Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two fav chapters

All of the readings helped me in this class and with assignments, and it is hard to pick two favorite chapters. However if pressed, Chapter 9 in Odin, was extremely helpful in aiding me to understand the automation needs of the school library. I have never worked in a school library, and as a substitute teacher haven't spent alot of time there. This chapter helped me to understand exactly what goes on in the library with regards to the administration of technology in a library setting. I know have a better grasp of automation systems including those used for cataloging needs and circulation. This chapter gave a good general overview of the planning, acquisition, and funding processes.

Shelly's Chapter 6 also provided some important information in regards to integrating technology in the curriculum. Technology can only work as a learning tool if it is implemented properly and supports curriculum standards. Shelly provided good ideas for training and implementation and how to go about integrating a technology rich learning environment that provides outcomes to be proud of.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Module 5- wrap up

The Assistive Technology blog from Classroom learning 2.0 was extremely informative. I learned many things i did not realize before beginning this interactive web quest. First of all, I had no idea there was such an amazing variety of assistive technology available. I think it is fantastic that students with disabilities have such a great choice of assistive technologies that perfectly meet their needs and vendors are making new technology available constantly. I will embrace these technologies and lobby for the students that need them to get them. I will also generate and teach specific lessons about disabilities that are geared toward general education students. I would recommend the classroom 2.0 and assistive technology tutorials to anyone interested in learning more about all different types of technologies and think it would be a good professional development tool. I will also utilize the Library Thing books that I have been made aware of. I learned much by following this tutorial and I hope that my previous blog entries showcase that learning.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Digital Citzenship

In our technology driven age, cyber-bullying has become a huge issue. Digital citizenship is a key thing that needs to be explicitly taught to students so that they understand the expectations when they go online.
is a great site that encourages digital citizenship and gives educators ideas and tools to help others learn what is expected of them online. also offers a wide variety of resources to use for teaching and understanding digital citizenship. I feel respect for others and self is imperative, and this is the same in an online environment. I also feel that it is important for our school s, teachers, and librarians to demonstrate what digital citizenship is and offer instruction in the proper online etiquette. In "Library 2.0 and Beyond," Courtney lists the dark side of the web and includes online predators, viruses, identity theft, stalking, cyber-bullying, and invasion of privacy as aspects to watch out for (80-81). These are all issues that should be discussed in schools so that students gain a true understanding of the pros and cons of the Web and understand how to protect themselves in an online environment.

Courtney, N. (2007). Library 2.0 and beyond.. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Module 4 – web annotations

As Shelley notes in the text, "Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom," huge improvements are being made in the area of assistive technology, especially with hardware, software, and Web-based tools. Because of these innovations, there is much information on the web about assistive technologies. I did a search for “assistive technologies” and I found these 5 websites to be quite useful in helping me gain a better understanding as well as offering tools that I could use in my own classroom environment. is a blog on the topic of assistive technology, eLearning, min mapping, collaborative tools, and visual learning. It is run by Dr. Brian Friedlander from New Jrsey, a graduate professor at the College of St. Elizabeth and a consultant to various business organizations and school districts. -as mentioned in an earlier blog, this is the website to my local indepenedant living center: The disability Resource Center whose mission is "To assist people with disabilities, those who support them, and the community, through information, education, and resources, to achieve the highest potential and benefit of independent living." Is the Department of Education’s effort to comply with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. “The Assistive Technology Program provides assistive technology solutions to disabled employees at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and also ensures that the agency’s electronic and information systems are accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities.” It offers some good information for all about the use of assistive technology. - RESNA is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Their purpose is to improve the opportunities for those with disabilities and help them achieve their goals through the use of technology. They promote research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology. -PLUK is a private, nonprofit that was formed by parents of children with disabilities in Montana. Their purpose is to offer information, support, training, and assistance to aid their children at home, school and as adults. “We are people with disabilities, parents, professionals, relatives, and friends who want to assure that persons with disabilities participate in the community and have access to high quality educational, medical and rehabilitation services.”

Shelly, G., et al. (2009). Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (5th ed). Boston: Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

Module 4 – Independent living and assistive tech centers

I was unable to visit a local center, however I did have a chance to look online and see what services are offered in my area. The “Disability Resource Center” is in the Fredericksburg, VA area and offers a wide variety of services that I had no idea were available. They offer many workshops and classes, help with Medicaid issues, offer children and youth services, support groups, nursing home transition help, and many other services. The four core services that they offer fall under the categories of: independent living skills training, information and referral, advocacy, and peer counseling. I am so excited to know that we have a place that offers services like these to whoever needs them.

