Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two Best Readings

We had the opportunity to read many good chapters this semester.  Two of the chapters stand out as being very influential for incorporating technology in the field of Library Science.  First, I enjoyed reading Chapter 6 in Technology in the School Library by Odin Jurkowski (2006).  This chapter, entitled School Library Websites, discusses how media specialists can incorporate a website as a means of information for their students.  One of the main advantages is how quickly librarians can give updates on resources and materials.  Students and teachers can access information about the library from any location with the Internet, not just within the four walls of the library.

Jurkowski (2006) suggests that when beginning a website, be sure to have goals in mind.  It is recommended to include links to specific teachers, the library catalog, databases, local sites of interest, and your contact information.  It is also important to choose the software used to create and update the website.  It is critical that the librarian chooses what can be easily maintained and updated.  Considerations must be made if it will be hosted on the district’s website or an outside host.  Further, the website should have a design that is aesthetically pleasing, combining fonts, colors, and graphics.  It should be easy for patrons to navigate and locate information including younger children. 

I maintain a website for my second grade class and plan to continue this if I ever work in a school library position.  This chapter is a wealth of information for how to get started and what to include on a school library website.
The second chapter I read that I felt was valuable was Chapter 7, Online Social Networking by Brian S. Mathews located in the book, Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow’s User, edited by Nancy Courtney (2007).  Online social networking has simply exploded in the past few years and it is important to include these technologies with students.  They are already familiar with many social networks such as blogs, MySpace, and Facebook.  Introducing the social networks into a library’s curriculum will appeal to young patrons.  “Social networking websites enable libraries to enter the social sphere of these younger patrons and to present a modern image,” (Mathews, 2007).  The library can be highlighted through photos, blogs, and online tours.  I think that it is so important to take advantage of social networks to increase the library’s exposure and enhance access to information. 

Jurkowski, O.L. (2006). Technology and the school library: A 

     comprehensive guide for media specialists and other 

     educators. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Mathews, B. S. (2007). Online social networking. In N. Courtney (Ed.),  
     Library 2.0 and beyond: Innovative technologies and tomorrow’s 

     user (pp. 75-89). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Assistive Technology-Module 5

The Discovering Assistive Technology was very informative and I learned many new things about Assistive Technology products.  I especially liked learning about the software called the iCommunicator.  Having a deaf child in my second grade classroom last year was a tremendous experience and I learned so much about people living with a disability.  I know that my students benefited from having that child in my class as well.  We could see first hand how this child lived each day and overcame the challenges she faced.  Here is a link to a CD called Sound Hearing.  This CD and booklet really helped my students to understand what hearing was like for this child.  Examples are provided of a person reading a sentence with hearing, some hearing loss, and severe hearing loss.  I asked my students to imagine if that is what they heard everyday, all day, and how difficult that must be.  This CD truly opened their eyes to what their fellow classmate experienced with her hearing loss.

I absolutely plan to recommend this tutorial to other colleagues because it is important for all educators to understand what is available in the area of Assistive Technology.  I enjoyed reading the list of books on Library Thing and plan to read several books from the list.  I purchased many books with deaf characters and about sign language for my classroom when I had a deaf students because it was important to me to read about this disability and because I knew my students would benefit from them as well.

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial on Assistive Technology!

Assistive Technology-Module 4

Shelley White, injured in September 2001 by a powered parachuting accident, acquired a C5 spinal cord injury.  She is a learning support teacher at my school and gave a presentation to my class.  Shelley wrote a book about her accident called, New Opportunities, about a porcupine named Spiney that had an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury.  She gives school visits to teach children about having a disability and how it doesn't have to hold a person back.  You can visit her website and learn how this teacher decided to use her disability to teach children.  She truly is an inspiration to both children and


I took the quiz relating to people with disabilities and did very well with it.  I feel that my knowledge and attitude is appropriate for a teacher and I have good etiquette when talking to people that have a disability.  I was not surprised by the results and correct answers given in the quiz.  

When doing a web search on Assistive Technology I found five websites that had useful knowledge.

Access IT, The National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education, University of Washington

This website provides the reader with a definition of Assistive Technology and over 160 articles about accessible information such as web pages, instructional software, and telecommunications and office equipment.

AbleData is a website that gives the reader information about assistive technology products and equipment.  They do not sell the actual products, but help people locate the companies that do sell the products.  There are over 36,000 products listed, resource listings, and a library of publications about assistive technology.

This website was created as a guide for families learning about Assistive Technology.  There is a definition of AT provided as well as a guide to making AT decisions and funding for AT.  There are links to Advocating for Assistive Technology, examples, and may articles that families can explore.

Wisconsin CESA Districts

This website provides a lending library, free publications, classroom materials, and learning opportunities for Assistive Technology.  The free materials are outstanding and discuss topics such as AT for Communication, AT for Computer Access, AT for Reading, AT for Recreation and Leisure, as well as materials for those who read Spanish as their main language.

This informational website provides the user with Computer Access Solutions for the blind, deaf, and those with learning disabilities.  Ability Hub provides consulting, evaluation, and training in Assistive Technology products and devices.  There is a plethora of information about mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software, and links to related searches.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Assistive Technology-Module 3

Software Company Price Features
Inspiration Inspiration     Software, Inc. $69.00 for one license,          $895.00 for 20 licenses Concept Maps,    KWL, Charts,        Tree Diagrams
Kurzweil         3000 Kurzweil     Educational    Systems,       Cambium        Learning  Technologies Learn Station    $395,      Professional BW $1095,   Professional     Color $1495, Learning Lab     Pack BW $1995, Learning Lab     Pack Color $2695 The program           will read text             for the student,       rate of reading       and voice can be adjusted, Definitions can be heard for vocabulary,      Scanner   compatability
Windows Demos Microsoft Cost of       purchasing a PC Windows Touch, Magnifier, Accelerators,        Ease of Access Center
InfoEyes Mid-Illinois         Talking Book      Center Free Question and      answer service        for people with         visual       impairments

Software Good Bad
Inspiration Helps students       with learning      through visuals, training resources for teachers Costly to buy  licenses for many computers
Kurzweil 3000 Extra support for students who struggle with reading, writing, and study skills, training for     teachers Specific    Make/Model of scanners        required for    teachers to add    their material
Windows Demos Text read aloud, text enlarged, adjust magnifier, control without a keyboard or      mouse Not available for MacBook
InfoEyes iVocalize Software  is utilized, tips are provided for both the user and the communicator Scheduling is required for use

I can implement assistive technology in my school through various means.  Simple items such as pencil grippers or using a piece of paper to allow students to focus on one question at a time will help learners.  More extensive items can be used with children who have special needs.  An FM System is used by a student that was in my class last year so that she can hear her teachers with special hearing aides.  The  Occupational Therapist at my school uses a special putty for students to build up the strength in their hands.  In the library, magnifiers could be used for students who have visual difficulty.  There are endless ways to implement assistive technology and it is exciting that we live in a world where this technology is available!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Assistive Technology-Module 2

Hardware Selection


The Assistive Technology hardware selected is for students in an elementary school who are hard of hearing.  These students wear hearing aides and have sign language interpreters with them for every class they attend. 


The hardware choice selected is a Personal FM System.  This technology allows a student to wear special hearing aides while the teacher wears a microphone.  The teacher’s voice is transmitted to the hearing aides and amplified so that the student can hear what is being said.  The voice is transmitted at a constant level regardless of the distance between the teacher and student and background noise is diminished.  There is an auxiliary input that allows the FM system to be plugged into any audio source.  The cost is $609.00-$775 depending on the model selected.  It can be purchased through EnableMart at the following link:

The FM transmitter is easy to use and does not require much training.  There is an On/Off switch and there is a mute button for when the teacher wants to speak, but does not want the student to hear what is being said. The transmitter needs to be charged at the end of each school day.  Further, the student should switch from his or her regular hearing aides to the special hearing aides that come with the system.

Needs Assessment

The purpose of this technology is to enhance the teacher’s voice for the hard of hearing student.  It is a sturdy piece of hardware, mobile, and it can be used in a variety of situations within the school setting.  Students can learn both academics and social skills more effectively when they have the ability to hear.  This technology would not take the place of a sign language interpreter, but rather increase the understanding and comprehension of school activities.  A certified audiologist would evaluate and monitor the student as well as help fix the FM System if any technical issues arise.

