Thursday, March 20, 2008

#11 week 5: Ning, etc.

Web 2.0 is fun... Flickr, Ning, Pandora, Twitter, Craigslist, etc... I need more practical ideas about how to incorporate into library instruction. How are people using them? I can see uses. I have a Ning for my library. I would link it, but it's protected for the sake of the students' presence on the web. I'll put up a screenshot. On my Ning, I have RSS feeds and videos and a photo slide show and discussion questions. I got some initial activity when I first created it and now, not so much.

I would love to create an assignment in collaboration with English classes that required students to post reviews. This would be in conjunction with a lesson in how to write book reviews, etc. It is difficult though to create stand-alone applications that students will use or check out of their own accord. Out comes the marketing skills, but it is sometimes overwhelming to communicate (much less implement) all the great ideas that come with all the new technology. Aaaah, overwhelming at times.

Off topic: Goodreads

my 'read' shelf:
 my read shelf
Ok, if you all don't know about Goodreads, you should. It is the most fabulous social networking site about books. It has widgets to add to Facebook or to your blog. It has features for making to-read lists, favorites lists, any kind of list you can imagine. Plus you can write or read reviews... and oh yeah, if you are a writer, you can self-publish there too. I can't say enough good things about it. I have included a widget that shows my to-read bookshelf in my right column under the "about me" information. There have been great discussions started on Goodreads.

There are also some students on Goodreads. It is a way for them to marry their online selves with their book-reading selves. Gotta love it.

#10 week 5: more fun with images!

Hooray for image generators! A student actually helped me find one to use... I used Lunapic. It was fun. I really like noodling around with this stuff.

For this I one used ImageChef.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

#9 week 4: Blogpulse

OMG... Blog Pulse is very cool. It's another way to stalk people and things online. How exciting! I stalked myself, nothing. I stalked my school Holy Names High School and got one hit, which was good to see. Then I stalked Jessamyn West of fame and got 303 hits... she's popular. (Do you like how I used OMG in a blog posting... the students use it in everyday speech. Stellar!)

#8 week 4: RSS and access

Today's lesson is all about RSS feeds. I have added a couple to my iGoogle page. This seems to be a better access point for me than Google Reader. I like the fact that the iGoogle page can be re-arranged and also that it features access to many different things, comics, gmail, google talk, date, time, weather, news, games... Google Reader represents one more place to look for information updates. I think Reader is effective for some folks who check out many sources of information and many blogs on a relatively regular basis. For me, there are only a few that I keep up with and there are other solutions I have found to be more accessible to me.

I have added an RSS feed to my library website from the SFGate, local news. I haven't used this with a class yet, but I came really close to convincing a teacher to letting me teach students how to create one for specific research projects. By creating a specific Google New search and adding that RSS to one's iGoogle page or to a email alert, students can get daily or weekly news updates on a research topic for example, pending legislation or court cases for a Government class.