Wednesday, April 21, 2010
One phrase: From 'Library Lady' to 'Web Woman' in 23 Steps: Take the Challenge!
I did have a little trouble with the headset I used. Photo Story wanted to 'change' the audio settings. Every time I said 'yes,' it would stop working. I finally gave up and clicked 'no' and it began recording. Seems to have worked well. I also had to load the file three times. It seems that the school district server was timing out. Once home, the file loaded up just fine.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Well, I copied and pasted the embed code and it worked!
I did have trouble with the links for the Three Steps and Evaluating Websites Tutorial. They both linked to the same page. I found the Evaluating Website Tutorial by typing the title in the search bar. However, I could not find the Three Steps. I liked the Portal to Texas History with all the photos, drawings, maps, and prints. It looks like a good resource.
I have used videos in the library. The second grade watched a short video on needs and wants for an economics, I put a couple of videos in a sample glogster for teaching purposes, and I have pulled author videocasts for use in lessons. Used judiciously, they are a great asset.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
After much trial and error (can't seem to use comments with Mozilla), I was able to post comments using Internet Explorer. Visiting Tinkerbell, Metaphors Be With You, What was I Thinking?, Rants and Raves and Other Cool Stuff, and Thing One or Thing Two? I was able to leave messages. It was fun, but I am not sure I could do that for every post if I had the traffic Blue Skunk does. How would one manage the time?
On the subject of posting to blogs outside of the class, I posted to a scrapbook blog with a comment unrelated to scrapbooking, but current none the less. I also posted to a UK scrapbook blog.
How do I do it? Here's how: use Open Office. I constantly have to pull up the syllabus from one of my classes and I generally do it in Open Office. I try to do everything for class on my work computer (and in Microsoft Office) so that it is in one place, but that does not always happen. Unfortunately, Open Office does not have a calendar function. I keep a paper calendar and try to transfer from one Outlook calendar to another through the paper calendar. I am currently looking at Google docs as a possibility to bridge from the pc to the Macbook.
So, to wrap up, Open Office advantages: free, universal, Mac compatible, with minimal change in Microsoft Office documents when saved; disadvantages: no calendar function, not the same 'look' as Microsoft Office and not as many options. Microsoft Office advantages: Outlook, ability to produce a more polished document with more options, brand name support; disadvantages: expensive, proprietary, and have to buy Microsoft Office for the Mac while Open Office for the Mac is free. For educational use in my opinion it is a no brainer: Open Office wins.
I promise to figure out the school/work/home computer situation and get it down to two computers and a phone that will function. I just need to finish the semester. . .
The library I see in my elementary students' eyes looks like this: a fun place to learn with accurate, up-to-date information that is easy to use so that they can focus on learning the reading, math, science, social studies, and global social skills that form the foundation of what they will use for the rest of their lives. It is a place that has the ability to connect with the global community using technology. It is a place to learn and practice basic skills with elementary components like books, magazines, and poster board. And it is a place that has the ability to adapt to all learning styles using all available resources. My job is to help them do this in a safe, but not confined, environment. Developing an information literate student with a love of learning is part of the public school 2.0 librarian's job description. That includes the skills necessary for students to do what I am doing: adapt and figure out how to use new technology as it comes along.
Well, I'm about to sneeze from the dust of this soapbox, but I hope that what I have said will stimulate readers to put in their 'two cents worth' (and join the 2.0 library vision). I have a concern that we need to make it easier and quicker to understand and access the different programs and data. John Reiner's article covers accessing metadata. Hopefully, we can incorporate those ideas into all aspects of a student's web needs. I'm on board, are you?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
On Diigo (actually I clicked on the Furl link, but it must now be Diigo), I found the same information on Wallwisher, but with a sticky note that had comments. I also found an article on 7 Things You Should Know About Collaborative Annotation that also had a sticky. This site has the ability to highlight images and text in the articles. You can also take a snapshot of a page and save it - a feature that I find very useful with online research. The site is easy to use and looks uncluttered, both attractive characteristics. I can see using this with teachers in the building and with other librarians. I joined the 'Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0.' and it has some really great stuff. Diigo (pronounced dee-go) stands for: Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff and its focus is on the social networking that goes with research and collaboration. That suits me, especially when I searched for several of the topics from our classes and found lots of information.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
LibraryThing was easy to use and fun. We set up a library and put in a few of our books. This will be a great way to keep up with what you have, what you want, and what you want to share. Our families are scattered across the U.S and also have extensive libraries. This would be a great way to see each of our libraries and make plans for sharing as we visit each other. I can see using this with students in middle school (maybe 5th grade) or high school. They can keep track of the books they have read and interact with other students with similar interests.
I checked out some of the groups. The one I was surprised to find, and really liked, was Naval History and Fiction and under that, Young Adult Naval Fiction. They mentioned several books from our school library and the Horatio Hornblower books by C. S. Forester. I just love sailing and the sea!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
This is a great way to have students document activities (scrapbook-type pages), create poetry for the reluctant student (Word Mosaic), make components for slide shows, presentations, or Animotos. These can be used in research projects and book reviews, as extensions of technology lessons, and as enrichment in the classroom. The possibilities are endless!
I tried all the search tools and Google Blog Search was the easiest for me to use. An article on teaching about Creative Commons caught my eye and I found karen.the.librarian. I could not get School Library Blogs on Suprglu to work. Topix.net found too much irrelevant information even when I changed the criteria. Technorati was okay (I found The Unquiet Librarian and added her blog to my RSS feeds), but Google Blog Search was easier. Syndic8.com kept locking up and not loading - I tried to drill down to education and then libraries and then to web logs, but it would not load the web log it had listed. I could not hot link because the pages would not load a second time.
I had a great time with Edublog's award winners, but the most fun was A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette. I will slowly be adding more feeds to Google Reader.
I have run into a problem with making some of these things public. It seems that I have connected several things together and some of those things do not need to be made public. So for now everything stays private. Once I get my accounts untangled, I will share with all!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Well, I tried visiting several of the sites mentioned on the Library2play blog. I visited Mappr and enjoyed playing with Splatter but had trouble with Tile Drawer. I did not understand the instructions - they looked very technical and complicated. So I switched to Flickr Color Pickr and viewed the color wheel with Flickr Central and all the photos from the central pool. There did not seem to be a connection to Creative Commons photos.
I liked Bookr, but was a little confused on how I would create a book with photos from Creative Commons. Maybe I missed some instruction somewhere - how do you pick the photos and give credit as you make the book? Mosaic Maker looked like fun - you had to link your Flickr account and again, I could not figure out how to credit the pictures so I did not finish the book.
I visited the Librarian Trading Cards and was surprised to find few recent posts. But I really like the idea of trading cards so I visited Trading Card Maker and made the card you see at left. I avoided the credit/citing issue by using one of my own. I really like the idea that the students can make something in a relatively short period of time and show what they have learned. If reviewing a book, they can put the title and author and 3 to 4 points to list in the description: character, brief plot, likes, dislikes, overall rating, etc. As they master this and other 2.0 skills they can put them together in a slide show or podcast to show the books they have read or states they have researched, or people they have studied, etc.
I also took a look at some of the other products available on BigHugheLabs. They have lots of great stuff - I used another picture from my trip to make this motivational poster. And they have a place to credit the photo when making a poster!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
But the most difficult part will be to make room for play. I can become so focused on the process and the outcome that I forget to have fun along the way. Having students has always helped me to remember that more is learned and retained when learning is fun.