Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Mobile social networking apps on the ipod Touch

Posted by andrewey on June 13, 2009

Following on from my last post, I’m continuing with the theme of mobile Web 2.0 apps on the iPhone & iPod Touch with a look at some social networking apps.

Firstly there is the free Facebook app which gives you access to confirming friend notifications, viewing your wall and updates from friends. There is no access to groups unfortunately or other Facebook apps but I’ve found it useful for updating my account particularly as I’m not a heavy Facebook user.

Interestingly this is one of the few apps which requires you to login each time you open it. I still think the extra effort of logging in outweighs the security issue with other apps where you are automatically logged in – if you were to lose or misplace your iPod.

The sheer number of Twitter apps for the iPhone shows not just the popularity of Twitter but also the suitability and convenience of tweeting on a mobile device.

Okay Twitter is microblogging rather than technically a social networking site but I presume many users see it as a social networking tool.

I’ve tried two free Twitter apps. TwitterFon is a simple but effective Twitter app – it allows you to view updates from friends, search for tags and free text and you can view other Twitter profiles and who Twitter(er)s are following and who their followers are.

Twitterrific is another free Twitter app. It has a much more professional feel, in terms of the quality of appearance of the screens but I find it not so intuitive – I have thus far not been able to see other Twitters’ followers and followings for example. However the search facility is more impressive and you can setup access to multiple Twitter accounts.

I suspect the higher graphics quality over TwitterFon means it uses up battery power quicker but it is the simplicity of the latter which I prefer.

There is a very interesting looking ‘3D’ Twitter app you can buy but I’ve not had a play with that yet.

Follow my Twitter feed here

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Posted in Mobile technologies | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Library Web Quest week 8 Facebook

Posted by andrewey on August 4, 2008

The last week of our Web Quest (based loosely on PLCMC‘s established Learning 2.0 programme). Library staff have now completed exercises on the following Web 2.0 technologies:

  • Blogs (WordPress)
  • Photo Sharing (Flickr)
  • Social Bookmarking (Del.icio.us)
  • Wikis (PBWiki)
  • RSS Feeds/Aggregators (Pageflakes)
  • Video sharing (YouTube)
  • Social networks (Facebook)

The Web Quest will be made available to library staff in Wales (and anyone else who’s interested) as a Wiki with support material available publicly through Moodle. The Web Quest can be completed as a weekly task (as we have done)  – if the library has someone to act as administrator – or at your own pace simply by working through the wiki.

In Facebook we have created a group for the library staff at Coleg Llandrillo. This will probably be used as an alternative method of communication to e-mail.

I’m debating setting up a page for this blog on the Facebook Blog Network (an application I picked up on at Joeyanne Libraryanne). The idea is that having a blog presence on Facebook will boost your readership numbers. I’m not convinced this is true where library blogs are concerned because you have to be a member of the blog network to access the blogs. This suggests that only other bloggers are likely to come across your Facebook page and, if interested, they would probably have come across your blog in the normal fashion anyway.

There are a number of library groups on Facebook relevant to FE, including CoFHE and UC&R. It would appear that the groups are primarily using Facebook to promote events at present.

If your library is using Facebook please leave a comment on how it is being used here.

Posted in Library Web Quest | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

How FE libraries can support the use of Web 2.0 technologies in teaching

Posted by andrewey on July 25, 2008

As a consequence of our Web 2.0 in FE project, the college’s ILT Champion surveyed college (teaching) staff about which Web 2.0 technologies they were using, why and how. The survey was conducted via e-mail over three days at the end of April this year. The number of responses (28) was high given the short turn around and is a higher response than usual to ILT surveys of this kind. The responses were mainly in relation to the use of such technologies in teaching, but also included mention of personal use by staff.

The main reason cited for using Web 2.0 technologies was that they provided functionality not available on college networked software. Staff also cited the freedom from ‘network control’ as being another motivator for using these technologies. Only a couple of staff cited their use for collaborative creation/user feedback – which are of course the defining features of Web 2.0 technologies.

The main purposes of using Web 2.0 technologies were:

  • Lesson content
  • Galleries of student work
  • Communication
  • Learning activities
  • File sharing
  • Virtual meetings

A small number of ILT Champions in other Welsh colleges were also surveyed. Web 2.0 applications, although outside college control, are increasingly seen as having a positive impact in terms of developing generic IT/Web based skills which benefit learning in general and, in particular, enhance the use of college Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs).  Until recently many colleges have been blocking access to many Web 2.0 sites because their use was seen as social/recreational rather than educational. Colleges are, however, encouraging the use of Web 2.0 technologies (such as blogs, chat rooms and instant messaging) within existing VLEs. This ensures an element of control and enables teaching staff to be better supported in the use of such technologies (rather than using unsupported third party software).

The Web 2.0 technologies used (and their purpose) were as follows:

YouTube

Distributing student work

Obtaining feedback – which was seen as a positive functionality, in a commercial/marketing sense, for students studying media, design etc

Demonstration – eg engineering activities, dance/drama techniques, biomechanics in sport, learning languages etc

Information  – eg on tourism, sport, history, psychologists etc

Social networking sites (mainly Facebook)

Graphic design – creating skins on Bebo

Improve ICT skills/knowledge – a couple of staff made the point that it is the mature students who want to know more about Web 2.0 technologies (presumably the younger students already know). Whereas some (college) library services have dismissed Web 2.0 technologies as being the preserve of young students who are only interested in their social uses. 

Keep in contact with alumni

Communication – within a student group and between former and current learners

Second Life

For E-commerce

As an example of emerging technologies

As a virtual classroom

However, Second Life was the Web 2.0 resource that staff were most concerned about, with regard to the presence of ‘inappropriate material’

Podcasting

For information/course content

For teaching audio production

Social bookmarking (Del.icio.us)

To access bookmarks across PCs

Wikis

Collaborative creation by a group of students

Blogs

To produce assignments

Opportunities for the library service

The responses lend themselves to library involvement in supporting the use of Web 2.0 technologies by teaching staff in a variety of ways:

Supporting the use of Web 2.0 technologies as information sources

The library staff can provide Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) services to alert staff to new resources to support their vocational/subject area. We are using the library blog and subject specific Del.icio.us accounts to this end. Alternatively library staff can support teaching staff in setting up their own SDI/alerting services using RSS feeds/newsreaders (it was noticeable that only one respondent said they used RSS feeds in teaching).

Promoting emerging technologies 

It would appear that the use of Web 2.0 technologies in teaching is still limited to a relatively small number of applications. By experimenting with Web 2.0 technologies, in a library context, then library staff are ideally suited to raise awareness of those technologies (and their potential use for collaborative creation and obtaining user feedback) amongst teaching staff.

Staff training

A number of respondents specifically asked whether the college would be providing staff training on the use of these technologies. In response, the library staff have run staff development sessions on Web 2.0 technologies raising awareness of the technologies and promoting the library’s own Web 2.0 developments. Consequently, for September, we are already being asked to provide similar training to students.

Posted in Inspiring Learning, Library 2.0, Using Web 2.0 in teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »