I have jumped into a great professional development course called ANZ 23 Mobile Things. It’s for people in Australia and New Zealand doing Jan, Mylee & Kathryn‘s ultra cool 23 Mobile Things course. We’re going to learn all that is vital to know about how mobile devices can awesome-ise library people, library programs and spaces. The major reason I signed up for the course is because about 2 weeks ago I was ‘given’ an iPad for work. My daughter has one which I have barely used, and I have always wanted to start. This course seemed like the perfect starting point! The other reasons I have signed up are: group-learning is awesome, the price is right (FREE!), and professional development is very important to me.
In the past I started CPD23 but never finished. Twice! I’m ok with that; self-paced learning is about dipping in and dipping out. I played with a few of the things, but never got into a pattern. I absolutely learnt stuff and still follow hashtags and people from the course. Perhaps the biggest thing I did learn was, I did not set aside enough time to play and learn. Of course I hope to remedy this, and will do this by allotting work-time to complete the course. I can always go back and finish CPD23, and the other cool thing is, ANZ 23 Mobile Things is different because it is about using mobile devices.
Thing 1 was all about Twitter – excellent! I totally love twitter. In 2011 I declared Twitter & RSS to be the best things on the Internet. I still think this is true. Here’s what I tweeted last week: “Top reasons I <3 @twitter: real-time searching, quick advice, virtually attend events, link sharing, short, sharp convos, stay up-2-date, democratising the web (can ask any1 anything), it’s a community!”. Currently I use the official twitter app on my Galaxy (android) phone and on my iPad. My desktop preference is the old Tweetdeck. I also sometimes use Hootsuite on my desktop at work. If you can recommend a great mobile app, please leave me a comment
Heaps of the learning for the course will take place on twitter; so get amongst it. Search for and tweet using the hashtag #anz23mthings. To get news from the source follow @anz23mthings. Oh and make sure you grab the RSS feeds from the course site.
I’m very excited to be actively learning, sharing and playing again.
I’m certain the course will remind me how the words learning, sharing and playing are wonderful tautologies!
In case you missed the memo, Tumblr is a very cool, short-form blogging platform that is clean and super-easy to use. Tumblr is another form of microblogging; the current giant being Twitter. People share photos, music, links, videos, thoughts, quotes, short text, ANYTHING with minimal effort. Like ‘blog’ is a short-form of weblog, this type of (micro-)blogging gets its name from tumblelog. Positioned nicely between Twitter and longer-form blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger, Tumblr is fast and simple push-button publishing, with a focus on looking schmick. Many (most?) Tumblrs have ‘tumblr.com’ in the address, but some people self-host and choose the URL. Just like many websites use blogging software and self-host to create their own domain. Also a social network, Tumblr users (Tumblers? Tumblees? Tumblfolk?) connect and follow each other’s posts, and reblog and like (favourite) posts. Reblogging is prolific on Tumblr; sharing is caring and all that. Some may feel Tumblr is too littered with reposts, that it is lacking original content. However, if that’s how people want to use it, I see no problem with that. There definitely is original content in amongst the reblogs. Perhaps as a reaction to the negative ‘reblogging’ tag, the fun people at Tumblr bring you REBLORG, the home of original content only: http://reblorg.com/about. To my mind, using Tumblr is like any 2.0-ish ‘thing;’ you make it work for you, how you want it to, and no, it won’t be for everyone. I like the following description from Tackling Tumblr : web publishing made simple by Thord Daniel Hedengren.
Tumblr is a hybrid service- part blogging, part microblogging, and a social network to boot. Not a very definite description, is it? The thing with Tumblr is that it really becomes what you make of it. It’s not just about understanding how the Tumblr service works, but also how you can use if for your own needs. (p. 6)
Given I mainly focus on libraries and learning here on dpgreen.net, I am using Tumblr to share my other loves. So in a moment of super-name-coming-up-with-ness, I’ve titled my Tumblr: My Tumblr tagline reads:
Here lie the other loves of David Green AKA dpgreen. Expect music, art, theatre, photos, & GeeBee. Libraries, learning, books & reading will surface too.