Module 4 – The quiz

I must say that I feel that I am pretty savvy about etiquette dealing with all members of society, even those with a disability. I always try to use “people first” language and accommodate needs when necessary. But there were a few questions on the quiz that made me think twice before answering. I tend to be very accommodating to all people, and I will now think twice before automatically accommodating a disability (such as shaking someone’s other hand with a prosthetic arm). I will treat people with disabilities the same way I treat others and allow them to accept a request for accommodations or help instead of automatically doing something first. The quiz offered some real world insight into questions that people are often afraid to discuss.

Module 4 –Classroom visit

I, unfortunately, do not have my own classroom right now- I substitute teach.  But I do feel that bringing those with disabilities into the classroom environment is an important aspect of the social classroom experience and learning how to deal with those who have disabilities. It would give students a chance to see life through another’s eyes just for a moment.  We tend to get caught up in our own world as adults, and students are even more caught up in their own lives and they tend to think everyone sees the world as they do.Giving them the opportunity to meet someone who not only sees the world differently, but navigates through it in a different way as well, would be a tremendous opportunity to teach students to accept all and understand the obstacles that some people must face everyday, as well as the way they overcome those obstacles.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Module 3- use of assistive technology

In a school or library setting, accommodations of many different learning needs should be met, including all types of disabilities.  Assistive technology that could be implemented in a school setting should include alternative input and output devices such as screen reading and enlargement software, Braille translation tools, and access to TDD.  Those with learning disabilities could gain much use from word prediction software, reading and writing comprehension programs, and grammar and spell checkers.  Reading machines and software, as well as note taking devices, and mouse and keyboard options could also be useful additions to the school setting and would also accommodate different needs of the learner.

Module 3- Software evaluation

Four types of assistive technology software packages were evaluated.  The evaluation follows as well as a brief review of each.

Software name: Inspiration®,
Company: Inspiration
Price: $39.95-$895.00
Purpose of program: To promote visual learning and thinking and encourage multiple modes of learning.
Special needs addressed in the program: All learning needs especially those of visual learners
Features: Inspiration is used to plan class projects, activities, lessons and units- offers visual tools, graphic organizers to aid teachers in planning and teaching.  Gives students many ways to investigate, analyze, and represent data and information, applies visual learning methodologies
Positive aspects: Easy to use and navigate
Negative aspects: Pictures are a little difficult to search through and small
Ease of use, directions clear: Help screen is clearly organized
Overall review: I think that this could be a useful tool, though cost should be weighed with need in the school environment and other tools available
Software name: Kurzweil 3000TM
Company: Kurzweil Educational Systems
Price: $395.00-$2695.00
Purpose of program: To improve students' ability to read.  Comprehensive reading, writing and learning software.
Special needs addressed in the program: Any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners.
Features: Curriculum access, highlighting, text circle tools, annotations, Bookmarks, Voice Notes and Extract in order to create outlines, study guides, or word lists.  Reads the words aloud to the student in clear, humanlike, synthetic speech.
Positive aspects: Research seems to be on their side, increases reading fluency, decoding support, and has writing and self editing tools
Negative aspects: Download did not work, so I am not sure
Ease of use, directions clear: Not sure- download was not successful
Overall review: This software seems like a great tool for many types of struggling readers and the research seems to support the fact that it works. 

Software name: infoeyes
Company: ivocalize
Price: $30 to $3,000 a month
Purpose of program: The goal of this project is to create a model for a collaborative, multi-state, accessible information community to the visually impaired.
Special needs addressed in the program: Visual impairment
Features: Question and answer service for people with a visual impairment or other print limitation.
Positive aspects: Seems like a great tool for the visually impaired and it gives them access to information that they may not have normally been able to access.
Negative aspects: Have to schedule an appointment, not too many libraries involved
Ease of use, directions clear: With some searching, they are clear and it seems easy to use
Overall review: This company has fabulous tools, though they may not be as useful as the other tools in a school environment

Software name: Windows Vista
Company: Microsoft
Price: Free
Purpose of program: Operating system that offers accessibility options
Special needs addressed in the program: All needs seem to be addressed in one way o another
Features: Narrator, Audio description, Keyboard shortcuts and tools, Text Magnifier, Mouse options, Speech to text
Positive aspects: Free- already built into the system
Negative aspects: Narrator wasn’t always right on, features may not address specific learning needs
Ease of use, directions clear: Windows offers a huge amount of support and help
Overall review: These tools are fabulous and free and can be used to accommodate a variety of learners.  I honestly never knew some of the tools were available.  A great resource.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Module 2- helpful sites and hardware thoughts

Transaccess is a great site that matches assistive technology according to individual need.  It is also an excellent resource for businesses and those involved in education because it lists many of the services available to those with disabilities as well as the best ways to accomodate them. 

