Monday, December 5, 2011

Added a Page to My Blog

I had a project for LIS 524 (Field Experience in the School Library Media Center) and kept toying with different ways to present my ideas. I didn't need or want to do a Power Point or a Prezi presentation. I wanted to display it kind of in the same fashion it might appear on my future school library media center's website, so I looked up how to add a page and successfully added my Hugo Project LIS 524 page. Check it out when you have a chance, the tab is above next to "Home."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thought I'd Try Skype

My brother and sister have had Skype for some time now but I never gave it a try. Yesterday, I decided to sign up. I have a few reasons for doing so, some personal, some professional:
  1. I can see and talk to my family that I don't get to visit often
  2. Same for my kids, they can keep in touch with family and friends this way (through my account, not sure I'd let them have their own yet)
  3. Professionally speaking, I can use it when I become a SLMS to have virtual author visits and it would also be a great tool for group meetings (up to 5 participants) and screen sharing

For the second summer in a row, we hosted a child from the NYC area in our home for 10 days through the Fresh Air Fund. She and my daughter were instant friends and much like sisters. They've been keeping in touch over the phone and through the mail but now that I have Skype, I'm going to see if we can arrange a video call with her and her family. My daughter will be absolutely thrilled! This will be a great way for them to keep in touch until they see one another again next summer. Cant wait to give it a try!

My first Skype call will likely be with my sister. She's not out of town or anything, just more tech-savvy than I am right now and I thought we'd have some fun testing it out. Then I'll likely try it with my brother. He is out of town so this will be a cool way to see him.

When I try it out, I'll leave a comment and let you guys know how it went. Do any of you have Skype?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The End of my Adventure? Is Simply the Beginning!

Of all the 2.0 things I explored, Podcasting was by far my favorite for two reasons:

(1) It gave me a chance to try Garage Band. I love my Mac (R.I.P. Steve Jobs) but I don't have many opportunities to do any of the fun things with it. Garage Band rocks! My son can hook his piano keyboard up to my computer and take piano lessons. I discovered that I could record my podcast in Garage Band and it was super easy.

(2) It got me thinking about ways to use podcasting. Our group in LIS 506 that's developing my brother's website, set up a podcast for him that he can use to post his sermons and other messages online. Both on his podcast channel and the blog we set up for him. Once we have his website up and fully running, we'll embed his podcast there too.

I also found bookmarking tools to be useful. We've been using Diigo in LIS 506 & LIS 568 to share pertinent information with the group. I discovered its ability to create lists in my library. So I started one that has fun educational sites for kids that maybe I'll link to when I am gainfully employed after graduation as a School Library Media Specialist.

I used Zotero as well for bookmarking and I really like the citation tool that allows you to copy and paste citations into your documents. I did however notice that it is not 100% accurate. For an article I attempted to bookmark, Zotero pulled all the wrong information. I'm not sure how often that happens. So I am a little bit hesitant to continue using it.

Overall this experience has caused me to be more open to exploring new ways to do what I do more efficiently. Whereas in the past, I would hear of a number of different web 2.0 tools but had no interest really in trying them. Now, I believe I will be more inclined to take the adventurous route and try things out. This is an essential aspect of being a lifelong learner, a willingness to try. In another class, we were talking about Twitter, which I currently do not use. However, now that I know how it can be used to network with other educators to share ideas and build partnerships and collaborations, I am going to join. I want to find other School Library Media Specialists that I can converse with.

I'd rather not say this were the end of my web 2.0 adventures. This is simply the beginning, and who knows, web 3.0 (as Anna pointed out) may just be right around the corner!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Google Web 2.0 Tools & Others

The two Google tools I gave a try were Google Calendar and Google Earth. I set up my personal calendar and made sure to keep it private. I also was given access to my brother's church calendar that's in Google. I created an event (which was a meeting with my LIS 506 group), and learned how to embed the calendar in a website. I didn't actually embed one anywhere yet. I just copied and pasted the code in a Word document for later use.

Google Earth was a great deal of fun! I remember my children telling me about this a couple of years ago because they used it in class before. So I needed only to ask one of my expert children how to use Google Earth. I've got it downloaded on my computer and have received a personal tutorial from my son. He used it to look at different futbol (or as us Amerians say, soccer) arenas or stadiums across the globe. I used it to look at the house I grew up in as a child.

