Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Open Educational Resources

A  good guide to OER and the myths surrounding
open access material...

This publication is available under Creative
Commons Attribution 4.0 International
license. []



Monday, 20 November 2017


To begin the Rudai 23 course I was guided through a number of tasks.
Establishing this blog site was the launching pad. It provided the platform to expand and explore a number of key tasks that included the use of Photofunia, to personalise photographs and images. It is also the site dedicated to beginning the art of blogging and facilitates a personal step for me to share and exchange links and posts between new social media and my private facebook account.  As the course has progressed I have chosen to open and develop a Flickr account and “dabble” with Powtoon to investigate the creation of animated slide shows . 

Part of my work in the library at the Institute of Technology Tralee involves using the new Yodecking System for TV presentations and I have begun using features from Photofunia to enhance powerpoint slides by creating my own photographs and images.
Using the new material everyday has been of tremendous help to boost my confidence
when tackling new tasks being assigned during the course and becoming familiar with the new system.

For the first time I have explored the experience of blogging and began on this site by featuring reflective pieces on my experiences on the first few weeks of the college term particularly mindful of my interactions with first year students. I have been aware of the important role that reflection “in” and “on” working with patrons requires for clear understanding of their problems and to be able to answer their questions (Schon,1983).

Writing on what I know and experience is a very reflective exercise on how we life and work.
I have enjoyed the fun of sharing photos, recreated in Photofunia, with family and friends.
Marking special occasions and events in our personal lives I can clearly see that these fun aps can play a big part in creating material for marketing and recording the “living library”, our staff and students and having some laughs along the way.

Working online I was conscious throughout the tasks of sharing them on the wider web and anxious around the prospect of using them in presentations in work and on my private face book page with my friends. To date my account has been private and facing the task to post and represent the material has been up to now a key challenge for me and certainly a learning curve when it comes to multimedia use and exposure.

Whilst completing each element of the course I was conscious of engaging in reflecting practice and would have used my experiences in past studies in counselling to facilitate my learning. Having reflected on these experiences now at the end of stage 1 I know that I have shifted from being extremely anxious around media to a place where I understand that the knowledge and scope of these tools far outweighs my fear of world wide exposure !!!  Dare I say it, I am beginning to relax and enjoy experimenting in new ways in my private and professional life and I hope I will continue to surf the waves !

I am left at the end of these tasks hoping, nay excited , to earn my first Badge. I am at times in awe of the amount of  creative ingenuity available and the shared selflessness of the open access policy of many of the creators of these apps, and indeed the facilitators of this course. There is learning here too ….about our giving of our time and sharing our knowledge in an open way and sharing our human experiences as we journey on and off the web. I enjoyed immensely setting up my Badge account and the thrill of opening my first badge …all be it a “SAMPLE " ….!!

The most difficult task for me has been the Powtoon Tool. But it was not until I had sat down to attempt to write my feelings on this experience that I have truly realised my reactions have been part of my learning experiences and fears throughout my life. The simple but complexed age old question "Would it be good enough?" Put another Way …Would I be good enough?  Would I be exposed…..horror !
As Schon points out (1983, p.69) “for some uncertainty is a threat, its admission a sign of weakness”.

Trying to wrestle with my engrained “suspicions “ of the web  and this old  mantra of “not being good enough” has been a challenge during the course.  One experience this week, while I was toying with this reflective exercise demonstrated clearly how integrated this doing method of learning has weaved itself in my working life and exemplified how I have always learned.
It has been a great source of joy to me… I was amazed at how quickly I was aiding a nursing student to embed posts on “Pebble Pad” for his eportfolio…..
This is a tool I have no experience of and I was confident to help and enthusiastic to learn from his limited knowledge as well. Being “present” to this student it was nice to be on what Stephens calls “the Edge of what’s happening”(Stephen, 2014, p.2). I am beginning to accept that seeing the student at the centre and the technology as just tools does not have to change.(Stephens, 2014). 

This has always been one of my problems with the wider world web…will we loss the person centred approach to our private and professional lives?
Slowly this is being answered for me as I engage with the " Rudaí eile" and return to writing reflectively on my own actions and learning.

Web technology and reflection would in my “old way of being” not been easy bedfellows but I am
struck by the amount of learning there is in the design of this course. I am determined to return to the Powtoon App and incorporate it into my designs and slides for Yodeck presentations before the term is out. It will be a great addition to my portfolio for screen displays.  My experience with the Adtraxion System should be of great use here and years of creating powerpoint presentations will certainly help.  I just need to spend time at it and allow myself make mistakes…

Not easy when 19 TV Monitors are stationed around college waiting to be fed...Fake news need not apply...............thank goodness...

I am delighted that this reflective exercise has directed me to read more literature on the areas
of learning styles and  web technology.
I will certainly prioritise my time for the course in the next stages and set out a planned study time.
Life teaches us that we must always give time to all our tasks and learning, and that reflecting on past learning experience though important can sometimes be far less helpful than concentrating on the tasks at hand. Powtoon here I come.!

I shall continue to apply mindful techniques I acquired through participation in a MBSR course last year with Susan Barrett to all aspects of my living and learning.

In the past few years I have been involved in the background team gathering course content for use in the design of  online learning courses.
Exposure to creative commons content along with copyright and privacy issues was a great help in understanding these areas of the course. Jasper (2013) talks about making connections between pieces of information and it was only through reflecting  on these experiences that I began to relax around posting photos on My Flickr account and found solutions to my uncertainly around privacy and usability issues. Reflecting on past learning experiences is definitely a source of help into the future. Certainly I see the need to be less critical of myself...on this learning curve.

