Thing 22: Mobile Things

“…did you know that in just one hour mobile users will have carried out 68 million searches on Google, generated $3 million worth of ad revenue from Google ads, and made 8 million purchases through their devices with Paypal? In the same time mobile users open 2 billion emails, send 1 billion WhatsApp messages and 768 million text messages, while 29 million will have accessed Facebook .”                                                                    (Dealsunny.com 2016).

The use of smart phones and other mobile technology for seeking information is growing. To illustrate, take a look at this real time graphic  on mobile usage statistics shared on Stephen’s Lighthouse blog, from Dealsunny.com. 😮  It will blow your mind.

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world.”

“More than half of smartphone owners have used their phone to get health information, do online banking.”                                                          (Pewinternet.org 2015)

The above quotes are from a 2015 Pew Internet Research study of American smartphone usage.  I would confidently say that the trend may be global.  This book review provides a look at new research on children’s and adolescents‘ info behaviour.  And in developing countries smartphone usage is rising rapidly, increasingly being used to access information, especially health-related information.

mobile-phone

Public Domain Image by Olu Eletu via Unsplash.com

As librarians we need to be on top of our game as far as mobile apps are concerned.  We should not only be seen to be using them, but we should be able to confidently teach people how to use the popular ones.  It is therefore important for us to remain abreast as best we can.  Articles such as this one I saw shared on Facebook a few days ago – Librarian Approved: 30 Ed-Tech Apps to Inspire Creativity and Creation – are a huge help.

After reading Rudaí23 Thing 22, by Wayne Gibbons, I was interested in finding out about the Gum app, since I had not heard of it before.  It was quick to locate on the App Store, simple to activate, and really user-friendly. I scanned the barcode of one of my favourite textbooks, and left my first comment, or ‘gum‘.

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Looking at their website, they’ve used a clever marketing strategy…alliteration…  “conversations on comics”, “poems on products” and “notes on novels”.  😀  That says it all.  The  potential for library users’ to converse about books internationally, right there on Gum, is huge. This article from a blog ‘The Library Voice’, shows how it was used successfully within a library situation. (Thanks to the author of Thing 22 for sharing this link.)

Gum is a super user-friendly, free app. There is no need to first enter an email address and create a password or user account.  It loads, requests access to the phone camera, and you get scanning.  To leave a ‘gum’ the app asks to create a user name. Once you create your comment, you ‘stick’ your ‘gum’, and it appears on your ‘wall’.  Gums can be managed, edited, deleted, and products unfollowed.  Apparently new gums on the same products create an ‘alarm’ that rings on your phone.

If we were to promote this app by means of posters in the library, or even face-to-face, it could really take off within a library community or reading club.  The apps for Goodreads and LibraryThing etc., are fantastic, but a user account is required. Also, Gum is not restricted to books only, so we can get info on popular household products, food items, PC games, tech tools and more.  There is a 12+ age restriction to the app, because, besides the user T & Cs,  there is little control of who posts what. So teachers beware.  However, there is a reporting tool, that, when activated, opens a ready-to-send email, guiding you on specific info sought regarding the product or comment.

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Another app that I personally enjoy is Adobe Spark Video. It is one of the trio belonging to Adobe Spark – Spark Post, Spark Page and Spark Video.  Admittedly, it is only available on Apple products, (sorry Android users …) but oh my!…it has never been easier to quickly create interesting presentations, lesson aides, info slides, portfolios and more. *shows thumbs up* 😀

What better way to use that old iPad or tablet, lying around in the library…set it up as an info display.  iPads are increasingly used in classrooms worldwide; teacher librarians can utilise this app to create interesting lesson segments.  Public librarians can have presentations which they all share to guide or instruct on certain topics upon request from users. Voice-overs are easy to record, as long as you know what you want to say.  I created this presentation on Information Literacy for a MOOC that I was doing a while ago.  It is far from perfect, but was fun to make. The target audience was a year 11/12 group of school children; please, academics, be forgiving as you keep that in mind. 🙂

When you’ve tried Adobe Spark Video, do let me know how you feel about it via the comment box below. Most of all, have fun. 🙂

I am super excited to know that I’m on Thing 23 of 23 Things next week.  Woohoo!! Really looking forward to ‘Making it all work together‘.  Until then, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

hourglass_4

Featured image by Frederic Koberl via Unsplash.com (Public domain)
Clipart used from clipart.com

 

 

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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)