On May 7th, I had the pleasure of presenting on Kahoot at the Long Island Library Conference as part of the Emerging Technologies Panel. Click on the image above to see my Prezi presentation. I’ll be recording my fifteen-minute introduction to Kahoot and posting it to YouTube soon, so be sure to check back in June! You can see a copy of the Kahoot played by attendees here: https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/6b4cb96d-733e-4330-a5d9-b3b53c623c19. Give it a try!
NOTE: The following is a class assignment for EDTR 606 – Social Media Tools for Training.
Step 1: Access Twitter.com and sign up for an account. If using Twitter for marketing, choose a username which will make it easy for followers to discern the connection between the account and your company.
Step 2. Add a personal photo, avatar, or logo and select a header image. Don’t forget to fill in your profile information. This will tell potential followers a little bit about you — enough, hopefully, to convince them to follow!
Step 3. Click the Tweet button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen to compose your Tweet.
Step 4. Add your text and, if desired, an image. Click Tweet.
Congrats! You’ve just sent your first Tweet!
NOTE: The following is a class assignment for EDTR 606 – Social Media Tools for Training.
Blogging and Microblogging: What Are They?
You may have heard the term “blog” and “microblog,” but what exactly are these tools and how can they help your business? In this post, I’ll demystify blogging and how it can benefit businesses like Central Mortar Industries.
Originally called a “Web-log”, blogs were first introduced in the 90s as virtual diaries; they allowed bloggers to post their thoughts and followers, to comment on them (Giles 2013). A powerful, yet easy tool which requires no technical computer knowledge, blogs have evolved from electronic journals to platforms for voicing dissent, supporting causes, and, unsurprisingly, marketing goods and services.
Although blogs can be put to a variety of uses, purpose is incidental. Connie Crosby (2010) identifies several characteristics which make a blog a blog: frequency of posts, which appear often and in reverse chronological order; time and date stamps; an archive of older posts; a feed for monitoring; and, finally, a commenting function. Indeed, of all the features mentioned above, it is the comment function that serves as “the centerpiece of the interactive processes in a blog”(Blogging 2012).
But what about microblogging? Microblogging is essentially “text messaging on steroids” (Hastings 2010). It is, as its name suggests, a much briefer version of blogging, which allows users to communicate in terse bursts which not only include text but also multimedia items like images, video, and audio.
Social Media: Better Business, Better Employees
Findings from a recent study conducted by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth indicate that among the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., “social media has penetrated parts of the business world at a tremendous speed” (Barnes, Lescault, & Augusto 2014). Compared to 2013, the use of LinkedIn (+6%), Twitter (+5%), FourSquare (+6%), and Instagram (+7%) has increased notably, with 94% of the Inc. 500 companies utilizing LinkedIn. As of 2014, 46% of the Inc. 500 companies and 31% of the Fortune 500 companies were utilizing blogging. So, what’s the appeal? “Ultimately, the Inc. 500 are consistently turning to social media platforms to generate revenue, find new customers, create an identity, and disseminate information” (Barnes, Lescault, & Augusto 2014).
It’s clear that social media can impact your bottom line in a big way when it comes to connecting with clients and increasing sales. One study on microblogging even suggests that through a strategic framework, companies can identify, target, and manipulate valuable opinion holders to maximize the persuasiveness of their messages (Li & Du 2014). But social media can also support increased productivity among your employees. Seeking to understand the role of blogging in salespeople’s learning experiences, Rollins, Nickell, and Wei (2014) discovered that, among other benefits, blogging helped salespeople to accomplish the following: hone the social media skills expected to connect them to clients, identify and avoid ineffective business practices, reconsider resistance to a particular sales technique, reflect on one’s weaknesses at work, and gain greater confidence.
Bingham and Conner (2010) suggest that there are additional benefits to creating and encouraging employees to take part in online communities because they allow knowledge at all levels of the company to be put to use and inform decisions, allow employees to stay up-to-date with company information and technology, provide a safe space for employees to contribute to company conversations, create opportunities for employees to reflect, and build maintain trust (p.40-47).
With so many benefits to blogging and microblogging, the time to jump in and embrace social media is now. In the next post, we’ll cover creating a Twitter account and sending that first Tweet.
Barnes, N.G., Lescault, A.M., & Augusto, K. D. (2014). LinkedIn Dominates, Twitter Trends and Facebook Falls: The 2014 Inc. 500 and Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/socialmediaresearch/2015fortune500andsocialmedia/.
Bingham, T., & Conner, M. L. (2010). The new social learning: A guide to transforming organizations through social media. Alexandria, Va: ASTD Press.
Blogging. (2012). In V. L. Burton, III (Ed.), Gale E-Commerce Sourcebook (2nd ed., pp. 7-8). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX4020700015&v=2.1&u=nysl_li_nyinstc&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=5db19d10d2b55bf4482d6bef87458b10
Crosby, C. (2010). Effective blogging for libraries. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.
Giles, C. (2013). Blogging. In T. Riggs (Ed.), St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 333-334). Detroit: St. James Press. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX2735800295&v=2.1&u=nysl_li_nyinstc&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=66cc55844c4b02a18f56d752a35ae750
Hastings, R. (2010). Microblogging and lifestreaming in libraries. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.
