Artzy Librarian

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatars by SitePal

I have really enjoyed getting acquainted with the concept of avatars and especially SitePal.  I did my presentation on SitePal Avatars last night for my final presentation in my  New Technology for Educators class last night. I used SitePal and its sister company Voki (Both are part of OddCast) in my own blog.  Here is my presentation, using Smilebox to show the slides.  I noted when I viewed my Smilebox creation that their frames took up part of my slide's borders. I didn't realize it would do that.  I may have to do some playing with my saved .gif files, (I saved each slide as a .gif file to upload it to Smilebox.), to see if that can be adjusted.  I hope you enjoy the presentation!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Module #5 Curriculum Connections

I began checking out websites suggested by Discovering Assistive Technology.  The first three did not work as the site was either no longer there or had changed it address. This was a sign, confirmation that it is so important to keep information updated so it's current. And, nobody, no matter how conscientious, can escape being outdated sometime! So, I continued to explore.

Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunters in our textbook, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom, give a good website for integrating and creating video, into lessons. The program is Camtasia Studeo 4.  It looks like an affordable way to create video with and for students. This text discusses screencasts which are digital recordings of a computer's screen output, often containing audio. (p. 197) Students enjoy seeing and working with video which makes this a positive addition to a lesson plan. Teachers are encouraged to make learning active, exploratory, and inquiry-based, says our text.  (p. 451) This is true for all students and they need to have the hardware and software to support this learning.

What we have been exploring and practicing in this blog, is so applicable to the classroom. Having students participate in a blog is a great idea for interaction. So many skills are met! Making sure that all students are able to participate is crucial.  The assistive technology needs to be there.

I enjoyed reading the two lesson plans displayed under Module 5. The first lesson involved students in discovering what their perceptions of disabilities are and what they think, know, and learn.  The 2nd lesson what a great visual.  I've seen a class project using a pizza model before.  Students identify with this!

These are my responses to Dicovering Assistive Technology.

#1  One thing I learned that will stay with me is my awareness of Assistive Technology for students and others with disabilities.  I am amazed that there are so many ways to assist with learning, playing, enjoying, and just living.  I think the example that sticks out most for me was the video of  Beth Ann Luciana  a woman with Cerebral Palsy who gets a voice with her DynaVox. That really made me think about what a person can accomplish, that anything is possible.  I've always believed that everybody can learn.  This proved it for me.  If assistive technology helped Beth Ann (With a lot of personal grit and determination) I can't wait to see what it can do for the students I work with!  I want a library that is available and usable for all.

#2  I really did enjoy the Discovering Assistive Technology tutorial.  I work best when I have direction, when I'm shown the possibilities.  Then, I'm more comfortable striking out on my own. This tutorial did that for me and, yes, I'd do it again and will recommend it to others!

#3  I was able to connect to the list of books with stories about children with disabilities.  I'll add this list to my LibraryThing site! What a bonus for a school library to have! By the way...I've tried several ways to add a link to the Discovering Assistive Technology Library Thing Link.  So, I'm asking, can anyone help?  Please!  I was able to add it as an interesting library but as far as I can tell that just gives me the latest changes to their LibraryThing site.  So, for now, here is the link.  Assistive Technology Library Thing site.

I have really enjoyed learning more about Assistive Technology!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Module 4-Etiquette and Awareness

