Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 4 - Thing 9

It was really easy to fill up my reader with library related blogs. Since I signed up for Google Reader, I decided to use the search tool within Google Reader. I clicked on browse for stuff and used the search tools to locate blogs about libraries, children's books, and teaching. Each search produced a large number of results. I chose some of the blogs that I was interested in reading. I also went through some of the sites that were listed on the 23 things site. I found the awards site to be interesting. Blogs on any subject are very easy to find.

Now that I have been using the RSS reader, I suddenly started noticing how many sites have their own RSS feed. It is actually kind of amazing that I haven't looked into this tool before now. Subscribing to sites is very easy to do and I found most of the tools to be self explanatory. As I use sites in school and at work, I am going to be keeping my eye out for RSS feeds that can be useful in my career. I am so excited!

Week 4 - Thing 8

I don't have much experience when it comes to RSS feeds. I tried to subscribe once to a Young Adult book site called YAReads. I pressed the orange RSS button and it was added to the area where my favorites were. It was OK, but I didn't see why it was so great. Then I watched the video about RSS feeds and realized that this could be much more useful if I had a RSS reader. I decided to sign up for the Google reader and everything started to make a lot more sense! I added a few sites that I was interested in from the 100 library blogs and some other sites I frequent. The site also automatically added the blogs I was following on blogger. Now I get why people find this tool so useful. Now I won't have to log on to each site and blog to see what changes have been made; they will all show up in my reader!

Librarians and teachers can get a lot of use out of a RSS feed reader. Teachers and librarians can subscribe to education related sites to receive constant updates on news, technology, lessons, and more. Also, librarians can use this as a marketing tool. When patrons subscribe to a library's feed, the library can advertise events and resources to reach out to patrons. I am definitely interested in learning more about these feeds and I will be sure to use my reader to subscribe to my favorite sites!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 3 - Thing 7

I decided to blog this week about a technology that I have been integrating at school... the Promethean board. For those of you in schools, the Promethean board is like a SMART board, just a different brand. Our school district just purchased a number of these boards and they have been installed in several classrooms and in the library. This board is used like a black board. The user uses a "pen" that is used to write on the board. The difference with the Promethean board is that it only has one pen and the user chooses the tools from a toolbox on the computer.

This board is really useful in the library. I have created a few PowerPoint presentations to introduce my students to the library. I created a presentation about library rules and procedures and also how to care for books. The board also comes with an accompanying site that has already created presentations to be used on the board. This saves time when it comes to showing presentations.

I'm interested to hear if anyone else has used this technology and what creative uses they have thought of.

Week 3 - Thing 6

Wow! I can't believe how many mashups there are that involve Flickr. I never would have thought of most of the things that are available. I tried to look through most of them and I could see how many of them would be useful. (I did like the librarian trading cards! I might have to get one made after me.) I chose two Flickr tools to blog about. One is a tool that I thought could be useful for the library and one tool was just hilarious and I felt the need to share.

The tool that I thought would be useful for libraries is the Color Fields Colr Pickr. This tool allows the user to pick any color from a color wheel. Various pictures in that color are then displayed. I thought this was really neat because the user does not have to have a certain topic in mind to find a picture. Projects that are being created can integrate photos based on the projects color scheme to make different posters, signs, etc. I really liked this tool and thought it was very creative.

The fun tool that I found was the Flickr Chia Pet. Using the tool, the user can add a photo of anything.. a pet, a person, a thing... etc. Then using the tool, this app will add green hair on the photo... making it look like a Chia pet. When I was reading about the many tools, this one made me laugh out loud. Can you imagine giving someone a picture of them as a Chia pet? Too funny...

I am going to have to look more at these mashups and their uses in libraries. I am interested in seeing what my classmates found as useful.

Week 3 - Thing 5

I have never used Flickr, but I have used other similar photo sharing sites, most specifically Shutterfly. I have heard how Flickr can be beneficial to teachers and librarians, and after fully exploring the site and creating an account, I have an even greater knowledge of this. I liked exploring the map feature that allows the user to search for any location in the world and find photos that were taken there. I looked for places like Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Myrtle Beach, and Florida. I have always wanted to see Machu Picchu and Easter Island, so it was really neat to see the pictures. As for Myrtle Beach and Florida, these are my two major vacation places, so it was great to see what other people like to do.

I think the tagging feature is what really makes this site useful. When others place tags on their photos, it makes it extremely easy to search for pictures that can be useful for the learning environment. Teachers can use this site for geography, science, social studies, and much more. I am definitely going to take some time to explore this site in more detail. The groups section is useful also because it allows a group of people to collect images centered around a common theme or topic. Libraries and classrooms can create groups with others to share educational photos.

As for the exercise... I did create an account of Flickr, bur since I was not at my school's library this weekend, I could not take a photo while I was there. Instead I chose to find a unique picture that I wanted to share with all of you. This is a picture of downtown Pittsburgh at night... It looks beautiful! I chose to share this because it is where I live and it seemed like a pretty picture!

Flickr Photo - Pittsburgh at night

Originally uploaded by macwagen

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week 2 - Thing # 3 and 4

This week I was a little behind in my readings because of the short week. Sorry for posting so late. The only experience I have had with blogs was in one of my classes last semester. We were required to create a copyright blog to share about our experiences with the class. I like the idea of being able to gain more experience with blogging this semester. I still need to figure out how to add more personal touches to my page. I want to try to be more creative with the layout and such. Sorry if it's boring for right now... I'll be working on it soon. I had fun setting up my blog and registering it. I am looking forward to the other activities that will be coming up and also reading my classmates blogs.

I enjoyed making an avatar. I have never really created one before and it was great to experiment with all the options. I had a hard time posting it, so I made it my picture and also added it as a posting on my blog. (Just figured it out like 5 minutes later haha!!) Looking forward to working with everyone!


Week 1 - Thing # 1 and 2 - 7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is something that I think a majority of us already value. Seeing as this is a Master's program, this is a path that we have chosen in addition to our undergraduate education. We decided to pursue a degree that would help us to continue to learn, and library and information science is a field that will help us to learn, and to teach others to learn, throughout our entire lives. I feel that I have many of the qualities and thoughts that were mentioned in the 7 1/2 qualities presentation. Some are definitely more present than others, but each quality is important and is something that I will work on developing in the future.

The quality that I think is the easiest is "begin with the end in mind". I am very goal-oriented. When I make a decision, it is usually because I have thought out what will happen because of that decision. It is easy for me to know what I want and to figure out the steps that will help me get there. I constantly make lists that will help me to accomplish my goals and often reflect on the actions that I need to take to reach my goal. (I also think that "using technology to your advantage" was another quality that I find to be very natural. I use technology constantly to find out more about whatever is going on in my life. I often use technology to help me to reach my goals and to make life a little easier.)

This brings me to the quality that I find the hardest. The hardest quality for me is "view problems as challenges". Although I am very goal-oriented and know how to reach my goals, I often have trouble when problems come along. I often view small problems as huge, which is not a good quality. I am a big worrier, too. The only good thing about this is that it helps me to keep the goal in mind and to get done what is needed. In the future, I need to view problems as learning experiences and not as a huge deal. Maybe one day...