I’m very excited to be starting another Learning 2.0 learning journey, and finding out more information about some online tools which I’ve heard about, but haven’t really played with.

This L2 program discover*play*connect: 2012 Edition is being run by LIS students from the US, taking part in a class at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science being taught by my research college Dr Michael Stephens.

Space Shuttle Program

By San Diego Air & Space Museum Arc




I had to look back through this blog to see what I thought of Twitter last year. This post from August 2008, only 9 months ago, said:

Twitter is something I can see great value in, but like a few other 2.0 tools, I have yet to regularly find either a personal or professional use for it. I’m still searching for the right ‘voice’ to use for microblogging – both in tone and content.

As a result of that discovery exercise in the SLJ All Together Now learning 2.0 program, I made a concerted effort to get more value out of Twitter.  I followed more people (and checked who they followed) and I tried to tweet more often. In a very short time I was able to connect with a community of like-minded people who work in similar fields to me, or who write / comment about issues I am interested in. I found Twitter to be an invaluable work tool which has kept me informed, answered my questions and brightened my day with odd or funny tweets on more that one occasion. 

My next challenge is how to use Twitter in a work context,  for internal staff communication and for communication with external library customers. I have a few ideas, but in the spirit of Learning 2.0, I will be leaving it to the rest of my colleagues taking part in CityLibrariesLearning to come up with ideas and strategies on how to best use Twitter.

From where I sit at my desk I can see groups of staff gathered around computers, looking at each other’s blogs, offering advice, talking about their experiences with blogs and Twitter.

This is how we really learn.

Wonderful stuff! 🙂

Photo by Ben Spark

Photo by Ben Spark

Well it’s time to dust of the learning blog again and track my progress in a new Learning 2.0 adventure.

What’s different for me this time is that I’m running the program! That doesn’t mean I’m suddenly an expert and can teach others about emerging technology – far from it. I have learnt more than ever in the last few weeks and months as this project has come together.

The place where I work (CityLibraries Townsville) launched CityLibrariesLearning – discover*play*connect yesterday.

I am keen to blog my progress as I learn lots of new things throughout this program.

So far I havee explored a lot more features on WordPress, I have edited videos using Windows Movie Maker, converted the file format of those videos, I have uploaded videos to YouTube and embedded those videos on the learning blog – all new things for me. What continues to amaze me is that I used the “help” pages of these tools only a few times. These online tools are so very easy to use – you just have to follow the steps and instructions and in no time you havea blog with fully-functioning videos!

On top of the Learning 2.0 program is another exciting project. Dr Michael Stephens has been appointed the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar and his research project investigating the effectiveness of learning 2.0 programs will be using our program as a case study. More details about the research project can be found on my other blog and Michael’s Tame the Web blog here and here. So as part of that project, I have learnt a lot about academic research, online surveys, and how to communicate effectively with someone on the other side of the world using email, instant messaging and Skype.

Well, I managed to finish, and not too long after the end of the program. It has been and interesting and rewarding journey. Here are some random thoughts about the program:

  • Taking a quick scan of the participants blogs at the Netvibes page, there seemed to be quite a few blogs that didn’t add any posts after the first one or two things, a few more blogs that seemed to stop around thing 4 or 5, and a few others that seem to still be going strong. I wonder if 6 things at a time would be a good format, done 3 or 4 times a year?
  • It was great to ‘meet’ a few new people, and re-establish contact with people I’ve met before.
  • I’ve used new tools (am liking wordpress…..may just change my main blog over to here…) and have a few other tools on my “to do” list to try out sometime
  • It was great to see some genuine newbies learn about 2.0 stuff for the first time, and to see how easy it was for them
  • One thing that stood out for me was the ‘noise’ from multiple channels – how do I keep track of, or contact someone – through commenting on their blog, through Flickr mail, through Twitter etc etc. Still working through that one…

Overall it was fun, very interesting, and the whole program was delivered with professionalism and generosity by Michael. Thank you SLJ and Michael!!

I really, really like these tools, I think they offer such flexibility. My big BUT with it (and other online tools) is the issue of trust. We trust Google (and others) thatthey will be around for a while, so we can still access our documents. We trust them to keep our information safe and secure. We trust them to provide 24/7 access etc etc.
Hmmm…we really do live and work in interesting and challenging times. What a great time to be a librarian!

Hmm..yet another wonderful tool/technique which I don’t use much. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while and I think I know why.
A few years ago I realised that I had stopped bookmarking websites on my browser – it was just as easy to search Google for the site I wanted. I think this habit has evolved to my general (dis)organisation of virtual files and folders – when keyword searching is so powerful and effective, why bother tagging or organising into folders?  (**Update 9/9/08** – Lorcan Dempsey wrote about something similar here)

But….I do see the social value of things like del.icio.us, and have started to play with an account (http://delicious.com/stainedglasswaterfall). I like the way Michael put it – “You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user’s filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network”.
Note to self – play more with delicious!

I do find searching the tags on Flickr very useful too, although my own tagging is pretty minimal.