Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thing 23

#23-Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end
Wow, is it possible that this is the final post for this series?? Amazing. This has been such an incredible assignment filled with a lot of discoveries. There has been a lot of learning these past weeks. Some weeks were easy, some a lot harder; but there has always been some new tidbit of information waiting to plop itself down in front of me. The website for Learning 2.0 is saved to my Favorites file and I am waiting for the chance to show bits and pieces of it to co-workers and friends who could use it for their jobs. It's not just for librarians! That's also a part of why I liked this so much; you don't have to be a librarian in order to understand things or get a lot out of the assignments. I also enjoyed listening to Helene speaking in her little minute and a half podcasts; I was able to glean a little bit more out of the assignment because of that. It was ironic that the one for the podcast assignment wasn't working when I was completing it. Such is life. The whole concept of blogs has been changed for me. Because I don't have a lot of time to sit in front of the computer and while away the hours (unless I'm typing a paper for class), I don't see blogs becoming a huge part of my life. That being said, the Blogline account will allow me to check in with my subscriptions and then get on with life quickly. The management of the blogs makes it a lot more attractive. Rollyo is still intruiging me. I have not had a chance to go back and play around with it some more, but I like the premisis. I am thinking of ways to incorporate it into my study skills/library skills class I am teaching. It probably won't get into the curriculum this year, but I'm sure I can squeeze it in some where next year.
If there are any other learning programs online like this one, I would definitely be interested in signing up. This one was so well done. I cannot think of a better way of doing it. My hat goes off to whomever put this one together. My only question is: how do I find one of these things on my own?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'm not sure if this is going to embed the video, but I'll give it a whirl. If nothing else, the link should work.

While I am no stranger to YouTube, I've never uploaded anything to it. I've watched videos others have put on, but have no desire at the moment to share my stuff with the world. The video I chose showed singer Enrique Iglesias singing to an audience of the Cristina show in 2001. While I'm no rabid fan, I do enjoy the music, even if I don't understand the words. Spanish class was a loooong time ago. I like the fact that you are able to browse by subject if you're just fooling around, wasting time or you have the option to hone in on videos produced by specific people or about a certain topic. Also, by watching a certain type, YouTube automatically brings up a list of related videos that it thinks you may enjoy. This is a wonderful way to find some real gems without really trying.
I've seen book reviews done on YouTube as well. Rick Riordon does his own book talks on his "Percy Jackson" series. It is really great to hear directly from the author! Plus, if there are made up words or those from foreign languages, they tell you how to pronounce them. I think it's great to get student input on books, and if you tell them "If you do well, we'll post it on YouTube" they may be more inclined to put in more effort and take it seriously. Now, that is assuming that the filters allow YouTube through, which ours don't; but that won't stop everyone else.

Podcasts are awesome! There are officially more podcasts on my ipod than there is music. iTunes is my drug of choice. For this assignment, I did use Podcastalley to find one of my favorite podcasters--Dan Carlin. Being a history teacher by training, and a history nut by choice, any new information I can get is a mini goldmine. Dan Carlin is a bit unorthodox, but after listening to one of his podcasts, you can tell just how much research he has put into one episode. If social history is your game, this is the best place to find little nuggets of wisdom. Who else could tell you that Genghis Khan was said to have red hair and green eyes and have the authority to back it up? (bet you didn't know that before!) Or that Alexander the Great was both a raging alcoholic and drug abuser? I found the show by using both the show title "Hardcore History" and Dan's name. It was extremely easy to subscribe through Bloglines. The one thing I wish Podcast Alley did was what YouTube does; suggest related podcasts. Unless I missed in completely, I did not see any section helping directing you to like-minded podcasts. That was a bit disappointing, as was the list of casts that "history" brought up in the search bar. Using "Society and Culture" tab wasn't any better. I really don't need to listen to the sex history podcast. I'd like to hear more g-rated ones, thank you anyway.

