This presentation will provide an overview of the planning, marketing, and assessment plans for the DeWitt Library blog and VoiceThread book reviews.
This project was completed as a requirement for IST 613: Planning, marketing & assessing library services, taught by Prof. Megan Oakleaf at Syracuse University. I worked in Ithaca, NY at DMS with librarian Joanne Church. The project was centered around establishing a library blog featuring student book reviews using Voicethread. The blog can be found at dewittlib.blogspot.com.
By way of a little background, DMS serves approximately 500 students in grades 6-8. The student population is diverse and includes a significant number of ESOL students, many of whom have family members studying or working at Cornell University. DMS Staff numbers about 100.
This project had 3 main goals. The first of these was to increase student and staff use of resources on the library website. It had been three years since the website had been updated, and adding a blog offered a way to quickly add new content without needing to go in and write the code for it. The outcome that would measure the success of the goal would be a an increase in site traffic.
The second goal focuses on staff. Staff has been a bit wary of using Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc., and one of the goals of the project is to use the blog to get staff interested in trying new tools. We could then build a school portfolio of projects that students and their families could access online. The outcome for this goal would be to have 1 staff member have a completed class project ready to embed on the library website by the end of the semester.
The last goal is to provide opportunities for students to gain information literacy skills by using Web 2.0, as evidenced by an increase of skills as measured by an information literacy evaluation tool.
We decided on Voice Thread book reviews and a blog for this project for several reasons. Not only were both tools easy to use and update, they address information literacy standards, provide an opportunity to showcase Web 2.0 technology for staff, and would be appealing to the students. In addition, the fact that these tools were free and that there was little risk involved made them an attractive means for adding content to the website.
In a review of the literature, articles reinforced the idea that a blog would be an effective way to present library resources, and would appeal to a generation of students that expects to be able to interact with and add to content rather than just view it.
User needs were mostly assessed internally, with Mrs. Church feeling that the library website needed fresh content, along with her desire to have a section of the website that could be quickly updated andt hat would provide a way for teachers to incorporate technology literacy skills into their curriculum. The blog would also provide a way to demonstrate new tools and showcase student work.
During the planning process, one blog, Lindero Loves Books, provided a model of what a successful library blog might look like. VoiceThread was chosen because it is an easy-to-use tool that is very inexpensive ($10 for an educator account) and that offers a secure educational site. Settling on the right blogging tool took a while longer. The two top contenders were edublogs and blogspot. Edublogs looked great but, because of security concerns, does not offer users the option of embedding content. Users can link to content, but that loses the immediacy of having a VoiceThread review (with an appealing visual) right on the blog. Blogspot offered the best alternative.
Here is a peek at the blog. In addition to what you can see here, further down the page are links to interesting educational websites and podcast sites.
Now that we had the basic plan and a functional blog, the next step was to market it to the school community. As you can see here, our goals for marketing are to develop awareness and use of the blog, encourage students to use it responsibly, and show teachers how it connects to learning standards.
Here are the key messages aimed at each of our target audiences.
Let’s look at some of the specific promotional strategies from the marketing plan.
After planning and marketing, we come around to the assessment piece. As we aim to measure the success of our new service, we will be conducting surveys and interviews as well as assessing individual information literacy skills.
Conducting assessments will help us determine how to develop the blog and book reviews in the coming school year, and will inform the next cycle of planning, marketing, and assessment.
Brisson pma presentation
DeWitt Library Blog & VoiceThread Book Reviews: <ul><li>Presentation of Project, Marketing and Assessment Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Gail Brisson </li></ul><ul><li>IST 613 </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Megan Oakleaf </li></ul><ul><li>April, 2009 </li></ul>
Project Background <ul><li>Requirement for IST 613: Planning, Marketing & Assessing Library Services. </li></ul><ul><li>Worked in Ithaca, NY with DeWitt Middle School librarian Joanne Church on establishing student VoiceThread book reviews on a new library blog (dewittlib.blogspot.com). </li></ul>
Background <ul><li>DeWitt Middle School serves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>approximately 500 students in grades 6-8, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>about 100 staff members. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The student body is economically and culturally diverse and includes a significant ESOL population. </li></ul>
Goals & Outcomes <ul><li>Goal 1: To increase student and staff use of resources on the library website. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome 1: By the end of the semester, blog traffic will increase by 15% and students and staff will be using the site to post book reviews and comments. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Goal 2: To increase staff’s effective use of appropriate Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and build a school portfolio highlighting successful projects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome 2: By the end of the semester, at least 1 teacher will be have completed class projects ready to be embedded on the library website. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Goal 3: To provide opportunities for students to gain information literacy skills by using Web 2.0 tools. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate an increase in familiarity with information literacy concepts and skills. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Why VoiceThread book reviews and a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use and update; </li></ul><ul><li>Address learning standards; </li></ul><ul><li>Showcase technology for staff; </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to students; </li></ul><ul><li>Low-risk, low-cost project. </li></ul>
Articles about blogging and libraries suggest that: <ul><li>blogs are most useful when centered around a specific purpose; </li></ul><ul><li>blogs effectively promote library services; </li></ul><ul><li>this generation of students expects to be able to participate in generating content, not just absorbing it. </li></ul>
User needs assessment <ul><li>Time to add fresh content to the library’s website. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs have become a popular publishing platform for quickly posting information and encouraging conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>New tools provide teachers with an opportunity to weave technology literacy into their curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>A showcase for new tools and for student work. </li></ul>
Planning <ul><li>Lindero Loves Books ( http://linderobooks.blogspot.com ) as a model </li></ul><ul><li>VoiceThread: easy, fun, inexpensive, secure </li></ul><ul><li>The right blogging tool: edublogs vs blogspot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>edublogs: no embedded content, only links. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blogspot: allows embedded content. </li></ul></ul>
Marketing <ul><li>Target market: DeWitt students, staff, and families </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect to learning standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage responsible digital citizenship </li></ul></ul>
Key Messages <ul><ul><li>Staff: Connect to the curriculum--connect to your students @ the DeWitt library blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students: That book--love it? Hate it? Blog it! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Families: Connect to the benefits of blogging! </li></ul></ul>
Assessment <ul><li>How successful is our new service? </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online survey of students and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews with students and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment of information literacy skills </li></ul></ul>
Planning, Marketing, Assessment Cycle <ul><li>Assessment results will help us determine what worked as well as what didn’t. </li></ul><ul><li>This will inform how the blog and book reviews develop next year. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous planning, marketing and assessment offer the opportunity for continuous improvement. </li></ul>
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