Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wow! This has been an experience. To be honest, when I saw this assignment I was a bit worried. I wasn't sure I had the technical ability to do all 23 things on my own; but I AM patting myself on the back right now. My skills are not perfect, but I did my best and I did it largely on my own (and thanks to Greg for bailing me out a couple times)! I have learned so much, and plan to incorporate many of these tools in both my personal and professional life.
To answer the questions now:
• What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I really liked the image generators and photo tools. I will be using those frequently.
• How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I stated that the learning goal I had the most difficulty with was confidence in my abilities. I feel really good about finishing the 23 things. I surprised myself!
• Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? That I’m not that bad with technology, especially if I am given good training (Thank you Dr. Bishop and YouTube!).
• What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Add more Things as new technology appears so we can stay current.
• If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
• How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things?
Nings are a social networking sites (forums) that are centered around a specific topic. It is a place where members can post questions and comments and chat with other like minded people regarding those subjects. It is a little online community. Librarians are generally lonely individuals, by virtue of being the only one of their kind on a campus! My district goes above and beyond others to link us together via monthly meetings and Pronto, but it is still lonely! This is a way to stay linked to others in our field, whether to get advice, collaborate, or bounce ideas off one another. I am going to join the TeacherLibrarianNetwork created by Joyce Valenza.
YouTube and TeacherTube are excellent sources of information, and have been invaluable as a "how to" quick guide for me this semester. It is very frustrating that YouTube is blocked in the district. I will try out Zamzar the next time I really want to use a video. I will be giving a short staff development refresher on copyright practices in January. I love the following copyright lesson using Disney clips as an icebreaker:
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I played around with the Widgets, which are fun little applications to add to your networking sites. I found most success with http://www.springwidgets.com/. It was fun, they had many choices, and it was as easy as cut and paste. I chose the countdown to Christmas tree for my example!
Rollyo is an excellent tool for kids to have organized access to prescreened websites. This is easy to use, you just go to the Rollyo website and register. You then create a subject folder/tab and group your selected websites under that folder, then publish it so the kids can access it. It would be great in my school, as I only have a limited amount of flex time (and library computers) in the day for research. However, the kids do go to the computer lab, where there are 30 PCs. They can access the rollyo via the web there, or from home, and continue research in a safe way. It is a good idea, and an alternative to a webquest if you dont have time to set one up.
I am not sure that I would be able to use a wiki with my little ones in the library, but this would great for a secondary librarian and a book club. You could set it up just like my professor, a page for each book, or maybe a page for a set of chapters depending on the age of the students, participation, and the content/theme of the book. I know the older students would love to see their opinions published online!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I digress.....speaking of bumps in the road and seeking to find info....Technorati was a speed bump on my homework road today. I am going to be blunt. I did not like Technorati at all. I found the sight frustrating and I will not be using it in the future. You really have to have a lot of prior knowledge before your search. You cannot browse! To find library 2.0 successfully, you much search via posts rather than blogs. I tried the whats popular tag and and it was “currently unavailable.”
Tagging is a great tool, but it needs to be done in such a way that even the most clueless person could benefit from them! Ah, yes, that includes me!
After spending part of this glorious Sunday with coffee and the boy, it’s time to get down to blog business! Commenting…..I don’t do it often. Some might say it’s a self esteem issue – in that I wonder why anyone would care about my opinion! But after reading “Cool Cat Teacher’s” blog entry I am seeing the light. The blogs I do read are those that I am highly interested in, and choose to invest time in for a reason. They are either professional in nature and/or are about something I hold dear. I can add to the conversation as long as what I have to say is meaningful and constructive.
I really liked Cool Cat’s observation about how commenting can improve the writer’s work. How true that is. I think we put more thought into what we write if we know someone else will be looking at it and adding their 2 cents. And regarding how words can hurt…another reason to be very deliberative before striking the keys.
Two blogs I have followed for years have to do with something I hold close to my heart. Soldiers Angels, a nonprofit organization that sends care packages to our deployed guys and girls. I have followed MaryAnn’s Blog, Soldier' Angels Germany, for years. She volunteers at the military hospital in Germany, and sits with our wounded service members whose family cannot be with them. She is an awesome woman. I also follow Blackfive, which is a military blog. I am off to comment on my classmates blogs!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I cataloged the 5 books that have impacted me the most: The Little Prince, The Gift of Nothing, Edward Tulane, and recently The Book Thief, and Scaredy Squirrel! And believe it or not, there is another person out there that has 4 of my 5 books on their list too…..lol!
Author chat and book talk groups could be used with older kids. I’ll wait for an author I know and check that out. When I have more time I’ll devote it to the site. This will be fun!
First, I went to Big Huge Labs and did a jigsaw puzzle of my boy in action! How fun was that!?!
Next, I played with Image Chef and wrote a not so secret message to YOU. And YOU know who YOU are. Yes, YOU up there in your huge well-fortified castle.
This is from Happy Face Generator, and it is in fact a self portrait. Yep…..I’m a bit frazzled right now. But the first draft of that big, big, big grant is done, done, done!
All of these image generators were very easy to use and really fun. Kids could include them in practically any technology project. I wonder if my district blocks these though…will find out tomorrow! How fun!!!