Li, F., & Du, T. C. (2014). Listen to me — Evaluating the influence of micro-blogs. Decision Support Systems, 62119-130. doi:10.1016/j.dss.2014.03.008
Rollins, M., Nickell, D., & Wei, J. (2014). Understanding salespeople’s learning experiences through blogging: A social learning approach. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(6), 1063-1069. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2014.05.019
I’m excited to announce that my first post in the ScholarTalk series for The Box blog is live! Check out my interview with Dr. Martin Gerdes, Ph.D., professor and chair of biomedical sciences at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. It’s available here: http://nyit.edu/box/news/scholartalk_biomedical_research_for_students.
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting my program, ePortfolios for Professional Development, at the Greenwich Library tomorrow afternoon! Want to know more? Check out the details below:
Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Time: 3:15 PM
Library: Greenwich Library
Location: Training Center
Contact: Michele Martin
Contact Number: 203-625-6533
In EDTR 609, we’re reading The Essentials of Instructional Design: Connecting Fundamental Principles with Process and Practice by Abbie Brown and Timothy D. Green. This week, we were asked to respond to the following questions after reading chapter one: which model of instructional design/development would you most likely follow and why do you suppose that model is particularly appealing to you? Below, you will find my response, which is based on my experience as an instruction librarian.
After reviewing the models presented in chapter one, I would select the instructional design plan presented by Kemp, Morrision, and Ross as the most appropriate model for the design of my one-shot information literacy sessions and rapid prototyping as the most appropriate model for my individual research consultations.
What appeals to me most about the Kemp, et al model is its flexibility and its level of granularity. I find Dick and Carey’s model (at least as it is characterized and presented in the chapter) a bit too rigid at the start of the process (although I might utilize it to streamline the revision processes once a course has been designed) . There is a well-defined flow with regard to the sequence of the steps that must take place; in theory, this makes perfect sense as it illustrates an ideal model. That said, as an illustration of an ideal model, it makes the assumption that all necessary data about learners and content will be available to the designer at each given stage of the process. In practice, instructional design rarely occurs under ideal conditions. My own experience demonstrates this: when I receive a request for a one-shot information literacy session, I often receive information about learners and the desired content in a piecemeal fashion. Sometimes, after I have planned a mini-unit within the session, I receive information that requires that I return to the instructional materials and revise accordingly. Given the nature of my instructional demands, the Kemp, et al model offers a model more suited to my needs; while it provides a structured method for planning instructional events, the framework itself is flexible enough to accommodate an entry into the system or the revision of specific components as needed at any stage of planning.
Rapid prototyping, on the other hand, would be a more appropriate model for my research consultations. Although they are not considered formal courses, these one-on-one sessions are none-the-less instructional events. Because the amount of individual attention I can dedicate to students, the specificity of the research problems with which they arrive, and the varying levels of research proficiency with which they arrive, the element of failure inherent in rapid prototyping has the potential to be a powerful teaching tool. It requires that the student and I to work together to consider the nature of the failure (inappropriate keywords? wrong database?) and how best to address it; this level of engagement is likely to result in a deeper understanding of the research process.
After reviewing the models presented in this chapter, it is evident that some models are more appropriate for specific instructional scenarios than are others. For my one-shot information literacy sessions (which seldom afford me the opportunity to dedicate significant attention to individual queries), the Kemp, et al model presents a design approach which is structured without being rigid, allowing me to maximize instructional effectiveness. On the other hand, given the amount of time I can dedicate to individual students and their queries, rapid prototyping and its affordances for failure make it the ideal model for my individual research consultations.
I’m officially back to school, folks! During the next year and a half, I’ll be working on earning a Master of Science in Instructional Technology for Professional Trainers from the New York Institute of Technology. This will be my first foray into a completely online program, and I’m very excited about it 1.) because it’s online (hey, that’s pretty exciting in and of itself!), 2.) because we have amazing faculty members in the School of Education, and 3.) because everything I am learning will make me a better information literacy instructor. I’m taking the following courses this semester:
EDTR 609: Instructional Systems Design
Participants are introduced to systems approach, or ISD. Classwork applies scientific method to training development to be sure programs are comprehensive in scope, yet lean in execution. Each student will select a specific training need and then develop a systematic training design through careful front end analysis of training needs, tasks performed and learner population. Media and techniques appropriate to a given setting are chosen. Participants complete all aspects of program design, including analysis described, construction of training objectives, evaluation measures and budgets. At course completion, each student will have a blueprint for training for implementation in EDTR 659 (NYIT Graduate Catalog).
EDTR 671: Gaming & Virtual Reality Environments
Candidates will explore theories of game-based learning environments, including educational games, training games, simulations and virtual reality learning environments. The course topics include three units: examine game based learning theories, research learning effectiveness of game-based learning environments, evaluate and implement games, simulation and VR for learning. The course uses a hands-on approach to guide candidates to apply the instructional design process to plan, design, develop, implement, and evaluate a game-based learning environment (NYIT Graduate Catalog).
Feel free to join in the discussion as I post my thoughts on course topics.