book reviews, author interviews, guides to using sources, and I’m sure much more. Here is a site with ideas for podcasting aimed at teachers, but since librarians can be seen as teachers/facilitators, we can use and adapt these suggestions too.

Podcasts are great for commuting. Plug in the headset and engage your mind while you drive, ride the bus or train. Here is a site I found for 6 Career-boosting Podcasts To Listen To, or how about 51 Smart Podcasts That Will Make Your Commute Way Better. My all-time favourite list that I discovered while doing an online course is the College InfoGeek’s 21 Educational Podcasts that’ll make you smarter.   Ooooh, and this…

13 Podcasts...

Remember to subscribe to your favourite podcast by way of the RSS feed.

RSS
RSS feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jin Tan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Overdrive, the popular provider for e-books and audio books to public libraries and schools have a podcast blog, Professional Book Nerds, where they discuss new books, interview authors and do book recommendations.

I also found myself wondering about the legal side of things and discovered an article from creative commons.org, the Podcast Legal Guide.

And so, to my (8 minute) contribution folks. (Umm, please forgive the hiccups during the reading. 🙂 )  I read an excerpt from one of my favourite authors (on librarianship) – R David Lankes‘ book for librarians and their communities, called…

Expect More by David Lankes

              Image from Goodreads.com

It was hard to choose which excerpt to read from.  I chose a section about ‘walled gardens’ (he uses a classic example – Facebook) from Chapter 5, and then a piece about librarians from Chapter 7. 🙂 Thank you David, for permission to read.

I actually found a great App for the iPhone, called OPINION.  Super easy to download and use.  It also allows simple editing of a recording.  I uploaded my recording really fast to my Dropbox account, and from there I uploaded it to my Soundcloud account. Voila!

Hoping you’re inspired to search out some podcasts, or to get PODCASTING!

My thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Have a great day.

Clipart of person recording from http://publicdomainvectors.org/en/public-domain/
Dolphin clapping gif from gifanimations.com (public domain)

Reference sources

Lankes, R. David. 2012. Expect more: demanding better libraries for today's complex world. https://rilandpub.wordpress.com/

Williams, BK & Sawyer, SC. 2013. Using information technology: a practical introduction to computers & communications. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Thing 6: Reflections thus far – Rudai23

Reading blogs this last month has been fun. Usually I’ll tell myself that I don’t have time, but after beginning Rudai23  I’ve made time, and in so doing I’ve proven to myself that I can, after all, spend time reading people’s blogs and not just techie sites and the news. It has been an entertaining, insightful, educational and sometimes emotional experience.

officeconference-room-workspace-picjumbo-com
Office desk (Public domain image from Picjumbo)

I summoned up the courage to comment on some blogs, even if it was just to thank them for sharing. It’s amazing how eloquent some folk are, and how willingly they share professional advice.  I have also begun to follow a few more librarians’ blogs, managed to gain 3 followers to mine and have responded to one very kind comment on one of my posts, for which I was very grateful.

 

Keeping a diary for years, where I only wrote for my personal reflection and for therapeutic reasons was, to me, a safe option.  pen_&_paper_1

Now, blogging for public view I find to be quite daunting.  My efforts left me feeling as if I’d written a few university assignments, actually. :p  I know I’m not a natural writer, so it takes many drafts before I’m satisfied enough (well sort of) to publish a post.

computer_face

Fortunately, completing the Copyright course through ALIA, just as I began with 23 Things, proved to be fortuitous, in that using images from online sources was less scary as I was able to search for permissible ones, understand the licences more thoroughly, and cite them correctly.

Working with WordPress has been a mission of sorts.  I realise that I should do a few tutorials, even though I’ve used it for a couple of years already, but time is so limited. So I plod on and hold thumbs that the post looks decent when I’m done.  I’ve pulled my hair out trying to tweak the appearance of the blog.  Perhaps it’s me, or (at the risk of sounding as if I’m blaming my tools) it could be my old laptop, but I find WordPress doesn’t always ‘play along’ and do what I think it should.  Grrrr!

Because I have  been very interested in online tools over the last few years, and have been using a few of them for just as long, a lot of the first few Things’ content was not new to me.  But even so, there were aspects that I learned for the first time, like muting a twitter hashtag or account, or  how to use a Twitter chat app.  I explored Google more fully, and opened a G+ account and began to use Google calendar.  I discovered that one can make a professional URL on LinkedIn, and I appreciated the tips for a professional LinkedIn profile.  Facebook was a challenge since I have a personal dislike for the service, but I propose to use it to my advantage this time round. And now, after exploring the site and all the settings, at least I know that if I were asked by a member of the public for help in setting up an account, I would be confident to do so. happy_2

The module on personal branding, Thing 3, was fun to engage with, but I have felt uncomfortable with placing emphasis on myself.  The write-ups for each Thing are about my experiences, and so invariably the content has too many ‘I’s.  However, I am eager to build a professional brand as I believe it contributes positively to one’s chances for employment…so here’s to brands. 😀

beautiful-peacock-portrait-picjumbo-com
Peacock  (Public domain image from Picjumbo)

These are my reflections until this point.  I look forward to continuing and learning more about online tools. If you’re doing the Rudai 23 Things course, please be sure to connect with me on Twitter, using #2016Rudai23. Alternatively, leave a message here.

Cheers!

Clipart from Clipartheaven.com, with thanks. 🙂