EnableMart offers many solutions for the disabled and sorts them by category so that it is easy to locate the best assistive technology for the need.

The availability and amount of hardware available for any kind of disability you can imagine astounds me.  if you need a type of accomadation, you can find it!

Module 2- Accomodations

In the workplace or in school there are many ways to accommodate the needs of coworkers and students. If a student has a hearing disability, captioning all that is said is important. Also their placement in the room should be considered and the teacher can offer typed notes for any lecture material. if a student has visual impairment, braille notes or large print would be an obvious choice as well as using pod casting or recordings to offer them instead of notes. Cognitive impairments can cover many disabilities, but one easy choice would be to offer pencil grips so they can handle their pencils more easily. Also word prediction software would be another way to accommodate their needs.

Module 2- Assistive Technology

I am amazed at the number of items available to those in need of assistive technology. We live in a technologically driven world and any type of technology that can assist others in need of it is surely welcomed. As Jurkowski says, in "Technology and the School Library," "Assistive technology for students with disabilities is becoming more and more prevalent in school libraries and classrooms"(106). As noted in the text there is an increasing awareness of the need to accommodate these students through various technology adaptations and accommodations. For the visually impaired there are screen magnifiers and video magnifiers that can magnify just about anything. There are also readers and scanners that can scan something and then read it. For the hearing impaired there are amplification devices as well as telephone accessories to aid in hearing. Alternate pointing devices and word prediction software enables those with cognitive deficits as well. Even pictures and switches are an amazing resource to use if communication is a problem. We are truly lucky to live in an age where these modifications are available to us in order to promote learning and offer those with special needs the accommodations that they deserve.

Jurkowski, O. (2006). Technology and the school library. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Module 1 #2

Working with LD students can be challenging and I am open to any ideas that aid in the process. In my look around The National Center for Learning Disabilities I found a few new ideas. One had to do with writing instruction and what research has shown works with LD students. It is important to explicitly teach the steps of the writing process first: planning, writing, and revision. Next there should be explicit instruction of the different types of writing (expository,persuasive...). And lastly, the teacher should give explicit feedback so corrections can be made. Reading requires the same amount of explicit instruction, however the most important reminder I got from the site is that all students are individual learners and should be treated as such.

Module 1

The National Federation of the Blind truly does have a fantastic site and I really like both the Braille is Beautiful and Braille Reading pals programs. Braille is beautiful is for sighted students to learn braille and I think that anything that increases student sensitivity to others is great. The Braille Reading pals program encourages Braille literacy which is an important aspect of visually impaired literacy. I did a research project on the visually impaired for another class and learned that phonological awareness is the same in sighted and visually impaired children, those who are impaired just may need to take more time to understand the individual letters because they have not had as much pre-training with Braille as sighted children have had with print. But once fluent decoding happens, blind children are no different than sighted children when it comes to reading. This means that Braille literacy is very important and both of these programs tackle the issue of literacy as well as understanding.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 9 (#23)

The end... wow, I learned quite a bit of new information along the way. I appreciated the step by step nature of the program and the explicit directions. I especially enjoyed learning more about tagging and how it works, some innovative ways to use wikis in the classroom, and I really liked exploring Rollyo. Along with blogs and wikis, that is a great tool to use in a classroom because you control the content searched. I can't wait to implement these tools in a library setting as well. If I had to describe in one word or one sentence what I took away from this program: Technology rocks!

Week 9 (#22)

I am absolutely in love with LibriVox...I already subscribed to a few of its podcasts and can so see using them in the classroom. I am also amazed at all of the free resources out there, though it seems I can't seem to find too many free resources on Project Gutenberg, though it may be worth the $8.95 yearly membership after perusing their titles. I think Ebooks are a great tool, however I do prefer the tangible aspect of a good book. But the idea of having so many books available whenever you want them is pretty amazing and a nod to the digital age we live in.

