INF506: A Delicious & Pinterest Reflection

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As the course draws to a close I feel that it is important to reflect on the social media tools that I have been using as a part of the course. I had been wanting to try Pinterest for a while so the course provided a good impetus to do so. I had long been urged to use Delicious by the teacher librarian at my school, but had found that I had just never had the time to set up an account so again, the course gave me good reason to do so.

Critically reflecting upon my Delicious experience first, I was initially skeptical as I feel that using the bookmarks tab was just as simple. However, I have really enjoyed and really benefitted from my experience using Delicious. It has not only been an excellent way to organise my bookmarks and familiarise me with the notion of tagging, it has also been very beneficial to share my bookmarks with others. Another great advantage has been bookmarking sites and blogs etc. for future use as I have often been pressed for time but have not wanted to lose some of the excellent resources I have found in my searches. As I have saved a lot of bookmarks on various topics I have found the ‘notes’ section extremely helpful as well as it has been an easy way of summarising articles to save me time scrolling through all my bookmarks looking for information. I have been conducting some research on the various uses of Delicious and Hines recommends setting up a staff wide Delicious account (2010).  When I return to the workplace, I am really excited about setting up a library staff Delicious account as a quick and simple way to share resources, instead of emailing resources back and forth like I have done in the past.

Turning next to my reflections of Pinterest, again, like Delicious, I have had positive experiences using this social media tool as well. I had always wanted to try using Pinterest as many of my friends have accounts. I like that it is a highly visual tool which allowed me to categorise information and add descriptions to the various images. I was also pleased to find that, most of the time, the pictures linked back to the original webpages from which they came, making it easier to refer back to the original site if needs be. I had initially thought that Pinterest was a site for women with ‘recipes, wedding dresses and braids’ (Popolo, 2013). However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the social site is also ‘flooded with teachers, universities, designers, airlines, nonprofits, businesses, real estate brokers, and news outlets that have explored other ways to use Pinterest’ (Popolo, 2013). I also realised as part of my exploring that there were so many categories of boards that could be followed. I initially signed up to Pinterest thinking that I would use it for my hobbies, rather than work, but I can now see the value of Pinterest for information professionals as well and I am excited to continue using the social media site.

References:

Hines, K. (2010, October 11).How to use Delicious: The king of social bookmarking. Social Media Examiner: Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-delicious-social-bookmarking/

Popolo, M. (2013, April 23). How to use Pinterest for beginners. PCMag.com. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2418047,00.asp

INF506 Twitter and the Library

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As part of my studies for INF506 I have established a Twitter account and have enjoyed my experiences. I was initially skeptical of the educational benefits of Twitter as it limits users to 140 characters, what  meaningful things can students create with 140 characters? (As an English teacher I am forever encouraging students to write more, not less!)

However, in completing the course readings and through immersing myself in the technology, I have found some excellent uses for Twitter in an educational context. I now see the advantages to having a social networking site that is limited in characters as it is easy for students and teachers to stay informed about a multitude of topics. I was impressed with Valenza’s idea of using Twitter to ‘follow conversations about breaking issues in the news’ (2009). I thought this was an excellent point as I am often saddened about students lack of knowledge about current issues, so this idea is one that I will certainly be trying in the classroom. I am also enthused about Valenza’s idea as, through Twitter, students will not only be able to receive reports of breaking news but can follow conversations about such topics that may lead them to thinking more critically and to realise that there are often many perspectives involved in an issue.

Another idea presented by Valenza is that of using Twitter to ‘locate and contact experts’ (2009). Again this was something I had not thought of prior to completing this course and I think that it is a fantastic way to engage students in issues. I am also excited about using this idea as an English teacher, as I think it would be great for students to follow and contact authors. A while ago I had a year 7 class who kept asking me questions about the book that we were reading so I eventually sent the author an email, not expecting anything to come of it. Well, the author contacted me back with a great email answering the many questions I had sent her. I read the email to the year 7 class and they were absolutely delighted, not only to have their questions answered but to have received an email from an author. It made reading a much more personal experience and I am excited about using Twitter in this regard.

This course has opened my eyes to the many educational benefits that can be gained from using social media and it has encouraged me to keep researching and exploring.

References:

Valenza, J. (27 September, 2009). 14 ways K-12 librarians can teach social media. Tech & Learning: Ideas and Tools for Ed Tech Leaders.

INF506 Why Social Media

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I found the Burkhardt’s blog post a sensible and succinct way to convince librarians that they now need a presence on social networking sites (2009).

Burkhardt’s reasons are communication, responding to feedback, marketing/advertising and understanding users better (2009). I feel that this is an excellent summary of what should be done via social media. I particularly liked the point about responding to feedback. I feel that too often websites are simply created and left for students to use or not use. I think that if students feel that their voice is valued then they will be far more likely to utilise the services the library has to offer.

References:

Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four Reasons Libraries Should be on Social Media. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/