Monday, August 3, 2009

Thing #23 Wrap-Up

My favorite 'thing' was creating blogs. I created a blog for my (large) family in order to practice over this summer and it has been a huge hit. I have several 20-ish nieces and nephews whom I have impressed (makes this old aunt feel good!). It has helped us all communicate in a way that is efficient, easy, and fast and everyone loves it. I would like to think I could create the same communication medium at my campus this year. I also loved the Library Thing - creating my own bookshelf and lists of books I've read. I know several students and teachers will love learning about that. I hope I continue to make the time to follow up on what I've started with that. I guess my least favorite are the wikis. I still find them cumbersome to use and 'boring'.
You all did a wonderful job of making each item easy to understand! I think my 'challenge' is just finding the time to use them and getting around the 'blocks' set by our district. Another challenge I have is learning to 'think' like a younger person. My generation is used to reading text and analyzing information. This new generation seems more 'if I can't read it in 1 minute, I won't'. They also seem to be more confident about how much their opinion matters. I had a long discussion with some younger students and even though I can't really see a need to use Facebook daily, they use it to keep connected with each other. I don't feel that need as much as they do and I believe that's a generational thing.
What will I use this year in my school library? My foremost goal will be having the students use our FlipCamera to make 'mineos' of books they've read. I would also like to use the GoogleDocs to create a library and computer lab schedule online. That will be an ambitious task - to get all teachers to use that regularly.
I really learned a lot from North Texas 23 and want to thank all the staff that put this together. I can't believe this was done for all of us for FREE. I certainly hope I can continue to log on to all these 'things' for refresher courses throughout the year! Thank you, thank you, thank you all.

Thing # 22

I would love do do a '23 Things' for my school! I would change up several of the 'things' to fit the needs of our teachers, but it would be most helpful to all of our staff... and to me. I send emails regularly to inform teachers of websites, resources, technologies that might make their job easier. They are often too busy; too centered in 'the way they've done things in the past; too pressured to think about TAKS only; too computer 'illiterate or alliterate' (can't or won't).
Anyway, the #1 block is getting our district's technology infrastructure up to date with these new possibilities, and proving to them that some the filters must be lifted in order to prepare our students for the real world.

Thing #21 Podcasts

I checked out some of the podcasts. I like the audio capabilities and the quality of the ones I accessed were very good. Only one of them had a stop and start problem. There were a couple of links that were no longer available. There was one link that totally disgusted me - (difference of opinion), and one thing that stood out in all the links I did access was the abundance of poor grammar. I also think it helps to write out what you want to say first, or at least practice. The 'ums and ahs' are quick ways to lose a reader's attention.
I would love to do some of these book review podcasts with the students. Many of the links I accessed had book reviews done by the librarians, but I think they would be so much more powerful if done by the students.
The list of resources available for podcasting is like a new language to me! There is so much out there!!

Thing #20

I've watched YouTube a lot in the last year, but mostly from emails friends have sent about various topics. I've also seen lots of the book trailers that are being done on Teacher Tube and I would love to use them this school year. They are blocked by our school district, but we are hoping some of these filters will be changed in the future so that we can take advantage of the tools available for free.
I looked at 'library events' and saw some really neat mineos (mini videos) that inspire me to do some new programs. The book cart drills are hilarious!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #19 Google Docs

I would love Google Docs if everyone on our campus had an account and/or would use it. I tried setting up a schedule calendar in Google Docs last year for our computer lab. I wanted the teachers to sign up online when they wanted to reserve the lab. The problem was that only 10% of the teachers actually used it. Then, when they didn't need the lab, they would forget to go in Google Docs and cancel their time. I went back to using the schedule on my circulation desk because it was simpler. A teacher would call me to place their name on the schedule. Picking up the phone was much easier than explaining Google Docs to the entire faculty.
I also think it would be great to use with my church - organizing covered dish luncheons; meals for shut-ins; ushers and greeters schedules. But again, not everyone in our church could/would use it and some members don't even use a computer. Otherwise, it would be so useful....

Thing #18 Wikis

I've used a wiki with a TLA committee and with our FWISD Library Media Center. It took me a while to understand all the 'layers' and how to post, but I can see its benefits. Most students use it because it's the first resource to pop up when they Google something. I think it's important to show them what Wikipedia is all about; how it was started and why; how to find 'history'; how to find the source; why it's not always valid information; and what makes an 'authoritative source'. Otherwise, they might not ever realize what they are doing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thing 17

Not a very user-friendly site. Very, very slow. I might try again on Monday.