Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Podcasts (Week 9)

Podcasts are excellent tools to find out new information. Many popular radio shows such as NPR or ESPN post shorter versions of a show that lasts several hours. Others produce programs specifically for the podcast. iTunes is the most popular source to get podcasts from. I subscribe to more than I can really listen to about sports, education, legal issues, comedy, authors, etc.

Online productivity (Week 8)

Online productivity tools are great for group projects. I have used Google Docs for collaborating on powerpoints for a distance ed course and it was MUCH easier than emailing back and forth or posting and reposting in a discussion board. The only drawback is that online tools do not have all of the features that the installed program has. However, it is free and very easy to use.

Wikis (Week 7)

Wikis are a great tool for collaboration. I teach wikis in my information literacy course and, of course, why Wikipedia is not a scholarly tool. Rather than force the students to listen to another teacher rail against the evils of Wikipedia, I use clips from the Colbert Report to do it for me. Colbert does a great interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and has several clips where he asks "the nation" to make specific changes to articles, which his fans quickly do. This behavior has resulted in several pages, including elephants, Colbert's own page, oxygen, Einstein, and alpacas, to be locked. These examples show how easily changes can be made to entries. My students then evaluate the Wikipedia article on the topic they have been researching.

Wikis are good for collaboration because they allow the users to work at the same time, from a distance, track changes, and add text, links and images.

Web 2.0 & library future (Week 6)

I agree wholeheartedly that libraries need to and are changing. As a teacher, I have grown to hate the latest catchword "21st century learner". It is frustrating to see administration who sees the library as antiquated and a thing to be reduced, or worse yet, removed, rather than a technological center that needs funding to adapt the changing needs of the students. But when everyone has a laptop and Internet access, who needs libraries, right?

Tagging (Week 6, #13)

Social bookmarking is a very useful tool to keep track of websites. I have a delicious account for both my patrons and personal use. It is very easy to direct students to the list of recommended sites. However, sometimes they don't understand the concept that I am only recommending sites linked from the school account. They immediately go for the search engine even though I tell them that they will have to go through the website evaluation process if they use a site other than the pre-approved ones.

Since Sears doesn't always use the most obvious choice it can be frustrating at times, one does realize its value when tagging. There are many ways to say the same thing, and as a social bookmarking account grows, if tags aren't consistent it can be easy to lose track of links.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rollyo (Week 5, #12)

Rollyo is a pretty cool tool. It allows you to create your own search engines. I made a quick list of recipe sites that I use. I have a list of 26 (and growing) on my delicious site. Creating my own mini search engine could save me a lot of time. It is also nice to find links that other people like for items like free photos.

Web 2.0 Awards (Week 5, #11)

When I looked at the list of Web 2.0 Awards, I was happy to see that I was already using many of them. I currently use or have used at one time delicious, LibraryThing, GoogleDocs, CareerBuilder, Monster, Geni, Wikispaces, PBwiki, Google Earth, Yahoo maps, Flickr, Picnik, LinkIn, Zillow, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, digg, iGoogle, My yahoo, and youtube. It is amazing how many programs there are that do essentially the same thing. I will be teaching a course in Children's Literature and signed up for LibraryThing so I can get an online list of the children's and professional books I already have. I also belong to several organizations on NING and have set up a site for the Lancaster Lebanon School Librarians Association.

Online Image Generators (Week 5, #10)

FD's Flickr Toys has a lot of fun programs to use for altering images. I tried the movie poster generator. That might be fun to make something for my Information Literacy course. Image Chef has over 100 templates to change pictures - everything from fancy backgrounds to adding your own message to candy hearts. Comic Strip Generator looks like a program that the kids would enjoy playing around with.

Professional blogs (Week 4, #9)

I have many professional blogs linked on my personal delicious site (http://delicious.com/liberrygurl). They are from librarians, libraries, educational technology specialists, and authors. Blogs can be a great tool to get conversations going, but like many Web 2.0 tools, they can be hard to keep up with. There are so many interesting and knowledgeable people out there.

Blog Pulse is an interesting program if you are looking for a specific topic that people are talking about.

Again, I think I need to figure out one location to corral all this information and links into one central location so it doesn't seem like too much.

RSS feeds (Week 4, #8)

I have many RSS feeds set up in my "My Yahoo" account but I don't usually check them. I have to figure out a place where I can link everything I use on a daily basis. Google Reader is an easy program to use, as most Google products are.

I recently subscribed to Twitter (liberrygurl). This seems very similar to RSS feeds, especially the subscriptions that are professional-related, rather than just following random ramblings from celebrities. (BTW, I currently have both as I see what all the fuss is all about).

Cameras (Week 3, #7)

It is amazing how far camera technology has come. I remember a mere 13 years ago when my mother hauled a beast of a video camera around New England on a family vacation. She had a 16 mm camera prior to that and has since converted our family film to VHS and now DVD.

My first photography camera in the late 80s was a disc with disposable flashbulbs, then graduating to a 35 mm by the mid 90s. I bought a really nice 35 mm before going overseas in 2001 that has since been replaced by my small digital camera last summer. I still can't believe that it also takes videos.

We are preparing for a renovation at my school and are weeding out the technology that doesn't get used. Our digital cameras aren't used as much since almost everyone has their own and, since some store pictures on a disc, who wants something that "old", anyway? We are finding old battery packs and AV cords that are larger than some of our current digital video cameras.

Flickr mashups & 3rd party sites (Week 3, #6)

I tried to use the trading card maker on Flickr (http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/deck.php). This could be an interesting project for students who are doing biographies or for characters in books. They are easy to make and could be use by elementary up. Several of these, perhaps for different points in a person's life or for different story characters, would be more interesting than a powerpoint.

Flickr (Week 3, #5)


Found this photo on Flickr of the photographer's mother's personal library. Wouldn't it be nice if we all had such a retreat in our homes?


This personal library arrangement reminds me of the Dewey-less libraries that some advocate (not me - I don't see the advantages).
Heading to a workshop this week with Doug Johnson and Alan November at the Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 called “Leading the learning for the net generation.” A lot of administrators will be there so I hope there will be a plug for the role of librarians in the Web 2.0 world!