Week 9 (#21)

I think that podcasts are a great tool for life in general, but also for the classroom. They are also easy to make (I made one for some book talks I had to do for another class). Courtney, in "Library 2.0 and Beyond," offers some great ideas for their use. She mentions booktalks, using them to enhance displays and exhibits, making individual librarian podcasts as an audio-blog, using them in library education and instruction, as well as conveying local history, story time, and tours (37-43). Here are a few I found and their implications for the classroom...
SHAKESPodosphEARE - podcasts designed to go along with the study of Shakespeare, or if you just want to hear him on a long car ride :)

Just Vocabulary - a 4 minute podcast offering new vocabulary words each day

Poem of the week - offers a new poem each week

Courtney, N. (2007). Library 2.0 and beyond.. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Week 9 (#20)

You it! It has recently been allowed in the school system where I work and I have found it to be an amazing tool- though not without its pitfalls. I have used it to show portions of short stories we have read, a realistic portrayal of a cobra and mongoose fight (in association with Rikki Tikki Tavi), and to show parts of plots from movies to see if students could determine where on the plot diagram these excerpts belong. I also use it as a tool for teaching figurative a song complete with lyrics and see if they can pick out the fig. language. One of the pit falls though is that you really do have to vet the videos well before showing them because anyone can post and sometimes it takes a while to find good ones to use. But...this is my web innovation so I won't give all the goodies about YouTube away! Here is a video about copyright and fair use...very funny and uses Disney characters but informative.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 8 #19

Here's my library thing picks for my poetry webquest. I liked working with library thing. It seems like a great way to connect with others with like interests as well as offer readers a selection of choices for a library. Library thing has alot to offer and I really like the links to local stores as well as the discussions available for some books.

Week 8 (#18)

Zoho: I have actually worked with google docs before and I think that it is a great tool for access to documents when you are away from your computer. it also offers a chance to work collaboratively on documents. Zoho seems to be just as easy to use as Google docs and though I have not utilized these tools a whole lot so far, I do feel like there is a definite place for them in the classroom and educational setting.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 7 #17

I played around with the Classroom 2.0 Sandbox wiki and posted my webquest URL- its also posted here. I think that wikis are such a great tool as I mentioned in a previous post and I for one, appreciate the fact that you can fix wikis if you make a mistake (which I did-couldn't attach my URL at first). As mentioned before- they are a wonderful collaboration tool and I love the idea from 2.0 of using them as a Kidpedia and having kids collaborate to make a school wiki with information they can all use about content, though the teacher or administrator of the wiki still needs to follow it closely to monitor content. I am having issues linking my webquest so i copied and pasted it into this blog...

Introduction: Here’s to poetry! This web quest is designed for you to explore all that poetry has to offer and guide you to become a poet in your own right! You will create a poetry journal, learn about poems and poets and then create your own poems. When you are finished you will understand what poetry is all about and get your own creative juices flowing…off we go!

Task: Your task is to create a journal that includes all of your findings as well as your original creations. You will seek out poems that you like and poets that interest you. After thoughtful consideration, you will compile reflections on these poems and poets and move on to the next task- creating your own poems which will fall into these categories: acrostic, haiku, 5 line poem, limerick, and free verse.

Process: This web quest is broken into two parts… Part 1: Research and reflection Part: 2 Creation Here are the tasks to follow… Research and Reflection 1. Search through the attached Rollyo and find and read various poems by different poets. Locate five poems by five different poets which you like. 2. For each of the poems, write a journal reflection about the poem (at least one paragraph)…some guiding questions- what does it mean to you, why do you like it, what sensory images does the poet use, how do you feel when you read it, what style is the poem written in? 3. Research the five poets who wrote the poems that you chose. Find out some information and interesting facts about them and write at least one paragraph for each that includes biographical information, as well as such facts as what made them turn to poetry, did you find out any background about the poems they wrote, what factors from their lives influenced what types of poems they wrote or write? Creation- now that you have seen what’s out there it’s your turn to add your name to the list of poets. 1. Search the Rollyo to find out the definitions of these types of poems. • Acrostic • Haiku • Cinquain or Five line poem • Limerick • Free Verse 2. Write the definition and find an example of each to copy into your journal. Each type should be given its own page in your journal. 3. Now that you know what each one is, it is your turn to create an original example of each. Create at least one example of each type of poem and be sure to label them. If you search the Rollyo there are templates for some of these poems that may help you in your creations.

