Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Back

I had planned to blog during vacation. Guess that didn't happen. I found that I was forgetting some of the great tools that I struggled to learn. So I am going to review 23 Things... and vow to utilize all that I can.
Two great juvenile books that I read this summer were The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova, and Fearless by Elvira Woodruff. I did read a multitude of average books.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thing 23. Final Thoughts

My first thought is that I had no idea of all the tools and resources in Web 2.0. While I had heard of many of the "Things" such as MySpace and Flickr, there was so much more to these sites that I realized. I also am very excited to share some of these resources with the students. Google Doc and PBwiki to mention two. I am also interested in continuing the blog, although I am not sure it is of any interest to anyone. I might focus my blog on book reviews for the students and parents of my school.

This was great, it was fun and a super learning experience. Sign me up for the next one. I am so appreciative. Thanks to all who sponsored and all the blog readers.

Thing 22. What Did I Learn Today?

I learned way to much to process right away. While I don't agree that it won't really take too much time, I do think it is well worth the time. Maybe I am a slow learner but I always have to completely understand before I am satisfied. I have spent many many hours on the 23 Things.
I am grateful because I will be more confident next time I come across a new "Thing" but I know it will take more time.
I added ALA TechSource and Web2 to my RSS, I know that both will be helpful in keeping current. I also enrolled at WebJunction- Minnesota, while I knew about it I never got around to checking it out and I am impressed with what it has to offer.

Thing 21. Beyond MySpace: Other Social Networks

I joined 23 Things on a Stick Ning. I uploaded my avatar ( I prefer my creation over reality). I added the badge to my blog and explored some of the groups. I found the Teacher Librarian Ning to be immediately useful. I had forgotten about Poem in a Pocket Day so I was thrilled to see it mentioned so I still have time to participate. I looked at the book groups and really liked Shelfari. I had viewed someone's Shelfari somewhere in my explorations and was impressed and noted it so I could look into it later. I was pleased then to find it. Added it to my summer list. I am on Thing 21 and I now have more than 21 things to investigate on my summer list.

Thing 20. Facebook

I have been joking about joining Facebook ever since I saw it listed in 23 Things on a Stick.
It seems rather like a mid- life crisis activity than a tool of an old librarian. And it is true that I found no one I knew from my class in high school. I joined the Librarians and Facebook and the Jane Austen Fan Club. I resisted the temptation to join some of the more colorful groups. Perhaps I will this summer. I joined Facebook because my advisory committee (my children) assured me that Facebook has more to offer an old librarian. I can see the need for adults working with students to understand these social networks. At this point, I don't think it will become a routine tool for me. Glad to experience it though.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thing 19. Podcasts

I have been intrigued by podcasts for awhile. Up until now I have not taken the time to research for podcasts of interest to me. I have listened to a few that have come my way but not really utilized this tool. I listened to a few from St. Cloud State and then I used to search for gardening podcasts. I was pleased with the number available. Then I googled for children's book review podcasts and hit pay dirt. I read many book reviews now I can listen to reviews while doing other library tasks. I added probably too many to my Google Reader. I was excited to discover It has an archive of interviews with children's book authors. Making my own podcast with students will be the next step. I added "Just One More Book" podcast feed to the sidebar on my blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thing 18. YouTube & Other Online Video

I am in awe of the creativity of the YouTube contributors. Who could have thought that two of my favorite books could be combined? This is by far the most seductive and time absorbing activity. Gaming was not interesting to me, but I found so many very funny and clever videos to watch. I am not surprised this site is banned at some schools.

Thing 17. ELM Productivity Tools

Well, blow me over! I have been using ELM databases with the students for years and I had no idea of the amazing tools that it has to offer. It is my fault for not attending a workshop. I will now. I am sure I will be receiving more information than I need about youth smoking in my Google Reader, but I am excited to use the RSS feed for other subjects. The web page with EBSCO took me quite awhile to complete, but I liked it so much I made two for student research projects that we will be starting soon. I had not used ProQuest before. I found it easy to create a "web page" and I can see how it would be useful for the teachers for their own research. NetLibrary was fun and very simple. We are very lucky to have this resource. This will be one of the most productive Things for me.

