Thursday, May 31, 2007 for real - week 6, #13

I've been using for several months now and I really like it. The resources provided here by the SL2.0 team were very helpful and I have subscribed to the RSS feed from the SL2.0 account as suggested. The Otter Group tutorial was very informative (including how one pronounces the name, even though I still seem to think of it with a sort of Italian pronounciation -, as starting with "deli" and then an accent on the "o" as I finish off the word). It doesn't look like "delicious" as one thinks of ice cream, for instance.

Anyway, this has been a great tool for me. Not only is it accessible, but the idea of using a unique tag for a set of links has been very useful. I recently took a class and when doing research, as I found a site online, I tagged it, and when I was ready to use the articles and sites, I had them all in a list with that tag. When I was finished with the project, I deleted many of the sites, and the tag, as it wasn't of general interest to me and I didn't need the collection any more. I really like the ease of having the Bookmarklet on my toolbar, on the home and school PCs, and on my MacBook, and everything is in one place and accessible.

I made a cloud bundle of my tags and added it to this blog. It doesn't include all of my tags as that would take up too much space, but it can be color coded to the color scheme of the blog. Gotta love it. I read in the Seven habits article, that now (in 2005) that Yahoo had purchased, it would probably be around for awhile. That's a good thing. I would hate to lose it now.

Discovering and tagging - week 6, #13

I really enjoyed reading the suggested resources for this thing. While reading "The Several Habits of Wildly Successful Users, which I really enjoyed, I discovered on the side, TwitterLit - "twittering the first lines of books so you don't have too"

Twitter doesn't look like something I want to get very involved with, but this is fun. Twice a day, someone in charge posts the first line of a book, without the title, but linked to the book on Amazon. You can make it a contest for yourself and guess or just enjoy reading what gets posted. This could be adapted to use with students on a school site, doing this yourself or using this site. Librarians have used first lines for book talking for years. Now it's gone social and online!

Continuing comment on thing #11

I mentioned in an earlier post that I joined TeacherLibrarianNing at I commented on that site that I didn't know how much time I would have to participate right now, because I am working on the 23 Things. I have already had 3 quests the first day for information about this adventure we are embarked upon and I have encouraged those librarians to check out the program.

I don't know why I am always so amazed at the speed of this kind of communication, but it is fascinating. I want to encourage more CA school librarians to join this group, as there are not many CA librarians on the list or the map. I know about our terrible numbers here in the state, compared to the rest of the country, but there are still a LOT of us! We need to be a part of the voice of school librarianship and this might be one way to contribute to that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Roll your own search tool, Rollyo - week 5, #12

I created a Rollyo search tool and added it to this blog (see below on the left). I included the links from the Holocaust pathfinder I use with students. I have titles and annotations about what is included in each site when I use this on a blog at school. This obviously didn't let me do that.

I can see helping teachers set one of these up for assignments where they want students to use specific websites. This task can also be accomplished on a wiki, blog or class site, but maybe this would be a way to keep these kinds of lists organized. Maybe it would be useful to organize lists of sites in a Rollyo and then paste the Rollyo on the wiki or blog? Maybe after I explore wikis more, I will have a better grasp of how I can use this or if I would want to incorporate it into a blog or wiki. I will have to explore it more to see if I want to use it with students. The directions on the site don't seem very intuitive, but you can eventually get it done.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Another #11!

I joined TeacherLibrarianNing at I'm going to try it out for now, even though I really don't need another thing to read and write right now, while I still have half of the 23 things to complete. I'll let you know. There doesn't seem to be very many librarians from CA in the Ning

Week 5, #11 - exploring the award-winning sites

Useful or interesting sites I found on the awards page:

Biblio - for used books - new site for me; I can always use another site to search for textbooks

Flickr is on the list - one of the judges said "Flickr has an older audience than some other photo sharing sites and thus usually produces the best quality shots" - I thought this was a great comment

Yahoo! Answers looks like a variation of Wikipedia, in a homework help format - users can ask a question or search to see if it has been asked and answered already, or hope another user will answer. Once again, this seems like it is not always the correct answer, but one that is good enough which seems to satisfy people

Pipl - this was scary - I searched myself and found my Amazon wish list online and a young lady with my same name with a MySpace (I don't have one) - I went to Amazon and changed my wish list to private; it also listed my name from an article in our school newspaper - who knew that the paper was indexed online

iGoogle - I created an iGoogle home page for myself; it's similar to most other homepage design pages; whatever template you use, it changes color (darkens) as the time of day passes; nice for use now with the 23 Things and using Blogger, my gmail account, and other things Google

Another #10!

This is cute and something I might be able to use to advertise teacher workshops, staff development or staff training sessions. I don't know if the students relate much to the Dummies books, but it is eyecatching. I found the site on ImageGenerator.

More week 5, #10

This hollywood star could be used on library blogs, book reviews by students, etc. ImageChef creates the code for a blog or website or MySpace, and also gives you the code for the image to be used in other formats. They have a lot of different items to personalize and I have enjoyed seeing the ones other people have posted on their blogs here. - Create custom images

Week 5, #10 - Me as a rock star- thank you, Doug!

