Monday, November 15, 2010

Thing 23

Some of my favorite activities in this assignment were Photostory, image generators, and mashups.  I also liked discovering some of the library-related blogs that are out there.  Now if there was only enough time in the day to delve into all of this new information....

I have to say that for the most part I have enjoyed this assignment.  There were things that I had heard of before but was too intimidated to try.  Having the tutorials at my fingertips was extremely helpful to understanding the steps.  Working through these steps has helped to make all of this technology just a little less scary.

I think that one way to improve on the 23 Things program would be to update some of the assignments to some of the newest "tricks" that people are coming up with.  For example, the Technorati assignment did not work well, but there are new ideas that could be substituted for it.  Prezi and Animoto are two ideas that come to mind.  I do think that I would enjoy going through the steps of another discovery program like this in the future.  What is nice about this setup is that you can work at your own pace.  In an in-service-type format, there is limited time to explore and understand what is going on.

In a word, this assignment has bolstered my confidence toward expanding my horizons in the technology field.  Thank you.

Thing 22

I can see where Ning would have some benefits to educators, especially since everyone involved with the site have the same interests.  I found two links that I actually added to my Favorites page so that I can follow up with them later in my own school library.  Here they are for you to view too:

Cute PowerPoint about keeping the library neat and orderly.  I also like the idea of kindergartners snuggling with a library friend while reading their books.  I have about 30-40 Beanie Babies that someone donated to the library before I came on board.  Right now that just occupy space behind a cabinet door.  Not for long now!

The following is a TeacherTube video that a librarian created, with her daughters' assistance, on how to take care of library books.  It's what we talk about with kinder at the beginning of school; this gives another reinforcement to that lesson.

Thing 21

I had fun with Photostory.  I can see how this would be useful in a classroom setting.  Teachers could take pictures of final assessment projects throughout the year and create a looping video to play during the end of year activities.  In the library it could be used for the annual Bluebonnet book list.  A book cover can appear, followed by a teaser sentence or two about the book.  Librarians could use it to introduce the year's new list to the students.

I used Photostory with pictures taken from a DisneyWorld trip a few summers ago.  3 of our 4 sons went, along with my brother's family.  What great memories we have - so much so that we went the following summer and took my sister's family too!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thing 20

YouTube and TeacherTube are fun to explore, especially when there is plenty of time to spend on it.  I looked at quite a few videos about the library but the one I chose to embed has a story to tell about our future in this chosen career path.  It is a series of quotes about libraries and librarians and our roles in using technology.  One quote essentially stated that if we aren't considered an expert in technology then we really don't have any business being a librarian.  Ouch.

Thing 19

I found the Web 2.0 Awards list rather interesting.  I expected to see Google Maps in the number one slot for maps, but I was a little surprised to see Twitter over Facebook.  Everyone I know uses Facebook!  A few other number one observations:

Photos and digital images: Flickr - I thought this site was hard to navigate.  I didn't attempt to search through Picnik and Picasa - I hope those two are not even more difficult!

Professional Networking/Employment and Jobs: This caught my eye as my husband has been looking to move away from self-employment and back into the 'regular' workforce.  He was recently told that Everybody who's Anybody is on Linkedin, so that one wasn't a surprise.  However, Standout Jobs was listed ahead of Career Builder and Monster.  I went into Standout Jobs, entered "marketing" and "Houston" and got a 0 response.  When I changed it to just "Houston", I still had a 0 response.  Career Builder found 1,795 responses, Monster had 1,000.

Games: A time-waster that I fight against is online games, such as Scrabble, Solitaire, etc.  I saw that Zango has the #1 slot for games; now I know what site to avoid!

As I was about to leave the site, I noticed that the list was dated 2008 and had a link to nominate candidate sites for the 2009 year.  I just wonder who manages/managed the site and how they awarded the rankings.

Thing 18

I really thought that OpenOffice would be a great source for me to use, but I found it very frustrating while trying to navigate through the site.  I never was able to find anything that looked like a document, instead I was shifted from one link to another that just told me about the product and how it can be used. 

I'm not too keen on Google Docs at the moment either.  At my school, we do not have AR testing of books, so I asked my campus tech help me make a Google Docs page where the students would be able to keep track of the Bluebonnet books they read.  Only half of the book titles appear on the page.  I've had another technology person help me make another page from scratch, but it's through our teacher website rather than the district website.  I haven't received approval from the district technology person to make the switch from one web format to the other yet.  I do feel that the Google Docs problem is in the way D. originally set it up, but at the same time I wish Google Docs was designed differently.  Apparently they only allow a maximum of 10 things (in my case book titles) in their programmed document, so to add the other 10 titles from the list some manipulation of the form is in order.  D. didn't know about the manipulation part.

Thing 17

On the Rollyo website, I used their resources to create a link to library lesson ideas.  I found quite a number of sites that can be used to get ideas from.  Through Rollyo I found one of them, , that actually helped to verify that what I am doing in my library now is on target with other librarians.  I just have not taken the time to put myself on the web too!

Here is my link to Rollyo: