Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thinking back - the last thing, week 9, thing #23

My favorite discoveries and exercises were the picture things, Flickr and all the toys, YouTube for education (and fun) and the mash ups we discovered. They seemed simple to use as I learned how to use them. I feel that one of the strengths of this program has been the way the lessons progressed and built on what I learned as I went along. Even when I was using a tool I might have tried before, I still learned something. I'm going to enjoy putting tools together for lessons. I think it was important for me to always be reminded to apply each thing to education and note a way I might use it at school. I think that by collecting these ideas on the wiki, it not only showed us one way to use a wiki, but it's building a great collection of ideas that we are sharing with each other and all of the other school librarians out there.

If I had anything to add to this, it would be some kind of "water cooler" where all of the participants could more easily communicate with each other and with the team. Maybe it could just be a page on the wiki where we just post a question or share an experience. The team has been great about responding to email, but we don't get the benefit of their answers to each other's questions. Maybe I'll go make a page for this on the wiki and see what shows up. I am looking forward to being a cheerleader for others who are participating.

I would definitely participate in another program like this and I have encouraged others to join us. There are so many additional "things" for us to explore and make our own, finding more of these new tools has truly become part of my life long learning. The entire "thing" was always fun for me and NEVER BORING! Harder sometimes than others, but never boring. (You can quote me on this, if you want to)

I plan to keep on posting on this blog and reading the other blogs. See you all on your blogs and at the CSLA Conference!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What about the next blog post?

As I come to the end of this adventure of the 23 things, a note of comic relief. Have we all had this thought?

Think Before You Blog

Friday, July 13, 2007

eBooks & Audio eBooks - week 9, thing #22

I've looked at Project Gutenberg before, but I have never downloaded anything. Right now, until Aug. 4th, over 600,000 ebooks are free to download at the World eBook Fair. I went ahead and downloaded "Sense and Sensibility" and it's interesting to read the preliminary information printed at the head of the downloaded copy of the book. This would be a good resource for students to use to find copies of classics to print out and mark up, particularly for Honors and AP English classes. I don't particularly like to read the books in this format, but it is an incredible resource.

The link on the SLL2.0 page to the Best Places to Get Free Books is a useful link to have. I've put it in so I don't lose it and I can find it at school.

is another great resource for books used at school. They have a lot of the classics that are read in English classes, so this would be a very useful site to put on the library webpage and encourage students to use.

I'm trying to provide audiobooks for checkout and/or download in the library. I recently received a grant from our local education foundation to purchase audiobooks and I think I will be spending it on some Playaway titles for now, as I explore the various other ways we could be providing audiobooks. I got a lot of information about ways to do this at one of the sessions at last year's CSLA Conference and at an Infopeople workshop, but I still don't have it worked out. I have paid for and downloaded some books for myself from iTunes to my iPod and it was easy. There are so many titles available there, but there is no easy way to pay for this from school, so again, I still have a lot to work out. I would like to take advantage of that equipment that all of the students are already carrying around, like MP3 players and now their iPhones! I'll keep working on it.

Only one more thing left to do.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another EduTechie Article

4 Things Good Teachers Do to Get Students REALLY Involved in Projects This is a great article and at the end, there is an awesom video from Google video posted on the blog. It is the creation of a 12th grade class that presents "Macbeth" in a Star Wars format. As the article says, these students went way beyond their assignment and it's amazing. I am going to use this at school. They want to release part II this summer, so I will watch for it. Enjoy!

8 Ways to Use Camera Phones in Education

I came across this at and thought it would be interesting to share. You can see the blog at:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Podcasting - week 9, thing #21

Exploring podcasting has been fun. I checked out the podcast list at Yahoo and it's easy to search. I found a lot of links to podcasts that included book reviews, but none that I particularly want to subscribe to at this time. Some included interviews with authors that could be useful. I did go to EPN, the Education Podcast Network and searched the secondary list of podcasts. There was one series on "The Great Gatsby" and the Twenties that might be fun to use as a resource or an example with junior English classes when they are reading the book next year. I have added David Warlick's podcast, Connect Learning, to my Bloglines feeds. Next, I'm going to try to make my own podcast. Watch this space (or should that be listen to this space?)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

YouTube and others - week 9, thing # 20

This was fun. I can see how you can spend hours watching clips on YouTube. It's blocked at school, so we can't use it there, but hopefully TeacherTube might pick up a lot of what we could use with classes. We have a subscription to UnitedStreaming at school, and I want to encourage the teachers to use it more, as well as finding things on the web and creating their own videos. Recently I found a great set of videos and clips in UnitedStreaming when I searched "Great Books." It has videos and clips from the movie versions of several of our core literature books.

