Saturday, October 24, 2009

THING #17 (Week 7)

I have posted my WebQuest lesson in the California Classroom Curriculum Connections wiki. Here is the link:

I have to admit I found the wiki a little confusing and had some moments of panic as I tried to figure out how to upload my WebQuest file, but it worked out in the end. I guess it is just like everything have to get used to the layout and how to navigate through the site.

I can imagine that a wiki page would be useful to communicate with teachers from other schools. I am wondering if the regional school library system in my area has a would be so much more useful than just a website. It could be one-stop shopping for anyone with questions or concerns and might help with listserv over-use.

THING #16 (Week 7)

I have so far enjoyed using wikis since I was introduced to them last year. They are easy to use and extremely practical for people separated by distance. It is nice for collaboration because you can contribute to the wiki on your own time; you don't have to agree to meet at a certain time with your collaborators and work around busy schedules.

I enjoyed exploring the wiki on "Library Success". It has everything you need to know and what's best is you know it's created by people with experience in the library field who know what they're talking about.

I use Wikipedia a lot as a reference tool and I don't think any encyclopedia has it beat. It may seem dangerous to let just anyone edit content, but I think that for every crackpot out there who tries to vandalize a wiki, there are professionals who can step in and correct it. I think it evens out in the end.

The idea of using a wiki for collaborative note-taking in the classroom is interesting...maybe after using it awhile students could get a clearer idea of how to take better notes. Hopefully it would also foster the idea of teamwork.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

THING #15 (Week 6)

I learned a lot about copyright, fair use, and the public domain by reading the comic book written by the students at Duke University Law School. Although it focused specifically on making documentaries, the examples were applicable to any materials. It really drove the point home that a balance has to be struck between protecting the copyright holder and the creator of new works who wants to build on others' ideas. As secretary to the teachers at my old job I did all the copying, and in several situations questioned if what I was doing was indeed within the realm of fair use.

As for the concept of Library 2.0, I agree with the point made in the #15 Post, that libraries have almost always displayed the attributes that Library 2.0 is supposed to promulgate. Sometimes I think there's a lot of pressure on all of us to use these new tools simply because they're available. What we need to do, and what we are learning from this online course, is how to enrich our curriculum and facilitate learning through new technology.

THING #14 (Week 6)

If you're crazy about blogs, Technorati is the way to go. It organizes blogs by broad topics and you can also search for items within the blogs.

I think tagging is an inevitable result of regular users sharing their information globally. Many may welcome tags as a "common sense" approach to searching. Others may be frustrated because "common sense" is, after all, not universal. And there is also the confusion that can result from not having an authoritative tag for something like "pool", which could signify a swimming pool or the billiards game. I think tags are a great way to find something informally, especially if you're navigating in a context that's familiar.

Technorati could be used as a way to introduce students to blogs. They could follow one they find interesting and keep a journal on it in preparation for writing their own.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

THING #13 (Week 6) is more valuable than an ordinary bookmarking site because it includes the social component as well. When I thought of "social" bookmarking I thought it would be something similar to Facebook, but it's not like that at all. It's really just a way to see which way the wind is blowing on certain topics and issues.

Those doing research could also be led to important sources by exploring the tags. I like the idea of searching the tags to find links for student assignments. I searched the tags and found a link to a library curriculum website that seems like it will be valuable to me. However, I don't think I would personally use for bookmarking. I am used to having my bookmarks in my computer (not on the Web). It takes getting used to the idea of being mobile and having access to all your own information from a computer that's not yours.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

THING #12 (Week 5)

I created a searchroll in RollYo using websites related to the mystery genre, geared toward 7th through 12th graders. It was kind of generic but I'm not a teacher and I don't have much experience in creating lessons.

This is a really valuable tool for kids doing research on any topic. It's also a timesaver for both teachers and can be frustrating having to search multiple websites over and over again, especially for those who aren't computer literate. It's also easier to monitor which sites kids are supposed to be going on instead of having them wander vaguely around the Web.

I picked some sites that I thought would be good for students doing research on a particular author or work in the mystery genre and some information on the genre itself, leading up to composing their own short mystery story. I am concerned about the searchability of the websites I's tricky to pick something relevant that can be searched easily! The searchbox is at the bottom of my blog page.

Monday, October 5, 2009

THING #11 (Week 5)

A couple of the award-winning Web 2.0 sites I explored were Wufoo and Mango. I can see Wufoo being very useful for creating library websites. You could make forms available online for patron requests, reconsideration requests, mailing lists, or surveys, all without having to write any HTML code, as the website points out. For non-library-related reasons I found Mango interesting because I am a long-term sub candidate for teaching Russian at my school and I need to brush up on the grammar and vocab. But I think it would be cool to have a subscription to Mango available on library computers to help bolster the foreign language curriculum.

I had heard of Ning before but I didn't know that you could create your very own social circle. It would be ideal for a book club or any after-school club. Just for fun I joined "Hair Metal Generation".

THING #10 (Week 5)

I have added a very corny image of myself created in Image Chef to my sidebar. This tool could be used in lots of fun ways in the school library. For instance, you could create a "Reader of the Month" display using the student's photo in some kind of wacky template, using different themes each month. The comic strip generator could be used after reading a book with the class; students could create scenes from the book in comic-strip form.

Here is the link to Image Chef: