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Archive | IL2013

Session A201 – Digital Branch Design for Minimalists

Highly effective digital branch services are simpler, cheaper, and closer at hand than you think. This session lays the foundation for a less-is-more approach to launching your next web project and iterating through a continuous cycle of feedback and improvement. Fitzpatrick introduces some free or cheap tools as well as a proven process that will set up your web team for a successful product your patrons will love.

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Sean Fitzpatrick, Drupal Developer,

Session B304 – 50 More Great Apps for Patrons, Pros, & Newbies

Building on last year’s popular session, our speakers say there’s an app for everything and everyone. But with more than a billion apps available, it’s difficult to tell which ones are good. The speakers discuss 50 time-tested apps for Android and Apple devices that will change the way you search, access, and view information in and beyond the library walls.

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Richard Le, Teen Librarian, San Francisco Public Library
Tom Duffy, Reference Librarian, Visitacion Valley Branch, San Francisco Public Library

Session B303 – Screen Sharing & Virtualized Workspaces

Have you ever wished you could see what your online patrons or other colleagues are seeing on their computer screen? There are many free/freemium tools that allow just that!

The first presentation discusses results of experiments with Google+ Hangouts and to provide research consultations online. It shares different types of screen-sharing tools, privacy and security issues, and their training and evaluation approaches. The second presentation describes how one public library repurposed existing underutilized PCs in 384 libraries into virtualized workspaces. It discusses the many advantages, including centrally managing the workspaces, zoning libraries for different patron uses, and reducing deployment and maintenance costs.

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Danielle Kane, Research Librarian for Emerging Technologies and Service Innovation, University of California, Irvine
Jeff Schneidewind, Emerging Technologies Research Specialist, University of California, Irvine Libraries
Emily A Almond, Director, IT, Georgia Public Library Service

Building Google’s Power Searching MOOCs

Tasha Bergson-Michelson

Tasha Bergson-Michelson

Tasha Bergson-Michelson, formerly Google’s search educator, was tasked to develop a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on power searching at Google.  It was developed in about 6 weeks by 3 engineers and Tasha was program manager.  They aimed for 6 hours of instruction and kept all tests multiple choice.

Lessons learned:  Never put a midterm in the middle!  Requiring a due date for the midterm to qualify for the certificate caused lots of nasty e-mails and many people left the class.  Now, everything is due at the end.  Each class was formatted into 5 minute videos.  There was also a text version.  Videos are hard to edit and get everything that people need to know and still keep them short.  Many people preferred the text version.

Writing a question for over 150,000 people, everybody is not going to understand the question.  You won’t be able to reach everyone  Questions have to be short and be something that people can imagine.  There were problems with Google’s machine learning technology learning from bad searches and displaying a correct search query which caused people to wonder why they were taking the course.

An Advanced Power Searching course was challenge-based and fixed the mistakes of the first version.  There were people from 96 countries in the class and the first version was too ethnocentric.  Problems were corrected as they arose.  Don’t worry about complaints–just fix them.  They never got the same complaint twice.

Most people learn to search by looking over somebody else’s shoulder.  How can this be emulated in an online course?  There is not just a single way to do something!  The course had 12 challenges, 6 in the first week and 6 in the second.  Students could just skip a question if they didn’t know how to answer it.  If they got bored, they would leave.  Each challenge had multiple steps.  Videos for help were offered.

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