Artzy Librarian

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.