I’m stoked that I & everyone else got behind this excellent, important film made by local young people. If I didn’t make the cutting room floor, you may just see me in it as the local librarian
Have you seen this video about the successful pozible campaign?
Have you heard? October 1st is #followalibrary Day on twitter!
Ice cased Adelie penguins after a blizzard at Cape Denison / photograph by Frank Hurley. By State Library of NSW on Flickr.
I’m excited this great event is back! On October 1, funtastic folk will be tweeting the AWESOMENESS of libraries and using the hashtag #followalibrary. We’ll be tweeting about reading, creating, playing, communicating, learning, sharing & all the other excellent stuff we do in libraries. It’s such a cool way to spread library love
To promote the event, my workmates & I made a video, which I’m excited to share with you:
To stay in the loop, you should follow @followalibrary on twitter & check out the blog too. Also, start searching twitter now for #followalibrary & join the par-tay. Most importantly, make sure you join in the fun on #followalibrary Day & I’ll look forward to tweeting with you on October 1st!
p.s. That’s the first time I’ve specifically mentioned where I work, so you can tell I’m proud of this video! I’m also proud of my workplace & workmates in general, I just hadn’t mentioned it yet
Reflective practice is the process of reviewing one’s actions and output with a view to learning from the experience, and improving. It is a learned habit; a very valuable skill. Of course, we all have much to learn from our successes and failures. Successful reflective practitioners evaluate their work-life, and/or the ‘other’ aspects of their life, with deliberate methodology and regularity. However, people evaluate in many different ways. How an actor evaluates their audition may well be very different to how a salesperson evaluates their recent conference presentation. The motivation though, is identical. We all want to learn from our past to improve our future.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
: George Santayana.
Film star Helen Twelvetrees, ca. 1936-7 / photograph by Sam Hood. Uploaded to Flickr by State Library of New South Wales collection.
Now, I say all of this as a non-reflective practitioner. As someone who does not evaluate my learning and experiences in any deliberate or methodical way.
Or do I?
Prior to writing this post for Thing 5 of CPD23, I have never really thought about whether I practice reflective practice.
I am fortunate to have a fortnightly supervision appointment with my supervisor at work. This is a valuable time to talk about my current projects and day-to-day tasks, and analyse how recent events, meetings, and projects concluded. We exchange ideas about what he, and his superiors, would like me to be focusing on, and I talk about my future aspirations too.
As I write this I realise: this is reflective practice. The time I spend preparing for these sessions – about 10 minutes on average – and the sessions themselves, are modes of individual and partnered reflective practice. Supervision is very important to me – it grounds me, and focuses me. Of course I understand ‘stuff comes up’ sometimes, but I really miss these sessions if we have to postpone or cancel.
Recently I have allocated an hour per week to professional development in my work calendar. It is not much I know, but it’s an hour more than I used to do. In this time I work on the CPD23 course, read library, and tech, articles and papers, and so on. (I certainly spend much longer at home focusing on professional development.)
Now I have decided I will schedule another hour per week for reflective practice in my work calender.
Do you practice reflective practice?
Any tips for how you spend this time?
Or indeed, how you make time to do it?
The title of this post is a shout-out to my blogging buddy ‘Chelle. I’ll be your mirror is my fave Velvet Underground (and Nico) song. ‘Chelle also loves great music. When she chronicled her recent adventures on her great indygogal blog, every post was a song title. A top idea, which I borrowed here. Imitation, flattery and all that. Do yourself a favour and follow her latest writings on indygo words.
In this post last year, I gushed about RSS and Twitter as being THE ways to keep up-to-date. My opinion has not changed. However, as part of CPD23, I am playing with Storify to see if there are more ways to stay up-to-date.
For the uninitiated, here’s an explanation from the guided tour page: “Storify lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative… Drag and drop status updates, photos or videos to bring together the social media elements that will best illustrate your story… A Storify story is more than just a collection of elements from social media. It’s also your opportunity to make sense of what you’ve pulled together. You can write a headline, introduction and insert text anywhere inside your story. You can add headers, hyperlinks and styled text. Build a narrative and give context to your readers.”
In this – my first Storify – I chronicle a taste of My Brightest Diamond’s recent visit to Australia.