Thing 16. Student Tools

I was very impressed with the U of M's Assignment Calculator. I wish there had been a tool like that when I was there ( Google would have been nice also). The RPC is too advanced for the elementary students at my school, but I can see using elements of the RPC for some research projects. I really liked the "No Time" version and plan to use parts of it to help our students with projects. It is a great template for any teacher planning a research project.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thing 15 Online Games

I am very glad that I was able to explore gaming. Since I have no experience and my children are older it is truly a foreign land. Second Life reminds me of Sim City although much more sophisticated. I think it is wise for libraries to be in the "virtual worlds" and I am intrigued by the meshing of real and virtual. I tried Pirate Puzzle. It was fun. I am very good at bilging but not so skilled at carpentry. Good to know. I was poor at communication. I did not remember to read the text. Several other pirates were friendly but I unintentionally snubbed them. I guess I was concerned about the water level:).

Thing 14 Library Thing

I love this tool. I preview many children's books and I have found that I no longer remember each book as well as I should. So I keep a notebook. I have four notebooks and I am always thumbing through them trying to find a certain book. I can use this tool to list the books and refer for my own use, but even better I can read other reviews and compare and reassess right at the same time. Often parents and students ask for recommendations, now I can refer them to my LibraryThing list. I plan to add a widget to my library web page. I am wondering if I should create another account for my personal use. I do occasionally read adult books.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thing 13 Online Productivity Tools

This was very fun and interesting and extremely unproductive for me. I can see the value of the calendars, home pages etc. but to really utilize these tools I would have to have the home page and calendars right in front of me during the day. I am not at the computer all day. I created a Google home page because I had already so many accounts with Google. I added the RSS and my Google Docs right on the page. BUT, then I played tetris, checked the weather, read the news, watched the latest at Youtube, and added a few other time wasting but oh so fun gadgets. I made lists of lists and made everyone I know read them. I looked at Backpack but I think that while I am interested I will have to do it this summer. The clock is ticking. This Thing is very seductive. I plan to explore the idea of the students creating Google home pages with information and gadgets that would be useful to them (word of the day or calendar) I would have to monitor it carefully. Experience has taught me that Tetris is the black hole of time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thing 12. Do You Digg?

There is a world of news out there. I enjoyed learning about all four sites. I also looked into StumbleUpon. I can see the value for a library to keep current the latest news on popular subjects. Again, to read all the stories on the web and mainstream media would take forever so I can see that it would be beneficial to be able to sort and collect pertinent news. I could see an individual using one of these sites to keep current on quickly changing news i.e. technology. I set up a homepage for myself on Mixx for just that reason. I am hoping I can cut out some of the many technology periodicals I read. One drawback for me was that I started reading a news story that normally I would not find in my newspaper. In fact, I read quite a bit of interesting but definitely not important news.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thing 11 Tagging and

Another account! After exploring this tool, I can see a multitude of uses. At first, I was just interested in the ability to access my bookmarks from any computer, but as I explored the tags I found a wealth of information. I followed the tags to a number of discussions about the use of Wikipedia. While I still have concerns about the use by elementary students who are conditioned to accept print material as "gospel", I do see the value of open and current information. I would like to explore Pagekeeper when I have more time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thing 10 - Wikis

I have been stalled at this Thing. I understand wikis but could not think how to utilize one until today. I did edit the list of classics. I changed Diary of an Artist as a Young Teacher to Librarian, and added Pride and Prejudice to the list. But I wanted to create a wiki for a reason. Today I used PBwiki to create a wiki to plan retirement parties for our principal. Some people not on our faculty will be able to keep current and have input. I think it will be a great tool for us.
I am one of the librarians who discourages using Wikipedia. I do allow students to read the pages because the explanations are often very clear and easy to understand, but I always require another source. I guess, I do not trust that everything is accurate and balanced.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thing- I just Can't Help It - This is Funny

Thing 9

I love the idea of Google Docs. I plan to utilize them with the upper grades. The format is simple and straight forward. Teachers and students could collaborate from home on projects. At first, I thought that Zoho was easier to use and seem to have more features but I kept getting error messages. Must be an ID ten T problem. I went back to Google Doc and I think that is the one I will use with students.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Thing 8 Shared Slide Show

