25 December 2010

Using Wylio

christmas tree 02 watercolorphoto © 2010 Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig | more info (via: Wylio)

Wylio is a search engine for creative commons images. Search, preview an image, resize it, and c/p the embed code which includes a citation caption.

It's a much easier way to find images, use them ethically, and give credit where credit is due.

Happy Holidays with Wondersay

made on Wondersay - Animate text with style

04 December 2010

Explore, Explore, Explore then VOTE

Voting for The Edublog Awards is now open until 12 PM US Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday December 14th, only 10 days away.

Voting tips listed by Edublogs:

  • One vote per IP per category — sorry, it’s the only way to avoid rigging, to a degree, your colleagues and students are just gonna have to go vote from home… or from their iphones ;)
  • You can vote for multiple categories at the same time, so vote once, but vote broadly!
  • Results will not be displayed at all until the awards ceremony
There were so many nominations that a team of judges had to narrow the nominations to a reasonable shortlist in each category. Even with the shortlisting process most of the 23 categories contain 20 or more nominations.

So get busy exploring the nominations. I have found that exploring is the best way to locate people and resources for your personal learning network.

29 November 2010

Elements of Social Media

This is a GREAT image to use when describing social media.

28 November 2010

Advocacy Webinars

Earlier this month I attended one of ALA Washington's Grassroots Advocacy Webinars live. The webinars are archived as well. The description for the webinar I attended is below:
In this session, we look at one simple action you can take each month to get elected officials not only to understand library issues, but to actually do something about them.

How One Advocacy Action Per Month Can Change the World from ALA Washington on Vimeo.

Advocacy "guru" Stephanie Vance presents sugegestions for an advocacy calender. The calendar allows for planning and organizing one's advocacy efforts for an entire year and keeps those efforts continual rather than only at the time that budgets are being developed, or when a position and/or program is being considered for reduction or elimination. The advocacy plan is broken down into monthly segments that move sequentially from one activity to another and build upon previous activities. Ms. Vance is very down to earth throughout the presentation and includes examples to illustrate the activities each month. I really enjoyed the presentation and think is would be useful to try.

There are many other grassroots advocacy webinars that focus on a different aspect of advocacy, as well as a three-part online course, "Messaging and Talking with Congress: An Interactive Workshop" offered free to ALA members.

The ALA Washington Office website includes lots of great information and a link to the Legislative Action Center.

15 November 2010

It's that time of year again

Edublog Awards nominations can be made through Friday, December 3rd. There are many categories, not only blogs, but tweeters, podcasters, audio and video users, webinar series, wiki creators, and others.

Here are my nominations in some of the categories:

Best individual blog: Larry's Loon Blog

Best individual tweeter: Shannon Miller

Best resource sharing blog: Free Technology for Teachers

Most influential blog post: You know you're a 21st century librarian when... from Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog

Best teacher blog: Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Best librarian/library blog: The Unquiet Library

Best educational wiki: Pathfinders Swap

Best educational use of a social network: edWeb.net

02 November 2010

October's Posts

Experimenting with Wordle, creating a word cloud, using the url of this blog.
Thanks to EdTechUNcon for directing me to 6 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom, a SimpleK12's 2 Minute EdTech Talk for this week.

29 October 2010

Using Flashcards

I've been exploring a few of the online flashcard applications. (Braineos, BrainFlips, CoboCards, Cramberry, FunnelBrain, HeadMagnet, Memorize.com, Quizlet, and StudyStacks)

I found two sites that met my criteria: BrainFlips and Quizlet, though not completely.
  1. I wanted to find a site that would help with the practice of typing an author's name and title, with the correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
  2. The flashcard set had to be accessible simply with a url, without the need to login.

BrainFlips has three ways to use a cardset to learn. Introductory, where the author and title are displayed side by side. Traditional, where the title is shown and the user thinks the
correct author, then flips for the author. The user selects whether their answer was correct or wrong. A scoreboard shows how the user is doing. With the Response mode the user types the answer (author) and is automatically scored. The scoreboard shows the results and amount of time used. The cards can be randomly shuffled and/or display cards incorrectly answered more frequently. The only problem was that the cards could not be reversed from title, then author or shuffled between t/a and a/t. So I ended up creating two cardsets, one for authors and another for titles.

Quizlet has flashcards similar to the Introductory and Traditional modes of BrainFlip without the scoring.

With the Study: Learn selection the user types the answer and can set how to score (punc
tuation, capitalization, spelling count). With Study: Test the user can select how many types of questions
(short answer, multiple choice, matching, or T/F), how to score answers, and whether to test for A, T, or both. There are also two games. The study: test optionv can be set up per my criteria, however, the problem is that the user has to do it. Here's the cardset I created.

I ended up using BrainFlips.

19 October 2010

Digital Books for Digital Students

I just attended a webinar, eBooks and Audiobooks for K-12 Schools, sponsored by OverDrive. Their School Download Library service was explained and demonstrated. The service includes eBooks, audiobooks, video, and music, though, you can select the type of content you want. Two models were explained: One student at a time (content purchased) or Unlimited, simultaneous use (content by subscription). Or a combination.

OverDrive customizes a remote website for your needs with selections from 300,000 titles with use options like burn-to-cd, print, read-out-loud, transfer to portable devices, and access from mobile devices. You can also upload your own content, anything that is available in a word document. Training is included as well as MARC records.

As for cost... the unlimited model is based upon student enrollment. The figure that was mentioned was up to 2,000 students, about $4,000/year. Sounds costly for a small school or district, however, about 50% of the subscription cost includes content credit to purchase titles and begin developing a digital collection. Other costs mentioned were about $10 for an ebook and $35 for audiobooks. I'm sure that cost for one time use would be much less and you can probably set up cost parameters.

