Tuesday, April 22, 2008

333.7 It's Isn't Easy Going Green...

...or using technology inside our district many days! A presentation I was part of today to a very influential group of educators in my circle turned into a nerve-wracking mess because the internet, the intranet, the network, the tides, the sunspots, the WHATEVER that affected everything decided to have a major meltdown...it was SO F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G! And mostly because we had such GREAT stuff to show to folks who are hungry for great...quick...fun, yet important school stuff technology-wise!

For those of you in the know...Read: 23 things-type fun with educational purpose and value! As Lucy in Peanuts often says...arrrggghhhh!!!!!

So...because the intended audience did not get to see the timely Earth Day Animoto that I had prepared in order to demo the simple process of creation and the fun of the results...I will share it with you, my loyal and fun-loving blog readers! Found the great pictures on Flickr Creative Commons (another thing we were going to share--a copyright-friendly photo source.)

I was thinking back to the first Earth Day...38 years ago! My senior year in high school and the environment and all the issues related to it were in the news and on people's minds WAY BACK when! I try to do the best I can to save, reuse, reclaim, and not waste...growing up in the desert you understand the need to turn the water off when brushing teeth and how to conserve it as best you can elsewhere!

So with only a few hours of the special day (did you check out the Google artwork) left, I hope it was a good one for you...green or not! And I promise to let the technology "mess" go and live to "fight" another day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

031 Encyclopedia Britannica Freebies

Encyclopedia Britannica has decided to make a subscription free to some bloggers and other web publishers. You must register/apply to be considered for the service. It will last one year. I saw this announcement over at Joyce Valenza's Neverending Search so you can see more details there. She got some information about it from Tech Crunch as well, including a little discussion about whether this is a good thing or not.

Another new thing that could prove to be interesting is the widgets of information that EB is making available. Here is the current list of topics. I have added one about presidents so you can see what is available. Might be good additions to a web page or wiki where you are building resources for a project or research needs?

Guess we will need to see how this all shakes out as far as how people feel about it being a good thing or not. Me--for now, it is access to information and that is never a bad thing, I don't think.
The widget info is pretty basic...might prove to be nothing more than a gimmick, but if it makes one more learner take a look....what is the harm?
Will be glad to hear how others feel as the news spreads and the idea develops.

020.Views of TLA Librarians/Information Specialists & Their Conference

As promised a few days ago (wow, how time flies when you are absorbed!) here are some sights from the conference in Dallas. Not as many as I had hoped because 1. the camera battery conked out on me most of one day & 2. I was just too darn immersed to remember to take a shot or two of who or what I was immersed in! Sorry!

A whole room full of...catalogers! And not scary at all! Everyone there was just trying to learn and, more importantly understand RDA & FRBR & the implications on our way of doing things...especially in the cataloging world. Shawne Miksa did a fair job of making it understandable. And then Scott Piepenburg (for which there is no photo -- good or bad because that is when the battery went dead) assured me that I did know what I was doing...it is always to check in with yourself.

Along with a colleague, I am "in love" with Alan November now! Always on the fringes of my reading and learning, I am now going thru some of his stuff more carefully and in greater detail because I want to capture even a small degree of his passion for learning and understanding AND helping kids to learn and understand the world as it is now...where technology is considered a critical part of the success and not something to be scared of and worried over. A great way part of his message was done was simply by having the other participant, Kathy Schrock, on board thru Skype! It was fun"seeing" her long-distance.

And then two action-packed & insanely intense sessions with Joyce Valenza. The picture is terrible I know, but even if I had been closer, I'm not sure I could have done much better because it is hard to capture a speeding bullet and I was worried the energy coming from this terrific woman would blow me over like a tornado's wind! She is incredible in what she knows, what she does, and how much she wants to share it all with anyone within earshot!

I have to admit that the cataloging portion of TLA was more of a "have-to" than a "want-to," but the time was well-spent. The technology sessions I attended were more "fun," but really tied me in knots trying to keep up and understand everything they were demonstrating. I will go into more details as time permits.

But then there were the REALLY fun moments of conference...when opportunities just happened! Take a look!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

025.56 TLA Wednesday: Library 2.0, All Kinds of Resources

Wednesday was Resources day here at the conference for me. I attended Joyce Valenza's (of NeverEndingSearch fame) session on everything 2.0 I knew and more. Thank goodness for 23 Things...I was able to keep up with what she was talking about...barely.

She is SO into wikis with her students for ALL kinds of things and I couldn't agree more. I just can't figure out where she gets the gazillion extra hours a day to do it all. Here is one of her newest things...a Global Studies Ning. I see lots of potential here in high school...World Geography, advance studies courses, AP this & that, but even 6th grade World Cultures could find a place I think!

She is truly amazing at what she has put together...and wants all of us to use as well...don't re-invent the wheel...go to her things and adapt. I will go back and get all the particulars later, but if you have not read her blog..start there...put it in your reader...move it to the Top 5 of your list. You want be sorry...if you really want a taste of what can be done in 2.0 with students and for students. I am going back to hear her again on Thursday.

I also heard Walt Crawford...a long time agent of change and a "study-er" of trends like blogs....interesting info there...lots of his work has been with public libraries and academia, but his thoughts have filtered down into the school libraries as well. His presentation evolved into some nice discussion amongst attendees. It was worth my time.

