Monday, November 30, 2009

Storylines Q150

I was very lucky to be able to attend a two day workshop run by the State Library of Queensland last friday.   The workshop was part of the Q150 celebrations, its aim for participants to create a digital photostory that captures a memory or story somehow relating to Queensland.

Three staff from our library, four retired volunteers from the Milne Bay Military Museum and a partridge in a.. oops and a retired oral historian attended the workshop.

I must say one of the best parts of the workshop was talking with the other attendees.  I learnt heaps from them, and was on the receiving end of some great tech tips!!!  I was also very moved by the amazing war digital stories that they created.

I chose to create a story based on some interviews I had done with some of the parents who attend our storytime.  Due to time constraints, I only used one of the interviews.  We used a free program called Windows Movie Maker, and below is the end result.  And yes, that is me with the ducklings on my fingers!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 6 SLQ Licence to Test Drive Part B

Test Drive #6 looked at the rise of online videos.  This is in part due to increasing improvements in  technology and the decreasing costs of the tools needed.  This has led to a massive rise in creating content, uploading content, and being able to freely share it.   My  9 yr old has asked for a digital video camera for christmas so she can start making movies......   Youtube has made it very easy to upload and share content, and I know our whole family uses it when looking for 'how to' information.

I like how libraries are using Youtube to share staff training, new programs and resources, how to guides, promotion and marketing and talking about the future of libraries.  I have uploaded some of the school holiday programs run by our Young People's team.

I have also used Vimeo to host a couple of digital photo stories that I have created about our library.

I have chosen to embed this clip from Youtube as it is sort of an in family joke in our house.  Both my husband and son game, and WOW terminology features heavily in their conversations.  Heard repeatedly:

Me: That's it! Get off that computer now or I am going to....
Husband or son: I've just got to log off somewhere safe....

My son found these clips on Youtube and they have become family favourites!  I especially like the little brother, and in another clip he talks about how he had to visit the local library and use their resources as his mother had banned him from all technology!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Google - or week 5 of SLQ Licence 2 Test Drive

Week 5 is titled More Google!!  I have been increasingly using google for more and more things lately.  I now have a gmail account - as do both my kids - and have customised my google page at work with iGoogle.  I have added weather and news widgets, my google reader, a star trek quote widget, a SLQ search widget, and a coffee quote widget - all the important things, lol. I use google docs and I have also been playing around surfing (or trying not to sink) on the new Google wave.  I use Google maps regularly, and also the Google calendar, synching it to my iphone.

I am constantly surprised by the amount of *things* Google does.  I enjoyed playing around on Google books and wasted spent some time searching and narrowing my searches using their advanced search box (such a librarian, I know..).  I also was amazed at Google translate as I had only vaguely heard about this site, but had not played around on it.  I typed in my blog's URL and then translated the page from english to spanish - just because I could!

This site has great potential for explaining information about the library's services and resources to multi-cultural patrons.

I read somewhere - can't remember where - about people being afraid of Google's domination in our online lives.  I guess this is where we as librarians need to be able to step up to the plate and teach digital literacy skills that equip our customers to critically think, live and learn in an online environment,  I know of many libraries that do this already.  I like this quote that I read in an Educause Journal about digital literacies:

Ironically, while some see the profusion of realities as threatening to us, to our children, and even to democracy, the new media is nothing if not simply another way of viewing our world, of interacting with one another, of opening ourselves to learning in realms of possibility we never conceived of before. In our development as higher-order thinkers, multiple realities are far less important to our survival than our ability to understand what we see, to interpret what we experience, to analyze what we are exposed to, and to evaluate what we conclude against criteria that support critical thinking. In the end, it seems far better to have the skills and competencies to comprehend and discriminate within a common language than to be left out, unable to understand.
PS - I am updating my post with my response to a comment on this post. 'Quite ironic really that I completely forgot to include google as a search engine, google reader, You tube, blogger and google scholar. Just goes to show how completely integrated they are within my life that I didn't even think to include them!'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Licence 2 Test Drive - Part B - Week 4

Week 4 of the State Library of Queensland's Licence to Test Drive Part B looked at web browsers.

A web browser is the software program loaded on your computer, Smartphone or a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) which you use to connect to the Internet. The browser is used for retrieving, presenting, and navigating information resources on the World Wide Web and email.An information resource is identified by an address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) this may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content. Hyperlinks in web pages or other resources enable you to easily navigate your browser to other sites or resources. 

I looked at some of the popular web browsers, including internet explorer, firefox, safari and google chrome. When I bought my iphone last year, I used safari for the first time, and now use it as the web browser on my mac.  My work computer uses internet explorer as its SOE.  I was quite surprised watching this You tube video about web browsers.  I have never used firefox, but my friend in IT up the road at council is always telling me how much better it is, and after watching this little clip I am thinking of installing it on our computer downstairs.  But then I was quite impressed by Google chrome as well....

So, this Licence 2 Test drive has been a good one, and has forced me out of my web browser comfort zone and challenged me to try some of the others available.  So, if for no other reason than that, then I am very grateful to have been gently pushed.