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....