Outside of the Googlesphere, I tried Pandora Radio. It wasn't bad. I didn't always like the music it randomly selected for me. I say random, but in some ways it's supposed to be tailored to what they perceive to be my music interest based on the artist I enter in. Sometimes it was right on, while others not so much.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Library 2.0

"The library is human" (Michael Stephens, librarian blogger) - When considering the present and the future of the library, this statement is the most essential of all. Yes, there's an assortment of Web 2.0 technologies, many of which I've explored, as evidenced in my blog. However, with all of this focus on becoming in tune with technology and integrating as much as deemed fit or possible in the library, we serve real, living human beings.

There are conveniences that come along with technology but there's a personal touch that comes with face-to-face interaction that cannot be matched by technology.

Rick Anderson (Director of Resource Acquisition, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries) made a good point as well when he said that, "We have to be a bit more humble in the current environment, and find new ways to bring our services to patrons rather than insisting that they come to us—whether physically or virtually."

We have to reach our patrons right where they are. It isn't enough for example for the library to merely have a Facebook page, they have to actively create ways to draw patrons to their page. What ways will the library use these Web 2.0 technologies interactively? The days of static Websites are fading. As users, we're enjoying the sense of community that's developing online. We don't simply consume. We contribute, we create, and add value to the overall experience.

To be future-ready, we'll need a good mix of continued face-to-face as well as virtual interaction. Face-to-face will never grow old. In fact, in the local library I frequent, there's so many self-checkout stations now. Yes, it's pretty cool, even fun. However, I miss the conversations at the circulation desk. Human interaction is important. In some ways, I'm confused because our libraries in the county have cut hours and staff but then a great number of self-checkout stations are added. I'd rather see the smiling faces of library staff (with jobs and restored hours) instead of new machinery.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zotero, Trial Run

Zotero - An open source application for citation management.

With Zotero I can build a library of resources that are of importance to me. Diigo and Delicious do the same thing. These are all shareable to the rest of the world (should they care to take a peek at your library). What I particularly appreciate about Zotero is its ability to grab citations from Websites. It is also said that using these citations (in the style you select: APA, MLA etc,) in a Google Doc, for example, is as simple as "dragging & dropping." I haven't tried this feature yet, so I cannot weigh in on its functionality.

What I've tried so far is collecting resources and creating folders within my library to store them. I'm doing a test run with Zotero by attempting to use in a collaborative project I have in another LIS course. I hope it proves to be useful!

Should you be so inclined, here's a link to my library: http://www.zotero.org/cmcarter36

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Delicious - Bookmarking Frenzy

This week's adventure brought me to Delicious.com, a social bookmarking tool similar to Diigo which our class has been using to collect useful sites, articles and links relevant to libraries and library and information studies. Where Diigo seems to be better geared towards research, Delicious is more fun (in my opinion). In fact, I've been having a great deal of fun bookmarking sites that are of interest to me. Sites belonging to my favorite authors (Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti), and those belonging to some of my favorite chefs (like G. Garvin for example). Of particular interest to me were the stacks. I like that these are theme based because it allows me to organize my bookmarks in a visual way that makes sense to me. I could definitely see myself using this bookmarking tool to store links to valuable sites that would help me as a School Library Media Specialist. Linking to other SLMS Websites or blogs for example. Linking to pathfinders for students. etc. The only thing I did not figure out is whether or not I can share my URL for my Delicious account like I can with Flickr for example. If I figure that out, I will add it in my next post. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Google Reader & RSS

"RSS" Really Simple Syndication. Google Reader is a great way to have access to all of the content that is of most importance to you. Blogs, podcasts, and news feeds for example. In some ways, it seems that subscribing to multiple feeds would cause an overwhelming amount of content to sift through, but Google Reader organizes your subscriptions in such a way that streamlines the load (some). It may also eliminate the need to jump from site to site to view content since it's all in the one reader.

I found a number of feeds to subscribe to that I found interesting. The School Library Monthly blog for example, and Smithsonian Libraries. I also subscribed to the feed of my favorite author, Ted Dekker. I also found a feed to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I attended this event this summer and now I can be in the know for what will take place next year.

Which is the general idea, right? To stay in the know. For this reason, it seems like a good resource to use.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Website is Live!

After much headache, blurred vision, hair-fulling and gnashing of teeth...my website is up and running-WOOHOO! Please do check it out: http://www.buffalo.edu/~cmjones

And please be kind in your assessment, I am a newbie at this and am still learning. Thank you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wikis

Wikis are collaborative Web pages that provide space for those with a common interest to share and create content, discuss topics of interest, and provide valuable resources in the form of documents, links to relevant Websites and such.

One of my LIS courses makes use of a Wiki for our learning environment. It is the place we go to to listen to the weekly podcast, download the week's documents, access links to additional resources, and participate in discussion forums surrounding the subject matter for the week.

