Social Software
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  • Here’s a brief overview of our session today. In order to situate our talk, we’re going to start with a very brief overview of recent reports on emerging technology trends to give us an idea of the speed of emerging techs. Then we’ll go on to look at different approaches taken by libraries to keep pace with students. Then we’ll move on to the focus of the presentation, which is a grassroots workshop series at UBC Library.
  • This quote from a high school student neatly summarized what we are all feeling to some extent in trying to individually keep pace with changing technologies. Emerging technology is a broad term. What kinds of things are we looking at? The Horizon reports from Educause provide and excellent snapshot of trends.
  • For trends in emerging tech within a postsecondary framework, I like to refer to the publications put out by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Their annual Horizon reports describe areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Adoption horizons represent what the Board considers likely timeframes for their entrance into mainstream The reports use an extensive array of published resources, current research, and practice.
  • Let take a look at some of the technologies predicted to reach acceptance into the mainstream in the next 1-5 years. less than 1 year User-created content all around us -blogs and photostreams to wikibooks and machinima clips Social networking : Increasingly, this is the reason students log on. The websites that draw people back again and again are those that connect them with friends, colleagues, or even total strangers who have a shared interest. Collaboration - newest tools are small, flexible, free, and require no installation. Colleagues work online - edit group documents, hold online meetings, swap information and data, and collaborate in any number of ways without ever leaving their desks. 2-3 years Mobile phones - gateway to digital lives virtual worlds 4-5 years New scholarship /emerging forms of publishing - New tools and new ways to create, critique, and publish are influencing new and old scholars alike. Mmeg- still difficult to create, but new tools emerging explicit collective intelligence—evidenced in projects like the Wikipedia and in community tagging— social operating systems - base the organization of the network around people, rather than around content. I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just looking at these things coming downthe pipeline..
  • Each year the Horizon Advisory Board also researches, identifies and ranks key trends affecting the areas of teaching, learning, and creative expression. The Horizon Project annually identifies critical challenges facing learning organizations over the five-year time period covered by this report, drawing them from a careful analysis of current events, papers, articles, and similar sources. The challenges ranked as most likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creativity in the coming years.
  • Here are some examples of courses/programs that occurred in the year prior to our own teaching series – and provided some of the inspiration.
  • "a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 things.” Staff tracked progress in a blog (like Five Weeks to a Social Library) and registered each completed item in a log. Encouraged to brainstorm/work with colleagues to figure out how to do things (in keeping with collaborative nature of the tools) – no classes (“23 things” – inspired by an article by Stephen Abram of “43 things you (or I) might want to do this year”.) Other libraries have adapted this program, or been inspired by it. Show Web page (if time): Learning 2.1: continuous learning so not structured over a specific time period - learn at your own pace. No staff incentives for this one! They have a blog and also a wiki for people to share – lots of Australian participants – it’s very active – lots of recent blog posts. For anyone without a library program who is interested to learn, could subscrube to the blog.
  • Organizers include people who speak regularly at conferences on social software tools, including Meredith Farkas, who has spoken a great deal about wikis, and Amanda Etches Johnson, the now “user experience” librarian at McMaster. Organizers all at different libraries – coordinated everything online. Participants were from all different types of libraries Show web page (if time): Platform for the site is Drupal, an open source content management system – modular. Works with RSS feeds, comments etc. They also had a wiki as a resource. Looks to have been quite labour intensive over a short period. Had tasks and readings every week. Last week, looked also at how to sell these tools to colleagues/administrators. Final assignment – to submit a proposal for implementing a particular type of social software in their library.
  • Emerging Technologies Group,  a group "responsible for exploring, evaluating, and piloting emerging technologies to improve service to our users" McMaster has been a leader in new technologies amongst Canadian university libraries, have a "user experience" librarian and a "gaming librarian" - university librarian has instigated & encouraged this. Partly what inspired what we did at UBC. What these other programs have in common: Fixed period of time Staff setting up blogs, doing tasks each week – time commitment from staff Budget for prizes (mp3 players) But we didn’t have an emerging technologies group, or the time or budget to set up something akin to what these other libraries have done, we also have a large, distributed library system. so what did we do? I’ll hand over to Susan to introduce our series at UBC.
  • Let’s move over to the series at UBCLibrary. We picked the photo of this little guy to represent the series because he conveys the sense of apprehension and uncertainty that many folks feel when faced with emerging technologies.
  • The series was started in the spring of 2007 based on a whim and a need to engage staff in exploration of new technologies in at a grassroots, hands on, and above all, fun level. The 3 of us came together in April and the first session was in May - One month from idea to implementation! With support from 2 committees : elibrary and Reference & Instruction committees sponsored refreshments and lent support (e.g. for facilitated discussion)
  • Let’s take a closer look at two of the things we wanted TOTS to be about. First of all, TOTS stands for tools for outreach and teaching. That name conveys much of the philosophy. It was crucial to us that the sessions have a sense of exploration and play. We didn’t want this to be a stressful ( this is something new and scary I have to learn.) Instead we wanted people to come in and take 2 hours to get their hands dirty and play with some of the technologies they may have heard about but not had time to explore. Like small children, we wanted to explore, chew on things, and occasionally shout NO and stamp our feet.
  • The second main theme of the series is that these are tools. You’ll notice that we avoided the term 2.0 anywhere, and that’s intentional. We w anted to emphasize the fact that these are tools and explore which tools will be of enduring value like the wheel and which are something akin to an inflatable hammer (a novelty item with no enduring value) Consider if and how we might want to use them in our work environment at the library. Let’s look next at some of the tools we used to support the series.
  • Important to us to use social software in creating and organizing the series but at the same time not to just use it for the sake of it. We needed tools that would help us collaborate on content for the series (initially 3 of us co-ordinating it, now 2) so we could all share, add to/edit the same documents and we weren’t duplicating the work. Social Library Blog Wiki is publicly available at this URL. Why did we create the wiki? participants who can view it before and after the sessions for library staff who cannot attend. For speakers: they can all add content to the page for the tool they are speaking about We also had more flexibility in how we laid out the information so that people could come back to it again and again and easily find what they want (rather than a blog which is more chronological) Why pbwiki software? I had used it before – it was easy to use friendly interface freely available over the web (no need to download anything) lots of great plugins - includes table of contents and Google Calendar (show these). also has templates for educators which you can use to get started if you're new to web design and an easy point and click editor that works like Word. Also supports tagging and RSS Home Page: side bar to connect pages and acts as a table of contents Sessions Overview: overview of our philosophy used Google Calendar plugin to list upcoming sessions list of topics along with people who have expressed an interest in speaking on them (put out a call initially to ask who was interested)
  • - We won’t be talking about how to use these tools today – only about how we taught the sessions
  • We’ll talk briefly about the first 3 of our sessions to give you a sense of them – not the time to cover all of them. Common featires on wiki for all sessions: Summary info on the tool (included YouTube videos for some - why reinvent the wheel when someone else explains things?) pdf of the collated discussion responses Online bibliography in RefShare. (RefWorks not available to all, we are lucky enough to have it at UBC, but there are other tools out there, such as Zotero and Connotea that you can use to store citations)   Wikis session first session, back in May chose to cover wikis first because it was something we knew about and it was something easy to learn speakers were Susan and myself as well as Jo-Anne & Katherine Examples of how you can use them and showed examples Hands on: created another wiki specially for the session, again using pbwiki. Each participant could create a page, add content, add plugins etc. They could then choose to connect it up to the homepage of the wiki if they wanted All this meant they could try without having to create their own wiki. Discussion (show PDF) General feeling positive felt that there were definite practical uses for wikis but concerns about privacy and stability prizes - pbwiki gave away subscriptions to Gold version of pbwiki just for presenting (though we never got the t-shirt they promised) so we offered them as prizes for completing the survey
  • Virtual Worlds Our June session was on virtual worlds, particularly Second Life. Would like to acknowledge Katherine as the organizer and a speaker in this session. Katherine spoke about libraries and institutions in Second Life. Quite different to the first session – although some in the library were experimenting with Second Life personally, there is no UBC Library presence there.   Katherine came up with a particularly creative idea for the hands on part of the session – asked Second Life users to bring in their laptops and show people their avatars. Discussion (show PDF): how could use it: teaching, tours, reference, virtual meetings advantages: fun, visual element, staying relevant disadvantages: learning curve, bandwidth, software (technology is updated frequently and updates have to be downloaded, cost in time and money and maintenance what was the general feeling? - less positive than wikis but we expected that) - a lot more factors to consider - much more investment of our time and money and would need to know how many students are in there to warrant us going in
  • - several speakers – many of us were using Facebook by this point – we were able to discuss several elements – what is it, how to navigate, features and applications and privacy issues.
