Course Reflection–Is it really over?

My thoughts on the incredible LIS768 Course:

Participatory Service & Emerging Technologies

Blogging

Having never blogged before, I truly took this class assignment as an opportunity to create a blog that I could eventually use for professional purposes.  I had always wanted to submit my thoughts, ideas, summaries, videos, etc to the larger Librarian community but never had an incentive or reason to do so.  The classroom blogging assignments have given me the “push” that I needed, and I am confident that I will continue to update the blog after class after monitoring the number of “reads” I have received on Goggle Analytics and Bit.ly statistics.  It appears that people are reading this humble attempt at a blog and I am excited to keep it going in the hopes that what I produce on here is valuable and relevant to others in this field.

Twitter

The most useful part of examining twitter in this class has been the 20+ followers I have gained and in turn followed.  I had been slowly adding MLS professional to my Twitter lists, but it had been hard to find relevant Tweeters that I actually enjoyed following.  If anything else, I have come to respect and enjoy the Tweets sent out by my classmates and cannot wait to continue to follow them post class.  Through Twitter and the #LIS768 hashtag, I have received links to articles that will help me with my research, commentary on my blog postings, friendly tips and “hellos” and the opportunity to host a TweetChat (something I have always wanted to do, but didn’t have a reason or audience large enough to engage).  Twitter has been a great way to feel like I have been to class every week (even though this is a monthly, weekend class), and I feel as though I have developed some great professional and social relationship through using this medium.

Assignments

Overall, I felt that the assignments were relevant, concise, and valuable for a variety of professional purposes.  For example, I was just recently assigned to the Social Media Team at my Library as a representative for my Department.  I truly believe that my work in studying things like Social Media Policies, using a variety of Web 2.0 tools—especially blogging, and my ability to work in an online environment (pretty much how we conducted the research for and put together our group project) in this class swayed my supervisor’s decision in choosing me for this role.  I had been waiting for an opportunity to take on new challenges in my career and I am convinced that bringing Social Media to my Library is a great first step into the direction I ultimately see myself continuing in.  I know that this class has given me many valuable additions to my “portfolio” and for that, I am grateful.

Group Project

I have to admit that I am not typically a fan of group projects, especially at the Graduate Level, because I always find it difficult to schedule time to meet and work on the project.  However, because this class provided us with many online tools to conduct our meetings, share resources and put together the final product, this group project was a breeze to complete and actually quite fun.  My group utilized the “Groups” feature on the Classroom website, our G-mail accounts, GoogleDocs and Twitter to share information and work collaboratively in an online environment.  This proved to be a valuable exercise, as my Library just announced that the work for the Social Media Team will be conducted virtually with the exception of monthly meetings.  Having the leg-up on achieving long-term and detailed projects online will help me handle the pressures of these new job responsibilities and also might posit me as a leader, or point person to go to if others on the team are having a difficult time getting accustomed to working in online spaces.

Class Meetings

The class meetings were a great opportunity to see some amazing PowerPoints filled with images of ideal libraries that really grasp the concept of Library 2.0.  It was also the perfect place to explore this new technology and talk with others about their thoughts/feelings on Library 2.0.  I appreciate how the instructor chose to keep class sessions brief and informative, giving us plenty of time to meet as a group and receive feedback from group members as well as the instructor.  I never once felt bored, restless or tired.  The class moved the entire weekend and provided me with many interesting things to work on and ponder until our next meeting.  As a side note, while I was incredibly sad that our last class had to be cancelled as this was truly my favorite class I have ever had at Dominican, I feel that the outcome of the cancelation has proven to be a valuable learning experience as it proves how far we have come in our comfort level of working with new technologies that we can actually conduct our class online and not feel like we have “missed out” on anything.  Also, in the “real world,” things happen all the time that are out of our control and we must be prepared to rectify the situation as best as possible without losing time, money or effort.

Favorites

My favorite thing about this course has been the opportunity to blog on the WordPress platform.  In the past, I had found WordPress to be a bit confusing to use and avoided it for other blogging sites like Blogger and Xanga.  However, I am impressed by the interface of WordPress and will continue to use it post class.  My favorite assignment was the Brand Monitoring assignment because it gave me the opportunity to study a library that is very inspiration to me—San Jose Public Library—from a Library 2.0 perspective

Tips for the future

Topics or Web 2.0 things to look at in future classes (just suggestions!)

  • Ebooks and “Reading Socially”
  • Tumblr
  • Storing information in “the cloud”
  • How libraries can utilize Social Media to create a community of users (not how to set one up and the importance of having these profiles, but how to use these tools to create engaged and active users of the Library)

Conclusion

Thanks for a great class!  Dominican University will miss you greatly.  Best of luck in your future adventures in a truly evolving field!

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