Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thing #23

My favorite discoveries were Library Thing, Edublogs, the Online Image Generators, the Wikis, the Teacher Librarian Ning, WorldCat, and Photostory.

I can see I need to spend a lot more time on the web to keep with the tools my students and colleagues are using. I always thought reading books, searching for web sites, and scouring SLJ and other periodicals for reviews were my primary homework. I was wrong. Actually examining the blogs, wikis, and nings can cut down on time spent searching for web sites and reviews. Why reinvent the wheel?

The thing that surprised me is how these tools could make such a difference for me professionally speaking as a librarian, for students, and for distance learning.

If you could poll people about how much actual time they spent completing the Things, I think that would help people plan better for completing the project.
Advise people to come up with an alias and a discardable email address in the beginning if they or their family like to keep information private. Also advise them they will be downloading several different programs to their comuter and registering with a number of sites.

I would like to participate in a program like this which offered staff development credit, especially if I had plenty of time to complete it online, at my own pace.

Libray2Play -- it will overwhelm, excite, and inspire you!

Thing #22

I enjoyed Texas School Librarians Ning and went searching for some faces I haven't seen in awhile. I will probably join it even though I've been exiled to Alabama because there is just so much happening with Texas librarians and I don't want to be left behind.

There are forums, groups to join, shared photos and videos, and gadgets to use. One librarian, Carol Simpson, was not sure how long she would stay in this site because "it is just one more place to keep up with." I can see her point, but among a group who has shared interests, problems, and friends,I can see the usefulness of being able to communicate quickly or being able to look someone up who you know can answer your question.

Teacher Librarian Ning seems a little more sophisticated than the Texas Ning, and I will join it as well. I even saw some lights in Alabama so maybe I can meet a few more librarians around here. I enjoyed the SLJ news posts, the forums, and the podcasts.

Nings appear to be an excellent way for different groups (families, classmates, professionals, etc.) to discuss issues and keep track of important news, polls, links, forums, images, etc.

Thing #19

WorldCat is a 2.0 type of library catalog produced by OCLC. It uses a FRBR structure to impose order on books and materials. FRBR is a structure which brings cataloging into the 21st century with the concept of using relational databases rather than the traditional 3 card catalog access points.

Patrons including librarians can look at WorldCat and see for one entry (i.e. The Giver), in an instant, all the different authors, formats (Braille, paperback, Internet resources), language, audience, content, and years the book was published. It also breaks down how many theses and dissertations were associated with this book. After you find the resource you're looking for, WorldCat will find it in the libraries closest to you or give you a link to buy it at Amazon, or allow you to preview it through Google Books. WorldCat also links you to Delicious, Facebook, Furl, and many other bookmarking and social networking sites so you can tell others about your great find.

When a teacher needs an unfamiliar resource and is not sure where to start looking, WorldCat would be the place to go. Junior High and High School students could benefit from this tool as well since they have more mobility to look for resources outside their local school library and would be more likely to use Interlibrary Loan. I am definitely bookmarking WorldCat. No more going from library site to library site to find what I need. . . .

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thing #20

I went to YouTube and searched for videos for libraries. I have included a library video here.

I also went to TeacherTube and searched their website. I have included an astronomy video here.

I think that having access to the free material posted on YouTube, TeacherTube, and other related websites is great. I can see where I would be able to use these videos in my library for teaching students and increasing my knowledge on other subjects.

Thing #16

I am a list maker and I loved the lists on the very first wiki, the teacherlibrarian wiki. I like how people can leave personal comments about how to use different books because after 14 years of teaching and librarying, I tend to forget about some books I have used in the past or rediscover how someone else is using them.

I think wikis would be an invaluable tool for any kinds of group: class, faculty, librarians, electricians, etc. I would want to protect a wiki from people who might intentionally destroy good information by putting a password on it. Maybe I am too paranoid; I don't suppose most people have time to read everyone else's wiki.

Thing #21

I used Microsoft's PhotoStory 3 to make my podcast. I was able to install the software very quickly. PhotoStory worked well with my computer and webcam. It edited my photos for me. Creating the storyline was very intuitive and I was able to finish a simple podcast in about 5 minutes. This tool would come in handy in the library. I could create podcasts for kids about any number of subjects. I could also create instructions for staff or volunteers.

Thing #18

OpenOffice provides a free office suite similar to Microsoft Office. The tools are presented in much the same way as Office. At home and at work, I use Microsoft Office 2003. I found that the OpenOffice tools work much the same. I believe the main difference between the two involves open source versus for-fee. I believe this difference is important to a large organization, such as a school. For example, open source software is supported by a volunteer user community. If the school were to need technical support, it would have to contact the supporting organization, request help, and wait for a response. On the other hand, Microsoft provides on-demand technical support. Of course, it comes at a price. I think that open source would work well in a more limited setting where technical support is not so critical.