GLEAN Goes Mobile; Oil Change Optional
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Kia_Sedona_LX_SWBThis past Saturday, I found myself stuck at the car dealership.  My wife’s van was several hundred miles overdue for an oil change, the breaks were squealing, and starting about a month ago, we noticed that the transmission was occasionally hard shifting.  I met with a service advisor upon arrival, and after explaining the situation to him, he escorted me to the customer lounge.  As he turned to leave, I noticed him shake his head ever-so-slightly, his body language communicating what his mouth could not: “Dude, it’s the busiest day of the week.  You’re going to be here for a while.”  To say that I had a little extra time on my hands would be an understatement.
 

There are a few things I never leave home without: my wallet, my keys, and my portable devices.  Armed with my Lumia 820 (I happen to really like Windows Phone 8, thank you very much), iPad, and an unhealthy addiction to learning and information, I’m never afraid of idle time.  Bring it.  Naturally, with a couple of hours to kill at the dealership, I immediately hopped into learning mode.  What do I feel like exploring today?  It’s always the first question into my guided inquiry for constructively beating boredom.

GLEAN

That was the answer.  I wanted to take the upgraded version of GLEAN for a spin, and thanks to the mobile compatibility introduced with the Skillport 7.3 upgrade two weeks ago, I could now do that from a portable device.  For clarification, Skillport is the name of the learning management system that serves as the backbone of GLEAN.

I first tried accessing GLEAN from my Lumia via Internet Explorer.  It didn’t work.  However, when I attempted to log in from my iPad via Safari, I was taken to an aesthetically pleasing, albeit minimalistic mobile log in screen.  After entering my user name, password, and allowing pop ups, I was in Skillport Mobile.  I absolutely had a geek moment in the customer lounge, nerd laughing out loud and excitedly explaining to woman sitting next me that I was learning on the go.  She kind of smiled and nodded and went back to watching the X Games.

 

SearchSearch screen in Skillport Mobile.  It's a little naked.

The first thing I noticed was how bare it all was.  There is a search bar along the top and icons for Search, My Feed, My Plan, and My Progress along the bottom.  The rest of the screen is empty real estate to ensure fast operation.  With there being no option to browse the catalog from here, I entered in a test search term, marketing.  Even on a somewhat sluggish wifi connection, the 4624 results came back quickly.  Most importantly, the books, courses, briefs, and videos that the search retrieved are mobile-compatible by default.  If you want to see all of the content that fits your search – both mobile and non-mobile ready – just hit the Actions button and then Show All.  I went from having 4624 results to 5062.

Search ResultsMuch of GLEAN's content has been optimized for mobile; just look at all of those search results.

Accessing content was also simple.  For example, I was interested in trying out a course to see how it would behave on my iPad.  I expanded Courses from my results list and selected Marketing Essentials: Marketing and Ethics.  At the course overview screen, I was greeted with a description and also given the options to view course topics (called Section Hits), add it to My Plan, or play the course.  I decided to push play.  The class loaded into a sleek player that filled my screen when in landscape mode.  Although the course is the exact same version that you’ll get by using GLEAN on a desktop computer, I found that it just looks better and feels more intuitive on my iPad. 

Course PlayerDear Course Player: We like big buttons and we cannot lie.

Watching a video and reading a book were child’s play, because of the unified interface of Skillport Mobile.  Books 24×7 content is folded so neatly into the mobile experience that if you’re not a frequent GLEAN user, you might think that Books 24×7 was gone completely.  This is because you can view a book or video through Skillport Mobile without having to access Books 24×7 separately.  The players for videos and books are not as sleek as the course player, but they are functional and work flawlessly with touch.  You can even listen to audio books now without having to download them to a computer first.  Just do a search for “audio edition”, find something to listen to, and stream away.

Book The book viewer is woven seamlessly into the mobile interface.  

The three hours I spent waiting for my wife’s van to be serviced flew by.  I finished half of Marketing Essentials: Marketing and EthicsI listened to chapter one of Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas.  I even learned about AirDrop for iOS 7.  I was so stoked from geeking out on GLEAN’s newest feature that I forgot to feed myself before going home.  My wife couldn’t figure out why I was so happy when I walked in the house, but it didn’t take her long to realize why.  A few minutes later, she comes into the kitchen to discover me with my 15 month-old son on my lap holding my iPad.

