Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deborah's Trading Card

Deborah's Trading Card
Originally uploaded by hcl23bosil

Again, my card:)

Party Time: Week 9--Thing 23!

To whom it may concern: Kindly get your derriere down one blog entry to the brewski and click yourself a virtual Killian's Red in my honor, 'cause I'm finished! Yeah! Cue the confetti.
Actually, I spent way too much time searching for free animations to incorporate into this last entry. I found the obligatory fireworks, party horns, and champagne and even a flying pig--'cause you know the appointed time for me to learn anything techy was when oinkers took wing. Only, my lovely blog won't let them just dance around like animations should. The reader has to expend the energy of actually clicking on them. Rains a bit on my creative juices, but hey, maybe I can post them to one of my husband's scientific publications.
I know, I know. You're asking yourself, is she actually going to blog about Web 2.0 or just ramble like a mad woman? Here I go. This is me, being serious. Or the closest facsimile I can muster:
Let me start by saying I tried to copy and paste the sample questions on the MD Libraries for Learning 2.0 blog to a Zoho page (which I'm using to post to my blog), but Zoho is really tricky (read: a pain in the rear end) when copying and pasting. That said, the convenience of having your word processing work stored on the world wide ether is soooo wonderful I'm willing to overlook many of its flaws. If I start a program/paper/project on Zoho, I can call it up on any computer with ease and ad to it, change it, whatever. Zoho qualifies as one of my favorite discoveries of the 23 Things Project. Other favorites: Flickr, UTube, RSS feeds, Bloglines, Blogger, podcasts--Holy Cod Fish (mackerels get enough press) I learned a lot--DoppleMe, Overdrive, image generators, Library Thing and I absolutely loved making the Librarian Trading Card. And I must say, I made a fantastic card. Possibly the best. If there was a contest for best Librarian Trading Card, oh, I would so be in the running.
Now for the list of Not-So-Great-Things or Things-I-Couldn't-Wrap-My-Brain-Around also known as Things-I-Won't-Be-Remembering-The-Passwords-For: Rollyo --I get enough spiders from my daughter, Katie. Really. Del.icio .us--I like to believe that I still think like a five-year-old (albeit with an annoyingly large vocabulary); a bit too young to grasp the genius of that social networking site. I regard Wikis as useful, but I worry about so many students turning to them for concrete information, because they are not reliable. Technor --What-i? No, seriously, I get the site, I just don't need it. But I acknowledge that others may and the sheer act of knowing a bit about it makes me a more effective librarian in case a patron has a question about it. But still, how great is my Library Training Card?
2) This program has definitely assisted me with my lifelong learning goals, because before 23 Things, I didn't have any. At least, none on paper or defined or mentioned, as such. Now, I know what to call it the next time some new curiosity overtakes me--You may find this hard to believe, but occasionally, sometimes, when I like a subject or project or game, well, I get a bit carried away. You'll just have to take my word for it. See, Husband, taking all those courses in How to Croak Like an Ecuadorian Tree Frog makes me a Life Long Lerner, not a kook. Well, and broke, of-course.
3) Take Aways: DoppleMe
Yeah, I've got a take away, alright. Earlier in my blog I mentioned sharing the amusement of creating an avatar with my children. (Like they'd let me NOT share something with them. Hah!) Anyway, I wrote of my son, Ethan's, interest in the avatar. The next excruciatingly early morning after creating the avatars, my son charged into my bedroom and excitedly begged me to call up our avatars so he could change his avatar's clothes and expression. My son had chosen a mad face for his first incarnation. So I did, fearing, even then that I had created a monster. Well, my fears were well founded.
The next morning my son barges into my bathroom, hysterical. He yells, "Mom, you forgot to bookmark my avatar!"
No kidding. My son actually used the word bookmark. Being so doggoned articulate, I replied, "Whaaaaa ?"
"My avatar! You were supposed to bookmark it!"
I zeroed right in on the problem. "How do you know the word bookmark?"
He rolled his eyes (I don't know how he learned that either, as we lack a teenage presence in the household). "In Technology."
Okay , it was bad enough he interrupted my ritual Plucking of the Eyebrows, but to compound it by not even being able to say "Computer Class," well that just tore it. "You're five," I explained with visual aid (fingers splayed). "Five. You're not supposed to be smarter than your parents until at least the age of seven."
Then I did what any self-respecting disciplinarian would do. I marched him downstairs to his little PC, found the DoppleMe site, and bookmarked it. And yes, he's been playing with it ever since. In fact, he's dressed, undressed and redressed his avatar self so many times, he's run out of new duds. Here's the kicker--he wants a new avatar with more options, like a Meez. Only no way can his little trash 80 PC support one. So he's asking Santa for a new computer this Christmas. Thanks Jaye. Thanks.
So how's that for a take away--I found the Techy Boy version of the modern paper doll. Yea, me.
4) What would I do differently to improve this program? 'Cause everyone is always lining up to take my sage advice . . . Well, the one problem I did have with this, is it feels like a vacuum. I get that it's self-directed learning. But most of the Web 2.0 sites and tools highlighted in the program are of a collaborative nature. It seems to make sense to me (which I understand is no guarantee that it actually does make sense) to assign a 'buddy' or partner for many of the Things. Which, considering the versatility of the sites, would not necessarily require both people to be off the desk at the simultaneously--if the employees were doing the Things on library time in the back room. Not only would such partnerships better serve to explore the collaborative nature of many of the tools, they would make the assignments easier (going on the Two Heads Are Better Than One Principle) and certainly more enjoyable (going on the Who'd Rather Be Alone? Principle) and it would provide constant, on-going feedback (going on the Deborah Needs Another Edit Button Principle), which in turn can be a strong motivator. A major compliant I have about this 23 Things is the lack of feedback. Yes, people were 'encouraged' to comment on other participants' blogs, but how many really did? Do you see how many comments are here? Very few. And some of those few are even canned. Can we say cheesy? Granted, my blog might be a little off-putting, possibly even scary, but I've noticed the same lack of comments on other HoCoLib blogs. Does that really convey the message that this project is supported and embraced within the library system?
5) That said, I would love to do another one! Sign me up!
6) No, I would not describe my learning experience in a few words. I would not describe anything in a few words. Not when I have can do it in many. (See above) (See below) In fact, I would like to know who has the longest blog. Can we find that out? How great would it be if I'd created the longest blog? I'd be so proud.
The fact is, I was more than apprehensive when I started this program. In a recent e-mail, my manager called me tech savvy. It's okay, I didn't break anything when I fell off the chair. The doctor says the goose egg will eventually go down. Seriously, I do not consider myself tech savvy at all. I think people mistake my pit-bull tenacity for smarts. And hey, that's okay. We'll go with that. But I have to admit, this project loomed large and potentially stressful. But I surprised (and pleased) myself by not getting upset when I didn't know something and letting go of all those amazingly creative ideas that I couldn't shoehorn into my blog. Playing helped. A lot.
Another main worry I had when starting was of exposing myself. I know, you're all thinking . . . what? This nutty chick is the linguistic version of a vocational exhibitionist. Am I right? But while I don't mind exposing my mind to people I know (or potentially could if I attended a meeting or two) I worried (and still do, a bit) about exposing myself to billions of strangers, some of them dangerously strange. But anonymity is becoming increasingly more illusive. Better I take the helm of my public image and shape it myself rather than let the strange masses and stranger marketing people do it. I have a voice. (Boy, do I have a voice) I want to have the guts to use it.
What I'd like to do is begin a new blog. One that tackles some library news, but mostly recommends books, storytime techniques and 'class' ideas. I hope I follow through with it.


