Saturday, September 12, 2009

How I'm using this class!

Here are 2 wikis I have set up for school.

http://magrillmustangs.wikispaces.com/


http://magrillmustangtales.wikispaces.com/

Here's a photostory I made about one of my favorite things to do when I'm home. I'm relaxing in a rocker watching my cardinals raise their young.


video

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thing #23 Summary

I am so glad that I decided to jump in and get started on completing 23 Things. Once I started, I new I would finish it, that's just the way I am. It kept me busy this summer, since it was a stay- at-home summer for me.

One of the first things we did, our blog, was one of my favorites. Along with that, learning how to find interesting blogs, getting involved with them, and being able to keep up with them in RSS feed. I have always been a google user, but I am really a google fan now with my igoogle page, reader, picasa, google docs. I love my Google! My other favorite was getting to make my own Photostory. It really was as easy as I had heard. It's one of those thing I will use now and in the future, at least until something even better comes along.

23 Things gave me the plan and the goal to get on the internet and discover all the things I had heard about and not made the time explore. With the guide of the 23 things and the support from the producers, a long hot summer, lots of time, and a new computer, I feel I accomplished a major goal in my technology learning. Now I want to make time to further explore some of the fascinating things I was introduced to this summer. I also appreciate the 18 CPEs!

The most unexpected outcome for me is this new community of bloggers that I have discovered. I have met professional people as well as people interested my hobbies that I want to continue to communicate with. Since I do live out in the country, communicating on the internet can be much more accessible for me than meeting in the physical.

The best thing you can do with this learning adventure is to do it again! I know there will be new things that I have not yet discovered in the next year or two. I would also like to be able to encourage members of the staff I work with to participate as well.

The 23 Things was an awesome summer adventure in learning Web 2.0 and I recommend it to anyone willing to jump in and do it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #22

The Ning is a great improvement over other social networks because it can be focused to a certain interest that the members of the group have in common. Members can share ideas, videos, and pictures that are of interest. I have experimented with twitter and facebook this summer and have not found them to be particularly beneficial in a professional manner. Facebook is fine for keeping up with what friends and colleagues have been up to over the summer, but I don't see that I will pay much attention to it once school starts. The Texas School Librarian Ning has a lot to offer on a professional level for a specific group of people - even though there are a lot of us.
The other aspect of a Ning that stands out is the ease starting your own Ning. A Ning could be used for collaboration among students in a class. Just saying that makes me realize that a Ning is somewhat similar to other things we have explored, like a wiki, it can be a place to collaborate and share ideas among professionals.There are so many ways we can be in a social community on the internet that it is getting overwhelming. I feel the need to limit my interests here to keep it manageable.

Thing #21 My Photostory

I have been wanting to try this out for quite sometime, but just never got it done.
This one can be used for one of my reading incentive programs. I haven't checked into this yet, but I expect I will be able to put this in my newsletter wiki for teachers to view and I can also show it to the students.
A few of the uses that come to mind are book reviews, short tutorials, and award list promotions. It' a great alternative to a powerpoint presentation, which is getting over-exposed in my opinion. This would also be useful to have prepared to use when I am out of the library, so whatever I planned to teach a class can still happen without me there!


video

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thing #20

This youtube video could inspire me to make one of my own to show elementary students the things that really annoy the librarian and her assistant. It could be used as part of orientation.




Well, that seemed to be fairly easy to do!

Now I'll take a look at teachertube - which has recently become unblocked in my district.

Wow - great resources there! I came across a group of videos called "Idiom of the Week" produced by the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Students acted out the idioms using sign language, but with words to read along, which makes these extra interesting. Fourth grade LA teachers always have a hard time getting idioms to make sense to the students. I think these will be a great help. Teachertube was just allowed during the spring of 09, so I may spend some time helping teachers out with this one, if needed. Like I mentioned before, teachers are more tech savvy than they used to be.

It's great to know about Zamzar and Blinkx for those sources the district will invariably block.

Thing #19

When I first looked at this list of award winning web tools, I was glad to see that I am familiar with many of them. Some of them I became familiar with during the 23 things activities and some I have explored on my own. I have a Twitter and a Facebook account. I don't find a lot of real value in the social networks, but they did help me keep up with colleagues during the summer, however, when school starts I don't see me using it much. I found one thing on twitter that is very useful to me or anyone with a long commute to work. I get traffic tweets from Jennifer on channel 2 during morning rush hour. It's difficult to get good traffic reports on the radio, but her twitter updates are great on can go to my phone! By the way, I'm not driving most of the time. My husband and I drive in together 55 miles for me, and 60 for him.

I will be using PBwiki in the library this year for my newsletter to teachers and maybe even to parents this year. Unlike many of the other Web 2.0 tools, wikis aren't blocked in our district so I will be able to use it. Once I am accomplished with using it myself, maybe I can instruct classroom teachers on how to use it as well. The wiki is such as great tool for libraries because it allows more opportunities to collaborate when I a physical meeting with teachers and staff is very difficult to obtain. I would prefer face to face, but with busy schedules, it doesn't happen, so the wiki will be my tool.

I was also interested in docstoc, spanishpod ($) and hairmixer. All these tools were fun to explore.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #18

The big benefit of these online productivity tools is that they are free and available to anyone with an internet connection to download. They work a lot like the expensive counterparts, but without quite all the features. Even with free downloading available, not everyone has access to internet and the know how to do it. I was surprised at how long it took Open Office to download on my computer.
What I plan to make use of is Googledocs. I used this in an earlier thing to create a spreadsheet to share with teachers for book fair sign up. I'm not sure how well it will work, but I am going to give it a try. Years ago many teachers were not very computer savvy, but that has changed in the last few years. You can't keep up without strong computer knowledge.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thing #17

Rollyo is one of the things that I had never heard of or even imagined. The ability to make your own custom search engine is a phenomenal thing for teachers and librarians. It provides a way to help keep students on track and make their searching more efficient. In my district we have NeTrekker, which helps a lot in that aspect as students and teachers are only searching educationally appropriate sites, but this fine tunes that idea even more. I can see many possible uses for sharing your search rolls. Rather than me emailing out a list of links about upcoming holidays, I could make a search roll and send that out or just make it available to teachers in my wiki! Here again I find so many things I want to do, but so little time to do them. This experience with all these great tools will get me to using some of them!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thing #16

Wikis are such a wonderful collaboration tool that soon everyone will be using them. We have one for our district librarians. At first I thought it was just another time consuming thing to check each day, but actually it is a time saver. It's getting hard to imagine communicating the way we did before internet at all! I attempted to make a wiki for my library newsletter last year but didn't get it started up, so I went ahead and did them in publisher and emailed them. I have a hard time collaborating with the teachers at school due to scheduling that I hope I can get them involved in a wiki with me as well. I can even forsee the possibility of a wiki for communicating with parents rather than setting up a website.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thing #15

Library 2.0 exemplefies what libraries have been doing for years, serving library patrons the best way they can. Libraries have to fill the patron's needs. Whether it's a librarian traveling on horseback to get books to a remote location or a librarian tweeting about a new book, libraries and librarians are where the patrons are. A quality that libraries and librarians truly need is flexibilty and the will to change.

I read all the 5 perspectives from the OCLC newsletter. Reading the perspectives made me feel good about where librarians have been, where we are now and where we are going to be in the future, which is right on top of the situation.

Thing #14

Technorati is great tool for searching blogs. I really found searching by tags as a very useful element. If you weren't able to fine what you are searching in one option, try another.
I wasn't too surprised by the popular searches, eventhough they are not the types of things I search. It looked more like topics on the entertainment shows on TV with a few news headlines added in. I added the Technorati top tags to my blog. I really like that cloud of words. If I were asked a few months ago what a cloud was pertaining to the internet, I would have had no idea.

Thing #13

I experimented with Delicious earlier this year and found it first, to be a great way to organize and access my own bookmarks. With further experimentation, I see how I can generate bookmarks to share with classroom teachers from delicious rather than copy and pasteing them into an email. Hopefully this will encourage them to explore delicious as well and begin to use it with collegues as well as students. I am at an elementary school, so there is not a huge amount of internet use for projects going on, but with our TEKS being more involved with research this year, this may be in higher demand.

I checked out the other sights mentioned and may use some as well, but I feel Delicious will be of most benefit for me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thing #12

Most important to me about commenting on a blog, is that you contribute something meaningful to the conversation and stay on the subject of the thread. I have read some where commenters get way off the subject at hand. I raise guineafowl and joined a group of others guinea raisers. I asked questions to help me out with some new keets and got some wonderful answers, however sometimes the other members got way off track. I thinks some of it was just for fun as the people seem to know each other, at least in cyberspace.


