Friday, July 11, 2008

Thing #23 - Summarize Your Thoughts About This Program

1. Online image generator was my favorite “thing” (I thought of so many different ways I can use this resource with my students), but I have to say I spent the most time on blogging. My family and I spent three weeks in Florida this summer and I posted to my personal blog at least once every day. Some days I was blogging more than anything else. Every time I took a picture with my Blackberry my son would say, “we have to wait for mama to blog this before we go!” Great fun.
2. It has made me re-evaluate what I am doing as an educator for my students and how I can make adjustments to my program. I want to continue searching for free online resources that will help me assist my students in their use of technology. I am one of the ones that has had to learn technology as an adult, my students live in a world where they have been totally surrounded by technology their entire life. They HAVE to know how to use these resources or they will be completely left behind not only in the learning, but in the life.
3. Yes, I have found so many different ways I can improve the way I work with students and teachers. I feel like I have learned so much my brain will explode, but now I can take these “things” back to my school and help my teachers become more productive. The time saving aspect of the resources makes this so much more beneficial than I ever dreamed. Thank you!
4. I think this is a great way to learn. I could work on this wherever I am with my computer as long as I had an Internet connection. You never even knew that I was sitting next to my pool getting a great tan! J
5. Most definitely. I appreciate being offered your expertise even though I am not involved in your school district.

6. Enlightening

Thing #22 - Nings

I have been a member of the Texas School Librarian Ning for some time (can’t really remember when I joined, but I was one of the first members). Honestly I have not done a great deal with the site. I would like to, but more than anything else I would like to create a Ning specifically for early childhood librarians. I know we are few and far between, but I think it would be great to have our own little community where we can share ideas that relate only to serving the early childhood community. I would want to be very specific in who is involved in the Ning. I would want it to be school people who service Pre-K and Kindergarten students. I know elementary schools have these grade levels, but I don’t really want to know what they are doing in 3rd and 4th grade and that is what happens too often with a community of people who service older children too. I want to share and gather ideas from other people who are like me and work with the very young children in the public school. I know this is probably being very picky, but if I am going to dream, I might as well dream big. Besides, if I create the Ning, I can have it however I want! Maybe this will be a new project for me…after I have grasped everything I can about the 23 Things.

Thing #21 - Podcasts and Audiobooks

I would like to use podcasts this next school year to promote books to my students as well as to allow the students to "book talk" their favorite books to their friends. I think it would be a great way for the students to interact with technology and promote books to their friends.

I have used Audacity and Camtasia to create instructional videos for my teachers. It is a wonderful resource for staff development follow-up. It gives them the opportunity to go back and review the step by step instructions.

I created a photostory of the 18 years Walter and I have been together. We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in May. Photostory is a great way for students to show sequencing or tell a story using photographs, whether photos taken my the students or selected by the teacher. It is easier for the student sto use this program than PowerPoint, and just as fun.

***I have tried unsucessfully to upload the video of my photstory. If you can offer any advice, please let me know. Thank you.***

Thing #20 - YouTube and TeacherTube

Since I am an early childhood librarian, I decided to search for early childhood libraries in YouTube. I found the greatest video of a three year old named Azalea and her visit to the Baltimore County Public Library. I loved seeing all of the different things she could do and it justified the importance of my job as an early childhood librarian even more by watching and listening to her interact with all of the resources available in her library. It inspired me to add additional items to the library for the children to have access to during their visits.

I was very disappointed to find no videos on early childhood libraries when I visited TeacherTube. Instead I searched for early literacy and had 20 search results. The majority of the videos were free reading lessons on topics ranging from counting words in a sentence to writing letters. A rather informative video on the different stages of writing would be a very useful tool for teachers who are not familiar with the earliest stages of the writing process.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards List

I was excited to see that a number of the award winning sites were sites in which I am familiar, so more familair than others. I LOVE Facebook. It has become one of my obsessions. When I was recently on vacation, I was having withdrawal because I could not get on Facebook and interact with my friends. Now, I DID download the mobile application so I could e-mail and have limited interaction, but it was not the same. I was so excited when I returned and I could play Scrabulous with my friend in Thailand, scratch my scratch off tickets, play my slots, and work on my Green Patch. I know it sounds crazy, but it is so much fun.

