Friday, July 18, 2008

Thing #23

l. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

My two most used resources at this point are de.licio.us and photo story. Ever since I saw Naomi Bates’ digital book talks I have wanted to know how to do them. I never knew how to start, however. Well, I got started while taking Library2Play.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

The most amazing thing happened to me during this course. I have never had confidence in my ability to learn technology without help. But I learned that if I had to, I could teach myself. Anyone else might think, “You sure didn’t learn much for what is out there,” but I am amazed at myself. I even have several projects at work to use for this school year—projects I never thought I’d be able to learn—AND I taught myself (well, with a little help from your guys). I now have confidence enough to continue developing my skills in technology--to keep on learning.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

Maybe I answered some of this question above. I had no idea that there was so much help available from those in a social network. I had relied solely on the TLC listserve for help and advice (by the way, this IS an excellent resource with knowledgeable, helpful librarians) but there is so much more out there. I love the Teacher Librarian Ning. I have 2 digital book talks I am working on and will share when they are presentable, and I plan to develop a Wiki for my book club to use. I have so many sites that I want to share with my teachers too. I love your suggestion to put the URL for our blog on our e-mail signature line and to use it as our School Library blog. I plan to work on mine to do just that.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?

2 things:

1. Since there are so many sites to register for, suggest at the beginning a form or procedure for listing our usernames and passwords.
2. I could use some advice (maybe at the beginning) how to prioritize the abundance of information. How do successful web users sort the “wheat from the chaff?”

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

Definitely, yes. In fact, when I completed Thing #22 I thought, "I wonder if there is a follow-up course. " Since there was so much that I didn’t retain as we went along, I plan to go back through the 23 things and pick up even more. However, I would need to work on the program in the summer because I am way too overloaded during the school year.

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?

Those who feel they have only a tenuous grasp of what Library2.0 is all about need to complete these 23 things; awesome!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thing #22

I see lots of use for Nings (hooray! I now know what they are) although I have never done one. I can see departments in our school sharing on a Ning. Teachers could set up a Ning for their class projects. From the information given, users say that technical skills are not required to set them up, another good reason for using them. I like the idea that you can make the Ning private or public also.

I really liked the Teacher Librarian Ning. I loved the fact that you could select High School or Elementary librarian. I found some great teaching videos from Joyce Valenza on the Ning. I can’t wait to use them. What a great way to share with colleagues. If I ever make the digital book talks I keep talking about, I’ll share them on the Teacher Librarian Ning.

I also found a Ning for a medical problem that my husband and I are facing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thing #21

I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF even though I am pathetic! But I am determined! I have been working on this thing for hours every day—honest. BUT…I DID IT!!!!! So here is the skinny: Basic use of photo Story is easy. My major problems were two: 1) I was over zealous in trying to do a digital book talk. I did one but it has too many pictures; the music doesn’t start until the second pic; and it is sooooo boring. I couldn’t even get my husband to watch it all the way through. But I will continue to work on it; and I plan to post it later. 2) Had I known about the creativecommons, I could have saved hours with the photo problems I had. I won’t go into the details of some of the things I did, as you already know from my previous posts, that I am challenged.

I want to give thanks to the following encouragers:

Naomi Bates from Northwest High School—She is a phenomenal librarian, and a generous colleague. After seeing her unbelievable digital book talks, I e-mailed her for help. She responded immediately sharing with me the tools she uses and telling me about the creative commons. Here is a link to her school website:

http://www.nisdtx.org/nhs/site/default.asp

Go to library and look at her digital book talks. You have to see the one she did for Streams of Babel. The author even e-mailed her requesting she send it to a Hollywood producer for a possible movie deal! She is the kind of librarian who motivates us all. BUT…DON’T DO WHAT I DID—I had her book talks in mind when I started. Forget it; start where you are. Me, I am a slow beginner.

Lauraann of Fooling With Words—I needed your empathy and encouragement. If anyone responds to this neophyte attempt, you will—and I appreciate it.

VWB—I know if I need help, you are out there. Wouldn’t even have been able to complete my avatar without your assistance.

And, of course, MY DEAR HUSBAND. Without his help I couldn't even have found the file; I have so much on this computer now.

I can use this to play as students come in. They love to see themselves "on film."

video

By the way, Naomi said it took her 6 hours to make her Streams of Babel. This Library Doings took me probably 50 hours after fooling with Animoto (a tool I really want to learn), searching for pictures, screwing up photo story, and many, many, many other stupid moves. So, if you are feeling challenged, I did it and you can too. In the end after a 50 hour learning curve, this video ended up taking me only about 10 min.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thing #20

I will be shocked if this works. I have spent hours searching for videos on Blinkx and You Tube. Our district subscribes to United Streaming for educational videos. I have taught teachers to use it--really easy. But for those who want more variety, these sites will work. Obviously, you need to spend time looking for appropriate content. I found a lot of interesting library 2.0 videos, but I selected a student digital book talk on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight to show. I want to learn to do these myself. This would be a great student project too.




Many of you have probably seen this video done by some principals for a faculty meeting. It has been passed around via the TLC listserve, and I loved it. I would love to work for these guys--great sense of humor. If you haven't seen it--enjoy!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thing #19

This was so much fun! What intelligent and creative people these designers are. I am definitely marking this page of awards to share with teachers. Two sites I want to share are Lulu and LiveMocha:

Lulu at http://www.lulu.com/ is a publishing tool. How many times have students asked if you know how they could publish their work? Believe me, English teachers get asked this all the time. This site provides for cover design, formatting, editing, ISBNs, printing, buying, and selling their work. This would be a great motivational tool for teachers who assign written work. If students think their work will be published, they will work harder on the product. I see this as a collaborative tool for the visual and language arts. I plan to show the art and language teachers. I will also share it with our yearbook sponsor. I will put this site in my faculty newsletter because you can make cookbooks, calendars etc. with this publishing tool.

Another site I liked was Livemocha at http://www.livemocha.com/
It offers free foreign language courses with self study lessons, text and audio chat tools, and connection with a community of native speakers. Two of the languages are Chinese and Russian. I wish I had known about this for our Russian students. They were often sent to the library because the teacher was not able to accommodate their needs during testing. I could sign them up for a beginning course in English on Livemocha. I’ll have this ready for this coming fall. My ESL teachers will really like exploring the possibilities of Livemocha. I looked at the English courses. There are 4 of them. The first 2 take 50 hours each. The second 2 take 30 hours each. You go at your own pace. If I were traveling to a foreign country, I would consider taking an online Livemocha course in the language of the country to which I planned to travel. Highly motivated students will find this a helpful tool.

Thing #18

I am having problems with downloading Open Office. I have downloaded it 4 times. The folder is on my desktop, but I cannot get it to open. I really like Google docs. In fact, I already use it. It is a great source for group work. You can set up groups that include only members you invite. Our district has a spreadsheet for book reviews. Only invited members can add to it. All those in the group can read the contents. I’m really getting to like Google. I used to use it only as a search engine. It offers so much more than just searching for a subject.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thing #17

Rollyo was so easy to use. I plan to learn to develop wikis so I made a list of sites I think will be helpful when I try to teach myself how to make one. I also made a list of some of the image generators that I plan to use. Yes, I had these in delicious and in favorites, but having specialty lists in Rollyo will make the search much easier. I also found some great lists of Photostory tutorials and help sites that someone else had composed. I hope this link takes you to my rolls:
http://rollyo.com/infomaniac You might have to highlight, do a controll C, and copy into the URL browser to access.