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.