Welcome to iHCPL. This site was created to support Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. The program is adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does this online learning program work?
    This is a self-discovery program which encourages staff to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY. Staff are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and "how to's" both in person and through their blogs. Once a week, during the program, there will be an open lab - the location will rotate throughout the system - for staff who need additional assistance.

  • Is this program open to all HCPL staff or just some?
    This program is open to ALL HCPL staff regardless of position and status (full and part time). If you are not a member of the HCPL staff, you are welcome to follow along, however the library cannot award you training hours or iHCPL bling.

  • How long do I have to complete the program?
    The program kicks off September 10 as with a presentations by Michelle Boule, Social Sciences Librarian at the University of Houston and author of A Wandering Eyre, and officially wraps up on December 14. Staff who complete the program will get 10 hours of training. Staff who have completed their 20 hours of training for the year may carry over up to 5 hours of training into 2008. In addition to training hours, as staff complete each week of the program they will receive iHCPL bling.

  • How do I track my progress for each of the 23 Things?
    Each staff member that chooses to participate in this program will be required to keep a blog to track their progress. iHCPL team members will track your progress throughout the program.

  • If I'm not a HCPL staff member, can I still participate?
    Yes, by all means. However, HCPL cannot award you any incentives or prizes for completion. You can track your progress through iHCPL: A Learning Experience for Our Customer's blog. We welcome participants from anywhere to join in the fun and follow along.

  • Why 23 things instead of having participants do 43 things like the website?
    Given the time frame of the program (9 weeks), the number of "things" was reduced so that staff already burdened with busy work schedules wouldn't feel overwhelmed by having too many discovery exercises to complete in a week. Also, it takes a lot of effort to create and develop 23 separate exercises and weekly videos.

  • Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this?
    This is intended to be a self-directed learning program. If you feel you need assistance with an item, you are encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker or another staff member who can help. Reading other staff member's blogs can help, too. If you are really stuck, an open lab will be available each Friday, during the program, at rotating locations throughout the system.

  • I've seen the list of 23 Things on the website, but how do I know what to do with them?
    Each week, two or three posts will be added to the iHCPL blog with details about the discovery exercises for that week. The reason for this staggered approach is to allow participants the ability to focus each week on a different area without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Can I work ahead through the list of items on my own?
    Yes, of course. You are encouraged to self-direct your discovery process, especially by working ahead on your own!! However, if you do work ahead on some items, be sure to check back on the exercise details for each item once they are posted so you can be sure to receive full credit for its completion. iHCPL bling will be sent out after each week is complete, so if you work ahead, you'll get your bling as each week finishes.

  • What if I need help - who can I call?
    Since this program is self-directed and is being completed by many staff members throughout the system simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey. To find a list of staff participating see The Participants. There will be open labs each Friday throughout the program at rotating locations if you need further assistance.

  • I would like to participate but don't feel comfortable with my co-workers reading my blog, can I participate anonymously?
    Yes & No. Since you control all the information that you share on your blog, you can choose to use a screen name to identify yourself to keep yourself anonymous. However, in order to receive the training hours and iHCPL bling, you will need to identify yourself when you register. Your name and blog will not be associated with each other publicly.

  • How do I get credit for my training hours and my iHCPL bling?
    As you complete each week of the program, you will receive an iHCPL bling to attach to your lanyard. At the completion of the program, you will receive a final bling and the iHCPL team will send a list of participants who complete the program to Human Resources. To receive training hours you must complete the entire program and do so by December 14.

Don't find your question answered here? Then enter it is as comment below.


Anonymous said...

What if you have already done some of the 23 things before the program was even mentioned?

Anonymous said...

What if I run out of time but finish the majority of the program? Does this mean that if I work for two months on 23 Things without finishing a few of them that I will receive no credit at all?

iSTAR said...

Anonymous said...

"What if you have already done some of the 23 things before the program was even mentioned?"

If you have already done some of the 23 Things, that's great! You can still participate. You'll still need to do each discovery exercise. For instance, during Pictures week one of the things is to explore Flickr. Well, if you already use Flickr, talk about how you use it in your blog post.

iSTAR said...

Anonymous said...

"What if I run out of time but finish the majority of the program? Does this mean that if I work for two months on 23 Things without finishing a few of them that I will receive no credit at all?"

The program has 9 weeks of activities, which means the last "week" of the program is November 12 - 16. You then have four additional weeks - through December 14 to complete the whole program. If you find yourself falling behind, be sure to take advantage of the Open labs on Fridays.

In answer to your question, you do have to complete the entire program by December 14 to get the training credit.

Anonymous said...

Is there somewhere I should sign up to indicate that I am going to participate in the program?

iSTAR said...

Anonymous said...
"Is there somewhere I should sign up to indicate that I am going to participate in the program?"

Thing 3, which will be available at the beginning of next week, is to create a blog and register it.