Friday, August 13, 2010

Thing #23: Copyright, Creative Commons, and Congratulations!

Whew!  What a great feeling of accomplishment I have!  I guess the third time really is a charm!  But first things first...
I enjoyed watching the copyright law clip.  Lots of good points are stressed in a creative way.
I looked at the resources listed for Creative Commons and understand that but am still sort of confused.  I read somewhere how you should always double check to see if something you want to use has a creative commons license but I don't understand how to do that.
I searched for other 23 Things programs and found several.  When I looked at the original by Helene Blowers, I saw a few differences in sequence but no major differences in content.  I did see the prizes though. Hmmm!  Oh well, I'm content with the knowledge I finally gained.
When I tried to complete the survey, I got the message Unable to Access Survey.  If you want to email it to me, I would complete it that way.
Closing Thoughts
1.  Favorite Discoveries - I think my favorite discovery was how easy wikis are to use and the multiple uses they have.  I really want to get some wikis embedded in my library website for my students to use.
2.  Lifelong Learning Goals - Through this program, learned about lots of things that I had heard of but been afraid of before.  I always avoided topics like wikis and podcasts at conferences because I had no idea how to use them.  That is over.  I am anxious to start using them with my students and teachers.  I guess this should me not to fear the unknown.
3.  Surprises or Unexpected Outcomes - I guess my biggest surprise is that I finally finished this course. 
4.  I really enjoyed the format of the program.  I guess I would like to see more communication between participants but I'm guilty of that, too. I still need to go back and make comments.
5.  After seeing how much I learned through this program, I would definitely participate in another one like it.
6.  One word - That's a hard one!  It seems that every time I learned something new, I thought to myself that I couldn't wait to share it.  So I guess that has to be my thought.  "Ready to Share"

Thanks for a great learning experience.  I wish I would have completed it the first time I registered so I could have started sharing last year!

Thing #22: Audiobooks and ebooks

I have looked online for ebooks before.  In the past though, I had limited my search to mostly free books for my Kindle.  I wasn't very successful so I had a rather negative opinion of ebooks.  I understand where they are very useful with students, especially ESL students.  I just haven't had much luck finding free downloads that I though my students would be interested in reading.
For this "Thing," first I searched in the Gutenburg Project.  I had a hard time narrowing down my search.  I tried to use the Advanced Search option but didn't have much success.  When I finally found a book I thought my students would like, Black Beauty, I tried to download it but I chosse not to buy a year subscription so ... no luck there.
I found Librovox easier to use but still had little luck finding titles to download.  When I searched and found Black Beauty in that catalog it appeared to me that I had to download a chapter or section at a time. 
I do encourage the use of audiobooks with my students.  In the past in our library, we have had an large section of books on cassette tape.  However, that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur.  We are getting ready to use audiobooks next year in the form of playaways available from Follette Library resources.  I am anxious to share these with my students.  In the meantime, I will continue to look for good free or reasonably priced ebooks to use.

Thing #21: Podcasts

The term podcast terrified me.  I would hear it at conferences and panic.  "I kkow nothing about this," I would think.  What a waste of worry over a simple thing.  After finding and listening several podcasts, I am thinking of a bunch of ways to use this in my library.  I would love to start doing book talk podcasts so the students can get recommendations for books anywhere, home, the classroom or in the library.  That is another thing to add to my goal list for the year. 
I used PoscastAlley to search for podcasts.  I found a great children's book review site called Childrens Book Radio.  I added it to my RSS feeds but then I noticed it isn't updated very often.

I tried to use the Yahoo Posdcast directory but found it it had been taken down in October, 2007.  I then tried the Educational Podcast Network.  I didn't think it had a very appealing interface.  I think students would turn off right away.  When I tried to use it, I found a bunch of the links couldn't be found.  Frustrating!

Thing #20: YouTube

Browsing around YouTube was a blast.  I could have spent a lot more time with this thing but I'm trying to finish today.  First I searched for librarian and found lots of fun stuff.  I love the librarian song by Joe Uveges.  It's not something I'd use at school but I thought it was funny.

I used this video during childrens' book week.  My students LOVED it.  I showed it to all my classes and one day I played the whole song over the intercom.  I had kids singing it the rest of the week. 

I really enjoyed browsing around YouTube and not being accused of wasting time.  :)  The only problem I have is that YouTube is blocked at my school.  My tech department is very helpful though if there is a video we need.  We also are able to use the site to show YouTube clips to our students.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thing #19: Library Thing

Oh my!  I have said this for other "things" but I REALLY love this thing.  Library thing is great.  Years ago I kept track of books I'd read in a notebook.  What a pain that was.  I am going to share library thing with family, colleagues, students, anyone who reads.  Nothing is more frustrating than curling up with a good book and realizing you've already it!  Library Thing will eliminate that! 
Every year, I have trouble getting students to use a reading log.  I would think that older students would love to use Library thing to keep track of his/her books read.  Can't wait to try it out!