Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting people hooked on the library

I was browsing around tonight on Twitter. Checking out Cathyjo's twitter page and stumbled across Buffy Hamilton. She had a link to this video advertising a library re-opening. I could see myself creating something similar about coming to the school library again at the start of the school year. To make the library feel like a fun place, because it should be. To get kids revved up about what there is to offer.

A Neat Video about 21st Century Learners

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inventory - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
It is my first time conducting inventory and I am please it is going well. Right now it took me about 3 days to have about 5,000 books inventoried. I have about 7,000 to go. As I go through the shelves I am pulling out books that I plan to weed. Our shelves are very full and I think we will need more shelves soon. I moved all the books to the left and filled up an entire additional three shelf bookcase. Back in December I asked for additional shelving but I was told I could not have any at that time. Maybe after seeing how full our shelves are we might be able to purchase some with the coming school year' budget.

I will be working eight more school days and then summer vacation begins! I have some organizational tasks I plan to attend to. I need to add all the new book sets, videos and audio books to the print list. In fact, I will probably retype them all because I was unable to find the previous list on my computer. I also have an assortment of books that belong in the book set boxes that are pending. I need to figure out which belong where and which need to go in the "prizes" box.

I had a really awesome first year in the library. I am so pleased with my decision to become a librarian. I think it is a really good fit.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Podcasting 101

Well I have officially created four podcasts. And I must admit that once I got the kinks worked out it was not as hard as I thought it would be. In fact it is pretty easy! I am using podbean to host my podcasts, but I just figured out how to use my school website to host my podcasts as well. The only bad news is it can be a little challenging for visitors to the site to find my podcasts on the school page.

Today I had a student create a podcast. It was pretty simple process. I created a template for her to use as a script. Once she wrote out what she wanted to say, we were able to record her in about five minutes. Then I sent her back to class and went to work mixing in the music at the beginning and end of the track. I have been using to find royalty free music. Then I mix it in and finalize it.

I will be creating a tip sheet soon for those of you interested in creating your own podcast. My best advice is to try a few on your own first, so you can feel confident when you're working with the students.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Embedding my podcasts

I'm officially podcasting!!!

Here is my podbean account. I still need to learn how to embed this. Hopefully the next post will have my podcast embedded into it.

I must say...I put off podcasting for a while. I was intimidated by it, but once I had the right tools it was pretty easy.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good microphone. Don't believe me? Just listen to my 1st podcast vs my 2nd podcast. The 2nd one is much better. All it too was an $8 standup microphone from Target. Who knew? The 1st podcast was done with a cheapie headset microphone. I can't keep from making popping sounds with the mike so close and the quality was just rinky dink.

Free Webpage Development Options

I have been trying out both Google Sites and Webs for my technology class at Sam Houston State University. I thought I would write up a little review.

Just a note: both webpage developing sites are free, although the free version of Webs has advertisements.

Google Sites
First take a look at what my Google Sites webpage looks like.
Google Sites is easy to use for basic webpage development. It has a few themes/ layouts for your pages. This is a draw back for me. Since I really didn't LOVE any of the layouts. To edit a page you simply click edit page and begin typing just like in MS Word. I have encountered problems every time I try to embed HTML code. I am not a super tech. I don't know a lot about HTML. But I want to be able to copy the code from a variety of websites so that I can add slideshows, images, videos, etc. With, Google Sites, I am given an error about some of the content being blocked and then the HTML code is removed from the post. After tinkering and searching online for how to go around this, I finally was able to embed one thing...a counter for the homepage. The way I did this was I had to remove parts of the code and keep trying until I removed "the blocked scripts" and was allowed to embed it. It was not easy or convenient. It was FRUSTRATING. I plan to make a tip sheet for how to get around the blocks in Google Sites and I'll post it here when it is ready.

Final word= good for beginners, but a little frustrating if you want to add some "Frills" to your site. B

Here is my webs account.
I really like the themes and professional look of Webs. I do not like the advertisements. However, you can subscribe to have those removed. Editing the page is as simple as Google sites. You simple type in the box. Embedding HTML code is very easy. I have not had any problems adding items to my site. In addition, Webs offers different layouts for page types. You can choose a videos page, photo album, links page, or just a standard page. There are even more options with Webs.

Final word= great for beginners- intermediate tech users. A- only for the advertisements on the free account.

What do you think? Google Sites or Webs?

Regional Technology Conference

I recently had the chance to present at the Regional Technology Conference for Educators at South Padre Island.

If you have never been to "the island," as we natives call it, you're really missing out.

Here it is pictured at left. (I did not take this picture myself.)
For the conference, my topic was Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom or Library. I had a full house both times and some really positive feedback from the participants. Overall, I was very pleased with it. I presented my information as a webpage. Here is the link. I will continue to update this webpage with more useful 2.0 information for educators. In fact, I am currently working on a podcasting basics section. More on that later.

If you have a chance check out my webpage on Web 2.0 and tell me what you think!