Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Method 12, December 8, 2009

I MADE IT!! I am so proud of myself and very happy about this Web 2.0 experience. My favorite experiences were (1) setting up and maintaining the blog, (2) learning about wikis (not as difficult as I imagined), (3) social networking uses in the library (imagine--I've been a Facebook user for about 6 months and never imagined I was part of a social network; I was just having fun), and (4) learning about Delicious (funny, that's what I've been doing for several years when I write reviews for my books on Shelfari, or reviews of books I've purchased with Amazon). I was already utilizing aspects of Web 2.0 and didn't know until I started this course.

A Dozen Ways to Two-Step has truly gotten my creative juices flowing and I can't wait to implement my ideas using all of this knowledge. I feel that it also helped me to see that at age 61, I still have much to learn and and am willing to put myself into the mix and advance my skills. It's all about the children and bringing the school library into the 21st century by using Web 2.0.

What surprised me was how easy it was for me to read, view, and produce. I suspect it's because (as I said previously) I have been using aspects of Web 2.0 in my personal uses so I was able to transfer that knowledge and extend it to my profession.

I don't know that I can think of any ways to improve this discovery program, however of one thing I am sure: if you offer other online programs like this in the future, I want to be a part of that class. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.

Method 11, December 8, 2009

The Wide World of Podcasting was quite informative and immediately set me to thinking about how I can utilize podcasts in my elementary school library program: for student book reviews (especially for those students who hate to write book reports) . I can also use this as another way to promote reading for the Texas BlueBonnet Award books that must be read in order for students to vote for their favorite. I mentioned podcast book reviews to my 2nd graders today and their eyes lit up and I got bombarded with 10-15 questions simultaneously. I guess they like the idea.

I browsed the Texas Music Matters list of podcasts and listened to Hugh Masekela's "He Lese Le Di Khanna". Nice. Then I browsed Educational Podcast Directory and listened to sevral elementary student podcasts of 1st graders Banyan Audiobooks. They were cute---reviews of books the students had written themselves. One 1st grader even had a dedication page! Smart kid. He knows his book parts. :-)

So as for whether podcasts are useful to me: yes! Will I begin using them: yes!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Method 10, December 2, 2009

Step 10, This Wiki World, was quite informative and a great help to me in formulating ideas for my school's library. We do not yet have a school website (yeah--hard for me to believe also when I started working there in August), and trying to develop ways to publicize the library's programs, events, successes, etc. was bugging me. But the discovery activities fueled my fire and I am ready to get down with wikis! Easier than a developing and being responsible for a website plus I can link it if the school's website is ever developed.

Through the discovery activity, I also found some new blogs (Teri Lescene's is one I will add to my RSS feeds---love her) and learned how to edit a wiki. I believe this will be very useful in getting my elementary school students to become excited about writing book reviews. They enjoy the student reviews that they see on Reading Rainbow, so now they will be able to do the same---but on a wiki! Exciting.

It will also be good for feedback on Texas Bluebonnet books---especially the shorter ones that I read to classes.

Method 9, December 2, 2009

Step 9 is about Chat and Instant Messaging. I enjoy chatting on my Yahoo email account and on the Yahoo book group of which I am a member. That one in particular is fun because you have all these members typing fast and furiously and messages not always coming in sequence. But it is fun. Better type fast and stay attentive, is my advice based on experience. It's always easier when there are just two involved, but for a group, it keeps you attentive so that you can keep up with the flow.

I just finished chatting with a good friend on my Yahoo email account. Didn't get to chat on the TSL MeeboMe. It showed "offline" so I posted, but haven't received an answer yet. Can't wait to get a reply and test it. I like that idea of embedding a Meebo widget into the library page so patrons can get help right away. Good idea!

Although my school's library doesn't offer chat/IM presently, it is something I hope to establish in the near future.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Method 8, November 29, 2009

I love social networking! I have had a Facebook page since March or April of this year and am enjoying it more each day. I initially joined FB in order to view some family photos that were only on FB. But as I explored more and added more friends, it became more interesting. And now that I've discovered their virtual games (especially Farmville and YoVille), it is addicting.

Through this course, I was able to compare FB and MySpace by looking at the Texas Tech University Library site on both. I can see the attraction to MySpace because it has the colorful layouts that can be edited, whereas FB does not.

As I read and viewed the lesson videos, I also realized that my Shelfari page and even my Amazon book reviews are social networking as well. All of this has fueled a desire for me to utilize the capabilities in my elementary school library. The bad thing is that my school does not have a website and my school district has a filter on FB and MySpace. The good thing is that I can still use FB, Shelfari, and electronic newsletters to pique student interest because many have home computers with internet access. I'll promote these new ventures with staff and students, and no doubt the word will get around to parents as well. I'll just have to set up a 2nd page on each site---professional, therefore separate from my personal pages.

I do have privacy concerns, as I'm sure most librarians have. But I plan to utilize the knowledge I've gleaned from the articles on privacy and my experiences on FB and Shelfari to bring my school's library into 21st century applications of social networking. This is going to be so exciting!

My FB Notes page (which I think I correctly changed the privacy setting to allow anyone to view):

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Method 7, November 28, 2009

As I watched Lee LeFevre's video ("Social Bookmarking in Plain English"), I realized that not only is tagging useful, but I've been utilizing this for several years with Amazon and Shelfari. Imagine that! Now, it has become not only useful with me for those sites, but in the library as well. I see students everyday who are more interested in selecting books based on my recommendation or that of a fellow classmate. So tagging is going to be extremely useful in this respect. Can't wait to get started using this in my school library. I think even first and second graders will be excited to contribute and share tags. Hopefully, it will also lead to them posting comments (with a little help from their teachers and me---well, maybe a lot of help initially). On a good note: it can only help their writing skills.

As for social bookmarking, the necessity of this tool became painfully obvious as I thought back to my frustration this school year when my old school closed and consolidated with another. My computers were damaged in the move and although I eventually located the box with the backup zip disks, in the interim, it was frustrating to try and recall many of the websites I had used for various library skills and activities. Now, I can use Delicious anywhere, so I'm a new fan of this tool. And again, I'll be able to share it with not just students, but mostly with my co-workers and fellow school librarians.

This has been a wonderful lesson that has really jumpstarted my mind with ideas for using and, in the process, reinventing my school library's method for reaching patrons.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Method 6: November 27, 2009

I enjoyed this step. Touring YouTube was fun. I even found a video of the upcoming Motown 50 Anniversary video to post to my Facebook page! Enjoyed TeacherTube even more. I suppose that is understandable though---right??? It is easier to navigate and not as full of trash as YouTube. Plus, since it is geared towards education then its content is more usable in the library and on library websites without fear of being blocked.

Anyway, the video I selected was about why we should allow students to blog. It goes to the heart of what I'm learning in this online course, so that's why I chose it.

Why Let our Students Blog?