Friday, August 14, 2009

Step 23 -- Whoop! I'm done!

This was actually a very good thing to do. I just should have started working on it in June :-)

I think the neatest thing was LibraryThing. I would love to organize my home library although it would probably just be easier to make a spreadsheet with a list of all of my books. I liked all the groups and book reviews. I can see going back to this again.

Delicious seems like a great way to take my bookmarks from computer to computer. Sometimes I just can't remember where to find the site I want. I don't think I'd want to share though. I don't think most people would be interested in the sites I bookmark.

Facebook is interesting, although I'm not much of a poster. (I feel the same about Twitter.) I've connected with some family and friends, but there are things that they post that make me wonder why they would want to. Maybe I just don't understand. And I can't imagine my life being interesting enough to other people to Twitter the details of my day.

The BlogReader, RSS Feeds, Digg, LibraryWorm, Wikis, YouTube, and PodCasts could very easily be major time hogs. There's so much to look at. I had to stop following some blogs and twitterers because the quantity of information was overwhelming.

I'm just curious how much of these tools will be available at school. Thanks so much for putting this all together for us. I've learned a lot -- more than I thought I could.

Step 22 -- Almost Done :-)

Well, two of us are finished (I'm almost done), one has done some, and one has had way too busy of a summer. Of course, she's the one who could do all of this in her sleep. She tried to teach us some of these things at our "Tech Tuesday" meetings but we couldn't get to the websites two days in a row (internet filters...) and we were always being interrupted. But we're glad our library is used (because we like our jobs).

I would bet that a lot of our younger teachers know more about this than I will ever figure out. I wonder if it would be helpful to offer a mini-class once or twice a month to show them how to use some of these tools. It probably wouldn't have to be more than 15 minutes long to get them started and they could go off and play on their own. I know they could use classes on all the databases that are offered through the library and the Citation Machine and other programs they could help teach the kids.

Step 21 -- Podcasts

Podcasts are a big thing at our house. My husband creates one about every month for his company. He and his coworkers produce a funny and clever (usually) skit. They interview members of management, introduce new employees, pass along company information. It's been a good way for his company to communicate with its staff. Plus he downloads several political podcasts to his iPod to listen to on his way home from work, when he's relaxing, or whenever he has time. He was a bit upset when his company blocked several of the sites from which he gets his political entertainment.

The quality of the podcasts I listened to was quite good, although I am not a real audiophile. I'm not sure I would subscribe to any, but that's mostly because I get my information from books and the newspaper. I don't watch much tv or listen to the radio and podcasting is kind of like that. Although, the timeshifting would be useful (like recording a tv show to watch later).

This would be another great forum for student book talks and probably easier to do than videotape. Kids might listen to the book reviews by their peers. Or we could let people know about the news books we get in.

Step 20 -- YouTube

It would be possible to spend hours and hours on this site looking at everything. Personally I like the bari sax, soprano sax, banjo, accordion, clarinet arrangement of Flight of the Bumble Bee that my son played in several years ago :-)

The book cart drills looked like fun! Melissa has been recording student book talks and putting them on the library website. I think that putting the talks on YouTube would make sharing good books easier with students all over. It would make a fun book review site.

Step 19 -- Google Docs

I can see this being an useful way to collaborate on library documents -- easier than marking it up by hand and passing it along. Wonder if we can do this at school?

The document option is very much like Word, presentation like PowerPoint, and spreadsheet like Excel (without quite as many features). I'm probably still more likely to use the Microsoft products and email it along as an attachment.

The form option was interesting and not hard to set up. The way the results came back surprised me. For some reason I didn't expect the results to come back in a spreadsheet.

This is more useful than all of the social networking sites. Those are fun "time consumers" but this could easily be used for work.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Step 18 -- Wikis

Well, that was kind of fun. My friend, Florajean, will tell me I put too much information in it. Oh, well. It was frustrating when I put a page under the wrong page (all under mine heading) and couldn't move it to the right place (even though it looked as if that should be possible).

Part of my frustration with many of the 23 things is that my computer is old, slow, and short on RAM. I like to have lots of windows open so it's easy to find the various pages I want to look at all at the same time. I've crashed my internet connection several times and had to reboot. I think I get the kids' computer once they leave for school.

Step 17 -- LibWorm

Nothing came up when I entered Hebron High School but when I looked for "High School" I found many entries for Huntington (I think) High School. Their librarian posts a lot of information for their kids. They did some special events for the opening of the movie "Twilight" that promoted reading the series. That's a good use of Lib 2.0.

I liked that the site let me look at the list of categories and tags to make it easier to come up with ideas to look into further. And, if I was interested in specific topics, I could add that to my blog reader. But the amount of information could become overwhelming very quickly.