Drawing on expertise from a range of library staff (one of which is little old me), the Easter App Hunt project aims to provide a supportive environment for staff to try new mobile apps and online tools to discover the ways in which they are being used across the libraries in Cambridge.
With an initial run as a series of timed-release “how to” blog posts over the Easter period, it covers a range of apps, from social media, using interactive quizzes, to creating videos. After Easter, the plan is to leave it open and available for use any time.
App Guide 1: Twitter for Librarians
As a regular Twitter user, this one proved useful by breaking down the “anatomy of the tweet”, gifting me a list of useful contacts within the #camlibs community, and pointing me towards the fab “10 Days of Twitter” guide.
App Guide 2: Engaging Teaching or Presentations (Kahoot, Mentimeter and Padlet)
This fab guide introduced me to Kahoot which could prove to be an incredibly useful tool for engagement. Simple in design, easy to use and most effectively employed when faced with a room of mobile phones! Here’s an icebreaker quiz I created in 15 minutes flat…
And I’ve still got Mentimeter and Padlet to explore!
App Guide 3: Creating Images (Canva and Piktochart)
As a massive Canva user, I’m aware of the vast potential for this simple, easy-to-use tool. It helps create posters, directional signs, helps to increase the impact of social media posts or can even be used to create presentation slides. The drag-and-drop and transparency features are extremely classy and the template designs and font matching suggestions show its true capabilities. Below is a quick example that I rustled up…
I plan to Piktochart as soon as possible.
App Guide 4: Creating Videos (Adobe Spark and gif creation)
So what this little guide doesn’t tell you is just how fiddly taking a sequence of stills can be. I’m not the best planner at the best of times so found great solace with the aid of my new favourite tool, Snip-It.
Snip-It allows you to take a screen grab, crop it and even draw on it. Absolutely invaluable. Having collected the sequence I needed, I then had to decide how long I wanted each screengrab to show for, during the video. This was a matter of trial and error and involved duplicating files to achieve the desired effect. See? Fiddly.
My initial crack at this needed a simpler tool, so I used imgflip to collate the images. Once you have the shots, it really is easy.
Yep, Adobe Spark has some neat features that come into play when creating smarter videos and I love the live screen capture feature of EzVid so I’ll definitely consider using those tools in future.
Anyway, here’s my imgflip vid. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but it’s a start…
App Guide 5: Sharing Images (Instagram and Pinterest)
This is the subject I was tasked with creating with the help of my colleague Sarah….
Primarily designed with smartphones in mind, Instagram is specifically made for sharing your photos and videos rather than just text-based social media posts. It comes with a variety of tools to get your curated media looking as pretty as possible via the use of filters and other image-altering effects.
Our team runs a successful Moore Library profile, and we have focused on image quality, variation of design using compatible apps and the liberal use of hashtags (something which drives the platform even more so than Twitter does).
Follow the hashtag #CamEAH2018 on Twitter if you want in on the fun…