Friday, 4 December 2009

Conference talks in the pipeline

I've just been accepted to talk at two conferences, LILAC in Limerick next March and EMTACL10 in Trondheim in April.

Both have QR codes as a theme, but the LILAC talk is entitled "QR Codes – using mobile ‘phones to deliver library instruction and help at the point of need." and is very much about what I've done at the University, what's worked and what hasn't and how it supports information skills.

The EMTACL talk also covers QR codes, but with the title "Blurring the boundaries between our physical and electronic libraries" it is much more of a rant from me! I'll be talking about how we can blur the boundaries between the physical library and electronic resources through technologies such as QR codes as well as mentioning some other technologies such as GPS and wireless communication and their potential. It'll then be a bit of a rant as to why we don't use RFID for interesting stuff instead of just using it for stock circulation....

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Last focus group!

Ran my last focus group yesterday - have starting writing them up, but half still to do. Some interesting things jumping out already:

1) Students are happy us getting their mobile phone numbers any way we can and using them to get in touch - as long as it's with "useful" information. Defining "useful" is a bit tricky though...

2) Any barrier, however small, is too big and will stop them using new services. This is unless they see an immediate and obvious advantage to doing it.

3) Most of the focus group members only thought about using library services in the library - all our electronic resources; all the ways of contacting us; all the info on webpages; twitter, etc. used almost entirely on campus by those attending the focus groups. So, most genuinely didn't see the point in anything delivered to mobile devices unless they gave them an advantage on campus. Bit of a surprise this! The students were a mix of part & full time as well...

Will need to follow up with some sort of contact with distance learners perhaps? Or more part-timers to see if this is typical?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Lots of things done today

A productive morning, mobile projects wise!

  • Just submitted at possible workshop to the CoFHE / UC&R joint conference 2010 on mobile 'phone stuff.

  • Pretty much finished an article I'm writing to complement a talk I've submitted to LILAC 2010 - if I do the talk, it'll be submitted to the Journal of Information Literacy (run by the same people as the conference, so only polite to give them first crack at it!).

  • Done a draft version of the questionnaire I'll use to assess how the Text tips & tricks went (using a form in Google docs for that one). Also scheduled the last of the text tips and tricks to go out over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Focus groups

Started a series of focus groups for students to talk about how they feel about existing and potential mobile 'phone services.

Really struggling to get people to sign up for them - advertised it in student portal, emails to all students, plasma screens, teaching sessions, twitter, facebook.... Everyone who takes part will be put into a draw for an new generation iPod Nano, so quite a nice prize which I thought would be an incentive.

Bit startled so far at how conservative the students are in their thoughts on mobile services - have to see how the others pan out...

Monday, 19 October 2009

Extreme makeover: Transforming the face of your Library Service

Here's the presentation I'm giving at the "Extreme makeover: Transforming the face of your Library Service" day in Leeds on 26th October.

My handout that goes along with it is below:

Monday, 12 October 2009

Guest spot on UKOLN blog!

I was asked to do a guest spot on the UKOLN cultural heritage blog about the text a librarian service after they spotted my recent article in CILIP's Update magazine.

Duly done this weekend and straight up on their blog today!

QR codes competition

Just launched a competition for students to have a chance of winning £100 worth of vouchers if they can find and decode 7 out of 10 competition QR codes in the library - the hope being it might get some people to install a reader on their 'phones and start exploring...

Promoted it via twitter (@hudlib); facebook (library page); the Huddersfield Student newspaper (short article); posters; and flyers. In a couple of weeks time I'll put it on the student portal and maybe send out a mass email to students as a 2nd wave of promotion.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

HHL09 last gasp!

HHL09 last gasp!

Y-factor presentation: the winners of this years Y factor competition
(innovation in their learning) for 6-16 year olds celebrating their
success by presenting to the main conference. Normanby primary school
showed how they use PDAs & other tech - full of humour, really good
presentation. Lots of videos they made in school. Got notes / slides
in wrong order but coped well with it!

