Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thing 23 The End

1. Favorite thing? My favorite thing was creating the Library Dog Blog and watching it evolve. I like the sense of community and commenting on my classmates' blogs. I also discovered you can use some of what is on U Tube to teach. Best of all, I liked having a reason to look at new technology online.
2. How has this program assisted you with lifelong learning goals?
I will always keep looking at new technology online and trying new ideas.
3. Were there any surprises?
I am sorry to be doing Thing 23. I thought I would be happy to be done but am not. I wish I was done with the Collaboration project instead!!
4. What could we do differently to improve the program's concept or format?
Expand the length of time that it is offered so we do not have to rush through some of it to keep up, especially if you are working all day and taking 2 night classes. Offering this in the summer would be great for teachers.
5. If we offered another discovery program like this in the future would you choose to participate? YES - especially if it was offered in the summer.
6. How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or SENTENCE?
Should be 46 Things!

Freeze and Read 4/17/10 at 4 pm - Support Libraries.
Thanks so much for all your help Vaughn.
Now I have to take Library Dog for a walk. Woof Woof.

Thing 22 - FREEZE AND READ 4/17 4 pm

I was checking out Nings and first went to the Texas Librarians ning only to see someone's Cozumel vacation pics that I don't really want to I am just about to think nings are not so hot when I go to the Teacher Librarian ning and see the Freeze and Read promo. HOW COOL IS THAT!!! This ning is more like it. All of us need to stop what we are doing next Saturday at 4 and read a book to support libraries in crisis. While I am not really sure how this action translates to saving library jobs and libraries in general I am in because I want to show support. Sadly they picked a show of support that is very quiet like old libraries when they probably could use a very loud support.
The nings that I found that are most likely to be used by me in teaching are those that are from various universities and have topics that I can use to research new things and ways to teach.

PS Here is how you can get involved with Freeze and Read Support.

Thing 21 Comments

Last summer we took the trip of a lifetime when our family went on a cruise from Barcelona, Spain. The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas docked in Italy, France and Spain. In Naples, Italy we found a wonderful tour guide at the dock and had him take us to Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and Sorrento before showing us around his town - Naples. We saw cliff houses of famous celebs and views like nothing I have ever seen on the Amalfi Coast. We docked near Rome and toured Rome for a day with a guide (Frachesca with Rome Connection), which was excellent. She could park a Mercedes van in a space that seemed smaller than the van. We visited Florence by renting a car at the dock, then the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We docked not far from Nice, France and took a local bus to Monaco where we quickly lost money at the Casino and toured the Palace on the Hill. The final day we docked in Marseilles and took a city bus to Aix En Provence which was very nice. We returned to Barcelona and spent a day there after the cruise touring on an open air bus that you could hop on and off. One day in Barcelona was not enough - we vow to go back. Barcelona was an amazing city where you could easily spend weeks and not visit everything. The architecture was fabulous and Gaudi outstanding.
Putting some of my Barcelona architecture pictures into a podcast was pretty easy except I did not talk yet. I am in the process of creating review podcasts for IPC and Chemistry which is not so easy but will be good to have for students to use when they are absent or not understanding something.

Thing 21 Barcelona Podcast

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thing 20

I posted 2 u tube videos below because both were so good. I found a video to use tomorrow in class to teach Heat Transfer with a rap on Teacher Tube. There are obviously many resources that we can use in education available on U Tube or other video sites. Someday we may even be able to access them at school but for now I am happy to learn about and use Zamzar.

Thing 20

Thing 20

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thing 19

I like Last for music which you can use without setting up a login, and you can look at other users who are listening to what you are listening to, even if some of them look a bit scary! If you select music to buy it gives you a choice of itunes or Amazon. I also like Farecast for travel.
Overall the list of awards gives you the picture of just how much Web 2.0 stuff there is which is really overwhelming if you try to be an expert on all of it. I like the site that lists the awards as a list of applications to use so I would say the best site is the award list itself, especially if it is updated every year.

Thing 18

I have used open office on a computer that did not have MS Word for awhile. It was ok but eventually I ended up removing it and installing MS Word. I did not know until today that Google Docs had a spreadsheet application and word processing application. That was cool except that you have to login to get to it. I did not need Google Buzz when trying to look at Google Docs but I guess that is the price we pay for free apps.
Advantages of using a free online application like Google Docs are that it is free (duh!) and it is everywhere you go like cloud computing. I don't need my laptop to get at it because it is ONLINE which is a huge advantage, I am betting it is very easy to use gmail with it as well. Disadvantages are that you get stuff like google buzz, Google had issues with security recently so I am not sure I want to put sensitive data in a google doc spreadsheet, and it does not have all the bells and whistles as a not free application like Excel. The advantage of using MS Excel or Word is that they constantly upgrade it to have new features (hence word 2007 will soon be word 2010) and you get every possible functionality you can dream of in the applications. They are so widely used there are hardly any compatibility issues. The main disadvantage is have to pay dearly for them, unless you are in education. The other disadvantage is that they are tied to a specific computer. You can not collaborate with another person either. It is harder to merge the same document. With online apps I can work on something and share it with other users to update also.
I am a HUGE advocate of open source software and used to work as a php programmer, which is open source.

Thing 17

Rollyo Rolly who??? Too much blogging today, need golf!
Rollyo is a search tool with a filter which did produce some interesting results when I used it to search 23 things. It still returned a long list of mostly appropriate links BUT the best part was I did not seem to get any of the scary websites that we so often stumble into when innocently searching. I can see where it would be a very good tool to use with students who are researching a topic because I can setup trusted search engines. I LOVE that you can save the searches and then make them public. I checked the list for Tech News and it was excellent and more good sources than I could have thought of on my own. The real beauty is that I can add my sources to their list and make it my own. This is the full list of sites searched when I looked at 23 things in tech news. I was able to use it without downloading any tools so that is a plus to me. Rollo gets an A+ from me.

Thing 16 Wiki's

First I want to know how to post to the sandbox! I joined the wiki, signed in, what else? geez!
Wiki's seem to me to be less fancy blogs that can be less public. Wiki's seem easier to restrict who sees it. It is fascinating to see who reads our blogs and I suspect the person in Australia found mine because there is a university there that is also doing 23 things. Read about that in wired - very cool to be part of it.
Wikipedia was obviously the start of the wiki, and the most famous one. Wiki's can be updated by anyone if they are public, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. Everyone may think they are an expert but they are not. I want my information from sources that are expert.
We use wiki's, as do other library programs. Here is the Denton 23 things wiki I found this using a wiki search tool.
When we use a wikis to teach we can restrict who sees it and who updates it (which is probably why I can't post to the sandbox yet!). For education purposes it is a very powerful tool for communication.

Thing 15

This post should really be the last one, or maybe thing 22. Web 2.0 and the future of libraries - isn't that the whole deal here?? Where are we going and where have we been. I found a great blog about this written by Rob Darrow - California Dreaming (all the leaves are brown..) where he blogs about the future of libraries READ THIS if you read nothing else about the topic. He basically sums it all up as we the future librarians must lead the change to transform the purpose of libraries from a video rental unit to a center of information availability (not necessarily on site) and above all - learning. We will teach tools to learn with rather than dispense books and data. I read the article Away From the Iceberg which had a Titanic like feel to it - we are going down with he ship. Web 2.0 will evolve into the next thing and libraries will continue to evolve along with technology. Some will fight it and try to block it, but we must OPEN it to all and embrace the chance to move forward.
This blog about libraries and 2.0 looks like it has many other 23 things type blogs made by teachers and librarians in California. Interesting to see their comments along the way. Interestingly as soon as I posted the link to the California blogs I now have California visitors on my feejit map "California Dreamin"... now I have to figure out how to post the song!

Thing 14

Technorati just revamped their website which did NOT make it any easier to navigate. I have searched Technorati before and stumbled into the site on other occasions. I never really understood what it was before so this is progress. I searched for my blog and it brought up an old blog from the 23 things site and a very odd one from Germany. I searched for 23 things and got a random assortment as well. Every link seemed to not be working today - maybe due to the recent upgrades? I could not get widgets or register my blog, although I am not convinced I want to claim my blog since I don't want the Darth Vader type comments and am worried about identity theft issues.
I searched for "School library learning 2.0" and got NOTHING on Technorati, but TONS on Google.
While I am not totally impressed with Technorati I am impressed with the TAG concept that we saw in delicious and on all the photo websites. Tags are the key to organization and all searches. The tag is behind all of it and the ability to put a logical tag on data is how we will be able to pass the data on to others. Tag creation could really be a science in that what I tag my picture may not be what someone else would use to sort for it. Tags have been around forever and you can consider tags even when filing paper docs in folders - what do you file stuff under where you will be able to find it again? That is the key question here.