I also got here all about the changes coming to TeachingBooks...you are going to like them...next Wednesday the 23rd watch for the new look and then next fall you will also see some new things...lots to do with what we & teachers can do with the material.

And my day ended very nicely with an EBSCO talk about what is coming there. Pretty much a one-on-four exchange of what changes they are bringing and what things we like and still need to see. I have totally forgotten the timeline of the changes....I will find out!

A good day...

Hope to get some pictures posted today of some fun stuff that has been happening...so keep watching!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

025.3 Cataloging "Day" at Conference

I wore my cataloger's hat all day pre-conference Tuesday. All-in-all it was a pretty good day (ok, quit rolling your eyes) although a bit intense at times.

I attended the official pre-conference event on RDA & FRBR. It was not as scary s I thought it might be. In a nutshell, nothing is ready...no changes will be made that we need to be concerned about any time soon.

There IS some vocabulary that we all need to learn and be comfortable with. A little tease for now is Work - Expression - Manifestation - Item. There are other words we need to learn as well, but these are the beginning. I will explain them later. RDA (Resource Description & Access) is replacing AACR2...but not tomorrow! So no worries right now.

There are some websites and other information I will share later. I had several great conversations with some phenomenal librarians who also happen to spend a lot of their day cataloging...and got to spend time with one of the first (and one of my favorite) bloggers that I started to follow as well. That was a special treat. Thanks David!

But time is pressing for me to move on to today's activities...a Web 2.0 day...o, boy should be fun.
so I will flesh out the RDA experience later.

More later!

Monday, April 14, 2008

025.1 TLA Conference: It's Time

It's here...Texas Library Conference for 2008...in Dallas. I have joined the first wave of over 7000 Texas Librarians for a week of learning and the best kind of social networking (ok...MY personal opinion.)

My adventure starts really early Tuesday morning...I will be blogging about the sights, sounds, and all the things I learn as much as I can. Not sure how often I will be able to do "live" blogging, but I will do my best to give you a taste of what's going on...at least in my little corner of the conference center!

Stay tuned!

005.2 Animoto...Even Better!

I did a little happy dance when I found out about the new features in Animoto...specifically for educators!

Check out the new stuff. Overview.

I have emailed for the necessary passcode, but have not had a chance to explore it totally...you will need to provide school info.

Friday, April 4, 2008

006.7 Blogs & Blogging: A Community Conversation

This is the post is where I will write am writing a reaction to a presentation I am making made at a church in my community that is having a technology workshop Saturday.

I want them to have access to the Common Craft video Blogs in Plain English so I am including it here so the participants can access it easily at the point they want it. I have chosen to use the Teacher Tube version so that it can be seen district as well.

I also wanted a place for the link to the PPT that I prepared to go along with the conversation.
I look forward to a fun and interesting morning...come back later to see what happened and what we learned!

It WAS a fun morning...such nice, enthusiastic participants during my session. I think they enjoyed learning about the vocabulary associated with Web 2.0 (thumbs and pointers, digital natives and immigrants, social networking, etc.) and seeing some of the background about and behind blogs. We talked a little about how children or grandchildren, nieces and nephews in their lives are totally into all of this stuff and we should all use it as well to be "hip and cool" with the kids! Here are a few of the people who came to my session...aren't they a nice looking group!

It was interesting to me from the standpoint of the "equipment" I got to use... a computer with Vista...that was a new experience...just enough difference to make me a little nervous since it wasn't my computer! And then I used a wi-fi connector for the Internet. Another new experience for me. The Geek Squad from Best Buy was there offering tips, tricks, and information so after my session I had a long talk with one of the Geek guys (really nice & patient, I might add) about setting up wireless for my place and how to go about doing it.

And on top of that...it is absolutely the most gorgeous day outside so I'm outta here. Copper & I have a date with a bench and a book!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

770.79 Photography Exhibition 2. 0 Version

I have neglected some of my fun spots I like to visit every once and awhile and so I did some catching up and came across a photography competition over at jokaydia.com. Ok, I hear you...no big deal...contests are all over the place...

This one was (it's already over--I told you I was behind!) run by Jo Kay of Wollongong, Australia, the creator of Jokaydia Island in Second Life. You could choose your shot....but it had to be made ON Jokaydia Island. Yup, you had to go into the virtual world and shoot a favorite scene.

Jokaydia Sunrise
Uploaded to flickr on
March 25, 2008by teachandlearn

Of the photos with Creative Commons rights, this is one of the several that I like. There are some other photos, but their rights are reserved so I could not post them here.

The photos are on display at a new Gallery that is open on Jokaydia Island. Did I see them there? Well, no, for couple of reasons...I couldn't remember or at the moment find my sign on info...and since I really have not been in Second Life since about November, I wasn't sure I'd be able to maneuver around well enough to find the gallery this evening. (Remember, I walk under buildings and have to practice sitting)

So I did the next best thing and went to Flickr where participants were encouraged to post their photos and tag them with jokaydiaphotocomp08. so you can enjoy their creative results there. Which will be your only alternative anyway if you are looking at this in district.

Anyway, if you want to visit the virtual world, you can go to Second Life, join and then transport to Jokaydia Island and visit the gallery. I will, too...one of these days!