Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thing 21: Beyond MySpace: other social networks

Thing 21:
I joined Gather and Web Junction just to check them out - but I don't know how much time I will be able to devote to them.
1. (Read articles) ~ Thanks Nan for the proper link to the first article!
2. (Join Ning group and do at least 2 items on list) ~ I have finally been successful!!! It took me the last 25 minutes to get my ning badge onto my blogspot, as you can see in the post right above this one - I have finally gotten it in there! Wow!
I have gotten all signed up for the 23 Things on a Stick Ning. I uploaded my photo and as I said I have gotten the badge onto my blog, my two items on the list. I feel that my day is now complete!
3. (find another social network of interest) ~ I looked at many of the choices and have decided that 43 Things is too many and I already make too many lists for this to be a site for me. I did like GoodReads, but I have already commited to Library Thing and simply can't do both. I also checked out the Whats on my bookshelf, but decided that the founder looks younger than my son and seriously - I don't have any desire to trade my books. Shelfari seems the most interesting to me - I love the want spot, I haven't found that at Library Thing yet (I am not saying it's not there, just that I haven't found it). I talked to a woman on Monday who uses Shelfari and loves it, but like I said - I already have Library Thing.

I found it! I have joined the YA Lit in School Libraries Ning too!

Text Break!

Just a quick text break - don't want anyone thinking that my blog is too boring! Oh - and I love image chef! I also wanted to add my thought that social networking - MySpace, FaceBook, and such - although not always used positively - are a great way to connect with today's teens.

Thing 20!!! Social Networking

A. Well - I never thought that I would be a member of facebook, but now I am. I joined and invited four people to be my friends, but have not heard back yet - we will see. I didn't put a lot of information in my profile because I work at a high school and so many of the students there are also members of facebook. I don't feel like sharing too much info with too many people and I really don't know how all this friends of friends business works just yet.

I joined FreeRice as my group. Then I started a group for 23 Things on a Stick because I couldn't find one for us. I hope that others find it when they get to thing 20 or that people who have finished see it when they check their facebook accounts. Presently, I am the only member of the group and I had no picture to add. I was thinking that I would add the logo from the postcard, but wasn't sure if I had permission to do so and didn't want to check the "I'm allowed..." box when I uploaded if I wasn't allowed.

I have been chatting with my co-worker, who is also doing 23 things - but has finished, and we were thinking about setting up a facebook for the Media Center where we work, but it is currently not allowed at our school. The posting and such would have to be done by us at our homes - but I am wondering if the students would find it appealing. Any comments from the rest of you 23 Thingers?

B. MySpace: Okay, I have signed up for a MySpace too. I decided I would sign up for both and then I could compare them to see which I liked better. So far, I find that MySpace bogs where FaceBook did not. I have sent two requests for people to let me be their friends and I signed up for the Library Lovers group. I didn't find a 23 Things group on MySpace either, but I didn't make one. I am attempting to check out the public library spaces, but am running into a lot of unexpected hang time with the internet - perhaps it is my computer and the fact that I have 5 windows open. We will see how it all plays. I have found a lot of library related groups, but searching for library or libraries brings up so many groups, but I haven't found an actual public library myspace yet. I have signed up for many groups now and so I will go from the link on the 23 Things page instead of searching. I do see a dramatic lag/bog/hang time on MySpace that I didn't experience with FaceBook.

I am excited about the things I am seeing when checking out the library spaces! Wow! So teen oriented! I need to spend some time figuring out how to get that kind of thing set up or how to get my current Reading Club webpage looking that exciting!

Thing 19: Podcasts

Podcasting: yet another technology tool that before 23 Things I had not experienced. I am really not as technologically challenged as I appear from these blogs - I just have never spent so much time learning about the internet before.
I like the podcasting idea. I honestly don't have the kind of time I would like to have to listen to all of the podcasts that I have found that sound interesting. So many of them are lengthy and I can't devote the 50+ minutes of my day to listening to the whole thing.
I do believe that I will be able to listen to parts of the podcasts that I have added to my blogspot.

I added KatieCasts, Booklust by Nancy Pearl, and Nancy Pearl Book Reviews, and Book Voyages to my and to my bloglines. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to listen to Nancy Pearl because I on Monday I am attending a seminar where she is the keynote speaker.