Looking at the wiki from CSLA there are lots of lessons students and others need to learn about the Cyberworld.  Just like in the "regular" world there are etiquette standards that need to be taught and learned. I think a lot of students don't see the harm in "having a little fun" with someone on the computer.  However, the results can be disastrous. Reputations can be damage, images and feelings hurt.  I think cyberspace is a place where people may feel a bit a anonymity and strike out more viciously than they might in person. There definitely needs to be repercussions for those who do not exercise proper digital citizenship. From Boy's Life magazine, here are two websites that give information about bullying. Stop Bullying Now! and CyberBullying Research Center give a lot of information and have a lot of appeal to younger and middle age students.  Its a good place to start teaching how to act online!
#1 All Students, with and without disabilities participated in an all school morning meeting.  It was wonderful to observe all of them participating, acknowledging, and enjoying being with each other.  Disabilities need not be an obstacle for friendship, learning, and working together.  Discovering Assistive Technology had us explore basic etiquette when meeting persons with disabilities.I know I tend to first think of disabilities as those I detect.  But, disabilities are not always apparent.
#2. I took the Disability Awareness quiz given on this weeks module.  I did pretty well but it's always good to have a refresher on etiquette.  It's also easy to become embarrassed or ill at ease when in a new situation.  This quiz showed me I know what to do; hopefully, I can apply it!  I do think the preferred language does change from time to time for persons with a disability, just as it does for racial groups, gender preferences and other "labels" that we give others.  Staying current on what manners, actions, and language is preferred is a common courtesy.
#3. I went to the Liberty Resources website as suggested by Discovering Assistive Technology. I was looking for information about the Philadelphia Center for Independent Living. The goal of the center is to allow persons with a disability to live as independently as possible.  They have four core services:  Advocacy, information and referral, peer support, and skills training. Their mission statement is:  "Liberty Resources, Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living, advocates with disabled people, individually and collectively, to ensure our civil rights and equal access to all aspects of life in the community." I would like to do some exploring and check out the center!
#4. I explored websites that proved useful in learning about Assistive Technology.
Our textbook, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom, by Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter had a lot of suggestions in chapter 8 which we read for this week.  This chapter discussed security issues, ethics, and emerging technologies in education. One of the sites on Assistive Technology was a site to make web content more accessible. They had suggested WebXACT but it is no longer a viable website.  Instead, I found W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Webstyle Guide, 3rd edition is also a good website.  It has information for building websites and a goal of Universal Usability.  I enjoyed the section on Information Architecture which I'm interested in. Lighthouse International has a website that offers suggestions for making websites more viable for persons with partial site and color deficiencies. I know my brother does not see differences between red and green among other colors. I hadn't even thought about exaggerating light and dark contrast to help him discern things better.  So much to learn and be aware of!.WAVE from Web Accessibility Online has a website you can put your URL in and they will assess your website for accessibility.  The Americans with Disabilities Act homepage gives all sorts of information about legislation, links to useful agencies, design standards for accessibility,  business connections, and other FAQ's. This is a "jampacked" website! 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Module 3-Software

I love exploring what Discovering Assistive Technology tasks are set before us each week.  This week it is software.  The icomunications video I viewed is amazing.  Those who are deaf or hard of hearing now have a way to communicate that is quicker and more "real time" than translations.  The software takes the voice of the person speaking and then sends it to the listener's computer where it is translated with sign language and print.  In reverse, the deaf or hard of hearing person can learn to speak by "listening" and getting feedback on their sounds.  The computer is "teaching" them to speak.  Very cool! Dragon Speaking Naturally is a video about voice recognition software that will allow a person to type on the computer with just their voice. The National Federation for the Blind website gives many possibilities for hardware and software for the blind or visually disabled.
#1 Create a rubric for software evaluation.  I did!  I will use it in my software assignment. I used Word to create mine.
#2 Inspiration is a great tool to use with students. I use Inspiration with my students to help them organize data, brain storm individually or with a class. The graphics are pleasing and the software is quick loading so you're not left waiting during class time.  Wonderful software, every classroom  should use it!
#3 I was most fascinated with the Kurzweil 3000 software which is used with hardware such as Pathfinder which a school district adopted for a student because not only would it help one particular student, but it was going to be adopted by the state to be used for students with physical and learning disabilities to help them take standardized tests.  What a awesome tool!
#4 I discovered that my current operating system, with Microsoft Vista already has some AT  features. I could choose to use another pointing devise besides a mouse, or just use the keyboard, or use the keyboard instead of the mouse or, there is speech recognition. (who knew!) There are tutorials for making the screen easier to view, the keyboard easier to see, and the mouse easier to use. Vista has instructions for using text visual clues for sounds. Narrator is a text to speech program that reads what is displayed on the screen. You can be notified of time limits with sounds or flashing visuals. Background visuals can be moved or hidden if they are distracting. To make the web easier to view the fonts, colors, accessibility settings, and zoom can be adjusted to make the computer more compatible with the user.
#5 Info Eyes uses iVocalize software to enable visually disabled persons contact librarians with questions.
#6 After doing these exercises I've learned that a lot of adaptations and modifications can be made to help those with disabilities with minimum expenses.  (For instance, all of the possibilities within the current operating system.) These would require either dedicated computers or adjustments quickly made by staff members. The California State Library lists all of its services for those disabled, including in and outside of the library. I think AT for the library would depend on the needs of the patrons, the budget of the library, and the staff's participation in achieving hardware and software needed to make the library accessible to all patrons.
#7 Review Software using a Rubric
I have reviewed Kurzweil 3000 and WordTalk (Downloadable Software compatible with Microsoft Word , and Read and Write Standard (TexthelpLTD).  I was looking to see how well they would assist students in a learning support classroom whose IEPs require Text to Speech, keyboard adjustments, and enlarged font. They also need to assist with spelling and definitions.  I rated the Kurzweil 300 10/12 points.  It filled the requirements the best.  The WordTalk is an excellent choice when there are budget restraints.  It's free!  I rated it 9/12 points.  The font can only be made so large and the software is only compatible with Microsoft Word.  The Read and Write Standard was almost equal to the Kurzweil 3000.  It was quite a bit more expensive and I rated it 9/12 points.  All of these programs require hardware that is not currently available in this particular classroom.  I am revising my Hardware Assessment to match this software.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Module 2-Hardware