The Personal FM System would be used during all instructional time during the school day.  The student would put the special hearing aides in as soon as he or she arrives to school and then give the microphone to the classroom teacher.  The FM system would then be used during classroom instruction time.  The teacher would have to be cognizant of when lessons transition from whole group instruction to small group instruction or individual help.  The FM System has a mute button that should be utilized when the instruction is not directed at the hard of hearing student, so that he or she can concentrate on tasks.  This system is extremely sensitive allowing the student to even hear a whisper by the teacher.  The FM System is very portable and would follow the student to all instructional classes such as Library, Music, Art, and Physical Education so that the instruction is amplified.  It would also be taken to Computer class and plugged directly into the computer so that sounds from the computer could be heard.      

The use of this technology would greatly help the hard of hearing student and he or she would feel appreciative that there is this kind of technology available.  Use of the sign language interpreter is important, but the FM System can allow the student to feel more independence in school.  The interpreter is always a little behind from what the teacher is saying and the hard of hearing student can feel behind from the rest of the class.  The FM System allows the student to comprehend what the teacher is saying in real time.  The interpreter and the FM System can work together to make sure that the hard of hearing student has access to all of the instruction occurring in every lesson.


Assistive Technology-Module 2

Assistive Technology Solutions
There are a plethora of solutions for assistive technology and a great number of devices that can help our special needs students.  As I browsed through the products on EnableMart I found several that would be useful accommodations for students at my school.  The Ergonomic Keyboards and Mice would be appropriate for our students who visit our Occupational Therapist for strength and coordination training.  The Desktop Video Magnifiers would be helpful for those students with low vision.  Finally, the Go Talk One message device would be a benefit for our Autistic students as they can hear the names for common objects.

Simple Accommodations in Three Situations
If I had to implement a simple accommodation to assist my students with processing or attention deficits I would provide them with copies of notes for my lessons so that they do not need to take notes, but could focus on what I was saying.  These students need to focus on the speaker, and would not be able to keep up if note taking were required.  For students that have an Occupational or Physical Therapist, a pencil gripper and thicker pencil could be provided.  These students struggle with handwriting, and this would be a simple way to enhance their writing tool.  Finally, for the deaf or hard of hearing students at my school I could make sure to reduce the background noise as much as possible, place these students in the front of the room, and make sure that all videos are closed captioned.  

Helpful Website and Assistive Technology Hardware
Watching the YouTube link about Leigh-Anne Tompkins was very eye opening.  She was born with a lack of oxygen, which led to cerebral palsy, but that disability did not stop her from graduating magna cum laude in Fine Arts.  She uses Assistive Technology to operate her computer and she even started her own company.  A software program provided her voice for the video and a track ball for her foot allowed her to create pictures on the computer.  It was absolutely amazing to see how far this woman had come and what she has already accomplished in her life!

I think that it is wonderful that there are so many Assistive Technology options for people with disabilities.  I know that there are many things I take for granted in my life and I didn't even realize the scope of what is available for people with disabilities.  It is so important for all students to have the same learning opportunities and AT hardware can provide that to them!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Assistive Technology-Module 1

We have now moved into another area of study--Assistive Technology.  It is so interesting to read about and listen to people with disabilities and how they can overcome their struggles to live their lives everyday. I had a deaf child in my second grade class last year and was face to face with the challenges that arise just from daily living.  She opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there and the determination that is required to experience life to the fullest.

The National Federation of the Blind's website is filled with programs to learn about Braille.  If I were introducing this to my students, I would love to get the Braille is Beautiful program because it is a hands-on program that teaches students an understanding toward blind people and that Braille can be fun.

I am sure that I would approach having a blind student in my room the same way I approached having a deaf student in my room.  I bought a bunch of books from Amazon about deaf children and books that had deaf children as main characters so that I could share them with my hearing students.  I also taught the rest of my class sign language whenever possible so that they could share in what was happening between the interpreter and the deaf student.  I would want my students to understand what it is like to be blind and to have an appreciation of what life is like with that disability.