I have two middle school aged children and their teachers make use of class Wikis. It's a place for parents to stay informed on what's being taught in each class and what assignments are due. My children can also find glossaries on the Wiki, links to homework helps, study guides and other helpful tools.

Of the Wikis I explored for this week's challenge, my favorite was the St. Joseph County public library system. I appreciated the many community resources that were available. For example, local authors, community organizations, voter information.

I think Wikis are a useful tool for libraries. With a SLMC (School Library Media Center), a Wiki can act as an interactive environment for students to access and use information. Leading to resources pertaining to their homework or class projects. It could also be a great place for book discussions, as in with a book club, for example.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Youtube!

This week's challenge was to explore Youtube. I've watched videos on Youtube before. I watched old music videos that I watched, danced, and sang to 'back in the day,' as my kids would say. I've also used Youtube to find instructional videos on many varieties of topics. In fact, I used Youtube to find out how to create my Voki or mini-me that resides on my blog.

The use of Youtube could come in handy in libraries, given proper permissions are obtained to record and share events that take place in the library for example. Maybe an author comes to the library to speak, and those who missed it could watch the video on Youtube. Or how about using it for tutorials on searching the catalog or requesting ILL materials.

I saw some awesome ways that museums for example are making use of Youtube. One such museum would be the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. They have their own Youtube channel, as do the other Smithsonian Museums. The video that I'll share below is about the, "Race: Are We So Different," exhibition.



The exhibition referred to in this video is made up of art work from elementary to high school aged students and will be on display at the Natural History Museum until January 2012. If you're in DC in the coming months, check it out. I visited the National Mall over the summer and visited the National Museum of American History. It in itself was huge, so we never made it to the Natural History Museum.

To find out more about the exhibition, visit there Web site:
http://mnh.si.edu/exhibits/race/

Dreamweaver Experience

Learning about Dreamweaver has proven to be quite the adventure. It's certainly not as easy to use as Blogger's WYSIWYG, but I think I am coming around to understanding it a little bit better, one day at a time. Our professor offered an extra class to discuss HTML and CSS. Though in a lot of ways it felt like seeing a foreign language for the first time, it was still helpful indeed. One of the most important things I learned was how to recognize the beginning and ending of HTML code. In the past, if I ever dared view my post in the 'Edit Html' mode, I had no idea where to place my cursor to make changes. Now, I have a very good understanding of how the codes open and close. One thing that I've managed to do successfully is to create a banner for my page. Granted, I didn't do any coding whatsoever, I use Pure Silva's Banner Maker. I think it turned out pretty nice. Here's a link to it:

http://imgur.com/tHBOY

Once I've completed a presentable Web site, I will post it's URL for all to view! The unveiling will take place the weekend of October 1st.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite Podcasts & Others

Though I've never created a podcast, I have subscribed to a few. One that I've had for the past 2 years is the Daily Audio Bible and I love it! It provides daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

For this week's challenge, I wanted to look for new podcasts to add to my iTunes. I began my search in the iTunes store and found one, "Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." I was so thrilled to see this because I'd been eyeballing this book for a little while and just never had the chance to buy it. With this podcast, there are weekly segments relevant to various grammar faux pas. This week's podcast was roughly 8 minutes long and addressed irregular verbs.

I also subscribed to November Learning's Podcast. This one was of particular interest because it has been a resource that we've referenced in LIS 568 course. It discusses topics relevant to education, curriculum planning, Web literacy, critical thinking, and assessment for example. They appear to publish new podcasts almost on a monthly basis. The last one was July 2011 and addressed, "Rethinking Science Education."

The Smithsonian also has several podcasts. One that struck me first was the African Art Museum podcast. However, I was disappointed to find that there hasn't been a publisehd podcast from them since September 2010. My favorite aspect of what they offered were the book readings. They read books like, "Anansi the Spider," and "The Leopard's Drum." Which gave me an idea to do this on my own. However, with further investigation, it appears that I cannot including storytelling in my podcast, of copyright protected materials. I would need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. So I'll need to look into storytelling via podcast a bit further.

In the meantime...off to attempt my first podcast!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stacks_Books

Stacks_Books by cartersflix
Stacks_Books, a photo by cartersflix on Flickr.

Yay! So excited to have a new computer after 7 years. My good old eMac was hanging in there with its 10.3 OS. So now that I have my new iMac I can see all of the buttons on a page and was able to post my Flickr photo.

Off to my next 2.0 Adventure...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Exploring Flickr


I've heard of Flickr and knew that it was a place to share photos but I'd never tried it for myself. So to start, I took a trip to Lockwood Library and took 4-5 pictures with my daughter's digital camera (sure wish I had my own), hopefully inconspicuously. I took a picture of the workstation, a book cart, the book drop, and my library card. Right now, I'm going to try and see how to add one of those pictures to this blog...

