Thursday, December 06, 2007

Professional Learning Centre - New Social Networking Courses?

Hi folks! I regret not having more energy to blog these past several days. One distraction has been my course at the Professional Learning Centre at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto -- Social Networking Tools: Hands on Learning It has been quite popular, to the point where I haven't even really had to promote it here on the blog.

The idea for the course came from Rebecca Jones who I ran into back in the spring en route to the Computers in Libraries conference. She envisioned a course wherein we play with a number of the "Web 2.0" tools in the morning, and then discuss the implications in the afternoon. You never know when opportunity will knock, my friends!

I took the ball and ran with it, creating a fun but intense survey course in which we set up a blog, wiki, feed aggregator account and social bookmarking account. We discuss uses of each and obstacles people would face in setting these up for use at their organizations. I also give a tour of some of the other tools including MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, LibraryThing and Second Life (I throw in some other tools depending upon the interests of the group).

We have run this class about 7 or 8 times since August, including a few times in Ottawa. I am just in the process of planning some additional dates for the spring. Thanks so much to everyone who has attended, for your enthusiasm, thoughfulness, and participation. Every class has been completely different, with a different mix of participant backgrounds and interests. You have kept me on my toes!!

The question is, where do we go from here? Eva Kupidura who coordinates the program has challenged me to add more courses to the roster. But what? Advanced questions in the class seem to centre around RSS feeds as well as wikis. Possibly a full course just on wikis would be a great next step. But what would be the issues we cover?

Please--what additional courses would you like to see me develop? What topics should they include? Would a full day in-person format work again, or something else?

Leave a comment here, or email me directly at conniecrosby at . Thanks for your help!



Bob said...

I'd love to sit in on one of these courses -- when are you coming to Ottawa next?

Connie Crosby said...

Hi Bob:

Next course in Ottawa is Tuesday, January 29th -

There is still space.


Unknown said...

Hi Connie, for those of us in the hinterlands, perhaps I should say Winterlands, do you think this course would work for online delivery?
I would love to see these canned as Education Institute Courses....perhaps the format would be less effective though.
Cheers, Shaunna

Sameer Vasta said...

Hey Connie. I'm sure your courses in Toronto get filled really quickly, but I'd love to sit in one next year. Let me know if that's possible.

Also, as for ideas, perhaps a session on audio/video? Something about sites like Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, Zooomr and how to use stuff other than text on the social web?

Or perhaps an RSS-centred course? I've noticed that while it seems so natural for people like us, the LARGE majority of web users have no clue what RSS is, and how they can use it to do great things like track blogs, news, packages, airline flights, etc.

Connie Crosby said...

Some fantastic ideas, Shaunna and Vasta!

Shaunna, I've been wondering if I should do a "travelling road show"?? Failing that, an online version would be good.

Vasta, I love the idea of a video course. Let me get one or two more in the text stream under my belt, then can try that. We don't talk a lot about it in my class, but I use video to teach so it is definitely an underlying concept. Also podcasting is something I would like to get into.

Essentially I need to think which tools will be most practical for libraries to implement immediately, and then which would fill some of the more niche needs.

Thanks so much for the great feedback, everyone!! I welcome more...


pollyalida said...

Connie, I've been running a course very similar to yours. An overview of 2.0 tools and how they can help with personal productivity, marketing/outreach and enhancing user experience. We touch on blogs, wikis, personalized home pages, rss, delicious, flickr and whatever else there's time for. Includes time to talk about web 2.0, library 2.0, strategies for learning more and how they might implement some of their ideas.

Other related courses that I offer cover blogs and flickr (full day) and RSS and delicious (another full day) We're talking about splitting everything into 1/2 day classes so people can do a bit more mixing and matching. And adding classes on wikis, podcasting, screencasting and videocasting.

Another class in the works is a 'makeover' of a class I've been teaching for 7 or 8 years now. It was originally called something like "fabulous freebies for your web site" back in the day when things were called "remotely hosted web services"! Now it will be about using 2.0 tools to add content to library websites and how to get the library and library content out of the library website and into the "users space".

Not sure when I'll get all this done, but maybe I just won't sleep for a month.

Connie Crosby said...


Wow! I *knew* I had a lot to learn from you. Thank you for explaining all that you have developed. Maybe joining forces somehow is the aren't that far away, after all, are you?


Connie Crosby said...

I should also thank everyone for the personal comments. I was at the TALL season social tonight and was gathering up feedback from folks, especially those who have already taken my course.

Thank you, everyone!!