Week 13: Wrap Up Exercise

PLAY and REFLECT activities

Week 4 REFLECT: RSS Feeds
Week 4 PLAY: Social Content Curation
Week 6 REFLECT: Social Networking Sites
Week 6 PLAY: Social Networking Sites
Week 7 REFLECT: Image Sharing and Creative Commons
Week 7 PLAY: Image Sharing and Creative Commons
Week 10 REFLECT: Gamification
Week 10 PLAY: Gamification
Week 11 REFLECT: Mashups
Week 11 PLAY: Mashups

INN333 Information Programs has been a unique experience for me. When I first enrolled in the class, I didn’t have much of an idea about what the content would consist of- I had a vague idea that Information Programs might mean learning about databases or eDRMS, or something else along those lines. As such I was surprised to discover that the majority of the unit was made up of web 2.0 related learning activities.

Before I had begun the unit, I had fairly minimal contact with many of the applications I was to discover over the semester. I had a neglected facebook account which I almost never posted to, and although I had a twitter account this was only because joining twitter was a necessary part of INN634 Professional Practice, in which I was enrolled last semester. I was unenthusiastic about, and even daunted by the idea of creating a blog, and using other programs which I was unfamiliar with.

By the end of the semester, however, my attitude has changed. Although I was unenthusiastic at first, writing my blog entries for the weeks I had selected became quite enjoyable, but most of all it was a real pleasure to see other people post comments to my blog about something I had written, and to explore the different points of view each person has had on the various activities in which we participated throughout the semester. I am now also more confident in using many internet based tools which I may have previously not even known about (such as bundlr) let alone tried.

I have enjoyed connecting with my peers by participating in facebook discussions and commenting on other student’s blogs. I have not used twitter as much as I could have have this semester, as I found that the facebook group format was much easier to follow. I had even set up a hootsuite account to make monitoring the inn333 hash tag easier, and although this did help, the facebook group was still my preferred method of keeping in contact with the class, and I feel some of the other students may have felt this way as well.

People have posted some really interesting topics and with so much information being posted, the subject has kept me more informed than ever about the goings on of the library world. Although at times, especially at the beginning of the semester, I found the volume of information on the facebook page to be quite daunting, and it was sometimes difficult to keep up with everything that was being posted. I have not been the most active poster on the facebook group, but I have generally taken the time to read what others have to say, and I feel this has been very beneficial to my learning experience this semester. The facebook group has also been a great place to get advice about the weekly learning activities, and being able to get help from my peers has been very useful.

I felt that for this class, the learning experience gained was very much up to the student. There was potential to learn a lot, and from a wide range of different sources, especially through information classmates have have posted on the facebook page and exploring the resources available for each weeks learning activities. Otherwise, students could potentially do very little. As such, it seemed more than ever that it was the student’s responsibility to get the best leaning experience possible by making use of the resources available.

I found the mashup PLAY activity in week 11 to be the most enjoyable activity of the semester. I have studied graphic design previously, and it was fun to be able to put some of the techniques I have leaned previously to use. The most frustrating point in the semester, on the other hand, would have been when I was attempting to complete the week 4 PLAY activity using Bundlr or storify. I had decided to use WordPress to create my blog, and I had so far been quite pleased and even pleasantly surprised by how easily I had been able to set up and post to my blog. Whilst completing this activity, however I found out that I was unable to embed my bundlr or my storify (I used both, in an attempt to see if one would work when the other hadn’t) into my blog as WordPress has a policy preventing this. This was a disappointing experience, but I did learn a lesson about the limitations of software.

I found learning about creative common to be the most interesting subject of the semester, as it is a subject that is becoming increasingly relevant, and as a future librarian, I believe that any information about copyright is important to know.

Although I am pleased to have learned so much about tools that I previously had little experience with, I do admit that I have not been overly experimental with my blog posts (i.e. I have not attempted a podcast or a video etc.), and I although I feel that I have participated adequately in class discussion via facebook, I should probably have posted more often. I believe these are the two main weak points of the semester.

I believe the most important lesson that I have learned this semester is not to underestimate the value of social media and web 2.0 tools. Now I have a much better understanding of the variety of tools that are available and how they might be used within a library context, as well as a better understanding of how important web 2.0 has become to libraries and to organisations in general. This is something that I began to understand when I first started my degree, as even in the first semester we were encourage to join twitter and linkedin. This course has served to further confirm the importance of social media for me, and I will now feel more confident in using many of these tools in the future.

Week 11 Play: Mashups

This week we were asked to create an image mashup, using at least two images: one provided for the libraryhack mashup competition and one either taken by myself or a creative commons image found online.

I really enjoyed this activity I thought it was a lot of fun, so I have created not one, but two image mashups this week! Fortunately, I have studied graphic design previously, which made this activity a little easier for me. Since many of the images available through libraryhack are quite old, I decided to go with a vintage theme for both mashups.

