Sunday, September 27, 2009

THING #7 (Week 3)

It is actually Week 4, but I mistakenly thought this post was to be for this week. Oops. Anyway, I think I will talk about things like cell phones and Facebook.

I am always slow to tumble to new things because I am just naturally suspicious about anything that bucks tradition. I first got a cell phone because I went away to college and it was a 4 hour drive. I rarely used it because I did not not want to be one of those people walking around with a cell phone glued to their ear. I did not like to text message because I did not want to be one of those people staring at their phone, their fingers flying, oblivious to their surroundings. I did not want to sign up for Facebook because I didn't want to be one of those people who display their personal lives for all to see and add people that they barely know as friends.

Needless to say...I am one of those people! My point is that I think preconceived notions about technology contribute a lot to digital illiteracy. My 67-year-old father won't touch a computer because he simply assumes that it can contribute nothing to his life. I think many of us believe that by clinging to tradition we will stop the world from changing so bewilderingly. Maybe he's right...but I daresay if he learned to browse the Web he would find something to pique his interest.

I'll be damned, though, if I ever become one of those people who use Twitter!

THING #9 (Week 4)

I added 3 new feeds to my Bloglines page: a New York Times feed featuring articles about libraries and librarians, a Library Journal feed about library management, and comments on the "Speak Quietly" blog about libraries featured on Blogspot. I searched for these using Bloglines, because it was the most convenient to find and then add. I tried using Syndic8, but I thought it was awkward. Feedster doesn't seem to exist anymore. was an interesting discovery. It was a little confusing...I didn't see where you could add actual feeds to something like Bloglines. However, it's a really interesting site because you get feeds pertaining to local issues that local people comment on...and comment they do, oh my! I hope I am never featured in an article posted to Topix any time soon.

THING #8 (Week 4)

I'm glad that I finally know what RSS feeds are and what their purpose is. I always had that uncomfortable feeling that I should know what they are and be using them for some mysterious purpose. I actually managed to include the 5 feeds I subscribed to on my blog page on the right hand side toward the middle. I chose CNN, Word of the Day from, Librarian's Internet Index, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times Book Review.

This is a great way to stay on top of technology-type stuff, especially since it all changes so rapidly. You can be notified of the latest developments without even having to try to remember which webpages to visit or cluttering up your Favorites list. Any professional should use RSS feeds to stay on top of current issues in their field. I can see these feeds being of particular value to any classroom teacher who is looking to incorporate current events in their curriculum to make a connection with students.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THING #6 (Week 3)

I discovered more about mashups from looking at the Library Trading Cards on Flickr and then attempting to make my own using Big Huge Labs. I did make the card but had some trouble trying to post it to the blog. Here is the link:

I get how mashups are really useful because you can use a variety of different applications and build them on top of each other, but I got frustrated because I had to be redirected several times and sign in using various usernames that mostly I had forgotten. Then when I tried to post the card on my blog it told me I couldn't connect but didn't say why. Maybe I will try again later.

THING #5 (Week 3)

I found some cool photos on Flickr which I have shared in the three previous blog posts. I searched the geotags to find photos taken either near me or by people who live near me. I think it's wonderful how technology like this makes the world smaller and brings people together by common interests, people who would normally never cross paths.

I had previously set up a Flickr account with the intent to post some old-timey photos of grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Unfortunately my old scanner which has been in the attic for years will not work without the software installed, and who knows where that is? But hopefully I will be able to post them soon...perhaps strangers who view them can identify some of the "mystery" people in my photographs.

PA-NY line

PA-NY line
Originally uploaded by bear.bonnell
I had to include this too, because it's so beautiful. I love where I live!

The Showdown: Acoustic vs. Electric

Another cool photo taken not far from where I live.


Originally uploaded by Shaun Hannah
This cute photo was taken by someone who lives not far from me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

THING #4 (Week 2)

I have successfully registered my blog with Classroom Learning.

I was checking out some of the other blogs listed in this task, especially Joyce Valenza's "Neverending Search". She has SO much information in her seems like so much work! I also read her post on blogging the research process. It makes sense for everyone, not just high school students. Maybe if I tried doing something like that my big projects would be more successful!

I really like the idea of using blogs in the classroom and for library instruction, but I'm not so sure a general blog for the library would work so well...I just don't think the kids would be interested, although some parents might. Now, what if school administrators managed a blog for issues like discipline procedures or budgeting plans...that would generate some interest! That would be a great and probably controversial way to encourage debate.

THING #3 (Week 2)

Creating this blog wasn't hard at all, thanks to the specific directions in Classroom Learning. You can really spend a lot of time messing with the layout and choosing an avatar. It's amazing how professional you can make it look even without graphic design skills. However, I am having trouble viewing my avatar...I exported it from Yahoo! and I saw it once but now it won't show up.

I know some English teachers who have used blogs in classroom assignments and the kids really seem to take to it. I would like to try it in some aspect in the library. I think a blog is a great way for the kids who otherwise wouldn't particpate. For instance, in school I never raised my hand or spoke up in discussion because I was extremely shy and socially anxious. Something like this would give a student sufficient anonymity and time to really think about his or her contributions, and hopefully feel less self-conscious as a result.

THING #2 (Week 2)

I think the easiest habit for me out of the "7 1/2 Habits of Successful Learners" is, of course, number 7 1/2: Play!

The most difficult for me to achieve will be Habit #3: learning to view problems as challenges. I get frustrated easily and tend to fret if something unexpected happens, or if something I thought would be easy turns out to be hard. Things that I know will be hard I face with extreme procrastination!

This also ties in with having confidence...I believe that by gaining more confidence I will be able to view myself as capable of surmounting challenges.

THING #1 (Week 1)

Welcome fellow LS 589ers from Clarion University, who are probably going to be the only ones in the world interested in reading my blog! I am happy to participate in Classroom Learning 2.0 as part of my coursework. I think I will really enjoy learning how to do these new things in an interactive way.

Many of you were probably like me last year, totally ignorant of tools such as blogs, wikis and social networking...look how far we've come! I feel much more comfortable using these tools and look forward to exploring them further. I am especially looking forward to learning how to harness these tools for the classroom.