Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Week Three "Thing 7"

It was a tough decision as to what to post for the broad category of "anything tech." Dozens of ideas were swirling through my head! However, just this morning, one of my Twitter contacts sent this link, and it's the obvious choice to discuss.

I had no idea that The Library of Congress had it's own Flickr site (and/or a blog). The Library of Congress blog posted links to it's Flickr site last week where over 3,000 photos are easily accessible. This is a pilot program with two main goals: "If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. In many senses, we are looking to enhance our metadata (one of those Web 2.0 buzzwords that 90 percent of our readers could probably explain better than me)."

Wow!! This is what libraries should be (I think). The library is requesting comments and hoping additional resources are shared. The photos are ones that do not have copyright concerns and it only takes five minutes to browse and learn about 10 new things. The photo I decided to add is the opening day of the New York City Public Library (sometime between 1910-1915). Definitely cool!

So, LOC gone 2.0. It's a good thing PA is right behind them!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week Three "Thing 6"

I loved having the opportunity to explore some of the Flickr web sites. I used Color Fields to make the yellow/orange collage at the bottom and couldn't help but think of the ways to use it in the classroom. Kindergarten or first grade students could search by color to create a color book or older students could find photos that correspond to a piece of literature or as inspiration to begin a written story. I also tried to use Montager but I couldn't figure out how to make a mosaic of the picture I wanted to. Flickr Toys is much easier to use and has a lot more options. Here is a mosaic I made with Big Huge Labs. It was a little more time consuming than I would have liked, but I think it is a fun collection of some of the things that happen in my library. I will definitely include this image in my upcoming newsletter and blog!

Week Three "Thing 5"

I heart Flickr. When looking for a photo sharing site that was easy to use and easy to share, Flickr was the clear winner. I've had my account for well over a year now and it's had over 2,000 views, mainly from students. I like the embeddable feature so it can be viewed straight from my web site, even though Flickr is blocked within the district and the updated number of views. Parents enjoy looking at photos from the library and surprisingly, the photos with the most hits are those I take outside of school, like at the Steeler game or Christmas morning. The children appreciate the personal connection through the pictures---even the youngest of students who can't read yet.

The photo on the left is one of my favorites on Flickr. When I was a classroom teacher, I had these boys in kindergarten, first and second grade. They are now in fifth grade and like to read more than ever (even if it is "Where's Waldo?"!!!).

Flickr serves all my photo needs!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Week Two "Thing 3 and 4"

Hopefully combining posts 3 and 4 isn't a problem...They just seem to fit together...

Even though I've been the owner of this blog for almost a year, just recently have I contributed to it on a regular basis. I still wonder who actually cares what I have to say, but then I think of all the blogs I read and learn from every day and so I hope SOMEone benefits from it! I especially love to watch the Clustr maps because I never thought people in Europe, Australia, and Asia would stumble upon it!

I just began another blog, The Cybrary, aimed to the audience of parents and teachers (and students) in my building/district. I plan on using it as a resource for them to learn about some of the things we do in class as well as giving updates on educational websites/new technologies. I'll report back to how it's going so far.

I am especially anxious to read everyone else's blog and "hear" their insights to this process. Bloggers unite! : )

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's Not a Stick!

While reading Antoinette Portis' book, "Not a Stick," the first grade students predicted the imagination of the pig in the story. When some of their predictions were not confirmed, they wanted to continue the story and make their own illustrations. The drawing/recording timeline was exactly 15 minutes (the longest part being the scanning...this was their first time using the scanner). Here is their work (notice how they are really practicing reading with expression!):

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week One "Thing" 2

During this self-paced tutorial, the importance of lifelong learning is highlighted. Lifelong learning is the theory that it is never too soon or too late to learn something. Learning is a continuum and can take place in a variety of formats--usually not in a school or classroom!
There are 7.5 (yes, seven and a half!) habits of lifelong learners.
1. Begin with the end in mind
2. Accept responsibility for your own learning
3. View problems as challenges
4. Having confidence in yourself as an effective learner
5. Create your own learning toolbox (books, technology, mentors, etc.)
6. Using Technology to your advantage
7. Teach/Mentor others
7.5 Play!!

I definitely think I do alittle bit of all 7.5 of these habits, although I am heavy on using technology to initiate my own learning. Creating my own learning contract is challenging. One area I need to work on is having an end in mind, but being able to modify ad extend that ending point!

Week One "Thing" 1

School Library Learning 2.0

Recently I found out I was chosen to participate in the PSLA 2.0 team, modeled after the California School Library Learning course. The online tutorial is being piloted by 25(?) librarians from across the state to learn the 23 core "things" that make the best use of the Web 2.0. The program encourages educators to experiment and become familiar with these tools in hopes that they will integrate them with their students and colleagues. All of us are required to post our thoughts and findings each week and I also think that gives us the responsibility to read each other's posts and comment on their findings. I'm looking forward to working with a dynamic group of educators!