The program used to complete the two mashups was Adobe Photoshop.

mashup

I intended for the above mashup to look a bit like a turn of the century writing desk. The book, loose page, and photograph of a lady were all sourced from libraryhack, whilst the rest of the trinkets (coins, key, pocket watch, quill and letter) were found at morguefile, which is an excellent source of free high quality stock images. The map found in the background was sourced from fickr, the citation for which can be found that the end of this blog entry.

girl

I created this secondary mashup because I particularly liked the image made available through libraryhack of the lady now appearing in the above image. I then found a picture of an old fashioned garden from morguefile and quickly put the two together.

This is my last play activity, so thanks for reading and do feel free to comment 🙂

EDIT
Whew! I just realised that it’s pretty uncool of me to not reference all my images, so I’ve updated the reference list 🙂

Reference List

Buchner, R. (1913). Louise Carbasse ca. 1913 / Rudolph Buchner [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=442279

earl53. (2006). _IGP0958.jpg [photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/wnwBxR

earl53. (2007). Fowoods_coin_backweb.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/Hc544U

Glen Broughton Studios. (1918). Dorothea Mackellar dressed as one of the Graces for Mrs T.H. Kelly’s Italian Red Cross Day tableaux at the Palace Theatre, 20 June 1918 / photographer, Glen Broughton [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=440395

Irish_Eyes. (2006). pocket_watch.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/hE034G
mconnors. (2003). PA232283.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/bis8N1

National Library NZ on The Commons. (2009). Binding by Zaehnsdorf, 1896[Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationallibrarynz_commons/5513096263/

National Library NZ on The Commons. (2011). Illuminated initial L[Photoshop]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationallibrarynz_commons/5352531371/

Photoshop Roadmap. (2012). Old Map [image]. Retrieved from http://tiny.cc/xtnr4w

ricetek. (2009). ricetek_old_key_01.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/C08bbA

Rools. (2013). Letters.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/xO06S8

sidewinder123. (2008). CIMG3019.jpg [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://mrg.bz/bU5kSF

Week 11 Reflect: Mashups

Choose a LibrayHack data mashup entry and prepare a critical commentary on it. Consider questions like: What data inputs were used? What does the end product do? How successful do you think it is?

The library hack mashup competition invited participants to utilise data provided by a number of libraries in conjunction with data from other online sources to create an application. For the purpose of this weeks reflect activity, I have chosen to discuss the data mashup “Talking maps”, by Michael Henderson. This entry was the major prize winner in the library hack data mashups category, and can be accessed here.

This application is designed to display information both geographically- via an aerial view or a map and through a commentary- supplied as either a voice over or as text displayed in a bar on the right hand side of the page. The user can then scroll through the various locations listed, in an interactive tour or journey.

This is a particularly ambitious project in that it provides information on four different topics, which are:
A walking tour of West End, Brisbane
The Journey of the H.M.S. Endeavour
Sights and Sounds of the Brisbane 2011 flood
Real Estate sales in the early 1900′s

The information on each topic was sourced from the datasets and images available through libraryhack, and was then mashed up with images and data available elsewhere online.

From my experience of mashups so far, maps or aerial views combined with related data seem to be one of the most popular types of data mashup. Talking Maps is an excellent example of how this can be achieved, although I feel that some of the four topics covered were done better than others. The walking tour of West End, for example, tries something a bit different by adding a recorded audio commentary, however some of these commentaries seem a bit long winded or difficult to follow.

Another issue that I experienced with the application was that when I attempted to visit the Sights and Sounds of Brisbane 2011 Floods section, a username and password was requested, which I did not have access to, and as such I was unable to access this section of the application.

As such, this mashup does have some errors, but in general I feel that this is an excellent way of representing data, especially of a historical nature, which might otherwise be difficult to envisage.

Week 10 Reflect: Gamification

Post a short reflection on the role of gaming in libraries or information organisations. Do you see a place for it?

I think that gamification is an exciting new idea, which is currently picking up a lot of momentum. Gamification can be used as an excellent tool for both marketing of libraries and for education, and when used correctly, should provide a seamlessly fun experience, whilst still imparting valuable information. This seems to be the next step in user experience, which is all about making the time spent by a user on something like a website or database as pleasant as possible

Designers do, however, need to be careful about how they present the game. For example, a game designed for a library, or any other organisation as a marketing tool may work well as long as the user is engaged, however the user may feel that they have been “tricked” into being sucked in if the marketing aspect of a game becomes too heavily emphasised. After all, the reason a user is going to play a game is for fun. Once a game stops being fun, why keep playing?

As noted in this article, the information provided through gamification should be imparted seamlessly, whilst the user has fun. There are even websites available such as luminosity.com which claim to exercise the users mind, whilst the user plays games which seem to just be fun, and not at all tiresome or mentally taxing.

For libraries in particular I think that gamification is a great idea, as people often are unwilling to spend the time required learning about library related news. Making this into a game is likely to make the experience more memorable, meaning users are more likely to return to the library or library website to replay the game.

The New York Public Library’s “Find The Future” seems to have been an excellent promotional event, as far as raising awareness about the library is concerned, however gamification on a much smaller scale could also be helpful for libraries. Not everything has to be gamified, of course, and some people may simply think games are nonsense and not want to deal with them at all. After all, games do have a sense of triviality attached to them, and as is noted in this article, some people may find it hard to accept the idea that games can be educational or informative.

