Monday, December 31, 2007

394.2 Happy New Year

Hope 2007 is ending on a postive note for you and that 2008 holds all kinds of interesting experiences, challenges, and adventures in your personal and professional life!

Enjoy each day!

794.82 Gaming Experiences: Opportunities Abound Visiting 20-Somethings

Spending the holidays with the young people in my life meant I got to "play" with a Wii and got to visit another virtual world known as WoW!

The Wii system is so could be very addicting if I allowed it into my life full-time! I spent most of my time with the bowling portion, but I had such fun. So much fun bowling...and NOT having to stick my feet into those shoes!

I got to see a real expert play tennis against the computer and if there had been more time, I would have wanted to attempt that and other stuff as well. There are practice sessions and lots of different ways you can "play" without actually doing a whole game. It is great! The Wii site has all kinds of information and videos to explain what is available and how to play!

And of course...the notorious controller accidents...none for us...we had the improved straps and cleared the decks before playing, but o, boy, I can see how it could happen!

Another fun gaming experience and virtual world episode was getting to see a little bit of World of Warcraft, affectionately known as WoW. It is so much always going on, but the graphics are SO fabulous and the fact that I got to experience it on a 20+ inch screen was awesome! I doubt this site will be viewable in district, hence the wikipedia choice above. If you are not too much into gaming as I am not, you really should take an opportunity to look this one over if you is pretty impressive!

I can't wait for another opportunity to go north...hope I get a chance to "play" again!

005.2 Animoto Samples

I have gathered several examples of the kinds of things you can do with the free program Animoto and placed them in a link over on the blogroll. I will update as others share with me!

In the meantime, have fun yourself...all it takes is a group of visual files and a few minutes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

006.7 Happy Birthday to "Weblog"

December 17, 2007
The term "weblog" is 10 years old today.

It's author Jorn Barger has written an article the Top 10 Tips for New Bloggers over at Wired as a celebration of the past 10 years...or at least I assume he thinks in terms of it being a celebration of sorts.

Check out his newer picture...some things don't change!

As for some of the pointers for new bloggers (or old ones too!)
2. ...reminds us that links are "essential"...makes a blog the unique communication tool it is rather than just someone's essay.
4.'s ok to include the quirky little items of interest to you...whew, makes me feel a little better!
9. ...importance of a feed reader...amen!

I have been indirectly (reader/lurker) and directly (writer) involved with this communication form for a little more than half its official life...that's exciting for this little pioneer heart of mine!

More about the event...
Happy Blogiversary - NY Times
Blog turns 10 - Who's the Father? - C/Net News ...a bit of debate?

759.54 Anyone Need a Christmas Present Idea?

Diamond ear buds

Designed by Mr. Thomas Heyerdahl / Heyerdahl Jewellery / Oslo / Norway. “iDiamond ear” is made of 18 karat massive gold, set with a total of 204 diamonds / 1.65 carats.


Hurry...only 1000 pairs available!

Friday, December 14, 2007

155. 2 Another Personality Test: Equal Time for the 100 Acre Wood Bunch

I know these are silly, little "personality" tests, but they are fun, especially when tied to favorite stories...a chance to revisit special "friends"...this time, Pooh & Co.

Before I reveal my results, I have always considered myself an Eeyore children agreed SO much they even gifted me with one which sits proudly( in his typical dejected stance) on my desk at home. He makes me laugh!

Secretly, I think I want to be Tigger. Always the happy-go-lucky one in the crowd. A few years ago, there was that bouncy, somersault-turning Tigger and I wanted Santa Claus to bring me one SO badly, but instead I think he gave one to every little kid I knew, and I think one or two big kids, too!

I love the original stories and the beautiful soft colors of the drawings of how all the characters looked. They represent "sweet," nostalgic memories to me. But I AM a Disney-raised child too, and I love the all the "loud" musical craziness and bright, bold colors of the "newer" versions, too!" Say what you want, the Disney organization does have the "magic."

So who do I most closely resemble?

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Never thought about Kanga much...didn't stand out in the crowd to me, but according to this description from Wikipedia

Kanga is a kind-hearted, motherly character. She takes great care of Roo, and is constantly concerned with his well-being....She is not without a sense of humor, however, as shown when she not only catches onto the joke that the others are trying to play on her by hiding Roo but then turns the joke back on Piglet by pretending she believes he is Roo.
Kanga also comes the nearest of all the Pooh characters to serving the role of a parent to the other characters. She will offer motherly advice - and food - to anyone who asks her.
Kanga likes to keep things clean, and when she feels especially motherly,she likes to count and organize things. She can sign her own name, as she does on the "rissolution" that the animals give to
Christopher Robin, but there is no other indication of whether she can read or write...

Does make one ponder?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

428.1 Vocabulary: Here a w00t, There a w00t, Everywhere a w00t, w00t

Merriam-Webster Dictionary announced today its word for 2007 interjection originally created in gamers' language known as "l33t (elite) speak" that means "yay", or a sound that is made after a "win" in a game. Texas Aggies might consider it a cousin of their own "Whoop" (and if they don't, I'm sure I'll hear about it!)

Among the other Top Ten is another 2.0 contribution...facebook (as a verb!), condundrum, a condition I think I find myself in way too often, and blamestorming, another interesting action word.

As for what l33t speak is a combination of letter and numbers (those are zeros in w00t, not ohs).
Earlier this year, I wrote about Blog Day and the symbol of the that event 3108...reflecting also why it is held on August 31. Can you see B-l-o-g? That's l33t speak!
From Wikipedia comes this explanation of another l33t... n00t and newb(ie) (something I know a lot about being these days, but now I'm afraid I might be a n00t and I'll have to work on that!)
Within Leet, the term noob, and derivations thereof, is used extensively. The word means, and derives from, newbie (as in new and inexperienced or uninformed),[12][15][20] and is used as a means of segregating the "elite" members of a group from outsiders. Though they are often used interchangeably, there is a widely accepted
separation of the definitions of newb and n00b: a newb is merely new to
something, which is forgivable, while a n00b continues to engage in "newb" behaviors long after they should know better
. It implies that the target is being ignorant of his or her own failures, blames others without reason, has
failed to learn, etc. The word noob is a very common insult in most online games.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

006.7 More Edublogs Awards (and Second Life) Reactions

The teacher winner of the Edublog Awards Betchablog has an entertaining description of the awards ceremony in Second Life. Enjoyable reading especially since he was a fairly new in-world visitor like me!
...What did intrigue me though was the notice I received to say that the awards ceremony would be held on Jokaydia Island. “Cool!” I thought, I get to fly off to some tropical resort on some exotic island somewhere to attend the ceremony. Well, it’s true, I did fly off, and it was an exotic island, but it existed only in the virtual world of Second Life. Yes, the Edublogs Award ceremony was to be held in a virtual 3D space - a space existing only as a collection of bits, bytes and packets inside my computer, arranged into an amazing 3D environment by the creativity of the people who build these virtual spaces...

He also has some more pictures that show some event highlights. And lots of other good stuff as well that I will be working my way thru!

Another view of the whole awards process including graphs (that I am not totally sure I understand) was put out by James Farmer, brains behind the Edublogs thing itself and a major player in the awards and its super ceremony, (and a right nice friendly, helpful guy when I was having fits at my Edublogs blog.)

...The process was split into three stages, nominations of blogs for the awards over a few weeks (we received over 500 via an email contact form...nice barrier!), voting over a couple of weeks and then the announcement of the winners...

I am so in awe of all these creative people that I get to learn from!

Monday, December 10, 2007

912 The "Worldliness" of the Edublog Awards

I have had some inquiries as to where are the winners in how worldly is this thing?

So I did a map...please, it's not is a generalization of where the winners are (some of them are multi-authors/hosts) and where the other great librarian finalists are from. And I know the other finalists in other categories would make the map even more colorful, but I just don't have the strength!

Locations...Spain, Hungary, Shanghai, Scotland, UK, Australia, Canada and the USA (CA, NC, GA, CO, MA, NJ, and Texas! How is that?!

I have been reading and learning from many of these people for quite some time. One of the best things about this whole experience is that I have now "found" other people to learn from. And I will be sharing some of those new learning experiences as time goes by, but in the meantime, you can watch for additions (some are already there!) to my blog rolls.

And you can learn from these folks on your own.

P.S. 195 votes, 34%, total cast 575

Other winning percentages for some categories

41% Is it Ok to be a technologically illiterate teacher? Karl Fisch
41% elearning Technology
46% Smartboard podcasts
41% Welkers Wikinomics
43% Suffern M.S. in 2nd Life ( Animoto may play automatically...loud!)
52% 587 votes! just for this blog Classroom 2. 0 (they do have 4000+ members :-) )
61% 644 votes! just for this blog El tinglado (tech support)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

006.7 Edublogs Awards: A Surreal Adventure

The Edublog Award winners were announced Saturday at a multimedia, video streamed event held in Second Life (SL) and through other audio connections.

