Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week#9 Thing#23

My thoughts on CSLA 2.0
I feel as though I have completed a marathon! Up and down the streets with twists and turns everywhere and unexpected difficulty and picking up some downhill speed. My favorite was setting up my blog and avatar. I have added her to my web page and the students love her! It's important for them to know that I'm keeping current on the technology and not getting old and stuffy, which unfortunately, is sometimes the first thought when you mention library and librarians. I know now that I CAN continue to update my technology skills - and those words, terms, and programs that sounded somewhat foreign when I began, are now at the very least familiar. I feel as though I have a working knowledge of the web 2.0, and even may be ahead of some of my students. And - the best part - many of these tools - like Google Reader and podcast subscriptions are going to help me to continue to be informed and updated on anything that I want. Talk about lifelong learning - you just can't help it. Now I just have to schedule time to read, read, read, all those entries.
I was surprised at how well many of these tools interact with each other - easily. I can incoporate You Tube and Library Thing into my Blog, and by doing that I know I will continue to use those tools. The whole signing up for the free tools and keeping track of user names and passwords is the worst part, uck! I tried to stay consistent, but wow, way too many. Other than that, I think the program is very good. It has a good variety of tools, all applicable to the library world and its easy to see where they can be applied to school and students. Some of the links are dead, so some updating might be necessary. I would indeed participate in another program if offered.
CSLA 2.0 - In one word: Inspiring.
Thank you to those who put in the time and hard work to create this tutorial - it was time well spent!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week#9 Thing #22

E-bo0ks. I love them. But they vary greatly. From copyright free books that can easily be downloaded from the web, to those purchased from your online book store, or downloaded into by Destiny for student use, to the e-reference collection from Gale that I have linked to my library web page. I really like those Gale books, they have unlimited use - every student in the school can be reading the same book at the same time, unlike the Follett version of e-books that only allow one patron at a time to have the book, and it remains on the computer it is downloaded to, regardless of user.
I see the future of books, and it's easily accessing all of our reading, news, non-fiction, and yes, fiction and pleasure reading via a reader similar to the Kindle. Instant gratification for those of us who can't wait to get to the bookstore to get the latest release from our favorite author. The new readers are SO improved, it really is almost like having the book in your hand, with perks. Annotations, no water damage, torn pages, etc. Of course, we have to keep those readers in good working order, or a small netbook, or laptop, or the iPhone, Blackberry, or... the choices are almost endless. And talk about taking the library to the student, this is exactly what that means. Library closed, no problem, just login and download. Perfection!

Week#9 Thing#21

Podcasts. Some of the links are broken and some are blocked from my school, but it was still extremely easy to search and find podcasts. I just did some searching with the keyword "reading" and came up with a wide variety of results. The NPR has lots of podcasts, easy to view without any additonal download of readers or software. Of course iTunes is huge, and I could search for "teen reading" and get several good results.
The problem, of course, can be bandwidth and blocking by district filtering services. This can be solved by downloading at home - which isn't a problem. I subscribed to the NY Times Bestseller Podcast to by Google Reader, now every week I will hear authors, poets and storytellers read their own work. Fantastic! And I found a "Best of.." list by Nancy Pearl and... so much to see and hear, and so little time.
I can see teachers assigning students to view a Podcast, then writing their response in their blog or teacher's wiki. Yes indeed, the times they are a changin'. I'm not sure I'm up to creating a podcast yet, but it is something I will consider for the future. I like knowing the steps involved and can take my time planning what it might look like, before jumping in. Maybe next year.

Week#9 Thing#20

YouTube. Finally. What is unfortunate is that it is blocked from our school computers (sadly for some obvious reasons and content). But, there is a great deal of good "stuff" here too, and I can't believe how easy it was to add the entire video clip to my blog. Great for adding to websites, introducing concepts, PR clips for the library etc. This Reading Rainbow clip brings back fond memories indeed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Week#8 Thing#19

Library Thing. All right, I admit it, I absolutely loved this! I guess that says something about me being in the right profession, because the tool I loved the best is the one that deals with books! I will definitely use this to catalog my personal library. I found that I read books that pretty much are read by other people out there. Some - more than others. The two brand new books I read didn't have much activity yet, but I'm sure that's just because they are very current releases. I plan on adding reviews too. I know some students will like this too, my avid readers who gobble up all the new books as soon as I can get them on the shelves. It really does help provide a reading record of the books they have read, and still has that social aspect of sharing that so appeals to teens today. Awesome!

Week#8 Thing#18

Zoho Writer - Online Word Processing.

Here is my sample document. It was easy to post to the blog - I think that's the thing I like most about these programs, the flexiblity to move seamlessly from one to the other.

Week#7 Thing#17

Sandbox: I still have reservations about the freely editing of the wiki's. I logged in and added a post to the Learning 2.0 Sandbox Wiki and I was amazed at how easy it would be to change someone's posting. Sorry - I have to admit I find that scary!