Friday, November 27, 2009

Week 7 - Thing 16

Wikis.  I need to put more effort into this, both in terms of wikis for the library and promotion for use by teachers.

I started a reading incentive program this fall "Read Around the World".  My 6th and 9th grade Humanities teachers jumped right onto this one and challenged each others' students to participate.  One feature I wanted to include was a wiki for book reviews that could be sorted by country, based on the tags in the entry.  But I couldn't get a wiki formatted correctly.  And then a well-meaning but mis-informed person suggested I create a blog.  I tried pbworks and then (I think) edublogs.  I finally got the format I wanted in blogger, but no one could post without an invitation, and I was only allowed to invite 1/2 the number of people I needed.  So it never really developed.  If nothing else, this is the one things I need to walk away from 23 things and implement.  Really make it work.  I will be looking closer at those wikis for the best site for me.

I created a wiki for a small group Bible study at my church.  There were only 7 of us and I would call it a success.  For busy people with varying schedules, we found it a great way to connect.  I was in charge and greatly enjoyed putting the pages together and administering.  But the application in the school setting is the challenge.  Once again, I need to see how others blazed the trail before me.

Week 6 - Thing 15 Library 2.0

As I read about Library 2.0, I can't help but admire the creators of all the new technologies we enjoy.  I like the improvement.  I enjoy learning new ways to do old things.  But I have discovered I am not much of an innovator.  I learn quickly and adapt fairly easily to our modern, digital world.  But I can't see what's coming next.  I understand the idea that libraries as we knew them will no longer be necessary, but what will they become?  It seems someone else will figure it out before me.

I have looked at the moon hundreds of times and never once wondered what it was like on the surface.  I am interesetd and amazed by what NASA has accomplished, but if modernization were to depend upon me to occur, there would still not be footprints on the lunar surface. 

I think I get too comfortable with the current situation to keep up with what is coming next.  Oh, I might foresee minor changes or improvements, but while I'm working on those, the big picture shifts and I'm still behind. 

So what will libraries become?  What will my role be?  I'm curious and eager to learn - and even to lead others once I find out - but it appears to be my nature to wait for someone else to blaze the trail.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week 6 - Thing 14 Technorati

Tagging: Get it.  Love it.  Showed my mom how to do this with her photos and she was estatic.  Showed my daughter how to do this on her blog.  However, I keep forgetting to add tags to my own posts.  :-)

Technorati:  Huh?  Do I really want to be able to explore others blogs?  It appears to be information overload at a whole new level.  Then again...

The Technorati tutorial link from the ESC1 page leads to a page explaining how Technorati's attempts to prevent spam failed and what they are doing now.  I found a tutorial at .  It was pretty bare bones, but it got me started.  So, I've begun the process of claiming my blog, but the appear to have a backlog.  Watch for technorati part 2.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Week 6 - Thing 13 Bookmarking

Ah, one never stops learning.  I created a account about four months ago and then proceeded to do nothing with it.  About 2 weeks ago, I was asked to present to teachers on the subjects of academic honesty, plagiarism, and copyright.  As I searched the web, I hit information overload, but I also had an aha! moment.  In addition to a works cited page on my slide show, I bookmarked all of my resources in and shared my account name in my presentation.  So rather than having to key in the long url's from my slide, teachers could access my bookmarks - complete with notes - to access the sites themselves.

As for this lesson, I did watch the tutorial to learn new tips.  The format of has changed dramatically since the video was made.

And I added a badge - see lower right.

Week 5 - Thing 12 ROLLYO

This "thing" seems like a good concept, but with NetTrekker and WebPath Express through our Destiny software, I'm wondering if I will actually use it with students.  I had a lot of trouble getting started with it - evidently too many people were connecting at once.  Once I did get signed in, I looked at a few rolls, but I just didn't get this "thing", created one myself, but just didn't see this "thing" as something I will use.  Maybe I need to mull it over a little. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 5 - Thing 11

Wow!  I'm feeling rather savvy.  Looking at the list of award winners, I am already familiar with the following:
Google Aps
PB works
Craigs list
Google maps
Mango languages
At least that will help me narrow down the list of what to explore today.  I'm thinking I should do a book one, but I also think its time to investigate the world of Twitter.

OK, I didn't really want to create a Twitter account, but I took a look at what was being said about New Moon (generally more favorable than Twilight, but I'm still not interested in seeing it.)  I also followed a link I received from someone to follow them on Twitter - which I then added to my RSS feeds.  Trying to figure out what I would use this for.... make it available to my students so I can comment on the latest book I've read?  Annoy my in-laws?  I'll probably go with the latter.

Ning appears to have undergone some changes, making it difficult to search for groups. I'm curious to see if this is blocked at school.  I could see a potential book discussion group here...

