Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CIL2010: From Podcasts to Blogs and Beyond!

Scherelene Schatz - New Jersey State Library - Using internal webinars to train library staff across the state. She ysed to travel across the state to do training.  Now that she is using webinars, people also have access to the archived webinars (a new feature that was available with the face-to-face sessions).  She is using a discussion list and blog posts to promote them. 

Scherelene is using HiDef Conferencing for the webinars.  The webinars are done by phone, rather than VOIP because everyone has access to a phone.  The conference site allows her to setup a registration form.  The site will also allow you to set polling questions and evaluation questions that you will want to ask during or after the session.

One interesting feature of the software is that it can tell is participants are paying attention.  I wonder how it knows if you have switched screens and doing email or something else?

  • Make sure that the event is on your calendar!  (Not that any of us would forgot about an upcoming training session.)
  • Be organized
  • Include time for questions
  • Ask students to mute their phones  (If possible, tell them how to do it.)
  • Send handouts in advance.  Some people need handouts for notetaking.
  • Using the polling questions to keep people active.
  • Look at the evaluations and see what can be changed to make the webinars better.
  • Look at any reports that the software will give you.

Jason Puckett  (Georgia State University Library) & Rachel Borchardt (American University) -One of their podcasts is Adventures in Library Instruction.

What is a podcast?  RSS+MP3=podcast

A single audio file is a monograph.  A podcast is a serial.

Podcasting can be done cheaply and will sound fine.  Some institutions may have studios that are nore fully equiped for creating audio/podcasts. 

  • Short podcasts can work very well with people that may have a short attention span.
  • Don't use a script because it can sound very scripted.  Do have some rough notes.
  • One voice can be boring, so have 2-3 people and make it conversational.
  • Makret it to students and teachers.
  • Work with your marketing deparment on your marketing efforts.
  • It is okay to experiment.
  • Putting podcasts in iTunesU can help to get the podcasts out to a broader audience.
  • Podcasts can be hard to assess.  Yes, you know the number of downloads, but you may not get good feedback.
  • Having podcasting partners means that you can share responsiblities.
They like Arizona State and the podcasting they are doing, including something called "Library Minute".  Check out

 One of the sayings from this conference is "Free like kittens, not free like beer."  Kittens require care and feeding.  Podcasts are like kittens.

Rachel talked about using podcasts to supplement other instruction efforts.  They would have students listen to a podcast before an instruction session.

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