So for this week it is nice to look back and try to pick a top 5. We looked at so many. There were some I liked (like Glogster or Wideo), but then their limited use (not truly free) knocks them out of the running for me. Here’s five in no particular order, however I tried to pick ones that serve different purposes.
- Google Hangouts / Sites / Forms/ Slides ETC! – is that ultimately called the Google suite?! I like all of it. It is all user-friendly, intuitive and clean in design as well as what it produces. I feel like everyone has a Google account, so it makes it pretty well worth it (except for my 3 friends who still hang on to their aol or yahoo accounts). I can see Hangouts as a way to have meetings in bad weather or for an online class, or as a way to “bring in” a speaker. Sites is a nice platform for a web-presence. Forms could be an answer to a lot of my problems – assessment, class scheduling, etc. Slides is another alternative to PowerPoint -which I am always happy to see. Most of these could be used by me in instruction or by my students to create a product of their learning.
- Twitter – I avoided it forever. Signed up once years ago and backed away quickly. It is hard for me to split my time between too many social media platforms considering I already balance personal and professional. However, this class gave me a reason to try it again and I am glad, for I believe I will be sticking with it. This seems like it will be a useful addition for professional development ideas. I can follow leaders in academic libraries and (most importantly to me) educational/instructional technology for new ideas to use in my classroom.
- Animoto – a little bit limited by what you are allowed to use (music, design-wise) and very limited by short length of your free animation – however, if it can be used for outreach on social media short is okay. It produces high quality looking videos that could provide a nice peek into what is going on at the library.
- Piktochart – I love the idea of Infographics as a tool for library promotion. Also as a tool for students to use in a project. And as a way to present information in a class session. I think they can really have a visual impact. There are some limitations to this site, but for the free version of the tool it is useful and you sign up with your Google account.
- WordPress – Again, very intuitive, pretty easy to use. I have done guest blog entries (not actually posted by me) for library outreach and I have posted a week’s lesson in our summer info lit course when we once used a blog to conduct the course. You can do a lot for free. This class has got me into regularly having to maintain one and the various posting/editing features are easy. This could be a good tool for students to produce work on, so it is good that I am more familiar with it. This could be good for outreach by the library should we want to restart ours; or networking and raising one’s profile as a librarian. Relatedly, I have also found new WordPress blogs to follow which aid in professional development ideas.
Alexy Kljatov at Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Snowflake_macro_photography_1.jpg
Melanie Levi at Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/apartmentlife/8284225075
*sax at Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/saxonmoseley/5325339842