Friday, January 18, 2008

Is it the end or only the beginning?

This is only the beginning of our technology journey! I am glad and excited about all the things we learned by doing the 23 things, even though I found accomplishing many of them at school frustrating while dealing with the filter and network problems. And it is difficult to find uninterrupted time to read, think about and work on them at school. I am enthusiastic about using the new tools in the library with our students, faculty, and staff. The library world is certainly changing at a frantic pace and I am glad that I have been here to see it. I agree with Karen that I could have used some Content Mastery help to ease frustration. A person to give advice when I reached a roadblock would have been nice (or just to point out where I had overlooked something important, like a password). Maybe an occasional afternoon session for those needing extra help. And while I often thought I needed more time, the deadline was a good thing or I would have just kept putting things off and not finish the list of tasks. And, of course, I am looking forward to learning how to use the Nano I earned. It was good to have a prize to work toward.

I have several favorites among the 23 things. Animoto is first because the creation is so much fun to watch and it is so easy to accomplish. Library Thing is already useful in posting our book club's reading suggestions on our library's web page. Image Chef is great for making signs and buttons to put on the library web page. It was good to have an opportunity to learn more about things that I had heard of, but didn't really understand - My Space, wikis, RSS feeds, YouTube, and social bookmarking. Future plans include a wiki for faculty and staff and podcasting for students to give book reviews.

I am looking forward to the next list of things to learn about and accomplish.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thing #23 - Creative Commons

Since many social and sharing sites like Flikr, My Space, blogging,, shared online productivity tools, wikis, and others have been developed, it only makes sense to change copyright to compliment the shared atmosphere of the Internet which, like many trends, will likely continue to improve and develop. The historical copyright that allows use and sharing on certain limited conditions or with the creator's express permission needed to relax to enable and promote sharing. Creators who want to share all or part of their works needed a way to allow and notify others of their intent. Creative Commons makes this possible with licensing and symbols that come with your membership. This is a wonderful development for the library world in education, particularly since many teachers are looking for creative ways to allow students to express their findings in an interesting and timely manner--ways that are so much more interesting than the historic research paper. It allows both educators and librarians to work collaboratively with people that they will never see or meet. Also, it will help me in educating both students and teachers on this new direction taken by copyright.

Thing #22 - Animoto

I joined Animoto and easily created my video "Pirates Read!" (actually it's about teachers this time) using pictures of teachers and staff with their favorite book or books. I was pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to follow the Animoto steps and create my masterpiece. Then I experienced great troubles trying to either embed it in or blog it to my lesson. Later, I decided that the network must have been having some problems because when I came home, I did it with no problem.

I think that this program will be of value for librarians to highlight various library activities and it can be imbedded right on your library web page. I'm looking forward to using it with our library web page. It should be a valuable tool for teachers who want another research assignment to take the place of the dreaded paper.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thing #21 - Podcasts: no iPod needed

I really like the idea of podcasts for assignments and book reviews. It's great that you don't need an iPod to hear them, but have the option of hearing them online. Once again, I am thinking about Pirates Read! Lou and I want to learn how to make podcasts so we cal let the students make podcasts to add to our Books and Learning page. This will hopefully be a good way to generate interest in reading. I searched and Yahoo Podcasts and found several book review series. I added YA Bookcast to my Bloglines account and am lookikng forward to finding new books for the library through it. (However, Bloglines says that I have subscribed to Ya Bookcast, but I can't find it listed anywhere. Can you help?)I also think that podcasting can be a great alternate assignment to a research paper. Now if we can just learn how to pull it off and actually do the technical parts to get these podcasts online and then we can help teachers accomplish it too if they want to use a new kind of assignment.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thing #20 - You too can YouTube

I was really impressed with the A Librarian's 2.0 Mainfesto and the Did You Know 2.0 YouTube videos. They both offer thought provoking ideas on the new library of the 21st century. I did not find any that impressed me quite as much, but I found several that gave me some ideas of using YouTube in our library. The DPS Library Orientation is a great idea for Freshmen orientation each fall in the library and the music from Enya appeals to me. One could be developed in our library giving students information that they need to use the Poteet library. Two other examples of using videos for library publicity (another great idea) are Sesame Street - At Your Library and Wizard of Oz - A Tale of Library Circulation. Just for fun, I searched Mesquite, Texas, and found lots of videos from around here. My favoriet was Mesquite Country Christmas added just 3 weeks ago.

The Adventures of Super Librarian speaks to all librarians as we zip around the library doing all the many jobs that fall to us.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thing #19 - Go with the flow

I created an account in to set up a mind map for the same staff development program. I didn't find it as easy to use as Gliffy, but I liked several of its features. It is nice to be able to change the color of the bubbles, but I will need to work with it more to make it a useful tool. I was unable to figure out how to blog it and I didn't find a web location so that I could add a link to this commentary. I was wishing for the tutorial like the one that Gliffy had. If it's there I didn't find it. I was able to download a jpeg to my computer so I am able to print a copy of the map to use in the staff development. I think I will enjoy it once I figure out all its techniques.

Gliffy is a fairly easy flow chart to use and it uses a cross platform between the various types of computers which is good when you are collaborating with others while making it together. The tutorial shows you how to use the various buttons that are available. Unless you pay, you can only develop 5 public documents. I did have trouble bloging my creation here, but the links for various types are good to use in a blog. I liked the web page view to show to friends on the web and the small image can be downloaded and then uploaded to your blog and the large image can hopefully be printed if you need a handout in a meeting (it doesn't look very good on my computer screen). I created a flow chart to explain our presentation during the next staff development day on campus. I like the drag and drop options for creating points on the chart, and the ease in publishing since all forms of the document are saved and the urls given to copy and paste.

Thing #18 - Discovering web 2.0 tools

I looked through both lists of the web 2.0 tools and eventually chose Google Maps from the short list, primarily because I was at school and it was the only one that caught my intrest that wasn't blocked by the school's filter. The tour explaining how to create your own map was clear, concise and useful. I like the tool and enjoyed looking around my neighborhood as well as Seattle, Washington where I am going in April. I particularly like the feature that allows you to see the satellite view of the area including rooftops and terrain in the area. For practice I created a map of schools located near my house. I like the idea that the map can be private or public and that I can go back and put in pictures or videos to go with each location. I think this will be a great way to document trips. Also, I think that it will be great projects for history classes to create maps, document sites of important events, and even put in pictures and descriptions of the site's importance. I'm sure it will fit into other classes as well. I also like the fact that you can email your creation, print it, and link it, as well as edit it at a later date. Another good feature is the ease of shifting your focus area around with your cursor. From time to time I need to help a person find a location in another area of town and this is a good tool to use to help them. It is much easier to move around in a small area than Mapquest.