Monday, September 15, 2008

Thing 23---Final Thoughts

It took a second time around but I am proud to say I was able to stick with it and finish all 23 things. No comments about the timing of my last entry.

23 things has been stretching. Though I use the Internet and Web, I don't spend a lot of time using the tools, so most of the things were new to me. Though there are some things I will continue to use, many I will not use again, others I may just need some time to "warm up" to.

I echo the comments of Sandals and Sand, "I've come away with some very valuable knowledge. I do know that learning each of these tools was not the primary point of the challenge. The point really was to expand the way we think and interact. Thank you for that opportunity!" I would say that at times the experience was almost uncomfortable because it was so challenging and "foreign". That probably is a good thing because it means I was learning.

I would be willing to try another challenge but I need a break right now. Thanks for developing the program and making it available to the rest of us. It was well worth it.

Thing 22---What have I learned today?

I added more RSS feeds from the list. Put some sites into Delicious. Thought about what I am going to do with today's challenge. I will definitely keep the blog active and use it to dialogue on things I have learned. I have found that 15 minutes a day is a challenge even when I am committed to finishing the 23 things by the deadline. Can you say "watch the clock"? I know I won't do 15 minutes every day but I think I can do 15 minutes a couple times a week. I do need to go back to some of the "Things" I wanted to use more and work through the sticking points. I want to make more use of delicious and library thing. There is also the suggestion "Friend of Franklin" offered to do the next 23 things. It might be interesting.

Must go, I have a deadline to meet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thing 21

I'm a member of:

Visit 23 Things on a Stick

Ning is interesting, it is nice to have a built in connection at one site instead of wandering among the masses to find (or not) a kindred spirit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thing 20

Social networking sites.

I chose to explore MySpace mostly because I did not want to register on Facebook. The MySpace accounts I checked out were the library accounts listed in the blog post of "Information wants to be Free". I appreciated the insight and comments in the blog. The author, Meredith Farkas, feels libraries should not be in Facebook or Myspace unless they are there to provide a quality page that also provides a library service. A presence to only be a "friend" is of no value and perhaps even an invasion of privacy. However, I don't consider a presence of Facebook or MySpace to be private, so how can privacy be invaded. In fact, that privacy, lack of privacy, or illusion of privacy is a huge challenge for many people, especially children and teenagers. Many do not understand their page is available to everyone not just the people they think will look at it. This is one of the important roles of library/technology instruction in our schools, teaching students to recognize the potential risks, to erect appropriate boundries, and to protect their privacy.

As for the content of MySpace accounts by libraries, I was looking for items that would provide information resources through the page. One site included a homework help page, another a teen page with links to a large variety of homework helps, access to a librarian, catalog access for the library, etc. These definitly provide a positive presence for a library on the internet. A presence on the social network site that is well worth the time and effort.

As for social networks and me ... though I would explore these accounts, I am not ready to set up my own account as I have no purpose for doing so. I have no need for another "black hole" or dead account.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thing 19

I have not listened to podcasts before today. I started with education podcast directory. While searching for information available under computer/technology, I found a podcast by Alan November. I have seen his web site and found his techology education materials outstanding. I tied up all my time listening to his podcast. I found the information interesting. Because the podcast was a presentation at a conference, we miss out on the information provided visually. Too bad, it would have been very applicable. I needed to pause the playback and unfortunately hit stop. Of course, now I can't figure out how to return to the point I left off. I really don't want to start from the beginning.

Listening to podcasts can be quite time consuming. I use a laptop and feel tied to the computer instead of listening while doing other things. Also the format of listening to an entire presentation doesn't allow me to scan for useful content or look ahead to whether it may or may not be worth continuing the podcast. These limitations will influence how much I continue to listen to podcasts. However, this was a nice introduction.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thing 18

I love the sound of loons and it is awesome to see the loon caller in action. Check out this YouTube video.

Thing 17

Our school uses EBSCO, Proquest, and Gale. I cannot access ELM when I am not at the library so I cannot do the extras and challenges. Based on the experience of our middle school students, they have a difficult time finding enough information using these tools. Sometimes it is because the materials are either too advanced or too simple for their education levels and needs. As a result, they prefer to use the Internet for their research as they feel they find more and better information.

At some time in the future, I will work through each of the tools to see how we can make them more useable for our students.