Saturday, April 11, 2009

Podcasting

Wow! That was a lot of information regarding podcasting. It seems so simple to do and there can be quite a number of applications for it. I can see a teacher using it to prepare the students for an upcoming class, or a principal giving a weekly address with it. I have a little more difficulty seeing a school library media specialist utilize it, unless she would use it for book reviews or previews on upcoming soon-to-be published books. However, all the possibilities are still unfolding and it is definitely a technology that is used by students all over (and all the time!) The application of Jing was really cool. I think I would need to fool around with it quite a lot to become comfortable with using it, but I can visualize the applications in a classroom quite vividly. Maybe the responsibility of the SLMS is to introduce these new technologies to teachers, to show them what is out there, and what could be used to help teach their students.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gale Reference Databases

Databases have so much information it can be overwhelming. I did a project for a SLMC, adapting databases from the NYPL portal into a list that would be compatible for a high school. One of the databases (of course) was Gale Reference Library- whew- it was huge. The amount of information available on it was unmanageable. I went through each database and commented on the ones that were on the level of high school. I did searches on each one and examined the results. Accessing the databases was not difficult and pretty intuitive, if you know what you were looking for. It is hard to see how they would promote this to high school studentws as it involves a few steps to access it-I think teenagers would just want to Google something instead (I think this is called the laziness factor!)Howevere, the results were much more put together and gave you a lot more informatin available in 1 place - instead of searching a whole bunch of sites and the results were vetting for accuracy. But the amount of information is still overwhelming!

Friday, March 27, 2009

K-12 Conferences in 2007 and then Powerpoint

The K-12 Conferences in 2007 were informative. The presentation of Web 2.0, share the adventure, had the interesting concept of have the students join the teacher along the path of using web 2.0 tools. This concept is a different view of the one saying that the teacher should direct the student in how to use WEb 2.0 tools. Having so many helpers will enable the teacher to use and access and research the web 2.0 tools faster than having to do it by his/her self. The teacher, however, must decide the educational goal, the mission. Otherwise, this can be an exercise in futility as there is no purpose.
The Wiki put up by Karen Richardson had a tremendous amount of useful links. Having a search available on Creative Commons is very helpful to me personally, since I am always worried about using copyrighted images from the web. Her Disney film was cool, but not very coherent.
And I am powerpointing! I like it though, since I can be very creative with it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Online conference

Hi. I enjoyed my spring break, even though I did work though it! The K12 online conference was very interesting and I enjoyed being able to watch it at my leisure. This format allows for re listening and watching whenever one needs a refresher and it does not cost anything!
The keynote presentation by Professor Stephen Heppel was very informative. I like his English accent. His phrase of "this is the death of education and the dawn of learning" was really true. If we now have the technology, we have to figure out what we want it to do for us. It is no longer true that the machines can't do something, since it can do everything, but rather, what do we want to do-how can we use this to further education in a new fashion, befitting the twentieth century. I think at this point we are in a flux and this will be realized in the upcoming future as we see the change in learning.
To other news, my powerpoint presentation is slowly emerging. I find if I work on the slides with pen and paper first, so I know basically what I want to put on there, I do not feel so overwhelmed when I work on the actual slides. It is a slow method-but it is working. The tutorial and presentations posted by my teacher really helped a lot as I never worked with powerpoint before!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Web 2.0 tools, Reality and Powerpoint

I just read the article on Knowledge Quest on Ethics From 1.0 to 2.0: Standing Outside the Box. One of the points that it made was just as students use the library for pleasures (e.g. fiction books), they should be able to use the computers for pleasure (e.g. surfing, etc). It seems a contradiction to what I observed in SLMCs over the past month. Very few of the teachers/schools seem to be using Web 2.0 tools in their teaching repertoire, whether due to the students not having access to computers at home or they did not have enough time to cover it. However, the computer usage of the students in the LMC was mostly for fun or researching information for papers. They did not seem overly restricted.
I am working on my powerpoint presentation about blogs-Who knew there was so much information available on it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Very Busy!

