29 January 2013

Plasma Screen for Marketing

One of the most interesting ongoing projects I have been involved, was developing a marketing strategy for the college library which would embrace a variety of media available to us. A year ago I blogged on that experience and then contributed to a JISC webinar on the same topic.

Our approach is open-ended: it should be able to embrace new solutions that become available to the library. The idea is to re-use the content the library generates in a variety of ways. Here is another example of that.

Last year the library got its hands on old(ish) plasma screen and PC; the screen is now mounted on the wall next to two MFDs (multi-functional devices: printer, scanner and photocopier in one piece). These MFDs are the most used in the whole college, mostly by learners: small queues are a normal picture there, so the location for the plasma screen is perfect.

The screen is used for publicising library services and resources, as well as tips and advice. Recently, other college services have started approaching the library for publicity opportunities.

We use PowerPoint to create simple slides which then are displayed as PowerPoint show on the loop. Most of the content comes from what's already been published on the library blog, - the main repository of the content generated by the library. Roughly once a week the slides are refreshed, new content is added, something removed.

Here is an example of the file used on the screen (PDF).

28 January 2013

More on iPads in the Library and Across the College

Last Friday, I contributed to a webinar of the use of mobile devices in education organised by JISC. I spoke on the library's iPad project. The slides are here. Some notes - edited for the presentation, rather than for a blog post as such - are below and interim reflections on the project were published on this blog a couple of months ago.

Our iPad project was born out of many conversations with art tutors and their stories of what amazing things creative folk do with them. David Hockney’s exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art prompted us to put together a bid to the college’s Innovation Fund for funding. We were awarded £2,500 to develop the project specifically aimed at art tutors. Six iPads 2 were purchased plus accessories and App Store vouchers. Why iPads? – They are the creative industries' standard.

We contacted Apple, they were sufficiently helpful to make sense of the licences and technology implications. We attempted managing iPads with iTunes, however the application’s functionality was partially disabled on the college network; no Apple Configurator, therefore. Each iPad is linked with its own iTunes account. Email aliases are used for that; physically, all emails from iTunes come to one live email account.