Okay, so I wasn't able to post one from Flickr. I think I'll have to try on a different computer. Sharing it via Blogger was visible as an option but I couldn't click on it. At any rate, you'll find the photo I was trying to post from my Flickr account in the upper left-hand corner of this post.

The URL for this photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/petunia247/6130495334/

Friday, September 9, 2011

Check Out Mini Me

There's a new addition to my page. You'll find her at the top left corner. She's CeCe the Librarian! I saw something like this on another Web page a long time ago and could not for the life of me recall what it was called. I googled: '3d avatar,' 'virtual librarian,' and some other weird key words. For anyone that is interested in creating their own mini you, here's the link: http://www.voki.com/

P.S. Press play at the bottom of her box and hear her speak. Have fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week #2 Reflections, Library 2.0 & Don't Make Me Think

The following from Steve Krug's, "Don't Make Me Think," is what stood out the most for me:

1) Usability matters
2) Web pages should be self-evident, obvious, and self-explanatory
3) Get rid of the question marks

The aforementioned are the thoughts that went through my mind as I set up my blog. Though in some ways I feel like my color scheme, however pretty, is super colorful and possibly a little too busy or distracting. At the same time, I wanted it to feel adventurous and I hope that I've met that goal.

The Library 2.0 reading makes me want to investigate how our local public libraries are making use of these technologies. I think the idea of merging the catalog with the library's blog is great. Having links to click on that are relevant to the materials I am searching in the catalog would further enhance my research in the particular area of interest that I might be working on.

In this chapter, it was said that, "Efficiency has displaced the sense of team," (not sure if Casey said this or Savastinuk). I agree because face to face interaction with human beings is so valuable. At the same time, digital interface is so practical, efficient and often speedy. Face to face, as discussed in this chapter requires scheduling meetings or getting to work early, or chatting at break. Instant messaging as its name implies, is instant.

However, as a user and consumer of information in the library, I enjoy seeing the faces. For instance, there are now multiple self check-out kiosks in the Audubon library (and other libraries in the area). Even at what used to be a face-to-face check-out counter. Yes, I like and appreciate being able to check out on my own. In fact, it's even fun, but I also enjoyed talking to whomever was checking me out that day. He/she might smile and uplift or encourage me, or suggest other movies that I might want to check out next time because he/she really enjoyed it. The digital interface lacks this element of personal touch.

As I learn more about these Web 2.0 tools, I'm sure I'll rally for them more and more, while appreciating the smiling faces at my library at the same time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Life Long Learning Habits

I like the phrase Life Long Learner because it rids my mind of the idea of the "professional student," that somehow carried with it a negative connotation. Life long learners are ever-growing, increasing in knowledge, wisdom, skill and savvy. Though I must admit, I've been a bit reluctant in increasing my knowledge when it comes to technology. I don't have a smart phone, ipad, ipod or any kind of e-reader. Last year is when I purchased my first blu-ray player, and just within the past six months or so, I finally learned how to remove my pictures from my digital camera and print them at Riteaid (though I did at least know how to transfer them to my computer). What I lack (or lacked) in tech savvy, I more than make up for in my knowledge of all things Disney or Nickelodeon! Knowing many character names from many shows, along with songs and dance moves. All this great knowledge from being a stay-at-home mom, and childcare provider to many.

This brings me back to being a Life Long Learner. I need to get beyond Dora and iCarly-quickly! I have a new goal of expanding my knowledge of all of these fantastic web 2.0 tools. I set up a blog in the past but never knew that I could change the standard design settings. Today I figured that out! I learned how to add all kinds of cool gadgets to it too (Blogger makes that super easy!).

In terms of my learning habits, I feel that I best exemplify #1, "Beginning with the end in mind." Having direction, and a plan that drives that direction makes me feel confident and prepared to take a step. Sometimes baby steps and other times grown up steps. If I stumble or fall over any obstacles, I keep the end goal in mind and persevere. When modifications are necessary due to life happening as it will, I roll with the punches, change what's necessary and keep marching.

Habit # 6, "Using technology to your advantage," is one that I need great improvement in. As I've already mentioned, in this area I am a little reluctant to embrace technology. I hope that this course and this learning adventure will show me just how useful technology is. I want to be able to share its usefulness with my family and with my students when I become a SLMS.

Lastly, I just love Habit # 7 1/2! I love to play, that's why I'm still awake playing with my blog at nearly 2AM. Sleep is very necessary, so I shall retire for the evening. I can't wait to read everyone's blogs :o)