I can see the benefits of having access to a presentation tool on the internet. The Zoho was easy to use but a bit limiting as far as features. I would like to explore the other tools, but this took a lot of time and I have to catch up with the over-achievers. I plan on revisiting many of the tools that I have looked at this summer when I have more time to explore. I had trouble placing the slide show on my blog, it didn't seem to fit well. It is on the very bottom of the blog, oh well. I would recommend Zoho for web sites and blogs. I plan to embed the slide show on the media center web site.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thing 7 Communication Tools

It seems to me that many of these tools i.e. email can be a blessing and a curse. I started email 12 years ago to keep in contact with my daughter in college. Now I use it to communicate with colleagues, parents and the outside world several times a day. I do not sit at my computer for any length of time so IM is less handy. In fact, I had to ask my daughter to join so I would have a partner. We used it once to test it and I have not used it since. I am intrigued with the idea of IM reference desk and I could see it would be great with tech support. I viewed a webinar on creating a customized google search engine. And I was excited to learn how to make one and I plan to use the tool with the sixth grade. It was through MINITEX. I have viewed webinars before and I think they are great since I live in a small town. Of course, all of these require more than just a few moments on the computer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thing 6- More fun - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing 6 - Image Generator

My creation
Originally uploaded by mkeifenheim
I used Big Huge Labs for this trading card. This was fun. I should have thought more about what pictures to use first. I can see using this often. I just created some bookmarks for I Love to Read Month in the old fashion way. This is easier and more fun. I will use this. I am going to explore Image Chef also. Can it be that I love this because I have a picture of my granddaughter?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thing 5 More Fun?

L Here I goes card letter b ® A R Y
Spell with Flickr Created by kastner (Erik Kastner) with PHP and javascript

I did enjoy playing with the mashups, although the purpose for some of them eluded me. I can think of some fun activities for the students. Family photos illustrating ABC books or number books. Posters and puzzles showing the Dewey Decimal System. I worry about the pictures online. The ability to make some photos private and some public even in the same grouping is a great advantage.

Thing 4 -Continues

Originally uploaded by mkeifenheim
Uploading pictures to Flickr was very easy. I can see using this in the computer lab to organize photos for the students to use in their projects. I have not been able to use Picnik. It failed to open, maybe I did not wait long enough.

Thing 4 - Flickr

Uploaded on December 28, 2007
by suprdaveg

suprdaveg's photostream

It is a cold day, a perfect time to spend an afternoon inside working on 23 Things on a Stick. I like the idea of Flickr. Again, I could see spending a lot of time searching for and viewing photos. Just the few tags that I explored led to hundreds of photos. I can see the value personally, to share photos of family online instead of emailing new pictures again and again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thing 3- RSS

I found RSS easy to set up and it was easy to add blogs. I am not sure how useful this will be but I am glad to learn about it. I do search online for reviews of books and there are reviewers that I return to often, but I do not spend a lot of time on the web. When I returned to the Google Reader I was surprised at the number of posts. This definitely takes more than fifteen minutes a day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Library 2.0

I was very interested in the debate about Library 2.0. I agree with those who feel that libraries have to conform to the needs of the patrons. I live in a town where the public library is closed at 2:00 on Saturday and closed on Sunday. This schedule is more about the staff than the patrons. Libraries need to change from repositories of print to centers of information. It seems to me, that it would require more staff to help access information and fewer to zap and shelve the books.
Libraries will have to change because service industries always (except airlines) end up responding to the client's demands. I think the next generation will expect IM answers to reference questions. They will want to go to the library and pick up the materials that they have ordered online from a drive-up window.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thing 1

Today one of my co-workers ask just what was a blog and what was the purpose. She could not really see any usefulness. I think it might be a generation gap. I enjoyed setting up the blog, it was pretty easy. The avatar took more time because there were so many choices. I felt like my students with KidPix, I just wanted to play around.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Children's Books

I read children's books. No surprise, I am a librarian in a elementary school. I need to read the books, especially fiction before I purchase them. The deep secret is that I almost prefer children's books. It might be that I am out of the loop of adult fiction, but I find more good books in the children's section. I once read that a author (no citation available) said that she found it harder to write for children because they needed to be pulled into the story immediately. The author also stated that she had to edit more and rewrite more, in order to keep the integrity of the story consistent with the pages allowed by the publisher. I guess Rowlings changed that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not Easy

It is one thing to be interested in learning new skills and another to apply the skills. I am not sure I have anything to say that is of any interest to anyone.