Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Reflective practice

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
This is my reflective practice post.  I have broken it into three areas.  It is simply divided by THING 3, THING 4 & THING 5.  In each section I have tried to break down my feelings about the area before I began the assignment, how I felt I got on, the results I achieved and my general feelings regarding the assignments from 3-5.

THING 3 concerned Image banks and was part of the visual communicator section. 
I have done posters in the past, using clip art and Google images without even considering that copyright may be an issue.  I fell into the trap of if it is on Google it is possible to download and use.  Ironical considering that this is a perspective I am trying to change with our students through our library information sessions.  I have been telling first year students Google is not your friend and to use more academic and valid forms of information i.e. academic journals and to always always acknowledge your sources.  However, I may have been guilty of breaking copyright in the past without even realising it.  Thing 3 made me consider how copyright and intellectual property is not just linked to text but encompasses images.  In the past, I would have been uncomfortable using photos and videos as felt these were of a personal nature especially those of family and children.  I am aware now of the restrictions facing images and was especially interested to read about Creative Commons.

Image is very important eye grabbing, attention seeking and helps make a case.  In my own case, I find it hard to read blocks of text online without some break up through photos or images.  I am not responsible for the Twitter feed, Facebook or Instagram updates on website of the library in which I work.  But I can see how students would pay more attention to notices such as closures, amendments to schedules and procedure updates if accompanied by an image or snappy graphic title or bursting with colour.  Students are socially media aware and prone to interact more with this media than traditional ones.  And we have to adapt in this new changing environment.

For THING 3 I interacted with Pixaby rather than Flickr.  This came down to the fact that I was put off by Flickr asking me to join as a member.  I thought it looked more exacting than Pixaby.  At the moment, I do not have a lot of time to engage with learning new methods.  I thought Flickr would need investment of time and engagement to get the most out of it.  A new LMS has been introduced to our library and this is taking up a lot of my time.  I probably just need to sit down with Flickr and work on it.

I decided that I would download an image for my blogger homepage.  Because my username is Fuchsia librarian I looked for images relating to this.  I downloaded the image from Pixabay as I liked the look of the website.  It looks user friendly and accessible.  It was easy to search and I liked the fact that you could illustrations, photos or graphics.  It was easy to download into the post I chose it for and it was easy to adjust/change/add caption to.  I found the instructions provided by Rudái 23 good to follow.  I found Pixaby easy to use as it was similar to downloading clipart and Google images which I used in the past.  I found the instructions laid out in Rudái 23 easy to follow, but Pixaby was so self-explanatory I did not need to consult the notes on a regular basis.

I liked using Pixaby but realise I should have interacted with Flickr as well to get a more rounded feel for this task. Unfortunately, time is not on my side.  I felt I learnt to think outside of what I know already.  I think I would use Pixaby in future instead of Google images & Clipart as I found the search yielded a cleaner result and was faster than previous two ways I used images.  I preferred the appearance of Pixaby as it was accessible and gave a more professional appearance to my blog.  Unfortunately, I am not responsible for the social media in my library but feel I am more confident and have more knowledge to apply if I was asked to take over the running of it. 

THING 4 concerned communicating visually. 

I did not have a good experience while trying to complete this task. In fact I tried to do this task, failed and moved onto THING 5! Once I completed THING 5 I felt I could try it again.  However, I still did not enjoy working on this topic.  I ended up feeling frustrated with the app Photofunia.

I decided to work with Photofunia rather than the other two: Quik and Ripl.  This was because in the past I worked on advertising through posters rather than videos and felt that I would have more experience in this area. Also, because I had already engaged in video making in THING 5 I felt Photofunia would be different.  I found the instructions easy to follow in Rudái 23.  I was also put off by the fact that Ripl watermark would remain visible. Photofunia was fairly self-explanatory and the instructions were clear to follow.

I downloaded the Photofunia app to my phone and found those steps easy to follow.  I amended photos on my phone using the app.  I found this to be accessible but when I tried to download photos from Flickr of libraries and books to incorporate into a library poster I could not do so.  Perhaps it was my phone's inability to save downloaded images and use them for another purpose.  I tried in numerous ways to overcome this but nothing worked.  In the end I gave up as I felt that Photofunia would be good and fun to use on your own photos but am still unsure how to incorporate it in a professional capacity.

A day later I went back and played around with signs such as Neon sign where you can type in your message.  It looked fun but I felt that for an academic library it would not be appropriate or effective.  I worked in a public libraries prior to my current role and felt that this type of software would be more apt.  It could be utilised to highlight children's events, coffee mornings, clubs and meetings. But even there, it was decided that advertising would be standard.  A standard poster with a heading and footing was distributed to each branch where details of the upcoming event would be posted. It was decided as this format as it looked more professional and adhered to the same principles across multiple library branches.  It was also felt that while posters were visually attractive that others with visual disabilities would not be able to read colour, different type fonts and find images distracting. 

