Wednesday, November 7, 2007
First of all, I blog frequently - required at work, occasionally commenting on the blogs of others - I feel it is one of the easiest and best ways to get information onto the Web, and keep your readers informed.
Secondly, I use wikis and have told several staff members about wikis, as a quick and easy collaborative Web site.
The whole concept of collaboration, which comes along with these tools, is one which I push - to teachers, students, anyone who will listen. This is a new era of user-created content, and is an exciting way for everyone to make certain his/her voice is heard.
I use the RSS feeds on Google Reader and my del.icio.us accounts all the time. I can save, sort, read, refer, research so much more quickly and easily than in the past. Again, I recommend these time savers to anyone who is interested.
Best of all, I was able to do a successful collaborative presentation with another librarian for our monthly district meeting, about many of these tools. We met F2F only once, then used Google Docs to develop an outline, finally e-mailing the finished product. She's done a great deal more with mash-ups than I, so the presentation was really a great deal of fun.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Ironically, I feel as though I am still at the beginning level of Web 2.0, whereas the staff at my school is still working on using technology much beyond word processors and spreadsheets. But I did this course for me, because it was interesting, fun, and allowed me a broader glimpse of the world than I would otherwise have in my home or library. And I know I will find myriad opportunities not only to share what I have learned (am already tapped for a presentation to other librarians), but to use the wide variety of collaborative tools which seem to increase daily.
Again, a truly interesting lesson of discovery: The Education Podcast Network - what great place for ideas! I also like their definition of a podcast: a merger of blogging and radio. For the Library, I really like the fact that the Tattered Cover Bookstore has made their author visits available on podcast. I always have trouble finding the site, called, Authors on Tour...Live! but mean to share it on my Library website, as they have so many podcasts to which to listen. Through that site I discovered the Podictionary: The Podcast for Word Lovers. I remember being surprised last Spring when I found that even Smithsonian Education had a tutorial on podcasting with students, under "Science and Technology".
I'd love to have a student podcast a story from the Library - but that could get into copyright issues (unless it was their own story..hmmm). I also like the use of podcasts as routine announcements, or foreign language practice, or even have thought of creating a podcast of the keynote speakers at the conference I am planning. The school's website doesn't support it yet, but I'm certain we could find a place on which to put them.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I have read through much of Joyce Valenza's School Library wiki - and find her powerpoint presentation very helpful. I was also pleased to read a recent Newsweek article, on the way in which are becoming more commonplace in the workforce. I thank Will Richardson's blog for that information. I truly believe that, if we can get more comfortable with this tool, it will be an asset in ways we cannot yet imagine.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I have been aware of Project Gutenberg for many years, and use it occasionally. World eBook Fair was a slight disappointment - looks like it is only free once a year. Granted, the $8.95 membership fee is not much, but it is not free!
LibriVox was much more interesting - it has about 800 titles and would be a good resource for high school and older to listen to, rather than read, a book.
The most intriguing find was Wikibooks. According to their site, it is, "a free collection of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit". What a world of information out there! Always, more than I had imagined.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The Award list was really helpful: I found many of the tools I already use there, and was surprised by the absence of a few. So, Flickr is there, but not Blogger. Technorati and Library Thing were there; although I was surprised at the latter being in third place. And I think I may want to try out Ma.gnolia which sounds like a combination of a bookmarking tool and a reader.
Technorati just seems huge, and I plan to jump into the fray and add my blog this week. Library Thing looks like a tremendous resource for me, as many students and adults come in the library looking for books similar to those they have just read; also, I am always wanting reviews of those things I have not read. It will be a wonderful asset this year.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I went to the CSLA site to see how others liked this tool and found similar results. The best part of that was reading the blogs of others who are in the process of doing this course! ('Misery loves company'?)
Friday, July 27, 2007
However, when a teacher told me how she had just finished creating a massive spreadsheet encompassing all the vocabulary which needed to be taught through the year and I told her that GoogleDocs would allow her to upload it to the Web so that she could view it easily at school, she said she relied on her flash drive for that. Don't know how she would feel about having this info exposed to share with others.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
While I had already taken a look at the TeacherLibrarian Ning, through the chance comment I received and talked about here, I had not tried out any blog-search services as suggested in the course outline.