Wow-this has been a busy week!
First of all, we are starting to get started on the google docs page. It was funny, since this was supposed to be on online collaboration, that the first email I get from the other students was if we could all meet face-to-face! That is not going to work out, so we have a date on google chat!
Second-we are starting to work on our powerpoint presentations. Unfortunately, I have never worked on powerpoint before, so this seems a bit overwhelming. I would like to present to teachers about blogs-but that topic is huge! Why blog, literacy standards blogs meet, what students gain, what teachers gain, how to create a blog. I am trying to create the scope of what the powerpoint will teach but there is a massive amount of information available. I am also trying to think of the covert reasons for this presentation-maybe to form connections with teachers and show them that I (hopefully) am a resource for technology. Anyway, I will post later on how it is going!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Internet Safety

Internet safety is a key issue nowadays. Since restricting access to information because of the inappropriate activity online is not feasible, allowing access and teaching Internet safety is a plausible solution. It was news to me that the SLMS is responsible for teaching this to student and staff, but on reflection, it made sense as the SLMS is responsible for the information literacy and Internet safety is a tool that needs to be used to obtain this information. I think within the LMC, a SLMS can direct students to databases and the computers are filtered to a certain extent. However, at home or elsewhere, the student may come into contact with bullies, predators etc and due to their naivete, not realize the proper course of protocol. Internet safety is a life skill, since even adults should not be giving out personal information online as well as the fact that once something is posted online whether a picture or information, it is then always accessible. I am in midst of taking the I-safe course and I will post when I am done as to what I think about its efficacy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Information Overload!

Whew-So many databases, so much information, so little memory. Wow-alot of these LMC have access to a lot of databases that have so much information. When I was observing at School of the Arts, the SLMS thoughtfully arranged for the Worldbook salesperson to come give a demonstration. It was fascinating to see how the information was arranged and the access it has for students-and this was one part of one database. It was called Worldbook Discover and was specifically created by Worldbook for students who read below grade level, reluctant readers, and ESL readers. It's visual dictionary, for example, showed the whole skeleton mapped out with the name of the bones on it. It had a cool text-to-speech option which spoke the highlighted segment when clicked on, and could read the whole article. It has the same information as Kids Worldbook, but the interface was on a higher level and a older student would not be embarrassed to use it. It also had a video series and could be translated into 14 different languages.
I am hearing about how NOVEL and other sources for free databases are limiting/cutting their access, but I think there will still be enough information available to students-as long as we teach them how to access it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Running Book List

1. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
2. Watchmen -Alan Moore
3. The Amnesiac - Sam Taylor
4. The Last Apprentice - Joseph Delaney
5. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day - Pearl Cleage
6. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England - Brock Clarke
7. Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
8. Nightwatch - Sergei Lukyanenko
9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
10. The Elephant and the Dragon -Robyn Meredith
11. The Host- Stephanie Meyer
12. The Life of Pi-Yann Martel
13. The Lord of the Rings
14. The Stand -Stephen King
15. Water for Elephants

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Observation

Today, I observed an SLMC* in the Nathanial Hawthorne School in Rochester. It was a lively and bustling SLMC, with fixed and flexible scheduling as well as a computer lab located inside.
It was a dose of reality, since when I asked the SLMS if she uses Web 2.0 tools in her class, she said no as the students did not have access to computers outside of school, so it was pointless for teachers to use blogs and wikis for homework. She also mentioned that the teachers had so much curriculum to cover and with such a heavy emphasis on reading, that they simply did not have the time to cover Web 2.0 tools.
We discussed databases, which were sponsored by the district (of Rochester) and included Culture gram, WorldBook encyclopedia, and WBKids. A neat trick that they used was access to NYPL (which was free) and allowed them access to many additional databases at no charge-such as Grolier, etc.
For their school library catalog, they are using Destiny and that was a really neat catalog since it had the accelerated reader feature on it, allowed use from home, and students were able to use it themselves for Interlibrary loans! (pending approval from the librarian). It also had the standards that the teachers need for every grade.
But it was disappointing that they are not able to take advantage of the Web 2.0 tools :(
*SLMC =student library media center