Another hobby of mine is horses. I am looking for a good blog and may have found one dealing with the Parelli method of training. I am signed up on twitter with the Parelli as well and receive updates from them on my phone. It's no wonder we see so many people glued to their telephones! Almost all of this can be picked up on your phone if it will handle it. My phone's not quite there, but my next one probably will be. I have commented on several other horse or farm related blogs and have gotten responses. One of them joined my blog for this class! I mentioned some of our common interests to her on my comment. It sounds like I may have a new friend in New York! I have also enjoyed commenting and receiving comments from other library2play blogs. They are so interesting to read.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #11

I have heard of LibraryThing before from other librarians, but I hadn't taken a look at it yet. I'm glad it was included in 23things! I have some teachers at school that need to get involved in this, like the reading specialist. The librarian group is definately of interest to me, so I joined that one. There sure needs to be more that 24 hours in a day for me to get to all the things on the internet that I find interesting as well as beneficial.

Thing #10

www.smileyfacegenerator.com

I've been out for awhile with company, but I'm back and ready to finish this up. The image generators are a great source for capturing students, as well as teachers, attention. There are many ways to create cute signs and comics to direct and inform students in a clever way. I like the signs with the smiley faces like the one above. I also made a more personal trading card to give to my daughter-in-law. The smiley one was easy and quick, I found some to be more complicated and stressful on my old computer's memory.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thing #9

This Thing gave me a headache! There are sooooo many blogs out there and some of them are a senseless waste of time and space. I have to look pretty far to find anything interesting. Google, which usually is my favorite, is easy to use, as well as Edublog. Maybe it is just my "summer brain" but this was hard for me to get into. I liked looking into the "Best" blogs on edublog. I thought I was going to like library blogs on suprglu, but I found it confusing. One thing for sure, you can find a blog out there about anything you're interested in if you have the time and patience to look. I am raising guinea fowl, which is something many people have never heard of, and found a few blogson thim and other farm animals.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing #8

Setting up Google Reader was pretty easy. I put some professional as well as some personal blogs there to read. I can ceratinly see how this can save time if you get hooked on reading all these various blogs. I don't see how I'll have time to keep track of this, but there is a great deal of information available at our fingertips. I am beginning to feel a sense of information overload already. Teachers, librarians and administrators can certainly make use of keeping track of blogs where they continually find useful information. Using the search feature withing the program will make that information accessible to them. Another great timesaving tool!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thing #7

I have been a big Google fan since I first began using it in library school with Dr. Bell. I use alot of it on a regualr basis, so I chose someting to explore that I had not gotten to yet. I set up a Google Alert and have already received an alert about the Bureau of Land Managemeny Mustang Adoption that I set it up for. That will be interesting. I love the iGoogle page that I set up because it has so many gadgets that help to personalize it for me. I can see my internet time going up already. The most useful thing I am going to try out is Google Docs. I set up an experimental one to use for book fair sign up in the fall. This one could save me some email time. Here is the link:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ArreNpU7j3VCclVLc25UcV82d3FtU0U2QzIwSndFMGc&hl=en

Thing #6

I have really enjoyed Flickr and all the mashups and other fantasic apps created from it. There are some really creative people out there that have much more time to spend on the computer than I do. If I could use this at school there would be lots of creative uses. The magazine cover would be interesting to use if I were able to. Maybe someday things like this won't be blocked in my district. I made a trading card for my son and daughter -in-law, loved the mosaics and looking at the endless inspiration off all those pictures.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thing #5


I spent way too much time exploring Flickr! I have taken lots of great pictures of things going on in my library that I can now share! I enjoyed library groups sharing pictures and talking about them and can see myself doing the same. There are also vintage pictures that have been uploaded that I was surprised to see. There was an old picture of my home town, Dodge City during the dustbowl. I have downloaded a picture of my assistant's pet peeve - messy shelves!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thing #3

I'm really glad the blog setup is completed so I can get on with the exploration. It won't be nearly as difficult the next time. Of course I realize I made it hard on myself by thinking I could do it without reading ALL the directions. Well, I surely did have to read them all. That avatar was tricky. If I had only just gone on and read the next sentence, I would have finished much sooner. Now I am looking forward to going back and doing some tweaking!

Thing #2

I was glad to discover that the 71/2 habits are habits of mine. The hardest thing for me is finding the time to play. I have to make time for that and it should be higher on my priority list. I love to use and explore new technology, however, I do get frustrated when occasionally, it doesn't come easy. I'm enjoying this exploration, but I sure wish I wasn't using an 8 year old computer, even if it has been upgraded a couple times!

Thing #1

OK, it looks like I'm here. I'm having some Old Computer difficulties, but I'm going to keep trying.