I did as suggested - went to "Bloglines" and typed in "school library," without the quotes, and was disappointed with the results, to an extent. Most of the references were about school, perhaps about libraries, but little of it looked interesting. However, on the sidebar I noticed the "School Library Journal." I had viewed articles from there before, but had no idea of the resources, nor the broad gamut of subjects it carried. I subscribed to feeds for three - "Education News," "Information Literacy," and "Library Tools and Trends."
So I then tried "school library," with quotes and found two things worth pursuing: Doug Johnson's "Getting the Most from Your School Library Media Program," written for Principal in January 2005; and "21 Century Learning @ Your Library," written by a member of the Colorado Association of School Librarians, Nancy White.
The first blog/article led me look at how principals might evaluate their school library program - which is very helpful input as I make my plans for next year: the second led me to some very interesting sites, some of which I have put into del.icio.us; some at Google Reader. This also meant learning how to organized my Reader categories, because it is getting too full to browse easily!
Recommended sites: the discussion wiki at the International Society for Technology in Education, (following Su Eckhardt's lead at the CASL blog), the Librarian Philosopher blog (he has comforting advice to new librarians on June 28th); and Resources for School Librarians.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
And here is the truly amazing thing to me - how we quickly we can connect with others, thanks to these new web tools. I finally worked up the courage to comment on the blog of one of my web heroes - Will Richardson. One of the other people to also comment there then put a comment on my personal blog. We are connected, it turns out, not just by maintaining similar ideas, but she is also a Librarian. And she knits (something in which I also have an interest). However, she lives in upstate NY!
This is not the first connection I've made - a few others have found my blog when I quoted them - Ben Wilkoff, for example. Again, I have really learned a great deal from reading his material - and put it to work, in creating all my school planning on wikis, and in preparing a section on "Internet Safety" in an upcoming staff development of which I am a presenter.
So the connections keep me interested in pursuing technology; and every library organization in the country seems to be "encouraging" additional knowledge in this area as well. Personally and professionally, I am being challenged to expand my technology skills and knowledge. That's a good thing, in my opinion, and it keeps me sympathetic to my students and other staff who are trying to learn this stuff, as well.
Monday, July 16, 2007
1. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list below. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these.
2. Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you? What does it mean for school libraries?"
I am only now learning what "Web 2.0" means...Library 2.0 was still a mystery. Here are a few quotes that are helping my perspective:
From Michael Stephens: Librarian, Blogger: "Web 2.0: Where Will it Take Libraries?"
Into a new world of librarianshipLibrarian 2.0, then, is the “strategy guide” for helping users find information, gather knowledge and create content...This librarian recognizes how services might be enhanced by the Read/Write web and how new services might be born in a climate of collaboration...This librarian understands that the future of libraries will be guided by how users access, consume and create content.
From Library 2.0: Service for the Next Generation Library
By Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk -- Library Journal, 9/1/2006"The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings."
From School Library Journal
Say good-bye to your mother’s school library
By Christopher Harris -- School Library Journal, 5/1/2006"On the face of it, we’re talking about using blogs and podcasts. The heart of the concept, though, is not about the tools, but rather the communities and the conversations that they make possible....
"Digitally re-shifting your school library is about harnessing the power of new ideas like Web 2.0 to help fulfill the mission of school libraries. It does not necessarily mean discarding the old, but rather reconsidering what works best in meeting new challenges in a changing educational world. It’s all a part of helping students become literate users of information in order for them to have successful careers in school and beyond. Remember that for some students, a rich school library experience may be their only library experience. Let’s use every opportunity to help our students engage the joy of reading and the power of information."
My analysis is that, my library is still back at 1.0, maybe 1.7 or 8. I am becoming more familiar with the Web 2.0 tools, in order to increase the resources at my fingertips. What I've found with the use of those social networking capabilities is that the "communities and conversations" are increasing. Thus, my library has expanded because of my increased awareness and comfort level with these tools.
I've copied these quotes to my library planning wiki, as well. They reinforce the State standards for "Quality School Libraries," which I am trying to incorporate into my goals. Librarians are supposed to be supporting the effort to create "information literate" students - and that definition encompasses the world of technology.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
More fun was a brief foray into their third party applications - I hope to create some posters and notecards later this week. I especially enjoyed playing with the tool that would let you "sketch" something, then find pictures that matched in shape and color. Again, don't know how I'll use this, and I don't have that much time to play these days!