Research strand again - round table format, so got to choose who to
listen to. Couldn't make notes as there were only one or 2 at a table!
Say talks on a visual voting system; the OU mobile library stuff; and
a central repository for mobile learning projects. When I edit the
blog I'll put details in..

Last keynote - the legendary Ray Kurzweil via video link. The
acceleration of technology in the 21st Century: the impact on
education and society. Exponential growth in computing power, we can't
picture this - tend to think linear not exponential. This is why we
struggle to picture the future.
Involved in reading machines for the blind since early 70s. First was
like a big copier. Now got it integrated into mobile including
translation & more.. Predicted hardware would be available in 2008 so
started developing software in 2002! Adding object recognition as
Important for us: need to plan for what is possible at end of a
project as things can change dramatically in a few years.
Showed graph of beginning of life on Earth to invention of PC. Claims
to show move towards singularity- we use complexity of life or
complexity of tech to move to the next level of complexity and
paradigm shift. Says these progressions are fairly smooth and always
have been.
Predicting $1000 for human level computing power by 2020. Just need
the software to take advantage of it. Says we have lots of specific
apps to do intelligent tasks, but nothing for the full thing. Reverse
engineering the human brain is giving us ideas & helping us model more
& more of the brain.
Says by 2029 we'll have systems integrated with our brain to expand
our mental health.

Fascinating talk, nothing new to me, but great to hear from the horses

BTW- didn't win anything in the prize draw that followed...

HHL09 research strand continued..

HHL09 research strand continued..

George Saltsman from the middle of nowhere on the US )250 miles from
next big metroploitan area!). IPhone has allowed them to experiment as
it's the first with a decent browser - so focussed on iPhones
initially. Can find practically anything on their mobile apps - sounds
completely integrated into college life. Also sounds very easy for
lecturers to share materials / calendars / etc. - wonder if that means
they've got decent buy in from staff? Have done research into what
impact mobile learning has had at their college.
First study - all first year students in a class given iPhones / iPod
touches. Had 92% of students in the class with them, so some degree of
backing off by lecturers. People much preferred using iPhone. People
didn't always take iPod touch with them, but did iPhone. Split about 2
to 1 iPhone to iPod touch.
Staff beleives program was a success (but so would I if I got an
iPhone out of it!). Real success - but important finding is that to be
successful it needs to be ad ubiquitous as possible. so iPhone worked
ad it's their own phone. IPod touch isn't as students don't bother
carrying them around, so miss out on mobile, always on learning.
Doesn't have much proof it has improved learning - just perceptions.

Jane Lunsford - OU. Wanted to know if students wanted to use mobile
devices. Dis some action research with groups across 9 subject areas.
Used for students who miss tutorials and feedback in various ways.
Used range of elearnungcstuff from mp3 to testing. Materials were
additional to course, it was completely optional whether students used
them - also covered elsewhere. Students seemed to like them from the
selected feedback shown in the talk.

Also they've tried a testing pilot with 450 students who volunteered
by text message. 20 messages, reminders of deadlines & resources, also
making best use of stuff. Students seem to like reminders - made them
feel like they hadn't been forgotten about. Prefer to email as they
noticed them! Lots of general elearning stuff OU does followed...
Like to see the final paper for info on text message pilot.

HHL 3rd day- first bit of Research strand

HHL 3rd day- Research strand part 1.

John Traxler- Will student devices deliver innovation, inclusion &; transformation?
Reviewers welcomed the fact his paper has introduced sociology back
into the papers. Papers will be published spring 2010 - this one
should be worth looking at.
Problems with dishing out devices; including scaling up- no or limited
sustainability. Country is awash with mobile devices. They change the
nature of learning (& society) - not just an easy fix. They allow us
to sustain community & shift ownership of learning from teachers to
community of learners.
In literature people discuss the blurring of the physical & real
worlds. Mobile tech is like wrist watches- glance, woken into real
world. Completely unlike fixed computers. Blurring of work & private
days as well.
Mobile tech is also changing our idea of identity. They are becoming
part of us.

