Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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.
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.
What's going on? - - - I found MyMoney.com 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 amazon.com 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.
I added the daisy flower clock as my widget.
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.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Making the actual screencast was so much easier than I thought it would be. I used screen-cast-o-matic. The uploading was trickier than the creation. I recorded my screencast without audio as I don't have a microphone handy here at home. I am planning to record another screencast once I have a mic because I believe that this is a great tool! I feel that this could be used in our library as well as at home. I exported my screencast to my flashdrive so I could bring it to school with me in the fall and use it as a learning tool for my reading club. The timing on this Thing was perfect - I just got a call from a reading club parent who was wondering how to get to and get around the reading club site. So now I have the information for her in a user friendly format! I inserted my screencast as a video and it took a long time to process. It apparently needs to buffer now too - I am hoping that it runs in the blog. If there is an easier way to get the screencast into the blog - please someone shoot me a note!
Although these programs aresomething that will use at home, there are not something that would be of use to me in the Media Center, but to the teachers in their classrooms they would be great. I can think of many different uses for these programs for many different subjects at school.
I found this comic on ToonDo. I thought it was appropriate because this is so me - trying to convince the kids every day.
I checked out all the sites - made a couple of my own comic strips - (no, they weren't funny) - but I lost two of them in my attempt to get them on my blog - one I saved as a pdf but I can't get that one on here either. Don't worry, you're not missing out, my children always tell me I'm not funny - thank goodness they can't see the proof.
CutePDF is one that I use a lot. I tend to recommend it to others when they are looking to put documents onto their sites as it is a free download and it is very user friendly.
BigHugeLabs is a wonderful, fun site that I tend to use quite a bit. I learned about it in 23 Things and have been telling people about it since.
I did join lib.rario.us thinking that I could use this site for cataloging my extensive movie collection, we will see if that gets compeleted. I will wait to take the time to enter all those movies after I have finished all the rest of the more things on the list. I have only added two as yet, just to get the feel for how the site worked.
The idea of books on my phone does not appeal to me at all. I do have and regularly use a cell phone, but not for reading. I would never want to hold my phone long enough to listen to a book. I enjoy audio books - but only listen when I am driving or doing chores - neither of which are condusive to not having your hands free.
I really like the readers advisory links. I signed up for booklamp and have started a list on "What should I read next". I can't wait to use the features from this thing at school. I can't count how many times I day I am aksed, "What should I read?"
What's Next is going to get a lot of use in our MC, but Which Book? and Book Stumpers won't. I didn't even look at Book Calendar as my "To Be Read" list is already long enough without the daunting temptation of a new book idea each day.
On-Line Book Communities: offered a lot of great choices, but I have enough book discussion groups already, so I didn't join any more.
Book Group: I plan to suggest Booksprout to some of the 9th grade girls at our school, they seem to be interested in this kind of tool. I might be able to integrate Booksprout with the reading club we already have.
The audio book and book swap suggestions may be of interest to our students, I will be placing a list of these sites in our media center.
The Book Review section will be very useful when putting together a list of books for ordering.
I love the children's book ideas - seems to be a great way to bring technology together with reading to a young crowd.
I don't feel that the book rental places will be of use to our students. I don't know how many of the parents would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee when the media center is available to the children each day for no cost.
Book Crossing is a great idea - it was fun to see where books are being released in my area. I joined and will be releasing my first book next week.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
AskMetafilter - I checked this one out first and it seems that most of the questions I see being asked are more of a personal nature - not educational. You also have to be a member to ask questions on this site, which to me makes it less useful in a school setting; and the fact that membership has to be paid for makes it unusable for young students.
ChaCha - I didn't even check this one out because cell phones and portable devices are not allowed at our school and this site is for mobile devices.
AllExperts - I like this site. I think this one could be useful to the students. I like that it has a homework help link that is divided into catagories that are broken down enough for the kids to be able to find the right area pretty fast. I don't know that they will care which person they get the answer from, but being able to ask more than one "expert" the same question is beneficial.
WikiAnswers - okay, now I guess I won't ever suggest this site to any student. I went to wikianswers.com (clicking the link on the More Things site) and asked, "Who was the 12th president of the United States of America?" and the first hit I got was about ovulation and it got detailed....not student friendly. Everything listed below my question was related to pregnancy. Not exactly what I was looking for.
Yahoo!Answers - this site is user friendly. Type a question on the line and you are given all kinds of options for the answer. I think that this site would be great for older students (middle and high school) but offers too many choices for the younger (elem) students.
Askville - this site doesn't appear to be as direct to your answers as I would be looking for - although it doesn't seem to have so many social questions.
Answerbag - this again seems to be a social networking question/answer space. I did ask the same president question and although I didn't get an inappropriate answer - I didn't get the answer I was looking for either.
Mahalo - once again - seems more social networking than educational question/answer.
folkstown - lots of twitter going on here. I think that for research and educational questions this is not the place I would send a student.
Snappyfingers - this too is not the site I would send students to for research.
Most of the questions I was seeing on the answer sites listed where not the ones I hear in the media center. Sometimes I get questions of a more personal nature, but those are usually from students who know me outside of school. I can't say that I would be comfortable handling those kinds of questions from my students; and I can't say that most of the sites that seem social network oriented would be of too much help to them in an educational setting. I don't feel that these sites are competition to the reference library.
View 39 Clues Journey in a larger map
I have been working on more twitter and I don't think that I will ever tweet in any other way than just on my computer from home. I only use my cell phone when I have to and I am the world's slowest texter - so even with the limited amount of text in a twitter , it would take me too long to write it to actually make it a tweet.
I have added my name to the education directory. I took some time to see what all those educators are tweeting about. I added the twitter button above as my visual, but I wanted to add the bird from the directory page because it is so cute - not sure how - any suggestions?
Stages of twitter: I have gone through stages 1 & 2, skipped 3, but I am sure to stay here at stage 4 where I am. I don't see myself as a microblogger anytime in the near future, but the first time I looked at twitter I was at stage 1 - so we will see what we will see.
I am following LThing on twitter too - so I can now twitter my books to librarything - I don't know if I will use this feature or not.
As far as what I think twitter is? - I think that twitter is a tool that will be used a little by many, a lot by some, and none by a few. Where am I in that list? I am in the used a little catagory. I will probably check in from time to time to see what is up with the folks I am following.