Tuesday, January 04, 2005

An additional resource that your library might want to use - Podcasting. Like a blog, Podcasts are sound files instead of text files, an "Audioblog" if you will (yes, that is a site: http://www.audioblog.com). This method of reaching out to our users could be similar to leaving a voice mail with instructions on how to access a certain database, or an update from your library's mascot on what events are coming up. Users then download to their portable handhelds or iPods to listen to while on the run, or they can listen to them on their desktop. I found a really good illustration of how these files can be more useful than a text file or HTML page on the directory site Podcast.Net http://www.podcast.net/viewshow.cgi/410 . What better way to teach someone American English idioms than through a sound file? [I wish I could have had this in a German form while I lived in Germany (in the before-time: before I discovered that computers could do more than add and subtract!). ] Users don't have to wait for large video files to load, and instructors don' t have to worry about the sound and visuals not matching up on the receiver's side. This technology won't replace great interactive computer-based instruction, but it might offer your users another 'co-pilot' for them the next time they head out to access an ejournal or search PubMed using MeSH.

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