Mobile technologies for library and support staff

The RSC UK elearning advisors Learning and Teaching Resources group held a webinar session for library and support staff on mobile technologies which I decided to join via my iPad using the Blackboard Collaborate iPad app (free…yay!).

It was quick and easy to join the session and all my usual functionality was available. I enjoyed having the session run on the iPad leaving my laptop free for me to take notes, explore links and follow Twitter chats at the same time. Some of the links posted in the chat pane were too long to copy down straight away so I added them to my reading list, by holding my finger over the link, and followed them up in Safari after the session.

Screenshot of the Blackboard Collaborate app on the iPad

Overall I was very impressed with the experience but have made a mental note when moderating a session not to assume all the polling tools are in the same place. It was frustrating being told to vote using the buttons on the left when all my polling tools were at the bottom of the screen.

“Enough of the App what about the session?” I hear you cry! The session was to include three presentations with two focusing on different uses of iPads and the third on QR codes and augmented reality. Unfortunately due to technical problems Tony Bartley, Lowestoft College LRC and elearning manager, was unable to give his presentation however it will be re-recorded separately and put up on the RSC West Midlands events Wiki here, alongside the full session recording or alternatively you can view a video recording of one of his presentations here.

Jackie King from Reaseheath College gave a presentation on the use of iPads by LRC staff for roving. What I found interesting was the use of EBSCO Discovery app  to search across eresources meaning staff weren’t having to login to different sites or apps. Jackie also recommended the use of Apple Configurator app to manage the devices, Paper by Fiftythree for handwritten notes, Mendeley, Red Laser for QR code scanning, iTunesU, Dropbox to manage files and the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) App.

Ihar Ivanou from North Warwicjshire and Hinckley College library gave a presentation on the use of iPads by Arts students and staff. The devices were loaned to staff and students for them to use however they wanted to support their studies. The staff noticed that they were being used heavily for three main things: editing images, video and surfing the web. Support staff were also able to use the devices and used them mainly for enquiry work. More information about the library and this project can be found on the library blog.

As usual the chat among participants came up with some interesting comments and resources including:

A recording of the session is available here and will shortly have a separate recording of the Tony Bartley presentation.

If you have any questions about mobile technologies, the session, or the Blackboard Collaborate mobile app you can get in touch with me here, by posting comments below or on Twitter @sharon_crossan.