I was glad to be introduced to the National Center for Learning Disabilities website and link for teachers.  As a second grade teacher, every year I am faced with a student (if not more) that has a learning disability.  This website will give me wonderful strategies to try out as well as different ways to reach the student.   

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week #9, Thing #23

I had a wonderful time completing the 23 Things and documenting my journey on this blog!  My favorite things that I explored along the way were using the image generators, learning about mashups, and creating a catalog of books in Library Thing.  

The technology available to us is amazing!  There are so many things we can use for our libraries and classrooms that were not available to us as young learners.  I love being a life-long learner, and discovering new ways to incorporate technology into my classroom and daily life has been very beneficial.  

My learning experience in this program can be summed up with the word: 



Week #9, Thing #22

As I mentioned in my previous post, I use my iPod for podcasts and audiobooks.  I downloaded several audiobooks and usually listen to them before falling asleep at night.  I enjoy listening to them, but have only ever listened to nonfiction books.  I never have tried listening to a book that I would normally read for enjoyment.  

I was interesting to explore the World eBook Fair website.  I didn't realize that there are books you can download for free.  This would be especially helpful for students and teachers that are looking to save some money, but want to utilize classic literature.  There are so many ways that we can share literature with today's technology.  I know that so many people can benefit from these kinds of websites.

Week #9, Thing #21

I was first introduced to podcasts several years ago by my mom.  She found a few podcasts that were nice to listen to and we added them to our iPods.  We liked to download Dr. Wayne Dyer's podcasts as well as his audiobooks.  I would listen to them before falling asleep at night so that I could unwind from the day and get some positive affirmations.

I began searching for educational podcasts for this post and subscribed to Children's Book Radio.  I have linked their website in case you are interested in looking them up.  I think that this kind of podcast will be very valuable to me if I get a school library job.  It is important to stay on top of children's literature and book reviews are a good way to do just that.  Not only does this podcast give excellent book reviews, but interviews of authors are also included.  This podcast will be very useful to teachers as well as librarians.    

Week #9, Thing #20

I love YouTube!  I can spend time looking through videos for entertainment and laughs as well as for information.  This is a video of an eight year old boy, Geoffrey Gallante, playing the trumpet.  He is the same age as my students and is absolutely amazing!  My husband and I are both musicians and just marvel at his talent.  My husband plays the trumpet and I have tried it out.  It is really hard and I can't believe how easy this boy makes it sound!

I can see how a library could use YouTube to promote events that are happening.  I also found some interesting Library 2.0 videos that can educate everyone about how libraries are changing.    

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week #8, Thing #19

I really had fun setting up my account on Library Thing.  I learned that individuals, small libraries, and classrooms use this website to catalog their books.  I added seven books to complement my WebQuest on Clouds and you can find the books here.  I love that the cover of the books are shown and that I can see the author, copyright date, and the users who have added the books as well as comments.  I found that The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola was the most popular book that I added!

I also looked at the ways people can communicate and find others with similar books interests on this website.  I typed in my city and state under "Local" to see who was using this service in my area.  I love that you can connect with others in this way.

Week #8, Thing #18

I enjoyed exploring Zoho and set up a free account to find out how it is used.  There are many facets to this website including e-mail, a word processor, spreadsheet, document management, and even a wiki, chat, and a place to share with others!  I can see how this would be useful to an educator or librarian.  One could start a project at work, and then easily finish it at home.

I found the site self-explanatory and very user friendly!  I created a document to use with my second graders about "Pumpkins."  I am glad I had the opportunity to check this website out.  

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week #7, Thing #17

I visited the CA Classroom 2.0 Wiki and added my WebQuest to the Sandbox.  Here is my WebQuest for you to enjoy!  I created it for second graders to learn about the three main types of clouds to go with our science curriculum in my district.  I specified three links that the students would visit to read about clouds because it is very difficult for a seven year old student to do a search in my Rollyo list and find the important information.  At this age, students need practice in the basics of using a computer and the Internet and I feel that this WebQuest is very appropriate for that.