***Warning - Turn down your speakers***

Create Your Own PaloozaHead - Visit

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Note on instructions for #8, week 4

Just a comment on my experience in Bloglines: At the very end of week 4, #8, the instructions are given for "How to find your public Bloglines URL." On my Bloglines account, "Share" was not a tab in the right hand section, but one of the things listed at the bottom of the left hand column. When I did get to a place I could make the Blog roll public, it took some dinking around to get what I wanted. Maybe they changed the page slightly.

Watercooler on the wiki?

Could we have a "water cooler" page on the wiki where we can post general comments or questions? I am finding it hard to read everyone's blogs to try to make comments on my SL2.0 colleagues postings and this will get harder as we grow in numbers, but I will still try to do this.

If a page like this isn't a good idea, could the SL2.0 team create a separate blog where we could post questions, etc.?

Searching for Library tools - week 4, #9

I used several of the suggested blog search tools to find useful library tools. Bloglines search tool is very easy to use, but all of these suggested sites provide so much information it can be overwhelming. That is probably the most difficult thing for me. Just from this exercise I added several of the Reader's Club book review feeds to my Bloglines. I get several print book review magazines, but I think that these online sources will be easy to use and Bloglines is collecting them for me in one place. I also added Kathy Schrok's site and the calcurriculum wiki to my RSS feeds so I can catch what you all add too!

The hard thing for me is having so much to try out and read. I want to try it all, but I will need to concentrate on a few that work for me, keep up with this for now, and not get too distracted. I think that RSS feeds and tags can help me stay focused. I know that the exercises and examples will provide a future stash of things I can come back to, as well as going on to the next new thing.

From a Bloglines search for Library 2.0, I found the 2007 Web 2.0 Awards, announced on May 9, 2007.

So many of the things you are asking us to explore and use won on this list. I haven't even had time to look at all of it yet, and I've seen: Flickr, pbwiki, rollyo, and I'll try read the rest when I've finished this post.

RSS Feeds - Week 4, #8

This week I looked at my Bloglines account. I had already set one up a year or so ago. I had feeds for David Warlick's 2 Cents Worth, for Dilbert, and for Librarian's Index to the Internet (LII). David always seems to inspire me and I wanted to keep up with him. Dilbert often seems to be lurking in my school, not just in his phantom business world. Someday, if you see me at a conference, I'll share my favorite Dilbert with you about a strategic plan, no budget and PowerPoints - he has to be talking about categorical funding!

Completing this exercise gave me so much to read about this useful tool and just in time. It is very helpful to keep track of all of the interesting sites and tools we are discovering while we complete SL 2.0. It would be impossible to deal with all of the helpful information I am finding without Bloglines, my tags, and tabs in Firefox.

I discovered Clipping in while working on this, and it's a great tool to save things collected on Bloglines. I also made my Blog roll public and you can find it here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Technology for week 3, #7

For this thing #7, we are supposed to write about anything technology-related that interests us. Well, as I thought about this during the past week, I had two things “converge” on me. I got the new issue of Phi Delta Kappan, May 2007, and the new issue of T.H.E. Journal, also May 2007. In the Kappan, in the Technology column, Sebastian Foti writes, “Did We Leave the Future Behind?” He describes the simulation software of the past, such as “Oregon Trail” and “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” that were some of the first forms of computer-aided learning and suggests that we might want to develop new updated simulations to use in schools. Simulations are used in the real world today and he feels that they would be effective at all levels of education today.

What struck a cord with me in this article was his description of today’s students who communicate very well with the technology available to them, but that the productivity tools used by most students “let you express yourself, but they don’t encourage you to explore ideas you don’t understand. They don’t allow you to test ideas and fail.” (Foti, 2007, p. 714) He goes on to give some interesting suggestions to provide simulations to use in today’s classrooms.

The second article that grabbed my attention had a blurb on the cover of T.H.E. Journal that said: “Huck Finn by Cell Phone! And other digital content options, as K-12 breaks away from traditional textbooks.” That certainly caught my eye. Well, this article talks about technology and the “invisible elephant” in the middle of my high school library that we don’t want to talk about, textbooks! I know, a lot of us have them and nobody talks about them because we shouldn’t have them, but hear me out here. The article is entitled: “Out of Print” by John K. Waters. He discusses various digital options to replace those ever more expensive and heavy print volumes our students are carrying around. Because I have to manage our large textbook collection, articles like this interest me.

We no longer have lockers in our high school and 3 middle schools. For the past 20 years administrators have been promising parents that we would have digital forms of textbooks and students would no longer have to carry all that weight in their backpacks. Well not much has changed in those 20 years and the students are still carrying the books. This article describes some of the resources that publishers are beginning to offer ranging from complete downloadable books, to supplemental materials, constantly updated, and also describes student and teacher created “texts”. The article describes some of the copyright issues involved with digital resources and describes at least one digital collection that has been approved by the California State Board of Education and adopted by LAUSD for history-social science.

