Monday, April 24, 2006

First library instruction session

Today I had the honor of teaching SLL2.0's first library instruction session. This was also my first class of any kind in SL.

I teach basic library skills sessions to college freshmen in my RL job, so I was curious to see what I could apply to an SL setting.

Fortunately I had an engaging crowd to try the class out on, including some of the SLL2 crowd and a little-girl avatar from England who was terribly excited about libraries. Wile E. Coyote dropped by at the end.

I'm used to teaching to an audience of students from our university, so I usually have specifically applicable examples and know what resources they'll be using. I tried to universalize it a bit more for this presentation. I used the NYPL catalog and the Academic Search Premier database as my examples.

It has a HUD attachment allowing control of the slides, and I used a combination of powerpoint-created slides and screenshots. PF and Lorelei also have copies of the slideshow object if anyone wants one. The slideshow gadget is by eSheep and worked great despite being labeled "version 0.1". The fourth photo shows the slideshow control panel at the top of my screen.

I prepared a script, which I had in a notecard and copied and pasted as I went. This freed me up to field questions and reply to comments and worked out pretty well. Hopefully no one could tell where one left off and the other began.

I planned 45 minutes for the session, which worked out about right. During the discussion I learned that some of my assumptions about non-US libraries were incorrect, and which I'll make allowance for next time. I hope to teach this again periodically (ha!) and add some other classes. I'll probably try for a weekend day next time. (I just happened to have Monday off this week.)

Coincidentally, right after I left the Library I ran into Garnet Psaltery, whom we can thank for the new plot of land. I told her how well the swap had worked out for us and hoped it had for her as well.

Edited to add: It occurred to me the day after that another significant challenge was not having a browser to work with. I'm used to teaching with a live catalog/database on the screen to demonstrate examples, and I felt a bit hobbled having to make do with screenshots. If HTML-on-a-prim ever sees the light of day, that will make a significant difference in what we can teach via SL.


At 4/24/2006 3:57 PM, Blogger Greg said...

I thought it was very cool. The slideshow device was fab. Do you have a Flickr account, Zack? You have some great pics here.

And thank you for sparing me from having to post about this myself!

At 4/24/2006 5:07 PM, Blogger Jami said...

I enjoyed the presentation too.

Greg I can contribute if you are in a need for voices.


At 4/25/2006 6:58 AM, Blogger Zack Mortal said...

I haven't gotten around to setting up a Flickr account -- I'll try to remember to do it today.

Thanks for your kind words, guys. I admit that my palms suddenly got a bit sweaty when I realized it was time to present before a live studio audience....


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