I uploaded this video from YouTube and it worked very easily. I chose this one for this exercise because it's short and it reminds me of all the periodicals I used to be responsible for when I was a serials librarian way back in the olden days at CSULB. This looks to be a good use for a lot of them! It also reminds me of what the kids working the late shift in the university library might get up to in the wee hours of the night.

Library Dominoes

This reminds me of late night in the university library and no one is around...

Monday, July 9, 2007

LibraryThing - week 8, thing #19

This was so easy to use. I heard about this awhile ago, but I hadn't tried it for myself. This whole course has been so good to make me follow up on things like this. LibraryThing could be the easiest thing to add to the school library site to highlight new books, and I will go on exploring other ways to use it. Meanwhile, I can get those new books out there one more way!

Below you can see just a few of my favorites by Anne Perry in the sidebar. These are the Christmas books she has written that involve some of the side characters in her other series and one of the books in her World War I series.

LibraryThing has one of the lowest learning curves of anything we have done in this course, and it has so much potential.

Notes on thing #18

So far, Zoho Writer didn't upload my blog post, but ZohoShow did a great job with the presentation. Google Docs tried to upload to the blog, but the correction hasn't come through yet. I will try again tomorrow.

ZohoShow - answer to the final question

Yes, you can edit the presentation slide show online. This would be very useful when you need to make last minute adjustments to a slide show for things that come up during the presentation such as new information, dead links, scaffolding for different learning styles, etc. I created a text box on slide 3, answered the question and saved it in Zoho. It didn't update on the slide show embedded in the blog, because the original slide show is what is embedded. It would probably be good to use the link to the presentation stored on ZohoShow in blogs, wikis and websites, so you would always be linked to the latest version of the presentation. Here's the link to the latest version:

ZohoShow - a place to share presentations

I just created a 3 slide PowerPoint presentation to upload to ZohoShow to see how it all works. Here's the result.

All of the slide themes carried over. I didn't add any animations, etc., but it was pretty seamless and easy to do. I will try this at school and tell others about it. I didn't discover the answer to my final question yet, but I'll let you all know what I find out.

Editing the Google Doc

I was able to edit the trial doc from my school email, but the doc has still not been posted on this blog. It will be interesting to see if the edited version of the doc shows up, if one does. "And the beat goes on..."

The Google Docs Trial Cont's

I sent myself an invitation at school to collaborate on my trial document in Google Docs. This is the message I received:
I've shared a document with you called "Trial of Docs and spreadsheets": It's not an attachment -- it's stored online at Google Docs & Spreadsheets. To open this document, just click the link above. --- Try Google docs - a collaborator

When I clicked on the link, it said that editing was currently not available, but I could read the document until editing comes back. Maybe that's why I am having trouble getting the item posted at this point in time.

To be continued...

First trial of Google Docs & Spreadsheets

So far, not so good. I typed a trial doc and set up my blog site settings and the program posted the document to another old blog I have on Blogger. It picked the first one on the list. I deleted that post, made sure the settings said PageSpace and now I am waiting to see what it does.

Zoho Writer - week 8, thing #18

I am using Zoho Writer to write this post. It is a great tool, for all of the reasons listed on the sample page linked to the SLL2.0 description of thing #18. I created an account on Zoho back when we were exploring the award winners in thing #11 in week 5. I signed up for an account and tried the Zoho wiki they are now offering. It didn't seem as easy to use as the wikis we have been exploring for this course, but I haven't spent a lot of time trying to use it. Notebook looks good too. If you go to the Zoho home page, they have many tools to try. I want to explore the presentation tool they have, as I am always looking for an alternative to PowerPoint. Zoho lets you insert pictures, but I can't find a way to format the text around it.

Once again, this looks like a great tool for collaborative work at school, both for teachers with students, students with students, and teachers with teachers and whoever. The work would be available to all members who are working together and a history would be created that allows the people working on the project to edit and go back when necessary, without a lot of disconnected email, etc. It seems much like the wikis we have been exploring, but I guess this would be one document at a time.

Let's see how this post works. I'm going to try Google docs next to see how they compare.

Oops, it didn't find my blog to transfer it directly from Zoho, and the picture didn't come along when I cut and pasted this post. I will have to explore this some more. TTFN!