There’s a cool library Storify of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library ‘being born’ here. Of course Storify is also great for collating, storing and sharing tweets from an event, or any tweet chat. Check out @ellenforsyth‘s compilation of @love2read2012‘s twitter chat about #dream reading over here.
After my first experiment with Storify, I find it to be a fun, clever tool for curating social media and other online snapshots of happenings. It is great for people who prefer visual stories rather than those laden with text. Storify is not just another way to tell a story with social media, like live-tweeting or documenting via Instagram. Rather, it is an evolved social media tool. The act of creating the story is artistic, like scrap-booking – piecing bits from here and there; tweets, video and links to articles, and so on. Storify is especially successful – and original (to my knowledge) – as it creates a narrative, not just a list of links.
So yes, I do think reading people’s Storify stories is a great way of keeping up-to-date. Of course, as with any knowledge pursuit, be aware of authorship/curatorship validity and factual recency. My heart, however, still belongs to RSS and twitter, but I imagine I will use Storify a little now too.
With content creation and digital curation of community happenings being a major player in future/currently switched-on libraries, I can see a place for creating and archiving Storify stories in libraries.
Do you know any great examples to share? Does your library use Storify? And non-Libraryland folk: do you, or your workplace use Storify?
I am s l o w l y doing this fab professional development course called CPD23. You may recall I started last year but didn’t finish because, well, work, life and stuff got busy, and oh yeah, WE HAD A BABY! So this year I’m doing the Things I missed out on. I blogged about Things 1 and 2 here. Last year I wrote about Thing 3, Online Presence here: (br)And introducing… dpgreen! Since last year I haven’t consciously altered my ‘brand’ in any way, instead I’ve aimed to keep it consistent across social media platforms and other online haunts.
In thinking about this short post, I have decided I want to tweak the wording on my social media profiles to include “proud Dad.” Also, I’m planning to re-write the About page on this blog. I think I am doing myself – my brand – a disservice by pledging to blog about topics that I haven’t written about yet. It is not that I particularly care that I haven’t blogged about every topic from my About page yet. Rather, I want to be careful not to be guilty of false advertising. For I know whenever I check out someone new to me in the blogosphere or twittersphere, the first thing I do is read their about page, or profile. This is a MAJOR factor in my, let’s be honest, lightning fast decision of whether I want to follow them or subscribe to their RSS feed. If someone’s About pledge and profile doesn’t match their blog or twitter stream content, then I’m far less likely to engage with them. So, I figure the same must be true for my profile and what I claim to ‘be about’. Perhaps people read my about page, and are wondering where the missing content is.
What about you? Do you read profiles and about pages? How do you feel when the claim and the content differ?
National Tobacco Company Ltd :It’s toasted. No other brands are genuine; refuse all imitations. Riverhead Gold navy cut no. 3, cut plug no. 10, Cavendish mixture. The only toasted tobacco on the New Zealand market. No cough, no bite; does not injure heart by National Library NZ on The Commons on Flickr.
Last year I began an excellent online learning course known as CPD23. Based on Helene Blower’s original and much re-mixed Learning 2.0 – 23 Things program, this course is an excellent tool for learners from Libraryland, and further afield. I didn’t finish last year but I did make some great twitter contacts and I certainly enjoyed the networking and learning that I did do. This year I hope to complete the things I missed, and time permitting, I may blog again about those I’ve already explored. I’m excited and thankful the CPD23 crew are restarting the course for those of us who didn’t complete the course last year, and for all new learners!
If you’re interested in joining the fun and learning, check out the official site here; the 23 Things are listed here. For 2012, the CPD23 crew have decided to slow down the pace a little, for which I am grateful
Thing 1 asks participants to create a blog and have a play. Done! We are also asked to contemplate what we hope to get from the course. I’m looking forward to:
gaining new knowledge
online tools for learning, presenting, storing and sharing
social media ‘things’ I am yet to play with
lifelong, and further tertiary/other learning opportunities
being challenged, in a good way!
learning and exploring new tools
expressing myself eloquently and hopefully creatively
gaining networking opportunities
online and IRL
my professional role in my workplace, and in our wider profession
my contribution to our profession
blogging with regularity.
