One of my favorite sessions at the 2014 Alaska Library Association (AkLA) Conference was Technology Tips for a Librarian’s Toolkit with Karla Barkman. Karla is the District Librarian and a Technology Coach for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. I like the sound of “Technology Coach” for a job title, but I digress.
Karla’s presentation revolved around her recent trip to the national conference of the American Association of School Libraries (AASL). The talk was aimed at school librarians, but several tools were featured that I think will be of interest to other kinds of librarians:
Today’s Meet – This is a no-commitment “backchannel” website created by programmer James Socol. A presenter or teacher can create a virtual chat room without surrendering any personal information at all except a name of your choosing. People in the presentation can also join without registration and ask questions and make comments. Some teachers who have used this system say that it draws out comments from quieter people. This would be good for people who want a backchannel to their presentations but don’t want to have to require Twitter accounts.
Search.creativecommons.org – This is a gateway to searching aggregators of Creative Commons licensed content. It can be useful in finding materials to reuse and remix in your own content. Still pay attention to the licensing terms as there are a number of flavors of Creative Commons licensing.
Blendspace – Karla described this as a parking lot space for stuff. The site touts itself as a place to easily build lesson materials.
BiblioNasium – Do you like the concept of GoodReads but aren’t sure if it’s for your kids? Are you a teacher or librarian who would like to track the reading of a class of children? Try BiblioNasium.
I think by now you can see that I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to attending conference sessions. I really believe that different kinds of librarians have a lot to teach each other. So peek at a different track at your next conference.