CIL 2007 – Dynamic Instructional Content: Library 2.0 on a budget – Chad Boeninger

Chad’s voice is Library Voice, check it out.

What this presentation is about is wikis, blogs, podcasts, screencasts, surveys, polls, and other tools.

Learning occurs everywhere, not just in the classroom. Librarians teach one shot instruction sessions, often attempting to squeeze too many learning objectives into the one session.

Pre-class preparation – alternatives to handouts which are often left behind – blogs and wikis. Chad uses these tools and sometimes teaches straight off the blog or wiki, especially for students at libraries that don’t have the same resources as the main library. ie. Biz Wiki. Can walk into any class and be ready to teach those students, because the resources are all there to access. The students just need the address, there is no handout to lose.

He got the professors to put the assignments onto the wiki and then Chad would link to the relevant resources under each question, rather than having all 80 students coming to see him the day before its due. Pre-class Prep tools, include Media or pbwiki and internally or externally hosted Word Press.

In Class Feedback tools can be proprietary and expensive, so better to use Polls and IM. In your locally hosted version of Word Press, there is a plug in – WP Polls that you can use to create internal polls. Can use the results, which are visible to the survey participants, to drive the discussion. Still have the problem of having the right questions. He did a live demo of how this worked on his blog – created a quick poll and blog entry. Can lock it down so each student can only respond once. Chad uses the meebo widget to allow them to ask questions in class, without having to put their hands up publicly. It can alleviate student boredom, allows students to have partial ownership of the class and helps develop instructor skills.

Post class tools. Survey linked from a blog post. phpESP, data lives on your server, more functions for the price, including great statistics. Alternatives include Survey Monkey, but free version is limited and the data doesn’t rest on your site.

Additional instruction maybe supplementary or complementary to the class. They are using podcasts in multiple languages for a library tour. From Sep 06 – Jan 07 it was downloaded 700 times – hence saving staff time. They used Audacity to create it – showed us how to do it, very simple. Once its posted to the blog or iTunes it automatically has an RSS feed.

Screencasting using Wink (http://www.debugmode.com/wink/ – not open source but its free. Allows you to do screen captures and record voice over it. You can scroll down the pages whilst your talking, click on links and so much more. Automatically saves it as a htm file, can upload it and more. Chad demoed it here and is is sooooo easy too! We could use it straight away and move to the paid software later.

Videos – record video with a camcorder, capture screen video with CamStudio – records AVI format (open source) – again he demoed it – again very easy to do. Can also convert it flash, but its still a linear recording process. camstudio.org

Audio and video can have a bit of a learning curve, initial experiences can be very time consuming, but he end product is well worth the investment, it adds a human element to what your are doing.

Typical follow up support includes IM, email and blog and wiki. Can also use del.icio.us with tags as to how the resources may be used. Also Facebook or MySpace, linked from the blog, wiki etc, where students can read the RSS feed from your blog, you can answer questions through your inbox etc.

Online FAQs and online scheduler. Knowledge Publisher is an open source FAQ generator, which includes comments and rating facilities. They can also ask a question through it and the answers can then be posted to the FAQ. PHP Scheduler where students can book time, at Ohio they are using it to book study rooms. Can also use it to book time to meet with librarians etc.

Closing thoughts:
– don’t be afraid to get under the hood
– learn from failures and successes
– try new things and get momentum to get buy in
– try looking at other tools with an eye for potential library uses