Refreshing your blog and the blogger toolkit

It might be time to give your learning diary blog a new look, particularly if you have not visited it since completing the learning 2.0 course. If you used Blogger, as most people did, you can find many ready-made templates that will give your blog a new look. You can go sophisticated, sedate, colorful, or wild.

Before you begin please complete our quick self assessment check list. We will ask you to complete the self assessment again at the end so we can measure our progress as a group.

When you complete each week, write a blog post that discusses your experience—good, bad, or other—on that tool. You can offer your opinions on how you might use it in your library. You don’t need to write a lot about each tool, but be thoughtful and reflective.

In the original course, the pit crew at the State Library of New South Wales tried to read and comment on all of the blogs.  We know that feedback is important - you told us this in your evaluation of the first course. We strongly encourage you to read others blogs and comment on them. Interacting with others via their blogs is a way to strengthen this learning community and meet others like you.

Here is an interesting SlideShare presentation to remind you of why people blog is it called The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging ... And When To Use Each

If you are new to this course, you can learn how to set up a blog by following the instructions in week 2 of the New South Wales public library learning 2.0 course.

1. Find a new look for your blog. Once you have logged on to Blogger, click the Layout tab. From here you can choose a new template and/or change the fonts and colors of your old or new template.
 2. Take a look at Page Elements. Blogger has added new Gadgets (called widgets on other sites) since we started the first course.
 3. Update the information on your profile. From the Dashboard click Edit Profile and edit, or add to the information. You don’t have to reveal all there is to know about you.
 4. Consider your display name (Under Identity on Edit Profile page). Best practices indicate that in a learning community such as this one, knowing who the participants are contributes to the cohesiveness and collegiality of the community. You don’t have to put in your entire real name you can still remain anonymous.

Now you are ready to start posting.

Whenever you complete a week, write a post commenting on your experience with the tools you learned about and used. Read and comment on each others blogs, too.  Everyone likes feedback.

Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Share what worked for you, what didn’t, what you’ve shared with your colleagues, any surprises, frustrations, and eureka moments. We will offer some blog prompts to get you thinking, but don’t feel limited by those.

Prompts for your first blog post for this course
1. How much have you blogged since you finished the original course?
2. What do you like about blogging?
3. Have you found other blogs to read?
4. Do you comment on others' blogs?

Adventure  (optional)
You can really change the look of your blog using third party sites that have developed Blogger templates. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these from the silly to the sophisticated. Some sites might require free registration to download the templates:

    * Pyzam templates

Be sure to blog about your experience rejuvenating your blog.

Ellen and Mylee

Learning 2.1 : the journey continues

Since the NSW public libraries learning 2.0 course was launched in February 2008 we have seen:
  • new web tools gain popularity (eg. Twitter)
  • libraries across the state using the technologies to deliver services, communicate with clients, access professional development, communicate with colleagues
  • a number of library roles advertised requiring these skills
  • high quality professional development resources built on web 2.0 tools (eg. Reference Excellence)
Many NSW public library staff have asked for more information about new social media (web 2.0) tools and in response we have developed Learning 2.1 -  Public libraries and new technologies

Like the first course, participation is voluntary and self paced and we hope that public library staff across NSW will find the topics useful.

Together we will explore new technologies considering how public libraries can use these in their work.

There will be a section to 'explore' where you find out about the technology, and an optional 'adventure' where you can go on an adventure with the technology.

We will have a short survey at the beginning and the end of the course, just like last time.

The first topic will encourage you to restart your learning diary blog from the previous course - but this is optional. This is a self paced course with no assessments, incentives or certificates, but we invite you to comment on the topic and suggest that you record your learning on your blog.

Contact Ellen or Mylee (use if you have any questions.