Fortunately, it took very little time to determine how to upload and organize pictures. I like the privacy feature, as well!
Friday, July 6, 2007
My introduction to YouTube was through the "Numa Numa" song - something silly played at school one day, for which I was seeking a particular video. Somehow, from there I found Introducing the Book, which still makes me giggle.
Other than entertainment value, YouTube has both educational and marketing ideas. Even ALA has posted videos, as well as many public libraries across the country - check out those from the McCracken County Library in Paducah, KY (like, The Adventures of SuperLibrarian). Not everything found is appropriate, of course.
My absolute favorite video, recently re-made, updated and sent out to this group a couple of weeks ago, is by another Web hero of mine, Karl Fisch. I watched Did You Know/Shift Happens at the Adventure of the American Mind Conference, and it made a life-altering impression. Versions of this can be found on Teacher Tube (which is gradually adding things beyond boring lectures) and other places.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I had the opportunity to try one out this Spring, when one of our teachers celebrated 10 years with the school. Since most of her early students were in college, and presumably using the Web 2.0 tools, I established a wiki to which we invited alums and families to contribute. A friend who has been a part of the school as long as I called roughly 50 families, and got current e-mail addresses for students. She also put out word on Facebook and MySpace. In that two weeks, we uploaded pictures of the original classes and had over 30 contributions!
Since then, I have created a wiki to coordinate a conference, create a planning space for my library projects, and one for this course. I have found Wikispaces easier to use than PBWiki - and also less expensive for the no-advertising levels. My biggest surprise is the reluctance of those invited to get in and modify the space. Overall, it is surprisingly easy.
The trick is, coming up with some sort of system for your tags!
It has taken me some time to get used to the thinking behind RSS - but now, I think it is the best thing around. One major problem with following so many blogs, which I have posted on my home blog, is the time it took to scroll through the list on a regular basis. Not every posts every day, so there was a lot of wasted time, as well.
No more. Rather than using Bloglines, I tried out FeedReader, and have settled on Google Reader.
Any of these aggregators will search through all the blogs to which you have subscribed by clicking on the little orange image. I go to one site, Google Reader, and scroll through that list - the titles in bold have not been read. If I want to go to the site, I can, or I can read the latest info right there. It's great!
As I was about to facilitate a class that was more like a book club, I decided to use blogs as one means of turning in book reflections. That is when I began my blog - I wrote book reflections to use as examples. About half of my class chose to blog, also. While I had not figured out feeds at that point, I did receive e-mails when they posted, and could see a count of how many times they posted. I enjoyed seeing how they set up their blogsite, and just reading about their impressions of the books they read.
Once the course was over, I was going to delete my blog, but an author about whose book I had written found his name and sent me some positive comments. That was exciting enough for me to give my blog a new lease on life.
I was able to connect my students to authors of books they had read. Encountering local authors at the Colorado Teen Lit Conference in April, I explained what I'd done with my lit course. They were interested in seeing what the students had written, so gave me their e-mail addresses to share with the students. That was a positive experience all the way around.
Another useful way to use blogs: I attended a conference about the Autonomous Learner Model, led by George Betts, and blogged about the sessions I attended on a nightly basis. I then directed our Head of School to my blogsite - and she was thrilled to see what I had been learning.
March 20, 2007
ACRL releases essay on technology and change in academic libraries
The full essay and an expansion of that conversation are at http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlissues/future/changingroles.htm.
The summit identified three essential actions libraries must take to achieve the necessary transformation and remain vital forces on campus in the years ahead:
* Libraries must evolve from an institution perceived primarily as the domain of the book to an institution that users clearly perceive as providing pathways to high-quality information in a variety of media and information sources....
I'd found the "23 Things" list at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County blog.
I viewed the "7 1/2 Habits Tutorial" at that point. Here is the list, for reference:
I like their "Learning Contract," as well:
7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learners
Training specialist, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
1. Begin with the end in mind - determine what your goal will be
2. Accept responsibility for your own learning
3. View problems as challenges
4. Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
5. Create your own learning toolbox (books, classes, technology, mentors, friends)
6. Use technology to your advantage (should be a tool to make your life easier)
7. Teach/mentor others
7 1/2. Play, be curious, read!