Instruction On Demand: Shifting Time and Space


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  • I’d like to start with an overview of what we’re going to cover:
    We’ll look at the larger communication context followed by an explanation of what is meant by shifting time and space.
    Then some examples of how these things are playing out in education in general, and library instruction in particular
    Finally, we’ll look at how Web 2.0 tools are expanding opportunities for LIS continuing education
    So, let’s dive in…
  • The web continues to evolve and whether you call it the read/write web, web 2.0, or web-as-platform – it is increasingly interactive and collaborative. But -- the buzz words are not as important as the profound changes in communication that they attempt to describe.

    These changes affect general communication and entertainment, but also education – and by extension – library instruction.

    Some common Web 2.0 themes are continuous improvement/development and user participation
  • User expectations are changing, and library instruction must adapt to keep pace and be effective.

    This December 2006 cover of Time magazine sums it up nicely. The small print says:
    “You Control the Information Age. Welcome to your World.”

    Individuals expect to have some choices and some input as they interact with information. They expect innovation and efficiency and accept that the price for that is constant change. These expectations extend to library use as well.
  • Einstein was once asked by an interviewer for his phone number -- which he proceeded to look up in the phone book. He asked the astonished interviewer why he should memorize something when he knew where to find it.

    I think we can learn something from this. In a landscape of rapid and perpetual change, library users are not willing to sit through lengthy explanations or memorize things only to have them change a few months later.

    It makes more sense to learn on an as-needed basis and to know where and how to find information -- rather than storing it all in your head.
  • In order to provide instruction at the point of need, time and space shifting become crucial.

    READ definitions.

    In the last few years, technology developments have increased the ease of shifting time and space – but it is not a new concept.
  • Anyone remember these? [early VCR or Betamax] Back in the 70’s, Betamax and VHS made time shifting available to the masses – at least for TV programming and movies.
  • Continuing in this vein, we now have TV “on-demand” as part of cable/satellite subscriptions [comcast]
    Viewers can choose from a list of always-available programs without worrying about schedules.
  • And the bounderies between TV and the web are clurring. Joost is a new service that takes it even further by blending TV viewing with internet, chat, instant messaging, and search
  • Digital video recorders enable smart searching and recording to hardrives [tivo and other digital video recorders]
  • You can also view an increasing number of popular shows online for free, after they’ve aired. No more missing an episode of LOST – even if you forgot to record it. [ABC]
  • And you can skip the trip to the video store and just download movie content directly instead [tivo/amazon]
  • Of course the iPod and other digital audio players have been allowing users to create their own portable music playlists for several years now. Now everyone can be a DJ.

    Many of thesecan now also play video
  • These examples all offer a level of flexibility and control – time constraints are removed and many user-friendly efficiencies are built in.

    Now what about space shifting?
    Continuing with the entertainment example, the user can now shift programs onto portable devices to watch when and where they want to.
    [TV through iTunes]
    [Tivo to Go]
  • in fact, there are all kinds of mobile devices now that are used for phone conversations, web access, text messaging, gaming, listening to music, watching video, reading books and articles, and even GPS navigation. Increasingly, each device will be capable of several of these functions rather than just one.
    [palm treo?]
  • But what is the impact of time and space shifting in the education sector? Well, distance education seems to be growing exponentially, due in part to technologies that enable a richer experience. Some examples are:
    remote web access to many library resources 24 hours a day
    interactivity with instructors and other students through live chat and also discussion blogs where comments can be left at any time. Discussion is not limited to an hour in a classroom.
    lectures available as podcasts for listening anytime
  • Here’s just one example of education content being offered through iTunes.
  • This is all about shifting time and space.
    The tag line is:
    “Stanford to go. In your home. In your car. In your pocket.”
  • But let’s look more specifically at libraries and library instruction.
    The expectation of users is that they will have some control over what they learn and when they learn it.
    This is true of both students and public library users. No one has time to waste.
    The good news is that we do have the tools to do this. Through a combination of screencasts, anticipating questions, and leveraging mobile devices we can make library instruction more far-reaching and effective then ever before.
  • The benefit for the library user is that they can view this content when they actually need it – which means it will be more likely to stick. The downside of a one-shot class at the start of the semester is that the content is not yet tied to a problem the student has to tackle.

    The other plus is that the screencast can be watched as many times as needed until the content is grasped. It can also be reviewed any time of the day or night, so when someone is stuck at 3am and the paper is due the next morning, they can get help right from their desk.

    This is also a benefit for instructors, since for the time investment of planning out and recording the instruction segment, we can potentially reach the entire community rather than a single classroom of semi-conscious students in a one shot session.

