I was doing some updating of my ALIA PD points today and it startled me to see that I have pretty much already accumulated the points I need for the 2011 year (it’s a financial year thing). I only joined the scheme in April 2010, realising that all the reading and learning I had been doing for my new job since starting here in February could also be counted as PD points. It then occurred to me that it’s probably time to update my CV with some of this learning and achievement and professional progress.
So this is a relective and slightly self indulgent post, a pause to look at what I’ve learned and managed to achieve since starting at MPOW (my first professional position and first full time job in 18 years) back in February 2010. I’m pretty pleased with this list. I have:
- joined the ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee (NGAC)
- learned how to participate in teleconferences
- developed a web site using Google sites and written and uploaded all the content myself
- developed and written library and academic skills modules for the college moodle
- implemented a monthly student newsletter (college wide, not just library news) that I now co-ordinate & edit
- learned how to conduct information literacy workshops (and learned that it’s different each and every time)
- learned how to use prezi (thanks @misssophiemac)
- learned how to use flickr (thanks @restructuregirl)
- learned how to use twitter (thanks tweeps!)
- established a Facebook presence for both the library and MPOW generally
- learned about Orkut as a social networking site
- participated in a blogging project (#blogeverydayinjune)
- written my first collaborative document as part of an NGAC task
- been to UTS to hear Heidi Julien talk about information literacy
- been to the ALIA Biennial conference in Brisbane and met lots of new people
- learned how to use the Libraries Australia database
- written my first article for InCite (as yet unpublished)
- discovered what a ‘personal learning network‘ is and how to develop and contribute to one
- participated in discussions about my experiences as a student as part of research into LIS education
- started planning for the library to move to another building and co-locate (finally!) with the computer lab
Some of this has been ‘just part of the job’ and some has been personal professional development that may or may not cross over into ‘the job’ but I believe (and fortunately, so does my employer) that it is all part of being an active participant in a learning profession and that ultimately that has benefits and payoffs for the employer beyond the ‘things that get done on the job’.
Probably the most valuable part of all of this to me has been the professional networking through twitter, NGAC and the conference. I had an example of this just today in a focus group discussion for the LIS research project – I was delighted to find another participant was someone I had met at the conference. Connecting and reconnecting is what helps build the profession. I’m not sure where all that will take me in the longer term career sense but I’m sure it’s going to be positive.
image: Ecliptic Star Trails by makelessnoise via flickr
Today, practising what I preach, I taught Miss 16 to use Google wonder wheel to find keywords and background information for an ancient history assignment. Then, armed with said background information, off we trotted to the local library to find some books. Targetted pre-search a good strategy as she is currently on crutches so too much hanging about the library is not a good thing. To borrow a phrase from @jobeaz, “love my job”.
This past couple of weeks has seen me working on a website for the library, within the Google Aps domain that we hold at MPOW. Google Sites is a wiki based ‘put the modules together’ platform and really easy to use (once you get the basics sorted out in your head!) While there are all sorts of limitations with this structure, it has been an ideal solution for me – the library desperately needed a web presence and our resident IT support (yes, there’s only one of him) is run off his feet with day to day stuff. With Google Sites, I have been able to construct a web site on my own that does the job and gets the information about the library services out there into the student’s preferred domain (and looks a bit snappy too).
Along the way, I have been able to play with lots of different learning objects – with varying forms of success. I have used Jing to create short video screen captures of different Google search functions (namely Wonder Wheel and Timeline) and link to these from my web site. In anticipation of a new intake of students in a few weeks, I have spent today putting together a short virtual library tour using Window’s Photo Story software (that I then uploaded to YouTube because Google sites has an automatic YouTube plug in and I don’t need to worry about html code embedding). Photo Story is a really simple little piece of software I came across while doing my practicum at TAFE last year (I did a virtual tour of the library as one of my projects). It doesn’t need any special equipment other than a camera and a microphone, so I whipped out the trusty iPhone, snapped a few pics of the library and surrounds, uploaded them to the computer, donned the headset/mic and away I went. Photo Story strings your pictures together in a kind of power point display, adds your narration and some funky background music and you have a little video without having worked with any kids or dogs.
While this ends up sounding like an infomercial for Google, the fact is that they are out there providing simple, low cost solutions to technology issues. MPOW has limited budget and resources, Google Aps allows us significantly improved collaboration and the ability to provide services to our customers (both staff and students).