learning objects

Use Piktochart Photo Frames For Quick, Eye-Catching Digital Signage

Filling our digital signage is a constant point of stress for me. I hate when content goes stale, don’t you? Every week I receive free, high-res photos from Unsplash. I use these photos for creative inspiration, but sometimes they work out just great for marketing. The sad little pug was in this week’s Unsplash email and I couldn’t resist his face. I think a lot of my students can relate to his look of distress (especially as we careen towards semester’s end). I created the two images below using Piktochart Photo Frames.

sadpugstartcircsign.png

checkoutlocker.png

Fun fact: Don’t Carry It All is the name of a song by one of my favorite bands, The Decemberists. Thanks for the inspiration, Colin!

Infographic: Evaluating News Sources

A faculty member from OWU’s Education Department asked me to design an infographic to help her students evaluate news sources. We worked closely together on the content (she had specific websites in mind that she did NOT want her students to use). It was a surprisingly easy design experience and I think that had a lot to do with the open and honest input I got from my faculty member.

EvalNewsSites (1).png

Design School On A Budget (Which Is To Say…Free)

I’m always looking for design inspiration these days. I’m using my phone to snap pictures of everything from postcards to book covers, concert posters to clothing tags, food labels to directional signage, and more. The other day I was noodling about in our art stacks when I happened across this graphic design book:

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

At this very moment, it’s sitting next to my keyboard full of those tiny post-it notes used to bookmark pages. It covers design and typography with a wealth of examples from famous designers, brands, and design companies dating as far back as 1876.

So far I’ve made two objects based on things I’ve seen in this book. The first is a poster for an upcoming library event designed in the style of the cover of a 1950 issue of the British publication Typographica:

Live@LibraryTeaser (1)The second is an image for use on Facebook and in our Screenly playlist that runs on a flat screen tv next to the help desk (more on Screenly in a future post):

This isn't based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I'm learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

This isn’t based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I’m learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

The images were, of course, created using Piktochart. I plan to continue to use this book to help me design learning objects for the classroom, marketing materials, library signage, and more.

On a side note, the authors of Graphic Design Referenced include this note in their introduction:

IMAG2811_1

I can’t say I disagree with their decision.

We Went Piktochart PRO!

OWU Libraries has Piktochart PRO status. This means no more Piktochart watermark, high resolution downloads, printer-friendly options, and access to a bunch of sweet templates. I’m going to go on a library/librarians/library services advertising binge (more to come on why later).

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

Piktochart Has Changed My Life

Let it be known, I am obsessed with infographics. In a previous post, I showcased one of my infographic-style learning objects that I made using Microsoft Publisher and Paint. Using these tools for this purpose has been less than ideal and I’m often left wondering if there is an easier way.

Well, friends, there is and it’s called Piktochart.

In addition to being incredibly easy to use, it is chock full of design inspiration. I signed up quickly via Facebook and am working on a citation infographic which I promise to post here when it’s ready, but in the meantime check THIS OUT:

Why Google Drive

Sure, I have a few things to learn about layout and spacing, but I’d say I’m off to a darn good start.

Flipping Out

With all the talk about flipped classrooms it was inevitable that I’d eventually have to start paying attention. Over the summer, my colleagues and I have had various meetings related to library curriculum revision and, let me tell you, flipped classrooms have really come to the fore.

I’m quite excited about it and many of the faculty I’ve mentioned it to are on board.

The biggest flip push will take place in our freshmen composition course, English 105. We’ve been fortunate in that our 105 faculty often grant us the luxury of two or even three library sessions per semester and I think our move towards flipped lessons will be a great way to say “thank you” since they can ultimately result in us taking up less of their class time.

I’ve been creating learning objects that I plan to get to the students via class email, a LibGuide, or by asking faculty to add them to their teaching slides (if they use them).

Here’s one of my favorite learning object babies:

guysblogI used the Onion’s Statshots as inspiration for this learning object. I think humor in our type of instruction is absolutely essential in order to keep students’ attention. In this Library Statshot, I introduce website evaluation, author credentials, and relevancy.