Life is not a race to be first finished

This is an attempt to record some of my musings about learning and teaching.

Any Answers, Many Answers

Posted by Allanah King on September 21, 2012

This week I attended an AnyQuestions after school workshop. It tied in nicely with our tour of innovative Wellington libraries earlier in the week.

I remember giving AnyQuestions a whirl when I first heard of it ages ago and at that stage it was a bit lame but now it is much improved and I was impressed.

The idea is that from 1-6pm NZ time you can ask, via on line chat, a real life librarian in real time to assist you in finding out answers to questions on line.

While Robert Baigent from AnyQuestions was talking I decided to see how the app was working by asking a live question while working on my iPad. You learn by doing!

On first clicking on the ONLINE icon you need to answer some quick questions to ascertain your location and  fluency. With seconds a helpful assistant is there to guide you to answering your questions yourself. They don’t just give you the answers and you learn about website navigation and digital literacies as you go.

I took a screen grab of the chat transcript to give you an idea of how the conversation may well go.

Complimentary to AnyAnswers is ManyAnswers where popular question responses are curated with full answers to questions often asked during study time.

Robert said that all the librarian helpdesk people are well trained and vetted to help children find out answers to all sorts of questions they want to know the answers to but if you Google the questions you could end up in very dark places on the internet.

It looks to be a great service, often used by informed upper primary school children, to find out answers to deeper questions that Google is not so good at providing.

Worth a second look!

One Response to “Any Answers, Many Answers”

  1.   Laura Allen Says:

    Hi Allanah,
    I’ve never heard of “Any Questions”. This sounds like a wonderful idea. I’ve used ChaCha before, where you text a question and someone gives you the answer, but it doesn’t teach you the valuable skills of how to better find things on the internet. It’s really cool how quickly you get a response and how it’s an actual person instead of a computer. The way they give you information and links so you can look yourself is great. It also prevents you from ending up on an unreliable website like Wikipedia. I appreciate the insight on this and I’m going to have to check it out!
    -Laura Allen

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  1. Many Answers, any Answers | Transforming our practice - school libraries | Scoop.it
  2. Many Answers, Any Questions | NZ School libraries | Scoop.it

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