Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thing # 21

Ok. I am now officially in love with Photo Story. It is so user friendly. I cannot wait to get it approved so that my students can create book trailors for their books.


As I created this trailor, I started pulling more books to create trailors for. It is going to be a long, Photo Story Summer. I love free tools!

Thing # 23

1. My favorite things that I learned about are the wikis and youtube. It amazes me how easy it is to find information about pretty much any topic. If I need troubleshooting help, I can find a video that walks me through the process.
2. Before completing this program I was afraid of technology. I used it only when I had to, and only used basics. My students still laugh when I roll out the overhead. I now feel more confident in using the web to enhance learning and create modern lessons that will help students develop their love of learning.
3. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up and modify my wiki. I will definitely incorporate this as a means of communication with both parents and students as well as to collaborate with my colleagues.
4. I prefer Shelfari to Library Thing. It has more appeal than Library Thing. I also like that it takes you through each step from title to review as you enter each book.
5. I would absolutely participate in another discovery program. It is nice to have someone point out cool tools that are available.
6. 23 Things has removed my fear of technology and sparked my love of learning.

Thing # 22

Nings are a great idea especially for new librarians. This is a great way to find people to collaborate with even if you are new to an area or a first time librarian. As a transplant to Texas, this social networking tool is beneficial. I can invite my former colleagues to join, along with locating new colleagues to share ideas and best practices. When I have questions, I can hop online and find someone who knows the answer or can give me a human connection. The teacher librarian ning gives access to other librarians and teachers to share ideas, ask questions, and keep updated on conferences and cool tools.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thing # 20

I first began feeling old when a couple of new teachers talked about hulu and youtube on a daily basis. I had no idea what these were let alone how to access them. These teachers were kind and explained that they were web sites where I could find videos and watch old SNL episodes. I could not for the life of me understand why anyone would want to waste time looking for television shows on the computer when a television is so easy to work. However, after I began searching youtube, I now understand how cool it is to download movies and clips and view it anytime you like. The only problem I have with these sites is that I am impatient. I get annoyed with how long it takes for a two minute video takes twenty to download. I went to youtube and searched "library." Immediately I received several videos with people rapping about the library. Although I became agitated at the length of time it took for this video to load, I got hooked in by the rap about the Dewey Decimal System. After viewing this, I know my students would know where to find different types of books. It is hilarious and catchy.

I then searched teachertube for a video about John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I found a simple video that could be used as a sample for a student project. Students can find pictures that represent characters and write a character analysis. They can create a video to post that demonstrates understanding of the selected character.

Of mice and men character pictures

Thing # 19

In the realm of wikis, earned first place on the Web 2.0 Awards list. I must say I agree. I created two wikis for my class. The first was created using wikispaces. While it was relatively easy to figure out, it still took time. Someone suggested that I go to PBWiki to create my wiki. When I started creating my site I realized that this was much more user friendly. In addition, it is easier to create a more personalized wiki. My students love being able to access information from home, and I love having the freedom to post updates and deadline reminders that both students and parents can access from home or their local library. It is a wonderful way for my classes to discuss topics in more depth than we are allowed time to in class. It also gives the opportunity for those who are shy to share their thoughts. This is a great way to have students to discuss books for book clubs. It is versatile and can be utilized in any curriculum. Kudos PBWiki. Thank you for making me enjoy technology.

Thing # 18

I wish I had known about when I purchased my computer. I would have saved money and would have thought twice about getting rid of my other desk top. Although it took a while to download, the fact that I can have free access to the same programs and more that I paid a pretty penny for is pretty amazing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thing # 17

The idea of rollyo is pretty cool. Those who have a strong understanding of what key words to use when searching will easily develop their personalized search engine, but those who are just beginning to understand how to search may prefer to use a searchyo created by savvy rollyo users. I tried to drag the rollbar into my toolbar to no avail. For now I used searches developed by other rollyo users, but also started my on rollyo. I still utilize Google when searching.

Thing #16 is amazing! It is user friendly and allows more personalization than other wiki sites. I recently created a wiki for use in my classroom. Through it I uploaded the calendar for the six weeks along with assignments. My students will read selected novels and post journal entries on the wiki. Then to stimulate discussion, they are to post comments to classmates journal entries. This is only the beginning of my wiki use.

Thing # 15

Everything changes, yet everything stays the same. We encounter the same problems, but in different formats. Settlers in the 1800s had to wait weeks to hear how their family members were doing. Mothers in the 1970s worried when their teenagers went out and had to wait for them to get to a telephone to check in. We live in an age where if we have a question we cannot wait to have an answer. The common denominator is communication. Library 2.0 provides a means of keeping up with the ever-changing needs of the world. Now that horses and land lines are insufficiently slow in providing answers, we rely on the latest technology for immediate responses. In the posting, "Into a New World of Librarianship," Michael Stephens discusses the need of librarians to keep current with improvements in accessing information. Dr. Wendy Schultz agrees and adds that the library will continue to morph into new configurations until eventually it becomes a virtual place where information can be sought and retrieved, and communication is embedded. I believe that the library will grow and change to fit the needs of its patrons. If a librarian does not grow and change with it, he or she will be left behind.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thing # 14

Technorati is a great way for unknown bloggers to express their viewpoints to a greater multitude. The use of tags helps viewers easily identify blogs that provide specified information. This saves time and money. When I searched for library learning 2.0 in the keyword search for blogs, posts, and tags, I got 0 resources. I don't know if I typed the wrong information or simply typed it in the wrong box. I decided to type any variations I could think of in any and all search boxes to no avail. However, I discovered information about kindles and links to blogs about choosing kindles.

