Summer Tech Fun July 2012

How to Generate Keywords (Amy Fyn) Doesn’t actually generate keywords for you, but models the process of creating a set of search terms. Results can be emailed to self or instructor, so this can be a good in-class or pre-class activity or checkin on research topics to help direct the conversation.

Catch and Evernote (Rob Snyder)
“Never miss an idea” with Catch, a place to save (and organize) your private thoughts and ideas. Private, of course, until you show your account to a room full of colleagues.

Evernote, kind of the same thing.

Wunderlist & Flash Card Exchange (Liz Tousey)
Wunderlist lets you create lists and assign tasks to people, who can mark off when they have completed them. Liz uses this tool to keep track of shelf-reading assignments for her student employees.

Flashcard Exchange is a site students use for studying. Flashcards can be used directly from the screen, printed out…

Clarify & Pinterest (Susannah Cleveland)
Clarify-it was cooler when it was free, but does still offer a trial. A nice streamlined way to make screenshots to walk through a sequential process; really good for creating complicated handouts more easily.

Pinterest lets you create virtual pinboards for pictures found on the web. Great way to visually display collections?
Pins from LibGuides.bgsu

Screenr & Voicethread (Colleen Boff)

Make videos of up to 5 minutes, with screen and audio (if you have a microphone). No log in or download necessary to make videos; can get started right away! *Must have Java installed to run Screenr.
Voicethread is an online collaboration site, where slides and audio can be combined by multiple people into one video. Others can comment on the video, linking comments with specific slides so the comments are responsive to the video as it plays, not just at the end. Colleen shared a few of the voicethreads she’s used in her courses as a student.

Mark Strang showed his Google+ hangout and talked about how he uses this to meet with classmates from all over for collaborative work. Google account needed.

Bo Butler mentioned Evernote Peek as another flashcard-like app. You can take notes in Evernote and then use them with this app.

Catch up on these two that we missed: Prezi and Voki (Stefanie Hunker)
Prezi is an online presentation site.
A prezi from WILU 2011:

Create avatars for use in class engagement.

Posted in Tools: Instruction, Tools: Presentation. Comments Off on Summer Tech Fun July 2012

ACRL 2011 rehash

Based on my experiences as a newer librarian attending the past two ACRL conferences, this one is well worth the price of admission. I found the second time around to be richer, and part of that relates to knowing a few more people in our field, running into them, and stealing them away for a quick chat or break.

Vendors! I don’t think the vendor part of conferences has come up on the blog before. A colleague not attending forwarded invitations to visit booths and hear about products, and I also received many many emails as well. Talking to some others at the conference showed me how others strategically plan their conference schedules around vendor events as well as sessions. An opportunity I missed last time by opting out of receiving emails from vendors, professional development live sessions and demonstrations can be paired with meals by certain vendors. Shorter demos are available in the vendor hall during free times in the schedule. If you want to know more about a product or publisher, this is a great time to find out immediately (and take a free pen or other tschotske, if that’s your thing).

At my second ACRL, I went to the first time attendees the first night of the conference and learned what ACRL folks want new people to know about and do at the conference (and be active in ACRL interest groups). The organizers actively encouraged networking, and clearly said if you are having a good conversation with someone, skip the next session you planned to attend and finish that conversation–you do not know where it will lead. This surprised me, but in this job market perhaps should not have. If personal connections can give you an edge, let you hear about a new opportunity, go for it. Newbies were encouraged to network throughout the conference with the goal of having conversations and gaining signatures to win a prize. For the next few days I heard these conversations so it seems to work; at one point someone joked that I was useless to her because I didn’t fit any needed categories on her sheet.

The following sessions made the strongest impressions on me and are things I would like to fiddle with in the next year; some were short presentations of technology, and some were 3 hour workshops. Part reminder and part accountability, here we go.

Cyber Zed Shed: Connecting through course guides. Some great ideas about how to use commenting features in course guides (presenter used Library a la carte) to engage students and learn their topics in their own words, without instructor intervention. This is a move I think I am ready for, and now I have an idea of how to incorporate that courses; I have targeted research methods and thesis courses to try this out in. I think this is part of the virtual conference; I would totally watch it again.

Workshops on Instructional design/making an online tutorial, and another on writing winning proposals and how to plan for presenting were also hits. Taking the time to walk through the process from start to finish and see the actual steps involved for creating a tutorial was great; working in small groups and getting my ideas out there was awesome. The reality of having all the technical design stuff done elsewhere is where the breakdown happens. Ways to make guides and tutorials accessible to different learners was extremely helpful and a big future consideration.

This post was delayed as I used the advice from the workshop on writing and giving presentations to review past proposals and write a new one for an upcoming state conference. Although not all the advice given at the workshop will apply to conferences with different criteria and expectations, the presenters were all incredibly strong and worth modeling. Presentation artifacts available here:

A session on mentoring instruction librarians gave a unique perspective on how one library offers different levels of training, from one day to train the trainer sessions to an academy that spanned a semester, meeting on some weekends and putting new ideas into practice between meetings. This final idea, putting ideas into practice and reporting back, seemed the most viable to me. A paper presentation on assessing the skills of incoming graduate students was focused on how to make instruction more student focused than librarian focused. Meeting students where they are at, at any level of education, makes sense and is something that does need revisiting every few years. Our students are changing and we need to reflect on that and retool.

There was much more that I missed, and some of it was strategic; with the price of admission I get a full year’s access to virtual presentations that although I won’t be able to interact live, I will still be able to view and possibly have more time to ponder the ideas expressed.

Posted in Conference Reviews, Tools: Presentation, Tools: Professional Development. Comments Off on ACRL 2011 rehash


I’m thinking this might be the next thing after Prezi (which I have to admit looks super cool but i have yet to use).

“Video Slideshow Maker with Music”

Now to find a pile of music in the public domain….

Posted in Tools: Presentation. Comments Off on Animoto

PechaKucha, anyone?

If you haven’t experienced or read about PechaKucha 20×20, check out this informative overview.  The concept is that you have 20 slides/images, and you speak about each for 20 seconds.  This could be an intriguing approach to instruction if we could divorce ourselves from overusing text!

Posted in Tools: Presentation. Comments Off on PechaKucha, anyone?

Free simple image editing software


See the article from ProfHacker here.

Posted in Toolboxes, Tools (non-work related), Tools: Instruction, Tools: Presentation. Comments Off on Free simple image editing software

Speaking about presenting

Getting ready to go to a conference, or planning a new instruction session?

Excellent, targeted advice ranging from dealing with nerves to how to plan for audience participation is found in this easily navigated blog, written by a professional speaker.

Posted in Tools: Instruction, Tools: Presentation. Tags: . Comments Off on Speaking about presenting

Prezi – presentation editor

This will create a presentation different from the usual boring Powerpoint.  But be warned, don’t race through the slides or your audience will be seasick. Find it at

kathy y