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Assistive Devices in the SLMC

OK, I admit it. I am a heavy public library user, and I never even thought about assistive devices available in the library. Who knew? I guess if you need them, then they become very important to you as they affect YOUR accessibility to the information you need. These readings definately served a purpose for me as I now will take these accessibility issues into consideration. I think this is extremely important in a SLMC, as a student will not (usually) ask for adaptive technology, since they might not know they exist, or they might be too shy or embarressed to request it. However, if it is available, and there is an astute librarian manning the library, the SLMS can direct the student to the computer/devices he or she needs.
This also encourages SLMS to be proactive - explaining to the teachers what is available and what its purpose is, since teachers know their students needs better than the SLMS.
I also think that if low-grade adaptations are made to all computers, that will not affect students who do not need them, but will help students who do without affecting usability.
An SLMS who plans with the ideas of adaptive devices in her mind will definately have an overall positive effect on the SLMC. I hope that will be me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heavy reading about the Dept of Ed, google generation and fair use-

Wow, this was heavy reading-especially the Dept of Ed regulations on Enhancing Education through Technology. It was interesting though, since they want students, elementary and high school fluent on the information technology, but do not mandate SLMS on the elementary level. That would seem counterintuitive, since the SLMS is the best resource for introducing students the using the internet in an productive manner.
On the other hand, after reading the research article about the Google generation (in Information Behaviour of the researcher of the future), it seems that the SLMS might soon become unnecessary! Students of this generation seem to have an almost natural fluency with technology that SLMS do not have. They are also much more liable to search for information on the WWW than a book, or even enter a library portal to search through there. This was borne out by my conversation with a SLMS who graduated in the 1970s. She confessed she did not know what a blog or wiki was, and asked me to explain what Facebook was all about. She admitted that her knowledge of technology was far less than the students. She also said that her students were more interested in the web than in books, and that each year she orders more and more DVDs, since that is what circulates the best. It will be interesting seeing if students will come to balance the WWW and books or research books will fall by the wayside.
Fair use is confusing. I admit I did not know much about copyrights, but now whatever I know is confused. (I don't feel to bad, since the author went to law school to understand copyrights). Hopefully, this will be clarified as I continue to read the text.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LIS-568: My first week

This was the first week of Computer Application in the School Library. I have taken online courses before as an undergraduate, but this completely dwarfed them in terms of the technology utilitzed! I was successfully able to complete it all, but got confused when the podcast kept on popping up as the one from last semester. I kept on hitting subscribe and update until I realized I had the incorrect URL.
It took me a while to realize what delicious was all about, and then I promptly deleted all my personal links that I had imported in and just left the library related ones. It is convient though, since when I logged into the computer in the library, I just had to go to the delicious website and was able to access the class wiki without having to note the URL. It seems a bit much to check other peoples bookmarks, since I have enough keeping track of my own, but I will see if I find this tool helpful.
It is frustrating having to log on to everyone's profile to copy the delicious URL to add to the Google reader and having to note down who did not enter theirs yet and then having to go back and check them again. There probably is an easier way to do it, but I have not figured it out yet. It was, though, interesting reading the profiles.
All in all, I think I signed up, logged in, downloaded and posted whatever needed to be done this week-and I got started on researching the assistive technology newsletter!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What is this blog about?

Mother, wife, medical transcriptionist, financial aid administrator and now University of Buffalo Master of Library Science student- so many tracks, not enough time. I created this blog to muse about the different tracks my brain takes me to throughout the day. Enjoy!