#22-Audiobooks and NetLibrary
Will I lose points because the NetLibrary link on PLCMC is down? I have no access to another library that subscribes to it so I'm stuck. I'm assuming that NetLibrary works similar to iTunes: you search for a story, find it, download it and sync it to your device. Then enjoy listening to it as much as you want! The only books I have downloaded is "Red Kayak" for another teacher, and "DarkFever" by Karen Marie Moning, but I love the idea of being able to listen to a story; that's probably why I love podcasts so much. I perused iTunes for this to see what was available. With "Ranger's Apprentice" so popular, I searched "flanagan" and came up with several of John Flanagan's books in electronic form. Score! I had listened to #5 on cd and was delighted to discover that the same narrator does all the books. I really dislike the fact that different narrators do books in a series. Kills the continuity for me, in theory of course. I listened to the snippets available for the Twilight books and couldn't stand the narrator for the second one. *sigh* You can't like everything or everyone. The "House of Night" series wasn't any better. Too high pitched and immature sounding for the characters portrayed. But, I'm not the guy hiring the talent, so that's that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things 18 & 19

#18-Online productivity
Okay, so I chickened out on embedding my spreadsheet from Zoho to the blog. The thought of having it searchable by web crawlers creeped me out. It was only a test sheet, but still; not everyone on the planet needs to see what some of my assignments were about. Geesh! But beyond that, I thought using Zoho was amazingly simple. I love the fact that you can use your Google account to access it, and it saves in formats that any platform can open. I'm thinking this is like Open Office? Or is that another name for the same thing? I didn't see that anywhere, but that doesn't mean anything. Maybe now I will be able to create a document, save it, attach it to an email and send it out to fellow staffers knowing they will actually be able to open it! Some of us are still on Windows XP or 2003 while others have been upgraded to 7. It depends on which building you are in and which department you belong to. My mother is the high school secretary and sends out daily announcements as an email attachment. She has Windows 7 while most of the faculty does not. She received quite a few emails asking her to please resend them in another format that first day! Using Zoho could have cleared that up. I have to open up my class lectures and assignments at school using a student computer because our two home computers and my staff computer at work do not open docx files. Yet another case for Zoho to save the day! That fact that it's free and doesn't require downloading and upgrades to computers makes it hard to beat.

#19-SEO Winners List
This list was so amazing that I saved it to my Favorites list. Most of them I have never heard of, but that ones that did sound familiar were either ranked 1 or 2. I have learned from the best, regardless of the situation!
Taking the advise of Helene at PLCMC, only looking at one, I tried out "ImCooked" in the food section (#1 rank). *snort* Loved the Chicken Satay-ser episode by Average Betty. Not only do you get a great recipe for grilled chicken, you can also find out about self-defense with the "Satay-ser". 100 megavolts of organ grilling power! It took a while to stop laughing long enough to analyze what I saw.

I am wondering of "Wordle" would be eligible to be on the list. I found out about this at Highland Community College on the last night of my practicum. Located at you can create 8.5"x11" posters by simply typing in words. There is no registration, it's free, and you can create as many as you want. There is a gallery for ideas, but if you don't have to send your image to the gallery if you don't want to. Just don't save it. Beware, though: some computers won't let the image load because a firewall doesn't allow JAR files through. I am trying to figure out how to override this on my own laptop.

Things 16-17

#16-Discovering Wikis
This excercise gave me a good excuse to get beyond Wikipedia. That site drives me up a tree! However, I did find out that the site now does some sort of editing for content, so that is a big plus for me. By using other sites, I was able to see how wikis can be used in a more formal, structured setting. I looked at St Joseph County, Book Lovers, Library Success and Bull Run. All were very well laid out and easy to follow. Using a wiki for a reading program is nothing short of genius as far as I'm concerned, but since interactive websites are mostly off-limits, I will not be doing this with any of my students. A girl can dream though... Exactly how are we supposed to teach 21st century and technology skills if everything is blocked? Sorry, I digress. Even though each site was distinct and had its own flavor, they were all well done and worked for its own purpose. I found Book Lovers like LibraryThing, only much easier to meander around in. Maybe LibraryThing isn't a wiki? I'm not sure what its status is. Hmm...