Sky Detectives

Subject: Clouds (Second Grade)
Professor: Laura Shuey

Today you are a sky detective investigating the
three different types of clouds! See if you can
be a super sleuth and detect the ways clouds
are different from each other. You will definitely
become a sky expert after you and your team
go on a sky adventure!
Today you and your team will investigate the
 three main types of clouds found in our
sky--Cumulus, Stratus, and Cirrus. Your
job is to research the three types of clouds
then report your findings! Be sure to take
turns with these three jobs: · web researcher ·
artist · recorder.
1. Click on the Cumulus Cloud link below to
find pictures of this cloud and read the facts.
2. Draw a picture of a Cumulus cloud and
write a sentence to describe it.
3. Click on the Stratus link below to find pictures
of this cloud and read the facts.
4. Draw a picture of a Stratus cloud and write a
sentence to describe it.
5. Click on the Cirrus link below to find pictures
of this cloud and read the facts.
6. Draw a picture of a Cirrus cloud and write a
sentence to describe it.
Use these links to discover pictures and facts
about the three main types of clouds found
in our sky! Be sure to click on each link
and read the information you find.
Use this link to learn about Cumulus Clouds.
Use this link to learn about Stratus Clouds.
Use this link to learn about Cirrus Clouds.
Use this link to search for more information
about clouds.

Did you answer all the questions? Did you
 work cooperatively with your team? Did
you check your work for spelling,
punctuation, and capitalization?
You have now become a certified Sky
Detective! Congratulations, team, on
discovering the three main types of
clouds found in our sky! You are now
able to name these clouds and describe
the differences among them. Give yourself
a pat on the back for being a super sleuth!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week #7, Thing #16

I enjoy collaborating with others on a Wiki.  I have used PB Wiki, now called PB Works, for quite some time.  I utilized this website originally for a class in my Clarion Master's program and was put into a group in order to work on a project involving the creation of a school budget.  

I became even more familiar with this site when I started one for our Cherub Choir at church.  It was a great place to upload songs and lyrics for parents, and since I taught the choir with a friend, we could both have access to uploading material and schedules.

I could see how libraries can use this application for patrons' collaboration on reference materials and reviews of books.  Teachers could likewise incorporate Wikis into their curriculum by allowing their classes to collaborate on the topics and content being taught.  Patrons and students alike will enjoy the creativity involved with participating in a Wiki.  

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week #6, Thing #15

I found an example of this program that has been modified through a Google search.  The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County has a program called 23 Learning 2.0 Things.  It seems that many activities are similar to this program through CLSA 2.0.  Many do not understand that copyright laws apply on the Internet, or they do not care.  It is so easy for people to just copy and paste, and most do not stop to think that what they are copying is someone else's work.

I enjoyed reading Tom Storey's article, Web 2.0: Where will the next generation Web take libraries?    He points out the the web used to be a cool place to check out different sites but now it is a place of social networking and used in many aspects of our lives.  I agree with Storey and can see that I do not go a day without using the Internet.  Further, it is used more in my classroom now than ever before.  Daily e-mails are the way teachers and administrators communicate with each other.  We recently had a new program utilized by our school district to take attendance, lunch counts, and post grades.  So even as we move into the next decade of using the Internet, I can see that its use is ever increasing.

Week #6, Thing #14

Technorati is a great tool to use when searching blogs.  Before this class, I had no idea that this type of application was available.  It allows the user to search for topics in blogs based on the tags added to the post.  This tool is another way to search through the endless pages on the Internet and narrows down what is available.  I searched for Classroom Learning 2.0 and School Library Learning 2.0 as well as other topics that I find interesting.

The results were immediately posted and I was able to scroll through hundreds of posts that were related to my various searches.  This would be helpful for any teacher or librarian who wants to stay current on topics pertaining to their field.  It also allows a blogger to be a part of something bigger, and help others by adding tags to a post.  I enjoyed looking at this website and I will definitely use it for both personal and professional searches.

Week #6, Thing #13

I had a wonderful time exploring as a research tool and especially liked looking through the SJLibraryLearning2 account created for this exercise.  This is an amazing way to research a topic and see what websites others have already found useful.  It is a great example of sharing through social networking and finding websites that you may have missed otherwise.  The ability to keep the bookmarks you want in one place on the Internet is helpful when using more than one computer.  Further, I like the aspect that other people can make comments on the articles found.  This gives the reader more insight into the topics researched and provides more than one perspective. 

