Give ‘em a playground and they’ll learn: Challenge-based technology training in Libraries

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Presented at Emerging Technologies Interest Group preconference, 2007

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  • While formal training on specific applications is important to staff development, the speed with which technology progresses and integration of computer applications also require the development of less tangible abilities. Problem solving and troubleshooting skills are crucial to reducing technostress and allowing staff to adapt quickly to technological change. This program will take a holistic, yet modular approach to computer literacy training, providing manageable tasks to complete on all aspects of technology.
  • Practical: skills useful to personal life – i.e., email
  • Staff = LAs
  • Give ‘em a playground and they’ll learn: Challenge-based technology training in Libraries

    1. 1. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Give ‘em a playground and they’ll learn Challenge-based technology training Gillian Byrne, QEII Library Memorial University of Newfoundland
    2. 2. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Introduction  Proposed pilot program at MUN that involves participants solving one basic technology-related task a week, with the prizes awarded at the end  Motivations  Characteristics  Pilot Structure  Task Development
    3. 3. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Genesis  All good things happen over drinks  Kissin’ cousins:  Learning 2.0 Program (Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County)  Google development time program  E-skills passport (UK)
    4. 4. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Motivations 1. Instill confidence in staff & librarians in their technology skills 2. Ensure all librarians and staff have the same basic computer skills 3. Encourage staff to take ownership of their computers 4. Create a culture of “play” when it comes to learning technology
    5. 5. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Characteristics  Self directed  Volunteer  Practical  Incentive based  Incorporated into current work  Fun!
    6. 6. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Population & Structure  Population  Open to all staff who wish to participate  Supervisors must be able to ensure participants are given the time to do the pilot  Structure  One task per week for four months  Tasks get progressively harder  10 “hints” available to each participant
    7. 7. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Tasks  Characteristics:  “Tasks”: Doable, achievable items  Take no more than one hour to research and complete  Universal: applicable to all staff (software & platforms)  Learning opportunity: ideally completing a task provides some insight into how computers work
    8. 8. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Infrastructure  Email: Initial task announcement & reminders (shared calendar feature of Outlook)  Shared Drive: workspace  Blog: resource & communication centre
    9. 9. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Answers & Learning Opportunities  At the end of each task period a pre written answer will be made available detailing the answer, how it was obtained and hints for further development  Personalized responses will be sent out as necessary
    10. 10. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Example  Task  Create a folder with your name on it in the R: drive. Take a screen capture of the r: window and save the image to your folder.  Hint:  Check out the first hit in this Google search
    11. 11. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Example  Answer: 1. To open the r: drive, click on my computer, then select r:. See this step 2. To create a folder, right click on the r: window and select New…Folder OR File in the menu bar, then New…Folder. See this step 3. To take a screen capture of the window, click ALT+PrtSc. Open Microsoft Paint (Start…Programs… Accessories…Paint) and select File…Paste (or CTRL+V). 4. To save your screen capture to the R: drive, select File…Save as…. Select R: and click OK. See this step
    12. 12. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Rewards  All participants who successfully complete all tasks are entered in a draw for gift certificates to the campus bookstore & computer centre
    13. 13. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Pilot Program Assessment  An qualitative assessment scheme will be implemented with the pilot - a short survey will be sent out at the completion of each task.  Quantitative analysis will also be undertaken at the end of the pilot
    14. 14. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Challenges  Buy in from administration  Buy in from staff  Task development  Scale
    15. 15. Getting to Library 2.0 May 23rd 2007 Future Plans  Fix?!?  Expand  Automate  Teamwork

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