Monday, 30 November 2015

Rudai 23. Thing 23: Making It All Work Together

For the final task I concentrated on Flipboard, however I will look into Hootsuite in more detail in the future.  I have integrated a few of my social media accounts onto my Flipboard as suggested, I will see how this goes over the next week or so.  I can imagine it will be useful if you just want to give everything a quick check.  Also it will be a good starting point to change the way I manage my social media accounts as I do tend to neglect some at times.  I will provide further feedback on this blog at a later date.

So I have come to the end of the course! I have thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot along the way, I was unaware there was so much tools and resources available to use for free online.  I will be using a lot of them for work in future.  Thank you to the whole Rudai23 team.

Rudai 23. Thing 22: Mobile Things

I downloaded GUM and tested it out on The Fault in our Stars as suggested. 

The book I am currently reading doesn't have a bar-code (it's a Millennium Library hardback), so instead I grabbed a copy of Slaugherhouse 5 (which I read a long time ago, and loved) from our library and scanned that, leaving a mini review or 'gum'...

GUM seems like a useful app, I'm interested to know what kind of random objects people have scanned. However, I do think it will take a while to grow and become popular.  It could be useful in libraries to use for workshops etc as The Library Voice explained in her blog post.

I like the idea of scanning ISBNs and gaining access to reviews etc.  I have the Goodreads app on my phone, if I am browsing in a book shop and spot a book that looks interesting I scan the ISBN, I am then taken to the book's page which contains reviews by other readers.  I can also add the book to my 'want to read shelve'.  Similarly when I start to read a book I scan it and add to my 'currently reading' shelve.  Because Goodreads is strictly used for books I think it beats GUM as far as attaching reviews to ISBNs goes.  But with GUM you can scan anything, maybe I'll start leaving reviews on types of pasta and see what happens...

Friday, 27 November 2015

Rudai 23. Thing 21: Creating Info-graphics

I decided to use for this 'Thing' it took me a little while to get used to but overall I found it easy to use.  There wasn't as much images, shapes, types of chart etc as I had expected but I can't complain, it's free.  I imagine the premium version will be a lot better.

I have come across info-graphics of this type a lot and assumed they were made by a designer, I was unaware one could make them quickly and easily online.  Graphics created using easel are more aesthetically pleasing than those made using Microsoft office say, for that reason it's a resource that I'd definitely use again.

Once I have completed this course I play about with easyl a bit more, but for now here's a quick info-graphic I rustled up using my Goodreads stats.

Rudai 23. Thing 20: Presentations

I have given a few presentations in the past and if I'm honest I find public speaking difficult.  I tend to get nervous when talking in front of a large group of people which disrupts my flow.  My public speaking ability is something I would like to improve.  The visual aspect of presentations comes easily to me as I create PowerPoints at work almost daily.  We have a large screen in the 6th Form cafe area, I control the content on this and use PowerPoint to display slideshows containing information for students (new books, university open days, cultural events etc) and photographs of school events.

For this task I have decided to create a slide show to encouraging students to sign up for free masterclasses provided by City University London.

This slide will be accompanied be me talking to the students, it has been a while since I created a slideshow for a presentation. Usually my slideshows pack in as much info as possible but here I have left gaps as I will deliver information vocally.   I created it using Powerpoint, I did quickly look at Google Slides, but seems like a watered down version of Powerpoint to me.  I like the look of Prezi, it has nice graphics and animations, I will look at this possibility in future but for the Masterclasses presentation I felt Powerpoint was the best option.

Rudai 23. Thing 19: The Legal Side of Things

Very interesting start to the Rudai post concerning copyright, I'd never really thought about it's origins... Will probably read more about Columcille & Finnian, The Statute of Anne and the history of copyright.

I have personally created some illustrations for this blog and in the past have shared a lot of work online.  I have put no copyright restriction on the images used on this blog and consider them Public Domain content.  Before this task I was unaware of Pixabay, I will definitely be using this site from now on to search for images.