I’m sure this list will expand as the weeks go on…
Thing 2 suggests we scout around other learners’ blogs and check out what they are creating. I really enjoy and benefit from reading blogs (library-types and non-lib people), so this will be easy. The slightly challenging bit will be leaving comments, as I get cyber-shy. However, this is what the course is about, right? Learning, networking, experimenting, and challenging ourselves. Dear Reader, why not introduce yourself in the comments? Or you can tweet me: I’m @dpgreen.
To the encouraging and knowledgeable CPD23 crew: Thank you for the opportunity to finish the course, I appreciate the re-run
The theme for March over at Love2Read is reading that makes you think.
A recent purchase for our library has got me thinking.
Melanie Walsh’s My green day : 10 green things I can do today is a picture book with a conscious. Illustrated and written by Walsh, this gorgeous book is made from 100% recycled material and chronicles the day of a lower primary school child. Appropriately basic text – “I help empty the washing machine and peg our clothes on the line” – leads the reader through this normal day, while beautiful, bold illustrations tell the story too. In my opinion, what sets this book apart from many enviro books for kids, is the author’s ability to facilitate discussions of environmental sustainability, without ruining the flow of the story, or preaching “thou shall crush then recycle your soda cans.”
This is largely due to Walsh’s clever inclusion of sentences in smaller font size which complement the plot, and educate the reader. These sentences contain an advanced vocabulary and theme, acting as optional discussion starters. Such passages are linear certainly, but wisely, they are also independent, and therefore could easily be left out for too young or too impatient an audience. For example, pages reading, “At school, I make presents for my grandma,” are illustrated playfully with patterned off-cuts of paper and fabrics from the classroom craft box. The illustrations tell how the child uses scraps of materials to create art. In smaller type the optional discussion starter reads: “Making a toy out of old material is fun and a great way to recycle.” Likewise, a full plate at lunchtime becomes empty as the large type reads, “At lunch… I eat up all my pasta.” The reader sees and hears the message to finish all their food. For further discussion, Walsh includes in smaller type: “We throw away one third of all the food we buy. If we bought only the food we actually needed to eat, we wouldn’t have to grow or transport so much food, which saves lots of energy.” So the book can be read with or without these ‘extra’ passages; especially because the illustrations are so successful in narrating the ‘green’ theme. It is a lovely likelihood that as the reader grows, the book will be revisited and the non-fiction, didactic angle will be made the focus.
Naturally, this clever style of writing leads itself to classroom discussions, and talks at home during story times. Of course, library staff and teachers will also use this book in a unit of study. It is important to note how with so many potential ‘teaching moments,’ this author is careful to not stuff environmentalism down the reader’s throat. Instead, opting to ‘have a green day’ seems like a totally fun option, so why wouldn’t the reader chose to live this way? With Walsh’s help, let’s hope we raise many green beings.
Walsh, M. (2010). My green day: 10 green things I can do today. London: Walker.
Last month at the reading group Love2Read, the theme was Laugh. I read an adult joke book. ‘Adult’ as in not-for-kids, but it wasn’t all “adult” rudey-nudey jokes. I haven’t read a joke book for years and years. I used to love them as a kid; I can remember reading knock-knock, riddle and joke books, over and over. My family was a kind/captive audience as I practiced my delivery. There was a short period where joke books were all I read. Perhaps because growing up as the skinny kid, I had to rely on humour rather than brawn. Or maybe joke books were all I could concentrate on; those pesky chapter books demanding too much of my time! Or perhaps I just needed a good laugh.
We're laughing here. You can too.
So for last month’s theme of Laugh, I read And now for some light relief : the genuinely funny joke book by Peter FitzSimons. I really enjoyed it, and was quite surprised I read the whole 410 pages. Given it wasn’t a novel, a graphic novel or a more linear non-fiction book, I figured I would just read bits and pieces. However, I read it cover-to-cover, and tried out jokes on most excellent/patient wife J.
Here is my favourite joke from the book:
Mum opens the fridge and is amazed to find a rabbit inside, gnawing on a carrot.
“What are you doing in my refrigerator?” she cries