Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thing 23: My Final Thoughts

Well, a summer of fun with technology is coming to a close as I complete this project and prepare for the upcoming school year. For the first time, I actually feel a little more equipped with fresh, new ideas for my lessons and programming in the library. Although some of the things we perused and played with were old hats for me, I did get an opportunity to work with some new components to add to my bag of tricks. Some of the things I know I could use immediately are Google Docs, Podcasting, Delicious (already LOVE it!), Shelfari, and some of the cool mash-up programs for enhancing my presentations and posters. I plan on adding podcasts to my library webpage as well as reading logs using Google Docs. Shelfari is already part of my personal blog and I could see using it with the students to keep track of what they're reading and also read and submit reviews. I don't think I'll use LibWorm or Twitter....just not my thing. I'm a Facebook addict...and LibWorm didn't have much on elementary school libraries. I think one of the hardest things in this project was just keeping up with all the different things...sometimes it was overwhelming and I consider myself a techie. So, if I use this with teachers, I may either lengthen the timeframe for the project OR reduce the number of things to play around with because if I got overwhelmed they will, too. All in all....this was a GREAT way for me to be exposed to more technology and refresh my memory on some pieces I'd seen, but not really used yet.

Thing 22: My Own 23 Things

What an AWESOME program this was!

I don't have a library staff, BUT I've thought of two ways I could use a program like this in the library or school setting. One would be with students and the other with staff.

Students: This would be a great way to introduce different communication and presentation tools to them. They could learn to navigate the Internet through web links and learn how to use new technologies at the same time. This may also give them some fresh ideas for projects!

Teachers/Staff: Many teachers still haven't overcome their fear of the unknown when it comes to technology. This would be a useful tool in helping to overcome and actually become more literate in technology so they could begin to use these devices with their students and in their lessons. They could earn staff development hours....which is always an added bonus!

Thing 21: Podcasts

Okay, so I've been to workshops on Podcasting and have had librarian friends do them all the time, but I have yet to do ONE! I think they are a great, quick way to get a message across AND I have all the necessary equipment to do what am I waiting for?

I listened to several podcasts ranging from booktalks (love the idea of adding them to my school library page!) to commercials about libraries....all of which sounded interesting. A few of them had poor sound quality, but with a little more practice using the mic, they might have sounded a lot better. Personally, I hate to listen to my own voice on a recording, but it's probably more authentic if I do it myself...I have thought of a library club that might have booktalk podcasts or infomercials as part of their club activities. Podcasting is also on our tech goals for grades 3-5 this year and I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thing 20: You Tube

Guess how long I've already been viewing videos on You Tube? Just about FOREVER! :)
So I checked out some library sponsored events as recommended and found a few notable ones:

From State Library Association Sessions-Book Cart Drill Team Competitions

Palm Beach Library Cart Attacks

California Girls

Biblioflies (TLA 2008 Champions!) HILARIOUS!


An ad for using the public library (like the MasterCard commercials)
I could see doing something like this for the community...showing them what your library has to offer. I might be able to do this for my students as well...maybe advertising the cool library programs or hot new picks.

Why come to the library? (I LOVE THIS ONE!)
What a great way to motivate kids to come to the library.....use them to talk about the bloopers, too!

Thing 19: Google Docs

So, I've been playing around with Google Docs today and have discovered a few things:
  1. I love being able to create a Word doc. online and share immediately...thus saving my hard drive from multiple copies of the same document; however, I miss the various fonts to choose from.
  2. The presentation feature was nice and easy to use, but again a little limited on choices to "beef it up."
  3. Upon creating my spreadsheet, I came to realize that I prefer the Excel version better. I really didn't like that I couldn't change my row height simultaneously. I like being able to right click and change the pt. right away, instead of having to use the arrow bar to expand the rows.
  4. I didn't finish the reminded me a lot of SurveyMonkey, which I use on a regular basis and probably will continue to use.
  5. All in all, using Google Docs was quick and painless....and I really like that it's all done online!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing 18: Wikis

I'd first heard about Wikis at the TCEA conference in Austin a few years back...never really got it until I saw the great You Tube video explaining it....then it occurred to me that Wikipedia was a WIKI, too! (an aha moment....or a DUH? moment) Not soon after, I decided (with the complete support of my ITS person, LaDonna) that I wanted to play with a WIKI with my know....let them share in my "aha" moment, too! plan was to approach my most willing guinea third grade team. They were planning on doing a unit on the United States and wanted the students to research each of the states and create a travel guide for the state. So....being the non-humdrum librarian, I one-upped them and suggested that we randomly divided up 101 students into pairs/trios and each person would independently research his/her state, then collaboratively (but not simultaneously) compile the information onto a Wiki page! VOILA! teachers had the same look on their faces that I had when I'd first heard the term....I felt so good explaining what it was and sharing my "aha" moment with them.

Needless to say...the project was a huge success and we now have a complete US website with a Wiki travel page for each state! I love WIKIS!!!!

THing 17: LIbworm first glance, I had no clue what to search for on this "library" themed feeds site. What's been on my mind about my library? I'm on vacation, so I haven't really been thinking too much about it! So...I decided that I would choose the easier option of clicking on feed-categories and just aimlessly choose something to look I chose "school libraries." After perusing many a page, I really didn't find any feeds that pertained to my elementary library (a few reviews here and there)....but no real meat. Not sure I'd use this....