    This week I have been reading like a crazy person.  While the 6 chapters in our Oden text were not long, it still took awhile.  The 4th Chapter of Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom, by Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunter, was informative, meaningful, but long! Whining aside, I learned a lot about Hardware, Equipment, Networks, Classroom Support, Maintenance, Security, and the System Unit (And other parts of the computer).  I will try to work that information in as I go along.  We'll see! I have always been adventuresome, taking my computer apart when I didn't really know what the parts were.  I've replaced sound cards, added drives, and luckily not totally messed up my computer.  I find them such fascinating machines.
    But, back to this blog...I visited Enable Mart and was amazed at all of the hardware and software available for those with disabilities. The keyboards with large keys, with altered shapes, and with voice recognition are amazing.  I enjoyed the YouTube video called We can because we think we can. Absolutely amazing! I also think that the adaptive tools including adaptive mice, Roller Joy, Magic Touch, and others, for moving around the screen, are very cool. Beth Ann Luciana's - a DynaVox Success Story about a woman with Cerebral Palsy who gets a voice with her DynaVox.  I got a bit teary eyed, such a great story.

    I thought about students at my school that might benefit from AT.  Having voice recognition would be helpful to those who have motor skill disabilities.  We had a student with vision disabilities.  How nice it would have been to have had Portable Magnifiers for her.  Her aid was constantly enlarging with the copier but it wasn't always easy to read. I know we have a student with a hearing disability.  The teacher and student use an amplification system.  I know when I substituted I was in several classes where those were used. Such an easy solution and so useful! I know that many classes have microphones.  Such a wonderful thing for students and their teacher's voices. I'm thinking that there are quite a few students who could use the Voice Cue devices to remind them when to move on to a new task, or when time is up. Just setting a timer would be a less techie way to achieve that, but it might be more noticeable to other students.

    For my AT Hardware plan I choice to find technology that would help my Kindergarten students who are struggling with letter recognition and sounds.  I will be teaching 3 beginning after Thanksgiving, who so far this year only recognize 1 or 2 letters and their sounds, unaided.  Granted that one day those students may have IEP's but they do not at this point.  So, in funding AT equipment I would need to look to our Parent Teacher Organization, and/or the district, or federal funds from Title 1. Currently I use many items with them that I'd call low or "nontechie".  We use play dough, magnetic letters, puppets, picture cards, puzzles, poems, and many other tools to help them with their sounds.  I believe that if they were motivated or stimulated my even more means it might "click". If monies were available I would ask for :
    Leap Desk Workstation.  This multisensory tool is for Pre K-1st grade for phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. I'd love to have 3 or 4 of them over a period of time but could make do with one that they could be taught to use independently while I worked with the other students.  (One workstation is $345, 4 stations would be $1, 380.00) This workstation is also a tool for assessment as what they have done is recorded. If the funds were not available we do have access to computers that just need head phones, software and I'd add wireless mice.  This software is Leap Into Phonics for  5 stations, I found 5 Caliphone headphones with boom microphones, and 5 Microsoft wireless Mice on sale. (for 5 stations hardware and software would be $266.95) I believe either of these would be a positive addition to my current teaching tools. Practice and motivation are powerful tools.
    I have really enjoyed this week's tasks.  There are so many wonderful tools to assist those with disabilities. I hope that as I continue to grow as a teacher, and someday a librarian, that I will be able to offer technological tools and work with students with disabilities to help them achieve their dreams. What a wonderful educational experience!

