Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 8 On-Line Productivity Tools, and LibraryThing

#18: I use Google Docs often and like the convenience of having a tab opened on my desktop to something I need to write a little at a time. Google Docs is also used by some of our science teachers as a tool for assignments. I like showing this to students in beginning research classes when I show them Google Advance Search. Google has so much depth. Part of the reason I use a blog for my classes is to show students all the things they can do with Google after they open an account. My ancient PC in my son's room has Open Office on it and he creates all his middle school projects on it.

#19: I love, love, love LibraryThing and have had an account for a while. My Term Paper 3.5 LibraryThing includes books we use in our library for this lesson currently and some I thought would be useful for slightly younger students. I enjoy using this tool so much. We have started a book discussion group in our library and use it for specific genres for the club. I know some very anal librarians who use LibraryThing to catalog their home collections. I'm not that bad - yet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7 Wikis, Lesson, and Readings

#16 Wikis: Like many of my classmates have written, I worked on a wiki for a school library media management class for a budget project. My school has had an explosion of wikis used by teachers because they love the way they can cover so much content,put assignments on them, and get feedback from students in a discussion format. I love the book lover's wiki put out by the Princeton Public Library. It is so obviously designed by librarians. We are starting a book club in our library for students and this would be an excellent way for students to collaborate about books.

Lesson: I chose to put a lesson I teach every spring into a more 2.0 format. We have "term paper season" which is the spring term when we collaborate with the entire history department for their World Civilizations Term Paper assigned to freshmen. This lesson covers an approximately 6 week period that includes; finding sources, citation generation, note taking, outlining and finally writing the paper itself. We teach the 3.5 style of writing papers (introduction including thesis and forecast, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion) so this is also part of the lesson.

Readings: As Courtney states, wikis are wonderful ideas for librarians especially in collaborating with other teachers on assignments in school environments. As a communications professional as well as a teacher librarian, I really see the communication/collaboration qualities of wikis.

We have a gaming club in our library and I think gaming is an excellent way to get young adults into our space. Our club meets twice a week to play older games that they can now download for free from the internet. When I discuss this with other librarians in the community, I am shocked at how horrified these people are by the prospect of having games and gaming in their libraries. Why does being a librarian have to mean "control" rather than "open access?"

Virtual life, this is where you loose me. I think real life is more important and even though my kids use technology and love it - I think it would be a major loss in their lives if I weren't there in person for them to hang out with every day.

I am all for digital storytelling. When I worked in a public library we had story times 3 times a year for three different age groups. What a great idea, right? Well not if you went outside the lines and tried to do things differently. I do think young children need to learn to touch and appreciate books but why not have a storytime that was computer-based also?

The best in-service for 2.0 - and I've been to many - was given by Linda Braun from YALSA. I learned so much from that session that I still use in my classes. I really have to be careful because I've been to many sessions where I have completely wasted my time learning things that were not useful to either me or my students. I think it's important for the techies who teach these classes to remember that ease of use is huge. I go to a Power Libraries in-service every year and I fall asleep watching the teacher show us the 6 clicks it takes to get to a qualified website from a database article when I can teach my kids how to spot a qualified web site in 2 or fewer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week 6 - Tagging and Oops!! forgot about Nings

#13: Well, I opened my delicious account and now I can't get it off my dashboard. I feel the same way about it that I did about Google reader and basically it hurts my head to read the directions and if I do all this tagging, it's time to go out and play with real live people. Don't get me wrong I love all the 2.0 things I'm learning but I can only handle so much information.

I spent 12 years as a film and video producer. The technology was continually changing but one thing was consistent. It got simpler and easier to use so much so that untrained people thought they could do it (for example PowerPoint). I guess my point is that it is the same theory with 2.o, there will always be techies who like all things complicated. I take the "if it's simple and works consistently I'm all for it" approach.

About Nings. I belong to three Nings. One is an Independent Educators Ning, one is the Ning started for my school community a year ago summer, and one is a Ning I started for a school group I advise. When I first joined my school Ning everyone had to get on it as a requirement. I joined discussion groups, changed my page design, and was very active. After about a year, my entire school faculty hates it and refuses to get on. They would rather converse over email . We had one group on the Ning to discuss boarding student behavior last year - this year all the dorm heads insisted on email. I don't think anyone has gotten on the Ning for over 6 months. My students also found it complicated and would also prefer email.

#14: I opened a Technorati account and "claimed" my blog. I also followed Technorati on Twitter. I have to say I like Technorati better than Delicious and really like the authority feature. I'm still not sure I'm sold on tagging but I will play with it and see if I can get into it.

#15: I have been familiar with Creative Commons for some time and belong to a Facebook group. I learned about it when Linda Braun from YALSA came to do a technology training session at my library. I now follow the Lessig blog. I absolutely love the copyright comic put out by Duke University students and can't wait to use it with my kids.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 5 - Image Generators and Rollyo Adventures

I also posted this on the Rollyo discussion board:

About Rollyo: I really, really, really love the idea of Rollyo. I really, really, really dislike the slow speed of Rollyo. If this can improve - what an excellent tool for librarians and teachers.

I am continuously trying to improve my library classes and how I teach my high school (college prep) students how to unravel the mysteries of term paper writing. Specifically, I am teaching them how to write a thesis, outline, and cite sources. My goal is to take the fear out of the process and although I have opportunities to teach these classes in the Fall and Winter Terms, generally term paper season starts in the Spring. I have linked my lessons to 21st Century Learner requirements and so I have a lot of interactive sites on this Rollyo.

So here it is

About Image Generators: This is a lot of fun and I have to admit I play with this all the time mainly because I never grew up and secondly my high school kids get really jazzed about doing this kind of thing so I incorporate them anyway I can into my classes. I am currently searching for the best place to help kids generate a magazine ad promoting something they have to sell for a sales pitch. I have found a few I really like. Like JibJab and BigHugeLabs .

I also thought this would be a good place to post my LTC, I'm #54.