It has only been in the past few days when I had begun writing this reflective piece that
I have openly discussed the material with other colleagues and certainly this has helped to complete this task.  It is good to talk. …! In the next exercise I will make a greater effort to engage more with others around their expectations and learn from their experiencing of the course.
I can create a post that while personal is not invasive… .. Evan Williams, the father of blogging, spoke about Frequency, Brevity and Personality and I will try to use these signposts as I continue blogrolling  through the bibliologsphere  and learning the skills involved.

The world wide web is as private or public as we want it to be ..a mere tool (Stephens, 2014)...just like our own reflective processes…ever changing but always striving to help us live, laugh and learn ….…mindfully……..

Jasper, M., 2013. Beginning Reflective Practice. 2nd ed. Hampshire: Cengage Learning.
Moniz, R., Eshleman, J., Henry, J., The Mindful Librarian Connecting the Practice of Mindfulness to Librarianship. [kindle edition] Elesvier.
Available at:<>
Schon, D., A., 1983. The Reflective Practitioner How Professionals Think in Action. USA: Basic Books, Inc.
Stephens, M., 2014. Reflective Practice. Library Journal. [ejournal] 139(1),p1-1. Available through: Institute of Technology Tralee Library website<http//> 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

World Wide Web of Libraries

New York City Library November 2016

Driving to work this morning i remembered a wonderful visit to the NY Library just about this time last year.(2016)
What a wonderful place...This picture that i took that  morning captures what "Library" means for me, beauty, strength, life and colour.. all blended to create a special place where the world wide web can work its magic to embed the narrative of our stories ....and educate our minds and souls .....

To those who lost their lives this month in New York the world mourns your loss and recognises our responsibilities to embrace life and learning for the freedom of all its people and to live laugh and learn peace . ..with each other ..

Monday, 6 November 2017

Powtoon Rudaí

Powtooning  my way through the material available and it is vast.
Very creative app with lots to offer ....hoping i can use it for some of my 
yodeck presentations ...for library news....

Monday, 9 October 2017

Librarian Toolkit

Coffee Break 

This week our library allowed patrons to bring hot drinks into the library for the first time.

What a treat for many of our weary students.

Just as the work load has started to accumulate they at least have a chance to reinvigorate themselves with caffeine...

The great excitement of arriving at college is beginning to wane alittle and the reality of  timetables, classes, note taking, tutorials and assessment preparations is looming large ..
who wouldn't need a coffee....

Students facing into their first assignments realise now that the induction to the library would have been worth the time...had they just not gone for that coffee they would know the tricks to "smart searching " and dart through the databases with the skill of a 4th year ....but the luxurious latte is a real puller on campus ...

Being permitted a hot drink while attacking the first assignment is some consolation.

Working with "Photofunia" has given me a break" of sorts this week. The simplicity of the technique to download and use has been a boost to my tired attempts to tackle the greater aps and larger projects of Rudaí eile.  I realise that i am doing ok when the assignment is" light" but once the bigger apps are brought out to play i begin to doubt myself. Powerpoints, videos, screen casting.. .here i come....

Much like our first year students this week the feelings are mixed...did they do the right thing?...they did choose the right course?...they didn't think it would be so intensive...well, they mirrored all my feelings about this little course. " It's the wrong time of year",  i kept the mantra going in my head this week...i tired when a first year broke down crying on Thursday evening  swamped by an overload of information there was only one thing to do...go for a coffee with her...sit and listen and reflect on how similar our stories are......and that we would get through ..with the help of coffee and web 2.0....

Photofunia ...i can see a place for you to add alittle lightness to our workload and look forward to working with the app and our students .....on some fun projects...

Keeping it simple is a must for all first year students.....The noise inside our libraries may be changing from the tussle of pages to the clatter of computer keyboards but the story line is the same..libraries educate and liberate and we are here to help our students navigate the knowledge presented before them in whatever way we can .....sometimes even over coffee and tears....and share a laugh along the way...with the latest media devices and aps in our librarian toolkit.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Thing2, Class, Call, Dewey – What’s in a number?

A new academic year. New semester, new students, new systems, new courses, new terminology,
new “Things” all converging in this new Blogosphere. A new world of words for the Fresher, the Librarian, the Library Assistant, the Web Loggers and the New Bloggers….!

Returning last week after a two year leave of absence I could fully empathise with our Freshers. The world of the academic library can indeed be a daunting hurdle if you are new to it .
As a first year student you have only just begun to feel at home in the physical environment of the library , corralled into designated study spaces  and operating  in a new form of working silence  surrounded by book stacks and fellow collegians when you are also faced with the task of Logging – On.

The library world immediately takes off into the clouds of the wider world web and the library and you are for ever embedded in the another sphere … immersed in a world of secret passwords one day and open access another…..Confused….hang on please... this is only the beginning….!

 Freshers , take a bow , all of you are to be congratulated……..You have not only  managed in these first few days to find your feet, while securing your claim to  your favourite “spot” in the library but  you have allowed yourselves to stretch your imagination  to open to  the wider world of the embedded library.
This week with Thingy 2 hanging over  my head…the blogosphere waiting and the prospect of my “newness” exposed on the web I realise I had become complacent in my approach to these new “Fresher” Students.
 It has been their freshness and energy that has refocused my thinking and shaped my actions this week. Their ability to get on with it. “To Get it Done” has impressed me.
As  I attempt to enter this “ new world” as a Blogging Fresher I owe our students a great gratitude.

Watching them engage with the library this week, our terminology, our rules, our systems and our processes I have gained courage to face the task of entering the new world of the Bloggers.

My Blog today is dedicated to all first year third level students and especially to my son Robin (CIT FRESHER) who I miss this week… he, like thousands of others, begin a new way of living, laughing and learning in this wider world..
They can teach us much if we take the time to laugh and learn with them…they have helped me to embrace and embed myself  in this new world of  the blogosphere with greater courage....!