I searched a few topics of interest such as second grade websites and quickly found why this tool is so helpful to educators and librarians alike.  The sites bookmarked under this topic were relevant and could be narrowed down further such as Second Grade Reading, or Second Grade Math.  I will definitely use this search tool in the future.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week #5, Thing #12

I have never heard of Rollyo before and I enjoyed exploring this website.  This website allows you to create a list of websites from which you can search for a topic.  I tried a few searches on Rollyo from searchrolls that were already created and found this to be a good idea.  If you are searching for something it will narrow down where the search happens and you can put together trusted sites that you like to use.  

For my assignment, I chose to find websites about Weather as it pertains to younger students since this is a unit that I teach my second graders.  I like the concept, but I had a very difficult time getting my websites to load up.  I don't think that this website is compatible with MacBook users.  I even attempted to fire up my Vaio and use Internet Explorer (then I remembered why I love Macs so much!), but I had trouble saving my websites there as well.  Even loading up the various pages within the site began to move so slowly.  Hopefully this will be worked out in the future. 

 Here is a link to my Rollyo about Elementary Weather.  

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week #5, Thing #11

When searching through Web 2.0 awards on I was surprised to see many sites that I have not seen before.  It was nice looking at the top websites in various categories such as books, education, food, games, video, and social networking.  One website on this list that I am very familiar with is PBwiki, now named PBWorks.  I have used this website for creating wikis for both graduate school and personal use.  Wikis are a quick and easy way to post information for others to see and it is a wonderful tool for collaboration. 

It was especially fun to collaborate with my fellow graduate students in other classes as we worked on group projects.  It gave each of us the ability to add to our assignment and work toward the completed project.  

I also explored Library 2.0 on Ning.  This is an excellent resource to collaborate with other librarians and to share ideas about how to use the most current technology available.  Right away I saw that there is a was to subscribe to the RSS for this site and that there are already over 4,000 members!   

Week #5, Thing #10

Exploring image generators was a lot of fun!  Using image generators is a creative way to add to your library or classroom.  I enjoyed Image Chef and created an image to compliment my Hollywood theme in my second grade classroom.  I already have a Hollywood star with my name on it displayed in my window, but this would be a nice addition!

I can really see the value of adding images that can be created through sites such as Comic Strip Generator to a School Library website.  Jurkowski (2006) states that almost all school libraries have a website because of the "immediacy of updates."  Further, the design of the website is an important component.  I think that the addition of personalized comics and images to a library website will keep it from appearing drab with basic information such as employees, hours, and contact information.  Librarians will have fun using their creativity through image generators!

Jurkowski, O.L. (2006). Technology and the school library: 
     A comprehensive guide for media specialists and other 
     educators. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Week #4, Thing #9

I never used search tools to find RSS feeds before and I enjoyed exploring Technorati ( and Google Blog Search (  It is very easy to search for information that is interesting to me in both my professional and personal life.  Following blogs through Google Reader makes this experience much more efficient.  I found the blog for School Library Journal to be very helpful as I am earning my library degree with the School Library Certification.  

According to Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter (2008) "Blogs are affecting the manner in which people communicate, and some experts predict they will one day become our primary method of sharing information."  This is amazing to me, but I can see how blogs have grown in popularity over the last decade.  Many people use blogs for a variety of reasons and there is a lot of information to be shared.

Shelly, G. B., Cashman, T.J., Gunter, R. E., Gunter, 
     & Glenda, G. A. (2008). Integrating technology 
     and digital media in the classroom (5th ed.). 
     Boston: Course Technology.   

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week #4, Thing #8

Using RSS feeds are very beneficial when you want to keep track of items without visiting each individual web page.  I created a Google Reader account to keep track of blogs that I follow.  Google Reader allows you to create folders to organize what you are reading, which really helps me to keep my blogs separated by theme.  I have a folder for my Clarion friends' blogs and two other folders for personal blogs that I follow.  That way I can go into Google Reader,   click on one folder, and read only those blog entries.

