Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Library Training: #4 TeacherTube

Library Project:#3 Photostory

Steps taken: Open PhotoStory Click on Create New Upload selected pictures Pick transitions Record sound Pick music Save project as movie with extention .wmv AND PhotoStory project extention .wp3 (You may want to save the project in a safe file such as your SAN.) Uploaded to Blog

Friday, July 18, 2008

Collaborative Teaching

I was recently introduced to Nicenet's ICA (Internet Classroom Assistant). This tool could be one of the most helpful tools for teaching groups of students. Using a virtual classroom where students do not have to attend another campus training but can work on lessons from home at their own pace is so much more convenient.

Nicenet's purpose is to allow "virtually any classroom, even those with modest resources, access to powerful tools. Everything in Nicenet is offered free for public use,"

Go to:

Join my class, ARK's Classroom, by using 486C8NA87 and let me know what you think. What I'm wondering is what you see are the advantages/disadvantages to using it vs. just using a Wiki or Blog.

Monday, June 23, 2008


School's out but I am continuing to learn. My technology class at UHCL had us use Trackstar. You can use it to create a simple Pathfinder of URL's for students or to create a simple type of webquest. The Trackstar I created is designed to go with the 4th grade science curriculum on oceans. As my time allows I will be adding more to it in hopes of having a product ready to use in August with my students. Check out my link:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Odyssey of the Mind

Over the past two years I've had the pleasure of helping Westwood Elementary establish student participation in Odyssey of the Mind. Many SBISD schools encourage their students to participate in the fun. Each year the students are given problems to be solved. Teams pick the problem they want to solve and present at competition. Although the the clips I'm sharing are not of local teams, I hope you will enjoy watching teams from around the U.S.

1. Thomas Jefferson Elementary (T-structure)

2. Westwood Elementary, Traverse City, MI (DinoStories)

3. Cole Canyon Elementary (Road Rally)

Just for FUN!

Found this site on another player's blog and tried it out. What fun I had!! My husband thinks I've gone off the deep end...heeee

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Sunday, March 9, 2008


1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I enjoyed all of the activities although my favorite has been learning to make podcast and animoto. These tools have allowed me to liven up the curriculum for my students. They love helping me create the Podcast and seeing their work online.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
UHCL and SBISD have made it possible for me to begin working on my masters degree by providing a library science co-hort in our district. One of the co-hort classes required students to complete 23 Things to help us become information specialist. We don't have to know everything but we do need to know how to find reliable information patrons might ask us to locate. I am a life long learner at heart and one reason I enjoy working for SBISD. Since coming to SBISD in 2003 I have taken 500+ non-contract hours of district provided or approved learning opportunities and that doesn't even include the hours I've spent on 23 Things!

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised at the fun I've had exploring the web tools. Beyond that I'm seeing my new found knowledge and skills energizing my teaching and classroom and I LOVE that!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
Since I am working with other co-hort students on class projects I would really have enjoyed knowing which blogs are made by my classmates. Personal profiles don't always tell. Knowing my classmates' blogs would make it easier to find help, support, and helped me make acquaintance with classmates and given me an immediate reason to keep coming back to the blog and work on 23 Things.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
YES!! There is so much those who have gone before me could share, saving me time. Busy people know that the rule of productivity isn't working harder but smarter.

6. How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?

Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs?
I have been leaving comments while working on 23 Things and that is one more thing that has made it fun. Thank you SBISD Library staff!


Nings are useful in learning, communicating, and sharing ideas. When our youngest was still at home I had ventured into My Space so I could keep an eye on her activity and the people she communicated with. Having that experience helps me understand Nings. Now I'm enjoying communicating with people who have similar interest. I've already found a Ning that I hope will help me reach my goal of learning Spanish.

Well, I've gotta get back to Nings because I want to look into more ways teachers and librarians are using them. See ya later....maybe "heeee"

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Well, I did it! Using PhotoStory I created this video. I had problems with PhotoStory saving the video in .wp3 which isn't supported by podcast or TeacherTube. After finally getting it saved as a .wmv file I was able to upload to TeacherTube.

