Friday, February 22, 2008

Week 6 - ED566E.1

Last night's site visit was great! I love Doris' library and its character, but it was also great to interact with the technology that she utilizes with her students. I love smartboards! It was great to have some time to interact with different databases and research tools for students. I was also really happy to use United Streaming. I met with teachers as the science coordinator over the last two weeks and with each group, I talked about the applicability of United Streaming, and promised to explore for some relevant content to our science curriculum. Now I know how! And, it's so easy. I can't wait to relay this information to the other teachers of elementary science. I feel like a better point person for this, and what better place to orient new teachers to this tool than in the school library media specialist position. I feel armed with more applicable technology tools to share. Brain Pop is great too and very user friendly. I hope that more is added to Brain Pop Jr. It seemed a little light on content, but I think it is a newer development.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Week 5 - ED566E.1

Well, unfortunately I cannot exactly reflect on my experiences from class because I was absent last week. The good news is that the girls I was coaching that night got 1st and 2nd at Suburban 1 Diving Championships. Districts are coming up this weekend (keep your fingers crossed). They still have my maiden name in the article, but you can see me in the background of the photograph.

So, back to class content. The article, "Consuming Information," from Library Journal was helpful in understanding some of what I missed. First information was disseminated in an effort to consolidate multiple email servers to collect your email from one account where others can be forwarded. Many friends have transferred to Gmail and I've considered transitioning as well, but for now I've stuck with my hotmail account that I've had for 9 or so years now (oh my goodness!). Part of the reason I'm reluctant to change (what a cliche) is that I'm concerned about contacting all those who might need my updated email address. This is however something to look into and something to be knowledgeable about in order to advise others in the process.

RSS, something I've been reading up on for response papers as well, is something I had always wondered about and I feel fortunate to have learned more from this class about it (thanks Calvin!). With that said, I don't think I'm finished learning. The author of the article indicated a preference to recieve his feeds via email whereas I would prefer to recieve feeds through bloglines and not overcrowd my email. If there was something that I NEEDED to recieve and be reminded of, it might be best to do so through email, because right now I'm not checking bloglines as often as I'd love to - hopefully I can incorporate this into my online routine to stay current. Likewise I would like to stay more current on current events in the news and I have difficulty with this as well.

When I read about all of Firefox's features, I realized how much I've been missing. Without proper training on new online applications like Firefox could result in disaster. I find that I sometimes "discover" such tricks, but it would be nice to formally learn them and incorporate them into normal practice.

I have found my flash drive to be an invaluable tool, but sometimes I forget to transfer files accordingly and end up with files all over the place. Similar to some of the above items, I need to organize my flash drive and other computerized filing folders.

Overall, this article was a smidge overwhelming - realizing what I didn't know I didn't know.

Bonfield, Brett. "Consuming information." Library Journal 132.17 (2007): 26-9.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Week 4 - ED566E.1

This week's class focused in on user hardware and Microsoft Office applications. The 2007 Office update was especially frustrating for me this summer as a new student at Arcadia. As was mentioned in class, you get used to the way it is - and then they change it to make it more "user friendly". Hiding the print function is not user friendly! I'm glad to have been attuned enough to recognize it when the microsoft office button was clicked upon. The new applications do bring together the best of everything, including other user's ideas and designs for power point background templates. I could spend way too much time designing a power point with all of those options. I feel that this class has offered me a great opportunity to delve deeper into some topics that have always interested me (RSS feeds for one) but I never felt I had the time to devote to finding out more. Now I have to - and it's been great! I was just using my bloglines aggregator to listen to a podcast I've begun to feed there and I've been checking a favorite author's blog updates this way. Last night, we discussed the novelty of new applications and this, like all others, is still novel at this point and I'm having fun with it. In the future, I definitely see the application for helping students to collect research in one central location. I was telling a high school diver about RSS and explaining how it would work to collect information. I'm excited to be able to share new technology and its applicability in the real world.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Week 3 - ED566E.1

In Thursday's class we discussed resources for maintaining, including journals, associations, agencies, and websites. I feel it is truly important to remain informed as a librarian as to what's new in the field. Something new to me that we discussed: RSS feeds. The concept of RSS feeds is ingenious. Having a central location where all the updates you might want to read from a blog, or news source are retrievable is helpful for many reasons. RSS feeds link directly to the night's class discussion - the feeds would help to collect articles or updates about a certain library related topic for ease of staying up to date. Personally I feel, like so many other new technologies, that people can become overly excited about this possibility and sign up for many direct feeds causing an overwhelmingly high number of articles for professional or personal reading. I know that I have signed up for services in the past, like freecycle, that became somewhat burdensome in the number of emails that I recieve. I am excited to learn more about RSS feeds and other newer technologies and how I can utilize them in the school library media center.