“OK, son, you gotta check this out.  GLEAN is freaking awesome.”

Have you had an opportunity to try GLEAN on an iPad, Android device, or Blackberry?  If you need help, download the quick start guides for using Skillport Mobile on a tablet or smartphone.  What has been your experience?  How do you plan on taking advantage of learning on the go?

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Getting Started With GLEAN
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This presentation provides an overview to using GLEAN, the Georgia Library Education Access Network, for Georgia's library staff. Learn what you can expect to find in GLEAN, how to use portions of the system to manage your learning, how to contribute to community discussions, and how to take your learning on the go. 



Presentation developed by Karen Douglas from original source files created by Jay Turner.
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Finally, A Date With Lynda
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You know you've been eagerly anticipating this moment with baited breath for several months; now, that moment is almost here.

But first, the bad news.

The bad news is that I can't promise you a hot date with a woman named Lynda.  

The good news, however, is that I can do something even better.  GPLS is going to hook you up with the highly-acclaimed, smoldering Lynda.com library for the low-low price of free ninety-nine  That's right, beginning September 26, 2013, free access to Lynda.com will become available to public library staff with “active” GLEAN accounts.  

Active GLEAN users will be invited by email to accept a license to Lynda.com, which will give learners the ability to take more than 2,000 courses and 100,000 videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, design, music and video, home computing, animation, and web design and development. New courses are added every week.

Log in to the Lynda.com library 24/7—even from your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or mobile phone—and watch entire courses or single tutorial videos as you need them. Exercise files let you follow along with the instruction as you learn, and bookmarks help you keep track of what you’d like to watch.

Learn something new or brush up on essential skills with Lynda.com, the latest addition to GLEAN!

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Get Your Learn On With “Just for Libraries”
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library learning

One of the major focus areas of GPLS’s continuing education and training program is providing convenient and relevant learning opportunities to support core skills for library staff, as well as developing and fostering awareness of issues and trends that affect the operations of libraries.  Since launching GLEAN at the beginning of the month, we have added several webinar archives, a short tutorial, and an online class to the catalog under the Just for Libraries folder.  These assets are all specific to libraries and cover topical areas that might be of interest to you.  If you’re looking to get your library learn on, below are a few GLEAN e-learning resources I recommend. 

And don’t stop there – this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Be sure to access GLEAN on a regular basis and see what new content we have added that is Just for Libraries.

Course

Mandated Reporter Essentials

Duration: 30 minutes

*Counts as .5 CE hours for librarian certification renewal

This course is designed to help library staff recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect and your legal obligations related to reporting such suspected cases.

Webinar Archives

Handling Challenging Customer Situations: What Do I Do Now? (Part 1)

Duration: 1 hour

*Counts as 1 CE hour for librarian certification renewal

To a great extent, libraries’ users behave within the framework of acceptable social norms. But a subset of users in all libraries – large, small, urban, rural, suburban, special and academic – behave outside these norms, placing stress on the staff and other users. Whether the behaviors are exhibited by those who are homeless, mentally ill or just plain rude, providing your staff with limit-setting and self-care skills can turn challenging situations into empowering ones. San Francisco Public Library has turned to other City agencies to assist staff in gaining skills and strategies for responding to these situations.

Handling Challenging Customer Situations: What Do I Do Now? (Part 2)

Duration: 1 hour

*Counts as 1 CE hour for librarian certification renewal

A partnership between the San Francisco Public Library and the local Department of Public Health resulted in the placement of a social worker at the Main Library to link users to housing and social services. Eventually a job-training component was added, providing opportunities to develop marketable skills for people who had been homeless. Meet and hear the story of a library outreach worker who helps herself by helping others.

Tutorial

What is a Library Database?

Duration: 6 minutes

Learn what sort of information you might find in library databases and understand when to use them appropriately for research.

