Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Posts Tagged ‘Podcasting’

Book review of Nancy Courtney (ed) Library 2.0 and beyond

Posted by andrewey on September 24, 2008

This book contains a collection of articles by academic and public librarians (from the States) on the application of a wide range of Web 2.0 tools. Each article is between 10-16 pages and covers:

  • What is Library 2.0
  • Catalog 2.0 (OPAC 2.0)
  • Being ‘where the user is’ – social networking
  • Folksonomies
  • Wikis for staff communication and internal collaboration
  • Second Life
  • Mobile technologies
  • Podcasting
  • Digital story telling
  • Video games
  • Mashups

The sheer scope of the book is very impressive considering it is only 152 pages long. The introductory chapter consists of a very balanced overview of the various conflicting definitions of Library 2.0 and whether or not the development of Libray 2.0 marks an evolutionary or revolutionary change to library services.

The chapter on wikis includes a useful discussion on how library services can use them for internal communication and internal collaboration.

I’ve been reading this book over a period of time and I came across another recent review which has taken the same approach as I intended – which is to focus on the chapters that stand out the most.

I particularly liked Michael Casey’s chapter on ‘Looking toward Catalog 2.0’ which describes the Web 2.0 features that OPACs should incorporate. As we are about to get an upgrade of our Web OPAC I’ll be interested to see how many of these features will be included:

  • Relevance ranking
  • Clean interface – a simple unclutered search facility like Google
  • Spell checker –  a prompt, as Google’s ‘Did you mean’ does, to make sure your search terms are correct  
  • Faceting – I know there will be some faceting in our upgrade but Michael suggests the ability to filter by age, level of ability, category etc
  • Full text searching
  • Book reviews – links to professional reviews and the facility for readers to add their own reviews
  • Similar searches – like Amazon the  ability to find related titles easily
  • User defined tags – so that readers can create their own tags which reflect personal search terms or popular terms
  • Share facility – the ability to send links to library resources to colleagues or fellow learners
  • RSS feeds – so that learners can set up their own notifications for new material in their chosen subject areas
  • Citation creator – something which already exists in some of our e-journal and e-book databases

Like Reflections from a small college library I also found Chris Kretz’s chapter on podcasting very informative. Chris describes the varied potential uses for a library podcast:

  • Book talks
  • Promote displays/exhibitions
  • Librarian talks
  • Create interactive library exercises
  • Deliver information skills
  • Library news
  • Cover/record live events
  • To share library policies
  • Local history – record oral history 

Chris also covers the legal and practical considerations when podcasting in some detail.

I will review some of the other chapters that I thought stand out in a later post.

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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.

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