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 jhermann@princetonlibrary.org 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!

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