Sunday, 21 October 2012

Integrating 'things'...

It's funny really...one of the reasons I like doing this blog is that I can reflect a lot on the tools I've already used in my work, but I'll be honest it's rare I have the time or inclination to actually try something new! I expect this is a common theme amongst librarians, the chime of "if only I had time I could do this". So what can I actually take from this blog and convert from an "If only..." into "I've done..."?

This blog has caused me to revisit my Google Drive and the usefulness of Google docs. In a recent teaching session, rather than handing out 80 handouts I decided to try and save trees by uploading the handout to Google docs and giving the link to students instead. I think this worked - at least all of the students were able to easily access the handout and bring it up on their screens. It's something I think I would choose to do again and it also means the handout is then accessible on the web at any time should the students want to come back to it.

I've kept my LinkedIn! Having been pretty disparaging about the interface and begrudgingly creating an account, I've both finished creating my profile and updated it. I can't ignore the fact it's a well used professional resource, and that it helps raise my profile as an information professional and create links with others who I could potentially work or collaborate with in the future. I considered deleting my profile, but realised that fighting against the tide in this manner when I'm perfectly capable of maintaining my profile is probably a futile gesture. Who knows how useful it could be in the future?

My RSS reader on the other hand, while it's full of interesting stuff, hardly ever gets looked at! One of the reasons is that I prefer to browse for my information - so rather than getting information through news feeds or blogs I like going to The Guardian and having a look around. But as I've mentioned before, my primary source of information 'pushed' to me on the web comes from Twitter. I remain addicted - It's a fantastic resource. I do sometimes show my RSS reader to students though, to demonstrate ways in which they can gather information that is sent to them in an efficient way - I'll be honest most students don't look all that thrilled by it. Perhaps they see that no matter whether their news feeds are gathered in one place or not, they'll still make them the lowest priority in their researcher lives.

The last blog post I made was regarding screencasts, although the 'thing' also included considering podcasting, which I basically ignored However, I think creating podcasts could be a very effective way of creating learning resources quickly and easily that can then be disseminated through the web and student blackboard sites. This is something I would like to keep as an idea ticking over, and give it a go as soon as I have time. Hey, we all need an 'if only..." to aspire towards!

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