Thing #13

I really like tags. I can definitely see students utilizing this when conducting research. How cool is it that they can mark important web sites at school, and then easily locate these online from home? Extremely cool! Moreso, students can search for tags to help them find more direct information about their topics. I cannot wait to share this with everyone. The great part is after signing up for delicious I am! I can find a few to get students started and model how to use this social bookmarking site, and then students can reference my bookmarks to create their own and find new sources. This is great!

Thing # 12

When commenting on someone's post it is important to say something of value. The Cool Cat Teacher Blog makes this statement as well as reminding those who are afraid to post because they are new just how important it is to get feedback from "newbies." It is important to comment because it furthers discussion and is a main source of gaining information from a multitude of sources. I recently sought advice from the Goddess of YA Literature. After visiting Kathy Dempsey's blog, I viewed a study discussing the number of visitors to public libraries. It can easily be transferred into the school library as our students will be the ones looking for jobs in the near future.

Thing # 11

Library Thing is a great way to organize books. I especially enjoy the option to discuss books with other people online. My Library Thing is still in the beginning stages, mainly because I prefer Shelfari. For me the visual of the books on a bookshelf is nicer. Also, in Shelfari as you add a book, you go through incorporating tags, reviews, and other information all at once. I plan to suggest this to English teachers so that their students can have an accurate account of all they have read. After checking out the YA literature group, I was a little disappointed that people set up an entire discussion asking which YA characters people have crushes on when reading, but still collected titles of books I want to read or suggest for my students. All in all this is a nice site.

Thing # 10 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

This is a neat animation I tried. Image Chef is pretty cool and user friendly. Wordle was not nearly as easy to get for my blog. I made a wordle, but couldn't figure out how to get it on my blog. I will keep working on figuring it out, though.

Another cool tool is Dumpr. You can take a picture and make it into a sketch. It would be cool to have students take photos to represent their favorite book and turn it into a sketch or a rubik's cube. My Dumpr is of the Plain Janes.

Thing #9

As I searched for feeds to add to my reader, I liked using the Google blog search engine. It is easy to use and doesn't include pop-ups and extraneous material like Technoratis option to search blogs or posts is nice because there are times I want to find a specific blog and others where I am looking for a specific posting. I found the blog MadChatter by Dr. Ruth Cox Clark. She offers great information about young adult literature, as well as children's titles.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thing # 8

Okay, so I really thought that little orange box with the three white lines was just another annoying thing to delete in my email because it takes up space I don't have. Then I watched that wonderful video on teachertube and everything became clear. I can now follow blogs without having to waste time I don't have and get the important information I want without being bombarded by extraneous information. This is great to compile incoming information in a manner that doesn't waste time or space. In the library I can use different folders to keep up with different topics which works well for the many hats a librarian wears. I can have a folder for technology updates, young adult literature, children's literature, business administration, and budgeting to name a few. Personally, I am excited to use it to keep up with my favorite authors using the reader.

Thing #7

I love Google. Any time I need to find something, it is my go to search engine. However, I did not realize how many other tools Google offers. The first thing I explored was iGoogle. I love the tool that can be added to the page. It is now my home page so now any time I want to know what the weather is like, get the latest news headlines, or search for a video on youtube all I have to do is go home. I must admit I become slightly enthralled with the color game offered. After playing with this for a while, I went to the Google calendar. This is a great tool for librarians. You can create a calendar and put a link on a school wiki so that students, parents, faculty, and staff can see what is happening in the library. My calendar is only in the beginning stages, but I plan to add information and use in my classroom.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thing # 6

Every time I post I know I will return to school wanting to add more assignments to my lesson plans than I will have time to complete. My students are so impressed with what I know. This time is no exception. The list of mash-ups available is so immense. Bookr offers a great way to incorporate pictures with text. In my library I would suggest that students take advantage of this mash-up to put research information with photographs that correspond. Another web site I would incorporate is Flagrant Disregard's name badges. Students can identify a person and include important facts, including birthdate, aliases, and claims to fame. These tools can be used to modify research or simply add creative displays for the information students locate. These tools are easy to use and would be easy to explain to teachers, even reluctant ones. I cannot wait to coerce... I mean convince my team members to try these sites.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thing # 5

As an English teacher I immediately wanted to search for pictures of books. When I couldn't find just the right one I instead typed poetry in the search box. This is a pretty cool photo uploaded by Steve Rhodes to the Flikr Commons.
I really like the Flikr website. I usually stay away from pictures on the web because I am always fearful that I will break copyright laws; however, I am excited to find pictures that I feel comfortable using in my classroom. It is very neat how the commons breaks down what is acceptable for each group of pictures.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thing #3

I did it! It only took me 1 hour to figure out how to get the avatar on my blog- I think I read and reread those directions 25 times. Creating the blog was cake. Designing the avatar became fun when I realized it doesn't have to look like me. One cool thing was when I looked through other blogs I noticed I can have the avatar anywhere on the page. What a feeling of accomplishment! I am on my way!

Thing # 2

After viewing the 7 1/2 Habits, I realize I am extremely nervous when it comes to learning how to use technology and then blog about my successes let alone my failures. It will be difficult to get over my lack of confidence in being competent in this. However, something that contrasts this fear is my determination to see how important the end result of my learning. I know that eventually I will look back and see my struggle as a "necessary evil" that led to my ability to communicate effectively.

On a different note- I love that my blog posts are automatically saved every few minutes. This makes life so much easier, and I do not have to worry about losing what I typed because I forgot to save it immediately!