Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week Nine Thing # 23

This has been an amazing learning journey. It took much time to explore and absorb the new ideas but it was totally worthwhile.

I’ve loved learning how to blog. I intend to explore Flickr more as I can see that I can view photos on one of our TV stations using our AT&T cable service. I also love using for bookmarking useful websites. The ability to be able to see these websites easily from any computer is very useful. I also liked learning about Google Docs as I can see applications for group work here – applicable for me and for students at school.

I am in the process of setting up a wiki for the APEL students at my school based on Joyce Valenza’s website. I can see teaching and learning applications linking the students and the teacher librarian to teacher blogs using iGoogle pages. Students could ask questions about the assignments which could be answered by either the teacher or the teacher librarian. As the blog is updated students would be automatically updated on their iGoogle page. I have developed a PowerPoint presentation which could be used at a professional growth day promoting this idea to teachers.

If another discovery program like this was offered in the future I would definitely avail myself of it. It was a very structured approach to some of the best features of web 2.0 tools. I liked being able to learn at my own pace. My life is frequently frenetic and so I have to use pockets of time as they arise.

And if I had to describe my learning experience in one word I could only choose ‘brilliant’. Thank you to the CSLA 2.0 team for this learning opportunity.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Week Nine Thing # 22

I explored LibriVox in my last ‘thing’ – where audiobook versions of copyright free books can be found.

This week I checked out World eBook Fair which can be found at or
(I thought that finding it at both .com and .org was interesting). The site is well organized – I took the hint and started with the Browse Collections page at

I found a fantastic list of books in the Classic Literature Collection. Students are often required to read a classic and now I will be able to direct them to the classics reproduced here. The font size was good and now I think I’d like a Kindle. I see on Amazon that Kindle version two has just been released. I know my husband would like to have another look at ‘Flatland’ by Edwin A. Abbott and I was excited to find ‘T. Tembaron’ by Francis Hodgson Burnett, one of her lesser known works.

I also looked up Poetry Collection – 8000 poems – and thought this could be useful for students at my school.

The British Library Online Gallery at was fascinating and I’m glad this site has been drawn to my attention. I looked at Jane Austen’s ‘The History of England’ which she completed when she was just fifteen years of age. Her script is beautifully neat and I liked the illustrations which accompanied the work. I also checked out William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’. Besides the original poem, there is information about William Blake and about the poem. This site is worth exploring for its online gallery, virtual books, online exhibitions and definitely do the highlight tour too.

There are also some nice ecards which can be sent – arranged under different themes – check them out.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week Nine Thing # 21

A podcast is a digital audio or audiovisual file that can be downloaded free by a computer user connected to the Internet. Podcasts are provided by news organizations, advocacy groups, radio and TV broadcasts, and individuals. NPR would be a good example. Many examples can be found on the Thomson Gale database under the multimedia tab.

I looked up Educational Podcast Directory at and found lots of interesting podcasts but my favorite so far is LibriVox which can be found under the English Language Arts link on the left hand side of the Education Podcast Network main page at

LibriVox is an online digital library of free audiobooks from the public domain. LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. The goal of LibriVox is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. It was only started in August 2005 and already there are over 2,000 books available. I looked up one of my favorite books and there it was - “Pride and Prejudice”. For many people professionally recorded audiobooks remain an expensive purchase – LibriVox could prove to be a viable alternative. It was simple to add the RSS feed to my iGoogle page.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week Nine Thing # 20

Ah, so many to choose from. I couldn’t stop at just one video to add…

What about

Banned Book Week Sample Display for an idea at

And I do like finding humorous videos…

Ninja librarian at

Cape Librarians Gone Wild at

Ma and Pa Kettle Do Math at

YouTube is a simple site to use for ordinary computer users who wish to post their videos online. The site is very popular, covers a wide range of topics and is having a huge social impact. You Tube is easily searchable, video clips are easily shared with friends, and there is the ability to comment on the various videos.

There are some problems. Although I didn’t find any offensive material, YouTube is unable to check all videos before they go online. Viewers are requested to ‘flag’ the content of videos that is deemed inappropriate to bring it to the attention of YouTube staff.

Users posting videos are shown a message bringing to their attention copyright issues. YouTube has provided a Copyright Tips page and Community Guidelines. Nevertheless there are still many unauthorized clips from movies and TV shows. Apparently it is up to copyright holders to pursue this problem.

I’m sure that this is a site that will be around for a long time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week Eight Thing # 19

This week were were to take a look at LibraryThing at and catalog some favorite books.

It was easy to sign up for LibraryThing. I like the fact that many of the books have reviews.

I added the following books to LibraryThing.

Pride and Prejudice
Lord of the Rings
These Old Shades
The Handmaid’s Tale

These books were all found, and all had reviews.

I am looking forward to reading the recommendations from other readers. There are titles there with which I am not familiar.

I’ve noticed that there are forums on all sorts of topics. Some people apparently tag the books they have read and so kept track of their reading habits through 2008. I’ve really enjoyed browsing people’s posts. There are lots of good ideas too. Zotero anyone? I still have to look at some of the forums such as science fiction, fantasy, Read YA Lit, Historical fiction etc. The book recommendations should provide me with my next list of want to read books.

I can see how the blog widget from LibraryThing could be used to display new books on a library website. A good example was Shenandoah Public Library.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Week Eight: Thing # 18

This week I explored Google Docs as I already had a gmail account. I browsed the site, clicked on all the tabs and experimented. Finally I typed in a recipe for Beef Stroganoff as my first entry to Google Docs. I had no trouble doing so. The formatting wasn't quite so tight as when using Word but more experimenting provided good results. Then I tried to upload the document from Google Docs to my Blog. This proved a little more difficult so I needed to go to the Help page. Trial and error eventually saw me achieving my aim. If you look at a previous post you may even try out the recipe - it's very easy.

The idea of sharing a document with others to allow editing is exciting. I can see applications for group assignments, and updating district policies.

I also checked out the google sites tutorial. I'm not sure I’m ready for some of my information to be available publicly. Perhaps I’ll just start with the librarians in my school district as I know they’d be supportive of my efforts. I saw how to add links, insert images, etc. I like the way that site changes mean that I can be notified by email. I can invite other people to see my page.

There are a lot of good ideas and applications...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week Seven: Thing # 17

I enjoyed exploring the information presented about wikis in CSLA's School Library Learning 2.0. I have used wikis as a student in David Loertscher's classes at SJSU and have seen the usefulness of the application in class work. Now, how to go about incorporating it into my library... I think I could establish book sharing with students at school. It would be a great way for students to recommend new books to each other. A new task for second semester! I’d also like to have pathfinders established so that teacher and student collaboration could be fostered when doing research.