Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thing 47: Evaluation - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more This is the last thing for More Things - I have enjoyed these things almost as much as I did 23 Things. I am hoping that there will be even more things to explore. I enjoy having this kind of format from which to learn things that I wouldn't normally know about or take the time to check out. I live for deadlines - - if I never had a deadline I would truly get nothing done but reading.

Thing 46: Webjunction Minnesota

Webjunction Minnesota
I think that the most useful part of WJMN is that it is kind of a "one stop shop" in that there is so much information available at the site.
I like the opportunity to take courses, the fact that as a member those courses are available for no cost is a HUGE plus.
I enjoyed the Library Services - I am always looking for ways to make the library "the place to be" for our students and this site offers a place to get ideas from other people who have the somewhat the same mind set.
I can't say what kinds of Minnesota-specific services I would like to see on the site as I have not had a chance to see what all is there, much less to see what might be missing. I can't wait to spend enough time on the site to find out if there is something MN specific that could be added.

Thing 45: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is something I haven't really checked out before or used. The one site that I have used something similar is on The site offers clouds for the authors that are in your library.

I didn't realize that I was already in "the Cloud" because of the sites that I am currently using. I am not sure that that makes me more or less comfortable.

I love the idea of saving information outside of my own computer and being able to access that information from other places, thus not having to carry around my laptop all the time. I have an account with LibraryThing and it has saved me untold amounts of money. With my list of books saved on their site, I can access it whenever I am shopping for books. I no longer end up buying additional copies of books because the cover has been changed when reprinted. I also am able to check for which books in series I have so that I can stay up to date on series as new books are published.

GoogleDocs is a resource that was introduced to me in 23 Things on a Stick and I have found that it could be useful to teachers in so many ways. I love that the information is stored off-site and therefore the students are able to work with it from various locations. I believe that this tool is helpful to improving productivity. Peer editing and group work are made much easier with this application.

The only disadvantages I see to the cloud would be that some people, yes even now, do not have access to the internet once they leave their homes or school. Although this seems like a disadvantage, these same folks are no more disadvantaged by the cloud than they are advantaged by it, as they are limited in their ability to use it.

I have seen a cloud computing site that you can use to find authors. I have to spend more time looking, as I can't remember the site name, but once there you type in the name of an author and the cloud you get shows you others that write in similar form or similar subjects. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Thing 44: The Economy

This thing is interesting - I have never been one to worry a lot about the economy - either you have money or you don't right? Well, I have never been burdened by an excess of money, so investing and watching stock trends has never been my thing.

What's going on? - - - I found to be a useful and helpful source. NEFE is one site I looked at, but didn't check it out too far.

Banking 2.0 - - - I looked at the various on-line banking sources, but already have my own on-line system set up, which I truly love having as a resource.

Ways to Save - - - I love the Feed the Pig site, I didn't even mind the talking pig.

Driving - - - I drive an old Jeep wrangler so fuel efficiency isn't a phrase I can use when I talk about my driving experiences, and I'm not in a position to or inclined to change my mode of transportation (although I do listen with a bit of jealously when my friend talks about 37 miles to the gallon). I checked out GasBuddy and though that was interesting - although it couldn't find gas prices for my area - no big deal, I get gas on a regular basis and already know what the price is - not that it would matter, if I have to drive (and I do) I have to get the gas regardless the price.

Cell phones - - - I checked out the various cell phones, but already have a plan - which never seems to be up.

General Pennypinching - - - Wisebread is a neat site.

Sell your stuff - - - I had heard of Craigslist, many people I know have used it. I didn't know about freecycle before this. They both seem like great sources. Many people I know have been very successful at using Ebay to sell items.

Shopping - - - Thrift Store Finder was a great idea! I do like thrift shops (I also like antique shops) so it was fun to look in various areas to see what kinds of shops were offered in the various towns that I spend or plan to spend time. I love to shop on-line and is one of my favorite places to go. If you are an on-line shopper, check it out.

Coupons - - - Fatwallet is very useful. I don't ever remember to clip the coupons from the newspaper and this site offers the ability to find coupons for the places you are already planning to go.

Self Sustainability - - - I have NO intention of ever raising chickens. It is the one creature that hasn't made it into my world - and it was a close call, Animal Science class and a daughter who loves all creatures....need I say more. I also skipped the gardening sites - I have a black thumb, I know it - it really doesn't bother me. I have a few house plants that struggle daily to stay upright and green - that is enough for me, a garden would be SUCH a bad idea. I have tried in the past...everything looks like a weed when it's small.

