Friday, August 28, 2009

Thing 23 Reflections

Started this once, managed to lose it. So here we go again!
I know full well that I did not do an excellent job on all 23 Things. I was much better at some than others. But, I will say this for myself, I did try, and try, and try - sometimes for hours - to do the Thing correctly and produce a good product. I really enjoyed many of the Things, and disliked several. I am sure that I would never have attempted an activity of this nature on my own. But I do know how very important it is for librarians and libraries to stay current with technology. It is growing by such leaps and bounds that those of us who do not make at least some attempt to keep up, stay current, and know what our young people are interested in and using, will be left behind and lost completely in very quick order.
I do question the mass of materials being produced. It seems to me that there us an over-abundance of materials in some areas. But, I guess if something like Twitter is created and takes off like a rocket, there must have been a nitch for it!
I really like Flickr - it offers so much creative and artistic ability. The possibilities are endless. If nothing else, it is just plain fun! I think that Ning, Libworm, and Dig are gold mines for information and reseaarch - helpful to both teacher and student.
I am not overly crazy about You Tube and Face Book. I feel that entirely too much personal information is provided indiscriminately to the public. For school and library purposed, I think these sites would need to be closely monitored and strict rules devised for their use. For learning/study groups, club members, or interaction with the public on specific topics and need, I can see that there might be value in these sites.
I found the Podcasts very difficult to understand and follow. But for public promotion of school activities, successes, information sources they could definitely be useful.
One of the most challenging parts of North Texas 23, for me, was following the directions. I felt I truly know what was expected of me and how to accomplish my task was full explained on only 5-6 of the Things. Once the initial instrution sheet got me to the Thing site, I felt abandoned. I could not find what was supposed to be there, understand what I was to do, figure out how to correct mistakes, among other problems. I started some of the Things over and over again and then finally had to punt in hopes that I had completed the activity properly.
I would attempt the North Texas 23 again even knowing what I know now. I do believe that I learned masses of information about the hitherto unknown world of the internet and its sites and functions. However, lest we pretend that I am not overjoyed about completing the 23 Things. Thanks to those of you who put the program togetherlady and stood in support if needed.
YAHOO! HIP-HIP-HURRAY! GLORY BE! I'VE FINISHED. :-) :-) :-) caw - ASJliblady

Thing 22 - 23 Things in your Library

One of the most important parts of North Texas 23, for me, has been exposure to all of the new technologies that our young people are using, creating, and growing up with. I may not perfect each of them or even any of them, but at least I will have some working knowledge as to what they are doing and talking about. This new technology is everywhere: school, business, television, cell phones, etc. One of my jobs is to at least be able to communicate with my students as to their interests and activities. And, oh yes, this course stretched and stretched my comfort zone close to breaking on a few occasions!! :-)
I believe the Things that I liked best were Flickr, Twitter, Face Book, and You Tube -maybe because I finally developed a semi-decent product with these. I can see using Twitter among grade levels and work groups to promote thoughts and ideas, to work off of page, etc.
Flicker contains such a wealth of pictures and graphics, I cannot imagine not presenting it to the faculty - then to their students for use on many levels. The ability to reorganize the pictures in myriad ways will fascinate the students and encourage them to be creative and innovative as they create reports, artwork, and other activities.
Face book and You Tube might need to be a little more closely monitored with definite rules and regulations. But many interactions can occur between faculty and student or student to student that would create more freedom to be totally honest and upfront in thoughts and feelings about school, staff, students, relationships, concerns, interactions, and so on. Parent and community interaction and involvement in school activities and support would definitely, also, benefit from Twitter, FaceBook. Ning, Podcasts, Dig and Libworm all have unlimited use in research and creative presentations by students and faculty. Presentation of these works will not only impress and excite the public as to what is happening in our schools, but, they will help justify the spending of the bond money our community so graciously voted for us to have.
I have actually enjoyed this experience, although I have spent hours and hours on some of the Things - trying to get them finished correctly. Although I might not have completed all 23 of the Things totally correctly, believe me, it was not for lack of trying!! I do hope I can make mayself continue to use at least a few of these Things during the year. They are "today" and pertinent to all of us.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thing 21 Podcasts

I listened to Radio Sandaig, Ace Kids, Radio Willowweb, and Radio Popcorn - or at least bits and pieces of them. The audio was extremely difficult to follow and understand. Of the podcasts to which I listened, I do not think that I would have a strong desire to subscribe to any of them.

Thing 20 You Tube

I have enjoyed many a video on You Tube - some have been absolutely hilarious, some poignant, some thoughtful, and some breathtakingly beautiful. I can certainly see a reason for having a location where videos of all types and descriptions can be gathered and viewed without prejudice or censorship. I just have a little trouble seeing many school age studens watching instructional videos on You Tube when there are so very many more interesting and entertaining offers from which to choose. I just cannot see this site being very high on the list of young users.

Thing 19 - Google Docs

Compared to Thing 18, Thing 19 was not too, too terrible. I still did not find items on the screen that were mentioned in the instructions - so occassionally, I just punted and hoped it worked. The original doc was fairly easy to complete and would be of benefit on certain occassions. The spreadsheet was another concern. It took me forever to figure our how to copy and paste, among other thing. But, I think I finally worked it out properly. caw- ASJliblady

Thing 18 - Wikis

Goodness sakes alive - I struggled and struggled and struggled with this one. I managed to put a page on the Title page. For some reason, and I thought I tried evcrything, I could not separate my name from the information page. After 2 days of trying and retrying, I just left it the way it was - wrong though it may me.
For some reason, I do not seem to be able to follow the direcrions well once I get to the site. I have mentioned this before. Getting to the site is no problem, getting started is not too bad, but then the directions ask me to do or find something that I become totally lost and tangled up in. I obviously need to have someone holding my hand at all times. caw - ASJliblady

Wednesday, August 26, 2009