Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Week 4 #9

Find a few library related Blogs and add them to Bloglines. So I went out on Technorati and just for ha ha's tried to find my school's blogs. Even though my library site wasn't listed, I was jazzed to find that the Asst Principal at my site is a blogger. Where HE finds the time is a good question. I feel so blessed to work with people like Brian, he's so supportive of the technology on campus. He was one of the first people to post to the blog I created after hearing about Jon Scieszka's Guys Read site.

The conundrum with blogging is this; if blogging is an anonymous way of getting your message out into the "blogosphere", how will you feel when your anonymity is blown? After all, there you are, sitting around at 1:30 AM in your PJs, writing about your day, trying your best to be philosophical, to really say something useful, hoping against hope, that someone out there is reading your blog. Then you find out that the person reading it is Jerry down the hall! Suddenly, you're second guessing yourself.
What I am trying to say is this; when we are blogging, we have to remember the lesson every sixteen-year-old girl learns, "Never write in your diary what you don't want your mom to know!" There can be no real expectation of privacy when you blog. Anyone can find it, your boss, your spouse, your best friend or worst enemy. It is best to remember this, and blog accordingly.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week 4 RSS Feeds

Really Simple Syndication....Simple??? In theory perhaps, and I suppose compared to what syndication used to be, it must be.
I have been using bloglines news reader since last summer. I find I check in a few times a month, I am not that much of a newshound. I subscribe to more feeds than I check, too. I always check Shifted Librarian & LII for interesting web sites and techie stuff. I have to watch out though, I can spend 6 hours surfing in the blink of an eye (Einstein was right, time is relative!) and get myself in trouble because I didn't go shopping for dinner, another Saturday shot to *%&#.

For the project I added a bloglines box, but I don't think I did it right. It goes to Bloglines alright, but not to my feeds. Must have missed a step. Will play again later.

One of my ideas for RSS feeds was to create a page on the library's website where all new materials would be posted. Then when we got new books or videos people who subscribed would be notified by the RSS. I have the spot, but not the time while I am at work.
Another is since classes are now using the Guys Read and Girls Read student review pages, teachers could be notified when their student completed the posting.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Week 3 Technology

I was checking my feeds on blogline late last night. I just love the Shifted Librarian, Jenny always has really interesting things. Anyway, she was going on about twitter, so I checked that out, but I really don't need to know what that many people are thinking second by second. Then she was talking about Stickis, which looks like a winner to me. You can "paste" notes onto any webpage, and review the page or set reminders. It's searchable, with tagging features. It is a social network as well, you can enable a specific group to see your notes. So now next to my icon, I have a Stickis icon too. Very Cool.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Week 3 Technology check

Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead. -Henry V- Shakespeare

Sometimes you just have to face down the gremlins as they appear. I checked the settings, but I don't know, they looked right to me.

If the comments spot is missing on this post, will recheck.

Week 3 Technology

You know, a billion years ago, when I was hired on as a Library Media Tech, one of the interview questions was, "Do you know how to use technology?" At that point in time, existing technology in schools included such advances as overhead projectors, copy machines, & film projectors. Knowing full well that copy machines and I had a mixed relationship at best, I blithely lied, "Of course I do!". But I figured that I could learn, and I have.

I did, however, have a bit of a background with technology. During the early eighties my husband and I owned a business. We were one of the first to install one of those new fangled contraptions, a Personal Computer, into our office for billing and tracking purposes. It was beautiful; with its bright green screen, and techy square font, it was just like something out of Alien. I learned how to do "Data Entry" with a Unix system. Boy was it fast!!!! I'll never forget the scorn the trainer had for me when I asked if we could play games on it. "This is a business machine!"

Well, we have certainly come a long way since those days. My kids are a part of the "I" generation. My son brought his Wii over on Mother's day and we were talking. He mentioned that he has had a copy every Nintendo game system except the original "Gameboy".

At school, I "stole" the first computer to automate the library, and spent one whole summer using my early "data entry" skills uploading the collection. With money I received from winning the Governor's Reading Award 2 years running, the library purchased the server which the school is still using. I believe in technology. I am always fiddling about with fun stuff I find on the internet. Bloglines has been in my favorites since last summer along with LibraryThing. I added a icon to my toolbar back in January and don't know how I got along without it. My hubby says I am an "early adopter" on the Bell curve.

I am however wary of some things. I know, for instance, there is a movement in library land to hold meetings in "Second Life". But I also know that not all in Second Life is on the up and up. Suggestions of money laundering, & terrorism keep me away from joining. So while it is fun to create Avatars and Trading Cards on Flickr, you cannot leave your commen sense behind. If you love Second Life, remember, people may not be as they depict themselves.. I'll say that to adults as well as students. Be cautious.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Day 2

What does one do when one has no memory? The problem with being a woman of a certain age, is that the memory goes. I had a heck of a time remembering what username/password I used when I created this blog...I know in the back of my mind that it is not a good idea to store any password information on the computer, so I don't. That means that I must rely on my faulty memory, thus limiting my choices. When I created this blog, evidently, someone else has chosen my preferred nom de plume.....forcing me to figure out a new one. I am sure that, over time, this one will become concrete, but right now I am in the soft, mushy, stage.

I had a great time yesterday playing with the Avatar program. I do have a bit of trouble with the thought that people spend real money on virtual clothing. I am still trying to buy real clothes with real money.

All right, so we are talking about being a life long learner. Easiest of the 7 1/2 habits of life long learners for me is the tool box. I have lots of tools in my box; books, websites, notepads, pens, pencils. I like learning new things, from joining jazzercize a year ago , (Now that's creating a whole lot of new synapses!) to trying to get a podcast started (unsuccessfully so far). Hardest for me is to view problems as opportunities for learning. Somehow when I am in the midst of tribulation, I am not in the mood for learning.
The one thing I missed in the presentation, was the importance of questions and questioning. To be a lifelong learner I think you must have curiosity and a lust for life! That is what I ask of my students when they come to the library to meet their non-fiction reading requirement. What are you interested in? What makes you happy? What are you passionate about? What do you want to learn? Mostly, I get a the shrugged shoulder response. "I dunno, nothing." I always, always, always make them think for themselves.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

WeeK 1 & 2 Another new beginning

Just what I need, another blog. Seriously, I have been blogging for awhile. I have set one up, hoping to get the Media Techs in my district to post their concerns and questions, but it is hard being ahead of the curve. Plus I host two blogs on my website for my students to "talk" about the books they are reading. That was great, last year, but I had a hard time getting students interested this year.
Finally, at the end of the year, I've got two teachers interested in making posting to it a project for their kids, so maybe year three will be the hit. You have to understand that these things take time!
I've found, I myself, don't have a whole lot to say. Frankly, I'm a better listener than "speech-a-fyer". I prescribe to Abe Lincoln's school of thought, "Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."