Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

I have known about Google Docs for some time now but have never needed to use it due to the fact I move about different venues and do not have the same access to my own profile when using different PC's at work.  I do know how it works and think it is a good tool but I just do not need to use it.

I have had a look at Wikis and again I do not really have any need to use them due to the fact I have a drive within the Intranet at work which lets me share files with my colleagues.  I do see it as a use full tool but just not required at present.

Dropbox I use at home to store and share photos with family and friends and see this as a great tool for sharing files and to use for backing up files.  Backing up files is something I do not need to worry about at work as everything gets backed up, but at home some of my personal files are very important to me especially personal photos which cannot be replaced.  Dropbox also lets me sync my files for use with other computers which I find very useful as I use a laptop, an ipad and the itouch.  

I find all of these resources very useful and feel it is good to know they are out there, as I can promote the uses of these tools to the members of the public to whom I teach ICT.  In my job I need to know what type of resources are out there and I need to keep up to date with new trends.  There may be a time when I will use more of these tools but at present I will pick and choose what resources are more useful to me than others.  One of the reasons I following CDP 23 Things is to find out more about resources and useful tools to help do my job better and to learn more about what is out there.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Thing 12 Social Media

I have been using social media for some time now and really got into it due to my area of work, which is developing and delivering ICT classes to adults within a public library.  I have used sites like YouTube for some time but recently learned more about blogging, Facebook and Twitter.  Sites like YoTube are great for entertainment but Facebook and Twitter are more about building networks. 

I use Facebook more for keeping in touch, up to date with friends and family, and tend to use Twitter more for my professional development.  Twitter lets me follow organisations and individuals I want to learn from and keep up to date with events, etc.  I have recently been using Twitter to get involved in discussion groups related to Chartership, which has been a great way of learning more about using Twitter, before I would just follow individuals and organisations, but now I can seek advice from people who are learning like myself while doing their Chartership and hopefully give advice back.  I have now started to follow individuals from my own profession and started to build up a network of contacts that regularly share good information and even give me a shout out when they source an event or useful information they think is beneficial to me.

The thing I like most is seeing what others are using that is also useful for my own development and my own line of work.  Things like learning how to use Prezi for a better delivery of my presentations was an area I was looking to learn more about and it did not take me long to find different links to presentations using Prezi and how best to use it.  Social media has introduced me to a new way of learning, helps me keep up to date with new trends, and keeps me in the loop.   

Thing 11 Mentoring

I needed a mentor for Chartership and took the advice from CILIP which was to find a mentor outside your own organisation.  I had previously used a senior colleague for a type of unofficial mentoring role, seeking advice and direction related to my personal development.  I agreed with CILIP's advice and thought I would benefit from a mentor having a different library sector background this way I would also learn more about the wider profession.  

To be honest I have found it difficult being mentored from someone in another sector although I know I need to work more at the direction of my professional development as my mentor is not there to tell me what to do but to act more as a coach, so I know I need to work more on what areas I want to develop in and discuss this with my mentor. 

What I have found most difficult not working with a mentor from my own organisation is the fact that I was looking for guidance to develop in areas of  work which would benefit me in my role within my organisation especially if I was to be successful in gaining a promoted role.  I have now worked at establishing working relationships within my own organisation to gain entry to the areas of professional development I require most.  This has taught me although I have a mentor I can still learn from others that I see as role models within my own organisation.  I now know it is not just about learning from one person, but to try to learn more from different colleagues in different areas of my professional development. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Thing 10 Thing 10 - Graduate traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

I first started working with books when I was employed at John Smith & Son Booksellers in Glasgow back in the day when there was a net book agreement in place.  The removal of the net book agreement was detrimental to the company and then there was the influx of new larger booksellers setting up in the city centre.  This was the beginning of the end for a large part of the company and prompted me to look elsewhere for employment.

In 1996 I was successful in becoming a Snr Library Assistant with Glasgow Libraries and was based on their mobile library while also responsible for driving it.  The mobile library was a great experience, it was more up front and personal therefore you got to know all the customers needs which helped with the customer focus and when processing stock I would know who to promote the different authors and genres to, most times I had a selection of books put aside for individual borrowers before their visit.

In 2001 Glasgow Libraries went through a best value review which provided me with the opportunity to apply for new posts due to the restructure.  I was successful in being appointed as a Snr Lifelong Learning Supervisor, which entailed bieng responsible for Lifelong Learning and supervisory duties within a branch.  These were the duties professional librarians had been responsible for in the past and were now past on to supervisors.  

In 2008 I had the opportunity to move into a new role which I saw as a new challenge, this role was Learning Support Officer responsible for the development and delivery ICT training to members of the public while generating income.  While in this role I was looking for a purposeful route of development and became aware of CILIP Certification.  This I thought was exactly what I was looking for, a purposeful route of development while being recognised for the role I was already in.   

I started the Certification course in 2010 and achieved ACLIP status in 2011 and have now embarked in Chartership, again a purposeful route of development in the role I am already in while continually developing in this area and other areas of the profession.  I am presently working towards Chartership and is the reason I came across CPD 23 Things which I see as a new method for learning and keeping up to date with new trends.  I also enjoy reading blogs related to CPD 23 and use this to learn form the experiences of others in my line of profession.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Thing 9 Evernote

This is the type of app I have been thinking of using  for some time now so thanks to CPD 23 Things I am now motivated to try it out.  I'm not sure how effective it would be for my work as I use the public PC's a lot and I would need to download the app every time I logon to a public PC as each time our PC's are restarted it reverts back to it's original state wiping anything downloaded during the session. 

I also use an iTouch and have wifi access within various libraries this could help with the problems of using public PC's.  I like the fact I can sync all my devices to update automatically as I often need to update diaries or calendar events in duplicate.

I really like the fact using this app will let me do things on the go which means I'm not tied to my desk and gives me more time to catch up on workloads or personal tasks while away form my desk. 

I have looked at a few blogs relating to Thing 9 and have read some conflicting advice on this type of app therefore I will research other cloud powered tools Diigo-Zetero and Dropbox before I decide which one to go with.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Thing 8 Google calendar

I have known about Google calendar for some time and have used it in the past.  I added CPD 23 Things to my Google calendar early into CPD 23.  I still use it for personal use but no longer use it at work as we use Outlook within the service.  

When our team first came together we tried to use it but found it easier to use Outlook which is what we use for e-mail.  It just saved everyone from having to use two different calendars which could have caused problems.

I think Google calendar is a very useful tool which I would be using in a work environment if Outlook was not used internally.   

Thing 7 Face to face networks and professional networks

I am presently a member of CILIP which is the only professional group I am currently involved in.  This is mainly down to doing Certification and now onto Chartership. Being a member keeps me up to date with career development opportunities and courses although most of them seem to be in England which is no use to me.  There are face to face networking opportunities within CILIP but again mostly in England.  I am however keen to get involved when the right opportunities arise.

I signed up to a couple of CILIP special interest groups to help with my career development but haven't fully explored them probably because I thought signing up to their mailing list would get me involved.

I have recently found out that being a member of CILIP automatically makes me eligible for membership of IFLA which I have now had the chance to look at.  I looked at some of the groups which seem interesting but noticed some of the pages were last updated as far back as May 2009 so I will have to investigate it further.

I would have to say CPD 23 is the best opportunity I have had for networking out with my own organisation.  There are some groups I mentioned in Thing 6 which I will be exploring further.