Blogs, podcasts, wikis, webcomics, and social networks are just a few of the ingredients of today's technology-rich programs. This session explores a dozen key technologies along with important issues and practical strategies for their use. How will you "spice up" your program with emerging technology?
Programmatic Reasons for Technology
It's easy to get caught up in the "coolness" of technology, so it's essential that we step back and look at programmatic reasons for infusing technology. Let's explore two questions you might be facing:
- How can technology help us address specific needs?
- In what ways, can technology generate interest and enthusiasm in our programs?
Recipes for Success: Specific Technologies for Specific Needs
Have you noticed how many things have changed with the introduction of technology? Let's say you need to create a dessert for a luncheon. Instead of heading to your recipe book, you might use AllRecipes.com and take photos of your results to share on Flickr. Consider how these same technologies are impacting your program.
Begin by determining the needs...
- Am I meeting the needs of today's children, college students, and/or adult patrons?
- How can technology be used to address the needs of today's citizen?
- Can I recruit new readers, thinkers, or patrons through the use of technology?
- How can I use technology to engage today's technology saavy young people?
Ask Yourself: What are old services that can be eliminated? Consider:
- Cost of duplication
- Cost of print subscriptions
- Cost of personnel accessing and filing documents
Ask Yourself: How can we better promote our underused assets?
- Spotlight quality databases for specific uses - Oxford Music Online
- Seek innovative ways to integrate existing resources - LibraryThing Groups for Virtual Brown Bags
- Connect to underserved students and faculty
Ask Yourself: What are new services that can be added with little cost? Consider:
In this section of the presentation, we'll explore six specific technologies that will address specific needs.
1 - Need for Outreach
- I'd like an easy way to find out what's happening in the classroom, library, school.
- I want to stay in touch with parents who are busy and don't attend school functions.
- I want to connect with students who are too busy (lazy) to come to the library or lab.
- We have a large school, so I need a way to connect with all of my teachers.
- Use blogs for ongoing connections, news, and comments.
- very simple without many bells and whistles
- Blog Tools
Recipe for Outreach:
- Identify a purpose for the blog
- Select meaningful content
- Develop a plan for ongoing entries
- Provide opportunities to comment
- Provide incentives to interact
2 - Need for Virtual Discussions and Social Interaction
- I'm uncomfortable expressing myself in a live discussion, so I like the idea of an online book club.
- We want to start a book club, but our students can't stay after school because of bus schedules.
- It's impossible to listen to all of the discussions in classroom, so threaded discussions are a wonderful assessment tool.
- I have young children and I'm stuck at home, so I want to connect with others for informal programs.
- We're doing to a four-day school week and we'll be using virtual communication for day five.
- We use online forums for book discussions.
- Our library social network helps young families connect.
- We're using existing services for our online projects.
- Course and Content Management Systems
- Forum Tools
- use these tools to find existing groups or create your own
- Online Book Clubs
- use these tools to join or create groups
Social Networks Tools
- Diggo - social network, bookmarking, forums
- Google Sites - develop a website that includes web pages and social networking elements
- Ning - create your own social network
Recipe for Virtual Discussions and Social Interaction
- Establish goal-oriented groups
- Select existing service or create new group/network
- Coordinate meaningful activities
- Stimulate or prompt discussions
- Monitor or moderate group activities
3 - Need for Virtual Assistance and Messages
- I ride the bus, so I need to leave right after school. I need virtual assistance.
- With high gas prices, I can't afford to drive to the library.
- I'm homebound and thirst for interaction, but I can't participate in school activities.
- I've got texting on my phone, can I get my questions answered that way?
- I'd like a quick place to go for local information like weather reports, do you provide that service?
- I need help with research, can you provide some simple tools?
- Use live conferencing tools, widgets, and research tools.
- Use widgets on your library website to provide basic services
- Use texting for virtual reference assistance, announcements, and reminders
- Provide links to research tools
- We use conferencing tools for live interaction beyond the library.
Synchronous Tools (live, real-time communication) - Live Conferencing and Sharing
Use a video camera and microphone to communicate live.
Features: text, audio, video options; 2+ people; recording the event
- Live events
- Author Events - ALA Teen Read Events.
- National Events - Explore WebCasts from Library of Congress
- Multi-User Virtual Environments
- Video Conferencing
- AOL Instant Messenger - text, audio, video chat
- Elluminate - live whiteboard, audio, video, presentations
- Gizmo Project - free, closed source, peer-to-peer, Voice over IP network uses open standards technology for Internet phone.