    Another key benefit is that screencasts make it easier to offer more advanced or discipline-specific tutorials which may not have been possible before due to the amount of energy and staff time invested in offering many introductory live workshops.

    Now it should be noted that there is still be a space and a need for the live one hour information literacy class or an online work-at-your-own pace equivalent. These tend to cover fundamental concepts – not specific strategies and interfaces. Screencasst are better for shorter, more specific instruction.

    But screencasts can really help address the confusion that can arise from the multiple interfaces most libraries offer. Much like Einstein and his phone number – it might not make sense for a student to memorize every interface because there are too many and they are always changing.
  • Space shifting can also mean re-purposing content. That is developing instructional materials once but making them available via several access points. The goal is to put the material where your users already are:
    Embedded in courseware
    Subject guide page
    Tutorials page
    e-resources page
    Mobile version
  • The next logical step for library instruction is to leverage mobile devices – which are becoming more and more ubiquitous.

    There are already mobile resources available for the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and
    These mobile web pages are similar in functio to the full size version -- they are just formatted for a small screen.
  • Mobile databases are becoming available now too, like PubMed mobile search.
  • At Ball State University, students can search the catalog and serials collections, and get contact information -- all from their mobile devices.

    [Ball State University Libraries]

  • Short (attention span {don’t be like a phone menu}, bandwidth, ease of updating)
  • Camtasia and Captivate are full features solutions. Ease of use and flexible editing are key characteristics. These cost around $200-300 dollars with education/nonprofit pricing.

    There are many other options, some free -- but most have fewer features or expect the user to know a lot about video compression, audio formats and things like that.
  • Usually the term “library instruction” makes us think of students or the public.

    But it also can apply to our own professional development. Librarians are learners too, and Web 2.0 tools are greatly expanding the opportunities for continuing education.

    Distance learning is much more viable and less isolating now. Blogs, wikis, and live chat add a level of discussion and collaboration that makes the experience much more interactive. Course lectures and other presentations can made available by podcast, screencast, or webcast.

    Webcasts differ from screencasts in that they are live and usually cover a longer presentation. Often they are recorded to allow later viewing too.
  • A great example of this kind of rich distance learning experience is the recent course Five Weeks to a Social Library.
    It was defined by the5 organizers as:
    “is the first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. It was developed to provide a free, comprehensive, and social online learning opportunity for librarians who do not otherwise have access to conferences or continuing education”

    Let’s look at the site [title link]
  • A great example of this kind of rich distance learning experience is the recent course Five Weeks to a Social Library.
    It was defined by the5 organizers as:
    “is the first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. It was developed to provide a free, comprehensive, and social online learning opportunity for librarians who do not otherwise have access to conferences or continuing education”

    Let’s look at the site [title link]

  • Instruction On Demand: Shifting Time and Space

    1. 1. Instruction on Demand: Shifting Time and Space Michele Mizejewski Electronic Services Librarian Redwood City Library
    2. 2. Outline: The larger communication context Shifting time and space Education Library instruction Web 2.0 and LIS education
    3. 3. The Participatory Web
    4. 4. Shifting Time and Space Time shifting - recording content to a storage medium to be viewed or listened to at a time more convenient to the consumer Space shifting - moving content to a different location, sometimes by changing its format, to allow more convenient access
    5. 5. Music: Your Way
    6. 6. Impact on Education 24/7 access to library resources Live chat across geographic distance Asynchronous ongoing discussions Lecture podcasts
    7. 7. Implications: Library Instruction User expectation of some control over learning process Methods: Screencasts Anticipating questions Mobile content
    8. 8. Screencast Benefits For Users anytime, anywhere instruction available at point of need repeatable For Instructors time invested in planning can reach more users less repetition becomes practical to offer advanced or discipline-specific material
    9. 9. Anticipate Instruction Needs Instructional material where your users are already Use multiple access points embedded in courseware subject guide page tutorials page e-resources page mobile version
    10. 10. Mobile Search
    11. 11. Screencasting Tips Keep It Short attention span file size easier updates Quality Production well planned clear and to the point sound and video quality matter
    12. 12. Screencasting Tools Camtasia Studio Captivate Wink Screenography CamStudio Many others...
    13. 13. LIS Continuing Education Distance learning more interactive blogs wikis chat Time and space shifting extends reach podcasts webcasts screencasts
    14. 14. Five Weeks to a Social Library
    15. 15. Conclusion Time and space shifting dramatically extend the reach of library instruction Web 2.0 tools can enable a more convenient, interactive learning experience
    16. 16. Thank you Michele Mizejewski Electronic Services Librarian Redwood City Library