Friday, July 17, 2009

Thing # 23 - Summarize Thoughts About Program

Ahhh! I am finished but I feel that this is just the beginning. This has been a fun and great learning experience. I have learned so much and appreciate the fact that Spring Branch has offered 23 Things. I would love to continue this learning process.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
Wow, there are just too many favorites. I learned so much from each discovery. But since I have to name a few...The online image generators was just fun, fun, fun. Library Thing was great because it helps me to organize my reading. I also enjoyed the wikis, podcasts/videocasts, youtube/teachertube and nings.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I have always tried to keep up with what is out there in the library/technology field, but there is just so much and it changes so rapidly. It is important to try to be up-to-date or at least be one step ahead. With programs like 23 Things it will help me to accomplish that goal.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Pretty much all of it. I love to learn new things. I have heard of many of the discovery activities mentioned, but I still cannot believe what all is out there. As I have stated before in my blog, I am not one to write about myself or make comments if I don't' have anything to say but this has forced my out of my comfort zone. :)

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
I cannot think of anything that could have been done differently. This program has taken the latest technology advances and have organized them and put them together in one spot. Thank you for having this available to participate in.

5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
Most definitely! This has been a great hands on experience for learning. I was learning, but in a way I was also playing. We have to keep up with the way things are changing so rapidly. I think other districts need to follow Spring Branch's lead and have programs like this for their staff.

6. How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?
What an informative and great hands-on experience!

7. Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs?
Will do! Thank you for the opportunity to participate.

Thing # 22 - Nings

I perused over the suggested Nings and the two that I was most interested in were Texas School Librarians Ning and Teacher Librarian Network Ning. I did sign in and become a member and I plan on joining the "High School Librarians Group" in the Texas School Librarians Ning and join the "Web 2.0 in Library Group" in the Teacher Librarian Network. I have been a member of TLC and LM-NET, but these Nings give an extra dimension (such as the Blogs and Groups) to keep up with the ongoings in the library field and to keep up with what I am interested in.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing #21 - Podcasts and Videocasts

I l..o..v..e using Photostory, MovieMaker and Camtasia Studio. For orientation, at the beginning of the year last year my co-worker videotaped the orientation and I then took what was on the video and added music, additional info and animation using MovieMaker. I like to change the orientation presentations each year, because new things are added and also things change. I recently purchased a Flip Video Camcorder (which I love!) and I think it would be a good investment for the library to purchase one to make videos, etc. Throughout the year I posted several videos on Blackboard about the "Happenings in the Library!" And I even posted a podcast on Blackboard (ie. announcing Teen Read Week). A few years ago I sent a video to the person in charge of the district webpages and they posted the video on the campus library district webpage. However, now we (district librarians) are supposed to have more access to the campus library district webpage and I would like to post more of these videos and podcasts sharing the "Happenings in the Library!" for more patrons to see.

I currently also use Camtasia Studio 2 software (which the library purchased). Camtasia Studio software is a screen video capture program. You download Camtasia Studio 6 and try it out I believe for a 30 day period. I have found that basically these programs all work the same. At first, it did take some time but once you get the hang of it and organize it, it is fun, fun! These videos are just a shortened version of "orientation" and "happenings in the library".

Thing # 20 - Explore YouTube and TeacherTube

I had fun with this discovery activity and the directions to embed were helpful. I thought this was a cute video that I got from TeacherTube. Some 4th Graders created new Chocolate Candy Bar Sensations. What a great assignment!

What a great video search engine...Blinkx. This will probably be blocked by the district where I work. For awhile the district blocked YouTube, but now it is available. I will have to check Blinkx to see if it is blocked when I return. I am going to try Zamzar out later. It seems that I posted a video using the software Camtasia (which the library bought) on Blackboard and it would not work. I am going to use Zamzar to see if I can convert the avi extension to a wmv and see if it will then work on Blackboard.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thing # 19 - Web 2.0 Award List

What a great list! I've had fun going through the list. I did not go through each one, but basically picked the ones that "caught my eye" so to speak. When I went to Furl, the site for Diigo came up. I use Diigo for social bookmarking. As expressed before in one of my other entries I stated that I really like using Diigo. I love, love Library Thing and have had a good experience working with Google Docs. I recently was introduced to Biblio when I was cataloging some videos, but never really got the chance to delve into it. WorldCat was interesting. When I typed in a search for a book, it listed local libraries that had the book and citations were also available. This is one that I might use quite often. Lulu had a "Rare Book" section that was interesting as well. Could be used to locate books no longer in print. I liked Yourminis for widgets.

As for my personal use I had such fun and laughed and laughed when I explored with HairMixer. My sisters would love this one. Since I am a music fan and seem to always get the lyrics wrong, I had fun with and LyricsMode. When my nephew was looking for a home he introduced me to Zillow and I have been using it ever since.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thing # 18 - Online Productivity Tools

I am using Google Docs, so I downloaded Open Office to peruse through it. After spending some time exploring, these are my following thoughts...

The advantages of Google Docs and Open Office:
1. Free
2. Accessible
3. Provides basic functionality (ie. Word processing, Spreadsheet)
4. Import and Export existing documents
5. Used with Blogs

The disadvantages of Google Docs and Open Office:
1. Only access documents if you have Internet
2. Security (saved on a different server other than yours)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thing #17 - Rollyo

The video link was helpful. I can see where Rollyo would be a useful research tool. There would be less time wasted on searching and more time researching. Searches would be limited to reliable sources using those websites that are entered. I registered and edited an existing list of websites for Economics. Click on the link to view