Remember--drink the virtual beer:) Deborah

P.S. Please excuse the red lines. Apparently, words caught in Zoho's spell check that are not corrected are forever underlined to shame the illiterate writer. My bad.

Party Time: Click on the beer!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Download Lowdown--Audio Books: Week 9--Thing 22

Wow, Thing 22. Only one more to go!

Well, I guess I have to finish this one first. Okay. I established an account with Overdrive and searched titles after searching Project Gutenberg

Searching was effortless. I put a few titles I liked on hold and tried to download The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. No luck on the download, but I'll try again when my husband comes home and can help. He ADORES audio books! He gobbles them up like candy. He listens to them through the car CD player on the way to work, on his MP3 player at the gym, and through a PC (either the home PC or one of the laptops) at home. He's an addict. I can't find audio material fast enough for him. Before audio books, the man did not read fiction. Serious. I just couldn't get him to pick up a novel. He said he read all day for work, why read during his leisure time? Ha, ha. A challenge for any bibliophile! So I began checking audio books out for him from the library. And checking them out. And checking them out. Unfortunately, there aren't enough books in audio format. At least not for his appetite. I wish there were more.

Podcasts--Week 9--Thing 21

Wow, I feel like I was body snatched. I lost four hours on this puppy. How does one loose four hours when even Fall Back has been postponed? Simple. Podcasts. And I don't mean the obvious, that I was so enraptured, amused, or horrified by what I was hearing/seeing that I could not escape. No, I'm not talking about a deer-in-the-headlights experience, but rather a frustrating one of not being able to kick my mule of a computer to faster speeds. I assume it's my home PC. (I don't do Things at work) I swear Windows Media Player laughed at me when I threatened it with the riding quirk and spurs. Sometimes I long for the good ole days when fixing a glitch merely warranted a swift boot to the engine. And, Teacher, the podcasts I tried to access stuck their virtual tongues out at me (the rotten cyber bullys), all because I didn't have their favorite plug-in. Wahh. Obviously, I could have tried to download the plug in, but really, why give the prima dona podcasts the satisfaction? No, kidding. I just didn't want to risk a manual install without my Techie hubby present. Plus, there's enough garbage on my PC as it is. Probably why it's so darned slow!

On the positive side, I did get to enjoy "If Britney Was My Mom," a heartwarming parental instructional video. And I found a great episodic podcast called, Blast the Right (see RSS feed on side), 'cause I'm such a staunch, Steven Colbert-type conservative.

What else? Well, using the recommended sites for podcast searching wasn't always successful. While I couldn't access any on (every one I checked required that dratted, ratsa, fratsa plug-in), I found tons of what appeared to be interesting podcasts fitting my search. The only difficulty I had is when I got ornery and started searching for topics too off-the-wall or out-of-the-mainstream to merit keywords in the menu. Yahoo Podcasts and
turned up only a few children's craft podcasts. did me up good, though. Using the search box returned dozens of hits--ones I could actually access, too. None turned up a tutorial on how to shoot milk out my tear ducts (a useful skill for a mom of five-year olds, I figured), though Yahoo Podcasts landed a neat recipe for Bloodshot Eyeballs.

One absolutely wonderful stand out site-- August House. I found it through Denver Public Library: Sites for Kids on the Merlin podcasting learning link
Unfortunately, Denver Public Library is busy now and I can't get the URL link at the moment. Sorry. But it's worth looking at, especially the animated books on August House.

Well, bye for now:)

Monday, October 29, 2007

iTube, uTube, we-all-Tube: Week 9--Thing 20

Posting a uTube video to a Blogger blog is soooo easy! I can't believe I was worried about this Thing! The hardest part of about the whole exercise was yanking myself away from all the videos. I have to say, there are some amazingly weird and twisted Halloween entries. Wow. And I thought I was cracked. But I came across a gem of simple animation. 'Wake Up Cat' below is by an English animator called Simon Tofield and it is actually called 'Cat Man Do.' He works for an animation company called Tandem Films. Enjoy.

Imagine video storytimes . . . Picture books turning their own pages and reading themselves aloud . . . Short instructional classes 'taught' by librarians . . . Booktalk segments . . . even book recommendations by librarians, teachers, and/or customers . . . Video tie-ins to college courses . . . Video tours of each branch . . . Oh, the places uTube can go . . . in the library.

Now . . . how post the video my five-year-old took on his Spongebob digital camera onto uTube? Maybe I'll have him show me. Hey, maybe I'll make a video of my five-year-olds uploading their digital pictures, playing on Club Penguin--the child social networking site--and playing video games. I'd 'play' an old broad clueless about tech. Could be funny. I'll keep you posted:)

iTube, uTube, we-all-Tube: Week 9--Thing 20