Because of these principles I felt the same would apply to Photofunia. In a personal capacity it would be fun & colourful.  But in a professional setting different principles apply.  Where I currently work we are inundated with posters yet the students do not pay any heed to them.  They are bright and colourful but again hard to make out the actual message being conveyed. Perhaps online is different where every click matters.  If I had more time and more experience perhaps this would have been a different task for me.  Many of my colleagues are not doing Rudái 23 which is a pity because if I had another person to speak to on a continuing basis it may have helped me understand where I was going wrong with Photofunia or help me see another angle to it.  I find that I learn by doing i.e. through a bodily-kinesics approach.  I could not get it to download onto my blog or work with it fully to appreciate what it could do on social media.  Therefore, I failed in Task four as I couldn’t share my image.  I would like if anyone could explain to me as to where I went wrong.

THING 5: Video presentations

To start with I was a bit apprehensive of this task.  Our former I.T. Librarian was responsible for posting videos on our library homepage.  I found them to be concise, professional with a great appearance. I learned so much when I first started in the branch form watching these videos! The mix of information, graphics and image were just perfect.  I found in a very short space of time I learned an amazing amount.  On reviewing these videos for THING 5, I realised there was no voiceover informing the viewer of what they were meant to learn from the video.  It was laid out so well with the graphics and text giving the right amount of information.
 
I felt that because I was not very technically inclined that I could not do this task very well. I decided to use Powtoon as this was what was used in the videos at work. I felt these look very good and imparted their message effectively.  I joined Powtoon and found it easy to register.  I didn’t really consult the notes provided by Rudái 23 as I felt a more hands approach would benefit me.  I found it easy to navigate the instructions.  And found the introductory material very good to follow.  It was straightforward to follow and use.  At times I was a bit frustrated if I wanted to go back and edit slides as I could not see at that time how text would be introduced as the slide would be played.  I found it a bit slow at times to move from one slide to another in order to edit.


I joined Powtoon and found it easy to register.  I didn’t really consult the notes provided by Rudái 23 as I felt a more hands approach would benefit me.  I found it easy to navigate the instructions.  And found the introductory material very good to follow.  It was straightforward to follow and use.  At times I was a bit frustrated if I wanted to go back and edit slides as I could not see at that time how text would be introduced as the slide would be played.  I found it a bit slow at times to move from one slide to another in order to edit. I did have to use the notes from Rudái 23 to copy its code in order for it to be embedded into my blog.

It was easy to set up with password and username. I didn't really follow the instructions set out in our notes as I prefer a more hands approach to learning.  I played a demo video available on Powtoon and worked with templates available.

I next tried to think of how Powtoon would best serve my interests and projects.  I have recently being given information literacy session to first year students and felt that something like Powtoon could demonstrate in a fun and practical way plagiarism and copyright.  There is so much for first year students to take in regarding plagiarism and often by the end of a session I can see that they are panicking and anxious.  Any questions they have after (in general) is regarding Plagiarism and how can they avoid being accused of it.

The video I have posted probably needs more refinement as I would need more time and practice to familiarise myself with all the different formats you can add to enhance features.  It was difficult as well to try and narrow down all the information as I felt the more concise the message the better.  It is a very visual and can see the benefit of incorporating more graphics.

I did feel it was limited in the color scheme offered for the text, and felt some of the images offered by Flickr and Storyblocks were quite limited at times.  Even some of the objects/graphics offered by Powtoon could be expanded on.

Overall I was quite satisfied with my first time efforts with Powtoon and can see how it could be easily incorporated into training & educational videos.  I felt it was manageable and could be fun to work with.  There is quite a lot of possibilities that could be investigated using Powtoon maybe as introduction to databases and e-books.

This is where you can find my efforts with Powtoon

"https://www.powtoon.com/embed/e3wNIb0hqEs

Overall, I was happy with my experience using Powtoon, and feel that I will use it again. I feel it definatley has a role to play in videos regarding critical thinking & information literacy.

I do think that working with Rudái 23 has helped expanded my horizons.  It has helped with my I.T. skills.  This is an area to which I am completely new. Time seems to be my main issue at the moment especially with our new library management system.  If there was more time I feel I could have/would have experimented with more of the options to gain a greater understanding of each THING.  I also feel because I had to take a break from Rudái 23 that I felt I was falling behind and it was a struggle to return.  I hope to stay on course from now to the end!

 

 

 


 
 


 
 

2 comments:

  1. Hi there! Thanks for this very thorough reflection. I wonder if I can give you a hand with Thing 4, see if we can get a photo to upload to Blogger anyways. I'm going to have a think tomorrow and get some questions to you, see if we can sort it out! Pardon my delayed reply!

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  2. Hi again, I gave Photofunia a whirl on a tablet I use, and it seemed to work okay. At any rate, you seem to have decided it wasn't a good tool for your working context, so that's fine. If you did want to revisit it, I'll note that, despite it being described as an 'app' in Thing 4, that you can also simply use the PhotoFunia website with your PC. You might have better luck in that scenario, which might help figure out what went wrong with the app.

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Reflective practice

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE This is my reflective practice post.  I have broken it into three areas.  It is simply divided by THING 3, THING 4 &...