Technology Archives - Page 3 of 14 - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Technology

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="from misterbisson on Flickr"]an SMS message from the catalog[/caption] As I mentioned in a previous post, I was invited to present a session at the 2011 Colleges of Further and Higher Education (CoFHE) conference last month (Staying positive in difficult times: Maintaining quality services). My session focused on mobile technologies. I probably spend about half, if not more, of my online time on mobile devices - usually on iPhone or iPad. I use a lot of different apps for various different purposes - document creation and editing, emailing, blogging, photo management, planning travel, time management and more. But how can we utilise these technologies in libraries? Many of our users (and staff) already have mobile devices, so it's useful to consider how we can use these to support the library service.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="To do list by dmachiavello on Flickr"]To do list by dmachiavello on Flickr[/caption] One of my resolutions this year was to integrate the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology into my work and home life. I'm a bit of a productivity tool geek, I'm always downloading a new to-do list or note taking app on my iPhone or iPad to check out. My journey with to-do lists has taken me down a long and winding road. I was an avid fan of good old pen and paper (and to-do list notepads and post-its!) for a number of years, dabbled with using Microsoft OneNote a few years ago, and started my online discovery with Toodledo in about 2007. It integrated with my start page (Pageflakes at the time) and I could use it on my iPod touch; I really liked the fact I could access it from anywhere and keep it updated. So much so in fact that I blogged about it. After a while I got fed up of Toodledo (let's face it, it's functional but pretty ugly) and wanted to see what all the fuss was with Remember The Milk (RTM), which had been growing in popularity. This is a really simple, yet feature rich customisable service and a lot of people love it. I used to be one of those people and had a pro subscription for two years. 

[caption id="attachment_1297" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="CPD23 logo"]CPD23 logo[/caption] Many readers are likely to have heard of the 23 Things staff development programmes (also known as Learning 2.0) which have been used in a number of libraries across the world over the last few years. For those not familiar - it's an online self-discovery learning programme used to introduce library staff to some of the technologies relevant to libraries (particularly social media). It's achieved via a reflective blog which serves as an introduction to blogging as well as recording progress on each of the 23 'Things' thoughout. In the UK, a number of public and academic libraries have run the programme, including Cambridge who did it last summer. Some of the Cambridge librarians loved it so much that they're doing it again - in fact this summer they are running two versions! The first is a repeat of the initial programme, whilst the second is what this blog post is about - 23 Things for Professional Development. So what's that then?

[caption id="attachment_1279" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Mobile text polling with PollEverywhere"][/caption] I am delighted to be speaking at the 2011 CoFHE Conference next month on mobile technologies in libraries. My interest in mobile technologies largely stems from my own experimentation with various different mobile apps and thinking about how they can be applied to a library setting. I've blogged previously about some mobile library apps (and played with many more on my iPhone/iPad), discussed some of the potential uses of QR codes in the library (which have been popping up in lots of places since I blogged about them), and talked about the...

I'm organising CILIP West Midlands Members' Day and AGM 2011 at the moment, and during the day I'd like to take the opportunity to get people's opinions on what the focus should be for the branch over the next 12 months. As marketing officer on the committee, I'd particularly like to find out what people's needs and expectations of the branch are. What support would people like from the branch? What sort of events would they like us to run? Where in the region would they like events/networking opportunities? How would they like to communicate with the branch? It would also be good to get views on the discussions about the future of branches and groups (read Emma Illingworth's blog post for an excellent overview of the recent meeting about this), though that may be a bit ambitious!

If you read my earlier post on my experience with a Kindle, you may be somewhat surprised to learn that I now own one. I didn't exactly love it when I borrowed one last year. However, I came to realise that I was trying to turn it into something which is was not. It's not a multi-functional device, and it's unfair to compare it with one - it's not a competitor of the iPad. But it is a great reading device.

I don't usually make public resolutions (or any resolutions come to think of it), but I'm a very reflective person always looking back and planning for future, so I thought it would probably make sense to record some of my hopes for 2011. I'm not going to make anything too concrete - the nature of much of my professional work is very flexible so it's difficult to plan longer term. But here's a list of some of the things I would definitely like to do this year. Complete my MSc dissertation - so it's obvious that my motivation has slipped on...

[picappgallerysingle id="302609"]Continuing on the tradition from 2008 and 2009, it's time for my end of year blog post. As a naturally reflective person, I find it very useful to reflect back on my achievements of the year and consider what to focus on next. It's also useful to look at my previous end of year posts and look back at what I've done in the last few years. So what did 2010 bring? Well, I certainly satisfied that itch I mentioned this time last year!

I've been meaning to get round to writing this blog post for so long but work projects and Christmas have taken over my life somewhat recently (I also think I've been putting it off because writing about it might make me want one even more!). I borrowed an iPad for just over a week (thank you BCU eLibrary team!) and I loved it. Unlike my experience with the Kindle, everything I tried to do on the iPad just worked or was even easier than I had expected. I'm going to try not to let the shiny shiny aspect of it overtake my thoughts though and give an objective view of what I liked and didn't like about the iPad. NB: I wrote about the iPad as a reading device as a guest blog post for the eLibrary team, but this post is about the device more generally. [caption id="attachment_1152" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mobile RSS on iPad (click for larger image)"]Mobile RSS on iPad[/caption]

I was recently invited to present at a UKOLN Cultural Heritage event on using the social web. Ann Chapman facilitated the workshop which introduced people to the basics of social web and encouraged them to think about how social web could be used in their own organisation. There were attendees from libraries, museums, and archives and the small group size (less than 20 delegates) encouraged open conversation throughout the day. I attended the whole day, supporting facilitation in the morning and presenting my case study in the afternoon.