ITSCO Literature Lounge: Book Talks
by David Hayward, ITSCO (Instructional Technology Services of Central Ohio) Associate Director
The LSTA Minigrant played a vital role in allowing us to build the infrastructure necessary to support the expanding program. After offering the initial Book Talk, we realized very quickly a content management system was needed to help maintain a web presence, track all registrations and help organize the assessment process. Drupal, one of the world's leading open source Content Management Systems, was implemented and has allowed us to meet all of these needs.
Another need of the program was to record and edit the Book Talk sessions so they could be uploaded to the Internet. The grant allowed for the purchase of video editing software. The software gives us the tools to capture the hour-long Book Talks, edit them into smaller and more manageable clips, and upload them to Ohio on iTunes U. Research has shown presenting video in shorter segments allows viewers to more easily digest the information. Shorter segments also allow the viewer to pick and choose specific video Book Talks they are interested in instead of watching an entire video of multiple Book Talks. This gives the entire project flexibility in viewing, a much larger viewing audience as well as sustainability.
The LSTA Minigrant was instrumental in building the background structure necessary to continue and expand the Literature Lounge: Book Talks project. In the future, we plan to continue to offer professional Book Talks to educators as well as work with students from the central Ohio area to create and publish their own Book Talks. Through library and school partnerships, creative projects and innovative technology, we are excited to support 21st Century Learning Skills, giving students a platform to communicate and work collaboratively with their peers creating original Book Talks for everyone to enjoy.