Wednesday, June 06, 2007

SLA 2007 - Day 4 (Wednesday)

We start off with our closing speaker, Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. Very good presenter, intelligent, humourous (very well timed), and all in all just plain delightful. Other SLA members have reviewed Scott's presentation. Click here or here for more in-depth opinions.

New Technologies in Instruction and Training Poster Session
I stopped by this briefly, and picked up several really good tips, tools and ideas. Below are what I found to be the gems.
  • Drexel University Libraries have created a "subway map" of the many avenues of getting users content. The "stations" on the different "lines" show how complex the information delivery world is. They have even created "schedules" for various "routes" (LC schedules). Its all quite innovative.
  • A tool called Wink allows you to do screen captures, or import from image, then add audio, explanation boxes, buttons, etc. and export to Macromedia Flash (.swf). Sounds like a wonderful way to create cross-platform tutorials for various programs your library or institution might be using.
  • Tim Tierney at URI was talking about these pens can digitally read what you write on paper. Well, I ran across that tool in this session. Its called Tegrity.
  • I got a name of someone at Yale libraries that's doing podcasting. Since I'm moving a few blocks away from Yale, and my upstairs neighbour-to-be is a librarian there, I figured this was a good connection to try to make.

Podcasting the Librarian Way
by the IT division, with speakers Tammy Allgood and Debbie MacLeod
This course provided an introduction to some of the possibilities of what podcasting can do for a library or information center. Tammy Allgood, of Arizona State University, showed us what she was able to do at her library for less than $300 of equipment. Debbie MacLeod, of the Colorado Talking Book Library, presented some of what her institution was doing to bring literary content to the textually impaired. Below are a list of podcasts that librarians have put together.

SLA Tech Zone: Podcasting – Make Noise the New Fashioned Way
presented by Thomas Dopko of Dow Jones
Another wonderful presentation by Tom. This course covered the technical requirements for getting a podcast up and running. That is, what do you have to do to be a podcaster. I won't go to far in depth, since you can view the slides of the presentation until Dec 31. I will, however, summarize how incredibly easy it is to podcast. You need the following:
  1. Content - find something you want to say, either in audio or video form
  2. Record that content in a standard form - .mp3 for audio, .mov for video
  3. Host the content - put it on a server
  4. Get or make an RSS feed for that content - you can use a free service like Switchpod, or write your own XML feed
  5. Share your feed address with people - let them know where they can find your content
  6. As a user, have a feed reader for podcasts (iTunes works well, so does Juice), and put that address into it.
  7. YOU'RE DONE!!!!
I'm looking forward to creating and hosting some of my own podcasts soon. I already have the tools, the software, and server to get everything up and running. I would just need to upload the videos and mp3s to the Apache part of the server, write an RSS feed document, and then point people to it all. Couldn't be easier.

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