Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thing #23

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? My favorite discoveries were Rollyo and RSS feeds. I started the summer wanting to add RSS feeds and to learn more about them, so I think that is an important reason that it was a favorite. The Rollyo app is such a useful addition to my research instruction that I can't wait to use it at school. I also like the mash-ups. We are going to use trading cards in research this year.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? I really needed to begin to use more of Web 2.0 applications. I now understand and see many opportunities to use them in the library.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of completing the tasks. I was a little concerned that there might be sections were I felt like I was in over my head. I felt like the process was very well organized and explained so no one would feel overwhelmed. The video clips, screen shots, Youtube videos and explanations were just fabulous! It is apparent that much time and effort went into this online course. It was much appreciated.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I thought it was a great overview of Web 2.0, and it gave us a great place to begin our journey of in-depth study.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Yes, but I would like to explore fewer areas in more depth.

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities? Enlightening!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thing #22 Nings

I really was not aware of Nings. As I read the 7 things about Nings, I kept wondering if I could set up a Ning for my high school class. I haven't seen many of them in years, and I wondered if I could connect to any of them.

I think it is great that nings can remain private. I noticed on all the Nings that I looked at that you had to be a member to comment. They all mentioned spammers and that all members would have to be approved first. I really liked the Teacher Librarian Ning and the Texas School Librarian Ning. I recognized many of the names and people on the Texas Library Ning. It wasn't as all inclusive as the Teacher Librarian Ning. I tried to view several of the videos, but they weren't properly embedded, so they did not work. (Boy do I know how hard that can be.) I thought it was a great place to look for a job opportunity especially if you had to move. I read several of the blog posts and found some ideas that I can use in my library. I also found opportunities for courses for librarians to take online. Thanks for opening my eyes to Nings.

Thing #21

This project was really easy. We have received training in our district for creating Photostories, and I have several that I am working on for next year. This "thing" is great because I now have one of my projects for next year completed. The photostory that I created is a booktalk of 4 books that involve puzzles and mysteries. I plan to use it with my fifth graders. I had a little trouble saving it to the blog but it was better than #20.

Thing #20 continuing

Ok, just in case there is someone who is having a lot of trouble with your video, here is what I did. After working for one day, just trying to download the video into the edit Html code directly on the blog, I decided that was useless. If I logged on using Mozilla, it worked, but not if I used Internet Explorer. At the dinner table, we discussed this and the conclusion was that I was working with Google apps and Mozilla interfaced better than Internet Explorer because it is a Microsoft application.

The second day, I downloaded the URL not the embed code into Zamzar (be sure you use the download tab) and they converted it to .wmv. (That means windows media viewer-- just in case you are clueless like I am.) I tried to copy the link and paste it in my blog using the html code. Didn't work at all... Well, I was beginning to panic because the converted file is only available for 24 hours, so I downloaded it into my documents. Then I begged my son for help. In about 60 seconds, he took the information that I gave him and added the video to the blog. He said the edit html was not the way to add the video. On the toolbar, he chose the video tab and browsed to my documents and added the video. Done, that was it; I was esctatic, but skeptical. It took a while -- (15 minutes for the video to load), and wah lah -- it works. It is a video for Animoto. I want to create one, so I am glad I have a copy of the video in my documents.

The bottom line is: Use Zamzar -- download tab --using the URL from the video -- convert to .wmv. Once it is in your email, save it in your documents. Go to your blog, choose the video tab, browse and add your video. I hope this helps. This is day three for the video for me.

Thing #20 continued.

I hope this works. I converted the video to a .wmv file.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thing #20

I never realized just how many YouTube videos there are. I laughed a lot during this exploration. I would love to create a teacher tube video and that is something I will work on this school year. I especially loved learning about Zamzar that allow one to change the video and download it in another format so the videos may be used at school. I found videos that teach about simple machines, Animoto, plants, Texas history and so many more. The one I embedded is on Animoto. I used Blinkx to search TeacherTube and YouTube, but I thought both of the sites had great search options. This video shows up in Mozilla, but not in Internet explorer. Weird. I'm waiting on the conversion from Zamzar. I'll embed it as soon as it is ready.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thing #19 Web 2.0 Awards

Since I am a librarian, I headed straight for the Web 2.0 Awards for books. First I searched Lulu, but it is not free. It is a cool place to create mini-books with your class. Photos can be imported from Flickr, but there would always have to be permission forms signed from parents before photos can be used. Lulu can also be used to create a photo calendar and cookbooks can be created for fundraisers. Since library budgets are growing smaller everyday, that might be an option. I also appreciated the option to publish a book or a book of poetry. There are always students who would like to pursue publication of their works.

Next, I searched Biblio. Woo Hoo! It is a great source for out-of-print books. I searched several books that teachers have requested and I found them. I can't wait to let our business department know about this site. After searching a bit more, I found that they will accept P/Os and their shipping options and prices are easy to understand. This site is great for locating those books that the mainstream vendors no longer carry, but teachers need for special lessons. These books would not be the type to be placed on the shelves for children, but the bindings would be acceptable to be housed in a professional section for special teacher uses.

I took a look at VuFind, but the demo didn't really work. I clicked on the FAQs, but it didn't popup anything. I don't really understand the site. I have use WorldCat several times before. It is a great site to search for MARC records. It is always easier to edit a MARC record rather than to create one from scratch. I have also used it to proof my own original cataloguing to make sure that I am not missing something.