Haven't really addressed the issue in education that people can be
physical present but virtually elsewhere.

Hard for institution when there is no convergence in mobile tech -
such as PCs. End up with animals running the zoo of using learners own
devices. Real problems with us managing this.

Robin Deegan. Issues & challenges in usabilty of mobile apps. Survey
for his PhD. Lots of definition at the start - should probably expect
this from a research student!
Survey : 202 students from range of countries. 65% use their device
for <5 mins per interaction. Not a lot of detail, ran really quickly
over few results he showed us. Full paper might be interesting for
full stats from survey.

Nicola Beddall-Hill mobile devices as boundary objects on field trips.
Mobile devices seen as fantastic for geography type field trips - but
very little research to prove it. Interested in how mobile tech
changes social interaction in learning on field trips. Using Actor
Network Theory in her research. Boundary objects are shared ideas or
concepts that are shared - used this to explore ideas. Interesting,
lots of people flipping between gps devices & paper, but not sure if
this paper would be worth reading for me, how tranferable is gps / gis
on field trips to other environments & kit?

Luciane Brown, Using mobile learning to teach learning. Focussed on
14-15 year olds & mobile phones. Look at Attewell 2005 for something
on mobiles supporting different learning styles.
She used smartphones that she provided for one class. Didn't use their
own phones. Could only use phones with teacher present. Looking at
groups that need help with reading. Control group did similar tasks
to mobile group but in class & with pencil & paper. Mobile group could
listen to vocabulary words (over phone), practice stuff using7
webpages & do exercises on phone. Not much difference in improvement
between groups. Not surprising- this is in no way mobile learning when
you have to sit on one place to do it. Study sounds a complete waste
of time in point if view. Sounds like she struggled to get permission
to do anything with the students... Has recommendations, but these are
useless without a mobile component of this research on supposed mobile

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

HHL 2nd day, 2nd half

Last few talks on day 2:

Phyllis H. Hillwig - mobile learning in K12 US education. Talked about
digital natives from the start, for me that = #fAil. Opportunity #1 -
How? Teachers moving from facilitator to connector.

What are students doing on their 'phones - her study. They'd like
to ... Missed al of this as she flicked straight passed it. Hmm.
Barely mentioned anything about handheld learning.

Felt that about lots of the speakers - lots of focus on primary $
secondary education, very little outside that. Very little re-usable
info on Handheld learning. Some talks have been fantastic. Lots have
been nice, but nothing I can take away. A few have been irrelevant
both to me & surely most of the audience?

This talk has completely lost me as these notes may make clear! Bloody
digital immigrants vs natives again! Doesn't seem to know why mobile
phone usage / mobiles are behind Europe. Even I know it's because of
the way telecoms companies gave charged in the US - only just stopped
charging to receive text messagess why doesn't she know it if she
works in the area? Now trying to encourage us to go to USA as their
conferences lack our knowledge & experience.

Linda someone - another company person. She says she is starting a
reading revolution. Slagging off lots of iPhone games. Developers not
thinking enough of design of these things. Distracting visuals &
sounds are not good. Really doesn't like iPhone because of lack of
flash - will develop for android when it supports flash.

Naomi Norman - talked about Nintendo ds lite game they've done for the
army to improve numeracy. Sounds really good - inspired repeated
effort, opportunistic learning, less stigma than print workbooks, ds
fired in pockets, were easy & familiar to use, was affordable! Allowed
more context than previous teaching.
Also showed another ds tool they've done in vehicle maintenance. Used
for refresher training & immediate info - tutorials & games.

Tony Vincent - last speaker of the day. Getting students engaged is my
mission. Boredom is the enemy of learning. Favourite handheld tool at
moment is iPhone / iPod touch. Talking about creating comics,
animations & podcasts. Examples: comic touch; (just mentioned
copyright! Good man!); strip designer; Ali's jigsaw puzzle; flipbook;
voice memos; posterous (email it & it automatically creates a blog
post with the audio embedded). Really nice talk with illustrations of
what he uses as a teacher.

