Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thing #23

I learned so much from this experience. When I first started, Library2Play, working through the 23 things seemed to be a daunting task. The activities and and information were so engaging, that it was a breeze and a lot of fun.

I like the self-directed, self-paced program. It is the best way to explore these web 2.0 tools. I attend conferences and read about these tools, but you have to take the time and just sit down and explore them.

This is the most useful professional development that I experienced this summer. One of the best indicators of whether professional development is worthwhile is whether the participants can immediately apply the information learned. This is certainly the case with this program. My head is spinning with possibilities.

I hope that the program continues and that new tools are added as they are created for social networking. As emphasized in Thing #1, we are life-long learners.

Thing #22

I explored the Teacher Librarian Ning and the Texas School Librarian Ning. Both are great ways to keep up with library issues.

Nings also work for specific events. Participants at the ISTE Conference in June kept a conversation going about issues discussed in the various sessions.

I think Nings would be a good way for faculty to explore a particular topic as they do in a Professional Learning Communities (PLC). Teachers often lament that they can never find a good time for their PLC to meet. They could create a Ning for the PLC, and each participant could participate at their convenience.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing #21

Photostory is simple to use, and I see many applications for teachers and students. I think Photostory works well in the library for book talks that can be created by students or the librarian and saved on a library book review blog. There are so many sources for photos online, and of course, students can take their own. The possibilities are endless. And most importantly, I think students will have fun with this program.

Thing #20

I cannot say enough good things about Zamzar. Teachers often mention to me that they have found the perfect video on Youtube, but our district blocks the site. Often teachers tell me they have a video that they would like to show, but it is blocked. Even though our district purchases United Streaming, which is also excellent, sometimes teachers would like to play a new or innovative video from Youtube.

One of the books on our freshmen summer reading list is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I plan to create my freshmen orientation activities around the book. I am thinking about having much of the orientation self-paced and online. I would like to imbed this video of an interview with the author. After viewing the video, I will ask the students what questions they would like to ask the author if given the opportunity.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing #19

There are so many interesting Web 2.0 sites that I spent the entire day going through the award winners. Of course, I signed up for a few.

As a librarian, I value reviews. There are new 2.0 sites being developed all the time, it is good tha we have some way of sorting through them and evaluating them.

As we expand our use of 2.0 tools, we can search through the award winners to find those we feel would be most useful for our schools.

I paid particular attention to the health category, and I signed up for PEERtrainer. I think that people pooling their resources create an excellent learning environment.

Thing #18

The documents in the Open Office suite and Google Docs are close enough to familiar software, that most people can use them immediately. My last laptop was purchased without any of the Microsoft Office products preloaded. I use open source, and I have never had a problem. It makes a big difference in cost, and users don't have to worry about being compatible with other proprietary software.

I think schools should use open source software to save money and have the same utility as proprietary software. My school will use Drupal, an open source web design program, to design our web page this year. I can't wait to get started. I have never been able to embrace Dreamweaver.

Thing #17

I love Rollyo. The video produced by the SBISD teacher was excellent. It is sometimes a challenge to get recommended webpages from teachers, but I can create these search engines by subjects and link them to the library web page. When teachers inform me at the last minute they are coming to the library and that each student has his/her own topic, I can direct them to selected search engines. I never seem to have the specific pathfinder to accomodate the student's chosen topic! Students often do not like to limit their search to just one or two web pages. The specialized search engines would cut down tremendously on the time students spent searching. Even when I encourage students to use the databases, they sometimes prefer to use the web. By using Rollyo, students can get the feel of searching the web with sites that I know have good information.

For my search engine, I chose newspaper sites. Students often come to the library to search a current event. I chose newspapers from different geographical areas of the United States to all students to get a feel for how topics are handled in different parts of the country. Next, I will create an international newspaper search for students to get a feel how other countries view current events. The opportunities are endless.

I am having trouble pasting the Rollyo search widget on this post, but I will keep trying. I can see the the widget on my draft, but not on the post to my blog.