Saturday, December 22, 2007

I am Elf... See me Dance...


Of course I could not let this website get by without a comment! Oh what fun it is to make yourself into an elf this holiday. The site is called Elf Yourself!
Thanks to the people at Office Max, I am now an elf and you can see me dance! It actually is quite fun and you can do more than one elf at a time. I will be playing with this website with more family pictures over the holidays!

Another fun holiday site is from the US government of all places. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) who guard what you value most has been tracking Santa for children since 1955. Back then a misprint in a Sears and Roebuck advertisement for the Colorado Springs store published NORAD's number as a special hotline number for kids to call Santa. Those were gentler times, the NORAD staff was not on alert for terrorism and the staff joyfully checked the radar and told children who called an update on the Jolly Fatman's location. That started a wonderful NORAD tradition and now they have a website complete with games for children to play. On Christmas Eve things really heat up as the NORAD crew tracks Santa's every move with special updates all evening long.
Not only that, NORAD is an international site, tracking Santa in 5 languages in addition to English. Have a little fun with the children in your life... track Santa with them on Christmas Eve and then Elf them! Let me know how you like being an Elf!
Other sites to help you have a Merry Christmas are nothpole.com, Santa.com, and the merriest place in cyberspace, Claus.com.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Scholastic Venture with Rick Riordan

Wow…multi genre has nothing on Scholastic’s newest venture with author Rick Riordan. Riordan is the author of the Percy Jackson series, the normal New York kid who finds out that he is really a half-blood and his father is Poseidon. Percy goes on hero quests much like a modern day Hercules. But in this new venture with Scholastic, Riordan will pen a mystery book called, The Maze of Bones, that will have a collectable card component as well as a web component. There is even a contest with 39 clues. If teachers are not motivated to add technology to their curriculum, Scholastic will do it for them. This is really a multi media endeavor and if successful, it could lead to an entire new way to market books. My only problem is that Scholastic seems to be forgetting about the library. I hope they will reconsider and maybe offer some of the cards exclusively at libraries. I know they want to sell books but libraries buy books too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How cool is Moby?

I took part in a webinar on Digital Movie makin' this afternoon with Joe Brennan. It was fun and pretty interesting. There were about 50 people in the webinar. Afterward, I was checking out Joe Brennan’s Digital Storytelling Blog from Discovery Education and he has a short blurb about Moby and how he is offering his music for free for not-for-profit film and video makers and that means education as well. Check out his website: http://www.mobygratis.com/film-music.html. All you have to do is sign up for an account, check out the music, download what you want and “the music is free as long as it's being used in a non-commercial or non-profit film, video, or short". So, if you do video with your students, try some of Moby's music for free!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holiday Concert

For those of you like me who never grow tired of those School Days Holiday Concerts... this one is for you... Happy Holidays...



Enjoy your School's Holiday Concert... show your support for the music department in your school!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Facebook backs down...

It took a little over three weeks, less than a month. I was wondering just how long it would take for users of Facebook to get fed up with the social networking site’s decision to publish their purchases to other members on the site. The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima labeled her article, “Feeling Betrayed, Facebook Users Force Site to Honor Their Privacy.” Nakashima says over 50,000 Facebook users signed a petition calling on the site to stop broadcasting people's transactions without their consent. And, Facebook backed down. They now will ask permission before they broadcast to the world when and for what you are plunking down your hard earned money. Check out Nakashima's story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902503.html?nav=rss_technology
or: http://tinyurl.com/33l6d7.
With all of this commercialism on the Internet, is it any wonder that Internet2 is becoming so important to educational institutions?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Social networking can make you smile…

Lately in my district and in my graduate class we’ve been looking and talking about social networking. I can’t think of social networking as only MySpace and Facebook. I consider video conferencing a viable social networking experience. My students have benefited from 2 video conferences with published authors so far this year. But video conferencing is so much more than that, it is social networking at its finest. Besides, video conferencing with friends can make you smile more than anything posted on YouTube! On the day after Thanksgiving I was signed on to iChat on my Mac, hoping to start up an Instant Messenging chat session with my sister-in-law. PC users often Instant Message, Mac users videoconference! At the same time I was signing on to iChat, on the big island of Hawaii my friend Barbara (one of the reason’s I’m a librarian… she was my children’s very techy elementary school librarian back in the early 90's) was signing onto her Mac iChat. She invited me into a video chat. We talked for over an hour about our families, her computer upgrade, and how long it has been since we have seen each other… it has been 10 years since we visited her when she lived on Oahu. It has been even longer since we all lived in the same area, yet, because of email, cell phones, and video conferencing; we have kept in touch and have remained friends. Social networking through technology is the difference that is keeping us connected with people we have not seen for a long time. I have seen this happen over and over again. Because of the Internet and blogging, I am back in touch with friends who are missionaries in Germany. I did a simple Google search for my friend Shelly and I found her on the very first hit. The reason I found her so easily was because of her blog! We now email each other and I am sure we will get in tough by cell phone when they get back to the states later this month. There are some people who touch your life and you don’t want to let them go. Thanks to Social Networking over the Internet, I don’t have to!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

EBSCO RSS = One Happy Bloglines User!

Wow... look what I found... just in time for learning how to use the different aspects of my new Bloglines account. The RSS aggregator is a little overwhelming for reading blogs but I think it is about to earn it’s “saves you time” reputation. I just found out that EBSCO will let me set up an RSS feed. That means that I will be able to see all the new information that comes in about my projects for my grad classes. The new information will come to me! I won’t have to go out to EBSCO and search over and over for the same information only to find there is nothing new. I found this video to show how it works.



I tried it and now I have a new folder on my Bloglines that says EBSCO and in there I have a list of new articles about Internet Safety, my new pet project. When I click on one of the articles in the list it asks me to sign into EBSCO. So, the information is not really being delivered to me, I still have to Log into POWER Library to get the articles. The RSS Feed just tells me when there is new information. Still, it is a nice feature and a good reason to have a Bloglines account!

Internet Safety PSA

Students in the UK are getting some good messages on Internet Safety from their peers. As part of A level practical projects in Media Studies students are being asked to create a Public Service Announcements (PSA). The students who created this PSA received a perfect score for their effort. It is a great example of what high school aged students can do to help their peers and younger students to stay safe. This is also a good example of fair use because the students use a Linkin Park song in their PSA.



After watching this PSA, I was wondering what younger students can do. I plan to introduce the idea of Internet Safety to my students and I have been thinking of what kind of multimedia project elementary students could produce. I need to explore this idea further. I am planning to create a webquest and want a multimedia product as the end result. If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear them.

RSS Aggregator = Compulsive

Perhaps it is too new for me to judge but I am feeling overwhelmed with my new Bloglines account. I only subscribed to 10 of the blogs I usually read on semi-regular basis and I am not convinced that an RSS aggregator is the best way for me to keep up on the blogs I like to read. I can see other uses for an aggregator, news on specific topics, keeping up with website changes for organizations I belong to, setting up a podcasting directory for podcasts I am not subscribed to on iTunes, and maybe keeping up with new information on projects I am working on for grad classes. However, I am a bit of a compulsive Internet junkie, a creature of habit, I like going to the actual blog sites that are on my blogroll. I am sure it is just a matter of getting used to a new way of doing things. I am not sure how much time the aggregator is saving me right now since I am spending more time scanning the blogs. In addition, I don’t like reading the blogs in the little aggregate reader window; it feels like I am missing something, it lacks the texture of going to the actual blog site. Yet, knowing if there is new material out there is a plus. But my biggest problem is that I have too much new stuff out there. I like to browse at my own pace, and what seems overwhelming is the aggregate’s count of all the blog posts I have not read. I tend to get behind and new stuff out there builds up! I don’t like seeing how many blog posts I have not read yet!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Del.icio.us


The del.icio.us social bookmarking experience is something different! I am currently using del.icio.us to bookmark some sites for use in a project on Internet2 that I am working on with a group of students in my class at St. Joe’s. I tend to get lost in clouds, so I am using just the tagging feature for my bookmarks. I must admit my tags are a mess. I have not gotten the hang of it yet. I have multiple tags that stand for the same thing. How do I choose a tagging format? I want to use the tag information literacy but I can’t because del.icio.us won’t let me put a space in my tags. So I have multiple tags for information literacy: information, information-literacy, and Information_Literacy, all because I can’t remember what tag I used last time. Tagging should be simple but for me it’s not. I think most librarians have this problem because we are used to having things tagged for us. I am determined to start a new del.icio.us site and have all the tags conform to Library of Congress Subject Headings. I also bookmarked the link on my Congerjan del.icio.us.
Anyway, I have been using del.icio.us for about a year but I must admit that all I was doing was saving bookmarks. I never even shared my links or took advantage of the social aspect until recently. I turned on the sharing feature during class as others were joining del.icio.us. I joined Will Richardson’s network almost immediately. I also added the links from my favorite podcaster, Brian Dvorak who does the EDTech101 podcast. I also have two more people on my del.icio.us network now. It is interesting to see what other technology integrators are saving to their del.icio.us accounts. I hope that some of my fellow librarians and my friends in my St. Joe class will try this social aspect and we can add each other to our networks.

Information Literacy = Big6?


More preaching to the choir... librarians love research models... assessment is another issue... should there be a grade for library class?

In chapter 7 of Steven Mills’s Using the Internet for Active Teaching and Learning, the author indicates that problem solving needs a process. I agree, students work more efficiently when they are given a set of steps to follow in the research process. The chapter is titled “Using the Internet for Information Problem Solving” and Mills first defines problem-based learning as active learning with realistic problems for students to solve based on curriculum content. “Problem based learning always begins with the curriculum; the real-world problem must be related to a curriculum topic” (133). Mills goes on to describe briefly three Information Problem Solving Models: InfoSavvy, The Research Cycle, and The Big6. What he leaves out is almost as significant as what he puts in… what about ISearch, Pathways to Knowledge, the Stripling and Pitts REACTS ten step model, and FLIP It by New Jersey’s Alice Yucht? Mills goes on to describe Big6 in greater detail proclaiming it the best model for research on the web. I don’t necessarily disagree but even if it were not the best, it is the best marketed and provides the best teacher support via their Big6 Website. So, with those credentials alone Big6 is the best known research model. Don’t get me wrong, I love Big6, I use Big6. Mike Eisenberg is an Orangman! Ok, so in the picture at the top on the right he is a penguin. What I am saying is that if Mike Eisenberg would dress up like a penguin, as he did at the AASL convention in Reno in early November, to promote the newest Big6 book is it any wonder the processing model is so popular with librarians? I do not think the other processing models are as well know because of marketing and what Mills calls the Matthew effect back in Chapter 5. The Matthew effect was touted by sociologist Robert Merton in the late 60’s, it is the “phenomenon of allocating more credit or recognition for scientific work to well-known scientists” (105). I am not saying Eisenberg and Berkowitz are not the greatest but I am saying some of the other research process models deserve at least a look. The biggest reason I like ISearch is its research journaling component (it is also much better for special education students in my opinion). The main reason I like REACTS is because it is an acronym and I can remember it better. The reason I like FLIP It is because it is simple. So, what is keeping me from using these other models? Not as much support and hardly any web-presence, and yes, it is all about the marketing. Eisenberg and Berkowitz are great at marketing their product. Besides, the Big6 is flexible enough that I can add an ISearch like journaling aspect to it without much problem. So, in my library we use Big6 but we have a research journal tucked behind our Big6 checklist and every day during the research process my students journal these 3 questions: What went right today? What went wrong today? Where do I go from here? Back to my fellow Orangemen penguin… Mike Eisenberg was dressed as a penguin at AASL to promote the latest Big6 book, for elementary research. The Big6 breaks down into the Super3 for the youngest elementary students. The new book is called: The Super3 : information skills for young learners. If Eisenberg is willing to make a penguin of himself, there must be something to this Super3! Again, it is all about marketing!

In chapter 7 Mills also describes what he calls a toolkit builder: Noodle Tools. I think Noodle Tools is a great way to keep students organized during the research process. I also agree that Noodle Tools is an excellent resource for students in school districts that can afford it. And, by afford I mean those that want to take another bite out of an already overstretched library budget. What I do instead is use the parts of the Noodle website that are free. Noodle Tools is out to make money, so very little is free but NoodleBib Express is excellent for students just entering the research process and just learning how to do Works Cited pages. The librarians in my district have decided to use the terms Works Cited rather than Bibliography because Bibliography indicates print sources, books, while our students are so clearly using less books, and more online resources, so Works Cited fits much better.
Finally, Mills gets to my least favorite subject, assessment. He makes a good argument for authentic assessments with rubrics. I just have a hard time giving students grades in the library. While I am all for self-evaluation, I would rather the product and the student’s reflections on their process and outcomes be allowed to stand on their own without having to add my assessment. My assessment is when students work hard on a project and complete it to the best of their ability that is reward enough, everyone gets an A. However, we don’t live in perfect library land, so I am glad that Mills includes a mini tutorial on how to use RubiStar to create assessment rubrics at the end of the chapter.

Mills, S. C. (2006). Using the Internet for active teaching and learning. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Information Literacy-Preaching to the Choir Again

There are many ways to define Information Literacy. Why do librarians care about this so much? Check out the video on this site: http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/298/04/Information_Literacy_Video.avi.

With so much information out there that is wrong... it is up to school librarians to help students and teachers alike to find and use appropriate information wisely!



The future of lifelong learners is in the hands of their elementary school librarians!

Mills Chapter 5: Preaching to the Choir

I am in the choir and I am preaching because Mills gets it right! Information literacy leads to lifelong learning. This post is a response for my graduate class, so if you want to stop reading feel free. But, if you stop reading you will be missing an amazing resource for Information Literacy. In fact, chapter 5 of Steven C. Mills’s book Using the Internet for Active Teaching and Learning, is called “Locating and Evaluating Information on the Internet” but it reads like it should be called: What every librarian wants the teachers in her school to know about searching the Internet but they never ask!

The basic premises Mills sets as the tone of the entire chapter, there are no quality controls for the Internet, anyone can publish anything they want, and the Internet is full of inaccuracies. Our students don’t understand this concept and are far too willing to believe whatever they read on the Internet. I do not doubt that the same thing could be said for some of us. Yes, even teachers can get caught up in misinformation, it is all over the Internet. So, what can be done? Here is where the preaching to the choir part comes in… as a librarian believe it or not, I did know much of the information presented by Mills… so what? So, it is up to librarians to teach the strategies Mills suggests, not only to students but to teachers as well. As Washington Post staff writer Linton Weeks says, “In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim.”

The first source of information Mills points to locate education information on the Internet are virtual and digital libraries, then he points to professional standards organizations, government resources, the RTECs, online encyclopedias, educational content sites, electronic online journals, then searchable databases, and then finally commercial search engines. As a librarian that pays for online encyclopedias and specialized databases for my students, I would prefer they go there first since I chose those resources for them to use but heck, I can’t argue with the hierarchy Mills sets up. Virtual libraries like the Librarians Index to the Internet and The Internet Public Library are the sites I use myself, they are go-to resources for me and I cannot do what I do as a librarian without the digital library resources of the Library of Congress. But the best virtual library in the area belongs to Montgomery County's Springfield School District, thanks to their librarian Joyce Valenza.

I must admit that I do not use all of the professional organizations that Mills mentions in the chapter but I can not live without the National Council of Teachers of English’s website, and the Read-Write-Think website that they sponsor along with the International Reading Association has many resources that I love to use on the SMART Board. My favorite however is Fact Fragment Frenzy. I love to use this site right after students have finished gathering their research material. We watch the tutorial and then we use one of the sample files and pull out the information and make our own sentences, the students love to write on the SMART Board. It is an excellent resource to teach students how to paraphrase and not plagiarize.
While some government resources are great for kids, others are better to use in middle and high school settings. The Regional Technology in Education Consortia is something I need to find more about. The encyclopedias mentioned in the chapter are all excellent resources. Encarta is often provided to schools for free with their paid Microsoft licenses. Pennsylvania’s POWER Library provides resources from the Columbia Encyclopedia, which is also incorporated in the Information Please site. I do often encourage my students to use Information Please because it incorporates an almanac, dictionary, and the Columbia Encyclopedia. I still contend that students are better off when they stick to the resources that their librarians pay for them to use. It will save them from getting frustrated when they can’t read the entire article, or they only get condensed versions of articles like those at Encyclopedia Britannica.
The educational content sites that Mills mentions are better resources for teachers than students. I personally use Discovery School, Education World, the Educator’s Desk Reference, EduScapes, and PBS when I am looking for library lesson material. But I also use Annette Lamb's site. When I need to find journal articles, I must admit that I do not go to the web first. I tend to go first to my university library’s site or my high school library’s online electronic resources. They are paid for, if I go to a website and I find the perfect abstract, sometimes they ask me to pay for the article. I am not a fan of paying for information that I can get free because my library has already paid for the databases.

I feel like I am giving away some of my secrets by mentioning these sites here, and reviewing this chapter in the Mills book. Maybe the teachers in my school will read it and realize I am not the miracle worker they think I am!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Website Evaluation

I found these two PowerPoints on teaching the ABC's of Website Evaluation and the 5W's of Website Evaluation.
I like that these PowerPoints are available on the web. I thought I would share this so my students and those that read this will know that even at the elementary level, where I teach, it is important for students to learn to evaluate the material they use in research projects. :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I don't like games in the library but....

What is a librarian supposed to do? There is a new... maybe it is not new but it is new to me. I found it on the EDUTECH listserve, and for the past few days I have been spending way too much time on the website, Free Rice. Actually, I just found out that the site first went up in October, so I am only a month behind the times! :-)
It may be better for students preparing for the SATs than for elementary students but I would not be able to kick kids off the computer if they were playing this game in the library. It shows a word and gives four choices for what the word means, a synonym of the word, and the words are not easy. You pick the one that most matches the word and if you are wrong, it gives you the correct definition of the word. But, if you are right, you can help feed the world! Yep, for every correct answer you donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. The funding comes from unobtrusive advertising that is on the site. It may not seem like much, 10 grains of rice won't feed a child but after an hour of this addictive game, the grains of rice add up. The site keeps giving you progressively harder words as you get the answers correct, if you get one wrong, it drops you down a level. I am not sure how much rice I donated but being a word-aholic, I am having fun while supporting a good cause!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Twitter…

I Twitter. Twitter is one social network that has caught me up in its clutches. If you are reading this blog you can check out what I have been twittering on the right hand side. I like Twitter. On Twitter I can catch up on friends who are traveling, what technology my librarian friends are playing with, and update the world in as few words as possible. Notice I did not say keep up with my family. The rest of my family uses Pownce. I joined Pownce because of my son. He says Leo LaPorte likes Pownce better but Leo so told his audience that he likes Jaiku better! In fact, Leo mirrors his Jaiku posts to Twitter. In fact, on his Jaiku Leo wonders outloud what will happen to Jaiku now that it is a closed system. But will he then go back to Pownce... nope, in one of his Jaiku posts he says he's headding back to Twitter! He says many of his friends are on Twitter and he misses them. And there it is from Leo's mouth... he's going where his friends are. That is what happens with social networking, we go where are friends are... or in my case where my family is... so if I want to keep up with my family and talk to them I have to go over to Pownce. But I am not getting rid of Twitter. That's where my friends are. So, I can use Twitter for my professional posts, and keeping up with my library friends, and use Powence for family stuff. Works for me.

Happy National Children's Book Week

I must admit I never thought about sharing poetry with my students for Children’s Book Week. Children’s Book Week is this week, November 12th to the 18th. But this is the last year we will be celebrating it in November, at the start of the school year. The Children’s Book Council has been celebrating Children’s Book Week since 1919. Since I became a librarian, I have looked forward to that special time in November when I can celebrate reading with my students with special book marks, a special display of their favorite reads, based on checkout figures from the previous year. However, I have noticed that American Education Week overshadows Children’s Book Week celebrations. Perhaps the Children’s Book Council noticed too because they are changing the celebration of Children’s Book Week to the month of May. So in 2008 we will celebrate Children’s Book Week from 12th-18th of May. That means this school year we will have two Children’s Book Week Celebrations and I could not be happier. We already have a great buy one, get one free book fair scheduled for that week in May and I hope the celebration will always happen during my May book fair. What a better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week than a book fair that gets summer reading materials into kids hands and doesn’t break parents banks? I am very excited that we will be celebrating Children’s Book Week in such a special way in 2008 and I hope it falls the same week as my book fair from now on… wouldn’t that be great?
Now, back to poetry. In the November 2007 Book Links Magazine, Sylvia Vardell has started a new column called Everyday Poetry. In the article Vardell says that Children’s Book Week is a good time to introduce children to poems about reading. Duh… why didn’t I think of that? Of course I always shared school poems but never thought of finding specific poems about reading. So, now I have a lot of work to do searching through my poetry books to find some about reading. This is actually a good thing since the 5th graders are starting looking at alliteration tomorrow. A few poems about reading may be just the ticket to enrich the lesson!
I like Vardell’s idea of using choral poetry reading too, the 5th grade teachers would like to get into podcasting. Choral reading of poetry may be just the ticket to getting the students a little bit of practice behind the microphone before they start their class projects.
I found this on teachertube.com:



We wrote Haiku for 3 weeks getting ready for our video-conference with author/poet Mary Quattlebaum, I think my students are ready to do something like the video above. Can't wait to try it! :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Social Bookmarking

Wow... it took me a long time to get back to the subject of tags and social bookmarking. How could I forget about the Creative Commons Social Bookmarking video? This is how I first realized I could make more than one Del.icio.us page for different subjects... and grade levels. I did not have to subject my students to the overfilled haze that one of my bookmarking attempts has become. Or, I could use tags for different subjects like Dewey, Library Skills, etc.






Now... for the international perspective on social bookmarking…





I want to use these types of social bookmarking sites with my students but I am still having a problem with tags and clouds. Clouds drive me nuts, I do not see the world in clouds, I see chaos in clouds. However, I understand that all of my students do not learn like I do so, if using clouds will help them, I am willing to try. Tags are also not fun simply because as a librarian I am used to thinking in a controlled vocabulary, it is orderly and I can find things. My tags are numbers; they are called the Dewey Decimal System! Now I am not saying that I use Dewey to tag on social bookmarking sites but I am saying as I have said before that there should be a controlled language for tags because we call things by many different names. What I tag as technology may not be what someone else tags as technology. However, on social bookmarking sites, all of our sites come together under that one tag. The Internet needs librarians or at the least, our students needs librarians who can lead them through the tag cloud.

Catching the Library Wave

More and more librarians are breaking out of the “shhhhhh” mold. As the medium changes librarians have to change. If we don’t we will loose out to the very things our students are embracing. Technology and all it’s trimmings is like an unopened present, waiting for librarians not to just unwrap it but to act like the child in the commercial who gets just the gift he or she wants! Get excited, technology is not the end of libraries; it is the beginning of a new world of librarianship. I am not a traditional librarian, I was a journalist first and research is in my veins. I enjoyed raising my children, only my stay-at-home playground was in Europe, lots of things to see, read, and learn about. I was still researching, just doing it through personal, primary sources. I was starting to think I was the only librarian who had to wait for the technology to catch up before I became one, but now in Ohio I see a kindred spirit. No, I was not a California surfer like Allan Pollchik, unless you count bus tours to Paris, and surfing the Internet. Pollchick like myself entered the library profession as a second or third career. He and I were always librarians; we just had to wait for the field of librarianship to catch up to us, to catch our wave!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Yeah Leopard...

Leopard is wonderful for old PowerBooks. I have a PowerBook G4. Before installing Leopard, Safari would quit for no reason. It was so frustrating. I could never get onto my university blackboard site without the browser quitting; I would give up and use Firefox for my web browser. Not that Firefox is a bad thing.. but I like Safari. Now that I have installed Leopard on my old baby laptop (it is the 12 inch version) my computer has a new life. Yes, it is slow… but it doesn’t crash any more. Putting Leopard on your old Mac may give it a new lease on life and another year or so of life. I am hoping mine lives until the next MacBook upgrade! Go Leopard!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wiki social software or collaborative notebook?

I have several social software sites to which I belong, one or two to share my family photos, two specifically help me keep up with my children and their friends, and some for professional and educational reasons. I also have a wiki and belong to several. In my mind I do not count Wikis as social software but that is just my affinity for compartmentalizing functionality. To me Wikis are great for collaboration and getting information out to the web as fast as possible. Wikis are not for building community, they are for building webpages for sharing information. They can help build community but they are more functional than social.
Social software by its nature is for community building. No one ever accused MySpace of being a collaborative tool for committee work, whereas I know wikis are good for such collaborative efforts. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this video I found while using Blip.tv over the summer.


Ok, so what is blip.tv? It publicizes itself as the world's leading videoblogging and podcasting service. It is a free video sharing service that is still in beta. Of course as I go to Blip.tv today, the beta version seems to be gone, it is in the process of changing it’s name and putting advertising on its videos, but it looks like it is still free, so what’s a little advertising between friends? By the way, the new name for Blip.tv is shortbrain.tv. I liked the name blip better. It was shorter and easier to remember than shortbrain.

Anyway, back to the videos. The wiki video above was done by “The Common Craft Show”. The video above is a simple, easy to understand explanation of wikis and their collaborative nature. The Common Craft Show also has a simple explanation of RSS. It is also on blip.tv. It actually is one of my favorites of the Common Craft Show videos.


How wonderful these videos would be to show to students and teachers to alike. Bravo Common Craft Show!

Welcome to the Ningdom

Ning touts itself as a social network that can be created for anything. Wikipedia says Ning is trying to compete with MySpace and Facebook but appeals more to those who have limited technical skills. Steve Gary, my instructor at St. Joseph’s University, wrote in an email, “Ning is a terrific tool that promotes the development of manageable-size networks. Check my blog for an early post in which I comment upon its value and the possibilities of Classroom (and Library!) 2.0.” I agree with Steve, since Nings revolve around a common purpose, event, or whatever, they tend to have less members and therefore are more manageable. Steve’s blog shows that he understands Classroom 2.0’s appeal to the teacher who wants to use technology but doesn’t know where or how to start. The beauty of the Ning is simplicity and ease of use. I love the Nings I belong to because they are so easy to use and I can spend as little or as much time on the Ning as I want. Here is a video of Steve Haragdon. Steve is the founder of Classroom 2.0. He is talking about Ning...



By the way, the Library 2.0 Ning is geared more toward public librarians. I belong to the Teacher/Librarian Ning. It is geared more toward K-12 librarians. In fact, within the Teacher/Librarian Ning there are subgroups for elementary, middle, and high school librarians. As I explained in my last post, I invited all the members of my graduate class to come along for the Ning ride, move into the Ningdom as it were. It will be excited to see how we interact on the Ning. I hope we don’t forget to add each other as friends and start some interesting discussions. :-)

Classroom 2.0... a Ning for Everyone

I am a new member of Classroom 2.0, the Ning for educators interested in technology.



I sent an invitation to join the Ning to everyone in the Instructional Applications for the Internet class. I thought it would be fun to join the same social network so that we can keep in touch as well as see what others in the field are doing with Nings and things! Hope some of my classmates will consider joining me as we explore the social aspect of the Internet.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yeah! I have a Website!

I have felt frustrated most of the evening because I have not been able to publish my website to the St. Joe’s site. What a difference a half hour makes. I took the directions for the Mac and got published with virtually no glitches. Of course the website has to be update already but at least the initial publication was completed and I feel fairly certain I can do it again. FTPing and Telnet(ing) into Polaris may not be as difficult as it sounds after all! At least not once I got on a computer where I have permission to do what needed to be done! ☺ Hopefully I am now getting the hang of it!

Tonight was a Tramatic Adventure!

This is being written during class as the others are creating their blogs. The instructor (Steve Gary) said I can use my current blog so, PowerLibrarian will be getting quite a workout as I reflect on all of the applications, software, Web 2.0 utilities, and new Internet tools that I am experiencing during my graduate class “Instructional Application for the Internet.”

After the trauma I suffered earlier in the evening trying to publish and being unsuccessful at publishing my newly created website to the St. Joseph’s University server, it feels great to finally be using a utility I feel comfortable using! By the way, I am passionate about blogging and about this blog. I love writing it and exploring Web 2.0. I love to blog and love having a voice in the Blogosphere!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

LM_Net


I realize I am also behind on my LM_Net reading. I usually catch up on the weekend and this weekend there were more LM_Net postings than usual, so I dug in and what I found was that after first starting LM_Net and then leading it for 15 years Peter Milbury and Mike Eisenberg are stepping down and handing over the reins. I have only been on LM_Net for the last 4 or 5 years but it has meant so much to me, especially when I started my first library job 3 years ago. I agree with Doug Johnson who says that LM_Net is the original Read/Write Internet. Peter and Mike were ahead of their time and many other listserves have benefited from the good example of LM_Net. I think the most important part of the announcement this week is that LM_Net is going to continue, and it is a good thing. School librarians are usually alone in their buildings or districts. It can be exhilarating to have that kind of impact on a school but it also can be intimidating with no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to listen to the unique problems of doing the many jobs a library has to do in a single school day. LM_Net listens, understands, and responds. Thanks again Peter and Mike for having the foresight to create a group that has become so special to so many of us.

Digital Divide or Wing Fitting?

Also on my blog reading roll today was “from now on: the education technology journal”. I have been struggling with the terms digital natives and digital newcomers or immigrants. I first heard this term back in 2005 during my library certification classes. I thought it was great at the time buy I have been feeling like the metaphor has been a little overextended of late. I could not put a finger on my uneasiness and then I read Jamie McKenzie’s article: “Digital Nativism
 Digital Delusions 
and Digital Deprivation.” Jamie is the editor of “from now on,” he’s been around education and technology for a while and he hits my frustration, the proverbial nail, right on the head. And I am not even talking about McKenzie’s tirade about video game learning. I think there is something to be said for such learning and we in education are differentiating instruction so much that there may be that group of students that will respond to video game learning, so why not try it? The part that I am especially concerned about is the isolation of children, which McKenzie uses to caption his picture.

“Childhood is shifting inside. Some fear the consequences of sensory deprivation over the long haul with excessive exposure to things digital. A Digital Waste Land is a poor substitute for the rich flavors, smells and touches of the real world. Leading psychologists have signaled their concern in reports like Fool's Gold. FaceBook, MySpace and Second Life are poor substitutes for face to face communities and the playground.”


I for one am the biggest proponent of using the technology we have in the classroom but I do not want it to isolate children. While I still promote technology, I do not want students sitting in front of a computer 24/7 with no human contact. And, if that human contact only comes at school with a teacher, then that is where children should be, in school with a physical, real person guiding them in their use of technology.

Mix this with David Warlick’s new pondering on his 2cents worth blog and we may have a real gem. Warlick likens teaching with Web 2.0 to giving students wings. There is a physical teacher or librarian there guiding them on their journey yet, they are then no longer navigating in a 2D world, adding wings gives a 3D quality to learning. He says we need to prepare our charges for an unpredictable future. He gives a sort of formula for this new learning, “I found this information in this way. This is how I decided that it was valuable. I mixed it with this other information to add this value.” I say “sort of formula” because I do not want to pretend that learning can be boiled down to any one formula. Our learners are diverse and it is my responsibility as a teacher/librarian to help students find the right size and balance for their wings so they can soar with eagles!

Livescribe Smartpen

Just catching up on my blog readings. Wow… was I surprised to read about this new pen on Bernie Dodge’s blog, the One Trick Pony. But then I realized that this was the same pen that was talked about at D5 and was supposed to be out by now. I do want one because if and when this new smartpen from livescribe comes out, it will be great. I am the old fashion type who likes to take notes by hand rather than type through a lecture. (As a former radio journalist, I also like to have my tape recorder going to catch those important quotes!) Last week in my graduate class I tried yet again to type my notes into Google notes during the lecture. I felt like I was disturbing the professor more than I was helping myself but using a pen and paper… I can do that... having that pen be a tape recorder... even better! Still, I was using Google notes in an attempt to cut down on the amount of paper I use. If this smartpen also could use both paper and some type of paperless tablet it may be more appealing to those of us trying to end the paper clutter and save a tree! To extend my pondering on “are bloggers reporters”, if this smartpen lives up to half its hype, bloggers and reporters alike will have no reason to misquote anyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's All About Leopard!!!

Leopard is here… my husband and I spent a romantic Friday evening at the Apple Store. Not to buy Leopard mind you… oh no, we just wanted to be part of the fun! Our family copy of the new Mac Operating System, Leopard, was actually sitting on the kitchen table while we were out partying at the Apple store with other Mac fans… waiting patiently for us to return and install it! My husband had pre-ordered the system from Apple and it was in his hands by 10:30 Friday morning! Woo-hoo!
Leopard is up and running well on our Mac desktop. It is pretty awesome. I love cover-flow with all the files on my hard drive. Way back when we had the Apple II GS we made cute character folders for our children, it is interesting to see them scrolling by… since the rest of our file folders are just boring old file folders!
Do I have Leopard on my computer yet? No. And, to tell the truth, I am not sure I am putting Leopard on my old PowerBook G4. I have just the amount of memory required to handle the new operating system and I am worried that my old slow baby laptop (it is the 12 inch Powerbook G4) won’t be able to handle the new sleek, fast, powerful Leopard! Time to get a new laptop! "-)
Anyway, it was fun to be part of the experience at the Apple Store. Of course, I also was longing for the days when Apple gave away their new operating systems for free! Yes, Apple was different in those days. My family and I would sit patiently at the Apple User's club in Kaiserslautern, Germany waiting for the disks to be passed out to members. In those days back in the mid 80's to early 90's Apple used it's registered user's clubs to distribute new updates and pass out new information... of course those also were the days when only the US military was using the Internet! The Kaiserslautern Apple Users Group met once a month (looks like they still meet). Of course now we virtually get our Mac news from Cali Lewis and Leo Laporte. Hey, the Kaiserslautern Users Group even have a podcast! We met at the Hacienda Mexican Restaurant from 1 to 3 on Sunday afternoons. The owner of the restaurant was a big Mac user and his restaurant is now an Internet Cafe as well. He runs the entire business with Macs. He was our hero.
I remember the day the sad announcement was made at the user's group that Apple would no longer be giving away new operating systems... and Friday night at the Apple store I had come full circle and again was partying and celebrating a new operating system release, not for free but still fun!
Special Thanks to Alex, from the King Of Prussia Apple Store... he told me about Apple Teach... one-on-one weekly sessions to teach all things Mac. I need to learn to use Final Cut Pro.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sunflower Haiku

The fifth grade class is writing Haiku. My daughter brought up the beautiful, tall sunflowers that used to grow on the bike trail across the street from our house near Stuttgart, Germany. Those sunflowers are a beautiful childhood memory for her. So, here is a haiku in tribute.

Colorful and huge
The sunflowers in Stuttgart
Near the place I play

Haiku is so much fun because it can help you remember something and yet is so simple that it does not take too much time to write. This haiku reminds me of my daughter as a little five year old riding her tricycle to the park and the sunflowers towering over her head. What kind of memories do you have? Can you haiku?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A helpful tool or a way to cheat?

There has been some discussion on LM_Net recently about this website: http://www.ozline.com/electraguide/thesis.html. It calls itself a Thesis Builder and Online Outliner and promises it will help students draft a clear thesis statement for your persuasive essay. It then give students a set of directions to use the site.

I currently have 4th and 5th grade students who need to write persuasive essays. So, I took a look at Thesis Builder Online Outliner to see if it would be a useful organization tool to help them with their essays. First, I am not sure it is a good thing for elementary students that cannot type. But, when I worked at the high school I did have students who could have benefited from using this website to organize their essays. Keep in mind that I am not 100% convinced that it is a useful tool yet. I have used it two or three times using various arguments and it seems to give me nonsense back. I tried to put in an argument regarding episode 82 of Cranky Geeks. The geeks argued about bloggers being considered journalists and therefore entitled to protection under shield laws. The guest was Josh Wolf, a blogger who according to the blurb on the website “received the Longest Content-Related Jail Term of any Journalist in U.S. History--For Not Turning Over a Video” to police. I would love to use this podcast to spur a first amendment discussion in a high school government class. But I digress; when I put in the information into Thesis Builder, I got some nonsense back. They took the information I put into the blanks, and jumbled it around. There were double periods in some sentences and in one spot there was a comma at the beginning of a sentence. If students are looking for correct punctuation, and a way to cheat this site will not give it to them. But, if students are stuck for a thesis statement and want to organize and re-organize their thoughts, I think this is a great site. It is no different than giving students graphic organizers to help them plan out their papers. I think it is neat that it is online, it may appeal to those reluctant to use paper graphic organizers. It could be another tool for teachers to introduce to students. I don’t agree with those who think it is cheating because the students have to plug their own ideas into the blanks on the website. At most it helps them organize their thoughts. Oh, now that I am thinking of it, I wonder if the website wants students to put to leave out punctuation in the blank boxes and then it will put the punctuation in itself. I will have to try that next.
Anyway, if you have not listened to the John Dvorak Cranky Geek episode above, listen and then let me know if you think bloggers should be considered journalists… and if Sebastian is correct that journalism schools are a waste of time. It was a very lively discussion and I found myself talking back to my computer!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Apple Tip I just Love...



I am trying to update the Arrowhead Library website and wiki and add pictures. Usually it takes me a long time to open the pictures in PhotoShop or some other program, not to edit the pictures but just to make them smaller for the web and save them on my flash drive to transport to school. A recent Apple Quick Tip of the Week is now saving me a lot of time. All I have to do now is open the picture in Preview and drag the little icon at the top of the Preview bar into an e-mail. The Apple e-mail application then gives me the choice to resize the picture in the e-mail. It does not change the size of the original picture on your hard drive. I can then e-mail the pictures to myself. And, when I am sitting at my school computer updating my website, I can open my e-mail and ta-da… the pictures are there! I can then upload them to the school website. Of course my school district could make it easier for me if they allowed me to update my website from an Apple but that is another story! The pictures in this post are some of the pictures I e-mailed to myself using this tip.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

School Reporter... oops I mean Librarian!

How cool is it that being a librarian is more thrilling than being a reporter? Of course it helps that a lot of the skills I acquired as a reporter now fit very well into information literacy standards. I am thrilled that I can pass on my love of creating a broadcast quality piece onto students. It is amazing that making a video or audio package is now something being done at the elementary school level! Things I did professionally in radio are now in the mainstream. Reel to reel tape editing is now a push of a computer button. Recording does not need a studio, only a microphone and a computer. The mechanics may be different but there is still an art to creating good radio and television. Telling a good story is still good storytelling even if that tale is put on the computer and not on a broadcast network. Storytelling is powerful and seeing your story on the Internet is powerful. What will that mean for literacy and more importantly information literacy? Stay tuned as we explore this new medium. And here is hoping the students will be as excited as I am, as we wonder together if Marshall McCluhan's words, "The medium is the message," are still true.

I remain constantly amazed that being an elementary school librarian is more fun and challenging than being a street-reporter on assignment! :-)

Blogging in the School Library!

Blogging. It is a new concept for elementary students at Arrowhead. But, we will be blogging for the first time this year. How cool is that? I am excited. I can’t wait to see how my students react to blogging. Students are going to blog on books they are reading and voting on for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards. To see the blog go to: http://arrowheadstudents.learnerblogs.org. Only students who know the password will be able to blog! They have to ask me for the password and logon. I am hoping this will be as much fun for them as it is for me to do this blog. I am also hoping we will be able to post some podcasts and videocasts on this blog. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Introducing the Arrowhead Library Wiki

I know now that the link to the MCIU wiki is password protected and you need to be invited to see it. So, if you tried to go and see the page I created, I apologize. But, here is a new link to the Arrowhead Library Wiki.  I am told everyone can see it.  It is very new, so there is not much there yet but I like what I've done so far, if have some suggestions I am open to them.  Check out the wiki at: http://arrowheadlibrary.wikispaces.com/.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grandma Helen Likes to Fish... again

Ok, so I took a lot of flack because the last video did not have pictures of Grandma Helen actually fishing... I did not have the fishing pictures downloaded or with me in my podcasting class. So, here is my next humble offering... with fishing pictures included. If I can do this on my own, maybe I will be able to use the program with students this year... :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Grandma Helen likes to Fish...

Learning to Podcast

Please don't laugh... this is my first attempt at making a podcast. It is my hope that I will be able to do Reader's Theatre with my students and make this podcast the first of many. I found the Alphabet Rap Reader's Theatre online. I thought it was very cute and recorded myself. It is not perfect but it is my hope that my elementary students listening will be able to create audio better than their school librarian... here is my first humble effort... now to download it to my iPod! BTW... the picture is of a class pet... Munchy.
:-)



Thursday, August 02, 2007

MCIU Wiki

Have I mentioned how much I love the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU)?
Today I am at the IU learning about Podcasting. We are making a Wiki. Check out my page... https://mciupodcasting.wikispaces.com/Janice.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

SKILLS Act

A blog Woo-Hoo to Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) who on June 26th introduced the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act. As a librarian, I applaud their actions and as a citizen, I will be contacting my own Senators and Representative in Washington asking them to add their name to the Senate Bill (S. 1699) and the House Bill (H.R. 2864). Please contact your Representative and Senators and do the same. Among other things the SKILLS Act believes every school library should have at least one highly qualified librarian/library media specialist and it provides funds so those highly qualified librarians can purchase appropriate books and other materials for their libraries. What a novel idea, providing funding for libraries! My tongue is in my cheek because studies prove that libraries work. It was Walter Cronkite who once said, "Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation. "

If you want more information on the SKILLS Act, check out The American Library Association’s Issues and Advocacy Page: http://www.capwiz.com/ala/issues/alert/?alertid=9951101.
Don’t forget to contact your Senators and Congressmen!

Say hello to Apple iPhone...

I tried out the iPhone at the Apple Store in the mall yesterday. The ATandT store in the mall was sold out of them.

All I can say is… I want one. Do I need one? No, need is not the issue. Want is the issue, wanting to be at the forefront of innovative technology. I love the way the phone senses your wireless network and uses your wireless when it can and only accesses ATandT’s mobile Internet when it has to. The Apple iPhone is also a lot smaller than I thought it would be. It is about a half inch longer than my Razr when it’s folded. And it’s only slightly thicker than a video iPod. The finger scrolling is amazing. Though I did feel like my fingers were too big for the keys. In his developer’s conference keynote Steve Jobs did recognize that the keys on the iPhone do take some getting used to. The pinching the screen to magnify things on the screen is great too but a double tap on a webpage does the same thing. It would be very easy to get used to an iPhone. I like it and I want one… someday.

Be Careful What You Put on the Internet...

There are some videos out on you-tube that I wish everyone could see before they post something on the Internet. Remember, whatever you post on the Internet is out there in cyberspace forever even if you take it down or delete the website, it is still there somewhere, wither archived by Google or downloaded by someone. It is never really gone. So, think before you post. Check out this You Tube video called "Think Before You Post." I think every student in America should see this...



Here is another...



The Internet gives us a sense of familiarity with others that we really don’t have. Think before you post. A warning and a message to the wise.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hollywood Librarian

The image of librarians has not often been kind, flattering, or pretty. One person, Ann Seidl, is trying to change that… she wrote and directed "Hollywood Librarian," a look at librarians through film.



"Hollywood Librarian" made it's debut in front of 5,000 librarians at the American Library Association's meeting in Washington, DC this week. Check out this article from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/06/23/AR2007062301378.html.

I must admit that one of my favorite movies is mentioned in the article. But in the movie, "Desk Set," I guess I never thought of Katharine Hepburn as a librarian. Of course she and the other women in the department, including a young Joan Blondell, were gathers of information, they were the researchers with the background information. But librarians? There was no “shushing” in “Desk Set,” no one going around telling others to be quiet. It was a new look for librarians, a Hollywood glamorization!

Either they knew the answer when someone called for information or they could find the information, using books, in a jiffy. They were heroes! Yet, the women feared they were going to become obsolete because of the new computer system being installed in the department. Hey, that sounds familiar. How long have librarians been concerned that they were becoming obsolete? Well, since “Desk Set” came out in 1957, it looks like librarians have been becoming a thing of the past for about 50 years. Since I just became a librarian 2 years ago, after working as a journalist and then raising a family, here's hoping that I can continue to teach children the joys of the library both physically and virtually for a long time to come.
:-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Operatic Cell Phone Salesman

I am sure most of you have seen this you-tube video of the guy on the British version of America's Got Talent singing opera. I have seen it a few times and I get chills every time. This man's voice is so wonderful that I can almost forget his bad teeth. Take a listen and tell me if you think he is just as good as Pavarotti.



I do not usually listen to opera but I have worked for NPR stations and have heard my fair share. I think this guy is the real thing. Do you think he has had any formal training? Amazing!
:-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cranky Apple Geek

Ok, so I listen to a podcast called Cranky Geeks. Something that came up this week… now that Safari is available for Windows is the future all Apple? I would like to think so because I love the Mac platform. I am writing this on a PowerBook G4… I know it is time to upgrade but there is no 12-inch Mac Book or PowerBook right now. But I digress. I have to say the future of Apple seems bright to me. Perhaps the move to Intel was a stroke of genus for Apple. In my opinion, all computers should be Macs and in this new world where Macs can run both platforms, why are PCs even necessary? Do it all on a Mac and find it all @your library!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tutorials For Free? Check out Teacher Tube!

There are a lot of free sites and free tutorials online that will help you learn technology. My idea is that if you give teachers the sites, they will take the time to learn the technology as long as someone is giving them some kind of credit for it. You know how us teachers are, we need to get credit for things we do on our own time. Most teachers would jump at the chance to learn technology if it was easy and they didn’t have to go anywhere or stay after school and they got professional development hours for it.

Maybe this is not the best example of a PowerPoint tutorial because there is no sound but it is free and posted online. If you are illiterate you could watch this video and get the general idea of how to play with the technology. Just click the link: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=8a1b48987a18d831f633.

I also wanted to add this video by having you go to the site to introduce a fairly new tool for teachers. It is called Teacher Tube. I have been a stalker at this site since there were only 2 videos posted to it. It is a great place to look for teaching videos. I love the math raps. It would also be a great place to post videos that you use in your teaching. The best part is that at my school Teacher Tube is not blocked but You Tube is blocked. Check it out and see if this is true for your school.

Lets get out there and promote these free online tutorials to our teacher staffs. Librarians get techie and start posting some tutorials for your teachers to use and learn from. Want teachers to use the technology in your building? How about videotaping your students using the technology? Or have your students make “how to” videos for teachers to view at their leisure, and give teachers professional development hours for viewing them. What about the students? Give them extra credit, community service hours, or make it a graduation project. Remember in the world of technology, our students are the natives and we are the immigrants! Our students have a lot to teach us and as we are teaching them to be lifelong learners, we can set a good example and learn from them!

Conger on You Tube

So, now that Will Richardson has me totally hooked on You Tube... I am finding all kinds of things.  Check out this Conger Eel.  I was pretty amazed at the good lighting and quality of the video under the sea.  Oh, and our theme for next school year is Sea how we learn... so I am going to open my library lessons with this video.  Enjoy!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Which Wiki is Right for Me?

Shonda Brisco is one of the most techie librarians I know. Well, I don't personally know her since she is in Texas and I am in Pennsylvania, I virtually know her from my great library list-serve LM_Net. She wrote a wonderful article for School Library Journal about choosing the right Wiki. Since I am interested in starting a Wiki, I loved it. If you are just starting out with Wikis, maybe you would like it too. I think my favorite Wiki for elementary students is pbWiki and I want to introduce it to my students next year. So, I will be playing with it quite a bit this summer. What is your favorite Wiki?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What is Beauty?

I am forever grateful to Will Richardson... he is a wealth of information today. He is even concerned with the image our girls have of themselves... he introduced this video to us today... take a look. It shows us that beauty isn't skin deep... it's a complete fabrication!



I think everyone could look like a movie star with this technique!
:-)

Conger Picture



Bet you thought you would find a picture of me... but no, I had to introduce you to the real Conger. This picture of the Conger Eel comes to via Flikr thanks to mkrzysztofowicz. I never intended to post a picture of a Conger Eel on my blog but thanks to Will Richarson... I now know how! :-)

Will Richardson visits the IU! IU 23 that is...

So, how great is it that the author of my text book for next semester is doing a workshop at my Intermediate Unit and I got to be here thanks to a wonderful principal?

Will Richardson the author of "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other powerful Web Tools for Classrooms" is here in Montgomery County today and all is well!!

How will I explain to my principal what I learned today? Simple, I will send him the link to my blog!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

RSS

Wow! Who knew RSS could be explained in English?
Check this out...


There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are You Teaching With Technology?

I love teaching with technology. I look for interesting ways to bring technology into my library. But, I must admit I have not used all of the technologies talked about in this video... let alone taught with them. Watch and think how you will introduce a new technology into your classroom before June... the year is almost over don't wait! Scared? Don't know how to use the technology your school district provides? Maybe one of your students is already using this technology and can help!
:-)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fear Technology Not...

I am a big technology fan. Some think I should be shaking in my boots behind the stacks in my library because libraries are dead. I don't believe that. Libraries may not look the same in the future but if there is one thing I know about librarians, it is they know that shift happens. Librarians will be ready when the shift comes, will you? I found this great piece on Teacher Tube. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sports Illustrated Halts Swimsuit Issue in Libraries

I am a librarian. I select books and magazines to put into a school library. Selection is a lot different than censorship. Selection denotes knowledge of one’s audience, what they like, what they want to read. Selection is not censorship. I am against censorship. In fact, it is the librarian’s code of ethics to hate censorship of any kind. Is it any wonder that librarians are upset with the publishers of Sports Illustrated? What made The Time Inc. Magazine Company think librarians would not be upset when they took the liberty to censor what librarians put on the shelf? Sports Illustrated magazine’s swimsuit issue was not sent to any library in the country: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6422838.html. I have to admit that my K-5 library no longer subscribes to Sports Illustrated and it has nothing to do with the swimsuit issue. It has to do with the 5 to 10 year old audience the library serves. We now subscribe to Sports Illustrated for Kids, which caters to this age group. Censorship is wrong, in a school library it is all about audience appropriate selection.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Internet in 1993... we've come a long way.

Do you remember what the Internet was like in 1993? Were you on line in 1993? Check out this Canadian news broadcast... I don't think they mention Al Gore...