Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Play Week - Week #11-13

Listen to this podcast: Weeks 11-13

ARE YOU DONE????? Cool! Here is what you need to do....email me and let me know that you are finished. I will review your blog and contact you if there are any problems. I know that there won't be. We will ship your MP3 player on the following Tuesday. We only ship on Tuesday because we aren't FedEx, UPS or Special Services. :) We will bundle your location's players together and ship to your manager's attention. He/she can then distribute with a hearty hand shake and pat on the back for a job well done!

NEED HELP???? No problem. We have a discussion board available to you as a place to post your questions. Click the link to go to the board, browse the posts to see if your question topic is there, if not, click the new button to create a new post. Here is the link: Discussion Board (this could be a sneak preview into the next course, you never know!)

If you are prompted for a username and password, you will have to enter your Citrix username and password. The username will look like this:

username = ocls.info\tsimpson

password = your citrix password

Make sure that you include the ocls.info\ prefix before your username. If you are a Citrix users, you can access the board via the internet from within Citrix, and you will not be prompted to log in.

eXplore – Play time – search, explore, fiddle, find, fool around, visit or revisit anything that we have covered so far.

Share - Remember the technology training needs survey that I conducted a few months ago? Well, in a few weeks, I will send you the link and ask that you give it another go, so please, take a moment and complete the survey when it arrives.

Adventure – Have you finished your podcast yet? If not, now is the time to put that puppy to bed!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Podcasts and Audio - Week #10

Watch this Video: What is Podcasting (Disclaimer – a video of a podcast is an oxymoron. It just doesn’t make sense. Most searches that I did for podcast on the popular video sites returned examples that weren’t worth sharing. This one should at least make you smile. Close your eyes and it is a podcast, open your eyes and it is a video. Wow!!!)
Listen to this podcast:
Week 10

Audio based content has a large chunk of the technology market share. Apple’s Ipod and Itunes are both credited with kick starting a sagging record industry and boosting the technology industry. If you live and breathe, you have probably noticed all kinds of people walking around with headphones or ear buds plugged into their heads. These folks are listening to a wide variety of audio content, from digital music to podcasts to audio books to satellite radio.

So what is a
podcast? Podcasts, like other technology mediums, have their own search engines, Odeo and Yahoo Podcasts are examples. Click here and enter OCLS into the search window and listen to a podcast. Notice the subscribe button? Remember RSS? RSS can deliver your podcasts to your computer so when you plug in your MP3 player, they automatically synch with each other. You can create a free Yahoo account and subscribe to any of the podcasts in their catalog, or podcasts that you find else where. Here is a tutorial if you are interested and need help.

Our own podcasts are here:
OCLS Podcasts. You can access all of the archives and download them directly to your PC. Here’s another interesting library related one, 5 minutes of library news headlines – LibVibe (click the OK button to run the Active X control.) The Denver Public Library also podcasts, click the direct download link to hear their podcast. NPR podcasts too and they offer quite a bit of content, take a look: NPR See if you can find the news from Lake Wobegon.

What are audio books? Audio books, or electronic books, or ebooks are all cousins of the books on tape generation. The main difference between books on tape and an audio book is that audio books can be down loaded from a vendor or provider via the Internet. Maybe we should call them “Books on the Web”? This week’s eXplorer activity is about audio books.

eXplore – Down load an audio book from our library catalog. Save it to your PC and enjoy. Need some help???? What???? You are all old pros at this technology stuff!!! Ok, here are some clues:

Browse for an audio book here:
X Marks the Spot

The process for downloading a book is very similar to a brick and mortar library visit. Ok, so the pleasant smiling face of the check out person is missing, and you have to answer your own questions, besides that….

    1. Browse and locate the title that interests you, click the title to see more info about the book.
    2. To download, click “Create a new account” if you need to create a Netlibrary account. See below for more information. If you have an account, Click “A downloadable audio book through the World Wide Web
    3. Download the title by clicking the “Download this eAudiobook”.
    4. Check out your title. See below for more info on CD quality Vs. Radio quality
    5. Save your title to your computer or your personal drive space.
    6. Listen and enjoy.

