How does this online learning program work?
This is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.
There will be no formal classes or workshops offered to support this program. Instead, participants are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques, and “how tos,” both in person and through their blogs.
Who can participate in this program?
This program is designed for Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board members and school media specialists.
If you are not a member of the Nebraska library community you are welcome to follow along; however, we cannot track, support, or award CE credits to participants outside our target audience.
I participated in the first Nebraska Learns 2.0 program. Can I participate in this program too?
Yes. This will not be a repeat of the previous program. This new program will either introduce new Things or expand on Things covered previously.
How does this new version of Nebraska Learns 2.0 differ from the original version?
One of the main differences is that you no longer have to do ALL the Things in order to earn CE credit. Instead, you can earn one CE credit for each Thing you complete by the deadline.
Another main difference is that instead of one deadline for the whole program, there is now a separate deadline for each Thing. To earn CE credit participants will need to complete a Thing by the end of the month in which it was introduced.
And, starting in February 2012, we added a BookThing each month – read a book we suggest, answer some questions, earn a variable number of CE credits (based on book length). As for the Things, to earn CE credit, participants must report on the book by the end of the month in which it was introduced.
Do I have to do all of the Things/BookThings?
No. You may choose which Things and BookThings to do based on personal interest and time availability. If the Thing or BookThing of the month doesn’t interest you, or if you are particularly busy that month, you can skip it. HOWEVER, before you skip a Thing due to lack of interest, keep in mind that part of the value of this exercise is learning about tools and services you might not otherwise spend time exploring. First time around, several of our participants fell in love with and became active users of Things they were sure they were going to hate. What if they’d skipped that Thing due to their anticipated reaction to it? If you are interested in a particular month’s Thing or BookThing but are too busy that month to do it, we certainly encourage you to go back and complete it at a later date for your own personal enrichment. Your blog post will still be a worthwhile and valued contribution to our online learning community. However, you will not earn CE credit for “late” Things or BookThings.
How long do I have to do each Thing/BookThing?
Each month we will introduce a new Thing and BookThing. You must complete the Thing or BookThing by the end of the month in which it was introduced in order to earn CE credit for it.
Why do I have to do the Things/BookThings in the month they are assigned?
We strongly believe in the value of having all participants working on the same Thing/BookThing at roughly the same time. We hope this will facilitate discussion (via blog posts and comments to blog posts) and contribute to a sense of community. Another reason for doing Things in the month they are assigned is that it is best way to insure you are getting up-to-date, accurate instructions from us. (Even then there is no guarantee – things change quickly on the Internet – but we’ll do our best!) Things won’t go away after their scheduled month, but they also won’t necessarily be updated to reflect changes to the service being discussed.
Can I go back and do Things/BookThings I missed?
Sure, as long as you are aware that you won’t earn CE credit for completing Things or BookThings late and that the content of our lessons may not have been updated to reflect recent changes to the services being discussed.
Do I have to sign up to participate? YES!
One lesson we learned as a result of the first Nebraska Learns 2.0 program was that we needed a more formal registration process so we’d know for sure who was participating and how to contact them. So, if you want to participate in our new Nebraska Learns 2.0 program, you will need to sign up!
How do I sign up for Nebraska Learns 2.0?
All of the information you’ll get to get signed up can be found on the Sign up page.
I want to sign up but I don’t have a blog name or URL to submit yet. What should I do?
If you didn’t participate in the first Nebraska Learns 2.0 program, there are several prerequisites you will need to fulfill before you can get started. One of the prerequisites is setting up a blog. Complete this prerequisite and you will have the blog name and URL you need to include in your sign-up email.
How do I know I’m signed up?
After you’ve filled out the form on the Sign up page, we will add your blog name to our Participants page. If you see your blog listed, you will know you have successfully signed up. Please allow several days for your blog name to get added to the Participants list, as this is a manual process.
How will you know that I have completed a Thing/BookThing?
