Friday, July 25, 2008

Ray's Web 2.0 Final Reflections
  • Children today, especially middle school students, are more excited by Web 2.0 modes since they have been nurtured and stimulated by various new technologies throughout their "digital" age. Allowing students to create their own type of presentation, from a variety of technologies, would encourage renewed excitement, self-esteem, pride, individualism and ownership in what might once have been considered a traditional or tedious exercise. I have to admit that I even questioned the poster option, feeling that it was a more typical practice. However, I understood our group's desire not to exclude anyone due to the technologies available to them. The wiki format would also facilitate following the steps by incorporating links and shortcuts to the varied options available to the students, as well as provide visual examples (perhaps similar to a cookbook for beginners with diagrams and photographs to assist the novice chef).
  • The world is changing and not just due to global warming--perhaps the term global warming could take on an additional meaning. Through social networks and online communities people are connecting and "warming up" through shared information and real communication. East meets West in the corporate world and beyond. I have begun to wade even deeper into my world of social networks and I feel less alone and isolated than I did in the past. How often have librarians complained that they are alone in their buildings and that no one understands what they do or how involved it is to run an effective and vibrant library program? Now library media specialists can communicate and share information with other librarians across the state, the country and the globe. They can receive answers to specific questions or brainstorm new ideas, new sources and new methods. Students can communicate with children in other states or nations to exchange cultural information and experiences.
  • The library media specialists in my district sat through a training session for i-SAFE a couple of years ago. We were exposed to the horrors of online predators and cyber-bullying. If our wiki page were open to everyone, we would have to consider ways of protecting students from predators and online bullies, with consideration of district policies and legal concerns. Yet, it now seems that Web 2.0 technologies are beginning to take more and more steps to enable students to participate meaningfully and safely in online social networks.
  • I had never heard of Skype until this class and now I find myself recommending it to my brothers to plan my mother's upcoming 86th birthday party, and to a friend who travels abroad and wants to save money on phone calls to his children. I went out and bought a Skype-friendly microphone/headset immediately after the last class meeting. I found it very easy and helpful to communicate with Carol and Joanne while at the same time working on the shared document together. I did not get a videocam, but since we Skyped early in the morning when my hair looks like a wet rooster I didn't miss it. The audio clarity made it seem like we were in the same room. I also enjoyed collaborating on G-mail with the running conversations, Google documents and on our shared wiki. It was great to be brought together to work jointly on our project without spending a dollar on gas. I look forward to collaborating with Carol and Joanne in the future. Thank you for encouraging us to network and learn from each other.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Social Networking

Why limit oneself to just a couple of social networks when there are so many different ones to explore? Try them on, walk around in them a bit, select the ones that serve your needs the most, but select several! You don't have to be like Imelda Marcos but why stifle your networking choices.
We are starting the new school year with a new library automation system and although it is relatively new it has been in use in other states. Why not reach out for advice, support and new ideas for helping to make the best use of OPALS in the fall for students and staff. I am looking forward to networking with peers around the country and around the world.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Interesting way to search for photos that are "within Creative Commons-licensed content" and are available to add to wikis or websites without worrying about copyright infringements. I quickly found several photos of Javanese rod puppets like the one I picked up in Soho last year. I also liked Carol's Animoto demonstration for displaying River's Puppetry Club puppets on the Library Home page. However, when I tried to create a video from some random photos the video image was cut off on the right.

Monday, July 7, 2008

School Library 2.0

"Say good-bye to your mother’s school library"
By Christopher Harris -- School Library Journal, 5/1/2006

The author could have left the word, "mother's" out of this article as unfortunately there are still many school libraries or library media centers that are not where they should be academically, philosophically and technologically. That's why courses like this are so important. I agree that now more than ever, information specialists have to promote themselves and advertise their "products and services". In my district 5 of the 7 elementary schools have no library support staff. This past year, due to negative budget votes, unmandated elementary library media specialists were once again brought up to the chopping block. Perhaps, if it were not for parental outcries, seven librarians could have been replaced by library aides.
Sometimes districts put the cart before the horse, installing new technologies with little thought of training or instruction. Librarians are given increased responsibilities with less support staff. Yet, we carry on and try our best to put our best foot forward. Having faculty, students and parents enthusiastically involved and engaged is a must. The power of Web 2.0 is tremendous and I hope to be able to implement some of these technologies in more effective ways in September.