RSS feeds have already made a difference in my life, not just in Blog Land.  My husband and I lead a praise band for our church and we have created an RSS feed for the song lists each week.  That way band members can subscribe to our RSS feed and to find out the songs we will be playing each week.  It helps them to know what to prepare for without having to keep visiting our website.

I can see that libraries would benefit from using RSS feeds.  They could post new book or journal arrivals for their patrons along with important news feeds about libraries or just news in general.  Patrons would be able to find this information in one place and use it for their own reference.  This would save the patrons a trip to the library to find out if their favorite book is in.  They would already know by reading the RSS feed! 

Week #3, Thing#7

I love using technology.  Technology has advanced so rapidly in the past few decades and it has definitely made my life easier.  Facebook has been a very big in my life because it let me reconnect with old friends from school with whom I fell out of touch.  It's a great way to see what your friends are doing and to learn more about their lives.  Uploading pictures is a great feature because you can quickly see each other's families and activities.  I have found the chat feature to be useful and I love the games and applications.

I am also very grateful that I can complete my second Master's degree online.  It has been wonderful completing assignments and discussions from home and not having to go sit in class after a long day.  Further, I started teaching graduate classes online two years ago and this has been a great way to help other educators while making some extra money.  Using online platforms for learning gives many people opportunities to further their education and learning in a convenient way.  

Overall, I am so glad that I have seen many advances in technology during my life and I look forward to seeing what the next decades bring us!  

Week #3, Thing #5

I enjoyed looking at Flickr and all that it has to offer.  I have heard of this site before, but never used it since my family and friends utilize Shutterfly or Snapfish for our photo sharing.  Uploading pictures to Flickr was easy on my MacBook.  My Yahoo account came up automatically and I just had to pick a name for this account.  After I uploaded the photos, I added the descriptions and tagged the photos, "Classroom Learning 2.0" so that they could be easily searched.  I can see why joining groups and using tags makes searching for images easier for everyone.  It's a great idea to share your pictures with others this way.   

Since I don't work in a library yet, I uploaded pictures of my second grade classroom.  I teach using a Hollywood theme so you can see the decorations that go with this theme in the pictures.  I do have a shot of my classroom library!  The books are divided by genre and author in baskets on the shelves so my students can find what they are looking for!  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week #2, Things #3 & #4

I love blogging already!  I started a Copyright Blog last fall for a graduate course, and then I moved on to creating a personal blog.  It is amazing to me how many people are out there that are so willing to share and give support.  My personal blog is about my struggles with infertility and finding friends who are going through a similar situation has been amazing!  It's so nice for me to gain new insight into these problems, and at the same time feel understood and supported.

Creating this blog was fun and I especially enjoyed making an avatar to represent myself!  I even found a dress for my avatar that looks like one I own.  I kept getting an error with my avatar when I tried to save it with the HTML code.  I decided to save my avatar to my desktop as a picture, then add the picture to my blog.  It worked!  It's nice to be able to troubleshoot and have success when working with technology!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week #1, Things #1 & #2

I know already that I am a lifelong learner.  This is my second Master’s degree and it will be completed within ten years of earning my undergrad degree.  I have a love of learning through taking classes, participating in discussions, and completing assignments.  I also love learning through informal activities such as music groups, yoga, reading, and talking to friends.

Out of the 7 ½ Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, I feel that Habit 1, Begin With the End in Mind, is the easiest for me.  I entered into this Master’s program with the knowledge that at the end of it I will be at the top of my pay scale in my school district, and I will have another degree so that I have more career choices.  Keeping these goals in mind is my motivation for always doing my best and continuing with courses even when it feels overwhelming.

The habit that is the hardest for me is Habit 3, View Problems as Challenges.  I am certainly quick to jump to a “woe is me” attitude when problems arise.  (Perhaps it’s my flair for the dramatics!)  My mother always told me that we learn through adversity and that seems to be the theme for this habit.  I would like to learn to take a step back when something in my life does not go the way I expect.  I want to analyze the situation and figure out what I can learn from it.

Overall, I am excited as we begin this course because I love using technology and I am always glad when I can learn new ways that technology will help me as well as my students.