I did set up an account on gcast so I could make my own podcasts, but as yet have not actually made one. I would like to try it, I just don't know that I have anything too profound to share today.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just a quick comment!

I just wanted to take a minute to comment so that anyone who looks at my blog doesn't wonder if I have given up on the 23 Things. NO! Last week was hectic at work and home both - couldn't seem to find that elusive 15 minutes to work on anything extra. Since Thursday I have been on what serves as our Spring Break and have not worked at my computer so much, Easter with my family in Wisconsin and such. Took a little bit of time and entered some of my books into Library Thing - but not too many. I found a site called - similar to Library Thing, but for movies. In case anybody is a movie collector as well - (I haven't really checked oit out yet, but thought I'd throw it out there). I plan to hit the last of the Things hard this week - hoping to be able to be adding my final thoughts by the weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thing 18: You Tube - Jeff Smtih - Bone

I checked out YouTube and was terrified by what kind of videos came up when I clicked the Education button on the left side of the screen. So I searched fiction authors instead of dealing with what kind of education the site was talking about. I found a lot of google author talk videos, but they were lengthy. I was scrolling through the different authors when I came across a few shorter videos about the Bone series of graphic novels and the author Jeff Smith. I was thrilled to have a chance to learn something about the author. The boys in the media center are blazing through the Bone series by Jeff Smith. I can hardly keep them on the shelf. I, however, am new to graphic novels. Last summer I ran the summer reading program with a theme base; one of the themes was graphic novels. I had to read at least one book from each theme so I chose to read the first Bone - Out from Boneville. I enjoyed it so much I am now preordering each new book in the series and my son and I have long discussions about who will get to read the new arrival first. They are offered from Scholastic, but you can find them in book stores too, they run on the high end for paperbacks, but are well worth it. I believe that I could use YouTube to add these kinds of interviews and such to the webpage and the students would love it.

Need a text break here!!!

Just wanted to play with Big Huge Labs again - I hadn't tried the poster feature yet - and I thought after so many posts without something to look at now would be a great time to insert a page break.

23 Things on a Stick

My favorite thing about 23 Things on a Stick ---learning about new tools that are out there available for use by both students and adults - regardless of how useful they will be to me in my current position. I love the fact that each time I work on my 23 Things on a Stick I learned something new.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thing 17: ELM Productivity Tools

1. Gale/Cengage Learning: I set up my search alert to search for articles about how to get and or keep boys about age 11 reading. I am hoping to find some mind blowing idea that will change the course of history, but I will be thrilled if I can get a few ideas that I can try out.
2. EBSCO: I like the choices on EBSCO. I enjoy having the ability to look at back issues. I added quite a few journal alerts from here, I also added a couple articles to my folder. I don't understand what I am to do with the web page that I have set up - but the background is cool. Who gets to see it besides me? I saved it to my desktop and I believe I will use the link to check on articles when I get alerted. Comparing the two (Gale/Cengage and EBSCO) I like EBSCO better.
3. Proquest: I tried to set up the webpage the way the directions said, but it didn't take me anywhere and it didn't offer a save spot. I did email it to both myself and to a friend. I found a couple articles that look like they might have good info too.
4. NetLibrary: I had never used NetLibrary before today. I signed up for an account and checked out the site. I think this tool will be very useful to students and teachers.

Thing 16: Student 2.0 Tools

Encouraging students to use the research project & assignment calculators should be a breeze. They are fantastic tools. If only we were all that well planned! I think that the tools speak for themselves in that it is obvious right away that they will make the student's life easier. The step by step guide in the assignment calculator with resources within each step is amazing. I love the research process glossary in the research project calculator. If given the exposure to these tools, I believe that many students would make an easy transition over to using these two programs (along with others) on a regular basis.

I saw a number of great teacher resource ideas that would work in the media center. I believe that a writing/research spot can be made - just a corner of a desk - hanging folders or standing folders, each with different resource tools in them. The students can come up and get what tools they need without feeling like they have to ask for help and are still close enough to ask if they want to. I liked: the student research planning guide, what is research handout, improve your google search tip sheet, 10 questions for evaluating websites, taking notes ideas, and so on.

I think that the students will be more willing to use the tools on their own if they know that they are available and you are not judging you.

