Sunday, March 30, 2008

Week 9 Thing 23

Don't be sad, but this will be my final School Library Web 2.0 post. My 23 "things" are finally complete. I think that this "mini-course" was a good opportunity to reflect on many of the 2.0 tools that are available for teachers and librarians. I especially enjoyed reading others' blogs to see their thoughts about the tools. For me, it was a good mix of tools that I'm already using (blogs and podcasts), new tools I decided to try out with the students (the online image generators) and tools that I don't really like or are awkward for me to use (tagging in Technorati).

I would recommend this course to all of my librarian colleagues and hope that there will be a 2.0.2 "advanced" class, because there is still so much to learn! Thanks to Marg Foster, my 2.0 "advisor," Joyce Valenza for her help and advice at PETE&C and the rest of the 2.0 team.

Week 9 Thing 22

Even though I choose to do most things online (my banking, research, get directions, etc.) reading books is not something I choose to do on the computer. I don't feel like I'm actually "reading," I do more skimming of the text, so looking at ebooks and even listening to them were a challenge. However, I was able to find some shorter pieces, like Aesop's Fables and poetry that I could definitely use with my students. I would like to take some time to continue to explore the options with ebooks and audio books and see the contents these sites have to offer.

Week 9 Thing 21

I find podcasting and easy way for students to express themselves and "show what they know."

We implemented a podcasting program in our district elementary libraries last year. Starting with 4th and 5th grade, students wrote and recorded book reviews using Audacity. These reviews are stored in a common server for all students to access. I noticed that the books with reviews were checked out more frequently than the ones without. You can listen to the district podcasts (my school is Foster) here: Some fourth grade students created their own podcast show and write the script to record news, updates, etc. Audacity is easy for them to navigate and save on their own.

These book reviews are now being written by all grade levels and some are transferred to VoiceThread. Here are reviews written by the first graders:
My goals are to help the classroom teachers to implement podcasts for students who are absent, readers theater, etc.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Week 9 Thing 20

You Tube
I uploaded the video the second graders and I created last year to Bill Harley's tune, "@ Your Library." We discussed digital storytelling, storyboarding, and using video editing tools.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Week 8-Thing 19

Library Thing (see the bottom of the sidebar)

While testing LibraryThing, I couldn't help but to see several similarities with GoodReads. I like GoodReads because of the recommendation option and the RSS feed (I receive updates when one of my contacts reviews a book). However, LibraryThink makes it easy to view tags and organize books. I also like seeing the "popularity" of the books.

I hope to use LibraryThing on my school web site to "publicize" new books so students can "see" the covers and even click on them to read a summary. It's proven that seeing the cover image prompts students to check that book out more often. I might try and set that up now...I'll post a link if I get it done.

The image to the right is a screen shot of some of the books I entered that are found on my book shelf at home that I'm looking at right now! :)

Week 8 "Thing" 18

Even though wikis are easy to use, Google Docs are just as easy, but I only use them on a minimal basis. With the students, I think Wikispaces is the best because they do not need an email account to log in. However, I have used Google Docs within my professional organizations. With many of us scattered around the country, collaborating is easy! I can't help but wish this was around when I was in definitely would make group projects much easier to get done!

Week 7 Things 16-17

Wiki Wiki! It's not surprising that wikis are named after the Hawaiian word for "quick." Wikis are perfect for fast, collaborative documents and they are spreading like wildfire through our school district. Although I've only used wikispaces, I took the time to browse through pbwiki. However, no matter what wiki platform you choose to use, privacy settings are important. When teaching the students about wikis, an important next step is Internet safety.

Here are some ways I used wikis with my students:

1. Third grade students are part of a folksonomy project where they are coming up with their own tags for books. Often, students search the OPAC for "funny books" and hardly any results are displayed. Students brainstormed tags and use a wiki to add titles as they see necessary. Here it is:
2. Fifth grade students found their favorite author and illustrator web sites and added them to this page:

3. Teachers request books and AV equipment on a wiki too:

(I made all three wikis public for the time being, but will reset the privacy options in a week or so).
P.S. I also posted the tagging project on the PA Curriculum wiki.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Week 7 "Thing" 15

Even though this is only my second year as a school librarian (and makes me a relative "newbie" to the profession), I have been around libraries my whole life. However, libraries are definitely NOT what they used to be! In Michael Stephens' article, he points out six important traits of 2.0 librarians. 2.0 Librarians must: plan for users, embrace 2.0 tools, control "technolust," make good/fast decisions, be a trendspotter, and get content. To me, these are obvious traits, but I don't think many people outside of the profession understand. In these days, school library positions are being cut and librarians are being forced to share buildings. This is the case in my district where we have a librarian who is moving and the position is in jeopardy of not being filled. Each school needs a dedicated librarian who is proficient in these six traits. Embracing technology by being a trendspotter will ultimately help students and teachers have access to the necessary content.

Week 6 "Thing" 14

Technorati is a fun tool to explore (although not to be used with kids...I came across some some inappropriate language!), but it's an easy way to sort through others' posts. I used the OpenID Claim to claim my blog and after doing so, it gave me a rank (like 2,900,000 or something like that!) and an "authority" number. I'm not sure how Technorati decides these numbers, but I guess it'll do (for now!).

To me, tagging has one major flaw: not using a common language--much like subject headings with books. The students in my school always ask for "funny books," but barely any books use "funny"--it's "humorous." I have yet to find an elementary school student to search for "humorous" on their own in the OPAC! As a mini-solution, I had students create their own tags for books at our library: (This link will probably resurface on the "wiki post.") I transferred these tags into our OPAC, so now first graders can search for "funny" "funne" or "funy" books (the most common misspellings). Tags are opened with a common language.

Of course, I had to search for my name on Technorati and was surprised that only a few of the results were from my own blog!

The challenge was to tag a post in html in Technorati...I'm always up for a challenge, and slowly learning html....Although I do have to wonder why there isn't an easier way to do this...
Technorati Tag: Did that work? I'll have to double check!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Week 6 "Thing" 13 really is delicious. Even though my "Bookmarks" bar is still pretty full, I use to create a quick go-to bookmark for sites I come across accidentally or need to come back to later. When someone puts a link out on Twitter or when I see a site worth checking out in a professional resource, I try and add it to my set of bookmarks. I don't have too many saved (because I learned that I don't go back to them if there are too many and if too much time passes....) but the ones I have saved will be worthwhile for me to reference again...ok, maybe not the Jimmy Dean "Sun" commercials...but they are pretty funny, right? :)

I added the badge to my blog, but if you would like to see some of my bookmarks, here ya go:

Week 5 "Thing" 12

Ack! I've gotten so behind on my posts! "Analog" life seems to have gotten in the way of my "digital" life! : )

Of course, as an elementary school librarian, Internet safety is an extremely important issue...Once a student forgot to bring in a picture for art class about a jungle animal, so he typed in "jungle animals" on the classroom computer for an image search, and one scantily-clad Amazon-George-of-the-Jungle-looking woman appeared on the first page of photos.

Anyway, Rollyo is an interesting application that could dodge this sort of issue and I'm surprised that this was the first time I've even heard of it. It allows you to designate up to 25 web sites for students to search. I found 12(ish) sites that I would want students to use instead of a generic Google search for basic research.

The next steps would be to create elementary vs. intermediate grade searches (for readability). My only question to sort through is how this tool might be better than NetTrekker...Would it be a supplement in case NetTrekker does not display needed information?

Here's my trial Foster Reference version:

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