I was also thrilled to see Etsy on the list of award winning sites. My cousin, Charlotte, has her jewelry for sale on this site. It has been a great way for her to sell her jewelry around the world and not just in the tiny west Texas town she lives. I have also found some great handmade items on this site. I can get lost (and spend LOTS of money) for hours on Etsy.

Thing #18 - Online Productivity Tools

I started using Google Docs a few months ago. I love the way I can share documents I have created with others as well as having access to them at all times simply by logging into my Google account.

I have been trying to convince my son to use this resource for some of his school work. I know it
will ease a great deal of his frustration with his working being either at school or at home when he needs it. This way he can access it in both places easily.

What a great tool. Wish I had thought of it!!!

Thing #17 - Rollyo

I'm not sure that I did this whole thing correctly. I have tried to upload my bookmarks three different times. I followed the directions provided, but get a blank screen with "done" in the lower left corner after every attempt. Once I go back to my Rollyo page, I can't find that the bookmarks have been exported.

I created a searchroll for the upcoming fantasy football season. This will enable me to find the latest results and information I will need during pre-season when I am drafting my team as well as during the season to watch my players and potential pick-ups.

Thing #16 - Wikis

I have used a few wikis in the past in my school. Last year as a school we used a wiki in order to write our school's mission statement. It allowed the entire faculty to have input but gave us the flexibility to do it on our own time. We did not have to constantly meet and discuss what we wanted to say. It also allowed up the ability to go back and review previous posts.

This year instead of forcing my teachers to make a time for a meeting during the day, I would like to set up collaboration wikis. I think it would be a great way to brainstorm ideas and share them not only with the teacher I am currently working with, but also allow other teachers to see what we have done and are doing together in the library. Since collaboration is such an important component, I believe this will not only provide all of us the flexibility to work together, but also give us a chance to provide that input for each other, even if it is in the middle of the night (when I tend to have the best ideas ... and not always a great time for a meeting!). It is also a great way to document this collaborative effort.

Thing #15 - Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the Future of Libraries

I was tickled by the "just in case" collection metioned in Rick Anderson's post "Away fromth 'Icebergs'. I was in the mindset of having two sets of printed encyclopedias ... for FOUR YEAR OLDS (how crazy am I?), until this past year. I finally got it into my head that, number 1 they can't read anyhow, why have these huge resources in which they will proably NEVER even look (especially where I had to have them on the shelf), and number 2 why not withdraw them and allow the shelf to be used for placing materials that might actually be opened (at least once) by some of our library patrons. I had these resources "just in case" someone needed them. Well, now with the online databases, I didn't feel the need to have these out of date books up on the shelf. Yes, ten years ago someone might have accessed these books, but now they are just not vital to the collection.

I'm really having to think hard about how I can implement 2.0 into my school library. I feel limited as to what I can do because of the age of my students, but I have to remember, I also work with adults. I can take these different "things" and incorporate them into my interactions and teachings with my classroom teachers. Too often I only focus on the children. I need to step back and remember I also serve the facult and staff, as well as the parents in my building. The focus of the 2.0 resources do not simply have to be for the students. They can enhance all areas of the library and all patrons as well. My brain is on overload thinking of all of the different ways I can implement these tasks I have been working on for the past six weeks.

Thing #14 - Technorati and How Tags Work

1. Yes, the results are different. When I did the keyword search, I found information in the blogs on "School Library Learning 2.0", but when I did the tag search, I had fewer results. There were only two blogs. When a blogger is very specific in using tags, the search results are so much more defined. Tagging makes it easier to find what you looking for, but the blogger has to be the one to define their posts with their tags.

2. I had never heard of Boing Boing (most popular blog in the world, as ranked by yet it held the #1 spot on the list of "Top 100 Blogs" and was #5 on the list of "Top 100 Blogs by authority. It was interesting to see how the same blogs seemed to be on the two lists...TechCrunch and Engadget were two others that were in the top 5 of each of the lists. I guess if bloggers use the appropriate authority tags where people can find their information it makes for a much better reader base, makes sense.

