Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thing 23: Reflection

23 Things has expanded my knowledge of new Internet technologies. I was already familiar with some, but I was forced to rethink how to use these as a librarian/teacher. From those that I wasn't familiar with, I learned so much. My favorite new thing was blog readers. I subscribed to many different blogs through Google Reader and now check my Google Reader on my phone several times a day to keep up with the reading. My least favorite was Twitter, although I did begin following the Pigeon from Mo Willem's books. Very funny little bird, he is.

The most challenging thing for me was Digg. I did find a lot of articles and photos to look at, but it was difficult for me to find anything I truly Dugg. Maybe if I keep playing with it it will get easier.

In the library I definitely see me using Flickr mashups and Image Generators for creating posters and other graphics for the library. I am currently using Google Reader to keep up with many blogs that offer book reviews and SmartBoard tips. I love for keeping up with bookmarks and sharing bookmarks with colleagues. I wish our district wouldn't block it. I will definitely use wikis with the teachers for sharing ideas and possibly with the second graders for sharing information found through research. Google Docs is something I already use and must share with others.

What an adventure! I learned a lot, and am prepared to share so much information with the teachers on my campus.

Thing 22: Developing your own 23 things

I am excited about the possibility of using this with my staff. As the chair of the technology committee on my campus, I can see this as a great way to get the staff to investigate some new technology on their own time. The only drawback that I can see is that a lot of these sites are blocked in our district. I think I could come up with 23 things that are important to our campus and talk with technology about unblocking certain sites for teachers. I definitely want to share blog readers and wikis with the teachers and I can see some great uses of Flickr and Flickr mashups in the classroom. I would just add a few that relate to the technology needs of our campus.

Thing 21: Podcasts

Nancy Keane's Booktalks Quick and Simple was definitely quick and simple. She gives a very short (30 second) synopsis of each book.

Children's Book Radio podcasts about children's books and interviews the authors of the books. Usually longer podcast (30 minutes).

Book Bites for Kids interviews authors and has a day devoted to listeners who call in and promote recently published books (30 minutes). Quick download, but lower quality audio.

I enjoyed listening to the podcast interviews of authors. I found it interesting to learn the reasons they had for writing particular books and hardshilps they faced while writing. I would use this resources for myself when choosing books for the library. I cannot see my young patrons enjoying listening to them for 30 minutes.

Thing 20: YouTube

I searched elementary library, book trailers, and school libraries. What I found was an assortment of videos promoting the library, librarian, and individual books. One called My library. My life. was a great clip about being a librarian. There were ALA public service announcements by George Lopez and Julie Andrews, interviews with authors such as Avi and Tomi dePaola, and book trailers by the authors and publishers themselves as well as booktrailers created by fans.

There is a lot of information on YouTube that could be great in library lessons.

Thing 19: Google Docs

I have been a fan of Google Docs for years. I first stumbled upon Google Docs when I was visiting my father-in-law (who only has Microsoft Works). I was needing to write a paper for a class and knew I wouldn't finish it before I left. So, I had two problems: 1. How to get it home with me, and 2. how to make it open in Word. I know, I could have saved it as .rtf, but I was afraid I would lose some of my formatting. With Google Docs I could create it, save it to the web, retrieve it from home, and then download it as a Word file when I was ready.

I have also used Google Docs for presentations and spreadsheets. I really like the portability of Google Docs and I love that it can open many types of files and convert them to other file types, especially .pdf.

Most recently, I used Google Docs to collaborate with a partner on a project. We were able to work on the document at the same time and even leave notes for each other at the bottom of the page. We typed in different colors so it would be easy to see what the other had done and then changed the color to black after we were finished editing.

The only problem that we found with Google Docs was when we worked at the same time, some of our changes were not saved. I would type a sentence and my partner would hit save before I finished and the sentence I typed was only half there. Not a major problem, though. We worked with it and wrote a great paper together.

Thing 18: Wikis

I have used wikis before in classes that I have taken through UNT. I set up a wiki on PBwiki and added to and edited a wiki on wikispaces, but this is the first time I have used Wet Paint. I think Wet Paint is a little easier to edit than the others. PBwiki gets a little confusing and creating a hierarchy in Wikispaces was difficult for me.

I can definitely see the advantages of using a wiki in a school setting for teachers and for students.

Here is my page on the DFW23things wiki.

Thing 17: LibWorm

I wish I had found LibWorm when I was working on my grant proposal early this summer. LibWorm helped me search the term Legos and only come up with information important to libraries. My grant was about using Legos in the library. When I searched using other methods I had to weed out a lot of irrelevant information.
I like that you can subscribe to a certain search. For example, if I search Children's Literature, I can subscribe to the search results and view new information that gets posted about Children's Literature. Very helpful!