Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks for the experiences

Thanks, Fiona, Syba Signs and YPRL for this course. Perhaps I would never have found the time and inclination to do many of these activities otherwise in my busy days. I have come to a new understanding about the nature of access to information in C21 - pretty important for a school librarian! I even like having a blog and I am quite inspired to use some of these new resources in my teaching and library management, and hope to be able to help other colleagues to do the same.

#19 Rollyo

I could use Rollyo to collect together a number of blogs about YA literature and search for information on new fiction books which may be suitable for the school library. One of the difficulties with this type of fiction is that sometines it's hard to know just how appropriate a book is until I've read it, despite recommendations on the cover from various reviewers.

At school, this facility could also be used to search for information in just the sites that are useful to students, such as EdNA. I imagine the experience of thousands of results for a search term could be very frustrating. Rollyo could also be useful to people looking for up-to-date news and political commentary.

I received the response on the Rollyo site of could not connect - too many connections more than once - I have to defer my greater exploration of this possibly very useful resource until later in my life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

#22 Ebooks & #23 Audiobooks

I liked Librivox, as I enjoy listening to voices on my little MP3 player, and this gives me another source of resources. Could these free files also be downloaded and catalogued into the school library?

Like many other readers, younger and older, I prefer the traditional version of the book, although I have to confess that I haven't used ebooks personally. This will be one of my aims in future learnings. Wikipedia gives an interesting comparison of the advantages and drawbacks of books vs. ebooks. One of the future uses of ebooks could be for school textbooks as students like the electronic access to information, and if there is an economic advantage schools could take it. The environmental argument is also worth consideration, as perhaps in the future paper books will become rather special items to own and value, somewhat like horses did after the invention of the car. Unfortunately, paper books do tend to deteriorate over time, as my bookcase attests.

Audiobooks are quite well used in our school by readers who are obliged to read for assessment but do not like reading words on a page. They are a valuable resource. MP3 players may become a tool much more used in the school environment for educational rather than entertainment purposes. I am reminded of the use of podcasts which appears to have various school applications.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

# 21 Online Video

What a great collection of resources from the commons. We used to buy educational resource video tapes at about $100 each for the school library! Needless to say it was a carefully condsiered purchase. I am now in the process of culling them from the collection.
I was thinking that the Brady Bunch clip of Time to Change might be good to show colleagues who are slow adopters of technology. I also liked the Learning to Change video from Australian Educators.

I've used YouTube at school for various resources - it is available to teachers on the network but blocked to students. I guess the aspect of teaching users to use the web responsibly remains significant - network managers can't just keep blocking everything!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

#20 Podcasts

I've enjoyed many interesting podcasts from ABC Radio National as I walk around near my home. I was delighted to explore the recommended sites and find there are more sources for my interest.

There are numerous applications for this technology in the school situation, notably a task I know of at my school where students create a fictitious radio interview with an author of a novel they have read in a wide reading task. The hard part is getting the teachers to accept and use the technology.

I've included the RN Book Show to my Google Rader subscriptions. Now I have to get into the habit of checking the feeds there!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

#18 Wikis

Wikis seem to be central to the idea of the read-write web as there can be many contributors on a topic of interest to all. There seems to be more emphasis on the community than on the individual who began the wiki. There is a difference to sites such as social networking or social bookmarking where the centrality of the individual is more significant.
The applications of wikis seem to be enormous in an educational setting. I've just bought the book by Will Richardson on the use of blogs, wikis and podcasts in the classroom. I hope to find further inspiration and some more structured strategies there.
I can see that a wiki on reading from the collection of the school library, my workplace, would be a good place to begin, as that is certainly a shared activity.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

#17 Delicious

Like many other web 2.0 sites, is blocked to students by our school network. I can see the point of view of the manager, but the time will come when we must teach students to use the sites responsibly instead of banning their use.
They are, however, available to teachers, and I am pleased to be able to access the favourites which I had on my home computer when I am at work. I am also very pleased to be able to search for sites which are relevant to me in work and for personal use which have been bookmarked by other users. Who needs Google?
Like all the other applications which we have looked at in this course, it will require more careful investigation and time to explore. I hope in some months' time it's something I use easily and frequently and that I have given examples to my teaching colleagues so that we might share and promote resource based learning.