HHL 2nd day pm - 1st half!

HHL 2nd day pm :

John Davitt. 100% +ve feedback on eBay - why more feedback tgere than
ever received in real life education. Lots of interaction. Google docs
to create 100 hour school - lots of stuff in conference connect.
Computers can act to make us the idiot vitesse. Great entertaining &
inspiring talk.

Alexandra Deschamps-something : founder of - Arduino, a
cheap & easy way to play with electronics. A way of learning by doing
hands on stuff. It's open source fir bith hardware & software. They've
been running workshops for anyone to use it. I want to play with it
but I know I've never find the time... Few books available - learning
through YouTube / forums / etc. Finish with 5 thoughts. 1) Cut & paste
good to start with. 2) failure is part of the process. 3) teaching
the value of open source (it's good to share) 4) intergeberational
experiences (teachers parents & students learning together). Missed one?

David Braben. Wrote Elite that I used to spend ages trying to load on
an Acorn Electron in my youth! Consider drop in computing degree
applicants since 2001. Technology talked down by media? ICT in schools
dull & taught by teachers that are often less technologically literate
than pupils. This is madness! Use technology to motivate - tech that's
used & fascinates children. Whole talk focussed on getting more
people into computer science rather than anything more general.

Tim Rylands - big ideas need big spaces. Using a wii game - African
safari. Put text box on PowerPoint and changes properties so it let's
you type into it during a presentation. Very entertaining. Has put
stuff on conference connect.

3rd keynote: Yvonne Roberts. What is education for ... In the 21st Century. Dyslexia is a way for middle class people to excuse their children's poor

3rd keynote: Yvonne Roberts. What is education for ... In the 21st
Century. Dyslexia is a way for middle class people to excuse their
children's poor performance. Tech is similarly split along class
lines. Public schools always known that The whole person is important.
Better to have one computer between 2- they learn twice ad much due to
working together.discussing SEED skills- Social & emotional
competencies; Emotional resilience; Enterprise innovation &
creativity; Discipline - both inner & willingness to accept external.
More relevant than just measurements like IQ? "whether you think you
can or think you can't, you are probably right." Henry Ford.says
resilience is more important than how clever you are. If you have the
right mindset & are resilient then you deserve as much support as the
"High acheivers" as it makes a real difference in life. the Young
Foundation trying to work from the bottom up, empowering learners.
Doesn't agree with tech as a tool. It's a valuable ingredient instead.

4th keynote: James Paul Gee -"compehension is grounded in perceptual
simulations that prepare agents for situated action" Barsalou,1998:p.
77. Thinks this says that we essentially run video games in our head.
Reading books without experience means they can't picture what it
means. It's like reading the manual to a computer game before you play
it- it doesn't make sense. Read it after looking at the game & it make
sense becausevwe can situate it in our experience. Children out of
school are following their own curriculum through gaming that follows
best practice. Schools don't. Games have in system & overview
viewpoints - allows a cognitively complex way of seeing how things
work. That's how scientists think. Action orientated texts help
understanding - so games use language leading straight to action.
World of Warcraft damage mods allow players to theorize as they play.
Lucidly functional language is good - you can have highly technical
language that all can understand if that language is married to an
action in the game. Gaming also allows "modding" - best way to
understand is to model it? Last- Passionate Affinity Groups: you're
never going to master anything unless you are passionate about it.
Games let you be part of a passionate group.

HHL - first 2 keynotes!

Again - just notes as I made them:

Intro : industry announcements:

Conferenceconnect - people who did online things.

Wild knowledge - free basic account - all web based

Intersog - pocket MBA iPhone app is example. 1 year free licence on
offer today.

Gcsepod- subscriptions for schools so they can give access to iPhone
type gcsepod resources

Main intro - Graham. Money issue for us all... Waiting for
transformation from government - tipping point reached? Tech easy &
cheap to access?
Showed his 4 year old "handheld learning girl" playing with her iPhone

First keynote: Zenna Atkins. Some great insights. Thinks future is
content not buildings / structures (though politicians feel otherwise)
delivered to handheld devices. Passport to future is immediate
assessment by handheld devices not certificates. Wants personal
education allowances so you can buy education from wherever you want,
nit just Victorian style schools.

