Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Welcome to OCL Web Challenge

Welcome to the Ocean County Library Web Challenge. We are glad that you are joining us on this fun adventure where you will learn all about what web 2.0 is.

So what is Web 2.0?

Watch this video clip on YouTube:

You just watched a video with computer book publisher Tim O’Riley. He is credited with coming up with the name of Web 2.0. In this video, he gives a simple answer. To him it means “users add value.”

So what does that exactly mean?

That helps make the definition of Web 2.0 make even more sense. Web 2.0 is how the internet is used to connect people and allows them to create content to share with others. Some examples of Web 2.0 that you might have encountered or regularly use are:

• Watching a video on YouTube
• Creating and editing Wiki articles
• Sharing pictures online with Flickr or Picasa
• Joining a social community like MySpace or Facebook to network with your friends or coworkers.
• Posting and commenting to a blog
• Downloading and listening to a podcast on your computer or iPod

If you have ever done any of these online, you are already experiencing Web 2.0. if you regularly do any of these, you have already mastered Web 2.0!

Web 2.0 allows people to share information through the Internet in a way that allows people to comment and connect with others.

Ocean County Library’s Web Challenge is designed to help people to learn about these exciting technologies that are changing the way the web is used.

Why should I get involved?

Good question. We have answers. Think of the fun that you can have. Think of the free professional development, think of the personal growth!
Still not convinced?

How about prizes? We will have a grand prize of a Nintendo Wii for one lucky winner who completes the Web Challenge. Everyone who completes their learning activities on time will be eligible for a prize.

The purpose of this blog is to help you with this self-paced learning and exploration of Web 2.0 tools. This online learning program is open to all Ocean County Library staff. Participants may begin working on their “23 Things” starting on March 3 and should complete their learning activities and assignments by May 30. In order to be eligible to win the Wii, you have to have everything finished by May 30!

This Web Challenge will ask you to complete 23 “Things” or Web 2.0 tools. Each Thing will show you one more web tool. There are many places for you to explore, experiment with, and think about creative ways to use 2.0 tools in your daily life.

Each week’s “Thing” begins with a brief explanation of a new Web 2.0 concept, followed by a Discovery Exercise. These exercises give you the background you need to understand what you have just learned. Don’t skip them! After the Discovery Exercises, you’ll find a Thing — activity — to complete. After each Thing, you will write about the experience on your new blog that you will create. Don’t worry; the first discovery exercise is setting up a blog! The web challenge team is here to help.

In other words, you will comment or “post” to your online blog. You will learn how to set up a blog in week two. This is a tool to communicate your thoughts, new found skills, ideas, questions, and favorite websites. You’ll receive feedback and encouragement from other participants. In turn, you will provide feedback and encouragement to others. It’s your space!

This is an independent discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their experience and getting a chance to play at the same time. Participants are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques, and “how to’s” with other Web 2.0 challengers in person and through their blogs. This course is web-based and not tied to any particular computer, so you can work on it whenever and wherever you want.

Do you need help? If you have any difficulty or need some assistance that you can’t resolve with your fellow “classmates”, call for help from these instructors:

  • Chris Barnes : TR ext. 5907

  • Elizabeth Cronin : TR ext. 5120

  • Lara Fletcher : PL ext. 3601

  • Sally Harrison : BD ext. 6603

  • Jill Ingraham : STF ext. 8600

  • Kristen Kirk : TR ext. 5312

  • Elizabeth Thompson : LAK ext. 2100

  • Glynis Wray : TR ext. 5122

They are more than happy to help you, as they are the facilitators for this “journey.”

Next up: Thing #1