Posts Tagged ‘Joy Suliman’

A toolkit for supporting your own learning online: Joy Suliman

Joy Suliman facilitates workshops in multi-media production and content development at the Powerhouse Museum’s Thinkspace creative media labs. She has a special interest in adapting widely available online tools and accessible hardware for learning purposes. Previously she has worked as a regional radio producer and community development worker. But most people will know Joy as the former Collections Australia Network National Project Manager – delivering training and online support to the national collections sector.

Professional development and learning are a vital part of everyone’s working life. We are increasingly getting our information and learning resources from a variety of online sources such as websites, blogs, online journals, wikis, forums and discussion lists. And then there is also the social networking sites like Twitter, Slideshare, Facebook and YouTube. It can seem like a real nightmare trying to stay in the loop, keeping track of everything you come across, and then finding it again when you need it. Creating your own “Personal Learning Environment” or PLE is a handy way of integrating all your online learning and resources, and creating ways of managing your own learning online.

PLEs are, very broadly, the ways and structures an individual uses to find, organise, reflect and share their learning in online environments. It’s more than just elearning or doing a course online, it’s everything you do online to grow your knowledge and skills. It’s a highly contested definition, but I like what Melbourne academic Ron Lubensky has written about it here. There are some formal PLEs that are used by schools and universities, but for most of us, it will be a matter of integrating some of our already existing online practices and looking at other online tools that will help us fill in the gaps. Many web 2.0 and social media tools are great for creating your PLE. In this post, I thought I would share with you the top 5 applications in my PLE toolkit, and how I use them.

1. Delicious
Delicious is a social bookmarking site. Using delicious you can save bookmarks, tag them using your own terminology, add notes and comments, manage them from anywhere when you are online, and share them. It’s a big leap forward from the “favourites” in your browser, because using tags you can label pages in a way that makes sense to you and that will help you find them again later. I save everything I think I might like to read/hear/watch again, so when I’m having one of those “where did I read that” moments, I look in my delicious links first. I also keep a list of resources and articles for Thinkspace in Delicious.

2. Google Reader
Feed readers are great for checking all your blogs in one place. There are lots of them around, but I use Google Reader because it’s simple, and I can check it from my home, work, laptop or iphone without too much hassle. I scan through the summaries of all the posts from all the blogs that I follow. It has replaced the morning newspaper for me. If I want to read more, I can, and if I’m really interested I will click through to the post, and then bookmark it in Delicious. There are also some tools that allow you to favourite, share, email and tag with the reader itself. Essential.

3. Zotero
This is a seriously good tool for those doing research. It’s an add-on/extension for firefox, and it stores the citations and notes for websites, pdfs and basically anything you might come across online. Bibliographies can be exported into Word or Open Office. Open source and free. Wish it existed when I was writing my thesis . . .

4. Twitter
Microblogging – updates of 140 characters or less. I’m a bit surprised at how quickly I have become a fan of twitter. What can you learn in under 140 characters? Plenty it turns out. I follow people who I have met professionally, and through twitter I know what they are reading, and read it straight away if they have provided the link in their tweet. I get information about events and training. I put information about what I am working on and the workshops in the Thinkspace labs in my tweets. People who follow me comment, advise and “re-tweet” to their own networks. At conferences that I’m not attending, I appreciate that I can follow the presentations through the tweets of others who are there. I can tweet from any computer or my iphone. Want to follow me?

5. LastPass
Lots of accounts and logging in mean lots of logins and passwords. I use LastPass to manage my accounts. I have it set up on the browser on my laptop. Secure and easy to use. One password is all I need now.

I was really inspired by a presentation that Kathryn Greenhill gave at the CAN Collections and the Web event in Perth last year “”…but I don’t have time and THEY don’t get it”: Finding time and reasons for emerging technologies”. Kathryn’s presentation is on slideshare, and reminded me that everything I want to learn is out there, I just have to make it personal and take responsibility.

If you are looking for more hands on professional development and practical digital skills learning, we have a range of adult learning and professional development courses at Thinkspace, including Digital storytelling, Digital video editing, Photoshop, Web 2.0 toolkit, Online planning and research skills, and Interactive whiteboard skills. We are also putting together a professional development program for people working in museums, history, cultural heritage, collections and the arts, called Digital Culture. The first Digital Culture workshop will be Podcasting, and is scheduled for Thursday 12 November. Book here.