#hhl now trending on Twitter!

2nd- Malcom McLaren: necer talked about education befire. Popular
culture - all of it says "it's cool to be stupid". Live in a culture
of desire cf culture of necessity (post war). Talent show is
representative if today's culture. Authenticity & karaoke sum up
struggle for today's society & education. Oposites - one defined by
the moment & lack of creativity, one which celebrates the messiness of
creativity. Tony Blair was a buffoon who should have been hung at
Zmarble arch where tyvurn once stood for trying to brandvys cool
Brittania. Beleives England teaches lies / deception through school &
tv. Illustrated by dixon of dock green - he new you couldn't talk to
the filth. Glad to leave school but not glad to get a job. Trainee
wine taster - a job his mother could boast about. Shown job by ex
forces officers - red faced, blue veined, etc. Drunk every night when
he got home. One day tried to avoid hideous lunch by ducking into st
martins school of art. Got himself fired by smoking gitanes in tasting
room. Shortly afterwards went to art school. Glorious cult of the
amateur - trying to be the glorious failure as inspired at art school.
Pistols in sex pistols because they were only 17 & he thought they
only had small penises. Declaration of ewar against society when he
accidently invented punk. Youth has to behave irreverently because of
it's beleif in it's own immortality. When standing for mayor 10% of
vote!) had to create a manifesto - Malcolm mclaren likes libraries!
Suggested putting pubs in public libraries to fund them...
Wants to restablish the idea of learning for learnings sake - the
flaneur exploring. Don't take information for granted just because
it's free. Use tech like a tool don't rely on it - if you rely on gps
how will you know when it sends you the wrong way?

How do we go away from the karaoke culture (question from audience) make sure
people know the real thing is sexuer. Karaoke is about fucking a blow
up doll - authentic is fucking the real thing


Hhl09 - pecha kucha notes

These are the notes as I've made them: I'll try and tart them up later!

First up - Martin Owen:

"What I'm going to do over next 55 years". Interested in how much stuff was in classroom 55 years ago - where has it gone, want to make more stuff.

Playing with small stuff - tiny micropossers to the computer becomes invisible. Ubiquitous; pervaisive; embedded; cheap.

Learn anywhere. Learn somewhere.

What would Maria Mintessori do? He's trying to create smart e-learning toys. 6x6cm tiles. Lots interact with each other. Putting learning back into stuff. Probably be making them within 6 months

2nd talk - Tony Vincent. Using web apps. Putting stuff on the cloud.

Showed online stopwatch. Avairy thing, minor? Garageband type thing.;; pixton (comics ); talking head); lots of nice stuff to play with.

3rd - James Clay "the future of learning". The past - why we do the things we do. We start in Sept. Because of the harvest. We need tostart breaking things down - reflect modern concerns. Remember learning is not about tech. Mobile learning about learners being mobile. Need institutions that are responsive & flexible. Need to reward innovation. Need solutions not barriers. Need culture change.

4th - Marcus specht - ambient information channels. How do people learn with augmented objects? What can sensors / displays do. Context gives meaning.

5th -Chris someone. Using DITA (an XML format) to deliver content to the iPhone.

Lots of probs with projector ..

6th - Jim? Mike? (librarian!) Everything is remediated. How desktop access / mobile web design are influencing each other. )Bolter & gruisin book 2000). Web stuff for mobiles are clean & quite limited in content - starting to be reflected by normal websites.

7th - Stuart Smith - the killer app for mlearning. 49% of uk adults accessed the mobile web? Apps- can be limiting, much prefers web. Mobile web is a flawed solution though. Good as browser is already loaded. Web addresses hard to use.

8th up -Lucy Haagen. M'ubuntu- down to earth mlearning for South Africa. Big problems with literacy on S. Africa.

