Saturday, December 13, 2008

551.72 Snowflakes: Generate you Own Pile

Those of you who live with snow day in and day out for several months a year...forgive me. One more fun activity generated by the excitement of our recent snowfall.



Make-a-snowflake image generator. Use virtual scissors to cut out your own creation from a piece of virtual paper...and no mess to clean up! Possibly the cleverest part of the whole activity is watching the computer take the "paper" and magically fold it for perfect snowflake cutting! ( Hey, simple pleasures...what can I say!)




You save them or upload to the gallery...which contains thousands and thousands of entries. That is my one contribution at the top of the post. And below is an Animoto slideshow where I pulled samples from the gallery for your viewing pleasure.




Thursday, December 11, 2008

551.57 Snow: A Surprise Visitor

The weatherman kept saying it might happen...and it did! Snow fell within the city limits of Houston today...the first time in over 4 years!


It was a major news event all day...and caused all kinds of excitement...it actually feels like Christmas around here! (as opposed to the feeling one gets in December when you are STILL swatting mosquitoes.)

It was a good feeling...my old dog Mr. C was actually frisky after walking today...another new neighbor and I met each other for the first time and actually stood out on the sidewalk and let the flakes accumulate on our jackets as we exchanged our first neighborly tidbits...it brought out the bloggers around here and here as well!

But the WEIRDEST part of it all (and the main reason I ended up posting) is I hit (literally) on this YouTube video THIS EVENING by accident...it was fate! Enjoy!


video

Pretty cool, isn't it?...and I'm somebody who just doesn't "get" spreadsheets at all...I admittedly have "spreadsheet" envy on something like this!


P.S. I hope this bit of winter weather wonderland doesn't create a mess in the morning for all the drivers!

[Video from the Google Collaborative Spreadsheet Art collection on YouTube converted by Zamzar so it will be visible in district]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

006.6 Dumpr: TOO Much Fun!

I have records open on my desktop that I SHOULD be cataloging, but I am taking a few minutes of virtual hookey time to show you Dumpr. Maybe it is not new to you and maybe you are not hooked on image generators as I am, but this one is pretty cool, ridiculously simple, very fast...and mostly FREE...the best kind!

I pulled up an old picture of a friend...those of you who have been in some of our department's staff development will recognize him! Look at all the things I can do to him.
Some of the things on the site do cost $$, but are marked pro so it is easy to tell. They can be saved, printed, uploaded to Flickr, or embedded almost anywhere in the 2.0 world you can think of!
Ok, ok, ok...I gotta get back to my cataloging. Go have fun!
P.S. The squishy one is really fun...you do the squishing. You HAVE to do that one at least!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

953.63 Qatar or Bust: Community Effort

Since the inception of our Library2Play 23 Things professional development almost a year ago, there have been many players who have embraced the 2.0 world and given their students new keys to learning.

One such player is Estie Cuellar, a CATE teacher in our district in Houston, TX. From her culminating comments about the 23 Things adventures:
"I have become proactive in seeking out and learning new technologies that will help me grow as a teacher professional and affect positively the lives of my students."

She has done this thru many things:
"Kids today are in sync with technology...it's practically in their DNA. They are proficient multi-taskers. They cannot be reached in a one-dimensional classroom. I understand this.... The vast majority of my lessons are interactive. I play music in my classroom everyday. I make sure that my students conduct Internet research and complete online activities. This year, I will incorporate blogging to replace notebook journals as the students' reflection piece after completing lessons."

She also created a TeacherTube video about her teaching:



Estie has a group of students who have been particpating in the Flat Classroom Project this Fall. In this adventure the students have been working with students around the world on various topics. It is now time for these students to come together with their global peers. The meeting is to be held in Qatar in January.

These nine students need YOUR help. It is going to cost $20,000 for the students and their teacher to make the trip. These students can not do it alone. The Spring Branch Foundation has set up an account for donations towards this life-changing trip for these students.

If you would like to see more that Estie has done, please go to her wiki and blog.

Here is the Qatar Conference blog she and the students have created to talk about the summit and their plans...and needs! The students rap:
video
[converted from a YouTube video to a wmv file by ZamZar]

On the blog page is a form for contributing to their trip. You can contribute by check made out to the Spring Branch ISD Foundation or use a credit card as well. I chose to write a check.

This is a tough time of year to be asking for funds...especially this year in our community. Many folks are recovering from IKE in our area and are facing the national financial crisis in many ways. Plus the holidays are fast approaching and we all have obligations in that area as well. But please, if you can, help these kids. They deserve to go as much as any other member of the project.

Please consider leaving off that extra fancy coffee or two...take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a couple of times for lunch rather than doing take out. Reach down in the sofa cushions or shake some coins outta that change jar on your dresser. Please.

Bloggers are known for creating community. Please widen the circle a little today and include Estie and her students. Please put a little money where your keyboard is. 'Tis the season!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

398.2 It's Santa Time!

Happy Christmas to all!

The Animoto guys have added some fun Christmas music and made it possible for you to send your creations as holiday greetings directly to family and friends. Check out the fun!

P.S. The photos in this one all came from Microsoft clipart.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

973.932 The Next Step in History



A recent event caused the need for a new Dewey Classification number - 973.932.
It is a fine tuning of a much broader view found in 973.93 and will go into effect soon.

Can you determine how these numbers are related?
973.931
973.929
973.928
973.927

Care to make a guess in a comment? Bonus points for the exact date!
Our catalog won't help too much because of our "rule" for the benefit of our patrons, but our friends at Houston Public Library (any public library actually) can provide sources for your research!

If you want to take the easy way out and peek, you can go here for the answer to the first part. The other pieces should then fall into place just like a nice stack of dominoes

Who said cataloging can't be fun?!