      Friday, November 13, 2009

      Module #1-Types of Disabilities and Accomodations

      I registered for Discovering Assistive Technology 2.0. I went to explore TransAccess which is a great site. I found myself thinking, "I’d love to do this!" Making people’s lives better is a great goal. To quote their purpose, "TransAccess provides persons with disabilities access to adaptive technology and career transition services so that they can achieve their desired education and employment, and improve their quality of life." (TransAccess) I looked up disabilities on Wikipedia and was amazed at the definition. The definition is not just physical disabilities; it includes, mental, social, and economic disabilities and other, too. Wikipedia estimates 53% of the United States population have disabilities under this type of definition. That’s a percentage to wrap your head around!

      Then I explored the sites listed on Discovering Assistive Technology 2.0 and discovered a lot of famous people with different types of disabilities. What was interesting to me was to see how many people live with disabilities and still have wonderful lives and achieve great things.

      I learned what JAN is,  Job Accommodation Network. JAN provides person-to-person worksite accommondation technical assistance services, electronic technical assistance services, a quarterly electronic newsletter, and an electronic topical newsflash called Consultants' Corner. (from JAN official websiste.)

      I know that I’m going to learn a lot of new terms. When I went to one of the linked sites I ran across blogs with JAWS being discussed. Well? What is that? So, I looked it up. JAWS is a screen reading software. How cool! I have lots to learn. I'm especially interested in technology that might help students who have learning disabilities.  Since I'm currently teaching readers who need help with strategies and/or have learning disabilities, I'm interested in finding out what technologies might be able to help, how available it is, and the costs. We are given the site for National Center for Learning Disabilities which may help in this pursuit.

      I also "toured" The site for National Federation of the Blind.  How cool to have a Newspaper available to listen to!  The menu allows the user to choose what they'd like read, the voice, the speed, and if they need words spelled out.  There are lots of options. This site gave all sorts of leads to assistive technology for the blind. It was interesting to read about the National Center for Blind Youth in Science Web Portal. The goal of some of the programs, such as the  NCBYS Science Academy, is to encourage youth who are blind to pursue science related activities and careers. Teams are successfully launching rockets and successful parachute deployments, and even dissecting sharks. There are many scholarships available to assist with the cost of these pursuits.

      I know that when I substituted I was frequently in a 2nd grade classroom that was taught by a teacher permanently in a wheelchair.  Her room was set up to accommodate the chair and allow easy access to all of the children and materials she needed to teach.  I'll admit that when I came in I had to look for a place to sit...she had her own chair, I was the one looking for an accommodation. She had everything low, and the only thing up high was stored by a friend that she had come in once a week to help her set up.  Her students saw her as their instructor and had no difficulties looking past her disabilities. We have come so far and I look forward to working on learning more about Assistive Technology!

      Saturday, November 7, 2009

      WEEK #9

      Thing #20-Discovering YouTube and sites like it.

      I loved the videos that Classroom Learning 2.0 sent us o view!  The first one, Introducing the Book was funny.  The March of the Librarians was great.  It was quite appropriate that the music sounded like a PBS nature special.  Conan the Librarian was a bit irreverent but short and fun. I really loved the video from TeacherTube Videos called Azalea goes to the Library. What a great look at how important a library and a good teacher/parent can be in a child's early reading skills.  This is a long video but I enjoyed it! There are so many sites to visit, deciding which is appropriate, useful, and exceptional can take some time.

      Thing # 21-Podcasts

      Reading chapter 4 in our text by Nancy Courtney, Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow's Users, was helpful for this "Thing".  She says that besides the definition of a podcast, the user definition is also important.  For a listener, it is an "automatic, anonymous, free delivery system of audio on demand." (p. 36) There are three steps to take for presenting a podcast on the web. 1.  An audio file is uploaded to the web 2. RSS 2.0 feed is associated with the feed and also uploaded to the web. 3. The feed is read by a podcatcher application, which then downloads the audio file. I was also amazed by all of the applications for Podcasts for the library. Noting the issues and decisions that are involved when creating a Podcast are important, too.  Getting permission (From authors, speakers, artists, etc. ) and considering copyrights stands out as a big concern, but doable. I liked that there are music sites where the music is freely available for Podcasts.;;  When I explored here are some things I found:
      Nancy Kean's Book Talks where I tried out her Podcasts I learned that they are only done with audio. I know that is within the Podcast definition but I've gotten spoiled, I wanted pictures.  She has a really great site that includes a lot of book talks as well as student booktalks and blogs.  I liked that she had a table-like homepage that allowed you to access books and Podcasts in several ways, subject, author, titles, and awards.  It was a very assessible website.
      I visited Manchester Public Library's teen podcast "Prime Speaks" and subscribed to it with my itunes account as well as the RSS feed.  It also is audio only but done by teens.  Very interesting!
      I went to OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) and signed on, even listened to the beginning of a Podcast lesson.  I think this is similar to our Wimba sessions on Blackboard, correct?
      The Denver Library has lots of Podcasts.  I visited the one about storytime and listened to a story about The Talkative King, about a turtle.  Nice!

