Thursday, March 4, 2010

Method #12

Evaluation:  I've just spent the last few minutes going back through my blog entries for this online course, and refreshing my memory about the really neat things that we've learned.  I do feel that I've gone from being pretty clueless and very ignorant about Web 2.0, to feeling like I at least have a cursory understanding as to what it's all about.  I like knowing what computing "in the cloud" means, though I am not one who will easily jump into that cloud.  I think those resources which are more geared toward sharing and broadcasting information, rather than the social networking resources, are ones that appeal to me the most.  I have really enjoyed Google Reader and the RSS feeds I've set up for myself.  I like the possibilities of wikis and podcasts and Googledocs.  Those sites like Flickr and Facebook and Twitter which are both social sites and have tremendous potential for passing along useful information, have piqued my curiosity and sent up red flags. Of course, the truth is that all these sites are both social and informative, and my job is to figure out how I can use these sites to reach my students while still maintaining my own comfort zone.  In one of my posts, I talked quite a bit about community and wondered if true community can be established around a YouTube video or a Flickr image.  While I still doubt it, I don't want to miss valuable ways to connect books and information with my students.
        One evaluation question was whether I'd be inclined to take another similar online course.  I certainly would.  I love the freedom of learning new things at my own speed and at my own convenience.  My only concern is that this one was so long, that it is hard to remember all that we did at the beginning.  I think I would rather have less content concluded in a shorter amount of time.  However, here it is the last possible day I can work on this, and I'm just now finishing up!  I am a procrastinator!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Method #11

Podcasting  For this method, I went to my Google Reader, set up months ago, and listened to several of the news stories I subscribe to from NPR.  These were interviews with authors of new books; one was even the reading of a children's book being reissued, by the NPR reporter and Daniel Pinkwater.  Very fun to listen to.  And of course, I began thinking about how much fun it would be to podcast weekly or monthly readings of new books, using myself or the school principal or a teacher as the readers.  It could be posted on my blog, or I could use it as a hook or as part of a booktalk in classroom presentations. Who knows, I might even talk the principal into using a short podcast as a part of daily announcements.   A podcast could also be used to give students instructions for use of the online databases.  One of the schools who does podcasts (in this case, a vidcast) uses them to discuss summer reading requirements.  Interviews with visiting authors, or with teachers and students talking about their favorite books could be other ways to use a podcast.
        I know my school has a digital recorder, so it might be possible to create podcasts that I could post on my blog.  With some tech help, I might be able to set up a podcast on the home page of my library or of our catalog.  This as with so much else will only be worth it if I can figure out a way to attract patrons (high school students, in my case) to actually listen to the podcasts.  Perhaps I could talk our speech/drama teacher into making this an assignment for his students.  I'm sure the possibilities are limitless for a truly creative person, which I'm not.  Although I did not go to Audacity to check out how to create podcasts there, I'm happy to know it's available, in case my school digital recorder is not available.
       Once again, I'm excited to hear about yet another digital and online tool which might be used to motivate students to read, and to pass along valuable information for doing research.  And I do plan to figure out how to subscribe to and download podcasts to my iTunes, so I can listen to them on my iPod!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Method #10

Wikis  I'm glad to have learned more about wikis, and especially about some library related ones out there in cyberspace.  I tend to think mainly of Wikipedia when I think of wikis, although I know our tech people maintain several wikis on different tech-related topics on our district web page.  I'm not sure why they chose to post that information in wiki format.  I certainly wouldn't be gutsy enough to add anything to those pages! 

I can think of a couple of wikis I might like to start on research related topics.  I feel like several teachers on my campus might have great ideas about helping students learn research techniques that they would be willing to share in wiki format.  And I can see it being very helpful to use a wiki to list bibliographic information on a certain topic.  Instead of the librarian making lists of resources, a wiki would provide a format for everyone to share great sources of information they've come across on any given topic.  And I loved the possibility of using a wiki to communicate with others for a short-term project or outing.  Afterwards, the wiki can be deleted, or saved if helpful information was gathered which might have a broader application.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Method #9--Chat and IM

Ages ago I used to use AIM on a fairly regular basis.  Seems like I mostly used it with my immediate family.  However, we all stopped using it at some point.  Cell phones, and in particular phone texting, have now replaced IM.  Texting seems like just another version of IM.  Although I do have a Google account, I don't use gmail or AIM, and I really don't want to start.  I did do a short chat with Naomi one evening with MeeboMe on the 12-Step page.   I always thought chatting was fun, but really have no opportunity to do it now.  I could be very excited to have chat capability from my library webpage for answering catalog and reference questions.  However, currently Meebo is blocked at my school, so I'd have to talk tech into letting me have an account.  Also, personnel would be an issue.  This library is a one-woman show.  There are times I would be hard-pressed to keep up chat conversations, since I have multiple tasks to perform each day.  More importantly though, I would think that reference help would be more useful to students during the evenings when they are at home.  That would involve me setting a time I would agree to be online every night.  I might be willing, but it's hard to imagine students really making use of that service.  Don't most teenagers start their homework about 11:00 p.m.?  A Facebook account might be more useful, but again, it's blocked at school.  As I've progressed through this online workshop, I've realized more and more that many K-12 schools (at least mine) are dragging their feet when it comes to using current online technology.  Fear and over cautiousness are the apparent reasons.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Method #8--Social Networking

I have chosen not to set up a FaceBook or MySpace account at this time.  I am concerned about privacy issues, especially after reading that FaceBook and other social networking sites keep user profiles virtually forever!  Moreover, I really can't decide how badly I want to reconnect with people from all points in my past, which seems to me to be at least one main reason to have a FaceBook page. Does that make me the most anti-social person ever?  I realize most people also use it to put personal information out to current friends and colleagues.  Again, I just can't get excited about that.  However, the idea of a professional account or a library account on FaceBook or Twitter, sounds much more appealing.  I like the idea of putting out information, PR notices, and new book blurbs on social networking sites.  From the articles I read, it seems this is mainly happening at academic and public libraries, although I'm sure there are K-12 librarians using these tools also.  However, it definitely is not happening in my school district.  Just last week we received notice that the district tech dept. was opening up YouTube to teachers and staff only, for the first time ever.  FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter are all still blocked for the time being.  I have hope that that will not always be the case, but for now, setting up an account for my library would mean doing everything from home.  I'm not willing to commit myself to that kind of  "homework."
       Should the day ever come that social networking sites are opened up at my high school, I have to wonder if it would really serve any purpose.  It seems to me that high school students would be much more reticent about joining a library group or friending a librarian or teacher than older students and adults would be.  It should be fun to find out though, if I ever get the chance!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New video embedded

Since my other video was removed, I've found another video to embed in this blog post

It's a pretty strange rap, but serves the purpose.  I'm really sad my other video didn't stay.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

YouTube update

Just a quick post to say that the video from YouTube that I embedded on this blog a few days ago has been taken off.  Apparently it was not a legal one to use.  I'll have to find something else, and figure out what is OK to use in my stuff and what is not.