My students helped critique the podcast and at their suggestion I added the background music. The podcast was created around a science unit on electricity. Some pictures show the students working with components from our FOSS kit while others show them working on their final project. I'm really proud of their efforts and their projects show understanding of the subject content.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


This is one of the most fun activities. I've heard so much about YouTube yet I knew so little about the site. To tell the truth I didn't think there would be anything clean or kind, so I wasn't interested. It wasn't until classmates in the SBISD Co-hort introduced our class to TeacherTube that I even checked that site out in search of material I might use. This assignment took my exploring a step further and I found this clip with Cookie Monster, one of my favorite characters.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I found many web tools that I may go back and try later. I want to use the many web tools I've started using through 23 Things a little more before changing to something else. If anything is at the top of my list it is Google Apps for Schools and Students. Having the ability to access my school/home calendar no matter where I am would be great and only needing to maintain ONE calendar would be a dream come true. Also, the application has so many of the other Google operations I'm getting use to having available. Google Apps being available to school staff would help acclimate staff to web tools. As I've shared before using Google Docs has been so helpful in working on projects with others without trying to schedule yet another meeting in already full calendars! Many times while working at home I have wanted my school contact list but couldn't get to it until I returned to work. Google Apps would help solve that problem too. The student section would be great to have too. It would allow our students to email each other or collaborate on projects without getting together physically. The ad for Google Apps says it's free too! I wonder if SBISD has looked into this?


OpenOffice will allow me to do something my son has been after me to do for the longest time - get rid of Microsoft products. He has long held the belief that one reason I've had so much trouble with my computers is the fact that Microsoft is often the target of pranksters. I have a laptop at home that has Vista on it and I hate it! So as soon as I finish my Rice University science class in May I'm going to switch! A fellow classmate at UHCL introduced me to Google Docs. We have been using it to collaborate on our class assignment and sharing the work load. I think it's great because not only does it allow us to share ideas and work, it doesn't matter if I want to work on it at home or work.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


OM I'm so addicted to this 23 Things! My hubby fell asleep in his recliner, woke up while I was playing in the Sandbox and saw me adding to the wiki, when he saw the page with entries he asked, "Are you writing a book?" Finally he gave up and went to bed. I can just see it now...


WIKI's what are they? That was the question I went around asking everyone before I started the UHCL cohort. I found information on The 23 Things and even watched the video "WIKI's in Plain English". Since then I've built my own Wiki and assisted our school librarian in setting up a staff Wiki. I used WetPaint to set up the Wiki's and since I won't be using them with students age 13+ or to contact parents I didn't qualify for ad free Wiki pages so they have ads. WOW, it didn't take long for a staff member to complain about an ad that said "Pimp up your page". I got a great idea for using the Wiki's for group collaboration from the AASL Wiki. I wish I could use this for my students! Anyone have any ideas?


I like Technorati's ability to help me stay up on the updates made to my favorite blogs. Searching can result in a lot of junk to weed through. After learning more about tags and how they are like file folders I was able to do a more productive search. Success was had using tags to find specific interest. I still haven't picked out my favorite technology tools yet but this one may be useful keeping up with my blogs of interest.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Friday, February 22, 2008


I've been using for awhile on my computers at home and school. Bookmarking allows me to save a web page for future use and saves me valuable time. The problem I had before using was accessing favorites that were only available on the computer where I had marked the page. Now I have access no matter what computer I use. All I have to do is log into to recover the page. Since I do so much work at home this is wonderful and allows me to find favorites I may have marked at work. This has definitely been one of my favorite tools from The 23 Things activities.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Rollyo allows me to have a research link on my blog and I really like that right now since I'm working so much on my blog. Time will tell how helpful it will be for me as a librarian. I would think it could be a great tool that would allow me to build subject specific search tools into one easy to locate link. Oh, by the way, there should be a warning required on the SBISD THING 12. While using Rollyo's already created search links I spent $50.00 when I found a bathing suit using Debra Messing 's shopping Rollyo! This 23 THINGS assignment is not only becoming addictive but costly.


I've had this on my blog for awhile and just failed to write the post to go with LibraryThing. It was fun browsing the site for my books and I look forward to talking to others who enjoy some of the quirky books I enjoy. Wally Lamb is suppose to have a new book out soon (I think) and when he does I'll have to stay off the computer long enough to read! One cool thing I found on the LibraryThing is a chance to sign up to write book reviews. I missed February but I've put their blog on my RSS feed so I'll get the next update for March-I can't wait to see what is being offered. This would be a neat way to "advertise" what books are new in the library or to let staff help select new purchases, thus keeping everyone involved and interested in seeing that funds are available for new books.


I had a lot of fun with this one even though I did encounter problems with uploading due to the fact that the server was so busy with users. I kept trying to upload the comic I created since it starts with technology from yesteryear...and anyone who knows me knows I'm a collector of old technology. I went back in later and found instructions for copying the picture from Comic Strip Generator. Trading cards are something else I plan to use when I'm teaching students how to use library resources. A GLAD strategy I've used with other curriculum rewards students with trading cards that contain content vocabulary. Students love to collect the cards and it encourages them to learn vocabulary while using good behavior to earn the cards.