- MeBeam - browser-based video chat
- MSN Messenger
- Selfcast - free live broadcast (audio, video, text); recording
- Skype - proprietary, closed source, peer-to-peer, Voice over IP network provides some free voice and video conferencing services.
- TokBox - live video calling
- Yahoo Messenger - text, audio, video chat
- Chat Widgets
for Virtual Reference
- Online Recommendations - Ideas as you're helping others find good materials
- Citation Tools
Recipe for Virtual Assistance and Messages
- Identify the specific needs and likely users
- Test the service on a small group
- Determine whether widgets and links work on all systems or slow down the system
4 - Need for Online Learning Opportunities
- I need to learn how to...
- I'd like step-by-step instructions for...
- I need online tutorials on the topic of...
- I'm looking for engaging interactives and games for my students.
- Text-based Tutorials
- Video-based Tutorials
- Interactives & Online Gaming
- Multi-user Games
- Planet Green - lower CO2 emissions
- BBC Games
- CBBC (BBC) Games
- Discovery Channel Games
- Planners and Calculators
- National Geographic
- Practice Environments
and Game Makers
- Simulation and Role-playing
- Create Online Learning Games
Recipe for Online Learning Opportunities
- Identify learning needs
- Select or create learning resources
- Establish an online learning environment
- Nurture online learners
5 - Need for High Quality Information Access
- I'm looking for age appropriate websites for my children.
- I'm frustrated with locating resources related to my hobby, I'd like it all in one place.
- I'm too busy (lazy) to walk to the library... I want access to resources online.
- Build and maintain subject-matter and thematic pathfinders
- Identify online periodic and news resources
- Information-Rich Interactive Learning Environments
A growing number of websites are combining the power of Web 2.0 applications with quality content and interactive learning experiences.
Identify quality starting points and websites with deep content.
- Seek enhanced web-based resources (My Moon)
- Manage bookmarks (del.icio.us - most popular)
- Social Bookmarks
Save and share your favorite URLs.
Features: shows screen shots from websites; option for notes or descriptions; allows comments or ratings; allows sharing
- Helpful Tools
- Library Tools at North Carolina State University (NCSU) - incorporate citation tools, project tools, technology tools, lending options, computer availability
- TinyURL - creates short URLs
- Pathfinders, Subject Guides, & Thematic Resources at Electronic Materials / eduScapes
- Build subject guides (Birkbeck Library Subject Guides)
- Create Pathfinders
- Create enhanced bibliographies and pathfinders. Below is an example for the book Iron Thunder.
Recipe for High Quality Information Access
- Identify popular topics
- Select interactive websites and quality starting points with Web 2.0 features and deep content.
- Develop pathfinders
- Use social bookmarks to encourage collaboration
- Incorporate RSS feeds
6 - Need for Local and Global Events, Programs, and Promotions
- We've been involved in lots of your programs, we look forward to innovative events.
- I like to feel part of something that's larger than our local community.
- I enjoye special days, weeks, and months.
- Join an existing project.
- Adapt an program.
- Create your own project.
- One Book Projects
- Collaborative Projects (maps, books, birdhouse display)
Recipe for Local and Global Events, Programs, and Promotions
- Connect with a local, regional, or global project
- Identify a local twist for a global project (one book, one community)
- Develop specific activities
- Create a shared experience (discussion or event) or environment (bulletin board)
Explore Web 2.0 resources and create your own recipes.
Look for libraries that are using Web 2.0 technology and see what works for you!
The Spice: New Technology, New Opportunities
Over the past few years, a new wave of technology known as Web 2.0 is moving people from being traditional information consumers to information contributors and creators. Let's explore some Web 2.0 tools that help consumers become creators.
1 - The Spice: Collaborative Content Creators
Old Way - Ask people to send in ideas and someone must put it all together.
New Way - Create synergy through ongoing collaboration.
- Collaborative Tools
- Create collaborative projects that include shared web pages with text, images, audio, video, and other content.
- Features: sharing, publishing, access restrictions, commenting
- Brown University Library Wiki
- Go to Joyce Valenza's Pathfinder Swap. Team Wikispaces with Glogster for a powerful collaborative tool. - favorite combination
- Wikis - Collaborative Web Pages
- Wiki Tools
- Participate in Wikis
- Create Unique Wikis Projects
- Collaborative Writing
- Collaborative Concept Mapping
- Collaborative Timelines
- Learn more at Wiki World and ReadWriteWiki.
