Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thing #17 Rollyo

What a great tool! I love Rollyo! This is an excellent resource that allows you to basically build your own search engine. You can choose the websites that you want to search through and make it accessible to all! I developed a searchroll on Kindergarten/Early childhood education. I am constantly looking for new ideas to use in my classroom and find myself going to search through several different websites for certain things. Now I can search for information quickly and more efficiently. This tool could be put to good use by teachers, librarians and staff. Most importantly, it would benefit students as a resource offered by teachers for specific classes and projects!

Thing #16 Wikis

Wikis can be utilized in so many different ways, especially in the education world. A school can use a wiki to keep parents and the community updated, a classroom teacher can use wikis for assignments and note taking, a librarian can use wikis for book clubs......the options are endless! It is a simple tool that can offer great communication between many. The administrator can monitor who edits and can even limit who comments and edits. I can't really see myself using this with my students as an independent exercise as I teach Kindergarten, BUT it would be a great tool for parent communication from our classroom.

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

The future of libraries is everchanging and librarians must change accordingly to keep up. For so long we have concentrated on developing our collection of print materials. As we have in the past, we must concentrate on our patrons needs. Users want access to information quickly and do not want to be tied down to visiting a particular location to get it. Virtual libraries and offering tools online for users to access information anywhere is extremely important. As librarians, we must keep up with that! Making tools easy to use with minimal assistance is also necessary when the librarian-patron ratio is so high! Staying current with your population along with the developing technology is necessary to have a successful library.

Thing #14 Technorati and How Tags Work

After exploring Technorati and all that it has to offer in detail, I have realized the importance of tagging my posts on my blog. It is an excellent tool to be able to search by tags made in blogs to find needed information by others. I explored the some of the popular blogs on the site also. I found Mashable! that offers updated news about Web 2.0 and social networking. I also came across Consumerist that offers the latest news and information about consumer reports on different aspects in our lives. After using this tool and seeing what it can offer, I plan to start adding more detailed tags to my blog posts and using this resource more often!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thing #13 Tagging and Discover Delicious

Social bookmarking is a great tool that can be utilized by many. Not only is it an excellent resource for those in the education world, but can be useful for others. Delicious is a great site that allows users to access bookmarks from anywhere that Internet access is available. Not only can users save bookmarked sites, but one can also add tags and search for other bookmarked sites by tags. Diigo is also an excellent bookmarking tool available for free. This one is really neat because it offers an educational upgrade that allows teachers to create student accounts so the bookmarked sites can be accessed. This tool is a great way to assist with research in the classroom and in the library.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thing #12 Creating Community Through Commenting

It is extremely important to read and make comments on others blogs. Making successful comments is also important. Just adding "I agree" or "Nice comment" is simply not enough. When searching other blogs and articles on the subject, I found some points made in Cool Cat Teacher Blog that interested me. Adding meaningful comments and hyperlinks to my own blog allows fellow bloggers to understand the importance of their thoughts and opinions.
I searched and read through fellow UHCL students' blogs to see what each has to to say on different topics. I also read and commented on two different blogs that pertain to early childhood elementary. I teach Kindergarten and find these interesting.
Kindergarten Tales
Mr. Kindergarten

Thing #11 LibraryThing

Library Thing is too cool! I was able to add titles that I keep in my home to keep up with the collection of books I have. It was very simple. I searched by ISBN to add titles, but one can search by title, author, LCCN, etc. also. Once your titles are added, you can access reviews, see other members that include it in their library, and the tags included for each. This is an excellent resource for teachers to use in their classroom, on a personal basis for your home library, or even for a leveled reader library that is housed separate from a school library catalog.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What a great islander librarian always needs...I wish!

Thing #10 Online Image Generator

Playing with the different image generators I found was LOADS of fun. I can see myself getting addicted and playing for way too long.......
The ones that I enjoyed the most were Wordle, Big Huge Labs,

At Wordle, one can input words in and it generates a word cloud. I added words that pertain to libraries and information access and produced a word cloud! WAY COOL! You can even change fonts, colors, and the shapes.
At Big Huge Labs, I made an ID Badge. It was very easy to make and customize. I also added captions to a photo of mine
Image generators are excellent tools to use in the classroom and library. Designing posters of celebrities and famous Americans with different captions would be a way to use this tool. One could also use photographs to a puzzle, an ID badge as a biography, or even design a comic strip as part of a writing project. The options are limitless!