I created an Avatar and went to the ceremony on Jokaydia Island. It was fun and frustrating, interesting and intimidating, cool and confusing. Having only spent about five hours total in the virtual world of SL prior to the event, I was struggling to operate outside of my comfort zone and still take in all the excitement around me.
Click on the picture and you can see a few screen shots I took to give you an idea of everything that was going on. You can see other pictures as they are collected on Flickr.

JUST like at the Academy Awards, I really did not think my little blog entry would "win" against the heavy hitters that were in the category and so when the blog was called, I really had nothing prepared to say! It was ok tho' because others were waiting to speak at the end due to all the technical issues (yes...even in something this BIG!). I tried at the end to use my headset and my 15 minutes of knowledge of the set-up to try and say thanks...I "screeched" so badly that attendees begged to pull my plug so I did! Newbies with new toys should not try to "play" with the big boys and girls!

There were several people who were so kind to me as I tried learning how to maneuver around...walking, sitting...flying! I spent more time in the bushes and UNDER structures. And as far as the flying goes...well, those of you who have seen me operate in the real world...let's just say it wasn't a pretty picture. But Jokay, the island owner, spent precious time the day before helping me while she should have been tending to more important details, and Ruby Imako and Sandbox Builder Leah Planer gave me several pointers during the ceremony itself.

It was S-U-R-R-E-A-L!

And now I must try to adequately say thanks to everyone who was responsible for this nice thing happening to me.

I started this blog a little over a year ago to do something that looked like a fun way to share bits and pieces of information I find with people who might want to read what I had to offer. I have a great group of colleagues and friends who follow my ramblings fairly regularly and, on occasion, would share their thoughts with me and others about the topic. I also know I have a lot of them lurking...they will talk to me about the posts, but won't write. My goal this year...more commentors, less lurkers!!

No way did I think ANYTHING I wrote about would attract attention outside my little circle of influence. But the structure of blogging allows for others to find my words when they match up with their words! And that is just plain cool! to see something I thought about quoted in someone else's post...o wow!

I feel very honored to have been nominated and selected as a finalist because there are so many good things going on out there in the library blogging world. And to have had friends and colleagues put out the efforts needed for me to be the "winner"...I appreciate all their efforts and time...and more importantly, their confidence in and support of me.

I want this honor to reflect ALL the good things we have going on in our libraries, but especially with respect to the "new" ways of doings things. Many of us have been fighting an uphill battle for many years to prove our worthiness to others. It's a win for all of us.

I will work hard to earn the respect connected with "winning" something like this by continuing to have lots of fun learning and sharing...and I will do my best to pay it forward.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

155.2 Personality Traits: How Do You Match Up with HP Characters?

And you thought all the attention to HP was over. Nope!

Here is a fun little quiz to see how you stack up against the characters of the Harry Potter books. It is loosely based on the Myers-Briggs Personality test.

Now all I need is for someone who knows Dumbledore and the "real" me, to tell me if this a true match or not. (Remember, I didn't read them...TOO much fantasy!) [blocked in district--games!'s worth a look!]

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Explanation of the Results:This type of personality test uses four indexes of personality and the combination of the four is your personality type. The first index relates to how you interact with other people and can be Extroverted(E), meaning you're more outgoing or Introverted (I), meaning you keep more to yourself. The second relates to how you make decisions; whether you're Intuitive(N), getting answers from within, or you rely on Sensing (S) information from your surroundings, using your five senses. The third relates to whether you're more emotional and Feeling (F) or rational and Thinking (T). The fourth relates to whether you prefer things to be organized, meaning you're Judging (J), or you prefer things to be more unbound, meaning you're Perceiving (P).
For more information about real, scientific personality typing, visit the Kiersey Temperament and Character Website.

Thanks to Gargoyles Loose in the Library for sharing the fun!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

028.1 Books: Stack 'Em Up!

Cute little program...amaztype...creates words out of books from the collection.

Not sure what purpose it serves but it is fun...and it does make interesting artwork for know those guideposts to help readers find what they want?

My sample...all the books used are "frog" books of some kind. When you are actually in the program as it builds the word (and by the way, just keeps building and building), you can click on the book to see the cover up close and have all the pertinent info about the book (author, price, etc.)

