Sunday, 20 March 2011

In and Out, digital roundabout

Kindle & iPadphoto © 2010 Priit Tammets | more info (via: Wylio)
IPad and Kindle loans

Starting this week, we will be lending iPads for use in the library during out of class hours. The library is open from 8am -6pm daily so there are before school timeslots, lunch times and after school. With our intial 2 WiFi only iPads, this provides the opportunity for up to 30 students in Years 7-11, per week to have access. Year 12 all have individual, school issued iPads. The iPads have filtered internet access, there is no mail client configured and in app purchases are not possible due to password restrictions.

The iPads have been added to our library management system so easy tracking of student use is enabled. Depending on demand we may implement an advance booking system, but regular library users will be the first to see the in library signs.

To what use will these iPads be put? We have loaded a wide range of free apps from drawing and art to chemical reactions and calculators. Loan conditions are minimal but encourage responsibility
1. Enjoy the experience
2. Return the iPad exactly as loaned to you, all apps closed, all apps in place, no changes
to settings or wallpapers
3. Requests for further apps may be made on return of iPad. Request does not guarantee subsequent app acquisition.

Our two WiFi Kindles will also be available for student borrowing from this week. They have been loaded with seven popular titles that are always in demand. The loan conditions are similar to those for the iPads except for loan period and the fact that the Kindles will be taken home.

We look forward to our students' responses to these initiatives, their feedback will help determine our further directions with these devices.
Are your library management strategies for digital equipment working well? I would value hearing of your experiences.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Advocacy and Review 2011

What do we do in 2011?

This week I had the opportunity to present a review of library programs and activities to the Education subcomittee of the School Council. This was a great opportunity to reflect on past achievements, current practices and project developments for the library in our particular context. Ours is a library catering for Years 3 -12 with the senior and junior school operating on separate timings.

The changing nature of information services in a school is not always apparent to your Council,  or whatever body oversees your school. I was fortunate to have 45 minutes to expand and explain many of the things from this list. I cannot post the presentation as it contains many photos of our students, but here is an outline of points covered.

  1. What is library ? Familiar scenes - collections, users and activities
  2. What is library? The more recent - digital collections, ereaders, mobile devices, etexts
  3. Changing nature of use by students - collaborative activities
  4. Information tools available for library users - website, databases, curriculum pathfinders and more
  5. Specific tools - staff newsletter, digital video collection
  6. Class uses of library with specific examples, hours and timings
  7. Reading promotion activities - blogs and other tools
  8. Changing nature of content curation, new tools
  9. 2011 projects - LibGuides, Destiny quest, QR codes, development of Junior School resource centre and subsequent review of our space
This was a valuable exercise and the positive feedback from the committee augured well for the future of our library. When did you last present to your governing body?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

iPad-a-Date

made at Spell with flickr

Make a date for staff support 
Education institutions issuing iPads to staff need to hold some general information update sessions to ensure that staff are keeping up to date, and have mastered some time saving shortcuts. It is also a good opportunity for staff to exchange information about apps used, effective teaching practices and organisational tips.

Some essential reminders:
  1. Sync to a computer to back up the contents of your iPad to iTunes
  2. Update the iOS for improved functionality, many apps have now been upgraded
  3. Take the time to learn simple keyboard shortcuts and hidden keys
  4. Download an iPad guide to increase your understanding.
  5. Ask questions of your fellow learners, staff and students.
Keyboard - hidden characters
To access an extra range of keys, simply hold down a key and slide your finger to the required symbol, accented letter or suffix. Some of these are shown below.