  • How successful has this been? Numbers – good for the Spring/Summer and real variety of both librarians and library assistants – rare example of a chance for staff of every level to meet and discuss these tools Surveys – because we got things off the ground quickly, we wanted immediate feedback. We set up a survey in Survey Monkey and sent it to participants after every session. People could comment on worked well or not and we tried to make adjustments where possible E.g. first session held in a lab – participants commented it was too noisy and hot – so we moved to a different room and moved back to the lab just for the hands on Group discussions Produced valuable ideas – enables anyone looking to use a tool to get an idea of the advantages and challenges
  • One purpose of TOTS was to fill a gap we saw in our knowledge and to capitalize on the knowledge we knew many staff had to enable others to learn. We also wanted to draw attention to the need for us to learn these technologies. A Learning 2.0 program along the lines of McMaster etc is now being planned by a committee at UBC. Where does that leave TOTS? Our plans are for TOTS to continue – we see a huge benefit to this experimental and organic approach to learning. We’re freed up to look more at the real cutting edge tools – things that are only just coming out (unlike RSS, social bookmarking etc which have been around for a while now) – we can focus on what libraries should be paying attention to/what’s to come.
  • - Change to new references

Social Software Social Software Presentation Transcript

  • Social Software: Keeping up with our Students
    • Susan Atkey & Lindsay Ure UBC Library
    • BCLA Conference
    • April 19, 2008
    Logo by Stabilo Boss: http: //flickr .com/photos/stabilo-boss/93136022/
  • http://flickr.com/photos/jekemp/13302154/ Agenda
    • Background
      • Trends in Emerging Technology
    • How are Libraries Addressing the Need To Keep Pace with Students?
    • UBC Library: Tools for Outreach and Teaching Series (TOTS)
  • We’re all trying to keep up …
    • I use lots of technology, but my sister who is a sophomore in high school knows more about technology than I do. I’ve been too busy to keep up and I am getting outdated. I guess we are all dinosaurs to some extent.
    • a graduating senior
    • The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007
    • http://connect.educause.edu/Library/ECAR/TheECARStudyofUndergradua/45075
  • What are the trends in emerging technology?
    • EDUCAUSE Horizon Reports
    • Annual report on areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education
    • Includes likely timeframes (adoption horizons) for acceptance into mainstream over the next 1 to 5 years
  • EDUCAUSE Horizon Reports: New Technology Adoption Horizons 2008 2007 Mobile Broadband Data mashups Mobile phones Virtual Worlds 2 to 3 years Grassroots video Collaboration webs User-Created Content Social Networking Less than 1 year Collaborative intelligence Social operating systems New Scholarship Massive Multiplayer Educational Gaming 4 to 5 years
  • 2008 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report : Trends and Challenges
    • Emphasis on collaborative learning is pushing educators to develop new forms of interaction and assessment.
    • Growing expectations to deliver services, content and media to mobile and personal devices.
    • Growing need to provide formal instruction in information, visual, and technological literacy as well as in how to create meaningful content with today’s tools.
    • The gap between students’ perception of technology and that of faculty continues to widen
    • The growing use of Web 2.0 and social networking - combined with collective intelligence and mass amateurization - is changing the practice of scholarship.
    • How are libraries addressing the need
    • to keep pace with students?
