Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How does this online learning program work?
This is a self-discovery program that allows participants to take control of their own learning. Participants are encouraged to work together with others in their libraries and regions and to share their insights and discoveries with others through their blogs and in person. NSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 is web-based and not tied to any particular computer. You can work on this program in your library or at home.

Is there any tech support?
We can assist you with the course, but not your computer or Internet connection.

Check if your place of work blocks multimedia or other sites. If you have any difficulties in accessing the sites please talk to your IT department. Where they have difficulties some library services are accessing the program on their public network, giving their IT department the relevant web addresses, encouraging their IT staff to participate in the course or using a laptop on their library’s wireless network.

Do any of the activities require downloads?
Most of the activities use Web-based applications that do not require additional downloads or plug-ins to work. It's a good idea to check that you have Flash and sound on your PC to begin with.

My council blocks some websites – what sites do we need to ensure we can access to complete the program?
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/
Gmail http://www.gmail.com/
Blogger http://www.blogger.com/
Flickr http://www.flickr.com/
Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/
del.icio.us http://del.icio.us/
Bloglines http://www.bloglines.com/
Google video http://video.google.com.au/

Who can participate?
This program is open to all staff in any New South Wales public library staff. The website will go live on 18 February and it will be publicised via the NSW email lists.

Does it cost anything to participate?
Only your staff time.

How many staff can participate?
There isn’t a limit on the number of staff from each library that can participate. You may determine that the amount of staff time required means not all of your staff can participate in the first rollout but that is a local decision.

Some staff work part time is it necessary for them to be present each day to complete 15 minutes, or can they double-up on sessions they have missed?
The program is built on a website so staff can do their "15 minutes" any time that suits. They can do it all in a blitz for an hour or so one day a week if that suits rostering requirements better.

Do I need to register our library service or do staff sign up individually?
Staff work will register individually as part of the course.

How will you measure my progress?
You will work through the exercises individually at your own pace tracking your progress through a blog you will set up in week 2 as part of this learning process. Please use your blog to write your reactions to the lessons and add any ideas you may have on how to use Web 2.0 tools for yourself and your library. This is your time to experiment, have fun, and learn at you own pace.

Can I blog anonymously?
Yes. Since you control all the information that you share on your blog, you can choose to use a screen name to keep yourself anonymous. We find this encourages people to try out new things without worrying about professional reputations. Your blog will be posted on this blog, but your "real identity" will not be listed.

Will I be able to see other people’s blogs?
Yes, all participants’ blogs will be linked to the website but you will all be anonymous.

How do I register my blog?
Setting up and registering your blog are two of the activities you will accomplish in week 2. Note that you will not receive a confirmation of registration. We will add your blog to the main blog by name of blog--check the Particpant’s blog list on the sidebar for your blog. This may take a few days, since we must add them manually. We will not list your name; only your blog's name. If your blog has not appeared within 3 business days, email nswpln@gmail.com with your name, the blog name, and URL.

How long do I have to complete the program?
Participants who wish to receive a certificate of completion and enter the prize draw must register their blogs by 20 March and complete all the activities (and blog about each one) by 23 May. Registration begins 18 February, 2008.

What if staff take leave and can’t complete the program in the timeframe?
The program will remain on the website for 2008 – but staff won’t be eligible for the prize draw unless they complete the activities in the specified timeframe.

Are there prizes?
Participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate of completion and be entered in the draw for one of three mp3 players and three USB drives. Only New South Wales public library participants are eligible for prizes.

How will you know I have completed the course?
The course coordinators will be reading and tracking participants’ blogs.

How much do I have to write in my blog posts?
Each blog post must describe which activity you have completed, what your experience was learning about it--easy, hard, impossible--ideas how you can use this in your library and other comments on the process. While we don't expect a chapter on every week, we do expect thoughtful reflection and active participation that is clear in the post. Single line posts or those that show perfunctory participation will not be counted.

Will there be any training classes offered on how to do this?
No, however, staff are encouraged to work together with others in their libraries or region and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and "how to" both in person and through their blogs. You are encouraged to be resourceful and find a co-worker or another staff member who can help. Be sure to share your knowledge and expertise too!

We will provide helpful hints, encouraging words, and post comments on your blogs from time to time. The NSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 team will be available by e-mail to answer your questions.

Why do the NSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 program?
This is a great chance to spend time on your personal and professional development. All library staff need to be up-to-date with the latest trends and technology tools that Web 2.0 is bringing us everyday. We need to take time to learn how the tools can be utilized in or with our libraries. And we will know what our library users, especially younger users, are talking about!

I noticed some of the activities have a section headed Adventure. What is this and do I have to do it?
The Adventure are there for those participants who are already familiar with that particular activity and want to learn more and/or for those who are intrigued by what they have learned doing the first parts of the activity. The Adventures are all optional; you do not have to do those parts to have completed the activity. If you do one or more of the Adventures, be sure to blog about it!

Who are members of the NSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 Team?
The team is based in Public Library Services at the State Library of New South Wales. The team leaders are Ellen and Mylee. The team includes Kathleen A, Leanne, Oriana, Shauna and Victoria. You can reach us at nswpln@gmail.com or our regular e-mail addresses.

5 comments:

Ursa said...

Need to inform potential users that they require latest Flash player and audio on their PC's before they can complete Wk. 1

Marg Trundle said...

I have just read the FAQ. There are quiet a few things in here that I am not familiar with so am looking forward to learning lots from these exercises.

Tita said...

I have just read FAQ and already feel inspired to do complete the course, I also found out that there is a lot to learn and discover, Looking forward to continue

PhilCrispin said...

It's great!!..........................................

FloyKnop said...

It's great!!..................................................