Library Signage

Posted on February 26th, 2008 in Libraries by Kirsty

Through Tame the Web, I’ve come across a batch of photos on Flickr of Library signage, ranging from the absurd to the sublime.
Polite Library Sign by LitandmoreLaw Library's Cute Signage! (feat. Natalie Dee comic) by leah the library studentIf You like... by marycmartinSignagelibrary signageMacquarie University Library, Sydney, Australia (From Tom Goodfellow)

Food for thought definitely!

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Pecha Kucha

Posted on February 19th, 2008 in Learning Resources by Kirsty

Via Kerrie Blyth came an article from PC Authority about the notion of ‘Pecha Kucha’, a very structured approach to presentations where presenters are restricted to 20 slides, and allowed only 20 seconds to speak to each. 400 seconds total for a presentation. It grew out of presentations organised by

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), … in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a† demand that seems to be global – as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 100 cities across the world. Find a location and join the conversation.

Or as Wired put it “Pecha Kucha: Get to the PowerPoint in 20 Slides Then Sit the Hell Down”

This would be an interesting format to trial next time we have a large number of presentations to get through. Perhaps we could trial it in our next team workshop?

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Information Literacy

Posted on February 8th, 2008 in Learning Resources by Kirsty

From Clarence Fisher of Remote Access

We used to give kids textbooks and tell them the content was valuable and could be trusted. Instead, we now direct the to the web, to library books, to videos, email contacts, twitter streams, etc. etc. But we need to do all we can to help them become their own filters and information managers. They need the skills to separate the signal from the noise and find the pieces that are valuable for them. They need to become responsible for, and take charge of, the quality of the information they are accessing and using.

Hear Hear! Often teachers moving to online learning for the first time have a temptation to prepare huge lists of websites for their students to visit. A shorter list that is annotated with why the website is useful or credible would be much more useful for the beginning online learner. For more mature learners (and teachers) I have observed there is a question about how much information on the web can be trusted, yet there are ways in which the credibility of information can be determined. Simply being bound into a formal book does not make information necessarily more ‘correct’ but the tangible form would appear to generate a more implicit trust. Am I rambling here?

Synchronous Online Learning

Posted on February 5th, 2008 in Learning tech by Kirsty

From Lori Reed at comes a great list of suggestions for running synchronous online training. When reading through this I thought how useful it would be for teachers we are introducing to Elluminate (the virtual classroom system we use).

In particular I liked:
Number 5. Have a producer – I think of it as tech support by a colleague – someone to help troubleshoot with participants, someone to take phone calls for the connection problems, someone to go find you another microphone etc. The times I have run sessions in this way have always been calmer and felt more polished. Once you get over 4 people in a training situation you really should make this non-negotiable.

Number 9. Have two computers logged in – This could be great especially for sessions where web tours, application sharing or complicated presentations are being done. Hadn’t come across this idea before.

My other suggestion is also to encourage people to use USB headsets and have them set up a day beforehand for testing. Over time they seem to have proven themselves as the more reliable solution.

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