Resources: Everything that you need to find is available to you through this Rollyo---you just have to search for it and I promise you will find it! Happy searching!
Poetry all around Rollyo

Evaluation: Your completed journal is the way that this assignment will be assessed. Evaluation will be based on completion of all tasks and organization of your journal. At least one paragraph is expected for each poem and each poet. Definitions and copied examples should be correct and clearly organized, and your original creations should be correct and labeled. Creativity is encouraged, but your grade will be based on adherence to the task assignment and correctness of each type of poem.
Conclusion: Great job! You researched, learned and then created! There are many more types of poems that you can create and if you keep searching the Rollyo, there are some fun activities to aid you in that creation. Keep exploring more poets and poems and discover more about the world of poetry!

Week 7 #16

I think that wikis are a fantastic tool to use in the classroom. I have taken classes that used them as a tool for note taking(each person was assigned the role for a class and posted notes for others to review), and actually use one now with a book club that posts responses in a local magazine. They are easy to edit and offer a collaborative environment that is easy to access. I especially like the idea of using them as a book review tool in libraries and I also like the idea of using them with literature circles. Classrooms could use these to create group projects and offer students an easier way to collaborate together on projects and learning in general. In "Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom," Shelley notes that technology is an extremely powerful tool that can help keep students engaged in the learning process and increase motivation (330). Wikis are one way to do that.

Shelly, G., et al. (2009). Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (5th ed). Boston: Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week 6 #15

I am slowly shaping a definition of Library 2.0 as I look through the listed websites. I like Michael Stephens' comment that "the library is a social and emotionally engaging center for learning and experience and Librarian 2.0 is the strategy guide for helping users find that information. And Dr Wendy Shultz states that libraries are not just collections, they are conversations, and they are not in communities, they are the community.I think that frames what Library 2.0 is perfectly: it is the library as the center of a community helping with the ongoing conversation and collaboration of all members of that community. The librarian assists in that conversation--if my take on this makes sense, I think that libraries have always been in the 2.0 state of mind.

Week 6- #14

According to Courtney, in Library 2.0, tagging has its pros and cons. It is usually current, creates a community of users, and gives insight into user behavior. Unfortunately, there is no synonym control, precision, nor hierarchy among the terms (94-101). This makes it hard to use in a controlled cataloging setting of the library, but great to use on the web- it certainly made it easy for me to hone into my own interests on Delicious. Technorati seems like another great tool to use in searching, however there is alot of information to search through. I think that tags are a useful tool, however they do not always give you exactly what you may be looking for.You still must sift through the information or blogsites returned to find what you are looking for. Tags can be a very useful way of searching and can be an added tool to use, however you must realize that they are not a fool proof way of searching.

Courtney, N. (2007). Library 2.0 and beyond.. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Week 6, thing #13


I think that social bookmarking sites are fantastic tools and the 2.0 delicious site is one that I will use again.  I found two sites that I deemed good enough to add to my own favorites and the tagging tool made things extraordinarily easy to find. I can't wait to continue looking for more.  This is a great tool for anyone, but I can see the potential as people working within the same communities can access information easier and share that information through social bookmarking sites.  People researching the same thing could use these sites to share their findings and collaborate.  What amazing tool!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 5 #12

I am sold on Rollyo.  What an incredibly useful tool!  You can create different themes and search within those sites for things.  I think it could be very useful in an education or library setting.  I did a theme on poetry for middle or high school students, though I am still working through the lesosn plan.  The sites I included are subject specific and provide a variety of resources about poetry.  Here is the link to Poetry all around!

Poetry all Around!

Week 5 #11

I actually ended up exploring more than one 2.0 site and noticed quite a few that I have used in the past or use now.  Facebook is one that we are all familiar with, and I also explored delicious and reddit- both social bookmarking sites.  Both were easy to use and navigate and offer lots of extras as well.  Flickr is one that we have used in the past and I share all of my pictures through that site, and I also noticed that revolutionhealth had alot of great information.  Many of these sites would be able to be used in the classroom though should be vetted first.  I actually heard of a school principal using Twitter in order to make sure staff knew about meetings and such.  So much to search through and so little time....

Week 5 (thing #10)

I had a ball with the image creators!  I am still trying my hand at "movie" making, and think that all of these tools could find a place in the classroom.  I was thinking of how much students would enjoy making photostories of stories they have read in  an English class--you could have them retell the stories complete with setting and scenes.  I will also be checking them out when I send ecards from now on...the attached link in the sidebar is of a quick video I sent to my neice for her birthday!  I used for this video.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 4 (#9)

Whew, there is a whole lot of information and people who want to share that information out there!  I am feeling a bit information overloaded these days and, as I searched throught the RSS finder tools, a bit overwhelmed as well.  I will continue to look for feeds to add to my reader and hope to stumble upon a few gems.  I do prefer to look for information when I need it so I as my needs point me certain ways, I will look for the RSS symbol also.