I've been searching and investigating additional RSS feeds, newsreaders, and library blogs. Some of my favorites were Google Reader and Technorati because they were easy to navigate and I was able to find feeds useful to my classroom, course work, or personal interest. was too newsy for my taste and need for now, but as a librarian it could come in handy for student or staff research so I'll keep it in mind.

Monday, February 11, 2008


HELP! I've gotten lost in RSS and newsreaders and can't work anymore...hee...hee Oh my gosh I could not believe how much was available out there and I've only scratced the surface. Before I wrote this I spent a few days playing around subscribing and unsubscribing just to feel like I could address the three questions I needed to address for this entry. Ok, what I like is that once I get my favorite RSS and newsreaders saved it will save me time staying up on the latest and greatest news and information. Currently as a classroom teacher I could use this as a way to help my students work on local or world current events by narrowing their resources. This will also help students who have no resources such as the local newpaper at home. Its use in the library has so many uses including but not limited to keeping this future librarian up to date and allowing patrons to build their personalized RSS and newsreader listings. You didn't ask for negatives but I have one...I can't quit working to stay home on the computer. Oh well, I don't think my eyes could stand that much screen exercise anyway :-)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008


Although I put the Google Calendar on my blog I really wish that I could merge my various calendars into one usable and sharable calendar. School email has me putting appointments or due dates into the systems calendar. I also carry a paper calendar used to put due dates and events while at meetings. So what do I need with yet another calendar? I'll think about it for awhile.
I did find the notebook to be something that may be a lot of help with my graduate classes as I spend hours on the internet doing research. Time will tell and I'll try to report back on my opinion after I finish my research.


Yes, I know I went out of order but that's the neat thing about the 23 Things. Once you get your blog up and going you can look for and use the "things" in the order of interest or need.

Now, to comment on Library 2.0 let me say I think it is time that we took a really hard look at what we expect from our students and how we expect them to get the information we hope they will internalize and apply to solving world problems. I for one am thrilled to finally see some of the changes that were predicted when I was in middle school 39 years ago become reality!

My son and I use to spend hours together at a local book store picking out books to skim, scan, and buy. The hours would fly by as we sat together sharing our finds and the wonderings inside each chosen book. When we needed refreshment we could bring a latte or cola back to our table and relax, talk, and read even longer. Then, before we knew it that same relaxed atmosphere was built into our county's newest public library. Yes, I said LIBRARY! We entered into the new library with wide eyed, child like awe. Upon entering there was a coffee shop. Just past the coffee shop there were check out lanes similar to a bank with teller booths, each manned by a smiling staff person there to help patrons learn how to self check-out materials. Walking farther into the library the children's section with a large tree in the corner and "tree stumps" to read on, books everywhere, and stations of computerized robots to build and manipulate was found. Looping to the left were tables with built in plugs so those patrons who prefered to bring their own laptops could plug in and use the library's free wifi service. During the walking tour the constant movement of people and numerous conversations seem strange to visiting traditional patrons. Then, a small room with glass doors and "No Talking" signs revealed the quiet room where patrons who choose to enter are asked to leave their drinks and conversation behind. Although small in size the silence reminded us of more "normal" library spaces void of noise and movement allowing those who wished to stay in a place to work in without interruption. This was over eight years ago and I for one am anxiously waiting for similar library's to be built for our patrons in our school systems.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I'm interested in using the Library Trading Card idea using a GLAD idea. Rewarding students with trading cards for their proper behavior during lessons really motivates students to participate and practice respect or whatever behavior they need to work on as a group. I'll have to think about what I want to put on the cards and get my pictures together before I start making them.

Any ideas for cards that are library focused?


I tried out Flickr and even uploaded some of my pictures. However, I've been using SnapFish and I'm not sure I want to mess with changing over at this time. I might just start from here posting new photos for now since I can access them from school and that will make using them easier.


I've sent the information in to register my blog. Haven't heard anything yet.

Monday, January 21, 2008


WOW, I did it! Setting up the blog wasn't very hard. The Avatar was a bit more challenging but so cool and a lot easier than the old days of having to write html.


The easiest of the 7 1/2 Habits is "Accept responsibility for your own learning". I love to learn and find myself taking time to read self-help books, read online information, take staff development (When I can find them offered at times I'm not committed to after school activities, which tends to be July!), and I am presently taking graduate courses for library science.

Most challenging of the 7 1/2 Habits is "Play" which may seem strange to most people but when you think about my childhood where little time was spent on family activities and playing around it doesn't seem so strange. Although I am not good at playing games it doesn't mean I don't understand the need to do what makes one happy. If I don't satisfy my need and create happiness for myself then I don't have much to offer the students I teach or the family I love. Right now I create that happy spot by spending time with my husband of 34 years and our dogs Bonny and Ryder and teaching students I enjoy spending my time with.