#17-Add an entry to wiki sandbox
The term "sandbox" is a completely new one to me. I have never heard of a spot where a person can just play around on a wiki to see how it operates. Great idea! I did not actually post to Learning 2.0, but I have contributed to Programapedia through PALS. It's a wiki designed to help PALS members find library programs based on cost, audience, and theme. Time has passed by since my last visit; I will have to stop by soon to see how things are progressing. The class I took to learn how to use it was put on by the library system and done well. But the shortcuts were a little more involved than I anticipated. A year later and I still remember how to insert a "pipe"...or maybe not. ah, there we go! Amazing what nuggest of knowledge stick around in the brain. Putting in information was fairly easy; type and hit "submit" or "OK". It was the editing and formatting that made me think a certificate in C++ would be a good addition to the credentials. Also, there was no "sandbox" available for us to play in. We added our information or dummy info and let the instructors know if they had to remove it for us later on. This will definitely help the teachers! No more cleaning up after students (even if it's in electronic form, picking up after students is the pits) when class is done. Yeah!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things 13-15

So I've taken several weeks off from blogging. Between spending every free second researching and writing a major paper and working full time, it has been off of my priority list. One does have sleep every once in a while in order to avoid running oneself down so much he or she catches the flu. And just when things settle down, the computer goes on strike. *crossing fingers* It seems Best Buy will be able to heal the problem, but I'm out a laptop and have to use other people's computers to get assignments done. Not very efficient, but it's the best I can do.
Getting back on track means submitting more to this, so here we go!

#13-Tagging and Delicious
I absolutely love Delicious! I found out about it years ago when I first started classes at UW-Whitewater. Being able to save URLs to a website rather than writing them down on a post-it or piece of paper that would invariably disappear seemed like a genius idea! I also like being able to network with other people to see what they are saving to their account and piggyback off any great finds they have posted. The tagging was a little harder to get used to. I had just finished a cataloging and classification class so I was all about using LC and Sears headings; tagging seemed too much of an informal switch. It did not take long for me to get on that bandwagon. I loved being able to put real life terms as a subject or keyword, knowing that someone else may find it using them. And when I saved a URL, popular tags automatically popped up. Genius! I have not tagged in this blog, but anywhere else that I can, I do. It seems like a good idea for accessibility to others.

#14-Technorati and tagging in posts
While I have heard about Technorati before this, I have never had a chance to really look at it. Maybe I am missing some huge piece of the puzzle, but it just seemed like another blog site. Really, one is just like another to me. Maybe once I have time to dive into these things I'll finally get it, but it's not happening right now. It's nice to be able to search by the top blogs and topics; however, it's just one more blogger space being used. I must admit that tagging in the posts is a fascinating idea. If you are a die-hard blogger/blog reader, this is an absolute blessing. This will really simplify finding posts that interest the reader instead of using the hunt and seek method. Definitely a time saver!