9th - Martin Owen. 140 million mobile in Africa. 80 million in Brazil. Main concrn is nit having device but paying for "airtime". Talking about project in Capetown. Delivering stuff in 144 characters...
Recipricol reading is what he's used. Learners Got book & mobile. Used SMS groupware - text one number, software forwards it on to everyone else. Ask "what do you think xxx is about?" & then start to read - then have to ask "community" a question. Then re-read; then text a
question to check eveyones understanding. Have to then answer a colleagues question.

10th - James Clay again. 20 web 2.0 apps for learning. Flickr (notes & comments); Twitter (conversation); etherpad; Screenr (screen capture); Posterous (blog); Audioboo; evernote (online notes); Shozu; Google Apps; Ustream; Prezi; Slideshare; ning; delicious; wordpress; qik
(Nikia video broadcast); friendfeed; remember the milk; YouTube .

Friday, 2 October 2009

Text tips and tricks

Just sent a "welcome" text message to the first group of people to sign up to our "Text Tips & Tricks" service (by texting HUDUNI LIB to 81025 - so nice and easy!)

Hopefully a few more people will sign up over the coming week, so I'll set up a second group / welcome message for them.

The first proper text message is due to go out on Monday (5th October), containing a link to a podcast describing what they can find on floor 4 (the entrance floor of the library). I'll then schedule the rest to go out over the coming weeks....

Monday, 28 September 2009

Article writing

Trying to pull together an outline of an article for a peer reviewed journal at the moment that will link QR codes and information literacy. I've submitted a talk to LILAC2010 on a similar topic, so the article is designed to complement the talk - possibly in the journal run by the same people, Journal of Information Literacy.

Think I've probably done about as much as I can so far (just under 2,500 words) while I've still got so much feedback and usage data to come back on how well the QR codes are working.

Hopefully it should be relatively painless to complete in a couple of months time...

Saturday, 26 September 2009

MmIT event - mobile learning: what exactly is it?

Went to a really interesting mobile learning event in Aston the other day. I'm far too disorganised to write up any notes, but Andy Powell did a far better job anyway...

New articles on mobile 'phones & libraries by me!

I've had 2(!) articles published in the last week - On in Library Hi Tech News and one in CILIP update.

Full references below:

Walsh, Andrew (2009) Text messaging (SMS) and libraries. Library Hi Tech News, 26(8, pp. 9-11.

Walsh, Andrew (2009) Text a librarian @ Huddersfield. CILIP Update, October 2009, pp. 44-45.

Friday, 4 September 2009

QR codes, staff presentations

About to give my first presentation on QR codes to staff in the library, should be followed by another one next week, then I'll arrange a third to try and catch anyone that's missed out!

Most important part was letting people play with mobile 'phones to see how QR codes work.

Or the recording made while I was speaking, it was cut off slightly during the questions, but the full presentation is there:

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

QR codes in printed guides

Feverishly adding QR codes to printed guides now, linking to online quizes, videos and further help...

For instance I've added a quiz to my Law resources guide.

Hopefully people will see these strange things at the bottom of the printed guides and some will investigate. We'll see if it works!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Starting to stick QR codes around the library

Starting to stick QR codes around the library now ready for the start of term, though don't want too many up when there are still changes likely before the end of summer!

All the print journals now have QR codes linking to SFX to find electronic holdings.

Print credit machine has link to video on using it - though not sure now whether to stay with MoleTV or go with Youtube.

Hopefully sticking up some of the general "help" type ones later today - linking to "text a librarian" service for the fixed library catalogue points, for instance.

Monday, 10 August 2009

QR codes article

Just had a short article published on QR codes in Library Hi Tech News.

It's called simply Quick response codes and libraries - one of two short pieces I was asked to write after the editor heard my talk at LILAC 2009.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

CLS poster promenade

Spent yesterday in our service's poster promenade showing off the work we're doing to both take advantage of text messaging in the library and the way we're starting to use QR codes.