Thing 15: On-Line Games and Libraries

I deal with students playing on-line games in the Media Center everyday. Games, along with all other non-school related media, are not allowed in our school. I did go to Puzzle Pirates and do two missions; I bilged and I learned swordfighting. I did interact a little bit with a couple other people on my ship, but I didn't have too much to say. I don't think my computer is fast enough for the game I was playing because it had a tendency to hang. I love puzzles so I was excited to try Puzzle Pirates, but I found the move choices limited in this program. I do play other puzzle games on-line. One of my favorites beign Text Twist on MSN games. There are a lot of game sites out there, but most of the students seem to be into role-playing games. One I see the most is Runscape - which you can play free or become a paid member of.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thing 14: Library Thing

This is one of my favorite things so far. I am really enjoying the Library Thing. I spent a number of hours today adding books to each of my catalogs on Library Thing. I enjoy seeing which books other members have in common and can't wait to get my cuecat so I can finish entering the rest of my books. I have done most of the books in my room, my son's Jeff Smith and Brian Jacques, and plan to move on to my daughter's bookshelf and the as yet unfinished library here at home. (I am waiting for the cuecat before I do all those though). Linking them to the blog didn't work the way I thought it would, but it did work - so you can look at both my DragonLibrary8 and Page Masters catalogs from the links. I have entered 178 from home and right around 200 at school. I think it will be fun to see what everyone else is reading - scary to see how many books I have that I have not even thought about starting yet. - - so many books, so little time...

Thing 14: Library Thing

My home library catalog at Library Thing - DragonLibrary8

Thing 14: Library Thing Catalog Link

Library Thing - Page Masters Catalog

Google Docs Idea

I was just talking about google docs with a teacher here at school and he had a great idea for using it without group work. He was saying that he could have students writing papers and collaborating with him, that way when they were finished with the rough draft he could add comments. I think that would work well. The students could write their paper, he can edit that part, they can then go back to make revisions, turn it back in, and so on...

Thing 14: Library Thing

I Love Library Thing! I have signed up for two accounts! One that I already blogged about, for my own home library, and one for the reading club at school. The one for school is called Page Masters. It will be used for the books that are given to the students as reading rewards. My hope is that the students will go on Library Thing, look at the list, think about which books they would like to win, and comment about additional titles they would like to see on the list. I am thrilled to have found this tool.

Thing 9

I finally got it!!! Thank you Kathy for working with me on googledocs! I think googledocs are an amazing tool. I was having trouble with this thing and chatted with my friend Kathy, who is also doing 23 things on a stick, and now I think it is great! We worked on a document - even editing at the same time - it shows you everything. It shows who edited, when they edited, and what they did when they edited. I feel this will be a very useful tool for teachers giving students group projects to work on. I don't see too many uses in the media center - although I think the students might like a running reading recommendation list. I will try to get one set up and blog again if the students like it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thing 14: Library Thing

cast L I B R Letter A tapas r Y
the t from droylsden market H I n002 G I have been waiting to get to Thing 14! I can't wait to get started with Library Thing - I have heard so much about it! I have signed up as a lifetime member and ordered my cuecat scanner - I was planning to borrow my friend Kathy's cat scanner, but decided that we would both need them for the summer and 6 hours is too far to drive just for a scanner. Alas - I will have to work on thing 14 tomorrow. It has gotten far too late already. I am still wondering about those 15 minutes I heard about at the beginning of 23 Things on a Stick. I am having a lot of fun though - and learning so much (mostly things I didn't know anything about too!).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just a quickie sharing moment!

I wanted to share for a moment - I went to a BER seminar on 3/5/08 - the presenter was talking about buying software to make READ posters for libraries and classrooms and I was so excited to share what I have learned about BigHugeLabs and ImageChef. I also spent a few minutes after class to talk to the presenter about the 23 Things on a Stick program. She was very excited about what I was telling her. I also told her about a YouTube video that I had seen about the book Looking for Alaska, she had been talking about censorship and parent complaints in the library. You can check it out by clicking this link:

