What is 23 things?
23 things programmes originated in the USA in 2006 as a way of introducing library staff to Web 2.0 technologies. It works on the principle that exposure is the first stage in learning - people sign up to the course and spend a little time each week exploring a potentially useful online tool; by the end of the 12 weeks the course runs, you should be able to make informed choices about which things you want to pursue further.
The current programme is open to all staff in the Directorate.
When does it run?
The current 2013 programme, for Information Directorate staff, runs for 12 weeks, from April 22nd until July 8th. Here's an overview of the whole programme.
How does this online learning programme work?
This is a self-discovery programme which encourages you to take control of your own learning through exploration, play, and experimentation. Participants can work together and share your progress, techniques and tips both in person and via the blogs.
How do I take part?
Each week, apart from the final one, will cover two 'things' to try. A blog post on this blog will introduce you to the tool, tell you why it might be useful, then give you an activity to do with the tool. You can then write a brief blog-post on your own blog about what you think of the tool - the first Thing is setting up a blog, so everyone taking part will have one. You can read each others' blogposts and discuss your experiences in the Comments sections.
You're encouraged to try out all of the tools, but if you don't think a tool is for you, or you're simply too busy that week, you can always skip a Thing and pick things back up on the next one.
Where do I go for help?
We're hoping you can all help each other - don't be afraid to use your blog posts to ask questions! If you're really stuck or just want clarification about an activity or tool, just leave a comment on this blog underneath the relevant Thing's blogpost. If you'd rather not ask your question publically, you can email Ned.Potter in Academic Liaison - he'll either try and answer you or put you in touch with someone who can.
I hear there's some kind of prize-draw at the end...
At the Staff Festival there will be a prize of a £100 Amazon voucher! This may be done via a prize-draw or it may be awarded to the best blog - either way, to be in with a chance of winning, you need to stick with the programme till the very end...
What if I already use one or more of the tools?
That's fine - if you already use a tool, just write about why you think it's useful and what you've done with it.
Can I do this anonymously?
You could do, if you really wanted to (although you wouldn't then be eligible for the prize!). You'd need to set up your blog using a different account to your York one though.
I'm not from York - can I do this too?
You're certainly welcome to follow along, but we won't be able to give you support or help (or entry into the prize-draw...). If you're at the University but not part of the Directorate the same applies - but we'll almost certainly be running future programmes aimed at different groups beyond the Library and IT, for example 23 Things for Researchers.
Who designed the programme?
This particular programme was designed by Ned Potter in Academic Liaison, with help from the Digilit Group and Tom Smith; the posts are mainly written by him or Tom, with contributions from Andrew Male and Mike Dunn.