Our audio books are supplied by Netlibrary, in order to check an audio book out; you will need to create an account. This is a freebee, just have your library card and pin handy. Once you create the account, check out is a quick click of the button and the book will start to download automatically.

CD quality Vs radio quality – what is the difference? Here is an important point to remember, if you are going to download your audio book to a MP3 player, it HAS to be the CD quality version. HAS to be, won’t work if it isn’t. Trust me on this.

Share - Create a blog entry in response to this question: How are you going to use your MP3 player?

Adventure – create your own podcast, tag it OCLS and share it on one of the search sites that we have explored. Once it is posted, email the URL to me and I will post it on the blog for others to enjoy. Before you create your first podcast, read this article about copyright information. This is a moderate to hard challenge, depending on your knowledge of recording. If you need help, try these links: About: Radio or How To Podcast

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Digital Music - Week #9

Watch this Video: Library Musical

Listen to this podcast: Week 9

Music is universal, it exists in every culture on earth, past and present. Before we could write, we had music, before we had books, we had music. I can tell you that I wrote this entire course on a steady diet of Jazz. Creativity for me has always ebbed and flowed. A good Jazz grove blocks out the phones and other office distractions and helps me write. But, before we get to the good stuff, let’s look at the rules of sharing music.

What is copyright? And why do we need to be concerned with it? Digital music is a very convenient format. We can copy it from a CD and play it on our computer, and then synchronize our computer's music library with our MP3 player and unplug from the PC and go for a walk. What if we need a little background music for a presentation or some other thing that we are creating – can I use a Yanni tune for that? Well, if you know Yanni and he says it’s OK, have at it! If you don’t know him, then you might want to look at the laws and guidelines concerning copyright before you do anything. Disclaimer: this is an awareness session only. None of us are lawyers, nor do we play one on TV. If you have a question, take it to your supervisor and get some help before you act, waiting until after the fact is waiting too long.

Copyright Laws This is a pretty good article that describes several different scenarios and how they are impacted by the law.

Copyright for Librariansclick the "Guidelines" menu on the left hand side to expand the content list. Explore the areas that interest you.

Copyright use in Education – music use in the classroom. Many of you may come in contact with students that are creating presentations for class reports. Here are some guidelines for what is acceptable in the classroom.

So what is
DRM? And how does DRM affect me? DRM is a tool that record companies use to help prevent their music from illegally being copied. Many consumers are protesting DRM because of how it limits the ablility to move legally purchased music from device to device. Apple and Itunes are central in the DRM debate. Here is a Steve Jobs/Apple article on DRM. Here is a Cnet article about record companies killing DRM. Why don’t we support iTunes here at OCLS? DRM is an issue, but the main reason is that our audio book vendors don’t support iTunes. We do post our podcasts on iTunes, so if you are an iTunes user, you can subscribe to our feed.

Let’s shift gears and look at some music applications. My favorite is Liveplasma. Why? Because I am a visual learner (remember learning styles or did you forget already?) and because I love music. Liveplasma is visual like Grokker, but its purpose is to link similar artists together so you can explore and expand your horizons. Take a look: Liveplasma In the search box, enter the name of your favorite musical artist and click the Artist/Band button. A disclaimer, not all musical artists are in the database, I couldn’t find Janis Joplin for example. So what is the value of all of this? Not too long ago, I was browsing my favorite music site looking for some new Blues music. I came across this guy Joe Bonamassa that I had never heard of. A quick trip to Liveplasma, and I can see that Bonamasa is close to many artists that I already enjoy, so there is a high probability that I would enjoy his music too, and I did. Remember when you used to look at the artwork on the album cover to help you make your purchase decisions? Now we have websites that can help you decide. Cool or not? Either way, now you have a tool to help patrons before they check out CDs!

eXplore – explore
LastFM , Musicstrands and Upto11, which are all social music sites. I have had problems getting some of the features in LastFM to work, but give it a try, it may work for you.
Also explore
Liveplasma, find some new music for yourself. Here is another visual music search engine to try: Music Map. Compare your results.