      Just to confirm that I had the definition correct, since all of the Podcasts I went to were audio with no video, I went to Wikipedia and found this definition, which confirms the one in my text and on Classroom Learning 2.0. "Researchers at the Center for Journalism and Communication Research at the University of Texas at Austin in the USA are proposing a four-part definition of a podcast: A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; Downloadable program file,  mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software."

      Thing #22- Explore ebooks and audiobooks
      I have already been a fan of audiobooks.  I love checking them out from the library for a long trip in the car!  I remember years ago taking Forrest Gump with us on a family vacation.  My children, then 10 and 14 thought it was awesome.  They wanted to listen to all of it even before they asked for videos  on the TV we brought. (I never got to watch TV in the car as a kid!) As for ebooks, I have used a few for my online classes through Clarion. 
      I did explore but found you need to be a member to see how it works.  Maybe someone else was able to click on a way to view books without joining but I didn't.
      I went to LibriVox and had a bit more luck. I was able to download a poem by Oscar Wilde onto my itunes site.  That's pretty cool!
      Next I went to British Library Online Gallery and had to install Adobe shockwave to view William Blake's  Notebook. How cool to have the book pop up on the screen!  I couldn't read much of the handwriting but the illustrations were really interesting. Then I went to Alice's Adventures Underground.  Wow!  I got to see the beautiful book, and I could listen to someone with a great English accent read it to me, or read it on my own.  What a great idea!  Very enjoyable! (I did have to download another "reader" but it worked.)

      There are so many places to go for free books online, at the library, and even places to share ebooks with others by mail.  Very informative!  I will have to try more of this.

      Thing #23 Summary

      This has been an excellent program.  I am rather methodical in my learning and tend to get overwhelmed when everything is given at once.  Putting tasks and learning tools into small bits with great introductions has been most helpful for me.  I have tried things I normally wouldn't.  I'm afraid of downloading virus's (Actually, still am.) so had always avoided things like Facebook, and Twitter, and other social networks.  This program made me try those and more.  I've enjoyed exploring and plan to continue.  I get a bit nervous about downloading so many things on my computer. (My computer actually got a horrible virus while I was doing this.  However, it has been taken care of thank goodness.) I now have a different virus protection that I hope will protect me as I explore more.
      I think my favorite discovery was the avatar, what fun!  I had no idea what they were.  My technology vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, by mega bytes! It is also great to learn about RSS feeds and be connected to other's blogs and feeds.  So much to keep up with, but I like that you can do what's possible and the rest will still be there.  (It may change, but the concept will still be there!)
      I am an avid learner, and have continue to learn as I've grown older.  I don't plan on stopping.  If Classroom Learning 2.0 had another "class" I would definitely participate!


      Tuesday, October 27, 2009

      Week 8

      THING #18-Online Productivity Tools
      I visited Zoho Writer to see what it offered.  It's an interesting site, like WORD online.  I think it might have more uses for those with scientific needs.  I think that for me personally, I can do about the same thing with WORD and a wiki.  Zoho offers a wiki form also. I also took a tour of Google docs. It sounds like you can make a document and then post it directly to your blog.  That would be neat.  I've had trouble posting to this blog a few times when I did my post in WORD and then copy and pasted to  They weren't friendly and I ended up typing my post again directly into the blog post.  Perhaps Google and Zoho have a more blog friendly relationship! The Google Sites tutorial made creating a website sound very easy.  I'm afraid the line between website and wiki becomes a bit blurred for me.  To me, this is a site that acts as a website but is also a wiki. 
      THING #19- Check out Library Thing
      I learned to use Library Thing just this last summer session for my YA class at Clarion.  What a wonderful tool.  I love seeing the pictures of the book jackets, being able to check out the reviews, and organizing my books in categories that work for me.  For my poetry lesson I added 7 books under  5th grade poetry unit, assessible at I have learned so much this semester and will have to spend some time updating my YA collection.  I didn't understand about tags last semester.  I used the tags column to record prices which also had to be included in our YA project.  Hm...prices are not a good tag!  I will have to work on that when I have more time.!

