Monday, August 4, 2008

Sliding into Home--Thing 23!

Whew! I made it to Thing 23...just at the deadline, as usual. :) I really enjoyed most of the exercises that we completed during this journey, but I guess my favorite would have to be the mashups. I've seen lots of other people use these in presentations, etc., but I hadn't had any experience creating them. A close second would definitely be creating the podcast. I definitely want to work on completing more of these to post on my library wiki.

One of my lifelong learning goals is to stay current with technology so the 23 Things was a perfect fit for me. I completed my master's degree through UNT's online program and I found that I really enjoyed the experience because it allowed me to work on my schedule at my convenience. I honestly don't know why anyone would want to sit in a traditional classroom when the option to learn online is available! I'm excited to know that I now have a more complete understanding of the applications that we explored this summer. I would definitely be interested in participating in another experience of this type! Please spread the word if you should decide to do a 23 Things, part II.

I think the thing that surprised me most was how motivated I was by receiving comments from others on my blog...I really appreciated the feedback from my classmates. Prior to this experience I just didn't get the whole blog phenomena. Now I understand!

One idea that I had for improving the program would be to offer one or two optional chats during the course of the experience so that participants could be given the opportunity to ask questions of the captains and get an immediate response. That was very helpful to me during several of my classes at UNT.

In one sentence:
The 23 Things experience gave me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of web 2.0 applications and explore possible uses for these tools to enhance student learning in the library.

Thing 22--Ning-a-ling-a-ling

I had heard the term Ning, but couldn't have explained exactly what a Ning was to anyone else until I read the information in Thing 22! I had visited the Texas Librarians Ning about a year or so ago when I read about it on the TLC listerv. Now that I know the purpose of a Ning and have taken the time to really 'tour' the site, I can see that Nings can be very useful! What a great place to ask questions, share photos & videos, discuss issues, etc. with other people who have similar interests or situations. I think that Nings would be especially useful for people who are segregated from other professionals in the same position, i.e. librarians in small districts or districts where there is no central library department to organize and unify the group. Even in other situations, I can see a Ning being used to facilitate discussions on pertinent topics and share resources that are not media center specific. The only problem I see is that there comes a point where you must select which outlet is the preferred one for you. If you (by you I mean me!) try to participate in too many forums, you (again, me!) end up with so much more than you are able to keep up with. For my situation, I will probably stick mostly to the preferred means of communication (Outlook) that my district has chosen, but only because I am fortunate enough to work in a large, urban district with a central library department that is run efficiently and effectively by our director and his staff. If I was more 'on my own' in a smaller district, I would definitely look to a Ning for help. However, I will definitely check in on the Texas Librarians' Ning from time to time when I need help or just to touch base with other members of my profession.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thing 21--Podcasting, Vidcasting, and Me!

I attended a session on podcasting at our spring tech coordinator's conference presented by our keynote speaker, Miguel Guhlin of San Antonio ISD. Since then I've planned to do a podcast of one of this year's Bluebonnet books, but haven't found (made!) the time. So, once again, the 23 Things is providing the motivation for me to do something that I've wanted to do! Yeah! I hope that I can create podcasts for all 20 books on this year's list, but that might be a slightly lofty goal...maybe a better goal would be to do five books this year. I have used Photostory a few times since learning about it last summer at a workshop and I love it! It gives such a professional look to a presentation and is SO user friendly. I also like the fact that you can make it as simple or complex as you choose: there are many 'bells and whistles' that you can add to your story to make it even more attractive, or you can just stick with pictures and music. Either way it still comes out great! I have the absolute minimal amount of experience with Audacity, but I would love to be able to spend some more time with it. It has lots of capabilites for audio editing that aren't available in PhotoStory so I hope to get more familiar with it. Maybe I should make that another of my goals for this year! Here is my vidcast of a booktalk for 'Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom' by Tim Tingle. This is a fantastic story, and I predict, this year's winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award!