Thing 6: Reflective Practice

reflective pond with trees and bridge
[‘Reflective Pond with Trees and Bridge’ by Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell from the George Eastman Museum collection. No known copyright restrictions. Hosted on Flickr here.]

Given that I’ve written blog posts for Things 3 – 5 completing the tasks and reflecting on them, I find this post a little weird, but here goes anyway. I think I shall take the tasks one at a time and go through the steps as described on the blog post.

Firstly, the task for Thing 3 was to explore the image banks, download some images, and upload them to somewhere (I chose the blog). As discussed in my blog post about it, I liked this thing and always appreciate a new source of images, especially when they might be ones I can use for work. I’ve used Flickr in the past, and detailed and showed examples of not only me using it for a college website, but accrediting copyrighted images correctly. I had all the skills necessary to complete the tasks, and had used all the services before, so it was simple enough. I learned where these images banks were hosted, where to source free images from and I don’t think I’d change anything if I done the task again. I’ve learned about specific new image collections, and I feel more confident in the task of sourcing images and attributing them.

The task for Thing 4 was to download one of the aps and upload the result to social media using hashtags, or to your blog. I did both, and I downloaded two apps: PhotoFunia and Quik. As discussed in my blog post, whilst both apps were new to me, I was positive about the situation and looking forward to diving in. I had a good browse through PhotoFunia, and could see myself using this for work a lot, but was more drawn to Quik, and made a little video of image and text, based around a show I had done the night before. I liked the end results of the PhotoFunia pictures. I found Quik more expansive to use but a little finnickier – I had initially made a video, but the order I chose the images didn’t work narratively and the last image stuck out like a sore thumb, so to have something to show, and not have to start from scratch, I made a gif of all the images except the last one, and I feel it turned out much better. If I were to use Quik again, I would definitely take a little bit more time in selecting the order of the pictures. I had a lot of the skills necessary to use these, being relatively tech savvy, and whilst I hadn’t used either before, their user interface was simple enough. I am happy to have used both, and I would use both again for work and personal purposes, although I think a little more time spent investigating the options of Quik before making a video would benefit upon repeat practice. I definitely would’ve used both of these previously to advertise library events, had I have known about them.

Finally, the task for Thing 5 is very fresh in the memory as I just did the Thing and wrote a blog post about it a few minutes ago. My task was to try recording a screen cast and try put together a few slides on PowToon. I ended up doing a 5 minute screen capture on me making a complete (and satirical!) PowToon. I was interested in both apps, and hadn’t used either before. Having presented both to staff and at conferences, and being able to see the benefits of making instructional videos, I was very interested in Screen-o-Matic and found it simple to use (although, I was using a desktop, I wonder how simple it would be using a phone or tablet, given you’ve to download a program, and then use that in a browser). PowToon had some very good instructional videos (albeit a little brash – the announcer’s bro-ish shouts of BOOM! when he did something good grated after a while) , in particular a longer one on how to make PowToon, although this did not appear when expected (blog post said after it would come after I joined, but it came when I started a PowToon for the first time, which makes sense, although I had been looking for it without starting it, so it was a little confusing, and there was more than one video – this second, longer one was harder to find). The videos certainly were beneficial, and it would have taken significantly longer to work out the UI without them. If I had to repeat the task, I would try and create a PowToon sooner to unlock the How-To video sooner, instead of looking for that video elsewhere. I learned a lot – a whole new style of presentation was learned that is very simple to use, and this opened up a whole new avenue of maybe using this for library instruction. I also really appreciated the Screen-o-Matic software, which could be used for both of these purposes too. I could’ve definitely used both of these applications in the past, in particular Screen-o-Matic for my CoderDojo presentations that I did this year, and PowToon for general presentations, and in particular library instruction.

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