      Tuesday, October 20, 2009

      Week 7

      THING #16-Wiki's and Innovative ways to use them.

      I went to several wikis posted on Classroom Learning 2.0 and found Mr. Miller's English 10 wiki.  The address is: What a wonderful site!  Mr. Miller thoroughly engaged his students.  They were responding to blog postings he made, which included blogs about assignments, comments on videos, and responses to other students.  Mr. Miller included pictures of his class, links, suggestions, and assignments.  I would like to have been in this class!  I also really enjoyed the teacher librarian wiki: I can see myself using this tool as a librarian.  Connecting with others in the profession is priceless.  I also liked that you had to sign up to comment.  I think that helps people remember to be professional as they are adding comments and pages to the wiki.  Under the title of Cool Ideas, Tony Doyle wrote about his book talks where he takes a cart with books and visits classrooms.  I know this is often done when librarians are sharing a library and have to wheel a cart to the classrooms, but this was for a different reason. Mr. Doyle mentioned that since he's been making these talks more students are enjoying and participating in Silent Sustained Reading time.

      When I perused through the Discovery Resources I learned that wiki means quick in Hawaiian.  According to Wikipedia, a wiki farm is a server or an array of servers that offer users tools to simplify the creation and development of individual, independent wikis.  A DIY wiki is one that you set up on your own server.  Meredith Farkas said on Web Junction, "The possiblilities for what libraries can do with wikis are endless.  At their least, they are spaces for quick and easy collaborative work.  At their best, they can become true community resources that can position the library as an online hub of their local community."

      THING #17-Add to Sandbox wiki

      I was pleased to discover that the Sandobox wiki is a PB wiki.  In my first class at Clarion, last fall, my group, Melissa, Regina, Becca, and myself, had a wiki on PB for a budget project.  I also used a wiki for my 574 Web Searching class final project last Spring because it was too large and the Clarion server wouldn't accept it by email or on blackboard and I needed a way to get it to the Botany teacher I had done the research for.  Besides, it took up too much room on my computer!

      So, I have added my lesson for a 5th grade poetry unit to the Sandbox wiki. The URL is:  This was much easier to edit than the one that is currently on our class blackboard site!  (I need to call blackboard help for that.) I think that students would enjoy this unit and it could be done by a 5th grade teacher and a librarian in conjunction with each other, a bit of team teaching!

      Saturday, October 10, 2009

      Week 6

      Thing #13 Learn about tagging and discover Delicious

      This site is a way to save favorites and bookmarks, and organize them with tags. From this site you can add feeds and check out how others have tagged sites.  (Tags are keywords people use to describe their bookmarks.) I liked that when you click on the tabs tab all of the tabs used on your site appear in alphabetical order and the font varies by size depending on how often the tag is used.  (Larger font for more uses.) You can explore popular tags for each site, and category.  If you supply a tag you can search for other sites that have that tag.  This is a good site for finding appropriate sites for student resources.

      Thing #14 Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.

      Technorati tracks blogs, categorizing them by tags, and rating them.  I joined and now am waiting to "own" my blog.  (I thought I already did when I registered it it with I learned that you can "ping" Technorati that you have updated your blog, either manually or automatically.  So, I guess that's kind of like an RSS feed for Technorati from you! There is a tab for channels, kind of like reading the newspaper online.  I went to a blog about the crash into the moon the other day.  Interesting!  There are several types of free software offered taht combine programs to make tagging easier, designed by users.  What I haven't figured out is how to use Technorati Tag.  I've read the instructions and listened to the Tutorial and well, I still  need some help.  Or, like my Avatar, I'll eventually get it but help would be welcome!  I enjoyed checking out all of the Technorati User Created Tools.  I think they look great and commend the inventors for their technology "knowhow".  However, my question is how reliable are all of these, and what defense would I have against any virus?  I've had the hard drive on my other computer wiped out with a virus and I'm a little nervous about all of this sharing business.  Any ideas?  Even our text (Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow's User, edited by Nancy Courtney) mentioned that this is a drawback, that not everyone "plays nice".  Too bad.  I have to admit that tagging seems like a great idea.  It's filing for your computer!  Maybe I can remember where I put things!  Our texgt mentioned that social tagging keeps things current.  When names or meaning change we are quickly updated unlike a traditional catalog which may take a long time to update. I like the Tag clouds and am anxious to tag more of my things.  However, I'm still a bit skeptical about sharing all of my tags.  Baby steps!