Here is some music from our own OCLS family, Emily Wallace. Take a look and a listen!

Share - Where do stand on the digital rights management debate? Should media be offered with unrestricted rights or pay per use rights? Metallica or Napster? Ipod or Etunes? Create a blog entry to tell us how you feel.

Adventure – Many of you have discovered the joy of widgets for your blogs. Here are two sites that you can use to find more widgets. Springwidgets and Yourminis.
Tell us what you added in your blog post. This is an advanced activity.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sharing Information - Week #8

Watch this video: People that use Flickr, go to Hawaii (Maybe you'll get an invite for next year’s meet up!!)

Listen to this podcast:
Week 8 (yes, I know this is week #8, sometimes things change)

Let’s start this week off with a field trip to Flickr. Flickr is a website that allows users to upload digital pics from their computer and share them with just their friends or the whole entire planet. Users can “tag” an image with key words that describe the picture. This allows people to search Flickr for pictures that interest them by entering tag words into the search window. What a great way for the whole world to see just how cute your kids really are!!!

Once you open Flickr, either log in (because you already have an account) or click the red Sign Up button and create your own free account. Once you are in, type OCLS into the search box at the top of the screen and take a look at the pics that have been tagged with OCLS. See if you can find my pictures. See if you can find my account profile.

OK, you have looked for some work stuff; now let’s look for some fun stuff. I imagine you could search for Disney, but how about searching for the tag skateboards instead? There are 85,000 pictures of skateboards, 45000 of skateboards +pool, but only 12 of skateboards +pool +Dogtown. You just might want to see the pics of Tony Alva still carving the pool in his mid 40s. Talk about stoked!! Ok, so skateboards aren’t your thing, go see what you can find.

Creative Commons
Now that you have had a chance to browse for a few moments, think about how you would feel if someone took your photo and made a poster out of it and sold it. Not too happy I would guess, and rightfully so. To help protect the artist’s rights, Creative Commons was created to provide artists the ability to put work out into cyber space but still have control of how their work is consumed by the public. Here is more info about Creative Commons from Wikipedia.org

Examples of websites that use Creative Commons to protect their work:

    Public Library of Science – scroll to the very bottom of the page and click the "Creative Commons Attribution License" link to see how they use CC.

    Flickr – look at this photo that I took. If you look to the right of the pic, under Additional Information, you will see two small icons and the link “some rights reserved”. Click the link to see how I used Creative Commons to both protect and share my work.

    Learn 2.0 - the original version of Learn 2.0 was created by the Public Library of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. They licensed the course so that we, and as you saw last week, a whole bunch of other libraries, could use it. By agreeing to their licenses terms in Creative Commons, we also agree to allow others to use this content. You can see our license here

eXplore – Take some digital pictures of your location, department or co-workers. With your managers approval, upload the pics to your Flickr account, tag with "101Central" (OCLS has been used) and share. Make sure the pictures are public, or we won’t be able to see them. This can be a group activity, so an entire branch or department can upload images. Please respect the privacy of our patrons - no pics of kids or adult faces.

Share – Post a blog entry that discusses this course. Think about on-line learning – do you like it? Why or why not? Without mentioning names, have you offered to help anyone? Has someone helped you? How? Are you part of a team working on this together? How is that working out? Did you reach out to another location? Realize that this is all part of a larger program called Life.exe. In Life.exe, we all have to work together, and when we do, we all benefit. Sort of Hippy logic, I know, but it is something I believe in. (what did you expect from someone that thinks Tony Alva is cool?)

Adventure – Create a Protopage, tag it with OCLS, save and share it. This is a moderate challenge.