As the final step of each Thing or BookThing you will be asked to create a post on YOUR blog about that Thing/BookThing. Please include the Thing or BookThing # in the title of your blog post (e.g. Thing #24: Blah, Blah, Blah). After you have written and published YOUR blog post, return the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog and leave a comment on our original post on that Thing or BookThing. Your comment should direct readers (including us) back to YOUR blog post on the Thing or BookThing. The easiest way to do this is to include the permalink of your blog post in the comment.
What is a permalink?
A permalink is similar to your blog URL, but it is more specific.
Here is an example of the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog URL:
Here is an example of the permalink to the FAQ post, which resides on the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog:
Notice how the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog URL takes you to the main Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog page, where the most recent post appears at the top of the page? As you update your blog with new posts, today’s “most recent post” will move further down your main blog page. Eventually it will move to another page altogether. For this reason a blog URL isn’t the best way to direct readers to a specific blog post.
A permalink is a unique URL that will take readers to a specific post on your blog. It will always take readers to that specific post, no matter how many subsequent posts you’ve made.
How do I figure out what the PERMALINK for a specific blog post is?
Every time you publish a blog post, it is assigned a unique URL – the permalink.
Sometimes you can click on the title of your blog post, and sometimes you will need to click on it from your archived blog posts in the sidebar. That is your permalink – it will take you to the page devoted to that particular blog post.
Once you’ve done this, look at the URL in your browser’s address bar. This is the permalink URL you will use when directing readers to this specific blog post.
How long does my blog post have to be?
For Things – each blog post must describe which Thing you have completed (remember to put the Thing # in the post title), what your experience was learning about it–easy, hard, impossible, ideas about how you might use this in your library or media center or in other areas, and other comments on the process.While we don’t expect a dissertation on every Thing, we do expect thoughtful reflection and active participation that is clear in the post. Single line posts or those that show perfunctory participation will not be counted.
For BookThings – you have a choice. You can write a blog post answering the questions about the book – it must be a minimum of 300 words long. Or you can create a video (YouTube or other video service of your choice) of at least three minutes long answering the questions, which is then posted to your blog.
Can I get CE credit for participating in this program?
Yes. You can earn one CE credit for each Thing you complete and a variable number of CE credits, based on book length, for each BookThing. However, you must complete each Thing/BookThing by the end of the month in which it was introduced to earn CE credit for it. If you are a NEW Nebraska Learns 2.0 participant (meaning you DID NOT participate in the original program), you can also earn one CE credit for completing the program prerequisites.
Sorry, but we can only offer CE credit to Nebraska librarians. Please contact your CE-granting agency regarding earning credit for participating in this program.
What do I have to do to get my CE credit?
If you follow the steps listed below NLC staff will be able to track your participation and record your CE credits as you earn them.
- Sign up to participate in Nebraska Learns 2.0. (This only has to be done once.)
- Confirm that your blog name has been added to the Participants page. (This only has to be done once.)
- Create a blog post on YOUR blog about the current month’s Thing or BookThing, before the end of the month. Include the Thing or BookThing # in your blog post title.
- Leave a comment on the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog post on the Thing or BookThing, directing readers back to YOUR blog post on the Thing/BookThing. Include the permalink to your blog post in your comment.
Who do I contact for help?
NLC staff members Christa and Michael are here to help you. Feel free to contact us with your questions. However, before doing so we encourage you to post your question as a comment to the relevant Thing or BookThing post on the Nebraska Learns 2.0 blog. This way your fellow participants have a chance to answer your question if they’ve already mastered the Thing or read the BookThing ….or, if they are having similar problems they can benefit from any answers you receive!
Can I participate anonymously?
No & Yes. If you want to earn CE credit you will need to identify yourself accurately to NLC staff members when you sign up to participate in Nebraska Learns 2.0. Since you control all the information that you share on your blog, however, you can choose to use a screen name to identify yourself, thereby keeping yourself publicly anonymous.
But, really, why be anonymous? Other participants want to know who you are so they can share and network more. It is not necessary to put all your personal information in your profile, but complete anonymity works against the social learning community we want to create with Nebraska Learns 2.0.