I would recommend this webinar if you're interested in adding digital content to your collection. The webinar isn't archived, however, additional webinars will be offered in November. Check out the OverDrive website or schedule a private demo.

07 October 2010

K12 Online Conference

October 11th - pre-conference keynote -Dean Shareski
October 18th - 22nd - Week 1's strands - Leading the Change and Student Voices
October 25th - 29th - Week 2's strands - Week in the Classroom and Kicking it Up a Notch
October 29th - Closing keynote - David Warlick

This is a free online conference with over 40 presentations. During the conference dates you participate by downloading the presenter's content or viewing it online, reviewing it, and then posting feedback or comments. K12Online's Ning is the conference conversation hub. If you are new, please refer to the GETTING STARTED page. The wiki provides information for participants as well as presenters. The blog provides news and announcements.

Check out the schedule, presentors, and teaser videos to help you select the presentations for your own professional development. If you can't participate during the conference, have no fear. Everything is archived!

24 September 2010

Banned Books Week 2010

Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the impact of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Find more information and ideas on how to celebrate the freedom to read here, here, here, and here.

The Banned Books Week site has a cool map showing where censorship is occurring.

The National Book Festival at the Library of Congress is another venue for information.

If you are Second Lifer, check out Banned Books Week in Second Life.

Look for READOUTS happening at your public library or favorite book store.

21 September 2010

The Reform Symposium

This electric conference was an outstanding example of a what can be accomplished with the help of one's Personal Learning Network. The entire conference took place via Elluminate sessions which have been archived. Podcasts are being made available as well.

My favorite was the keynote by Shelly Blake-Plock. He gave many examples of practical and everyday uses of online tools such as Twitter, wikis, blogs, and more. How his classroom was converted to function as a 21st century classroom is amazing!

Two others that I enjoyed and recommend are Richard Byrne's Back-Channeling in the Classroom and Joe Bower's Abolishing and Replacing Grading.

The links for the archived Elluminate sessions are found on the ABOUT tab, MEET THE PRESENTERS. Each presenter has a separate page with information and a description of their presentation with links to their website, Twitter handle, and the archived Elluminate session.

A Google doc, Links-Reform Symposium 2010 , was collectively created to gather links discussed by the presenters or shared in the chat by the participants into one great resource.

15 September 2010

Back to School Special

TL Virtual Cafe's Transformative Conversations for the 2010-2011 school year have begun. The first webinar has already occurred, but don't worry, the Elluminate session will be archived as well as the text chat, slides used during the presentations, and other resources will be available on the TL Virtual Cafe wiki.

The first webinar, Back to School Special: Making You and Your Library Indispensable, was presented by three different teacher librarians. Keisa Williams talked about what she does in her elementary school, Gwyneth Jones discussed her middle school program, and Shannon McClintock Miller shared what happens in her secondary program. Lots of great ideas were presented as well as discussed in the text chat.

Plan on attending next month's October 4th webinar with Doug Johnson presenting on the Changes in the Physical Library.

07 September 2010

Newspaper for Twitter

Paper.li is a site that creates a daily newspaper for links shared on Twitter by user/s, list, or #tag.

Now I don't have to feel like I'm missing anything when I'm not logged into Twitter. I created my own Twitter newspaper and I receive an email with the link to today's paper. Paper.li collects the links, photos, and videos, then categorizes the information into subjects. Just a few are shown on the front page for each subject with the option of viewing all.

Look at mine for an example. Here are some others that I also like: #tlchat Daily (teacher librarian chat); #edchat Daily; and #edtech Daily.

Hiatus OVER

It's been awhile!!!

I've been using Twitter, attending webinars, and reading, not sharing or writing.

My plan is to restart the blog and make sure that the post are short and to the point.

17 January 2010

Fighting the Filter

I'm not a member of ISTE, however, I am a member of the ISTE-SIGMS, a support group for school librarians and others "who are working to promote the use of instructional technologies to enhance student learning." (Find out more about ISTE-SIGMS below.)

The first activity of 2010 was a webinar, "Fighting the Filter" presented by Buffy Hamilton, The Unquiet Librarian. Ms. Hamilton's presentation included 13 different strategies to remove the "roadblock of fear," ways to challenge and change filtering policies.
  1. Establish a conversation with the decision makers in control. Gather your documentation in support of access to web-based information and send it to those decision makers and cc your principal.
  2. Ensure that filtering policies and procedures are in writing. Volunteer to serve on any filtering policy committee.
  3. Collect examples of effective instructional practice to include with documentation when arguing for the use of a specific resource or tool.
  4. Develop a plan for the use of that resource and how it will be implemented.
  5. Develop a plan for addressing the potential challenges.
  6. Advocate for intellectual freedom and equity of access to information.
  7. Become transparent - show why/how the resource makes a difference.
  8. Advocate for the digital citizenship which 21st century students will need.
  9. Remind decision makers that students need guided instruction to learn how to use the resource effectively.
  10. Enable students to voice their needs to decision makers.
  11. Collect qualitative and quantitative data to support your story of the effective use of the resource.
  12. Tie your argument to performance standards, i.e. AASL, NET-S, and district/building goals.
  13. Let students learn how to be their own filter.

In addition to Ms. Hamilton's presentation there was a back channel also happening. Much conversation and sharing took place with Ms. Hamilton and among the attendees. A great suggestion that one attendee voiced was changing AcceptableUsePolicy to ResponsibleUsePolicy.

Ms. Hamilton has gathered various resources including the slides used in her presentation at ISTE-SIGMS Filtering Issues Webinar LibGuides. She also shared bookmarks from her Delicious account here.

If you are not a member of ISTE-SIGMS go to the ISTE Community ning and sign up and then participate in the discussion in the Media Specialists SIG group. See the sigms home's schedule of upcoming activities.

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