January 2008

(News from Stacy Schrank, CLENE Round Table Training Showcase C0-Chair)
CLENE Training Showcase 2008
2008 CLENE Training Showcase
Sunday, June 29, 2008 – 1:30-3:30pm
Anaheim, California

Greetings CLENE Friends,

I hope your 2008 is off to a great start! As with the new year comes time once again to solicit participants for the upcoming CLENE Training Showcase to be held at the ALA Annual Meeting in June – this year is sunny Anaheim, CA.

This past year, the showcase was a great success – we had hundreds of people come through our doors and with the participation of great people (like yourselves) we were able to give away a large assortment of prizes throughout the event. We also had three great sponsors – WebJunction, The Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc., and Infopeople – who made it possible for us to furnish snacks and beverages during the event.

This year, we are securing sponsorships again and hope to be bigger and better than ever! As you have presented in the past, we would encourage you to once again consider participating in our showcase. And if your budget allows, consider sponsorship of our event. What a great way to connect one-on-one with colleagues who are using your products, services, or your ideas to continue the educational advancement and networking of library staff across the nation and the world. We want the CLENE Showcase to be what people are talking about at Annual!

Participation proposals can be completed online by visiting the CLENE page on the ALA website: www.ala.org/ala/clenert/trainingshowcase/index.cfm .

Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 22nd. We hope to accept as many participants as possible. Final decisions will be made prior to March 7th.

Please Note: Each participant will be provided with a 6′ banquet table and two chairs. Electricity is available (please select this on your proposal form). Wireless Internet may be available for an extra charge. If you are planning to use wireless, please contact me.

Sponsors and participants will be featured in the June edition of the CLENE X-Change in preparation for the Annual Meeting. Advertisement for the showcase will also be conducted at the Public Library Association Conference in March in Minneapolis, MN. CLENE will be sponsoring three programs there and information on CLENE events at Annual will be distributed. If you will be at PLA, look us up – we would love to see you!

If you have any additional questions regarding the CLENE Showcase, please feel free to contact me at your convenience using the contact information listed here. I look forward to receiving your proposal soon!

Stacy Schrank, Co-Chair, CLENE Training Showcase


January signals the time of year to look forward across the expanse of what’s to come. I’m no futurist but I’m fascinated by those who are willing and eager to make predictions for the near and far future.

Of the ten predictions for 2008 from the eLearning Technology blog, these stood out for me:

  • #2. Second Life Lite —“A medium size Virtual Classroom / Meeting Tool will announce features in 2008 that are not 3D immersive, but that are more like Mii characters in a 2.5D world.” (Me and my mii are curious to see what this environment looks like.)
  • #5. Mobile Learning —“large adoption of mobile as THE learning platform still won’t be there.” (This sparked the most comments.)
  • #8. Serious Games —“Likely YOU will get to attend a session on them. But YOU won’t get to build one, or buy one, or participate in one.” (Not even Guitar Hero?)
  • #10. Knowledge Worker Skills —“The discussion of knowledge work skills is going to be BIG … We won’t hear much this year, but in 2009, this will be something you’ll hear in a big way.” (Library and information science for the masses?)

The Mobile Technology in TAFE blog chose to identify five challenges for the coming year:

  • #2. Firewalls —“Inability to access web sites will continue to frustrate educators.” (and learners.)
  • #3. Bandwidth —“…lack of bandwidth will drive [educators] insane.” (and learners.)
  • #5. Mobile Devices —“… most educators will continue to be prevented from accessing their educational potential due to school or Government policies.” (A different take on the topic; this blog is from Australia.)

This is just a sampling from a heap of predictions. What do you see in the new year?

Sharepoint is a hit-and-miss tool in my experience.  It’s clunky and counterintuitive in its good places and just plain rubbish in the bad ones (check out its poor excuse of a Wiki feature).  I have a litany of gripes with the product, but it has features that perform surprisingly well for supporting learners once they leave the classroom.  I plan to publish a series of posts over the coming weeks about leveraging Sharepoint for supporting employees’ performance. 

Let’s look at a Sharepoint 2007 (MOSS) feature that can help solve a common training situation – helping new employees not feel “lost” in the organization after orientation is over.  Many of us have to throw employees to the wolves after a few days of training.  It’s a scary place for a neophyte, learning company culture while trying to digest a hundred policies and a thousand procedures.  The My Site feature of Sharepoint can help offset the angst.  

My Site allows an individual to create a personal site for managing and storing documents, links, and contacts.  It is also a place where others in the organization can learn about your interests and skills. 

Consider requiring that all new employees set up a My Site and add the other new employees as colleagues in the Colleague Tracker.  This is a bit of social networking in the office.  Newbies can support each other by sharing common experiences and tips and tricks they pick up over time.   

Your new employees can also create a blog housed inside of their site.  The blog can be used as a professional development journal for sharing goals, accomplishments, and frustrations. Finally, My Site includes an RSS Viewer.  In Sharepoint it is possible to receive an RSS feed on a list or library that has been modified if you have signed up for an Alert.  Encourage your new employees to sign up for RSS feed alerts on important documents, like the policies and procedures manuals.