Top Tips for Teaching 2.0 Classes


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A reprise and updated version of this talk given as a Cybertour at Computers in Libraries 2009 in Arlington VA.

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Top Tips for Teaching 2.0 Classes

  1. 1. Cybertour Ten Tips for Teaching 2.0 at Public Libraries Janie L. Hermann Programming Coordinator Princeton Public Library, NJ Computers in Libraries 2009
  2. 2. Reaching &Teaching a Tech-savvy Public Library customers are becoming increasingly  proficient with computers, using the Internet and technology. Technology and training expectations from  library customers are rising exponentially. Computer classes and technology training must  evolve to meet this demand and undergo constant innovation to remain relevant.
  3. 3. Princeton Public Library Background Single-branch municipal library in heart of  downtown and near Princeton University New state-of-the-art 58,000 square foot  building opened in April 2004 Staff: 50 FTE; Population: 31,000  100+ computers for public use; fully  equipped technology center
  4. 4. Looking Back Approximately 12 years since Princeton, and other public  libraries, began offering basic computer/Internet classes Emphasis on mouse skills and using online catalogs  Subject-specific Internet classes, email, and Microsoft  Office classes soon added to class calendars and curriculums Focus was on basic computing and searching skills 
  5. 5. 10 Tips for Teaching 2.0 It is a time-consuming process – can  take several years to build. PPL’s current program has been over  8+ years in the making
  6. 6. Tip 1: Outreach Position yourself and your staff as  “Tech Gurus” in your community Offer to give talks about 2.0 and  Social Software to local groups Computer User Groups, Job Seeking  Groups, Chamber of Commerce, PTO etc. Get OUT and get known! 
  7. 7. Tip 2: Start Modest Implement monthly lecture/demo programs  that will appeal to advanced users. Technology Talks; “DataBytes”  Use invited guests to minimize staff  preparation time. Don’t be afraid to ask; you will be surprised at how  many are willing to share their expertise Tie-in to hands-on classes from these series 
  8. 8. Tip 3: Develop Communication Channels Gather email addresses at every session or  class you offer Send no more than one or two targeted  messages per month Inform but don’t Spam  Create a Technology Training Blog with RSS  feed and update regularly Use Twitter and other Social Networking Sites 
  9. 9. Tip 4: Cover the Basics Create a comprehensive training plan  Decide answers to questions such as:  Who will do the training?  How many courses to offer per week or month?  How many new courses can be developed per quarter?  Write Lesson Plans  Don’t reinvent the wheel – borrow from others  Create Support Materials  Consider hosting them on a wiki 
  10. 10. Tip 5: Train Staff or Volunteers Hire staff or recruit volunteer trainers to assist  depending upon budget considerations. Training the Trainers is essential.  Provide practice sessions before going live to  work out the glitches.
  11. 11. Tip 6: Walk the Walk Allow time for staff to play with new  technology Create blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc. for  your library web site Stay on top of trends 
  12. 12. Tip 6: Classes in Constant Beta Update lesson plans frequently  Switch sites/applications as needed  to stay current and cutting edge  Continually scan the literature for trends – both in terms of teaching and technology
  13. 13. Tip 7: Promote! Promote! Promote! Create print calendars and distribute widely  Regular press releases  Library Newsletter  Profiles of you and your tech staff  Generate email lists and create blogs  Negotiate for front page real estate on your  library’s web site!
  14. 14. Never Underestimate the Power of … Attractive, Professional, Full-Color Posters
  15. 15. Tip 8: Variety is the Spice of Life Rotate classes  Vary the type classes   Bootcamps  One-shots  Mini-courses (with homework) Connect courses  “Sell up” to keep them coming back 
  16. 16. Tip 9: Learning Together Consider training staff with patrons  creates transparency  maximizes training time for  trainer
  17. 17. Tip 10: Prove the Value  Compile statistics  Gather testimonials  Demonstrate Impact
  18. 18. What’s Hot and What’s Not Hot: Not: Meet the Mouse Fun with flickr    Learn the Library Become a Blogger  Catalog Fantastic Freebies   Email Essentials What’s the fuss  about RSS  Intro to Search Engines Photoshop Mini-  (but, Xtreme Search is hotter Course than Hot) Subject-Specific classes Firefox Extensions   School for Scanning 
  19. 19. What’s Hot and What’s Not Lukewarm: Shortcuts and Timesaving Tricks  Top Sites and Other Treasures  Computer Basics  Introduction to the Internet  Databases Revealed  Genealogy Online  Digital Camera Test Drive  Powering up with PowerPoint 
  20. 20. Questions or Comments!