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!


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!