For my reference and instruction colleagues, I’ve attended a session on “What can the cloud do for your teaching: using cloud technologies in library instruction” by Chanitra Bishop of Indiana University. In her presentation, she talked about free cloud applications that we can use to spice up our instruction sessions. Among the reasons she gave for why we should use these applications are: it’s accessible anywhere, facilitates sharing, free, no storage issues, and it’s easy to use. I think that the most important reason for using cloud computing applications is that it allows us to engage and introduce our students to new technology. Here are the tools she showed us:
It allows participants to turn in their response to a question so library instructors can have a live poll inside the instruction room. This is good for icebreaker questions like “have you gone to an instruction class before?” or “what do you think should be the answer to…”
This can be used for photo and video creation and sharing. For example, students can create a library video tour to get themselves familiarized with the library. Aside from being fun, it also allows students to take ownership of the project because they’ve made it themselves.
Screenjelly is a screencasting tool that allows recording of your screen activity with voice which you can then spread via Twitter or email. Screentoaster is also an online screencasting tool that allows you to capture videos of onscreen action and embed them on blogs or webpages. There’s a lot of ways we can use but for instruction, it’s a good way for students to practice using a database. Instruction librarians can see what the students have learned in terms of searching databases. The students can then view the tutorials at a later time if they want to.
This is also a good tool for creating free forms that we can use for workshop and library instruction attendance and even assessment of what the students learned.
This allows you to highlight text in a webpage to show others an important part of a webpage that you want to highlight. It’s a great tool for website evaluation. It’s easy to use and you don’t need to sign up and create an account.