Saturday, August 4, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23

This has been a great program, and I am very grateful to the CSLA team for putting it together. Here are my answers to the survey questions:
  • What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey? I liked so many of them. I think one of the most fun was Image Chef, and I've already taken advantage of it to make a couple of images I inserted in my library brochure I give out each fall. I really liked all the online graphics generators we explored. I was also especially happy to explore and start using it on a regular basis. Becoming more aware of many possibilities with wikis was also great.
  • How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals? It made me aware of a number of new tools, and greatly added to my planned "to do" list. For example:
  • 1. I plan to use wikis (with which I had no previous experience) for a forum for my book club and to set up pathfinders for research projects. Even though I do already have a website for my library, I think the wiki medium will be more flexible and easier to work with than updating webpages in Dreamweaver and will allow for teacher participation. I am going to have to do some more research to decide which wiki software to use.
  • 2. I have started maintaining website links in, and think that will work better moving back and forth between my home and work computers.
  • 3. I plan to take advantage of the different online graphics generators to liven up my library orientations.
  • 4. I plan to learn more about creating podcasts and have students make book recommendation podcasts in the fall. I might also try to create a podcast as part of a self-running orientation for students who come to our school after the beginning of the school year.
  • 5. I did already have a librarything account, but I want to add more books to it and take advantage of its feature to display books on my website and my blog.
  • Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? Even though I had already used several of the tools in the tutorials, I was surprised how much more there was to learn about them. I was also surprised how many great tools there are out there. Some I had heard about but not had a chance to explore yet, and others were brand new to me.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? I thought everything was great. What I never did get to do enough of, though, was check out other participants' blogs. I dipped into a number, but am sure there's a lot of great stuff out there I missed. Perhaps one of the "cheerleaders" could bring some of the top examples to our attention as we work through the tutorials. Also, when I received comments in my blog, I would have liked to have had those peoples' email so I could easily write back and thank them. Perhaps next time we could be encouraged to share emails.
  • If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Definitely.
  • How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote CSLA learning activities? Energizing.

Week 9, Thing 22

Wow! I'm almost at the end here! I enjoyed exploring all the audiobook and ebook options. I have a small collection of audiobooks on tape and CD in my middle school library, and I have been trying to add to the collection and promote them since I think they are a great option for ELL students and struggling readers. They aren't as popular yet as I would like, but those students who have tried them almost always come back for more. They are also a great option for those of us who like to listen during long car drives! I will try to take advantage of some of the free options I explored.

I am a little dubious as to how many people can read a long book as an ebook. I know when I tried ebook textbooks for a couple of classes, I regretted not getting the print book. I just wasn't comfortable reading at such length on the screen, and I found it hard refind passages I needed to reread or quote for a report. I guess it depends how long it is and what type of book it is. They are good to know about for finding passages from classics and, possibly for those students who want only to deal with online, not print.

Week 9, Thing 21

I've been exploring some of the podcast offerings, and am amazing at all that's available. I did recently get an ipod for the first time, and my daughter introduced me to itunes. I got the ipod to listen to music and books when I walk or drive by myself. This wealth of offerings will also allow me to listen to news, the latest Harry Potter talk, lesson ideas, and more. I'll have to walk and drive more to get them all in!

I haven't visited the links to how to make podcasts yet, but really appreciate that the CSLA team has assembled these tutorials, since it is my goal to try having students create book talk podcasts this coming year.

More on Week 9, Thing 20

Well, I don't know how I did it, but I just discovered that my blog posting of the Harry Potter/Pride & Prejudice video also showed "Introducing the Book" without my intending it to. I honestly don't remember just how I got the html that did that. I do know that those are the two videos so far I have added to "favorites" in YouTube. I think I have now fixed it, but will need to be very careful if I use this imbedding facility for anything else in the future. I wouldn't want my students to see every video I might have chosen to save as a favorite!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20

I have had some fun searching around YouTube. I love "Introducing the book."

Here's a fun one for those of us who love both Harry Potter and Jane Austen:

I would like to try to start incorporating short videos into library lessons. We all know students like getting to watch movies during class. With easy access to videos on all different topics, I need to try to take advantage of that. I also just got a new MacBook for work and understand it has a video editing feature which should make it feasible to show just clips from videos when I don't want the whole video. I want to explore how that works.