(Rudai 23 is a ’23 Things’ Course aimed at information professionals. It’s all about exploring online tools and using them as part of everyday practice. I’m currently working my way through Rudai 23, and so occasionally post up little pieces reflecting on my experience of it. This is one of those posts.)
Thing 3: Image Banks
I’ve used Flickr and Google’s Advanced Image Search in the past for free-to-use pictures for previous blogs, but for the purposes of this course decided to go with something a bit different. I hadn’t used Pixabay previously, but I’ve found it to be an excellent source of pictures which are available for use under Creative Commons Licenses. In fact, I’ve used a few pictures from Pixabay for this blog, most notably as the header image, though also to illustrate various examples. It feels easier to use as a tool than Flickr which is definitely a bonus!
I’ve been aware of Creative Commons Licenses for a very long time, as they are an important feature on several art creation sites I have been a part of for years. It was, however, fantastic to have a reminder of the way in which they work and more sources of CC content which can be used for work within the library.
Thing 4: Communicating Visually
This was a particularly interesting thing for me as I had never heard of any of the apps mentioned previously. Photofunia looked like an excellent place to start, and I had a lot of fun looking at the various images on there. I eventually made the decision to use the advertising sign image to create a sign for Non-Fiction November, which is currently very high on the agenda for all school librarians. I used this as the featured image on my second Non-Fiction November blog post, as well as posting it on my twitter feed to draw the eye. I feel that Photofunia has the potential to be a really useful tool, but it is very important to choose the correct image for the right purpose. Given that the library I work in is set within the context of a school, I think that some of the filters are more likely to be useful than others. It is a tool I fully intend to share with my teaching colleagues as I can see that many of them would be able to use it to personalise parts of the curriculum, for example, by putting a picture of their face onto an astronaut for a space topic.
I also had a quick look at the desktop edition of Quik, which was originally designed by GoPro. I considered using it to edit my video from Thing 5, however I found that I had a lot of issues with the software and whilst I could see potential future applications of it for myself and my teaching colleagues, technological issues did really damage my experience with it.
Thing 5: Video Presentations
The Screencast-o-matic app is familiar to me in some ways as the school are intending to use it as part of the computing curriculum, however I must admit I have never tried to use it myself before now. It took me a while to think of a suitable use for it, however, I eventually decided to use it to create a simple video showing how to log in to twitter and post a tweet. This was inspired by the current ongoing twitter project taking place at my place of work, and the discussions I have had with staff members who are not sure how to tweet. My intention was to use Quik to then edit the video with annotations. Unfortunately this was not possible due to the limitations of my equipment, however, the video was relatively clear anyway. I intend to go back through it and annotate later using Quik, once my technical difficulties have been overcome.
Overall, I can see scope for some brilliant uses for all of the tools within the Visual Communicator section, both as tools for myself within the library and as powerful tools which I can suggest to the educators at my place of work for their own practice.