Monday, March 31, 2008

Thing #23, Week 9


Does the title really say Thing #23??? I did it, yeah me! (I feel like London from the Disney Channel show Zach and Cody, for any of you with younger children...) I knew I could do it, I just wasn't sure about fitting it into such a short time. But, alas, never underestimate the powers of a librarian!

My comments...

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
It is easier for me to list the ones that I didn't like so much such as Rollyo and Technorati. I see the use for them, but I don't see them becoming things that I would use often in my library. But, I would love to be proven wrong.

I loved the image generators, I love my blog and look forward to turning into more of a library tool. I love wikis and see them as powerful tools for anyone who uses them.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
It's given me the push to tackle new things! It is so easy to become content in what we know and are comfortable with. The program made me step out of my safe zone and try new technology related tools, an area that I do need to improve.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
The network of people out there! I am not a social internet kind of person, so it was fun to see what other people do, create, and post on the internet via youtube or blogs.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Nothing!! It's great just the way it is... I

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
Most definitely!! Just be sure to give a deadline so that I will complete it.

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote CSLA learning activities?
Insightful. I learned so much about the internet and its tools that I never knew before! Thank you SLL2.0 Team for creating a great learning experience that makes me more effective as a teacher - all for free! You are the best!

Thing #22, Week 9


I am so impressed with LibriVox and the Gutenburg Project. What wonderful sites, there just to provide books to people with no strings attached. Although the Gutenburg site does ask for donations, the LibriVox site states that they do not need any money. They do ask for volunteers to read texts, something that I would love to do over summer when I have more free time. This is also something that I want to share with our ASB and AVID classes as a possible community service project for our seniors who always need ideas for service.

Teachers are like audio books, especially for the ESL students. Now, I can direct them to these sites and hope they find the text they are looking for. If not, it seems that there are plenty of other ebooks to download and listen to. Maybe the teachers would even consider recording a text for future use.

I never knew that there were so many free books available from sites like these. I had used Bartleby's before, but Gutenberg seems much more extensive in what they offer, and to have the audio portion as well, it seems like a librarian's dream come true!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thing #21, Week 9


I have an ipod but have never had listened to a podcast on it, mainly because I didn't know how it worked. Come to find out, it's really easy! I do have itunes on my computer, and I learned how to move a podcast into my library. Very cool.

I looked around the most. It had a podcast that I wanted to subscribe to, a daily devotional by the pastor at our church, but the link didn't work (or it may be my crazy firewall at work like before!). I also found a teen literacy tips podcast/blog that had some good information that I added to my reader. The best podcast I found was the coffee break Spanish, where once a week they send out a 15 minute lesson to help listeners learn conversation skills. I always tell myself that I want to learn more Spanish, so I added this podcast to my rss reader and I am going to try and catch up on the program - once I am all done with my Things!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thing #20, Week 9


Due to my facination with Perez Hilton, I am pretty familiar with youtube. He is constantly embedding videos from youtube onto his blog. I really like youtube overall as far as how easy it is to navigate and find a video you might be looking for. I had never seen the library dominoes before or Conan, so both of those were fun to see as part of this Thing.

One thing that I do not like about youtube are the comments left by others. The vulgarity of some posters really detracts from the site. The youtube that I am including is a montage of scenes from the last season of Beverly Hills 90210. Fans and foes of the show have strong feelings about the characters and the things they post can be offensive. That's the problem with public sites I suppose is that you cannot control what others post - which is why sites like this are blocked in my district.

Enjoy scenes from the last season of Beverly Hills 90210 with "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind! :o)

Thing #19, Week 8

Library Thing...

I had touched on Library Thing a few weeks ago at the Southern Section Workshop but I wasn't sure how I could use such a tool. I found out soon after that our school was having our website redesigned and my lightbulb turned on. With the new website, I wanted to create a page for new books, but I couldn't add thumbnail covers. But, I can link Library Thing to my webpage and have the kids browse there. What a great tool!

They could also find book recommendations - which is a dream come true for me!! That is always the hardest thing - which I blame on memory loss from four pregnancies - is to recommend books along the same lines. I can usually remember characters or plot, but titles and authors seem to roll right out of my ears. Library Thing does all of the work for me - yeah!

I've added five of my favorites (that I could remember) from years past and present on my Library Thing. I plan on transforming it into a new book list in the days ahead so I can get it linked to our webpage. Kids always want to know what is new and now I have an easy way to direct them to these books. I also plan on passing this site onto a few of my book lover teachers so that they can catalog their home collections. How fun would that be!?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thing #18, Week 8

Zoho Writer...

During a region workshop at REV in January, Becky Johnston showed us zoho and how to use it. At that time I set up an account and played with it a bunch. I knew instantly that this was something that would benefit my students. So many of them use MS Works at home then come to school and cannot open their files because they don't know to save it as a rtf document. By using zoho, they can access their work from any computer with internet access, work on it, save it, open it somewhere else and edit or print. Very cool!!

Of course when I got to school the following Monday I found that zoho was blocked. Again, it amazes me how many valuable sites are blocked for no apparent reason. Luckily, my IT guy is very good with opening sites that I request without any hassle. I know some districts will not open sites for any reason which I find ridiculous!

I like that zoho allows users to share documents similar to a wiki. This is obviously the way collaboration is going as more and more of us have less time to meet face to face to work on projects. It amazes me how many cool tools there are available on the web for free. There was a time when a program like zoho cost a pretty penny.

On a side note, the link from the SLL2.0 blog did not work for me. It came up as a bad site. I think they have changed the url since the blog was created. Maybe the powers that be can check on this and fix it for others working their way through the 23 Things.

5 more to go....

Thing #17, Week 7

Sandbox Wiki...

I posted in the sandbox and gave a link to my wiki that I mentioned in my last blog. It's great to give people a place to play and not worry about messing up any vital information. Even though edits can be recovered, those who are not too familiar might miss that point and stress - I know I would!!

I also looked at all the different ideas in the Cal Curriculum wiki for the different Web 2.0 tools. Such great ideas, I can't wait to start introducing them to my teachers and trying to get them incorporated into lessons. It is hard, though, to get teachers to try new things, especially at my site where our technology is at best "iffy". When you plan a class around technology only to find that the network is down again - it makes more enemies than friends needless to say.