Wordle: Diane

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thing #23 - I made it!

I can't believe I finally finished. When I think back to how long it took me to get my blog started, it is a huge relief to have made it through. But honestly, I have had a lot of fun and I'm amazed at how much I have learned. I have already started using a few of the "things" with my kids.

1. Out of everything we worked on I have to say my favorite was
bighugelabs. Everything from the mosaic maker to the trading cards was great! There were so many things to do you couldn't do them all. Wow! I am so glad that I learned about this one.

2. Working on a project like this really changes your thinking. You know you have a lot to learn, but until you actually become immersed in this new world, you're clueless. It reminds me of what Dr. Claes always tells us, "You don't know what you don't know." Now that I know all of these wonderful tools are out there I will start using them with my students. Web 2.0 supports information literacy - teaching critical thinking skills and problem solving. You can't complete these types of activities without using these skills.

3. I feel the most surprising thing about this whole assignment is that I finally "get" blogging. I am 45 years old. I was not raised on a computer - I was raised with telephones and cell phones. Everytime someone would tell me how much time they spent on
Facebook or Twitter, I would think how stupid. Why would anyone spend so much time typing up their thoughts and feelings on a computer when they could just call a friend on the phone? Now that I have been working with this blog for several weeks I finally understand the fascination with it. It is uplifting when someone has commented on something you shared.

4. Question four is a tough one. At first I would have said a few more instructions would have been nice. There were several "moments of frustration." The thought of tossing my laptop brought a smile to my face many times. Now, thinking back over the whole experience, I would say the directions were fine just the way they were. The more you have to work at something - the more you learn. And let's be honest, the different areas of expertise each of us brought to the table created a sense of camaraderie. We all asked each other questions as we worked through this.

5. If you were to add another session like this, I would definitely participate. I am a lifelong learner, so anytime there is an opportunity to "add to my toolbox," count me in!

6. This experience was "well worth the stress." I enjoyed learning new things and felt a sense of satisfaction everytime I completed one - but I definitely leave with newly acquired grey hairs.

Well I'm off to do so commenting. Stay tuned for future updates. Remember - Same time, same place, same bat channel ..... or something like that!

Thing #22 - Nings

I wasn't real impressed with the social networking aspect of Nings, but I looked at some other items that I found to be useful. On Texas Librarian Thing I found this cute booktrailer for a Bluebonnet Book. I believe sharing booktrailers with our students would be very exciting. Eventually I would like to see the students at my school creating their own trailers.

Find more videos like this on TLNing

What about sharing contests with our students and then sharing their entries. This example is a first grade entry into a Storytube Contest.

Find more videos like this on TLNing

I believe our students would find it empowering to see what other children are out there creating.

When I checked out Texas School Librarian Ning, I found information that would be helpful to librarians as professionals. It offers articles on very relevant topics along with a chat board to ask questions and get answers from fellow librarians. Any time that necessary information is readily available - that's a good thing!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thing #21 - Podcasts and Videocasts

I was really enjoying using Photostory until I couldn't get it loaded onto my blog. The directions on how to load it looked very user-friendly. Unfortunately, the icon that I'm suppose to click on (the little filmstrip) isn't on my toolbar. Now what? I'm clueless.

Thank God the HELP button really finds help for your questions. I typed in my question and it actually gave me the correct answer to solve my problem. The "help" button with most software stinks!

Click on the arrow below

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thing #20 - You Tube and Teacher Tube

I love YouTube and TeacherTube.  There are a lot of neat things that are created and shared on their links.  You do have to be careful though.  Make sure you view the entire piece before you share it with your kids, and don't be surprised if it's here today and gone tomorrow.  I have learned the hard way that things sometimes disappear overnight.  I hope you enjoy the bluebonnets of Texas.  We are working on our Big6 project and two of my students are studying bluebonnets.  I found something they might want to share!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards List

Wow!  There is a lot of cool stuff here!  I really enjoyed looking at the librarian stuff on PBworks.  There was actually a page for students called "Wiki Etiquette for Students."  That is definitely something we need to teach our students about.  Next I checked out Wikispaces.  From there I clicked under library resources and I found this neat site called Flash Card Maker.   I could really see myself using this or having the students create their own cards.  I also took a look at Writeboard.  I think one of the neat things it has to offer is that kids can actually compare two versions of the same paper that they have written. 

