Monthly Archives: November 2012

Technology Blog- Wall Wisher- 11/26/12

For this week’s technology journal, I chose to explore WallWisher. The practice wall that I created can be found here: http://wallwisher.com/wall/w23iskabnq. I chose to explore this tool because it seems like a simple alternative to a website. I have a hard time keeping up with a website, but since this is just drag and drop I might be more inclined to keep up with it!

For the most part I really like WallWisher. It is very simple and easy to use, and I like that it opens attachments in new windows instead of making the reader open up Word. I also like that there are small previews of each wall post so that you can look at what you’re going to be opening before the reader opens it. The only thing I disliked about WallWisher is that, at first, I could not find a way to post PowerPoint presentations. The only way I could find to post them was to make them public in my SkyDrive, get a link, and post that link. While kind of inconvenient, I was glad to find a way that worked.

The WallWisher website makes WallWisher very easy to use. One of my favorite parts of getting started with it was the ideas on the sign up page. Without it, I would not have known where to start with my wall. The instructions and the “Help” page also made WallWisher very easy to use, but for the most part it is simple enough to figure out on your own.

I think once I get around to creating an updated website, WallWisher would be a good source to use. As a community library, a lot of our patrons are older. If I wanted to link to a way to download books onto the Kindle, post about new arrivals, or link to book reviews, it is simple enough that our patrons who struggle with technology could navigate it.

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Reading Journal- Van Meter Library Voice- 11/12/12

For this week’s reading journal, I explored Van Meter Library Voice. It is an online blog written by Shannon McClintock Miller, a Teacher Librarian (among many other things) in Iowa. While looking through the reading journal options that I have not used already, I was very drawn to the Van Meter Library Voice author’s energy! She seems so excited about libraries, teaching, and learning, that I thought it would be a good, refreshing way to start out my week in library science! Her blog can be found here: http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/

I read quite a few entries by Shannon, mostly because she does such a great job of connecting ideas and making them interesting and relevant, that once I started I had trouble stopping. The first couple that I read were about Biblionasium, which to me appears to be a kid-friendly version of Goodreads of Shelfari. One was about her discovery of Biblionasium, while another was an update on how her kids were enjoying and using it. The Biblionasium entries also connected to a couple that she wrote about eBooks and MackinVIA. I also read updates on a couple of conferences that she presented at, the “Genre Neighborhoods” she set up in her library, as well as her library’s new “Book Swap Shop.”

I loved that not only did Shannon tell her readers about exciting new tools, but she gave us the benefits of it and how it can be applied in library class. Also, as I have mentioned, Shannon does a great job of making what is going on in her library sound SO exciting. As I was scrolling through her posts, I did not look at dates. I thought that all of these posts had to have been over the semester’s time (reorganizing her library, setting up the swap shop, and presenting at a conference, ALL while teaching?! Come on.) As I looked at the dates I found that all of these were written in the past couple of weeks. The Van Meter Library Voice made me feel so inspired to start being a more active librarian for my Elementary School kids. As a High School teacher, I do pretty well with suggesting books to older kids, but it had never occurred to me that perhaps our library is not very kid-friendly. While I adore Shannon’s energy and excitement, she certainly makes me feel like a slacker!

This is absolutely a blog that I will keep checking in on. She is full of great ideas (such as the Book Swap Shop) that I would love to implement something similar to. While I know this cannot all happen right away, I think that using the Van Meter Library Voice will be a great motivator and tool for professional development. Reading Shannon’s writing made me excited about all of the prospects you have as a district librarian! I think I will do a little more research into Biblionasium as something I can talk to my Elementary school teachers about. I don’t think I will have the privilege of teaching library classes to my younger kids for a few years still, but once I do I think that the Van Meter Library Voice will be a great tool to use.

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Technology Journal- Diigo- 11/4/12

For this week’s technology journal, I explored Diigo (Digest of Internet Information, Groups, and Other Stuff.) My Diigo profile can be found here, although there is not much on it right now: http://www.diigo.com/profile/rebekahhoffman I chose to explore Diigo because its ability to highlight, annotate, do post-its, etc. was very attractive to me for research purposes. Honestly, though, I wish I had explored Delicious, because my experience with Diigo, whether it be because of the website, my browser, or my own ineptitude, was very frustrating.

On Diigo, I like the idea of being able to highlight and annotate right on the computer. However, when I attempted to do that (I tested on one of our reading assignments for next week,) it did not work at all. I could not get Diigo to highlight the document, and every time I tried to place a post-it they moved around and did not end up where I wanted them. I also like that you can join different groups. For example, I joined EdTechTalk, and there are a lot of different resources (EdModo, Google Tools, etc.) posted as well as creative ways to use them. While the groups are a great way to obtain information and ideas from other educators, I had to spend a lot of time sifting through irrelevant information before I found anything I could use. In addition, when I tried to search tags such as “libraries” or “education,” it took a while to find a person or group with enough hits to make following them worth my time.

Diigo has a lot of great information pages and tutorials (Diigo 101, Diigo in the classroom, etc.) I watched a few of them to see how Diigo could be used in the classroom, and I think i will try to spend some more time getting to know the program before I write it off completely. After all, the difficulties I came across could all come down to user error. However, I think I will keep an open mind and check out Delicious, as well.

I think if I could figure out how to use Diigo well it would be a good research tool for students in my library. In our school, the students are not allowed to access their e-mails for fear of cyber bullying. If I could teach them to annotate with and use Diigo, it could serve as a much more eco-friendly way of saving sources than printing them all out and writing on them. 

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