I am aware of copyright basics but have been meaning to learn more for a while, 'Thing 19' has been a great starting point for that.  I found this copyright card game via the Book, Sweat & Tears blog.  I'll look into trying this... As it seems like a great way to begin delving deeper into the world of copyright.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Rudai 23. Thing 18: Communicating Through Photographs

I first came across Flickr about 10 years ago (I think...), I was sharing images for a while but ceased to use the account as I preferred just to blog my photos and drawings.  My blog had more follows than my Flickr so it made sense to share things that way.  Since then I have mainly used Flickr as a viewer, I have an interest in old photo's, particularly from the 1960s and 1970s so there are a few Flickr accounts I keep my eye on.  I also attend my local Parkrun, they have a Flickr group which I view regularly.  Now my old account is up and running (no pun intended) I have joined the group proper.

As I mentioned I have an interest in old photographs so for the download part of the task I downloaded the picture below from the San Jose Library's Account. 

I made sure the image was shareable before downloading.  I was unaware of the Creative Commons search facility, very useful, I guess I'll learn more about it in the next 'Thing'...

I'd say that Instagram is the social media I currently use the most.  It is quick and easy, I find myself checking it regularly.  I follow a lot of bookish accounts including The British Library.  I did a search for my local libraries and discovered Deptford Lounge has an Instagram account which I am now following.  I also started to follow NYPL and  Fisher Library.  Below is a screenshot of a post and a  screenshot of a comment I made on one of Fisher Library's posts.

Both of these applications could be useful for my library, I find visuals the best form of promotion so photographing new stock and sharing it is a great way to inform students.  Flickr does seem more professional but I personally prefer Instagram.  It's an app that most students will already have so if I could encourage them to follow an LRC account I feel that'd be a great way to keep them informed of library news.

Rudai 23. Thing 17: Reflective Practive

For this task I have decided re-write one of the previous tasks and implement the Gibbs model of reflective practice.  I have chosen 'Thing 14: Augmented Reality'.

Thing 14 was my first attempt at creating something using Augmented Reality, when to module came up I wasn't really sure what to expect as I'd never heard of Augmented Reality, it sounded kind of complicated.  After reading the Rudai blog post I felt a lot more comfortable about trying to create something using AR.  I realised it was something I had tried in the past but didn't know it was called 'Augmented Reality'.  There was a free fashion magazine around London a couple of years ago, I don't remember the name of it... you could scan the cat walk pictures and they'd come to life (providing you had the magazines app).  Also Rudai gave a great example to get me started, Anatomy 4D.  

Having learnt exactly what AR is and viewed some examples I was pretty confident I'd find it easy to create something myself.  The concept isn't to dissimilar to a technique which I currently use, QR codes.  I have displayed QR codes in relevant sections of the library.  If a student can't find a book they can scan the QR code using their phone or tablet and will be taken directly to the LRC website which contains the online resources which they may find useful.
I have decided to make a poem come to life using AR, for this I used Aurasma.  On Youtube I have noticed there are some poems and short stories that have been animated, I thought it'd be a great idea if you scanned the poem or a image and it came to life in the form of an animation.  The poem I have chosen is Bluebird by Charles Bukowski.  My original plan had been to use the poems text as the 'trigger image', but after much thought I decided it would be better to use a still from the animation itself, this would give the viewer an idea of the animations style.  I uploaded the image to Aurasma but was meet with a message warning me the image was not clear enough so would not scan well.  To combat this I created the image below which contains clear black lines which scan easily.

Trigger Image

 My attempt in action

You can view the video I used here.

I was happy with the results of my first attempt a AR, it was cool seeing it all come together.  Here I feel I have learnt valuable skills that I can use in the future.  Something like this could be displayed on walls around the library to promote a 'poem of the week'.  Students could scan then watch/listen (using headphones of coarse!).  I had a lot of fun during this task and the skilsl I have gained could be used outside of work also.  One problem with AR is the viewer will have to sign up to Aurasma (or another provider) to get involved.  In hindsight I should have tested this out on student and gathered opinions, what they thought of it? Had they seen AR in action before? Would they take the time to sign up?

If I were to do this task again I create a 'Poetry Corner' in the library, here I would place a booklet contain multiple trigger images, an iPad with Aurasma downloaded on it (and signed in to my account) and a comfortable chair.  Students could chose a poem, scan it and watch/listen. 

I feel AR and QR are both really great tools.  In the future I can imagine tablets will be more affordable and even more widely used than there are now, they will also all come with standard software for using AR without having to sign up.  When that happens I fell AR will be something that is used more frequently in libraries.