21 June 2009

Social Media Specialists

I attended the webinar, Is There a Place for Media Specialists Who Don't Know Social Media? It was hosted by Steve Hargadon at a session of The Future of Education. I learned about the webinar through Joyce Valenza's NeverEndingSearch blog. She along with Carolyn Foote, Buffy Hamilton (The Unquiet Library), and Cathy Nelson began a discussion which orignally started within Twitter. The Twitter link goes to Karl Fisch's blog post compiling all of the Twitter discussion.

These were the questions Joyce and the other panelists hoped to cover:
  • How does a librarian use social media in practice? for professional development? with learners? faculty?
  • What specific social networking tools do you use and how do you use them?
  • How does social networking reflect/support our standards?
  • Can you be relevant without understanding the new tools?
  • What do these new tools mean to library big concepts? (information ethics, intellectual freedom, access to information, evaluation, collection, interacting with information sources, communicating with users/learners, contributing as digital citizens, etc.)
  • How does social media change the way we present our services and instruction online?
  • Do we need to retool our profession?

Needless to say in a one hour session, coverage of these questions was brief, allowing only a tempting taste. The 4 panelists collaboratively created a wiki which contains background resources and links to the panelists blogs. The Elluminate session links are available to review if you're interested here. At one point there were 90+ participants. The chat was just as valuable as the presentation slides and the audio. Obviously, the profession should be retooling.

The best thing to come from this webinar will be the opportunity to participate in similar discussions on a monthly basis. Steve Hargadon suggested the need of media specialists to communicate on a regular basis. Many agreed with him. So... watch for more webinars to occur through The Future of Education ning.

On a personal note, I already subscribe to Joyce and Buffy's blogs and follow Cathy and Steve on Twitter. Now I have two more contacts to add to my Personal Learning Network, Carolyn Foote and Karl Fisch.

07 June 2009

New Way to Communicate Coming!

I have been reading and viewing information about one of Google's latest projects, Google Wave.

Google Wave has been created by the two brothers who created Google Maps, Lars and Jens Rasmussen.

What is Google Wave?

  • Google Wave is REAL TIME. Anyone using the same wave will be able to see edits and modifications as they are happening.

  • Google Wave is COLLABORATION to the max... anyone anywhere can add and/or edit content, add additonal participants at any point in the process, have private conversations as needed with one or more participants, and the playback feature (so cool) allows one to catch up with the conversation and/or see who has made those additions or edits. And remember all of this activity takes place in real time.

  • This collaboration allows real time conversation and collaboration with text, images, photos, maps, video, etc.

  • The spell check is out of this world!!! Not only does it automatically correct incorrect typing or you are given a choice when it's not sure, but, it also understands context! It will automatically fill in or change the incorrect word, i.e. which and witch, etc.

  • Files can be dragged and dropped into a wave. (really, really cool!)

  • A real time automatic translator, Rosy, is available for 40 different languages which will allow easier and quicker global communication.

  • Waves can be embedded into a blog or website to allow for real time conversation.

  • Waves can also integrate with other communication apps, like Twitter. They already have developed Twave so that both apps are interactive. (Like FriendFeed's ability to post to Twitter and vice versa.)

  • Wave can be used on mobile devices.

Since Google Wave has been developed with open source code (API's) anyone will be able to develop and create mashups with extensions. Extensions are similar to iGoogle's gadgets. The developers encourage others to begin using the API's to create more and better ways to use Google Wave.

The bad news is that Google Wave has not been released to the general public yet, but is supposed to be later in 2009. You can sign up to be contacted here.

I highly recommend that you watch the Google Wave Developer video embedded below. It lets you meet the developers who demonstrate the many features of Google Wave. (The YouTube links above are taken from the full length developer video.)

01 June 2009

Stimulate This Library!: Accessing ARRA Funding

I recently attended this School Library Journal webcast to learn more about the ARRA funds that will be available soon for school libraries. The presentors were very knowledgeable. Emily Sheketoff from ALA's Washington Office and Vic Klatt, VP of Van Scoyoc, gave detailed information about the funding and how it can be used. Ann Martin, AASL's President, suggested ways to acquire and use the funds.

ALA's Know Your Stimulus site and federal government site provide more information about ARRA and other resources.

All three of the presentors emphasized the need to advocate for these funds at the state and district/school level. They will not be automatically be distributed to school libaries. LMS' need to get out the word about how the funds will add to the achievement of students in their building. If you need to find out how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act can help you in your school library program, you need to view/listen to this webcast.

School Library Journal's webcasts are archived for one year here. (In case you'd like to access any of the other webcasts.)