3. Technorati seems too difficult for me to completely grasp. Maybe I am not spending enough time exploring the different areas. I guess this would be a great resource for researching a topic in order to find others writing or researching in the same field. I wanted to claim my personal blog on Technorati, but then changed my mind. My blog is not a secret, but I don't know if I would want the world to know everything my friends and family know, even though anyone can access my blog. I guess that is a double standard, but it is how I feel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thing #13 - Tagging and Discover

I love It has made it so much easier to keep track of the various personal and professional websites I use (some on a daily basis, but most once or twice a month). I especially like being able to access my bookmarks from anywhere. Prior to using I would have a difficult time trying to find the website I needed because the URL was posted in my favorites but I was on the wrong computer. Now, I can be on anyone's computer and have access to all of my favorite websites without having to remember the URL. Now, I need a way to remember all of my various login informaiton in a secure way. I guess that would not be best to have access to online, but at least I would not have to constantly have an e-mail sent to me because I can't remember my username and/ or password! Hmmm...something to create, or maybe it is already out there and I just need to find it!

Thing #12 - Creating Community Through Commenting

1.A. Profile name vs. Real name

I have been reading and commenting on my friend's blog for a number of months now. When I make a comment, I have used my real name. This trend started by mistake actually, but I never made the change. When I enrolled as one of her readers, I entered my e-mail address and my name. It didn't occur to me at the time to enter a different name. Now, when I respond to posts on my blog, I always use my profile name. Again, this just happened, but in order to stay consistant I didn't change anything.

1.B. Responding to comments

I always feel the need to respond to a comment someone leaves on my blog. It makes me feel like I am letting the person know I am listening and validating their comments, but don't always post them publicly. If a question is posted, I can provide an answer in this manner, in case other readers have the same question. I like the fact that Draper defends those who do not respond on their blog to comments. I don't think it is necessary to respond to all comments because some of them are simply fluff the reader feels the need to show their appreciation or personal view point. In the same manner, not all comments need to be posted for the world to see. I have set up my blog so I can moderate the comments. If I don't feel it is an important / valid comment I do not publish it on my blog.

2. I responded to the following blogs : Life Long Learning, Paddy Whack, Texas Gal Talks, Kinder2:), Library Lion .

3. My favorite blog to read is my elementary best friend's blog. I try to read it every day. It helps me keep in touch with her and know what she and her family are doing in Thailand (her husband was transferred in January). I love the pictures and her posts are just like talking to her. It really is like sitting down to talk to an old friend. Well, trying to find another blog that I would read for personal interest was a little more difficult. I love so many different things and to limit it on this post to just one was not easy. However, I did find the blog of one of my favorite authors to be most enjoyable. I fell in love with Outlander in the early 90s when my sister-in-law introduced me to them. I love the characters so much that I have been reading the fourth book in the series for the past 7 years. When I pick up the book, I limit myself to only a chapter or two. I don't want the book to end. I know this sounds crazy, but I am very involved in the character's lives.

Thing #11 - LibraryThing

I have been a member of LibraryThing for a while. I started entering books read from January 2006. I love the ability to add tags, record the date the book was read. I am also a member of Shelfari. I believe I enjoy working more on Shelfari because it seems that I can do more in the program with my books. However, I could just feel this way because I have worked with the program more and have figured out how to network.

I introduced this site to my son's Humanities teacher and she had her students set up an account so they could begin entering the books they read over the summer. She has given them the power to share books with each other over the summer, but at the same time makes them accountable to her for their summer reading assignments.

I have been recording the books I have read since I was a child (not consistantly because I am constantly loosing the books in which I record the information). My mother has been recording her books since 1964. In fact this summer I have been entering her books into Shelfari so she can see the books she has read and allow her friends to see them too.

Thing #10 - Online Image Generator

Again I have lost a couple of hours "playing around"! I don't know where the times goes. I had a blast creating all kinds of fun images using the various image gnerators. My favorite was Big Huge Labs. These are some of my favorites.

I love the warholized picture of my son. This is one of my very favorite pictures of him and it really looks cool with this affect.

I created this trading card for our upcoming family reunion. The first card is in memory of my cousin Cynthia. I was with her at this time last year when she found out her breast cancer had spread throughout her body. We were not able to go to our family reunion last year because she was in the hospital. We talked to the family on the phone from her hospital room. This year I would like to give these cards to our family as a remembrance of Cynthia and a reminder that annual mammograms are vital for early detection. She was diagnosed in November 2006. She did not even survive for a year. She was only 37. Too many times women are not allowed annual mammograms through their insurance until they are 40. By that time it might be too late. Cynthia's sister, Charlotte and I have become even more involved in breast cancer awareness since Cynthia's death.

I would love to use the trading cards this next year in order to promote the Texas 2x2 list to my students. I think it would be great to create a trading card for each book and when the students have had the book read to them, they can get the trading card.

I have created the following example from the 2008 list.