Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 9, Thing #23 Summation

Thank you for offering this wonderful online tutorial. It has been informative, entertaining and expanding. It is difficult to chose favorite discoveries or exercises as I have enjoyed so many of them from the Gutenberg Project to creating images to cataloging my private library at LibraryThing. Each of these activities effected my world in different ways. Some of the lessons I plan to develop into lessons with my students, other activities I will try to formulate into staff development exercises for the classroom teachers, and still others will nourish my life outside of the job such as access to worldwide literature. Setting up RSS feeds has helped me stay connected to my profession and explore new fields as well. The format of this tutorial fit my lifestyle perfectly. Assistance was readily available if needed. I could work at my own pace including taking a four month break. At this point I cannot think of any way to improve its format or concept but something may emerge when I try to teach some of these skills to students and teachers. Right now I want to continue to play with what I have learned. I plan to sign up for Discovering Assistive Technology in the fall. In describing this learning experience, I would have to say that I feel as though I have just opened my eyes on a new world and it's amazing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 9, Thing #22 eBooks and audiobooks

Checked out all the sites listed in our discovery exercises and resources. It is truly amazing what is available to the public for free or a minimal charge. I found the World eBook Fair site to be a researchers dream site. Collections varied from government documents to medical documents to social history to mathematics. What a resource! The Gutenbberg Project seemed to focus primarily on literature. I listened to portions of several audiobooks from LibroVox and toured the British Library Online Gallery. The BLOG is a truly amazing resource.

The projections Michael Hart quotes are very thought provoking and one can only imagine what the future holds when one takes into account the impact of the iPad. I think the iPad more than any other eReader will have the greatest impact on our access to information and literature.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 9, Thing#21 Podcasts

I've been doing podcasts for a few months now primarily to listen to NPR's Fresh Air program. I've added the RSS feed for NPR to my bloglines account. I find that very useful for a quick look at what is being aired. I listened to "Circulate This: Stories From the School Library." I thought it was a very powerful message in a unostentatious way. I plan to send it to all my Board of Education members in hopes that the more tech savvy ones will take the time to listen. I'm keeping the idea of creating a Podcast swimming in the back of my mind. Too much to do now with school wrapping up soon. I want to mull over how we could use it within the district and the benefits versus the time required to do something of this magnitude.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 9, Thing #20 YouTube

It's hard not to like YouTube for all the silly, entertaining things you can watch but it's also an incredible time sink. Most of the time it's like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack to find that one great, thought provoking video in the midst of so much amateurish, juvenile video. I guess it's the idea that it is open to all, that it's content is not determined by a corporation's bottom line that makes it such a powerful medium to convey information and viewpoint to the masses.

There are some videos that can be used as appropriate teaching tools in the classroom and the library for our visual learners. The videos don't have to be serious to make learning fun such as the Dewey Decimal Rap. I can see my students soaking in the Dewey Decimal Rap song while picking up some useful information. I think it would be useful to link to some YouTube videos from the library web page for instructional purposes and to get students involved in creating videos about the library.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 8, Thing #19 LibraryThing

I really enjoy LibraryThing. I picked it out as one of my favorites from the Web 2.0 awards and have explored it in greater detail ever since. I catalogued a bunch of books in my home library. It was interesting to see which ones were the most popular. Reading through the discussions of the most popular book I catalogued, The Help by Kathryn Stocket, it's interesting to note the different perspectives other readers bring to this book. I am not linking to my home library catalog because I'm a private person.

One of the features of LibraryThing that I really like is the entire local events calendar page. It's a great way to connect to what is happening in your area and to other local LibraryThing followers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week 8, Thing #18 Online Productivity Tools

I signed up for a Zoho account and immediately created a document to share with the other librarians in my district. I have previously used Google Docs and found Zoho to be much more user friendly. It is so similar to Microsoft Word that creating a document was easy. I then shared the document with 5 other librarians. I also found sharing to be much easier in Zoho than in Google Docs. I think online apps like these are a perfect match for the iPad.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 7, Thing #17 Sandbox Wiki

I enjoyed playing in the California Curriculum Connections wiki. It was interesting to be able to read through the various curriculum ideas using image generators, blogs, avatars, etc. While I generally discourage my students from using Wikipedia for their research, I have a better understanding of the process of a wiki. I think I would create and use a wiki more for collaborating with my colleagues than for student work..