Sunday, February 24, 2008

THING 19

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?

THING 18

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

THING 17

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...


THING 16

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?

THING 14

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

THING 13

I've been using del.icio.us 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 del.icio.us 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 del.icio.us 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

THING 12

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.

THING 11

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.

THING 10

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.



THING 9

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. Topix.net 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

THING 8

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

THING 7

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.

THING 15

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.