On the personal side I started playing around with Lulu.  I had fun with the books and calendars sections.  I already have a great idea for a special birthday present.

You can view the entire list at Web 2.0 Awards List.  Have fun!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thing 18 - Online Productivity Tools

I'm very disappointed with this one.  I really wanted to check-out OpenOffice but it wouldn't download.  While looking at the overview, there was a specific section labeled for "education."  Perhaps in the future it will cooperate. 

GoogleDocs did work.  This site offered a lot of options.  You can use it for spreadsheets, budgets, powerpoints, calendars and more.  I think my favorite was Jeopardy

I think the options that GoogleDocs offers is great.  The ability for more than one person to work on a document is really neat - especially with all this talk about collaborating.  One thing that annoys me about OpenOffice is that you have to download it.  I like being able to access GoogleDocs without downloading a major program - just individual templates.   If you have had a great experience with OpenOffice share it with me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thing #17 - Rollyo

Rollyo seems pretty cool! I am having trouble getting my Rollyo search links on my blog though.  If anyone reads this and knows the answer - please help!!    Here is a link to "my essentials."  Once I get Rollyo properly linked to my blog, this will be great.  There are certain things I check everyday and this will certainly save me time.  They will all be in one place - plus it will give me jumping off points into new topics each day.  What a neat idea.

Thing 16 - Wikis

This is one of my favorites from 23 Things.  The many applications for Wikis are exciting.  I really like the fact that it is easy to use.  I just started a class read aloud of "Hector Mireles and the Battle of the Alamo" and I think a class Wiki might be a neat addition.  I have been using the strategy "Stop-n-jot" - I think this will actually be better.  Instead of having students offer to read what they have written, they can actually post them on our Wiki.  My students really enjoy using computers - so this will add to their writing pleasure. 

I thought the video from CommonCraft was very helpful.  I like the way they present their videos to make technology more user friendly. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thing 15 - Perspectives

I think it's interesting to read all the different perspectives on the future of libraries.  Nobody is really sure what every aspect will look like, but everybody has their set of ideas.  In "To better bibliographic services ," Riemer thinks we should have web features on our library sites.  He thinks we should let kids write book reviews and create tags on our library websites (i.e. Amazon and Google. )  I also liked his discussion of "metadata."  He did a good job of helping me understand how information was layered into databases by embedding additional information into topics.  I knew this, but his short blurb helped me "see" it.
Dr. Schultz really connected with me in "To a temporary place in time... "  I loved the way she discussed the progression of libraries.  I also benefitted from reading "Visioning the school library 2.0."  I liked how this article discussed "a vision - not the vision."  Nobody is sure exactly how it's going to look, or if there should only be one way.  With 2.0 everything should constantly be changing or evolving.

What do you think?  There is so much to think about when it comes to the future of libraries.

Thing #14 - Tags - What a great idea!

Technorati was a whole new world for me.  This project has been one new experience after another.  You hear about "tags" and you can imagine how useful they are, but until you actually start playing around with them, you have no idea how helpful they can really be.  It was interesting to learn that now they are being used as part of marketing strategies, as well as for personal use by web users. 

I spent a long time searching on Technorati.  The information that popped up with blogs versus posts was very different, but equally useful.  One of the searches I did was on libraries.  Two of the articles were valuable in terms of presenting a "case" for how important libraries are and the real need to invest money in updating them.  Of course, there were articles to the contrary.  There will always be a  contradiction.

I think delicious, Flickr and Technorati offer a very useful service.  By tagging information, it allows teachers to quickly find necessary information.  Teachers today have too many demands on their time and anything that makes their job easier is "great" in my book.