Student Frank Florian Shares Screencasting Expertise as Peer Mentor and Presenter

As a peer mentor for our School’s graduate students, Frank Florian gained expertise in screencasting, which he shared during a recent online workshop hosted by our School’s American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) student chapter.

Florian’s presentation, “Screencasting Tools and Tips,” focused on using technology tools to capture and share the activity on a computer screen. Screencasts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as guiding viewers through a website, demonstrating search techniques or software features, or collaborating with team members. Florian emphasized the benefits of using screencasts for course assignments and as a way to build professional skills.

Florian first learned about screencasting tools in his LIBR 240: Information Technology Tools and Applications course with Dr. Linda Main. “In LIBR 240, students learn many different tools that you can immediately start applying in library school,” he said. “You don’t have to wait until you get a job to put those skills to use.”

Florian started experimenting with screencasting for a LIBR 210 Reference Services assignment, and in Fall 2010 he took a student assistant job designing screencast tutorials about the School’s Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system.

As a D2L peer mentor, Florian was responsible for supporting students and faculty during our School’s transition to the new learning management system. In addition to answering user questions and setting up a sample course site in D2L, Florian is continuing to develop a series of tutorials for SLIS student regarding using D2L’s features. The tutorials are narrated demonstrations regarding how to use D2L tools like the calendar, email service, discussion forums, and assignment drop-boxes.

“I wanted to do something that would let me use my LIBR 240 skills and create web content,” Florian explained. “I also really enjoy the instructional and public services aspect of the job. This position got me interested in looking at instructional librarianship, distance education support, or web services as a future career path.”

Florian transitioned to librarianship from a career in computer engineering. After earning an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of California Berkeley, he spent eight years working in Silicon Valley. He enrolled in our School’s MLIS program in 2009 to combine his technology interests with a love of learning and public service, and has focused on coursework in library services (including reference, cataloging, and collection management) and technology (including web design, XML, and Digital Asset Management).

Florian’s science and technology background also led him to the newly re-activated SJSU iSchool student chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). He joined the organization in Spring 2011 and helped the Board establish by-laws for the reactivation of the chapter. As Program Director, Florian is now planning online events including faculty Q&A presentations, guest speakers, and more student-led workshops.

Florian plans to graduate from SJSU SLIS in May 2012. A recording of his screencasting workshop is available in the ASIS&T Student Chapter archive.