Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome to Web 2.0

This blog has been set up as part of the NEIU Library Learns 2.0 program to encourage staff to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today.

The design of this online program was completely built on ten Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet. Each week one of these new technologies, or tools, will be featured in a learning module. The tools include: Blogger, Bloglines, PBWiki,, Flickr, Meebo, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Odeo.

The Learning 2.0 program was originally designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, with the support and assistance of several staff. It is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I Might Want To Do This Year from the February 2006 issue of Information Outlook.

How to Prepare

  1. Subscribe to email updates to be notified whenever a new learning module is available.

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  2. Read Library 2.0: Service For the Next Generation Library, from Library Journal.

    "The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings. Each component by itself is a step toward better serving our users; however, it is through the combined implementation of all of these that we can reach Library 2.0."

  3. Read 15 Minutes a Day: A Personal Learning Management Strategy (PDF), also by Stephen Abram.

    "Yes, we are all very busy people. In the situations I am aware of there was enormous teamwork involved to ensure that everyone made the time to learn. That in itself is a major accomplishment in cultural change in creating a value system around progress, innovation and learning and having all staff, including management, visibly demonstrate support..."

  4. Challenge yourself to play and have fun -- even at work!

How to Participate

A new module will be published every Monday morning starting on Monday, May 12. If you have signed up for email notification, you will receive the module via email. Each week:

  1. Read the introductory "7 Things" article on the topic. This excellent series is published by Educause, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

  2. View the brief video clip that demonstrates the technology. Many of these come from another excellent series called "In Plain English" from Common Craft.

  3. Complete the tasks listed in the module.

  4. Post your thoughts on your blog. (Don't worry, you'll set one up in the first learning module.)

Please Remember

"Right" and "wrong" do not apply to Learning 2.0. Just try. You won't break anything.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does this online learning program work?

This is a self-discovery program which encourages staff to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY. There will be no classes or workshops offered to support this program. Instead, staff are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and "how to's" both in person and through their blogs.

Is this program open to all NEIU Library staff?

This program is open to all NEIU Library staff. If you are not a member of the NEIU Library staff, you are welcome to follow along, too.

How long do I have to complete the program?

The program kicks off May 7 as part of the NEIU Library Professional Development Day and officially wraps up at the end of the summer. There are 10 weekly modules.

Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this?

Not after the May 7 Kick Off event. This is a self-directed learning program. If you feel you need assistance with an item, you are encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker who can help. Reading other staff members' blogs can help, too.

I've seen the list of 10 Tech Tools on the website, but how do I know what to do with them?

Every week a new post will be added to the blog with details about the discovery exercise. The reason for this staggered approach is to allow participants the ability to focus each week on a different area without feeling overwhelmed.

What if I need help - who can I call?

Since this program is self-directed and is being completed by many library staff members simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey. OK, if you're really stuck, contact Lisa Wallis at 4571, but only if you're really stuck.

I don't feel comfortable with my co-workers reading my blog; can I participate anonymously?

Kind of. If you wish to blog anonymously, you may by not listing your name on your Blogger account. However, to be eligible to win a prize for completing the program, we will need to know which blog belongs to you.

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