Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tool 5 - Web. 2.0 Products - ABCya! & Comic Strips

I've used Wordle for a couple of years now - it produces delightful results with minimal efforts.
This time I tried ABCya! which is even easier!   One of my favorite singers wrote this and I always find myself humming the chorus during boring meetings.

I also played around with Comix Strip Maker - very easy and lots of fun!  Many, many uses - explaining math procedures, in lieu of the traditional book reports, discussing the scientific process or as a lesson to reinforce punctuation.   I used the camera tool on my ActivBoard to "photograph" my strip, then I copied it, open PowerPoint and pasted it into a slide.  That converted the strip to a png. and I was able to save it to my desktop and upload it to my blog.

MixBook too - MixBook creates digital scrapbooks.  It's very involved and gives almost to many choices.  Great fun for adults, but sometimes to many choices overwhelms kids.  They spend so many time looking at all their options that they forgo content for the sake of appearance.  Glogster has an overload of choices too. We've somewhat been able to corral the creative child by specificing that their Glog must look historical or scienceticic.  Even a 10 year understands that Hello Kitty was not present at the Battle of the Alamo.

Tool 3 - Embedding Videos

Videos are easy to embed -or link.  Sometimes you opt for one, and sometimes the other. I perfer to embed since it's easier for your blog followers to view it.  It also adds visual interest to the blog.   If there are firewall and "Net Nanny "issues a link it best, otherwise there will be this big blank space in the middle of your blog.  Below are examples of Linking and Embedding.

Much to my amazement I've become a Lady Gaga fan.  Granted, I am I old enough to be mother - she is younger than my daughters but I do enjoy her music.  It makes me get up and move.  Moving is good. 

The woman excells at  using Social Media and I think her commerical for Google Chrome is a masterpiece.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tool # 4 - Into the Cloud with Google Docs

I've used Google Docs created by others but this is the first time I've created one myself.  It's so easy!  Now I'm kicking myself for dragging my feet!  Silly me!

I'm doing a presentation at the back to school in- services so I've started a document to help me collect my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 11 Tools - Huh????

The instructions for some of the 11 Tools are well, well they are lacking.  One of the cardinal rules when writing instructions is that you always give them to someone clueless and make sure they can follow them and complete the task successfully.   It's becoming very apparent that it wasn't done.

Along with some other librarians,  I attended an Atomic Learning training session and discovered there are some very very helpful videos available to those who are wandering in the wilderness of cyberspace.

Karen Harrell, the librarian at Rummel Creek listed them on her blog

Take a look - and you even get PDLC hours - well make that minutes for watching them

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Adding a Picture to Your Post

Pictures make your blog more interesting and more appealing to the reader - here's a link that explains how to do it.


It's really easy.  I always save the picture to my desktop so that I can find it easily!  Then you click on the picture icon (it's next to the word LINK)  on the toolbar that shows up when you posting and follow the instructions!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tool # 2 Commenting and On Line Learning Communties

I discovered The Google Reader during the 23 Things and it created organization out of chaos. I have on set up for The 11 Tools so I can keep up with who has posted and who hasn't.  Makes it easy to leave comments.  

My  stack of books to be read is always toppling off my night stand and my Google Reader is always about to burst with postings. Sometimes I get frustrated and mark them all as "read" so I can clean it out and start back at zero.  Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog and CoolCat Teacher are my go to blogs.  I visit the fomer to keep with my profession and the latter because she's always on top of what's happening in the world of Web 2.0.

I've found some of my favorite blogs via other blogs.  It's a bit like books, if someone enjoys the same book you do, chances are you have some other books in common too.

Delicious is another tool that entered my life during Library2Play.  I promptly set up an account for the library and it's been such a time saver.  Children can't type URLs correctly and bookmarks aren't practical since they are tied to a specific computer. 

Diigo came along a bit later and I set up a Diggo account for the library too.  It has some extras -stickly notes for example that Delicious doesn't offer.  I think I'll start encouraging the kids to use Diigo instead of Delicious. I
 like the fact that it is cross platform now  that we have iTouches, iPads and computers.  Less letters in the word Diigo too- so less of a chance for typos.  Well, we can only hope. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Blogger Dashboard

We were also told that Atomic Learning videos viewed at home count for PDLC hours.  Granted they are only 1-5 minutes long so you have to watch more than one to get your hours.  It's still better than having to attend a Fire Marshall presentation - yes you -Hanne!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The 11 Tools - Here We Go Again....

I've done the 23 Things, the 11 & A Half Things and The 5 & 3/4 Things....and now here comes The 11 Tools.

Some of which I'm familiar with and some of which I'm not. The Web comes and goes so quickly so some Tools have already vanished.  The Land of Oz and the Internet have a great deal in common.

I love anything Web 2.0 and the kids do too.  Now that the library has the new Macbooks and the Minis we finally have some decent technology we can finally turn the students loose on the  world of the wild, wild, web.

But, before we can turn the students loose; the teachers have to be taught.  Actually, the kids could teach the teachers but that's not the way it's done in Spring Branch.

This summer, along with packing up, moving and not knowing where we're going to be holding classes come fall everyone must haul out their laptops and create a blog.  Not only that, but they must write 11 posts on their blog.  For some this is a piece of cake (I've had a blog since 2004) but for others it's an overwhelming task.

To quote one of the greatest movie lines of all time "Buckle your seatbelts it's going to be a bumpy night".