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LET'S TALK LIBRARIES

A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

Upcoming Online Tutorials

In the tizzy I’ve been in over the last month with the LearnHQ launch (it’s rad, go check it out), I’ve barely had time to think about the courses I run, our website, even this blog. There are always so many things on the To-Do list it sometimes seems unsurmountable. I’m a big fan of dividing my day into blocks – and then dividing further by informally using the Pomodoro technique. So this is my twenty-five minute segment where I tap out a blog post. The timer is on.
 
Over the last week I’ve finally turned my attention to the two courses I run for SOLS. I’ve known they needed some editing and updating for some time. It’s just that, like with most things, doing that updating hasn’t been totally pressing (ie. first on the list) until now. But these courses both begin on Monday – so they’re if not first on the list, they’re a very close second.
 
Mid-March I took a good look at 23 Mobile Things and overhauled the syllabus. The feedback I received from the library staff members who took the pilot course was really useful. The workload was a bit daunting for everyone, so I spread the material out over ten weeks instead of 8, and re-distributed the apps themselves. The more labour intensive apps, like SketchUp, now stand alone in a week so that the student has a bit more time to experiment. A few of the apps I covered way back in the Fall of 2014 aren’t at all relevant now. I’ve also moved to include a few more privacy conscious apps, and briefly cover gamification and digital storytelling. Not in intense detail, but hopefully enough to get someone off the ground if they’d like to incorporate those concepts into programming.
 
A whole bunch of staff from one library are taking the course this Spring, and a public session will begin in June. If there are a number of staff from your library that you think would be interested in taking the course – let me know. As long as you have a staff member who will babysit the Forum and monitor their colleagues progress, it’s free. I just post the content week by week. Otherwise, the session beginning in June is $40.00 per participant.
 
As for Learning 2.0, it’s always a work in progress. But I can say that over the last few years I’ve taught the course – the participants are increasingly tech savvy even before they get started. We start off by having the participants set up their own blogs, where they post answers to weekly assignments. We talk a little more about social networking, setting out policies for that in the library, and the committment required for maintaining them (I just cancelled my tumblr…). Since wikis come up later in the course, I’m considering moving to include something in their place – like Slack or git. I’m not 100% sure about that yet. I’ve got some time to think about it. If you have an opinion, let me know in the comments. I think wikis are a bit outdated – but I’m not sure something else has really come along to entirely replace them.
 
I’ve got the first two weeks of each course ready to go now, but it’s always an interesting process. I’ll keep beavering away at the weeks’ materials to follow over April. And I’m sure I’ll go through it all over again in a few months when the courses run again. The circle of life.
 
I’m hoping this weekend will leave me refreshed and ready to go again on Monday. Sometimes short weeks are the worst. Yoga conference here I come!
 
Note: Registration for Learning 2.0 is now open!