#23 Is this really the end? Or just the beginning…

Listen to this podcast [1:17]

Wow! Congratulations!! You’ve reached the 23rd thing. Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for completing the program.

For your last and final exercise for this program please reflect on your learning journey and post a few thoughts. Here are some questions to prompt you if you’re drawing a blank …

  • What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
  • How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
  • Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
  • And last but not least…

  • If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

Don’t forget to turn in your tracking log once you finish. You can print it out and give it to Susan or email it as an attachment, whichever is most convenient. 🙂

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey. My greatest hope is that this not the end of our learning journey together as a staff and a system, but rather it’s just the start of something amazing …

#22 Pass it on

Teach someone else how to use one of the “23 Things” technologies blog about your experience!

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

Listen to this podcast [2:17]

The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.

In 2005, “podcast” was named the “word of the year” by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last 24 months, it’s easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries (like the ones used in this Learning 2.0 program) to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.

For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.
  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account
  3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?

#20 You too can YouTube

Listen to this podcast [1:58]

Within the past year online video hosting sites have exploded allowing users to easily to upload and share videos on the web. Among all the web 2.0 players in this area, YouTube is currently top dog serving up over 55 million unique viewers monthly and allowing users not only to upload their own video content easily, but also embed clips into their own sites easily.

Do some searching around YouTube yourself and see what the site has to offer. You’ll find everything from 1970s TV commercials and Cab Calloway & the Nicholas Brothers to library dominos and express checkout. Of course, like any free site you’ll also find a lot stuff not worth watching too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and see for yourself what the site has too offer. 🙂

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore YouTube & find a video worth adding as an entry in your blog.
  2. Create a blog post about your experience. What did you like or dislike about the site and why did you choose the video that you did? Can you see any features or componets of the site that might be interesting if they were applied to library websites?

OPTIONAL: Try placing the video inside your blog using the copy and paste code for the for “Embeddable Player.” Note: you’ll need to use Blogger’s Edit HTML tab when pasting this code.

Other popular video hosting sites:

#19 Discovering Web 2.0 tools

Throughout the course of this Learning 2.0 program we’ve explored just a small sampling of these new internet technologies and websites that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content. But given time there are so many more we could explore. Current estimates place the number of web 2.0 tools at somewhere between 300 & 500 with only a handful emerging as market dominators. And although time will only tell which of these new collaborative, social networking and information tools will remain on top, one
thing is for sure, they’re not going to go away (at least anytime soon).

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to select any site from this list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees and explore it. With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you (like Books or Personal Organization) and then simply select a tool/site to explore. Be careful to select a tool that is Free and that doesn’t require a plug-in or download. The majority of these free, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Select any site/tool from the list of Web 2.0 Awards nominees. (If you prefer to select from just the winners, here’s a link to the short list.)
  2. Explore the site you selected.
  3. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a library setting?

Web 2.0 – with so much to explore, just start with ONE. 🙂

#18 Web-based Apps: They’re not just for desktops

Listen to this podcast [2:30]

The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past two years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree; web-based apps have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easy accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tool (either Zoho Writer or Google Docs), create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog.

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Create a free account for yourself in either Zoho Writer or Google Docs
  2. Explore the site and create a few test documents.
  3. Try out some of the features and create a blog post about your discoveries.

Optional: If you’re up for the challenge, and selected Zoho, try using Zoho’s “publish” options to post to your blog.

#17 Playing around with PBWiki

Listen to this podcast [1:53]

“Sandbox” is the term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play. For this discovery and exploration exercise, a whole Learning 2.0 Favorites wiki* has been set up that’s for nothing but play!

For this “explore-and-play-with-wikis” exercise, you are asked to add an entry or two to the PBwiki Learning 2.0 wiki. The theme of this wiki is simply “Favorites” : Favorite books, favorite vacation spots, favorite restaurants, favorite anything …all you need to do is play and add your thoughts. To mark your adventure on this site, you should add your blog to the Favorite Blogs page.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Access the PLCMC Learning 2.0 wiki (Password = plcmc) and create a login account for yourself.
  2. Add your blog to the Favorite Blogs page. That’s how we’ll know that you’ve been there. It’s easy to do if you follow this simple syntax:

    OPTIONAL: Add a favorite or two to a few other pages (Favorite books, favorite vacation spot, etc). And, if you feel up to the challenge, you might even want to create a separate page for book review or short travel essay and link up to that.

  3. Create a post in your blog about the experience.

* NOTE: The PLCMCLearning Wiki was created using the free version of PBWiki, a tool that lets you create webpages that anyone can edit.