Week 4 (#8)

RSS Feeds-

I have played around in the past with RSS feeds and do think that they are a useful tool for the classroom as well as for general knowledge.  In today's society, information overload occurs easily, and RSS feeds are one way to limit where you get your information from.  I did not make my URL known publicly, however for this particular class I did find it useful to add my classmate's blogs to my RSS feed in order to view and comment on new posts more efficiently.  In a library setting, you can subscribe to the RSS feeds of other librarian's blogs as well as newsfeeds in order to stay current with offerings and help locate subject specific information that patrons may want.  I found it quite easy to import my google reader subscriptions into my blogger account so that everything is in one place and easy to find.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week 3 #7:Technology

I feel very lucky to live in an age where technology is everywhere and more new innovations are created each day. In "Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the classroom," the authors point out that "Not only does the internet provide access to extensive text and multimedia resources, it allows teachers and students to communicate with other teachers and students all over the world" (95). The amount of use the Internet can provide is unbelievable. Though I was unable to attend the Tapped In session the other day, I have attended a few in the past and have found that it is an amazing resource tool for teachers and librarians. Being able to chat in real time with others in the profession is something that can enhance our collaboration efforts and gives us tools to take back to our own classrooms.I am also a fan of sites such as google earth and a very cool site called google lit trips, which ties in literature to places using a mashup with google maps. Again, how lucky we are to have all of these tools at our fingertips!

Shelly, G., et al. (2009). Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (5th ed). Boston: Thomson Course Technology, 2008.

Week 3 #6: Mashups

I visited many of the mashup and Flickr tool sites and one of my favorites was The Poster Maker site.  I tried my hand at a poster and you can see it below.  It was easy and fun, and I think it would be a great way to get kids involved in the classroom.  Just as the 23 things blog says, you could use it for many things- I think making a poster that represents novels or part of them, or nonfiction texts would engage students in their learning.  I plan to keep playing around with the other sites as well and see what they have to offer!

Week 3 #5-Flickr

I have explored Flicker in the past and actually have an account with them.  I have created two photo stories on the site and thinkthat it is an amazing resource for sharing photos and is very easy to use.  In classrooms I think that students could use hte site to create photo stories about many things that relate to the curriculum and it is a great use of technology in the classroom.  The photos that I am linking to in Flickr are my own ( itts actually a link to one of my collections), but I have explored the site and found many fascinating photos as well.

Flickr photos

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 2: Blogging reflection

I enjoy blogging, though I have not had too much opportunity to do it unless it was a school assignment.  I did keep a blog of a trip I took this summer to Ghana and my friends and family back home were able to stay in touch with me through it. It was a great tool to document my trip and offer real time updates to everyone back home. I think that blogs are a great tool to use in the classroom and library.  A librarian can stay in touch with the population she or he serves with a blog by offering reading lists, book reviews, and reflections on what she or he is reading, among many other things.  It offers an interactive environment for the student at all times, not just during school hours.  I even have a few blogsites bookmarked for my own personal use because of the information they offer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 1: Habits of Life-Long Learners

I feel like I am a life-long learner and very much enjoy adding any knowledge I can to my brainfiles.  We all demonstrate life-long learning habits certainly by being enrolled in college courses, but I also try to gain knowledge by reading and  simply observing and socializing in the world around me.

Easiest Habit: My easiest habit is that I do view problems as challenges.  I think that life is a learning experience itself and that any problem we face is simply a challenge that we should learn from.  I actually have a quote from Helen Keller posted at my desk..."The best way out is through."  This is so true, there is no need to try to skirt around a problem because it will just continue to resurface.  You might as well face it head on the first time you see it and save some time and frustration.  This has not always been my mantra, my own challenges have made me realize this and that's why I find it the easiest habit for me.

Hardest Habit: The hardest problem for me is to view myself as a confident, effective learner.  It seems that I have been in school forever and I earned my Bachelors degree late in life.  Going back to school as a thirty-something year old amidst 18-year-olds fresh out of high school definitely caused anxiety for me.  These kids had fast working brains, while I seemed to take a little longer to process things (especially abstract ideas when I was thinking about practical issues like what to pack my son for lunch the next day :-).  That experience caused me to doubt myself often but as I have moved into Graduate school I feel that this habit is slowly working its way to the forefront as I develop more confidence with each class I take.