And I made it to Level 5 with 134,000+ points on Travel IQ.  Good?  Bad?  Who knows, but a fun time waster.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Week 5 - Thing 10

This was a fun thing to do, although I don't have much to show for it. 

I was hoping to create a neat holiday graphic for my library website or blog. 
Instead I found out my rap name.

I also made a Lego Librarian at  Since my windows hard drive is installed in a Mac, I was unable to print screen and copy the picture to here.  She was a cute, little, old-fashioned librarian with a cup of coffe in one hand, War & Peace in the other, and Princess Leia buns on her head.

I had successful mashed my name with my spouses.  When combining Scott and Cindy, I decided the best mashup was Scondy.  May we live long enough to fit that uni-name. was interesting, but not enough to do anything with.

The Miracle Maker was interesting, but I found Australia in the fry pan I left to soak last night.  That was enough miracle for one day.

  The above items were from

I also took a look at and came up with this:

I must say their word mosaic had some nice features that I wish Wordle would adopt (like selecting the shape of your design & colors), but I like Wordle better.

Incorporating these cute little time-wasters into meaningful instruction is what I always find challenging.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 4 - Thing 9

Like most online searches, I ended up with information overload. 

I did subscribe to two blogs that are of particular interest to me.  One is more technology related, keeping me up-to-date and learning.  The other is good, old-fashioned librarianship that provided me with some great lesson ideas. 

I think it would be easy to spend hours tweaking my reader, following the posts, and ignoring my other work!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 4 - Thing 8

I'm going to need a couple of days to see if this worked.  I have a gadget on my destop that is feeds.  I have been receiving headlines since I found the gadget.  I did not realize it was an RSS feed, and I didn't know the news source until I looked into it tonight.  Then I discovered I could add blog feeds to it.  I watched both tutorials for the feeds that were in the 23 things blog, but I don't know if I want ANOTHER account somewhere. I'm trying to make this work, but some sites that show the RSS icon will not let me add them to my desktop gadget. I also can add my desktop feeds to my blog... not good in terms of following directions, but I like the idea of having the feeds come to me so I don't even have to sign on.

I can see a future in this for teaching.  Teachers can maintain their assignments on blogs and the feeds will keep students up to date.  I can also see email going the way of snail-mail.  I rarely check my personal email now that I have a Facebook account.  My email all seems to be junk.  I won't have to log on to my favorite blogs... they will come to me. 

Technology is great when it works!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 3 - Thing 7

My church just installed a new AV system and my husband and I will be running it.  I'm not sure how we landed this job - something about being a Media Specialist drew my pastor's attention.  I don't have much experience with sound systems... there have always been students at school who were able to operate the amps, and fortunately my husband took on that section.  The new monitors are connected to a laptop that will run slide shows, live video, etc.  That will be my role.  We have downloaded a program - Media Shout - to allow us to run several slide shows from one program.  I am hoping to incorporate some new things I am learning, like a possible MashUp or a screen shot from Wordle.  It has been an interested transition that some of the older members resist.  I hope the transition goes smoothly.


Another modern, techonology-related experience occurred this week, and this seems like a good forum to share it.  I've heard over and over how we, as educators, need to rethink the "no phones in school" policies that most schools have in place, in order to relate better to teens, get them interested in learning, etc.

I was recently at a meeting where important future dates were being mentioned.  I had been taking notes on paper, but when the speaker began to mention dates, I grabbed my phone to enter the dates so they could later be synched into the calendar on my desktop (which syncs with an online calendar so my assistants know what I'm up to.)  As I entered the dates, I suddenly felt very self-conscious.... to the innocent eye, I appeared to be texting.  But I was on-task and, even more important, I was being EFFICIENT. 

This experience really made me think (and momentarily tune-out of the meeting).  Many of our students are more familiar with these tools than we are.  While they may occasionally use their phones for social purposes, they would also love to use them as a learning tool.  We don't confiscate pens and paper, but I know from my own experience that they can be used during class to look like one is on-task while actually performing a social activity, like writing a note to one's BFF.  No phones during a test is obvious.  But what about the rest of the time.  I wonder how long it will take for this policy to change.

Week 3 - Thing 6

Color Picker was a lot of fun.  I can't think of any teaching applications for it, but like the description on the side read, "Its purpose is simply to provide wonder and delight. Nothing more, nothing less. Isn't that enough? -- jbum" 

I had fun making my trading card, but didn't want to link my flickr account to since I don't know if I'll use it again and I don't want them accessing my photos.  I can think of classroom applications for the trading cards, but doubt I would have time in the library to do a project from start to finish.  It may be a fun optional activity to promote new books.  I also saw one example of different staff cards that the students collect to get to know the faculty.  That has possibilities.

MashUps look like fun if you have time to be artsy.  It could be a way for students to design new covers for older books.