#15-Perspectives of Library 2.0
Before going into what the articles I read were saying, I want to use a few lines to say what my personal view are on the topic. Personally, I do not see how libraries can cease to exist in the future. There will always be a need for places of knowledge; textbooks cannot possibly provide all the information needed. A library will be the most likely place for people to gather in order to research, pleasure read, and gather. Let's face it, libraries are more than just books. This will only increase, but books of some sort will always be around. Will paper books be a thing of the past? Probably, but I don't see that happening in my lifetime, and I'm 30. It will be a long while before there is no print available. And even if books migrate to a purely electronic form, the library will provide the outlet for those who do not have the individual resources to provide it for themselves. I believe libraries will always be needed, even if the printed page is no more. Sorry, guess that ended up being more than a few lines. Hope you enjoy the epic being written here!
"To a temporary place and time" was the best article I read, even though I enjoyed all three. This pretty much laid out exactly where we came from, where we are now, and makes conjecture about where we are going based on current trends. Looking at Library 3.0 amd 4.0 is probably more spot on that most realize at this point. Or maybe not those that already work in the library world. If I gave this to a non-library worker, they may be astounded by these predictions, especially those who may not use a library very often.
"Into a new world of librarianship" focused on the librarian as a profession. What does a librarian need to do to stay relevant? What skills need to be brought to the table in a library of the future? As the library needs to evolve, so do the people who work in one. Without change, stagnation sets in. This is NOT what we need. We are already fighting stereotypes about the job, we do not need to bring about any new ones that may be detrimental to our survival as a profession.
"Away from the icebergs" takes a look at some of the policies that libraries employ now that may very well hurt us in the future. Do we need to throw everything away and start from scratch? Absolutely not! The article merely talks about how we can tweek what we have to get where we need to be in the future. And let's keep in mind that this is a process, it takes time to shift policies, procedures, and ways of thinking. Plus, what works now may still work in the future; we must constantly assess what we are doing that works well and what doesn't. This assessment and evaluation will help us avoid bogging ourselves down when it really counts.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things 10, 11 and 12

#10--Image Generator

I went to The Generator Blog and linked to and created my own tartan. It was really fun trying out the different colors, yarn counts, and orientations. Here is the link to my creation "Orangeville Normal" I'm not good at embedding images so I'll have to insert the picture some other time. I also used the Name Masher with my name and my fiancee's. Jeff+Ericka apparently equals Jicka. That almost sounds like some sort of profane slang. Thanks, but I'll pass.

#11--Library Thing

This is also something I've had to do for a class in the past. It was only last year, but I created an account and never used it. Not enough time. Don't read anything not required for class or figuring out where to put in the collection at school. Here is the link to my catalog: I cannot imagine a time where I will seriously use this. It certainly has a worthwhile purpose, but I'm just not online for personal reasons. Even for this assignment I wasn't able to be online very long because of other assignments.


This is something completely new. I've never heard of this before even in passing. I like the idea of being able to keep related links together. I do this with my Delicious account already, but this does seem a bit more organzied. The site was really slow, though. I had a terrible time keeping connected to the site most of the time. It took me three days to get one search roll done. But it was worth it! I wasn't sure what to roll, and as I sat at the computer, I thought about my research project for 639; I'm fascinated by German culture. That would be a good topic to do a search roll for. I didn't find 25 sites, but I did get more than I originally thought. One just seemed to lead to another. This would be a good source for teachers if they do a Web Quest assignment. I must see if Rollyo is blocked by our filter. More than likely it is, but one never knows, and I can always try to bribe the tech coordinator into unblocking it.

Things 8 & 9

#8--Bloglines and RSS feeds
This was an interesting assignment. I had done a little work with RSS feeds in my undergrad classes at Whitewater, but that was so long ago that I might as well have not done anything with them. As helpful as I can see them being, I am not at liberty to be online very much if it doesn't pertain to school or work. That is my life right now. And even now that I'm supposed to be keeping up with Bloglines, I don't. There is not enough time for me to get everything done on the most basic level, let alone those that are not on the syllabus or calendar. Maybe once I graduate I will have time to do other things. *snort* yeah right. It didn't take me too long to get back into the swing of things for the most part, but I still feel a little disconcerted about it all.
I subscribed to quite a few RSS feeds for the assignment. I even managed to find our local paper and subscribed to the food section. Yum! New recipes on a weekly's a good thing (sorry, Martha, it was too perfect to pass up!) According to the assignment, I was to find some library blogs. I found Unshelved and promptly subscribed. As much as I love my job and am a professional, there are times with a little sarcasm and irony are just the thing I need. I also subscribed to The Shifted Librarian, Library Stuff, Resource Shelf, and