If you would like to know about future Digital Culture workshops in video and youtube, blogging, photography, nings and wikis, send me an email and I’ll let you know when they are coming up.


Telling stories using maps

The first thing Joy Suliman focuses on in the morning is the Alessi kettle sitting on her stove top. The funky Italian design prepares her for a great day. Just looking at the slick lines and quirky details makes her feel good as she pours water into it for her cup of tea. In gratitude to how this beautiful design makes her feel, the former CAN project manager decided her kettle’s story deserved to be told.

Alessi / Michael Graves Kettle with bird whistle 1986

Joy geo-tagged in Google Earth a video of the Michael Graves Blue Kettle with Bird Whistle in her apartment and then created a tag for the Powerhouse Museum’s Inspired! exhibition in Google Earth and included information about the kettle from the Powerhouse Museum’s online collection records. From there we travel to Portland in the United States where architect Michael Graves designed what claims to be the “first postmodern building” and finally to the Italian city which boasts to be the home of the Alessi design studio. Now when Joy watches her birdy sing on the stove she thinks about the global story behind her treasured object.

She presented this story at the Museums Australia conference in Newcastle last month with the aim of motivating her colleagues to start telling stories about their collection through mapping. We have uploaded the video of Joy’s presentation on our collectionsaustralia YouTube channel and the Powerpoint presentation on our collectionsaustralia Slideshare account. A guide to how to geomap your collection will be available in Sector Resources.

Joy says she chose Google Earth rather than Google Maps because it is an application offering animation and a sense of drama. In her new role at the Powerhouse Museum’s Soundhouse Vector Lab, she teaches high school students how to build themed-journeys using Google Earth. Joy has not embedded this kettle project into a website. Instead she has saved it as a KMZ file (which is a zipped keyhole market language file), so she can email it as an attachment to other Google Earth users. If Joy decides to embed it into a website so that other people can geotag their own Alessi kettles, we would be able to see where the little birdy sings around the world.

Geotagging objects in your collection is a good way to give information about them. Whether you embed a map into your own website or use Flickr, you just drag the image to a location on the map. The best example of where geomapping works well is in the Flickr Commons. Institutions and the public are geotagging historic photographs so when you zoom into a place in Google maps you can see 150 years of images comparing then and now.

If you would like to use or embed Google Maps / Earth in your projects, click here for the terms and conditions.

Sarah Rhodes


Kia ora, Greetings..

Ingrid Mason: CAN National Project Manager



I started last week as the national project manger for CAN. I decided it would be good to put a face to a name, and I look forward to meeting some of the CAN Partners at the Museums Australia conference in Newcastle in a couple of weeks (16-20 May) in Newcastle, NSW.


As you know, CAN is posited in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and CAN service reach out across Australia and beyond. The Powerhouse Museum is familiar territory for me – I worked here as a web content editor and reference librarian about six years ago.  The rest of the community out there however are a big ‘unknown’ and I hope to become better acquainted with you.. and to learn some more ways of saying ‘hi’.  My latest acquisitions are ‘buongiorno’ and ‘privet’ thanks to Italian and Russian colleagues at University of Sydney (where I’ve just been working). The greetings above though, along with talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, are a means of giving you all a hint that I’m from Aotearoa – New Zealand and I am an Australian citizen, with a soft spot for Pacific culture, and a love of diversity, different cultures, and things digital.


Work-wise, gladly, I am in very good hands: Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum is briefing me on where CAN is at strategically, Joy Suliman (now in the SoundHouse Vector Lab at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney) is in the process of handing over CAN operations to me, Luke Dearnley is slowly acquainting me with things technical and Sarah Rhodes is easing me into the CAN website and blog.

Professional Background

To give you a bit of professional information about me: my background is in library and information management and I have interests in technology and research and a background digital cultural heritage and business development.  Prior to taking up this role I worked as the special projects manager (Digital Innovation Unit) at the University of Sydney.  In previous roles I have: managed a university digital repository, lead a web archiving team, and contributed to developing the requirements for the National Digital Heritage Archive in New Zealand.  So… I have a bit of cross-sector experience.. and I’m keen for more…and I look forward to working with the CAN community and across sectors.