Thing #9: Useful Library-Related Blogs and News Feeds

Searching for relevant blogs seemed to be easy, but finding the best search engine is the key. I tried out Google Blog Search and found it easy to use. It looks a lot like all of Google's interfaces. I also found Technorati easy to use. It offers an advanced search where one can do a keyword search and limit the blogs being searched in. It also offers a URL search and a tag search. I found Blogline to be confusing for me. It did not give me what I was searching for easily. Some great blogs that I found were Dr. Teri Lesesne's blog, the Goddess of YA Literature and Free Technology for Teachers. I also included a presentation I found on Technology for Teachers about 25 Tools for Learning. 25 Tools : A Toolbox for Learning Professionals

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thing #8: RSS Feeds and Readers

I obtained a Google Reader account and am very impressed at how easy it is to use. I added the URLs of the blogs that I want to follow along with super quick and am able to see all of my blogs listed in the side pane. I like that you are able to see the latest posts on several different blogs in ONE place. You don't have to remember the sights, or even worrying about bookmarking them because they are saved! I know that I will use this even more in the future. I bookmarked several sites that are related to the "library world" along with sites related to Kindergarten (the grade I currently teach). Staying up to date with my professional world is important to me, along with finding out new ideas and about new books. Other educators could also advantage of this tool by finding blogs pertaining to their field or even local news and professional associations. What a great find!

***Oh yeah, I even was amazed with Google's Blog Search! I had no clue that existed!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thing #7 Cool Google Tools

Google has SO many tools to offer..... It is unbelievable!
One tool that I explored was iGoogle. It is a tool that allows you to personalize your homepage to fit your personality. I was able to add different gadgets to my homepage. There were so many to choose from that I finally stopped adding gadgets after page 4 because there were too many on my page. Some gadgets I included are a birthday reminder, to-do list, easy recipes, local weather, and even my e-mail is included.
Another Google tool I explored was Google Docs. This allows users to access documents and presentations online. I was able to upload a PowerPoint presentation and make it accessible online. Users can also produce documents and presentations using Google Docs. Different people can edit and save the documents too. Once it is completed, you can save it as a PDF file or publish as a link to be accessed by anyone.

Published Presentation:

Thing #6 Mashups and 3rd Party sites

I wasn't familiar with the term "mashup" before, but have used these sites frequently. It is two different web applications mashed together to form one. There are so many different mashups and 3rd party apps out there to explore and use! One that I think is beneficial is Trip Planner. This site combines applications from Yahoo! Travel and Flickr to provide the user a way to plan trips. One can plan a trip, keep a journal about the trip, and upload pictures using Flickr. It can be shared and viewed by all. I would have liked to use this for the last trip my husband and I went on vacation. This could be a tool used in the library in collaboration with teaching a geography project with classroom teachers.

Thing #5 Flickr

Creative Commons is a COOL site to use to find images that are copyright protected. There are different types of licenses for the images. I like that you can search by those categories of licenses to find images. You can also search all of the categories. I have used this site different times for presentations and lessons in my classroom. I can see myself utilizing this site even more and sharing it with other colleagues. This picture was found by searching with the keyword "kindergarten". There is so much to choose from......

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thing #3 Blogs and Avatar

I have set up blogs for other classes and for my classroom, so setting up a blog for this project was simple. I look at blogs quite frequently for work and for school and have commented and interact with those on blogs. I have never made an avatar, so that was pretty interesting. It was simple to make and add to my blog. There were so many things to choose from with the backgrounds, appearances, and clothing! It can take a while to search through what there is to choose from because there are so many options.....

Thing #2 Lifelong Learners

While learning about the different 7-1/2 habits of lifelong learners, it put a lot into perspective for me. One habit that is the easiest for me is teaching and mentoring others. As I have been in classes working towards my degree, it is important to me to share ideas and research I have learned about with colleagues and friends to make them aware of what is out there. One habit that is the hardest for me is viewing problems as challenges. I tend to be pessimistic about problems and worry about them. I need to work on that!

23 Things

While I absolutely LOVE teaching Kindergarten, I began working on Master's Degree in School Library and Information Science in the Fall of 2007. As graduation gets closer, I am in my very last class! It is a media and technology class and is full of great ideas and resources to help me in my future of education. One of the assignments for the class is to explore 23 Things.