Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing 23 The End

Not really an end but just the beginning. I think this experience has been a great opportunity to play with some of these tools that I had mostly heard about but never had the time or inclination to explore.

1. My favorite discoveries and exercises were photostory, rollyo, rss feeds, and flickr. I had heard of all of these except rollyo before but never really used them. I had set up a flickr account but never did anything with it after that initial posting of a few pictures. I love my rss feed and use it several times a day and it really helps me keep up with my blogs. I also really liked the Big Huge Labs which I did not know about and will use with my teachers and students.

2. This program has been great for my life long learning goals because it provides me opportunities to continue to explore new technology tools and share them with my colleagues and students. It also provides an ongoing opportunity for me to explore these tools on my own time and for my own development. It is very open ended and is changing constantly.

3. One unexpected outcome was The Library Thing. I have read about it and seen it several times on various blogs but it never struck me as anything I would really be interested in but once I actually went there and explored the site I really liked it. I am not interested in cataloging my books there but many of the other services would be helpful and of interest to me. I thought all it did was catalog books for people but the lists, forums, and book groups interest me.

4. I have no suggestions to improve the Library2play project. I like the setup and freedom of working through the different exercises.

5. I would definately participate in future projects setup like this one. In fact I plan on keeping Library2play bookmarked in my delicious account so I can go back and work through some of the exercises for a refresher course in the future.

6. In one word or sentence I would describe this program as: 23 things to build your technology muscle!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing 22 Ning

Nings are pretty cool. I think they would be great to use with students esp. as, like the article stated, students often feel inhibited if teachers use facebook or myspace for school related activities.
Nings are easy to set up and it looks like there is one for everything. I searched for 4 different things and found at least one for each subject of interest. But they are often very small and fall out of use quickly. For example the greyhound ning I found is several years old and the forum only had two messages.
I am a member of the Texas School Librarian Ning but I don't often visit (I wasn't even sure I was a member but I found myself in a search). So I don't often use this resource. I guess because there are just so many others out there like the library listserv. I did like the Education of the Future ning and I will continue to check it out. I might be interested in joining it.
I do think that this would be a great tool to use with a class if one didn't want to set up a wiki or build a whole webpage from scratch.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thing 21 Podcasts and Vidcasts

Okay I have been flirting with Photostory for a couple of months now so I am glad to finally get a chance to really get down and dirty with the program. I went to a workshop at TLA on photostory and I really liked the idea of using this technology to make book reviews. I am definately going to do this for my schools. I think this is something I can create and then put on a loop to replay throughout the day so students can see it as they come to library. It is also something that can be easily shared on the library website and with teachers who can share them in the classroom. I am really excited about trying this. I have already choosen some books and I am in the drafting stages of my book reviews so I will be ready to create the film when the time comes.
I chose to use some of my photos from a trip last summer to create a video as I had them on hand on my computer. I haven't gathered any pictures yet for a book review but I wanted the experience of doing one for this project so I will know better what to do when it is for my school audiences.
So enjoy a video of some of the varied Lions of Europe.

Thing 20 You Tube and Teacher Tube

I have of course heard of both of these resources but they are not really ones I think about when I am trying to find resources for teachers. I will definately put them on my list for this year. I do look at United Streaming most often. I guess I always thought of youtube as just being unprofessional and just for fun videos. But there are some great videos there. I likes the Cookie Monster in the Library.

I had a teacher last year looking for videos of scientists to share with 5th grade students. I didn't really find anything useful but looking at teacher tube I found a few that might have worked. I will definately share these with her and I will definately remember these video resources.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing 19 WEB 2.0 Awards List

First I looked at Zango (Games category) but it is a closed community so bummer.

I've used Urbanspoon before -or well I've tried to use it. At TLA in Houston this past Spring we were looking for a restaurant and wanting to be adventurous too but really we were just HUNGRY so we gave up on the randomness that is Urbanspoon and just settled for finding anything that was open. Harder than one would think in downtown Houston.

So I looked at Lulu (Books). This is a self -publishing site. It looks like one can do print to order books as well as self published. I liked the photo book idea. I think this is a really cool idea and I have never seen this before. I would like to take some of my photos from my European trip last summer and make a little book for myself. So I could see using this site personally. There is a community aspect of the site to offer support to self published writers and the like.

I could see using this site in a school setting to "professionally" publish a class book or something to that effect. I'm not sure the money it would cost (actually it ranges from $369-1,369) but I could see some schools being able to do something like this. Obviously this is not an option for many schools or communities.

A librarian might use this site to search for a niche book that he/she has been unable to find elsewhere. I am not sure it would be useful as an everyday source for books/materials. There are no reviews on site so one would have to take a chance on the material and review everything oneself before adding it to the collection.

Photo: From Castle Hill, Budapest June 2008

Thing 18 Online Productivity Tools

I have used Google Docs before many times. It has been esp. helpful in keeping working and final drafts handy. I can access from anywhere and work on the same doc from multiple sites. I like being able to share with others and even the ability to let others work on the same document with me.

A con with Google Docs is formatting is off sometimes when I print. Also I feel it is best used for plain wordprocessing documents and small powerpoints.

I liked the open office tools. They were easy to use. I will definately look at these tools more closely esp. since I got a new hard drive for my home computer and couldn't find my microsoft office disc. I have been using the google docs for wordprocessing at home but I find the open office tools more user friendly. Maybe because it is set up like the standard office tools? Anyways it just gives me a second option esp if the internet is down. I can still get to the open office tools and work at home as needed. Yeah!

I've added a picture of the Cadillac Ranch just because it's Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thing 17 Rollyo

Wow this is really cool. I didn't think I would like it. I tried to make a search engine with google and it went okay but I didn't really have any place to put it that would be useful to my students. These are really easy to make and easy to post on a blog or wiki. So I will be able to make some of these for school and put them in my school wiki or on the school website. This is great!

I also like that we can use and adapt searchrolls created by other people. So I don't have to reinvent the wheel from scratch.

The searchroll I created is called Kid Lit Reviews and you can find it on my blog. It has several review sites and blogs that I use and read frequently when I am making my purchasing lists.