Saturday, September 24, 2011

Learning 2.0 Activity #4 - Video

Having used YouTube on many occasions, I decided to check out Vimeo instead.  To quickly try viewing a popular video, I clicked on "Sub City Paris" and wasn't sure what to expect from a site that proclaims it has the "best tools and highest quality video in the universe."  It seemed to take forever to buffer (or at least much longer than most YouTube videos), but upon further examination I realized the video was in HD, which takes up more bandwidth because it is a bigger file.  That and I was viewing it from home, where my connection is a lot slower than on campus.  These are things that videographers and website managers (and those working on them for library websites) need to keep in mind.  The wait was worth it - beautiful, crisp, clear, colorful shots of "that moment of uncertainty and magic that happens when you emerge from the depths of the subway system,"  all set to a perfectly accompanying piece by Duke Ellington.

Upon searching for videos that would be library-related, I found the first sign of the YouTube effect: just because there are a lot of videos, does not mean that there are necessarily more higher-quality videos - enter "Library Olympics." Home movie quality, only sort-of entertaining content.  A video that DOES relate to libraries and offer another way that libraries can utilize this technology is the Green County Public Library's Book of the Week series.
04/19/2010 - Book of the Week from on Vimeo.
If you click on an individual video in this series , there is a link underneath to help you request the book from the library and another link to subscribe to the video series.  This is a great way for libraries to connect with the online community and bring people into the library to pick up the book - GENIUS!

As opposed to YouTube, which seems to cater more towards the entertainment factor of videos, Vimeo appears to take a more educational approach - building an online "learning community" by including the Vimeo Video School with tutorials and tips; and community forums where videographers can share ideas or hook up on projects.  I like that I could go to either of these places for help from people who probably have been where I am at one time or another.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Learning 2.0 Activity #3  Podcasts!

I remember a couple of years ago reading about iTunes U and how many Ivy League schools were generating podcasts of their classes for students.  Not being an early adopter, and being a student who tried to take notes during class and only miss a class when absolutely necessary, I didn't see the the use of these audio podcasts.  To me, it was the equivalent of bringing a tape recorder to class - I just didn't see the point.  

Now that I have an iPod (yay - I just joined 2005!) and a car that makes it easy to listen to, I can see subscribing to podcasts to listen to in the car, or on the bus, or waiting for the dentist.  I'm still not 100 per cent sold on  listening to academic lecture podcasts, but I could definitely see the advantage in downloading or subscribing to these audio podcasts to listen to at my own leisure - like catching up on NPR programs (for this activity I listened to an On Point Books interview with author James Miller ) - or downloading podcasts to listen to as audio tours when visiting buildings, maybe even a tour of your library 

A quick google search brought up this site with library-related podcast links - one caveat is that all of the links don't appear to be live/updated/working.  But there are definitely some cool podcasts here showcasing different ways audio podcasts can be utilized by libraries - tours, readings, author visits, book reviews, and more! 

Hmmm, maybe I could get into this podcasting thing... 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Learning 2.0 Activity #2 (Continued) - Flickr 

I have utilized Picasa for many years; the integration with Google (since it's a Google product) and the easy iPhoto upload satisfied my appetite for digital photo sharing.  Although now I have a Flickr account for this class, (you can view my photolibrary at I don't know that I would choose to use Flickr over Picasa.

First off, I don't know exactly how it happened, but in signing up for a Flickr account using my google account info, it somehow connected it to Yahoo.  I admit, I am one of those users that Krug refers to as a "muddler" and I might not have completely read through all the details at sign-up, but now Yahoo also has my info, and I'm not too cool with that (I like to keep my accounts to a manageable number).  Now back to the service itself, I find the Flickr home page (once you sign in) more cluttered and not exactly as intuitive as the streamlined Picasa home page.  Both services make it easy to send pics to blogger and twitter, but Flickr also offers the other major blogger tumblr plus facebook.  Most of the time when I post pictures to blogs, however, I simply use the email-to- post option (email directly to the blogging service), therefore bypassing the extra step of first uploading pictures to a photo sharing service first.

Both sites allow grouping and various levels of privacy for photo sharing, and you can keep up to date with your friends photos, although I find Picasa's method of "following" someone more intuitive than Flickr's adding someone as a "contact".  I tend to be more of a receptive or passive consumer of other people's photos - meaning that I don't search out friend's photos, so I find it convenient that Picasa will email you when someone you're following adds new photos (Flickr might do this, too - I've only added one contact so far).

The quality of photos on Flickr does appear to be more professional, so that could be a draw to enthusiasts or professionals looking for commercial opportunities.   For me, I just like to share pictures of travels or family with friends and family, and I gravitate towards the services that make it clear and easy.  So while Flickr does appear to have many features, I can't click on a tab at the top and go right to reading my email (gmail) or checking out my blog (blogger).  But never say never -who knows, I might be a Flickr convert after this class.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Something library related - Learning 2.0 Activity #2

2nd post- Laptops are now almost routinely part of libraries. Accommodating these devices must be kept in mind when designing library space. The renovations in the UB Cybrary across from Lockwood does an excellent job with allowing space and access for laptop users.  Here's the link to my photolibrary in Flickr

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inaugural Post!  
Just finished the 7 and a half habits of lifelong learning, and found that they are pretty applicable to most areas of life, not just the acquisition of knowledge or skill.  Our Learning 2.0 activity is to blog about the easiest or most challenging habit personally.  Easiest is, well, easy - #2 Accept responsibility for own learning.  I don't hesitate much when there's something I'm interested in, I sign right up!  Mine is a two way tie for most difficult - #3 View problems as challenges and #7.5 - Play!   While I can (usually) look at a problem from a logistical point of view and figure out how to solve it, it normally just feels like a huge weight instead of an enlightening experience, but I'm working on that. And although practical and pragmatic get things done, it would be nice to have some fun along the way, so I definitely have to work on that.