Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thing #19 - Web 2.0 Awards List

This is a great tool for narrowing down some of the best websites out there depending on the category you're looking for and provides a spring board or starting point when you're not really sure where to begin. I chose to look at some of the sites that won under the music category and was a little sad to see that Pandora only won second place. But I checked out the first place winner Last.fm and it seems comparable and like a really cool music site. This was a neat resource that I will most likely use personally and when I become a librarian in the future.

Thing #20 - YouTube, TeacherTube, and Zamzar

While searching YouTube and TeacherTube, I was able to find a video about the future of libraries and a video on Shakespeare. These sites can be very useful by providing a plethora of a visuals on a wide variety of topics. TeacherTube is great for educators and school librarians who work in districts where YouTube is blocked. I was not familiar with TeacherTube until this experiment but plan to incorporate it into my classroom more in the coming school year.

Thing #23 - Summarize Your Thoughts of this Program

While time consuming and causing several migraines and severe cramps in my neck from staring at the computer so long, I have really learned a lot from participating in this experiment. Some of my favorite exercises were Thing #10 and Thing #11, the online image generator and Library Thing. This program has affected my learning goals because I'm curious to further explore some of the tools I have briefly learned about while doing this program. There are a lot of things that I will take away from this program and try to incorporate into my classroom and later on in my library such as use of social bookmarking via the Delicious website. I would improve upon this program by lessening the amount of exercises because the steps within each are somewhat tedious and there are a lot of extraneous sites to look at a read through before posting your comments. I probably wouldn't participate in a future program based on time limitations. I would describe this experience in one word as informational. It definitely has been an interesting technology experience!

Thing #15 - Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the Future of Libraries

Library 2.0 to means a library that is fully capable of pushing its users towards being 21st century learning by fully embracing technology and all that it has to offer, especially in the world of education. Blogger Michael Stephens says it best in his post Into a New World of Librarianship that some of the most important traits of Librarian 2.0 are librarians that "plan for their users, embrace Web 2.0 tools, and controls technolust" among a few others. My favorite point that Stephens make is technolust, which is avoiding the purchase of technology just for the sake of having technology. It is best to select technology in the same manner in which we select books and other resources and that is carefully using the proper selection tools.

Thing #14 - Technorati and How Tags Work

In my search for "School Library Learning 2.0" on the Technorati website, I wasn't able to come up with any search results. However, I think the Technorati site has a lot of potential and could be very useful in the library, especially for helping our students work towards becoming 21st century learners. The product manager for Technorati, Liz Dunn states that the site "is bringing together the unwashed masses" and thus allowing people to search for information from people like them who will most likely give their honest opinion of the topic and/or item being discussed. Essentially sites like Technorati would be appealing to students because they could get information from people who think like they do and have similar interests and a variety of abilities. Tagging is also a useful 2.0 tool because it makes searching for topics and sites so much easier by linking them together based on a tag word. It is also much simpler to click several tags to get to information that is already filtered for you versus having to delve through site after site until you find one with the information you're looking for.

Thing #13 - Tagging and Discover Delicious

At first the whole concept of social bookmarking seemed a little bit weird, but the Common Craft video and the Delicious tutorial podcast helped clarify the whole concept a lot. Social bookmarking and sites like Delicious offer a quick and easy way to gather information and make it available for our students and other members of our campus. The potential for using sites like these in the library is virtually endless and all dependent upon the amount of information available and the number of tags you can create for each site. It is an ideal Web 2.0 tool because it can be accessed from anywhere and not just on a single computer. Libraries can take advantage of social bookmarking sites to help students with projects, research on colleges and/or careers, assistance with test preparation, and help in collaborating with teachers in all subjects for various assignments and projects.

Thing #12 - Creating Community Through Commenting

For me personally, commenting in the world of technology always seems to be the most difficult part of belonging to an online community or participating in an online class. Since I've been taking my graduate classes, one thing I have learned to do better is comment in an online forum. Most professors will give you guidelines for commenting but it should be common sense that if you're not commenting in a social networking forum such as a friend's status on Facebook, that the comment should be of substance. One point about commenting that I liked was from Vicki Davis' Cool Cat Teacher Blog was to "write a meaningful comment" and that "if you don't care, then don't comment" (Davis 2006). While in a classroom setting, we may not have this choice but when participating in any other online blog community this rings entirely true. It is best not to waste your time or the time of other readers and the blog owner. Another point about commenting that I agreed with was from Meredith Farkas' Information Wants to Be Free blog where she discusses sharing regardless of how important you may or may not feel about what you have to say. She writes that "sharing will encourage others to share and when there’s a culture of sharing, when we’re all sharing knowledge, we will all benefit" (Farkas 2008) which goes along with a popular saying in education that "on our worst day, we are some kid's best hope." Simply stated what we have to say can and often does have meaning regardless of our personal opinion on our own thoughts and comments.