      Thing #15, Copyright, Creative Commons, and What's Coming Down the Road with Web2.0

      The Fair(y) Use video was kind of fun.  I'm curious how many "permission slips" they had to have to make it!  In reading more about Creative commons I went to Lawrence Lessig's website in time to see that he is discontinuing it.  Bummer, I think I'd enjoy his writing style!  Then I went to the to check the idea out further.  The "What is CC" video was very informative.  My husband listened i and concurred.  What a great idea!  Classroom Learning 2.0 has this information posted on their site.  "Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helen Blowers.  Content and style for School Library Learning 2.0 and Classroom Learning 2.0 have been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Common's License."  How interesting to see how and why that works!  The CCsite linked to "piracy" is interesting and I went to, I liked how easy this was to understand and that there are areas on the site for teachers, parents, and students.  They even offer lessons on teaching about cyber safety, copyright, and piracy.  Then I went to Did you Know 4.0.  I was so interested I went to the original site called "Did you know 2.0?" and "2.0 Shift Happens".  It really is amazing to think how the internet has affected our lives in such a short period of time.  I know that children in K-12 have no concept of this...they've had access to computers all of their lives!

      Thursday, October 1, 2009

      Week 5 Thing #12-Roll your own search tool

      I am trying to join a Ning network but my school email hasn't sent me the info for some reason.  I had it sent twice!  So, I'll check on that for next week.  I did check out the Travel IQ and I didn't do too badly...I made it off the easy screens!  Yeah!
      I have chosen the following scenario for my Rollyo.
      5th grade class, Poetry unit, following PA LA Standards for 5th grade
      Students will be exploring different styles of poetry, reading poems they select, writing poems, and publishing those poems. The URL is:
      I admit that I went much more into depth than I think I needed to, and have not included all of the information I found for the PA standards I was using as well as steps to take in the lesson. Our text discussed six sections to a WebQuest lesson:  Introduction, Task, Resources, Process, Evaluation, Conclusion. (p. 70). I think this unit would need to be introduced by demonstrating how to use the Rollyo search engine first.  This would be a great time to explore one or two of the sites to let the students find some poems they like.  I think I would direct them to only one to three sites during a lesson, depending on the focus of the lesson.
      I found that the Rollyo site was incredibly slow and not that easy to use.  I like the concept of being able to create my own search engine.  I believe I might pursue other venues.  However, Rollyo has just recently upgraded and they may be having difficulties temporarily.  This project reminded me of when I got my education certification 7 years ago.  In our technology class we had to do a launch page, which essentially is a search engine on an individual level.  A lot of districts had teacher sites on the school website and teachers could upload their launch page for students to find those sites.  It was similar except to make each site “launchable” the addresses needed to be hyperlinked.  This was a good exercise but I hope Rollyo speeds up!
      Jurkowski, O. (2006). Technology and the school library: A comprehensive guide for media specialists and other educators. Lanham, MD:  The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

      Monday, September 28, 2009

      Week 5

      Thing #10: Exploring online image generators

      I tried several sites that were given to us.  Comic Strip Generator was fun.  I made several comics and labeled them.  However, I couldn't seem to copy them or send them to my blog.  So, I wasted lots of time.  I imagine that if you join it might be easier?  I was trying to go the free road. I explored a few other sites and really enjoyed Image Chef where I made a crossword puzzle.  This might be fun to do with a book cover and do one piece at a time, with a clue, until a student could guess which book was being displayed!  I attached my picture above.  I also went to and then to "Motivator".  From there I made a poster which was fun.  I've included it also. These were a lot of fun.  I wonder how this is different than a mashup?  Can someone explain how or if it is?

      Thing #11:  Web 2.0 award winning sites
      This was a lot of fun!  I went to several sites.  I tried to stick to educational and related sites.  I visited The 1st place winner in the books category called Lulu, which allowed individuals to actually design, print and publish their books.  It was good but I really enjoyed which was the 3rd place winner, . This was created by Villanova University Library and was an alternative catalog, able to be modified by it's users.  I enjoyed parusing through this one.  I also liked Mango language, , and actually did the 1st free lesson in French.  Bonjour! This was the 2nd place winner in the Education category.  This was a very informative lesson.  I look forward to working on Thing #12 next!  I will post it later!

