Welcome to iHCPL. This site was created as an adjunct to Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. In addition to our staff, we would like to encourage our customers to explore these same technologies. The program is adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The 23 Things

Listed below are 23 Things (or small exercises) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0. Staff are encouraged to complete all 23 items on this list by December 14th in order to receive 10 hours of training credit.

    Week 1: Introduction (Official start: September 10)
  1. Read this blog & find out about the program.
  2. Read this entry and then view the motivational slide show to discover a few pointers on how to nurture your own learning process.

  3. Week 2: Blogging
  4. Set up your own blog, add your first post, & register for the program.
  5. Get tips for navigating safely online.

  6. Week 3: Photos & Images
  7. Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.
  8. Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups & 3rd party sites.
  9. Learn about online photo editing tools to improve your pictures.

  10. Week 4: RSS & Newsreaders
  11. Learn about RSS feeds and setup your own Bloglines newsreader account.
  12. Locate a few blogs and/or news feeds to add to your newsreader account.

  13. Week 5: Play Week
  14. Play around with an online image generator.
  15. Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.
  16. Sign up for Library Elf and get account updates by email, RSS, or text message.

  17. Week 6: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati
  18. Learn about tagging and discover Del.icio.us (a social bookmaking site)
  19. Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.
  20. Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries and blog your thoughts.

  21. Week 7: Wikis
  22. Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them.
  23. Create a blog post about anything technology related that interests you this week.

  24. Week 8: Online Applications & Tools
  25. Explore Social Networking.
  26. Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools.

  27. Week 9: Podcasts, Video & Downloadable Media
  28. Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos.
  29. Discover some useful search tools for locating podcasts.
  30. Take a look at the titles available on Overdrive and learn how to download video.

  31. Week 10: Summary
  32. Summarize your thoughts about this program on your blog. Discuss how library 2.0 and web 2.0 can best be implemented at HCPL.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does this online learning program work?
    This is a self-discovery program which encourages customers to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY. Customers are encouraged to share their discoveries, techniques and "how to's" through their blogs.

  • How long is the program?
    The program kicks off October 1, three weeks after staff has begun their iHCPL journey. The program has nine weeks of activities that you can do at your own pace.

  • How do I track my progress for each of the 23 Things?
    We encourage you to start a blog as part of the program to track your progress. Enter the name of your blog and address in the comments section of the Participants post.

  • I've seen the list of 23 Things on the website, but how do I know what to do with them?
    Each week, two or three posts will be added to the iHCPL blog with details about the discovery exercises for that week. The reason for this staggered approach is to allow participants the ability to focus each week on a different area without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Can I work ahead through the list of items on my own?
    Yes, of course. You are encouraged to self-direct your discovery process, especially by working ahead on your own!! However, if you do work ahead on some items, be sure to check back on the exercise details for each item once they are posted.

  • What if I need help - who can I call?
    Our staff is participating in the iHCPL program. We encourage you to talk with them about it. Do keep in mind that this is a voluntary program for our staff.
Don't find your question answered here? Then enter it is as comment below.

About the iHCPL Program

This blog has been set-up as part of Harris County Public Library's iHCPL project to encourage our customers to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today. The objectives of this program are to:

  • Encourage exploration of Web 2.0 and new technologies by HCPL customers.
  • Provide customers with new tools (that are freely available on the Internet).
  • Demystify these new technologies.
The iHCPL program has been adapted by a committee from the Learning 2.0 program, designed the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. The program is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I (or You) Might Want to Do this Year (Information Outlook - Feb 2006) and the website 43Things.

The design of this online program was completely built on Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet. These sites include: Blogger, Flickr, Odeo, YouTube, PBWiki & Bloglines.