Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sidetracked Week 9 # 21 Podcast

Okay, so I haven't actually gotten around to podcasting yet. I bought my Audacity Kit and downloaded all the software & gear last year. I had an idea, I wanted students to read stories to their younger siblings at my feeder schools. Sounds good, but I wanted the impossible. I wanted students to get permission from the authors prior to doing a public performance. Since this was an afterschool project for my Library Club, which meets once a month, there was a lot of initial enthusiasm, but no follow through. So change of plan, do works in the public domain. Getting Junior High students to choose, rehearse and record a story just didn't work in the library club format. Next year it will happen using my faithful library minions, the library aides(maybe).

Anyway, what I learned today was how to convert .wma files to .wav files. Not all audio files are suitable for uploading. Who knew? Although the lesson plan provided says that Itunes has the ability to do this feat of magic, I did not have any success in figuring that out. Each time I tried to use the convert feature it would not allow me, even though I own the music legally. So I had to burn the CD into my computer, download Switch, convert the output file to .wav and voila a file that can be played on a blogspot. I first posted the audio file to my Library 2.0 Ningpage,(Won't you be my friend?) which then allowed me to copy the embed code, so I could post it on this blog.
I am using the work for educational purposes only! So no enjoying the music!

I AM the bad film maker Week 9 # 20 (2)

I couldn't resist, I became the bad filmmaker!
My Video Thank You to all the people who helped make R.O.A.R a success during 06/07.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Film is hard Week 9 #20

After watching YouTube filmlets for three days, trying to find something worthwhile to post to my blog, I have to say,I have a greater appreciation for film directors in general. It is an incredible ability to be able to tell a cogent story on film. Who knew there were so many bad film makers with a dire need to share their work? YouTube has given them voice.
I searched on APTOS to see what was being posted locally. On the up side, I found some very exciting videos of “my kids” skateboarding and dirt bike jumping at the local Polo Grounds and the Post Office. No wonder my skateboard and BMX books are so popular. Think I will have to add some more. On the downside, these videos all contain copyright problems so I decided not to copy them. Is permission being asked to use this music? I don’t think so. I need to do a better job there.
I watched some very funny Library videos. I laughed at the Conan the Librarian vid. Found the March of the Librarians worthy of a smile. I was inspired by the Library 2.0 Manifesto. I carefully avoided foot fetish and “naughty” librarian vids, ewww! I watched Carl Sagan’s tribute to my Greek hero, Eratosthenes. (Too bad he puts me to sleep!)
I finally settled on Parker Posey as a very angry librarian. "Take a break girl!" Enjoy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

LibraryThing Week 8 #19

"Thing" was my favorite character on the Adams Family television program. The bodiless hand creeping out of the black box, "snap, snap". Curious, competent, but just a little odd. LibraryThing strikes me the same.

I've been playing with LibraryThing since July '06. I am not very faithful to it. Every once in a while, usually during my holidays, I will go in and add a few books. I use it as more of a reading list, than a true catalog. I never thought about using it at school. Thomas Kaun, the fabulous Library Media Teacher at Redwood High's Bessie Chin Library, has placed an LT widgit showing new books that have been added to his collection. Great idea!

I have one reservation about LibraryThing; the search database is not all that extensive. I know it seems like Amazon has everything in the world, but I have run into "no hits" on some of my less well known books. For example, Michael Chabonne's Yiddish Policeman's Union. I searched Amazon, and they came up with a double set of books, because they're trying to make a sale. I tried Library of Congress, but no record appeared. That always confuses me, I always thought the LC had EVERYTHING catalogged. LibraryThing is supposed to be a quick hit, and if I can't find it within two minutes, I won't put a whole lot of effort into it. So I settled for the Amazon find and edited.

LibraryThing was where I first tried to use Tags. It made me smile to see my early efforts at tagging, which, by the way, I have since edited. I have learned some things this past year after all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Zoho Week 8 # 18

About a year ago, School Library Journal featured Zoho writer as a technology to watch. Since I am a prissy person, concerned about students sticking floppy disks or thumb drives into my computers at school, I immediately took to this technology. Over the past year I have helped a bunch of students create Zoho accounts. I have used my e-mail address at school, since it is amazing just how many junior high students do not have their own e-mail accounts.

I have had students use zoho writer, & zoho show. They work very well, students seem to be able to grasp the concepts and are really excited. I have even had student's do the unthinkable; say, "Thank you!". Adults, on the other hand, are not as quick to catch on. For some reason they seem to like to stay in the Known Zone.

This year I plan on creating a (Horrors) piece of paper listing important online tools, that parents can take when they come to the library to pick up textbooks. Zoho writer will have a place of pride on the list.

This is however the first time I have attempted to export a document created in Zoho, We shall see. Will the color export?

Woo woo wiki week 7 #16, 17

Flash update!
I have now figured out how to create a Wiki. I even have created a link on the Aptos Junior High Library web page. I plan to use the calendar as an interactive library scheduling tool so teachers can sign up for library from their classrooms. I have wanted to do that for quite some time, but all the other ways that I have tried, didn't work. If the district doesn't block PBwiki, and we are in negotiations as we speak, this will work like grease through a goose.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wicked Wiki's Week 7 #16 &17

Finding out about wiki's is the real reason I wanted to do this class. The whole idea of wiki's intrigues me. How to effectively use such a public devise in a school setting, particularly with junior high students, is an interesting predicament. I noticed that all the wikis that were highlighted were used by adult or high school audiences. I would like to think that eleven to thirteen-year-olds were mature enough to handle a wiki, but since Wikipedia won't allow my school site to edit, too much vandalism, I kind of doubt it.
I would love to create a CYRM wiki, where students could analyze the books. I would love to create a Parent wiki where parents could share ideas. Maybe a teacher Wiki, by department, so teachers could share best practices? I can see lots of applications for this technology, but so far I still have not learned how to create one.