      Friday, September 25, 2009

      Week 4 -Thing 9

      It is possible to be too "hooked up". I want to know "it" all and be able to reach "it" all but there has to be a way to remove some of the "noise". I have been exploring my new Google Reader and have discovered that I can respond to my classmate's blogs from there. That is a benefit. I've discovered that I can add feeds. I also discovered how to delete them. I tried several of the suggestions on My favorite is Technorati. I went to the main site, then to blog Directory to Technologoy to Web2.0 and finally to Mashable! which I subscribed to. I think I'm going to enjoy this one. I'm getting the hang of reading the "blurb" then counting it as read. This keeps my screen a bit neater. I'm all about less clutter, it's too confusing. How do all of you feel about being "hooked up" to the max?

      Tuesday, September 22, 2009

      Week 4

      THING #8 RSS feed(I realize I was counting them but how could anybody else be really sure which task I was on. Hm...hopefully it's obvious but I'm going for easy to understand!)
      Okay, I signed up for Google Reader. I had fun exploring some interesting suggested sites and am following, well, too many. I went in today and a site I thought was good yesterday now had things I definitely had no interest in so I unsubscribed. RSS seems a bit like reading the paper and a magazine all at the same time. I will have to be selective. Also, there's a bit of an "information overload" at the present time on my Google Reader site. I will be tweaking it this week and commenting later on this post For now, I've begun!

      Tuesday, September 15, 2009

      Week 3

      Ooh...this is a fun week! I've been exploring mashups! I've been to Flikr which is a social picture site, kind of like Facebook with more connections to picture sites. My favorite link is a mashup with Smilebox. Flikr works with Smilebox to let you create all sorts of things like videos and posters. I created the attached video of the land that we are going to purchase to this site and to my Facebook site. It was quite fun to do. All of this takes up SO much time, though! I start, get involved, look up and HOURS have passed! I am looking forward to playing with some more mashups for this week and will either add a discussion or a post. I hope the rest of my classmates are enjoying this as much as I am. I'm actually thinking this might be a way to make my avatar do her talking....Hm...I will wait until I've got my reading done for my other class and work before I begin that one. I can see hours slipping by because I have a hard time passing up a challenge! (Even if it's made by me!)
      Thursday...I've added to this weeks posting, and will again. I am giving up on posting my avatar with motions and voice from SitePal. I WAS able to get it in a Power Point slide but I can't figure out how to post that into So, I will explore something else. Too many hours, I have to know when to throw in the towel!
      Friday...I have completed the last task for this week. I tried something new! I went to and made a "poster". What fun! I was able to use the pictures from the Flikr account and play with them. What I did was use an Easter picture of my daughter's dog, Candy, and add ears and a saying. Then I was able to put it in this blog by using the picture symbol on the editing bar! What fun!

      Land in Colorado!

      Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Bald Eagle View
      Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
      Make a Smilebox slideshow

      Saturday, September 12, 2009

      Week 2b

      Okay! Registering was not as daunting as I thought it would be. I asked Dr. Farmer who I had to register with and she didn't have a preference. I had planned to register with and had watched the videos. The cost is only $10.00 and that seemed reasonable. I found that information by going to HELP and searching for registration. However, which is the blog that we are using for "23 Things", had a registration that was much easier. I was able to fill out the form and send it in. My registration was accepted and I guess I will see what else I need to do after is approved or denied. I'm laughing at myself but I think it should probably be harder than that! How have the rest of my classmates registered I wonder!?

      Wednesday, September 9, 2009

      Week 2a

      I've called this Week 2a because I know I need several attempts to master this week's assignments! I began with an AVATAR. First I had to look it up. I discovered it's an icon or cartoon character that I could put on my website. I even discovered through that there was a linked site, that could help me make one! I got busy reading and listening to tutorials and HOURS passed! I made the greatest video with this character I called Artzy Librarian, and I even got her talk. After dinner I spent another 3 hours trying to figure out how to put her on this site. It seems that only accepts certain video, from Google and uTube. After listening to more tutorials from and SitePal, I decided I would try to save the video "person" as a file and then upload her. Hm...I was able to upload her but know she doesn't talk. I will continue to work on this, as well as the registering on another day. If anyone has thoughts about how I could upload a video that only wants me to save it as an embedded file, please let me know!

      Wednesday, September 2, 2009

      23 Things Week 1

      Okay! I'm pumped because I finally figured out what 23 things means. I admit to having to to the library database and reading a few articles, but, I think I have it! Each week we will be exploring a different "thing". I love learning about technology and I'm looking forward to adding to this every week for my technology class! My ego has blossomed because I actually already know how to do this, at least, how to begin! I'm sure we will do some things that I don't know about but, this one I understand. Yeah!