- Learn more at Classrooms in the Cloud
Try Collaborative Creators! A Pinch of Spice
- Identify the need for original content and collaboration
- Establish the framework for the wiki
- Add sample content or a demo page
- Develop guidelines for wiki access and use
- Use the power of collaborative tools: multiple creators, editors, discussion
2 - The Spice: Audio Creators
Old Way - Attend live activities or you miss the action.
New Way - Record and share audio experiences.
- K-12 Podcasts
- University Podcasts
- Step-by-step directions
- World languages
- Multiple audio messages at website
Try Audio Creators! A Pinch of Spice
- Identify timely topics.
- Create 30 second to 3 minute clips. For longer segments, establish "chapters"
- Use Audacity to mix and add music.
- When possible, use multiple voices and sound effects.
3 - The Spice: Comic Creators
Old Way - Build text-based communications.
New Way - Read graphic novels and create comic newsletters, posters, step-by-step instructions, scrapbooks, travel logs.
- Create digital comics that incorporate pictures and words.
- Features: insert images, bubbles, sharing
- Multiple generations - christmases over time; Arrion/Alex
- Family trips
- Family history
- Library Newsletters
- Comic Software
- Read Comics
- Comic Creator
- Comic Creators for All Ages (potential for inappropriate content)
- Cartoon and Caption Creators
- Create Avatars
Invent your own characters for stories.
- Learn more at Digital Comics
Try Comic Creators! A Pinch of Spice
- Pick a small project
- Try online tools
- Download Comic Life to try
4 - The Spice: Multimedia Creators
Old Way - Send in film and get back pictures for bulletin board.
New Way - Create multimedia shows for promotion and programs.
- Create online slide shows and multimedia projects that include images, audio, video, and text.
- Features: media (title, images, audio, video); commenting and rating; titles and labelling
- YouTube - search for university library
- Build into your website rather than using remote storage
- Animation Makers
- Image Sharing
- ipopetz - create a puppet show with audio
- Image Slideshows
- Audio and Video Sharing
- Moblyng - photos, music, and effects; collaborative feature
- Rock You - photos, music, videos
- Splashcast - videos, photos, mp3
- Online Video Editors
- Classroom Applications
- Create videos with existing clips
- Examples of Embedded Slide Shows
Try Multimedia Creators! A Pinch of Spice
- Take photos of events
- Create simple slide shows
- Share on library website.
5 - The Spice: Poll and Survey Creators
Old Way - Complete paper-based polls and surveys.
New Way - Embed surveys within online programs; engage visitors in interactive programs.
Poll and Survey Creators
- Create polls and surveys for your classes and libraries.
- Features: multiple question types, data management, password access, disallow multiple votes
- Online evaluations, assessments, fun (art contest), Book cover contest
- Survey and Poll Builders
Try Poll Creators! A Pinch of Spice
- Identify a simple survey need.
- Select an online builder.
- Embed survey in library website or use kiosk
6 - The Spice: Online Tools
Old Way - Use paper and pencil and share with myself.
New Way - Use Web 2.0 tools and share with everyone.
Collaborative Whiteboard and Art Creation
- The Broth - create works of art (graffiti mode, mosaic mode)
- Tikatok - write and illustrate stories (designed for kids)
- Basic Postings
- Wix - Flash-based web creator
- WebQuest Builders
Learn more at High Tech Learning: Interactives.
Try Online Tools! A Pinch of Spice
- Identify a Web 2.0 tool
- Identify an audience that might find this tool valuable
- Create an example to share
Mashups - combining 2 or more Web 2.0 applications together
Open Source Solutions
Mashups - combining 2 or more 2 Web 2.0 applications together
Face the Issues
Although technology has lots of potential, it's also important to be aware of the drawbacks and obstacles:
- Inform users whenever you're accessing outside resources that you don't control.
- Remind patrons of the importance of intellectual freedom.
- Develop guidelines for acceptable use of resources and participation in online programs.
- Inform users about flagging offensive materials and reporting misuse of resources.
- Warn parents about use restrictions on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. Provide alternatives for young people.
- Remember that free resources may disappear. Keep backups and develop alternative plans.
- Weigh the pros and cons to serving your own web applications, participating in subscription services, and using free services.
Learn more at Intellectual Freedom for Youth.
Many of the Terms of Service agreements such as Twitter and Google state that users can only use the service if he/she can "form a binding contact" and are not "barred from receiving services" under the law. This is a sticky place for users under age 21. It's best to inform parents when these tools are being used in the classroom.
Putting It All Together
The options can be overwhelming. Ideas to get started: