Saturday, August 22, 2009

Save POWER Library

One of the worst things that could happen to school librarians and school students in Pennsylvania is becoming more of a possibility every day. Right at the beginning of the school year we are in real danger of loosing POWER Library. And let me tell you, even affluent school districts can’t afford to loose it let alone low-income districts. POWER Library puts the world at my student’s fingertips in the way of trusted databases; databases that my library budget can’t touch. I am not saying my school district is cheap either. I am saying in these tight budget times school districts cannot pay for luxuries such as databases. I am not saying databases are luxuries either. Databases are essential to students. Databases provide more reliable and citable information. My students can go to POWER Library any time, day or night, and get dependable sources of information with most citations included within the documents. My students use POWER Library for research projects and to satisfy their own interests. But now it looks like it may be gone. The state budget is still not passed and POWER Library is just one of the things on the chopping block. If you would like to help, please go to the Pennsylvania Library Association website and click on take action down at the bottom. It will take you to a new page where you can send an e-mail to people in Harrisburg, right from the webpage. Please do it and help save POWER Library.

Wordle Fun

I love Wordle. So, this morning I decided to check out what my Plurk posts look like in Wordle. The results are here to the right. Plurk is so much fun and so is Wordle. There are so many applications in the classroom. Some teachers use it for vocabulary words. I had a great idea for using it when I have to teach the Dewey Decimal System. I am going to have the students browse and list the names of books and types of catagories in each section and then create their own wordle of that Dewey Class. I may even pass out a kids guide to Dewey for those that need more help. It is all about differentiated instruction!

By the way, there was a new post on the Wordle Blog on how to make Wordle safer for students. Check out what Jonathan Feinberg who made Wordle has to say about blocking only specific parts of the Wordle site. Personally I feel the threat is not as great when I just make the Wordle create page a favorite and have the students go directly there, by-passing the front page gallery all together.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Visual Blooms

I stumbled upon this Web2.0 App digital-visual representation of Blooms Taxonomy through a twitter tweet but it took a while to find the actual wiki it came from. This represents the levels of blooms that are hit with different web apps. If I want my students to work create, evaluate, analyze, and apply their learning. I must offer them some higher-level web apps. Some of these very web apps may be blocked by filters or considered unsafe or unreliable as sources. It is time for those of us in the library to step up and teach Internet Safety, find ways to get student accounts without the need for student e-mail addresses, teach website evaluation, teach how to properly use social networking with proper netiquette so that our students can use these web apps responsibly. Can I get a “woot” from school librarians? I don’t know about you but I want my students using Google Docs and collaborating on wikis. I want my student to blog about their research projects, to make voki books reviews, and put their digital photographs (notice I did not say pictures of themselves) up on web services like Flickr and Picassa. Come join me school librarians and let’s make digital blooms a library initiative in this new school year!


So I was on twitter today and someone posted a link for twitterMosaic. I of course had to check it out. My twitterMosaic is below. You can get your own and can get a snapshot of your friends and followers on twitter!

Get your twitter mosaic here.