Friday, May 2, 2008


I have been dabbling in getting my portfolio set up in eFolio Minnesota. I only have the most basic information in yet, but I'm hoping to add some of my best work as I am able. I had to do some things over a few times. The Save button is marked Finished I found out. I also was trying to delete and then add things again in order to get them to come up in the right order. Then I decided to look in the Help and of course there is another way. I'm glad the fields fill in with previously used information.
If you want to take a look so far, it's at

Monday, April 28, 2008

What I learned today

Today I "tuned in" to a webinar that Atomic Learning did on Web 2.0 tools. (I can't say I participated very actively, so I used "tuned in." I was a little disappointed in the beginning since it felt like advertising for Atomic Learning. But then they got into the philosophy behind teaching with Web 2.0 tools and it was more interesting.

The two speakers they featured were teachers using many of the read/write web sites that we learned about in 23 Things on a Stick. I could even follow the jargon since I had been introduced to these tools. It sounded like these teachers were out at the forefront in their use of wikis, ning and blogs. Their students they felt were much more engaged and actively learning. It was interesting that one of the teachers has his students teach teachers. What a great learning experience for both.

I couldn't help but notice that both were at high schools that supported one-to-one computing. One teacher has a class of senior that are issued laptops to use their entire senior year! They did say that these ways of teaching could work in a classroom that only has a few computers and students just take their turn during the week. Even that level of technology seems out of my reach right now. We still have labs that teachers schedule and as far as assigning a blog entry, many of our students don't own computers. It makes the digital divide look like it's getting wider.

It seems it still takes some personal experience using these tools to have school board members or teachers really understand what they could mean to their students.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I learned today

I read in an email from a listserv that the Center for Intellectual Property is having a symposium on "Reimaging Copyright in a World of User Generated Content." Concerns surrounding copyright brought on by Web 2.0 capabilities are coming to the forefront. I'm glad that people are discussing it. It always seems that advances in technology or science are ahead of the discussions of the ethics surrounding those advances.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thing 23 - Reflection

This was a fast and furious introduction to many cool tools that Web 2.0 offers. Some were very easy to catch on to and incorporate and others I will have to go back and learn again when I have a use for them. The trick will be remembering what’s out there when an opportunity presents itself to apply any of these tools. There are at least two I want to implement in my job right away.

I’m glad I signed up for this or I never would have made the time to investigate these Things. It would be really neat if teachers could go through this and learn about the opportunities the Web provides for integrating technology into their lessons. I suppose we would have to have administrators experience the power of some of these tools first, so we could have a discussion about how much is blocked.

Thank you for a very worthwhile experience. It was a great use of technology to create a self-directed learning opportunity that is perfectly tuned to adult learning theory.

Thing 22 - Keeping up

Participating in the 23 Things on a Stick program brought home to me the importance of keeping current with Web tools. The tools one knows about and uses with facility are only a fraction of the ones out there. They’re a little like products in a grocery store: there are brand name sites (like MySpace and Flickr), but there are tons of other less known sites that do many of the same things. And there’s always someone trying to improve on what’s been done before.

Since striving for improvement is always a worthy goal, I pledge to keep up-to-date with Web tools that can help me be more productive and improve my library. I have plenty of links on the 23 Things on a Stick blog to investigate. I also plan to monitor WebJunction and maybe even post something. I tagged Go2Web in already. I spent about 45 minutes looking at a few crazy things you can do and want to go back when I have more time. I learned you can use your computer to play guitar chords and sing along to songs (a little like DDR or guitar hero, but more sedentary) on Songsterr.

I wonder what I will learn tomorrow?

Thing 21 - other social networking sites

My kids all have MySpace or Facebook pages and I worry a little about what is public for them. Yet, exploring other social networking sites has made them more familiar to me and not so strange. Their appeal to people is more understandable to me now.

I joined WebJunction when it was fairly new, but have not used it much. I can see I did not take advantage of the opportunity to interact with other library professionals. Now that I understand more how these sites work, I will be more comfortable joining the discussion.

Ning was fairly easy to navigate and use. I am amazed at the number of librarians doing the 23 Things on a Stick program. I don't have to feel so alone in my position. I did have to look a little while to find the badge, but it was easy to add to my blog. I put it on the side at first, but some of the words got cut off, so I moved it to the bottom. I thought about changing the html to adjust the width, but decided it would look funny.

While exploring the Library 2.0 networking site, I discovered a video tutorial on Diigo, another social networking site. It looks very cool, though, as it incorporates a toolbar into your browser that lets you highlight things on webpages, share bookmarks, and email contacts without leaving the webpage you are reading. Many of the things I come across on the web, I intend to send to colleagues for their information. It would make it much easier using this tool.

I'm not totally convinced I need to join a social network, but I am seeing more and more benefits. It can be confusing to remember so many passwords and tools, so it is appealing to have the tools you want to use all in one place. I might check into this summer when I have more time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thing 20 - Facebook and MySpace

Thank goodness for snowstorms. I’m getting more Things done.

Library sites on MySpace offer the content they think teens will be looking for directly from their MySpace page. It would be interesting to know if they can tell how many use the databases from the link on MySpace. Denver Public Library used warnings about following an external link that seem kind of unnecessary when it opens in another window. Hennepin County Library opened in the same window and only had warnings sometimes. Denver’s links sometimes came up with errors. A library supporting both a webpage and a MySpace page has many links to check and keep up-to-date. The integration of YouTube and Flickr shows exactly what we’ve been learning about in these 23 Things. I also saw plenty of slideshows on pages. The music, videos, and artwork all work together to appeal to that age group in a forum they are apt to use. I noticed, though, that most of the “friends” listed were authors or other library groups.

I only was 20 minutes into investigating MySpace and I stumbled on something exciting: book trailers. Since I have my elementary students giving booktalks every class, I have drawn the parallel to movie trailers and that booktalks are an advertisement. I felt that there must be something like book trailers out there in cyberspace. Now I’ve found some on Book Divas. The video of Jodi Picoult I’m sure would interest my high school students. I just have to figure out how to get them there. This is why Denver Public library has a MySpace page!

I read the article on using Facebook professionally. It still seems that it is something a private person, an introvert, would never feel comfortable using. I guess such a person still might create a profile with limited information. The biggest asset I can see is to organize all those nifty things from the Web in one place to make your life easier. My feeling is, though, that it would be a greater timewaster than any useful purpose it would serve.