Vocabulary practice? Header on blog, webpage, newsletter?
Any other thoughts on how to use?

[I screen shot the action and then saved each on a PowerPoint slide and cut away the access and save each as a jpeg.]

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

468.8 Spanish Language Reading Materials for Kids

I have been following La Bloga for some time now...covers all kinds of books by, for, and about Hispanics for all age levels.

Now they are supporting and promoting a Spanish language blog for young readers...includes stories, poetry, books...and more.
It will be a challenge for me and my basic skills in reading Spanish to follow everthing that is included, but I look forward to the challenge because it looks fun!

785.06 Vegetable Orchestra: A Salad Bowl of Sound

I love the Web. I love all of the creative people and things I get to see because some creative person put something together and then some other creative person made a video of it and handed it over to another creative person to put it up on the Web so I could see.

Just wish all the students and teachers in my sphere of influence could see everything I see.

But for the ones who can away from school, I present the Vegetable Orchestra

I know there is science involved in the creation of the instruments...even a vocabulary review of the about a compare and contrast of these instruments with the real ones.

What about pairing it up with Orchestranimals by Van Kampen or Scott Gustafson's Animal Orchestra or Young Person's Guide to Music (with accompanying CD)

Maybe graphing (spreadsheet?) how many different instruments are made from carrots, gourds, squash...

The video is a tad long, but PLEASE hang on till the end ...the bell pepper horn up close is worth the wait!

I bet kids would remember more general information about the orchestra after viewing this!

P.S. Not sure creation of these instruments by young children would be possible...the tools are pretty wicked!

PPS. ok , did a little research to see if there were other versions that might come thru at school...
same group, but is narrated by a member (3+ minutes) maybe it will show? AVAILABLE in District!...just checked.
but no listings for TeacherTube or Google videos. Rats!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

306.8 Reflections on Mothers

During a long solitary drive home the other day, I was flipping thru my mental file cabinet and remembered some of my favorite "mother" books...used both in my professional and personal life. They are "old," but still get a lot of use and probably represent some the love-worn volumes in your collection?
Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman...a simple classic
Is Your Mama a Llama? (author's name escapes me)...drove by a pasture of llamas and was thinking about the eyes on the character in this book...they have always amused me!
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams...a sweet story of saving
Just Me & My Mom...the Little Critter books...I had tapes for my girls and loved the character's voice....all the stories were/are so cute!
O My Baby Little One...a "new" book so to speak, but I fell in love with it when I discovered it at a book exhibit or a meeting with the author Kathi Appelt, I forget which. tender descriptions
Guess How Much I Love You...sweet story with little bunny characters.

Ok, there 's one more and I have racked my brain...someone please help me! It made the rounds of our book exhibit/fairs a few years's a little paperback patterned cover with picture of small the end of the story, the parent ends up sitting in the lap of the grown child. We had to keep the kleenex close by! The title just totally eludes me at this time.

and there is the passage from Little Women where Marmee describes what she hopes for her is "dated" by 21st century standards, but none the less, a sweet passage of mother/daughter relationships...

What about you own thoughts? Other titles...

641.8 Cookies: 'Tis the Season!

So many choices! So little time! I see math problems, maybe? Tie in with When the Doorbell Rang?

P.S. There are lots more seasonal activities that can be used for a variety of reasons.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

633.5 A "C" of Texas Snow

First day of December, winter in have to agree it DOES look like snow!
My kind of melting, muddy mess and no shoveling required.
A week ago there had been "real" snow throughout the area...I missed it (and all the problems associated with it) but did see a few snowmen "puddles" in several yards!

333. 9 Wind Farm: Update

Can't help it...this wind farm project fascinates me and I counted a few hundred turbines up and going this trip throughout the area. The last time I saw a couple of dozen...look at the new pictures and you can see the developers have been very busy the last couple of months.

Coming southeast towards Sterling City, you can now see some from the opposite end of town that you couldn't earlier in the fact one lines up with the yellow strip on the hiway that goes straight through town and looks like a beacon! [O, by the way, DN, it goes way up China Valley as well as up hiway 87 ]

View Larger Map
I have "doctored" a couple of pictures so the turbines show up you can see it was very overcast and the wind was blowing up a gale and making the camera bounce around as I tried to snap the pictures and not get blown away or run over!! ( Promise there IS a turbine right in the center of this can see two on the left side!)
China Valley