I really loved being introduced to Dave Warlicks blog. New one for my Bloglines account.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My thoughts exactly!

This film maker has touched my heart!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Soma this scares me! Wk 6 #14,15

Onward, ever onward into a "Brave New World" where books are obsolete and all our friends are virtual.

Using Technoroti to look at the blogposts that are out there, makes me so sad. All these millions of young people looking for the meaning of life, posting their khaki lives of heartache. They seem so hopeless, it makes me ask; Has Social Networking become the Soma of the 21st century? Is the internet way of life good for mental health? Is there some sort of virtual psychiatrist out there looking for virtual patients? They could make a virtual fortune!

In looking over the Web 2.0 perspectives provided I was disconcerted. Rick Anderson's view that a hard print collection is an "Iceberg", makes me glad my principal doesn't get that newsletter. I am trying to get money to rebuild the existing collection into something useful. Junior High students need to connect with print materials, not just sit around with warm thighs from their laptop.
I like to think of the computer/internet/social network as a tool, not the end product, just one more avenue to personal knowledge. Michaels Stephens' view of the "Librarian is Human" presupposes that we never were. Yet I support his ideas on technolust, since so many of our dollars go toward technology for technologies sake. Ultimately, I liked Wendy Schultz's Library 4.0 philosophy the best, mocha, a book and a pleasant place to sit and muse.

When I was traveling through my own adolescent trials, I found comfort in sitting in the library, reading, listening to music, & hiding in the stacks. I found lifelong friends in the books I read. Lloyd Alexander, L. Frank Baum, and Joan Aiken offered escapist lit where I could lose myself, forget my mother, boyfriend or the latest clique slight I had suffered. (I think I must have been trying to read in alphabetical order.) I thank those nameless librarian women who worked with me, and aspire to be them. I sincerely hope that in the search for the perfect piece of information, or the perfect techy way to connect with patrons, we never forget that these students we work with are living, breathing, flesh and blood people who may be hurting and can be helped by just listening, by a touch on the shoulder, by leading them to the perfect book.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tag you're it! Week 6 #13

I love! I have been using since January and I really like the process. I learned from the podcast about making a shared reading list. I had tried to figure that one out on my own, without success, and here it was...just use a shared tag. DUH, why didn't I think of that. That's why we take classes.

So after listening to the podcast, I went out to see what other people had been tagging and found a name that was familiar, Richiespicks, which I look forward to on the Calib listserv. I always save his reviews, so I went to see what he tagged and found a really interesting site with information literacy games that I know I will be using. This is like sliding down a dry, grassy, hill on cardboard, SLICK.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Week 5 # 12 Rollyo

Now this is an interesting concept. Create your own search tool. I could see that this could be used instead of creating a webpage devoted to a subject, which is what I do now on my website. Rollyo limits you to 25 sites. I have over 70 links to Middle Ages information alone on my resources page. Then again how many of them are actually repeats of the same site ie. I am sure there is some duplication.

I tried making a search roll for Muslim information. 7th grade Social Studies and I worry about the students finding questionable information when they do a general Google search. Once I had entered in 3 urls I created it, but when I tried to do a search it sent me out to it is harder than it looks. That was a bit frustrating, because I don't know what I did wrong. Then when I tried to go back I got a Page expired message, so there wasn't a chance for a do over. Practice makes perfect.

I can envision the process, and I think students would find it helpful, they might be more inclined to use a search engine than preset links, I think they would find it familiar..or maybe students could set up their own Rollyo search rolls for their projects.

On a personal note, I wish that they hadn't used drug/tobacco references when they created this site. I get that it is "humor" and find it mildly amusing, but still "Roll your own" has connotations I would just as soon not promote. Then again, perhaps the current generation doesn't know what it means.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Week 5 # 11 Ning

So I joined a social network on NING. Oddly enough, I joined ReefSpace where I hope to meet new aquarium friends to share frags with. I am setting up a new 100 gal Reef Aquarium this summer and coral frags are EXPENSIVE to buy, but trading is a great way to get new and interesting coral pieces.
So thanks School Library Learning 2.0 team for helping me put together my two favorite pastimes, libraries and fish!

It was good to find the Web 2.0 award winners. I am always trying to find people who want to donate to my charity of choice Reading is Fundamental and so I explored the philanthropy section. But the award winners mostly had to do with being "Green". The "Donors Choose" looked promising, but not really what I am looking for. I will need to continue to look at these excellent pages as I can see this will take some additional time.

Scratch Me

Create your own Scratch Ticket

Week 5 # 10 Image Generators

My goodness, time passes so quickly. Just seems like yesterday I was posting, but life intervened and I haven't had a chance 'til now to play, learn and share.
I think the image generators are way interesting! I had fun playing with Aniboom. I am horrible at putting the shapes together and getting anything tangible out, but my better half, the scientist, was really excited and proceeded to create an animated neutron crashing into an element....bang!

I also created a magazine cover that was pretty funny. I could see using that at school. I will think about creating a fun lesson around that this summer.

I like the scratch ticket idea, but had some trouble figuring out how to post it. I finally had success. Now I know I have to think about the order in which I do things..I had wanted the scratcher to be a part of this post, but it created its own post.