Tag Archives: cpd23

Embracing an old friend: CPD23 revisited

In case you hadn’t noticed CPD23, the online professional development course for library and information professionals started running again a couple of weeks ago.  Although I completed the course last year, and got my certificate (hurrah!), last week I found myself revisiting the course in spirit, if not quite in practice. The Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation (CLIC) staff development group that I am involved with has decided that we would like to try and support staff in our local area who are working through cpd23.  To do this we are aiming to run a number of sessions ranging from simple meet-ups to perhaps some practical events where participants can get some help on areas they are struggling with.  Our first meet-up took place last Wednedsay evening in a bar in Cardiff (no, not a yurt this time) and was organised by @KrisWJ with details placed on her blog Taking for Binding .

We had a range of people turning up  – some had completed the course last year, some had started last year but got stuck, some were thinking about starting the course this year, and some just came to meet up and have a drink with other information professionals.  The bar had 2 for 1 cocktails on offer, and pretty soon most of us were indulging!

Lack of time seems to be the biggest hurdle for most people, both in terms of preventing them from starting, and also for holding them up, and preventing them from finishing.  I talked to the few people who had finished the course last year to see how they had managed, and this is what I found.

  • One person did most of the course at home.
  • One person did most of the course at work – due to their institution having a generous staff development policy which gave them study time they could use.
  • One person did most of the course at work – but in the lunch hour.

If you are lucky enough to have an institution that will support your professional development by allowing study time, then go for it!  I think most of us, however, will not have that kind of generosity shown to us.  At our meet up there was a group of people from one library who had started last year, and they initially all stayed behind after work one day a week to work on the course.  Giving themselves time to do it, but also being able to support one another, which can be really beneficial.  I think the answer to the time question is, if you really want to do the course you will find time – whether this means staying behind at work at the end of the day (or coming in early), doing it in your lunch hour, or doing it at home.  Not everyone’s situation will allow for this, I realise, but you might be able to flexible elsewhere.  One of the main driving forces, especially towards the end of the course, was the thought of getting a certificate!

To be completely honest, with cocktails in hand, we probably didn’t talk about CPD23 all that much!  Not as a big group anyway, apart from establishing who we were, and where we were up to; but there were lots of other, smaller, conversations going on that night, and I think everyone enjoyed the chance to get together, and will look forward to the next time.

Strangely enough, the very next day I spoke at the CILIP Cymru conference about CPD23 and my experience.  It is probably the first conference where I have actually been invited to speak, so I was very excited (nervous); even though it was essentially a re-run of the presentation I gave at the CLIC Social Media event last November.  It seemed to go well (I was in the same session as Jo Alcock, who was fantastic), and I’ve heard comments that there were people in the audience who hadn’t heard about CPD23 until my talk, and were going to go and check it out afterwards (so hopefully I helped ‘convert’ a few new recruits).

I will probably keep an eye on the CPD23 blog to see how things are going, and it might encourage me to revisit a few areas where I had problems last year.  I know one person who, even though they completed the course last year, is going to do it all again this year as she felt there were some areas that she didn’t focus on properly.  Now that is dedication!

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CPD23 and counting…

Its been a couple of months since I finished cpd23, and I’m sort of missing having new tools being introduced to me every week.  Although I think if that was a permanent fixture I would soon go into overload mode.

Today, however, I introduced myself to a new tool – (and perhaps that is the way forward).  It was Hoot Suite.  I’ve been using Twitter since cpd23 made me take the leap into using it, and I only ever access it via my pc at work, or my netbook at home.  I don’t have a smart phone, though can get internet access on my phone if I need to, so generally don’t use it that way (incidentally I rarely use my phone at all, I only got my first mobile last March, and still haven’t used up the first £10 I put on it!).  Anyway, I generally use Twitter for ‘work’ purposes, and am not jet setting round the country to warrant accessing it anywhere else than my pc.  As a consequence of this (I think) I haven’t looked at any of the other ‘tools’ that go hand in hand with it, such as Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck.

I recently set up a Twitter account for an organisation I am involved with  – Pentreffest (its all about European social dance), we already had a facebook page, and a mostly defunct Myspace page too.  We want to advertise our events, and communicate with the people who come along to them, or who potentially might come along.  At an informal meeting last night, someone mentioned that there was a tool that would enable pre written messages to be sent out at a timed interval.  So for instance I could set up messages about all the events we have organised for the coming year, and then have them timed to appear about a week before the event.  I could do this all in one go, rather than having to remember to do it every month etc.  Thus saving me time, and ensuring we were organised!  Although I was vaguely aware that ‘stuff could be done’ with Twitter, I’d never even sorted having my tweets co-ordinated with my facebook page.  I’m sure Twitter afficionados are probably despairing of me! 