Lots of interest, with a few people realising they had QR readers on their 'phone (Nokia 'phones) and lots of people amazed by their potential!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Possible talk in October

I've just been approached to do a talk on QR codes and mobile stuff to library staff at an event in the Leeds area on 26th October - details to follow at a later date.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Article in library hi tech news

Just heard I've 2 short articles accepted for publication in Library Hi Tech News - the first one on QR codes and their potential for use in libraries.

I'll link to it when it appears!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Awareness of QR codes

Talked to 163 people today as they entered the library (so we know they are current library users) and showed them a picture of a QR code.

8% said they recognised what it was (though often struggled to put it into words!).  Not as many as at Bath (13.8%), but not a bad amount. It still adds up to almost a couple of thousand students if extraploated to our whole student population.

We wanted an idea of awareness as one of our measures of success will be if more know what they are this time next year!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Mobile quiz

Just found a lovely little JAVA based quiz generator for mobiles - mobile study. 

I'll have to work out how I can use it! Meanwhile here is a really short one based on the first few questions of a library trail we do with visiting school children:


Saturday, 2 May 2009

Engaging our Digital Natives event 12th June

Details should be going out in the next few days about a YU-INFOSKILLS event only open to Yorkshire universities (though it may be opened up if we don't get fully booked!). I'll be presenting some stuff about QR codes in the afternoon.

I've pasted the details below!

Engaging our Digital Natives: Technologies to Inspire Information Literacy Teaching

YU Information Skills Group invites you to a training event aimed at anyone interested in how technology might be applied effectively to information literacy in order to engage our students. The event will showcase examples of good practice from the region.
This one-day workshop will be held at:
The Learn Higher Room, J.B. Priestley Library, University of Bradford.

Friday 12th June 2009 10am-4pm

Fee: £35
Lunch and refreshments provided

In the first instance, this event is only open to staff from Yorkshire
Universities and there are 2 guaranteed places per institution. We will also guarantee 2 places for members of the RSC FE group.

Reserve names may be sent and will be kept on a waiting list.

After 22nd May, if places are still available, this workshop will be offered outside the Yorkshire Universities Information Skills Group membership.

Numbers are limited to 30. To book your place, please contact Grace Hudson ( with the following details:

Your name:

Institution name:

Postal address:

Email address:

Additional requirements, e.g. diet/access:

Address of person to invoice if different from above:

Order number (if applicable):

Cancellation policy: cancellations less than one week before the event will be charged for, but an alternative may be sent.
Engaging our Digital Natives: Technologies to Inspire Information Literacy Teaching
Yorkshire Universities Information Skills Group Workshop
Learn Higher Room 01.58, JB Priestley Library, University of Bradford,
Friday 12th June 2009
10:00 Registration and coffee

10:15 Welcome and introduction

10:20 Using technology to be more inclusive and effective – Dr Simon Ball, JISC TechDis Service

11:15 Coffee

11:35 Title to be confirmed - Dave Pattern, University of Huddersfield

12:15 Group discussion

12:45 Lunch

1:35 Putting it into practice: Showcase of working examples from the region

First round – chose two out of three from:

Tutorials using Captivate, Articulate and Informs – Alison Robson, Susan Smith and Jennifer Wilson, Leeds Metropolitan University

QR codes and mobiles – Andrew Walsh, University of Huddersfield

Web-based information skills tutorials, screencasts, Flash tutorials, and blogs – Jenny Pacheco and Vic Grant, University of Sheffield

Second round – choose two out of three from:

Integrating interactive workbooks into BlackBoard using Wimba Create (Course Genie); Elluminate classrooms – Diane Kearns, Maureen Readle, Sarah George and Donna Irving, University of Bradford

QR codes and mobiles – Andrew Walsh, University of Huddersfield

Interactive tutorials: bite-sized chunks for new students, and engaging undergraduates and researchers with Articulate Engage – Helen Howard and Michelle Schneider, University of Leeds

3:05 Group discussion

3:30 Refreshments and plenary

4:00 Close

Friday, 24 April 2009

First mobile video

Created my first "mobile friendly" video - a quick tour of one of the floors of the library. I've just done it as a series of photographs interspersed with nice large chunks of text, so hopefully easy to see on a small screen!

