Saturday, February 23, 2008

Things I've been using

Some of the latest things I've been using are the image generators and Google Docs. Sharon and I have decided to use Google Docs to show our deposits and expenditures for various funds next year. That way we can both edit our "ledger" without having to email it back and forth to each other all the time.

Monday, January 14, 2008


It feels great to have finished all 23 Things, and my mind is literally filled to overflowing with new learning. Maybe it's a headache, but I really think I've learned so many new things about technology that I'm on overload for the moment! My fear is that I will forget steps to using this new knowledge. Therefore, I want to go back and use what I've learned as soon as possible. Some of the "Things" I want to become more familiar with, because they have so much potential for use in the library, are:
1. Flikr
2. Image generator
3. Library thing
4. Wikis
5. Online productivity
6. YouTube
7. Podcasts
8. Animoto

How did this program affect my lifelong learning goals? I always like a challenge and want to learn something new. This is definitely new and challenging! The only surprising thing: the 23 things were easier than I thought. I would like to do another discovery program sometime. This project gave me more confidence in myself as a "technologist" which will carry over to my job as a librarian.

I also want to keep up with my "Circle of the Wise" and continue to read blogs by some great librarians and teachers. I really feel just like the "Super Librarian" below!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thing #23 Creative Commons

Creative Commons opened a whole new dimension of copyrighting. Until the late 1980s the law said everything had "automatic copyrighting", but a group of people felt the need to be more creative because copyright was stifling. They felt creators of works sometimes wanted to let others reuse, remix, or just share their works, but how would they get the word out to tell everyone. This is where Creative Commons entered the picture, and now you can go to the Creative Commons site, answer a few questions, and CC your sites, photos, music, etc. Isn't it reassuring to know there are people who are true problem-solvers out there. I had not heard of CC, but you bet I'll be looking for it now. As I was searching for CC licensing information I even found Obama has requested a CC license for the debates.

An example of how a program has been modified from its original is our very own "Learning 2.0 Through Play" which Mary has created by sharing, reusing, or remixing. At the bottom of each page you will see, credits. The original was created by Helene Blowers and has been borrowed and duplicated with permission under Creative Commons License. If you click on the license, it tells what is allowed. You can go back and look at the Victorian Public Libraries 2.0, and even further back to PLCMC Learning 2.0 Program. I'm sure there are other variations too.

How would a school librarian use a Creative Commons License? Anything I create that I would like to share with other librarians could be given this license. (Of course, it would have to be well done, or I wouldn't publish or share it.) Here are a few ideas:
  • Library orientation procedures and ideas
  • Webquests I've created
  • Library games
  • Specialized lesson plans
  • Ideas for sharing award-winning books
  • How-to ideas on collaboration with teachers/administrators

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thing #22 Animoto

I created an account with and worked on a 30-second clip. When I added music and previewed my animoto, it was VERY short, less than 30 seconds. I reread the directions and realized the music I chose was very fast, making the clip move faster than some with slower songs. I really liked my first animoto, but I needed to add more pictures in order to have the clip last a little longer. I also think the type of picture is important: more closeups and less distance pictures. It was very hard to find pictures with no people when you are trying to create something I could use in the library. So I picked group pictures for the most part hoping the speed of the animoto video would blur the images somewhat.

This activity has been so much easier than some of the others, and the results have been awesome. Animoto is very professional looking; the presentation results are slick and edgy. I read a little about the people who created this site on their homepage. They really know what they are doing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thing #21 Podcasts

It was interesting to learn the differences between podcasts and audio files; I wasn't sure I understood before I went through the discovery exercise. Now I do! I also didn't know there were so many podcast directories or so many podcasts available for download. After looking through the directories listed, I found the easiest for me to work with. I liked the way the homepage was set up. There were major categories listed, but not too many on a page. I was immediately drawn to the "Travel" category, clicked on it, and to my amazement, there were sound tour guides of my favorite place in the whole world: Venice! Without hesitation I clicked on the tour and found it easy to place in my Google Reader. Wow! It went right in, and I then put it in my "shared" group. Miraculously, it popped into my blog...I can't believe it. This is getting easier all the time. I must be learning something here.

I invite you to look under "My Shared Items" and click on The Islands of Venice, Sound Guides Venice. It will download to your computer. As you open it, there will be an introduction, and then you will hear a woman with a lovely British accent telling you all about the islands around Venice.

I know the exercise asked us to find library podcasts, and I did find several good ones. I searched with the keyword "children's books" and found Book Voyages, a group of podcasts about children's literature featuring reviews and interviews with children's authors. I particularly liked the interview with Peg Kehret, one of my favorite children's authors. I tried downloading it, but it was taking so long I finally stopped it.

What a great way to share podcasts; just put them in Google Reader and have the reader share them in your blog!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thing #20 You too can YouTube

I have found some good ideas for videos to use on our library webpage. Looking through YouTube, the one I liked the best and added to this blog was "How to Check Out a Book", showing a high school boy going through all the steps of walking into a library and getting a book of his choice. I also liked the music that was added to the clip. Our library could do the same thing, making our own video using similar ideas and posting it. I also found a cute video clip of a young boy talking about his favorite books. Elementary libraries could do something similar with students telling about Bluebonnet or Mockingbird books.

I explored YouTube several times in the past, but I had never gone through enough clips to make a playlist. It was easy to do, plus next time I get in, I have all my favorites saved.

Thing #19 Go with the Flow

I choose to set up accounts with Mindmeister (a mind map) and Gliffy (a flowchart) and created a mind map to plan freshmen orientation next fall. The difference between flowcharts and mind maps, in my opinion, is just the graphic appearance. Flowcharts have shapes to write your ideas in and mind maps have lines to write on. If I'm drawing my own flowchart with a pen, I like to draw them. However, if I'm typing on the computer, I would rather type on the line than in a shape. Why? I don't know; it seems easier for me. I agree with our readings that these flowcharts or mind maps benefit the creator more than the reader. Creating these is like brainstorming or thinking aloud. I think the graphic organizer, Inspiration, is easier to use with classroom instruction.

After creating a mind map in Mindmeister, I wanted to make a link to the page and post it here. However, I discovered Gliffy and Mindmeister only lets you save it to a file or email it. So, if you would like to see my mind map about how I will plan freshmen orientation next fall, let me know and email it to you!