Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Method #12 Reflection and Evaluation

Surprisingly, some of the earlier methods were things that I had put off learning about and practicing on my own such as blogs, clouding, and RSS. The Two-Step program provided the impetus to get busy and learn about these methods and become more familiar with those that I already utilized. For example, I was a big Delicious devotee, but now I understand tagging and folksonomies so much better.

Although I am getting closer to retirement in four or five years, I never want to stop learning, and this program has made it possible. My high school is in a rural area, but our staff attempts to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies. In the past, we did not always suceed because of the distance when we wanted to attend some sort of training, but the State Library's offerings have made this a fantastic opportunity for lifelong learning.

I think what surprised me the most is that once you get started, these methods are not nearly as difficult as we have been led to believe by super techies.

The only improvement that I can think of is that some of my colleagues could not find Methods 1 and 2 on Those two methods are not listed separately. Instead they are located under Archives for August 2009. I know it is a minor thing, but it was all I could think of.

Thank you for providing this service. I look forward to participating in any future training.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Method #11 Podcasting

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the different podcasts. One of my favorite radio shows is This American Life, which is adult storytelling at its best. I have intended to either subscribe via RSS or download some to my Ipod, and this assignment has created the impetus to do that.

I chose a series of four different true stories about books. The week's theme was "The Book that Changed Your Life." A young playwright, Alexia Young, grew up reading her grandfather's books about techniques for writing plays. She only read the books in which he wrote comments. Alexia's grandfather thought that Moss Hart's autobiography, Act One, provided important clues on how to change your life and served as a blueprint for life.

Alexia was able to meet Moss Hart's widow, Kitty Carlisle, and tell her how much she admired Hart although Hart died before Alexia was born. This book served as a comfort and support through Alexia's adolesence and college life.

The other podcast was about a construction worker who started collecting plates related to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Once his collection was complete, he began collecting books about the expedition although he was not a reader. Fourteen years later he had the largest collection in the U.S. mortgaging his home and living on a meager income. After completing his collection, the man began reading his books and eventually became a Lewis and Clark scholar. He sold his collection to the Lewis and Clark College in Portland, retired from his construction job, and began to study full time. He visits his books and relishes in learning more.

I thought that I would share these stories with the creative writing teacher so that the students would have a prompt to write about meaningful books they encountered as children or adolescents. Then they could create a podcast and read their story for the creative writing archive.

Speech classes could also create podcasts, and, of course, students could always provide book reviews about the library's books. There are numerous possibilities, and I am looking forward to eperimenting with this medium.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Method #10 This Wiki World

I visited the wikis as suggested. About two years ago, I created a library wiki in Wikispaces in order to post student book reviews. A few students volunteered to do so, but then our online catalog, Destiny, provided this option, and we switched to using it.

When I redo my library Web page, I plan to use my Wikispaces account to created Pathfinders. I think that Wikis lend themselves to these types of endeavors.

I reviewed wiki examples of procedures and staff manuals, minutes of organizations, lists of events, bibliographies, and training opportunities and instruction. After looking at these examples, I realized that I had placed wikis in the background of Libray 2.0 and that they still have a lot of good uses.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Method #9: Chat and Instant Messaging

I have utilized Chat and Instant Messaging for quite awhile on a personal basis. It would really be helpful if I could use it at our high school, but we cannot, and of course, neither can our students.

I have used Skype for several years. I knew nothing about it when I downloaded it and talked to high school students in our sister city in Poland. Our students were really surprised that we were able to contact someone that far away.

I read all of the suggested articles, and I have to agree with the person discussing how the Iphone and similar products will overtake the computer based chat and IM.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Method #8 Social Networking

I really like the idea of social networking, but have hit some snags due to the fact that when I try to access Facebook (after my workday is over), I am blocked from using it. At home, because of our location, we are still in the dark ages, and I become very frustated trying to access the site. Therefore, I was unable to access part of the suggestions under activities.

I did read the articles about social networking being the end of privacy and the guide to online privacy. I do understand how vital it is to keep your personal and professional sides separate. Also, I would not have Facebook interactions with high school students from our library because I think that can get complicated.

Twittering would be ideal for our high school library because it would be an great PR tool, and I think the students would enjoy it. I am considering twittering on the library's Web page, but the students would have to access it away from school because it is blocked in my district. This is a shame because I could promote events as they happen and hopefully get the students more involved. Twittering would also indicate to our users that we are attempting to remain relevant and user friendly.

Perhaps in the next few years as we face so many changes, the powers that be will change their minds about Web 2.0

Monday, November 2, 2009

Method # 7: Tagging, Folksonomies, and Social Bookmarking in Delicious

I am not sure how long I have been a delicious user, but it seems like several years. It has been an extremely useful tool as far as having access to my bookmarks from any computer and also being able to tag from any machine.

I think it is an excellent tool for different subject areas in school libraries. For many years I have used MyBookmarks, which has been beneficial for creating teacher folders for students to access. With delicious, I can see what others are doing and discover sites that I was not aware existed. That is what is so impressive about all facets of social networking.

It allows me greater opportunity to collaborate with teachers who are scheduled for library research. The teachers also feel more comfortable because with tagging they don't have to worry about proper subject headings although I do urge some comformity just for organizational purposes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Method #6 You too can Youtube

I liked TeacherTube because it has some great ideas that anyone can share. I chose to view the Dewey Decimal Rap, which lasted 4.14 minutes. It think it could have been edited to last no more than 3 minutes. Although the student did a great job, the introduction was just too long. It also would have been helpful to have another student or the librarian to show the student the signage on the end of the stacks so that the viewers could actually see how to locate a nonfiction book. I could envision a middle school librarian using this video as an review of Dewey.

Using either YouTube or TeacherTube would be a great way to publicize special events at the library and to celebrate special library dates such as Teen Read Week, National Library Week, or Banned Books Week. It is also a natural for book talks, story time and instruction.