For the past 4 years, I have had some experience with online versions of textbooks. We have had Holt biology, chemistry and physics books in both print and online versions. In my opinion, Holt did a pretty good job with these online books. This past year, we adopted a Holt health book and purchased only a few copies of the print edition, as well as many copies of the text on CD in PDF format, along with the online version.

Now I come to my observation on this experience. The parents want the texts in this format and want to relieve their children of another heavy book to carry, and the teachers and administrators feel they are doing well by finally providing the digital format they promised for so many years, but an interesting thing has emerged. The students (those digital natives!) don’t like the textbooks online or on CD. Who would have thought it? I ask them all the time about how they use or don't use the digital formats. They have all kinds of excuses, but finally a few confessed what some of us feel are the real reasons. When students are on the computer, they are connecting with their friends, not reading their biology or health textbook. Their parents often don’t think they are doing their homework if they don’t have a book open. It is my opinion that what Sebastian Foti said in the Kappan article is true, students can communicate very well with technology, but many are not learning and problem solving, let alone reading by using technology. They also don’t want to admit that they have trouble using some formats, and they don’t want to ask for help.

I am trying to set up dialogs with the teachers, department chairs, parents, students and administrators to talk about these issues. There are expectations here that are not being met and I don’t think they will be met given the various viewpoints of the stakeholders in this situation. We need to do some training and some investigating of these issues before we discard or adopt any particular formats. It won’t be the same in all content areas. I think that the students are perceived as being so involved with technology that any technology would fit, while the “grownups” didn’t really find out how the digital resources might be used most effectively.

Anyway, while I haven’t talked about any particularly new and cutting-edge technology here, this is how two views of technology “converged” for me this week.

I did find another new toy and created the transparent, revolving cube I put in my previous post. I think it’s cool. I really have to get off week 3 and thing #6 and move on.

Only 10 more days of classes before finals and graduation and so much to do!


Foti, S. (2007). Did we leave the future behind? Phi Delta Kappan, 88 (9) 647, 714-715.
Waters, J. K. (2007). Out of print. T.H.E. Journal, 34 (5) 31-36.

Another new toy - week 3, #6.5

create your own slideshow

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Library Reading Room - more thing #6

Library reading room 2
Library reading room 2,
originally uploaded by Librarymum.
We don't have enough seats for all the students who want to use the library. In the next 5-6 years the library will be remodeled, modernized and expanded. We might even get windows!

Flickr Toys - Badges, week 3, #6 again

I got it! I made a badge of my library photos on Flickr and actually copied and pasted the html code into this blog and it worked the first time. Thank you, Tom for inspiring me, and to all of you for creating this to REALLY inspire all of us. I think I might actually get to creating a podcast for my library orientation after all when I get to that thing in a few more weeks.

Flickr Toys - Mosaic, week 3, #6

It was fun to play with this mosaic maker, but I got frustrated getting my pictures where I wanted them in the arrangement. I will go on and try some of the other toys. The magazine covers look like something we could use at school, as suggested by other posts here. I will now attempt to get the mosaic of library pics up on this page!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Remarkables, Queenstown, New Zealand, part of week 3, #5

I found this beautiful photo on Flickr from Queenstown on the south island in New Zealand. It reminds me of our trip to NZ a year ago when we saw this same view.

I would like to join "365 Days of Library Pictures" on Flickr and I will consider doing that. In the next few years my high school library will be totally remodeled and would be great to have a before, during and after record of the library as it is and as it changes.

I have a Smugmug account that I created for my pictures from our trip to New Zealand and I really like the site. They charge a nominal annual fee, but you can keep the pictures private or share them, and their printing service is beautiful.

Librarymum @ NASCAR, my avatar, week 2, #3

This was too much fun to pass up. I grew up in a car family and I thought I would take this chance to try out an alter-ego as a race driver.

I didn't need to copy code for this, so it seems too easy, but I won't worry about it and keep moving.

New Blog & Registration, week 2, #3 & #4

Here's the new blog and I registered it, so I am officially started.

It was fun to come to Blogger again. I started a blog here several years ago at a workshop lead by Gary Price, sponsored by InfoPeople. I also have 2 blogs at school, but this one is the one I will be using as a place to write about the things I am doing on School Library Learning 2.0 and reflecting on what I am learning.

My blogs at school are used for library news and for posting pathfinders for library research for the students at the high school. Students have access to them through the school district portal and the library research blog has been a quick, easy and useful tool for library research lessons.

Now on to an avatar.

Week One, #1 & #2

Hi to all! I am excited about this online adventure. I have tried some of these 2.0 tools, but not really learned to use them in the ways they could maximize learning in my library.

7 1/2 Habits was good. I have now become a half Mac, half PC person. I just realized, if you count my PC at school in the library, I'm a 2/5 Mac and 3/5 PC person. Ha! I am using the Macbook right now, and it involves a learning curve for me, but it's part of life long learning for me.

Goal setting and planning are the hardest habits for me to stick to. I don't necessarily like some things to change, but if they are changing, I want it to happen now and not necessarily want to wait for each step of a long range plan or even make a long range plan.

Accepting responsibility for my own learning is an easy habit for me, and frankly, participating in this activity is playing for me. What a bonus that I'm going to develop some tools to make my library teaching more effective.