    Photo by KK+ : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/9681952/
    • created by Helene Blowers, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC
    • for all library staff at PLCMC
    • structured, self learning – 23 activities over 9 weeks
    • incentives – prizes for completing the program
    • created using Web 2.0 tools - blog, YouTube, Flickr
    • program notes available for other libraries to duplicate/adapt
    • has now developed Learning 2.1 (a continuation) http: //explorediscoverplay . blogspot .com/
    PLCMC Learning 2.0 (Fall 2006) http: //plcmclearning . blogspot .com/
  • Five Weeks to a Social Library – early 2007 http://www. sociallibraries .com/course/
    • 5 week online course, offered Feb/March 07
    • “ grassroots” effort, created by a group of librarians in the U.S. and Canada
    • Participants were librarians who weren’t able to attend conferences to learn about social software
    • taught using social software tools & other interactive, media tools (blog, IM, webcasts, MP3s)
    • content freely accessible online
  • Learning 2.0@Mac http://macetg.wordpress.com/about-learning-20-mac/
    • developed by the “Emerging Technologies Group” at McMaster University Libraries
    • for all library staff
    • inspired by PLCMC Learning 2.0
    • 12 weeks, Feb-May 2007
    • exploring tools & how they can be used by the library
    • one activity per week, participants arranged into groups
    • incentive – prize for completing program
  • Tools for Outreach & Teaching Series @ UBC Library Photo: http://flickr.com/photos/amigadave/350299827 TOTS
  • TOTS - A bit of background
    • April 2007:
      • Met to brainstorm series of summer workshops on emerging technologies.
      • Sense that we are all individually struggling to keep up with pace of new technology developments
      • Why not explore them together?
    • Our key requirements:
      • Open to all library staff
      • Hands-on / participatory
      • Exploratory / sense of play
    • May 2007:
      • The first session!
    • provide time and space to explore new technologies with peers
    • get hands dirty
    • experimentation
    TOTS Theme 1: Exploration and Play http://flickr.com/photos/wwworks/1431384410/
    • explore new technologies as tools
    • explore how we might want to use them in our work environment at the library
    • determine which tools are NOT suitable for us!
    • determine which tools have enduring value for our work and which are novelty items
    TOTS Theme 2: Tools
  • TOTS: Using Social Software to Support the Series
    • Wiki: to act as a resource for speakers and participants - session information, links to presentation slides, useful links, discussion notes ( tots. pbwiki .com )
    • Blog : posted to an existing blog to alert staff to new sessions
    • Google Docs : for other documentation created, such as stats, agendas, & checklists (Google Docs)
    • Del.icio.us: feed to illustrate social bookmarking
    • RefWorks : created online bibliographies for further reading and made available using RefShare
  • TOTS Sessions: Structure
    • Presenters: Library staff already using the tool
    • “ Hands on”: Brief opportunity to try the tool
    • Facilitated discussion . 3 questions:
      • How do you see yourself using this tool in your work environment?
      • What are some of the advantages of using this technology?
      • What are some of the challenges of using this technology?
  • TOTS Sessions
    • Wikis – May 2007
    • Virtual Worlds – June 2007
    • Social Networking – July 2007
    • RSS – August 2007
    • Social Bookmarking – Dec 2007
  • Session 1: WIKIS Session 1: WIKIS http:// tots.pbwiki.com/Wikis
  • Session 2: Virtual Worlds Session 2: Virtual Worlds http:// tots.pbwiki.com/Virtual+Worlds
  • Session 3: Social Networking
  • Evaluation
    • Number of attendees:
    • Averaged 30 attendees for most sessions
    • Survey
    • Sent out a brief survey after the session for feedback – made changes for future sessions where possible
    • Discussion
    • Group discussion notes freely available on the TOTS Wiki: http://tots. pbwiki .com
  • Future of TOTS
    • Learning 2.0 program planned at UBC Library
    • TOTS to continue:
      • value of the experimental, organic approach
      • never-ending prolific stream of emerging technologies
      • we are free to look at truly cutting edge tools
  • Final Words…
    • What we’ve learned as coordinators:
      • That this experimental and more flexible approach to teaching and learning is both productive and fun!
      • We have the opportunity to be really creative and we can apply those skills to other areas of our work.
      • We hope we’ve planted a seed of experimentation …
  • Interested in Reading More?
    • New Media Consortium, and Educause Learning Initiative. 2007 Horizon Report. New Media Consortium, 2007. http://connect. educause .edu/Library/ELI/2007HorizonReport/37041
    • New Media Consortium, and Educause Learning Initiative. 2008 Horizon Report. New Media Consortium, 2008. http://connect. educause .edu/Library/ELI/2008HorizonReport/45926
    • Prensky, Marc. "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants." On the Horizon 9, no. 5 (2001): 1-6.
    • Educause Learning Initiative. 2007 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. http://www. educause .edu/ir/library/pdf/ers0706/rs/ERS0706w.pdf