Thing 43: On-Line TV and Video

This thing is one I started checking out with some trepidation. I am not a television viewer. I have not watched TV in more than 10 years, unless I was at the home of someone else and it was on already. Although I do watch a lot of CSI when I dog sit for a friend of mine who has satelite. I do watch a lot of videos and DVDs. I tend to have a movie of some kind playing as background noise while I work at home. Hulu is something that I have just recently heard about from a friend of mine and had yet to take the time to check out, which now I am able to do. I had heard a lot about the Dresden Files from a co-worker and checked that show out for this thing. I could really get into being a computer TV watcher - not good - really don't have time for that. The Journeyman was a good find too. I hope that I can find the time to watch all the stuff I queued without taking too much time away from everything else I have to get done.

Thing 42: Music 2.0

I had used the internet music sources before, but it is not something that I think to use on a regular basis. I think that for some people these choices might well replace broadcast radio, but not for all people. I don't bring my computer with me everywhere I go and I don't use my cell phone for anything other than actually calling people, therefore nothing will replace broadcast radio for me. The stations that I have used: Pandora and Live 365 are both really easy to use and both make listening a pleasure. The one problem that I ran into was when not using the computer it would go to sleep - thus cutting off my music supply. I also have an affinity for sound coming from a larger source than my computer speakers - not that I have the music that loud - too old for that - but I just like more of a surround sound. I do know that some folks have their Pandora run through a surround sound speaker system in their homes and it works great for them. That is just something I haven't tried yet.

Thing 42: Music 2.0: Widget

Thing 42: Music 2.0

I went to my Pandora account and created a new station. Listening to music on the computer while I worked on my things didn't occur to me until this thing, although it should have. I have been listening to my iPod while I worked.
I added the daisy flower clock as my widget.

Thing 41: Mashup your Life

I set up and account with and set up my feeds. I will be using the account for the next few weeks for sure while I check it out. I am not sure if this is a feature I will continue to use after those few weeks - but we will see. I will keep you posted on this blog.

Thing 40: Mashup the Web

Here is the mashup that I created.

Thing 40: Mashup the Web

Thing 40: Mashup the Web
I have a Pandora account already and enjoy listening to music from the site. It is easy to use - cost free and you are able to select the type(s) of music you want to listen to. When I started using Pandora I didn't know it was a mashup.
BookTour was fun to check out - I searched for a few of my favorite authors and found the site easy to use. This mashup is one I will use again - both in the library and at home.
LibWorm is an interesting mashup. This one I can see using quite a bit in the library.
Wheel of Lunch is super fun. Click to check it out.

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is very appealing - I used the scrapbook generator page. I didn't think it was as user friendly as I would have liked for it to be. I was hoping for the option of adding text. I did check out a number of the other options for this thing, but didn't want to subscribe to any certain one or create an account at them just yet - so I used the site that I did. I hope to spend more time finding a program that works really well for me personally, but right now I don't have the ability to print the pages that I create, so I will wait to do that. I have made scrapbooks on in the past. That site lets you design your pages and your book, then prints, binds, and mails it to you. It is not an inexpensive option.

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling

This is the scrapbook page that I created. We are planning to build an outdoor pizza oven on our patio and this is a photo I found on google. I am hoping to be able to create some sort of mosaic oven like the picture.

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling

Thing 39: digital scrapbooks: I think that this is a feature that many of the teachers would find interesting and useful for various projects in class. I don't see it as being useful to the library except for perhaps making scrapbooks of the students who spend a lot of time there or for the reading club member scrapbooks. I do believe that as a personal tool, it is a great choice.

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling

Thing 39: I was excited to try this thing as I am a scrapbooker (no, we are not all like the ladies in the movie "New In Town"). This thing is probably the more appropriate place to tell about the Storyteller program I mentioned in my post regarding phototales. I have been trying to use the scrapbook generator page and I am having troubles uploading my pictures successfully.

Thing 38: Screencasting

Okay - I just wanted to add that the screencast works great on the blog! Yea! I checked out a bunch of the samples, but the Peter Rabbit link didn't work for me. I looked at all the resources for screencasting and then went to the video tours and demos in the "Do" section of the thing. I chose screen-cast-o-matic for the first attempt at screencasting. I chose that one because it seemed user friendly and that is what I needed.