It is however, early days for gamification, and I believe games will be embraced by libraries in the coming years.

Week 10 Play: Gamification

Design a plan for using gamification in a school library.

I think that gamification is something that could be used very effectively in school libraries, especially in primary schools, but also in high school or academic libraries.

Gamification could be used within a library in numerous ways. It could be used to raise awareness about the library itself- for example, games could be used to explain the Dewey decimal system or other library related topics, or the library and library resources could be used in order to play games associated with the current topics being taught in class.

For this purpose of this activity, I am going to base my model on a primary school library. The class will be in year seven, and will be learning about Ancient Egypt. A scenario will be developed in which the students will become archaeologists, who need to search for clues and answer questions in order to get reach a hidden treasure and therefore win the game.

Students would begin the game in groups of 3 or 4, selected randomly. Groups would be kept small in order to encourage a maximum level of participation by each group member, and the groups will be selected at random in order to encourage students to interact with people they may not usually speak with.

The game will need to be completed in a fairly large library, as otherwise groups could simply follow each other and the game would become pointless . Also, again in order to avoid this sort of problem, the groups would all begin the game at different random locations around the library, and ideally given separate sets of questions. Schools who do not have a large enough library for the activity to be practical could consider taking the class on a field trip to a larger library.

Each group would ideally have access to a tablet or other mobile device. An application would be set up on the device with a question related to Ancient Egypt, the answer to which will be found in a resource within the library, or perhaps even in multiple resources.

For example, a question included in the game might be: in what year was Tutankhamen’s tomb discovered?

Once the correct answer has been found, the students will be able to place the answer in a field, and then be given access to the next question. The game would proceed in this fashion until the students have answered all the questions correctly. Once the final question has been answered, the group will be given access to the secret location of the treasure (which would probably actually be chocolate). The first group to reach the treasure wins the game (although chocolate for everyone is recommended to avoid tears and hard feelings).

Although this game is designed to be fun and to encourage friendly competition, there is always a danger that less academically enthusiastic students may wish not to participate, since as noted on page two of this article, students who lack academic ability on the topic and may think that they have no chance of winning could decide not to participate properly. Another issue is access to the internet. Since the point of the exercise is essentially to find answers through using library resources, rather than using something like Wikipedia, access to sites such as this would have to somehow be restricted.

I’m not entirely sure how possible it would be to manage a game like this, but I was crazy about Ancient Egypt when I was in grade 7, so I probably would have loved it!

Week 7 Play: Image Sharing and Creative Commons

This week’s play activity involves posting a photo every day for 7 days on either flickr or instagram. I chose instagram, which unfortunately does not allow for images to be saved, and I’m not sure if the pictures can be accessed by those who do not have an instagram account.

As such, I’ve taken screenshots of from my instagram account, cropped them, and an posting the images here!

Does this mean I’m pirating my own content? Or am I breaching instagram’s rules? Or does this content cease to belong to me altogether and become instagram’s property?

I have four pictures so far, but I will update this post as I continue to post photos for the next 3 days.

Day 1
sushi

Day 2
sculpture

Day 3
strawberry

Day 4
city

Day 5
instagram5

Day 6
instagram6

Day 7
instagram7

Now that I have realised that I cannot (easily) place photos from my instagram account into a blog post, I feel that this method of sharing photos is quite restrictive. Had I known that this would be the case, I would have probably opted to use flickr instead.

Week 7 Reflect: Image Sharing and Creative Commons

How do you feel about Creative Commons licensing your own content? Are you comfortable with reserving only some of your rights as a content producer?

Firstly I feel that there is a sort of “culture of collaboration” happening online, which can be seen through things such as free open source software (for example, I currently use the free to download Apache Open Office as a substitute for the Microsoft Office Suite), as well as websites such as Wikipedia, which encourage collaboration from people all over the world.

In terms of my own content, generally speaking, in the creative commons spirit, I would be happy to allow other people to use my content- to a certain extent.

For example, this weeks play activity involves posting a photo every day on either flickr or instagram (I am using instagram myself). Personally I would be happy for anyone to use those pictures for just about anything, and I probably wouldn’t even particularly mind if I wasn’t credited for the photos either.

On the other hand, a large part of the reason that I wouldn’t mind other people using these photos is that I am not expecting to sell these pictures for a profit. Once the idea of money comes into the picture, I feel creative commons can become a lot more complicated. If I was an author, for instance, and my livelihood (and reputation as an author) depended on these books I might be less inclined to allow people to use my work, especially if I was going to be then posted online for anyone to access free of charge (I imagine this would be a bit of a hot topic amongst fan fiction communities).

Essentially saying whether or not I would be comfortable only reserving some of my rights as a content producer would depend on what kind of content I was producing, and for what I wish to use the content for, as well as what others may wish to use it for. The idea of someone else taking content that I have produced and changing it does seem somewhat discomforting, however I tend to forget that Creative Commons does still leave the user with some rights, just not all of them, and that through collaboration the end product may be something different and unexpected, which could never be achieved through just one person.