Wednesday 7 September 2011

Not completely convinced yet...

Jing. Podcasting. In theory I think that tools like this are quite fun. They make librarians looks hip and trendy since we know how to use the latest fad. Jing could be used to make some great instructional videos and would save a lot of staff and users time rather than explaining the same thing again and again. I have often wanted to do a podcast tour of the UL which users could listen to themselves as they wandered round.

Part of me wonders though, do users actually pay any attention to things like this? Would they actually take the time to watch an instructional video or take a podcasted tour?

I'm not sure that podcasting is even that hip any more. I know that when I first got my ipod I downloaded lots of podcasts and I fully intended to listen to them all. I listened to one. The others just gathered virtual dust on the virtual shelf before I deleted them. Maybe podcasting has moved on since then but I found that it was all too easy to forget to find time to listen to then. I'm not sure that most users (who, let's face it, just want to get the book they want fast and leave) would be that bothered about it to be honest. I'm just not sure it is the best use of time/technology from a user point of view.

From a cpd perspective I'm slightly more into these tools. Conference sessions could be recorded and then played back for those who couldn't attend. The same goes for talks/training sessions. Doing a distance learning course I think that these technologies could have come in handy to deliver lectures long distance. Both screen and podcasting could be useful in this way and I know that some universities offer this sort of thing already, I'm just not sure what the uptake is. I would be happy to be proved wrong and find that students and users all love these tools but I suppose time will tell.

I haven't used these tools in my work and I can't see any need for them in the near future. Although they have their advantages, I think I would miss the interaction part of talks etc. and I think that this is an important element of any kind of educational training session. This might be one to file away in the 'maybe in the future' box.

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