If you work in a public library in Georgia and you do not currently have a GLEAN account, you can sign up for one here

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GLEAN Access for Non-Public Library Staff
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supply and demand

On June 10, 2013, GPLS invited Georgia’s public libraries to participate in an exclusive pre-registration window for GLEAN, the Georgia Library Education Access Network, so that staff members could obtain a unique GLEAN “seat license”.  The response far exceeded expectations with 36 library systems pre-registering for over 2,000 user accounts before the July 15 cutoff date.  The popularity of GLEAN further illustrates that continuing education and training remain high priorities for public libraries.

The downside to the tremendous response and demand for GLEAN is that GPLS must currently limit GLEAN registration and access to persons currently employed by a public library.  We have a finite number of licenses that we are able to provide.  Opening up GLEAN access right now to those who are not currently employed by a Georgia public library would most likely put us over our license limit.  We are asking for your patience while we assess the situation and look into ways that we might eventually be able to bring GLEAN to the rest of the Georgia library community as we had initially planned.

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Featured GLEAN E-Learning for July 2013
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computers

Summer is always extremely busy for libraries, but thanks to GLEAN, you now have unprecedented flexibility in finding time for your continuing education.  Whether you decide to enroll in a self-paced course, read a few chapters of an online book from your iPad, listen to an audio book during your commute to work, or watch a short video on your smartphone, you have comnplete control over when and how you learn.  Put your GLEAN account to use and keep your skills sharp this July by trying out our featured e-learning for the month.
 
Course
Introducing Cloud Computing
Duration: 1.5 hours
*Counts as 1.5 CE hours for librarian certification renewal

This course explores the evolution and definition of cloud computing and cloud services.  It provides a look at the key characteristics that make cloud services unique and very valuable to some business scenarios.  The course serves as a basic technology overview of the concepts and strategies emerging from the cloud and aims to provide the background needed to determine if and how cloud products and services can improve traditional business practices.
 
Online Book
The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence
212 pages
Describing what endears Nordstrom to its customers, and exploring how to apply those same standards to your company, this book explains what every business can learn from the world's most famous customer-service-driven company.
 
Audio Book
 The 4 Discplines of Execution: The Secret to Getting Things Done, On Time, With Excellence 
Duration: 1 hour
This audio book teaches how to focus on your top priorities and get the critical things accomplished.  Whether you are a member of a team, lead a team, or lead an entire organization, The 4 Disciplines of Execution will equip you to deliver on your top priorities consistently.
 
Video
Google Apps: Creating and Sharing Word Documents
Duration: 5 minutes
Google Docs allows you to create word processing documents.  It includes several standard features for formatting text, as well as inserting hyperlinks and images.  This video provides a step-by-step view on how to use Google Docs to create a word processing document, format text, and insert a hyperlink. 

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GLEAN for Learners: A Second Preview
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I just wrapped up delivering our second GLEAN for Learners preview.  If you were unable to attend, you can view the recording in the above video player.  

I'd also like to share that as of today, we have 996 public library staff who have been pre-registered for GLEAN.  Which library system will send me another batch of users tomorrow and push us over 1,000?  Not too shabby, considering early registration has been open for less than two weeks.

Remember GLEAN goes live on Monday, July 1.  Public library staff members who have been pre-registered will receive their log in credentials at 12:00am on July 1.  Exclusive pre-registration for public libraries runs through July 14, and registration will open to all qualified library personnel on July 15.

Use the "comments and reactions" section below to leave any questions.

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GLEAN for Learners Preview
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Yesterday, nearly 100 eager library staff members attended our first exclusive GLEAN preview for learners.  We highlighted the key changes coming to GPLS’s e-learning program for FY14, discussed a few particulars concerning wrapping up Webjunction course usage (remember, the Webjunction Georgia catalog goes away on June 30), and finally pulled back the curtain on the GLEAN system showcasing the wealth of resources available.  Based on the questions and comments that came up during the preview, I can definitely see that there is genuine excitement about GLEAN from our library community.  If you were unable to attend yesterday’s preview and can’t wait until the next one on July 25th, check out the recording above.  If you have any questions about GLEAN that are not addressed in the preview, leave those in the "comments and reactions" area below and I will make sure you get answers.    

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