Thing 13

The idea behind diigo and delicious bookmarker & organizer applications is great especially for those of us that look at every link and get so easily distracted while searching the internet that we find absolutely wonderful stuff but then can NEVER find it again!! We had a class about using diigo at school but of course I have not had time (or made time) to try it before nofw. I HATE applications that ask you to download a toolbar like diigo does for 2 reasons: 1)they usually slow down my processing and 2) they often are sponsored links themselves that can keep track of sights I am visiting so they can add popups and try to "help" me find sites online where I might buy stuff... so I am avoiding the toolbar feature due to all my past negative experiences with toolbar add on applications. I like delicious better than diigo because I can use it without the toolbar dl. I can skip the part where it wants to add buttons to my taskbar too and still use it.
I like the bookmark functionality but have lost my bookmarks when I updated or switched browsers so it is good to use a bookmark function that is not browser related. I like the annotation features and would use those with students in my classes. it adds an interactive portion to the search for data. My problem is that I am so easily distracted - look at this!! I found this article about how memory loss is linked to inability to ignore distractions as we age (like my age makes any difference!!) - found the article using the Science tag on delicious which I will use at school.

Thing 12

I read the articles listed about commenting on blogs and did not realize before reading them that when I get a comment on my blog I should reply to all the comments. To me this seems like how a never ending chain of comments starts. I post on my blog, you post a comment, then I have to post a reply thanking you for posting, then do you have to post a reply to my reply? And so it goes...the never ending chain of silly comments is started following my brilliant post!
I post comments all the time on our 23 things blogs never expecting a reply. I think in our world we process something and then move on. I think the rule for posting comments should be to BE NICE! Be like Princess Leah no Darth Vadars.
I commented on one of my favorite blogs - I am usually just a reader of blogs and really like it much better that way.
I like the Blue Skunk comments on commenting and the name Blue Skunk.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thing 11 Library Thing

I added 5 books to Library Thing which was very easy. I looked at several groups and like the one about Russian Literature, the one for writer/readers, and the one where you hob knob with authors. I could use the groups to see what people say about books in a genre that I don't usually read. I would recommend the writer groups to people that I know who are writers and would like checking out recommendations from many people who like books similar to what I like. I can see where it would be useful to verify publisher and reviewer recommendations when ordering books for a library. Library Thing looked a lot like Shelfari. Here is a link to my books.

Image for Thing 10

Thing 10

I already did thing 10 when I mixed it up with Thing 6 one night when I was way too tired to be working on the blog, much like tonight! (sigh.) By now I have used several of the image generators for our midterm presentation and other projects. Tonight for the official Thing 10 I did the comic strip again. I choose Garfield because some students always tell me how much they hate all the Garfield comics that are all over our high school and I always chuckle when I walk by the countless Garfield posters. Personally I like Garfield but can understand why high school students would find him annoying!
In my library someday I will generate comic strips to liven the place up and keep news worthy events updated. I would spice it up much like some of the signs in the Morton Ranch Library that I stare at all during our Tuesday classes. I would keep signage simple but amusing, catchy and colorful and possibly recruit students to help me create it and update it.
(So dreaming of sleep -- too bad they have now blocked 23 Things in Katy.) Here is the link for the comic strip generators.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thing 9 RSS feeds

Ok so I added all these RSS feeds to my yahoo including news links and's feed - who can resist all the tips about how to fix your chicken wing golf swing!!! I also added The Next Web from Technorati which was the absolute best organization of blogs that I saw. I chose to use my yahoo because Google had an issue giving out information about its users that I did not want to happen to me. The most confusing tool was the which resulted in popups even though I have popup control on and some very odd "news", and news that I would have been happier not knowing. (Robbery at a local Walmart). Sometimes I just don't want to know!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thing 8

Ok I have resisted doing thing 8 but have to get past it so I can do things I setup RSS feeds to my yahoo version of google reader. I was not very enthusiastic about it until I realized I can add all the websites that I check daily (duh) and not have to check them daily page by page but all on one page - way cool really. If I pick the content right I may not end up with any of the garbage RSS feeds that I so hate. This would be how I would use it in the library - to keep up with ALA and all the library blogs and info that we have to keep up with and won't have time to be checking a zillion websites every day. I could also feed when students change something on their blogs (like I presume Vaughn has done here), I could keep up with school news too like sports and competitions.
The feeds I added that I am MOST excited about are to the Sam Houston State Basketball site since they just WON last night!! (I have a family tie to them).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thing 7

I setup Google Reader and found the funniest post from a kid that had texted Haiti 90999 on her cell over 200 times not knowing that she was actually making a $10 donation each time and had donated $2000 from her unknowing parents. That was one of the rss feeds. While it is funny it could be a major time waster, which is why I tend to avoid rss feeds. I just checked it again and there is a UTube Video of a cat dropping a monitor on his/her owner - again extremely amusing but not of much value!
I love Google Maps but wonder about the fears of loss of privacy when you can see everything at street level. I checked my home address and it must have been garbage day when they took the picture because the garbage cans are in my driveway and the recycling is on the sidewalk - kinda spooky really. Google Finance is great too except that lately I feel I want to be ignorant of what the market is doing.
If I taught Geography Gooogle Maps would be amazing. If I taught Business Google Finance would be great and I can think of how you could use it in Math with graphing, predicting trends and calculating returns. I like the Google Search that allows you to search for powerpoints on subjects and will use that. Google Books is the most useful for me in my area to find new ways to present the units that we do.

Thing 6

Library Dog in Sepia
I did this with a picture of my dog in Big Huge Lab by choosing the FX special effects option and then making the picture sepia. The effects you could choose were pretty cool like swirl or it turned a picture into drawings. The ads are annoying but it beats paying to use the site. You can login as your facebook login so you don't have to add yet another login.
The way you could use this in the library is to make quick EASY eye popping posters and or signs. You could also have students use it for projects. You can make mini books too which would be a cool library project.

Thing 5 Continued

I think I mixed up thing 5 and week 5 and did Thing 10 with the image generator rather than a real thing here goes again. The waves picture is from creative commons. I picked it to go with my IPC curriculum because we are studying forces and motion and gravity. I also picked it because I LOVE the beach and it is an amazing picture.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thing 5

I played around with the comic strip and happy faces but liked the Image Chef best (not sure if I can make this a hotlink using the blogger editor??)
I have literally thousands of pictures stored in tubs (ugg) that SOMEDAY need to be organized and saw how this could be used to do that along with the photo organizers like Snapfish or Flickr. It was fast and easy to use so that is always a plus.
I could use it in the classroom to sort types of pictures. For example I could display pictures of various types of bacteria, viruses, and protists and have labels for them color coded or similiar graphics or stamps based on type. Students seem to always confuse which is which.

In IPC we are currently studying motion and Newton's Laws and I could have pictures that showed each of Newton's Laws and for all that showed Newton's 1st use one background or set of icons, for Newton's 2nd use another bacground or icons, and the same for Newton's 3rd. This could help kids to remember for example if the picture was mounted on a blue background and had a dog print watermark it was Newton's first.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thing 4

Thing 4: My blog is up and running and waiting for your comments so SIT, STAY, READ, SPEAK!!

Thing 1

So I guess I never really commented on Thing 1 because I deleted my first post which would have been Thing 1 since it was long and rambling. Later when I thought about it I thought it was better to keep it short. So below is the new and improved Thing 1.

Thing 1: I have been so lucky to have more than 1 career - first as a computer programmer in Cleveland, Ohio (brrr - lots of snow). We were transferred to Texas 3 + years ago and I used that move to start a new career teaching by doing an ACP, and then adding multiple certifications in EC-4/ESL, Special Ed. K-12 and Composite Science. I taught my first year as a co teach in Chemistry mostly and 1 IPC, 2nd year I started that way and then took over a Reg Ed IPC class when the teacher left, this year I am back to Co Teach IPC, Chemistry, Biology and 1 Resource IPC. Hard to say which I like better - each has its own rewards and challenges. I really like working 1 on 1 with the kids BUT do miss having my own classes too..sigh plus the case manageing part is very time consuming and can be tricky keeping up with constantly changing paperwork requirements. I just do the best I can and keep plodding along!

About the UHCL program: I have always loved the library. I thought it was a great blend of technology (my past) and teaching (my present). I was very excited about starting the Library Certification program but now after a week more nervous about the workload while teaching. It is so hard to budget time for me and focus on the Things that I need to do rather than all the cool distractions that I keep finding. I will need to DOGEDLY FOCUS!! (hee hee)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thing 3

WHEW - fun stuff! I like the avatar creation process and blogging so far and can see how this could be taking up a huge chunk of time if you let it! If you follow the directions it is not hard but it is so easy to be distracted and link into all kinds of other things rather than finish the task at hand.
I am very grateful that the prior class had their blogs out for me to look at and see what they had posted. I really like some of what they had done with the graphics added for book introductions and book covers. A Biology Blog had a very hilarious U Tube about DNA and RNA that some students had made. All the new technology looks really great to use in my teaching but I sure wish it was summer rather than before TAKS so I would have more time to play around with it all. This would be a GREAT summer class to take.

Thing 2

Easiest thing for me is: HABIT 3 - View problems as challenges.
I love problem solving and work best under pressure. That comes from all my years in computers and programming where whenever something was not working it had to be fixed yesterday.
Hardest thing: HABIT 1 - Start with the end in mind.
Goals keep changing so the end is often actually the beginning. Goals are based on experience so as you evolve so do your goals. Sometimes the best goals or achievements turn up in unexpected ways that you can miss if you define your quest to narrowly.
Keep your eyes on the path ahead BUT don't forget to look around you while you are on the path.