I've put the version online I've tried on my windows mobile device. It looks okay to me on a small screen, so I'll be tidying it up and creating a few more in 2 different formats and giving them to people to test with some trial phones as soon as I can...

Here's a QR code that links to it in various formats on MoLeTV:

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Mobile videos

I'll try and create my first mobile friendly videos next week.

We've a few videos created in Captivate that I want to convert from flash to MP4 / 3GP files - so I've ordered a bit of software to help convert them (sothink SWF to video convertor) as I should fairly easily be able to update and adapt the Captivate videos to be better for a small screen even though they are a nightmare to convert to any other format!

I also need to create some from scratch, but still not sure the best way to go about it. To start with I might just create one or two "slideshow" type videos combining a series of static pictures with text captions and slides - probably with an audio commentary. I'm guessing that taking this simple option will let me create something easy to view on a small screen. I could probably use something rubbishy like Windows Movie Maker to do this as well, which will save the massive effort it takes to get anything else installed on our work PCs.

Brief presentation in Bradford

The YU-INFOSKILLS group are organising an event in Bradford on 12th June on using new technologies to help students develop their information skills. They’ll be a couple of talks in the morning followed by a series of people from University libraries within Yorkshire and the Humber region showing what their currently working on or have recently developed. I’ve volunteered to show off what we’re doing with QR codes at Huddersfield University and hopefully I’ll take along 2 or 3 ‘phones for people to play with…

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Feedback from LILAC

Had some nice feedback from the talk I gave at LILAC, including blog postings from Vicki Owen; Matt Borg; and Sarah Whittaker.

Couple of other people got in touch as well to ask what we were doing with mobiles in the library, in true librarian style I'm happy sharing anything we're doing - as long as others let me know what they're up to as well!

Links to full text of journals

One of the things I want to do is link the print journals collections with our electronic holdings. Thanks to Dave Pattern I now have a set of labels (waiting to be printed) that link to SFX to search our electronic holding.

I'll be putting these on the boxes we keep each current years journal in, so if they are scanned they will try and link through to the electronic holdings of that journal. We'll just be doing floor 6 for now, which is where we keep our business, law, computing and engineering materials. We can keep track of how many people have used the link, so hopefully we'll get some good data as to how useful it is.

QR codes project

Over the coming year I've received some funding to spread QR codes around our (University of Huddersfield) library.

Dave Pattern (hello Dave!) had already put them on our catalogue just a few weeks ago.

So far the outline plan is to:

1) Survey all students coming into the library on a particular day to check awareness of QR codes and then repeat this in a years time.
2) Put QR codes on all our printed journal boxes linking to SFX which will check our online holdings - so print journals link up with electronic.
3) Put some directional codes (containing just text) in various places (so scan the one for law on floor 4 of the library, small staircase and it could display text saying "go up 2 floors, turn left and you will pass first the law journals, then law reports, then get to the books.".
4) Link some QR codes with mobile friendly videos and display then put them in the places where the help would be needed most (e.g. "how to use the copiers" near each photocopier.
Put codes in a lot of the printed guides to link to relevant online resources or contact details.
5) Find an interesting way of promoting what the codes actually are! May be able to get a little game set up by September...

Story so far...

I've recently been investigating the use of mobile 'phones with our library, in particular for in teaching information literacy and just gave a talk at LILAC (Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference) about it.

One concrete service has come out of it so far, a text a librarian service for the University library.

However, I've just been given some money to introduce QR tags in the library with the intention of blurring some of the boundaries between the physical library and the mobile / online world. I've also been given a small award to introduce some mobile friendly materials onto our induction webpages and link them to a series of text messages that students would be able to sign up to in the first term at University.

This blog will be my attempt to keep track of what I've done and when (so I can write it up "officially" later!), plus what I think has worked and what hasn't.