So, I had a look this morning at what was on offer –  I went first to Tweet Deck, but my browser wouldn’t support it (and this was at work, so I doubt anything I have at home would be any better); so then I had a look at Hoot Suite, and although it recommends I upgrade my browser it did at least let me set up an account.  I’ve still got a lot of playing around to do, and I secretly yearn for a cpd23 blog telling me all about it, but an initial attempt let me compose one message and send it to multiple social network sites.  I’m pretty sure the ‘timed message’ thing is on there, so will have a look at that tonight.  Its a new tool to play around with, and I’m pleased with myself for sorting it out.  It may be something fairly basic to many people out there, but some of us are a few steps behind!

In the meantime, anyone who is interested in European social dance (French, Breton, Swedish etc) please find me/us @Pentreffest

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Speaker etiquette: when the clock is running…

I’ve just had some feedback from the talk I gave last week at the CLIC event, although generally positive, a couple of comments noted that it was a bit rushed, and there could have been more eye-contact.  Both fair points that I need to work on.

However, the reason it was rushed (aside from nerves!) was because the event was over-running.  I was the last speaker and I didn’t start until about 15 mins after the event was supposed to have finished!  As one of the organisers I was painfully aware that we were over-running most of the way through, and that we didn’t have any of those ‘red’ cards to flash at anyone.  Its an obvious thing to do, give speakers warning that they have 5 mins left etc, and then tell them to stop – but without jumping up in their faces to do so.  Why didn’t we do it?  Well, we’ve never had a problem before as far as I can remember at previous events, though we did have more speakers than usual.  Its never been an issue, and when it became one we weren’t ready.  Ok, so that is a lesson learned for next time – be prepared!

But as a speaker, what should I have done?  As a speaker who was also an organiser I knew about the time problems, I knew that people might not be able to go to the library tour we’d organised if we overran by much more, and that people might even have to walk out in order to get back to work on time.  So, even though I knew no-one else had been made to cut their talk short, and even though I presumed many of them may not have realised they were overrunning, I didn’t want to take too long with mine.

I tried not to gabble (and I don’t think I did!), but I tried to be as speedy as possible within reason.  I probably would have made more eye-contact if I’d had plenty of time (but I probably need to work on that too, I rely on notes and have not developed the ability to just ‘talk’).

If I hadn’t been part of the organising team would I have thought, ‘sod it, I’m taking as long as I want’…Probably not, as I’m a timid mouse really, and would still have been aware that I was the last in a long overrun morning.  But what exactly is the etquette in these circumstances?  It wasn’t my fault as a speaker that I was starting late, but is it my responsibility to be slightly speedier in my delivery? 

My talk fitted its alotted 15 mins, and I didn’t have to miss things out, but I would have been a bit more relaxed without the time pressures, and would have come across as less rushed.

Last time I gave a talk I had a disastrous time as there was a virus on the conference equipment and my powerpoint wouldn’t run at all, so I just had to speak (from my copious notes!) without all the lovely pictures and graphs I had prepared.  I’m beginning to think my presentation attempts are jinxed, and its not giving me any confidence!

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Light at the end of the tunnel is glowing: Thing 23 1/2

I think I may have finished cpd23, I’ve been catching up with missed Things over the last week, filling in those gaps, etc etc.;  and I think I could probably go on ‘playing’ for a good few weeks yet, but frankly I don’t have the time with masses of books/lists/books/stuff/organising/etc waiting to be done.

I’ve covered everything to a certain extent (I hope), there are a few that I’ve glossed over because of lack of time or opportunity, and several things I want to go back to and have another go, or do a bit more, or actually use in a proper capacity.  So I am hoping to utilise cpd23 as an ongoing exercise, come back to bits of it over the months, and learn a bit more.

So, fingers crossed I’ve done enough to get the certificate, I’ll be gutted if I haven’t (maybe if I have a glaring omission the cpd23 gods will let me have an extension?!)

So, rather than bidding farewell to cpd23, I shall await to see what new treasures and opportunities emerge; another Yurt-up for a start, I would hope!!!

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The great cpd23 catch-up continues: (Thing 9!)

Oh yes, I am jumping all over the place here!

Thing 9: Evernote

Yes another new tool to sign up to, I have usernames and passwords all over the place!  But I like the cool elephant logo.  

It seems a fairly simple idea, a place to store all your notes, thoughts, comments web-pages.  It’s not something I think I particularly needed, but I thought I might as well check it out, especially the Web Clipper tool.  I have dozens of websites bookmarked on my networked account at work, and maybe this is a tool that will enable me to manage ‘favourites’ a bit better.  However, I seem to be having problems….I’ve signed up to my account, downloaded it to my pc, and tried several times to install the Web Clipper, it appears to install just fine, but then, well nothing (unless I am being rather stupid, and I can’t rule that out just yet).  Evenote itself is installed on my pc, but I cannot see a button on my internet browser, so cannot see how I can ‘clip’ those websites.  Its possible I may need to log out and log back in to see if its installed properly, but I’m not going to do that now.

I can see how the Notebook might be useful; especially if you are the kind of person who tends to have mobile technology with you wherever you go, then it seems great that you can jot things down and be able to access them from wherever you are.  I don’t have ‘mobile’ technology that I particularly use, but I do work from different places occasionally, and access the internet from home as well as work, so it may still prove useful.

Thing 13: Update

Online collaboration – I briefly talked about this before, and I will continue to be brief here again.  I do like the sound of Google Docs and Dropbox as tools that allow collaboration on documents, and I can see that this would be particularly useful when working with someone outside my own institution.  So far I have not had to do this, so have not had chance to explore these tools properly, aside from a brief look.    I’m also tempted to create a project just to be able to use one of them!

I do also like the idea that I can store documents in Dropbox just for my own use (ie not for collaboration), as I sometimes find myself writing essays/articles/minutes etc on my home pc, and then having to either email them to myself, or save them on a pen drive/usb to bring into work.  Putting them in Dropbox would be an ideal solution.

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The great cpd23 catch-up (part 2) [Thing 18, and er a bit of 17 too!]

Thing 18: Jing/screen capture/podcasts

I really like the idea of Jing (and/or Screencast-o-matic), and being able to ‘screen-capture’, as many are the times when I’ve had conversations over the phone telling people to ” look for the little arrow button on the side, no, next to the line, no, if you hover your mouse you’ll see it, no its definitely always there, no, Oh you haven’t actually got the right window open” etc etc etc.  My ‘idiot’ guides I make for cataloguing training always include screen shots, as it is so much easier to see exactly what the ‘right button’ or ‘pop-up’ actually looks like (I make ‘idiot’ guides for myself initially, as I like to have things explained step by step, but others seem to find them useful too – just in case anyone thinks I am calling my colleagues ‘idiots’!).  Jing appears to be a tool that takes this screen shot idea to the next level.  Its a bit like when you have a computer problem at work, you ring the help desk, and then they remotely take over your mouse – its a bit spooky seeing things move and open on the screen when you aren’t doing them (and you always remember too late that you’ve left something open that maybe shouldn’t have been open during work time, your Amazon wish list or something!  Which you’d just been checking at breaktime.).  So a bit of a cross between the two (screen shots and remote mousing!) – brilliant!  Though I think I might avoid the audio bit, as I really don’t like the sound of my own voice on recordings…

…which of course makes pod-casts a whole big No-no!

And actually, they really aren’t something I can see a place for in my current job.  Within the library service as a whole, here in Cardiff, podcasts have been used for student training (along with actual videos, too), to good effect.   Putting them together looks like it could take quite a bit of time too, so not something I would try out for its own sake.  Great instructions from Edinburgh Napier though!

Thing 17

I got so excited over Prezi I completely forgot to talk about Slideshare in this Thing!  Slideshare is a useful place to store powerpoints that have been created for teaching, and can thus be used as a resource of teaching materials.  Its also a great place to stick presentations after conferences.  I know sometimes larger conferences will host presentations on their website after the event is over, but this doesn’t always work well in practice.  It can take a while to get them all on there, and sometimes the website itself isn’t a permanent fixture.  Last year (2010) I was involved in the organising of  the WHELF/HEWIT Gregynog Colloquium, and at the end of the event we endeavoured to put all the presentations up on the website.  There were some technical problems doing this, and I know my own presentation never actually made it – it was too large to send my email to the person doing it, and other factors got in the way.  This was especially frustrating as this had been my powerpoint that had failed to run on the day, due to a virus infecting the conference equipment on the first day of the conference, and I had told everyone to check it out on the website afterwards.  What I would do now is have it already up on Slideshare, eliminating those problems of access.  However, personal gripe aside, the website is no longer available either!  Due to the fact that the organising of Gregynog is passed from institution to instition each year, and I’m not sure who actually hosts the conference website, it tends to only be the current year’s conference showing.  [I’ve now added my presentation to Slideshare, only 18 months late!]

I’d been vaguely aware of Slideshare previously, but hadn’t investigated it before, or considered using it.  Now, I think it is another one of those tools that is slowly going to inveigle its way into my regular practices.

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Thing 23: Six Word Story

I filled out the evaluation form a couple of weeks ago, and came up with my six word story then, but now I can’t remember it!

So here’s a new one:

Enabled Cataloguer Embraces Reflective Development Journey

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