Thing 13: On-Line Productivity Tools

I have changed my homepage (on my home computer) to igoogle - I am constantly finding things that I had no idea were out there - of course I wasn't looking. I had a great time customizing my igoogle with word of the day, joke of the day, news, weather, and the like. I even have it set up with a background that changes according to the time of day - now every time I get on my computer I get up to date information about things I am chosing to have displayed. I like it, I plan to keep it as my homepage.
I am sure that this would be a great tool for the library, but it would have to be done on each computer and that is a task that is truly daunting, not to mention that each computer would then be customized only for one person. I am enjoying the new homepage and the features that it allows me to take advantage of.
I went to google calendars...time sink! I think this will be a useful tool, now that I have it all set up - I even added my new rabbit's birthday! I will be able to view this calendar from any computer instead of always having to carry around my paper calendar - as long as I can remember to update the on-line one.
I checked out both the list sites - I have signed up for Remember the Milk. I LOVE to make lists - if the calendar was a time sink for me - list making will be off the charts - I will go back to Remember the Milk and work on lists after I have finished my 23 Things on a Stick.
I looked at Backpack and decided that I would look more closely at that tool when I had both a plan and a lot of time. It seems like it would be useful for students working on group projects. I will have to check it out more.
I have recently been introduced to CutePDF and it is a great tool. I put a lot of documents on the reading club website and CutePDF has become invaluable to me. It is viewable by everyone, the program is available at no cost, the download is not too time consuming, and it is easy to use. I highly recommend it.
I glanced at Zamzar - I was also just introduced to a program called media convert. I will have to see which one the students like better.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thing 12: Do you Digg?

Digg: I looked at this site - it seems to have a lot of fun articles, a lot of videos and photos, but wouldn't be my first choice if I was looking for news.
Reddit: I looked here too, but didn't stay.
Newsvine & Mixx: I liked these sites - they seem to have news.

Zombies, Schmombies! Teen Girls Are Vamping It Up! The New York Observer

I signed up for Mixx and shared the article above. I am excited to learn about yet another source of information that I have not made available to myself, but am somewhat overwhelmed by the idea of soooooo many sources of information - who has this kind of time, so I guess I see them as a productivity detractor. You could spend hours just checking out the various news sites - learn lots about the news, but not get much done.

I think that this would be great as a tool for students looking for current events or news articles - as long as they can stay focused.

Thing 11:

This is great! I work from home and school and am constantly frustrated by trying to remember which computer has what information stored on it. With I can have the same information on both! Go to and check it out. I am sure this tool will be very helpful for students working together.

Thing 9: comment to Kathy M - Inside a Dog

W glowing Pewter Lowercase Letter o Subway R D F U plain card disc letter nMy computer at home doesn't allow me to post comments or reply to posted comments - don't know why - I'll figure it out later (maybe). I have a hard time getting my posts on from here - I must have some java issue.
I tried to edit your google doc and was told I didn't have permission - I didn't see where to ask for it either - I think it's a great idea - I just don't know how to add.
Spell is one of my favorite things so far - yours too from the looks of it. I like how you add links and photos to so many of your posts -

Thing 10: Wiki's

Wiki's are cool. I watched the video - very fun! I went to all the library wikis and I added to the 23 Things on a Stick wiki - nothing fancy or profound - just that I was there. I think this is a fantastic tool. The uses for wikis at school is huge! I can see students and teachers using a wiki about books they are reading, books they have already read and having the opportunity to check out and comment on them. I know that we can use a wiki for the reading club. I am going to make one and put it on the web for the kids so they can talk to each other about the club and the books they are interested in. I also think the wiki is going to be a huge help for me personally! I am trying to plan a family renunion with my sisters, parents, and relies (all living in different states) - it is going to make everything so much easier.
I like that the wiki sites have some security measures - it keeps the comments valid and makes you feel better about the information that you are getting from them. I know that at our school some of the teachers like wikipedia and some do not - ALL the students seem to like it and use it regularly as a source - regardless of the teachers feelings. I know that I use it quite a bit when I am looking up books and authors for students in the media center. I think it's a great tool.

Thing 9: On-line Collaboration Tools

I am going to come back to thing 9. I am unable to edit on either google docs or zoho and have signed up for both. I am sure that I am doing something wrong - but will figure it out later. I have been thinking about the uses for the on-line collaboration and it seems like it would be a great tool for schools. I can only imagine how convenient it will be for students working in groups and how nice it will be for teachers to have the ability to see each students individual contributions as well as the group whole. I know that a couple of the teachers here have been talking about trying google docs for an upcoming project. I can't wait to see it in action!

Thing 8: Picture Trail: cube


Thing 8: Picture Trail: Flick