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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bite Size at LILAC 2012

 Posted by Andy

I made the long journey up north to Glasgow to present a poster about our ScHARR Bite Size programme. The poster as like the Bite Size presentation at Internet Librarian International 2011 was well recieved with various academic librarians keen to know more about this effective way of improving staff awareness and development. At the conference which was held at Glasgow Caledonian University was well attended with over 100 international delegates and featured keynotes from:
I was only able to catch Lord Puttnam's keynote which was very thought provoking with regards to where we go in terms of using technology to support teaching and learning. I thought of Sir Ken Robinson's delivery and approach very similar to the famous film director and thought we need more people like them - especially when Lord Puttnam said that the Government should clone librarians and information professionals as we had a very important job to do. How right he is.
Here's the abstract from the conference.

Learn something new in 20 minutes: bite-size sessions for research, teaching and collaboration

Andy Tattersall, University of Sheffield, a.tattersall@sheffield.ac.uk
Jenny Freeman, University of Sheffield, j.v.freeman@sheffield.ac.uk
Claire Beecroft, University of Sheffield, c.beecroft@sheffield.ac.uk
Ursula Potgieter, University of Sheffield, u.potgieter@sheffield.ac.uk
Nowadays the environment in universities and other large knowledge organisations is increasingly pressurised with busy staff finding it increasingly difficult to make time for training, even when it might enhance their role and enable them to work more efficiently. We have pioneered an innovative, minimal-cost solution that encourages staff to engage with new technologies that could enhance their potential as researchers and their abilities as lecturers, as well as increase the skills-base of support staff. It is based on one very simple idea, that whilst individuals may not be able to spend hours training, they can spare 20 minutes during the mid-afternoon for a quick coffee break. We give a weekly 20 minute presentation using a variety of technologies such as Prezi, videos and voting tools for interactive demonstrations, along with an optional 10 minutes for questions and discussion. As an added incentive we provide free cakes! The ‘Bite-sized’ sessions have been designed to cover various topics relating to teaching and research practice, with a strong emphasis on web 2.0 and emerging technologies and innovations. Bite-Size actively seeks out sustainable technologies that can address staff needs and solve organisational problems usually for no cost. Topics so far have included Google Docs, social networks, rss, the use of the Social Web to promote research, and the use of electronic voting systems in lectures. The sessions act as both a demonstration and a signpost to further resources- they are very much about planting seeds and ideas.
The poster will explain the key ingredients that make up Bite-Size, the structure and format of the sessions, the content that has been covered to date and the target audience. In addition we will present research that we have undertaken to evaluate the Bite-Size sessions and discuss its future direction including podcasting sessions and new topic areas.

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