Cardinal Reader

"Librarians are hiding something."..Stephen Colbert

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Building a better box

It is amazing to me how much effort and thought it takes to be a "life-long learner". Recently I have been "teaching myself" html and web page design. Of course, "teaching myself" involves finding a new place to find out how to do every step...blogs, online tutorials, support services, help indices... But I am finding that 7 or 80 hours later it is pretty much all out there. Just recently, I have been "building a box". Sounds easy, but I want it to have rounded corners...that takes looking up the vocabulary for the processes before even beginning to understand the processes. But there are sites where all that is explained and even "plug and play" sorts of box creators. Then, if you decide to use images, there is more vocab to understand before using the image creation software. But the software is there to be had and there are online "books" of instructions. Then there is deciding what the box will look like. (and changing it when your tech person finds a new wall paper that will be perfect for your web page! What a sucker...I spent 4 days getting those green and brown boxes to look good, not to mention they work...sort of! And now I decide to change the colors?) But there are sites with backgrounds and wallpapers and images and instructions on how to download them all. Back to the free software to adjust colors and shapes somewhat...another seven or 80 hours! And when it is all perfect, try it on another browser...oops! Yes, life-long learning assures us all that we will never lack for things to do, and the "new" web seems determined to support all our efforts.

I attended a workshop recently where the presenter was espousing the oft-heard saw that we must stop educating students for yesterday and start educating them for the future...Who is she kidding? How many among us could even begin to guess what the future will bring even five years from now, let alone when our beginning students reach an age of employment! Will even the most involved of life-long learners be able to help them keep up? Sometimes I think not, but I am having fun trying!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 23, Summary

So we come to the end...or the beginning? This has been a very entertaining and enlightening journey so far. Lots of things to learn and do. Some of my favorites were Flickr and the mashups (sounds like a rock band!), finding some library-oriented blogs that I enjoy, and the many creative suggestions of my colleagues on how to use what we have learned. The timing for this class was excellent, as these are the "things" I was planning to explore this summer on my own. And this program went so much farther than I would have done, since I lacked the knowledge to "know what I needed to know"! There are things I have already discussed with teachers as possibilities for projects for this year. My biggest surprise, probably, was how much fun and anxiety was had over the issue of avatars. I didn't expect we would all care so much! Would I participate in the future? You bet! I am hoping that there will be followups coming. I really liked the format of the "schedule" for the class...I do better with deadlines! and it encouraged lots of us to get a move on, rather than postpone. I wonder if there would be a way to encourage more "social networking" in the future? Joining some of the wikis will help. Hopefully I will make time to keep up.

Thank you to all of the CSLA members who helped create this fun endeavor. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 22, eBooks

World eBook Fair collection contains letters, essays, etc. from the great philosophers. Could replace the rain-soaked collection of same that used to be used every year by a social studies teacher! Also the government printing collection... Even a collection of math books... And physics... Some music... The technical book collection alone would be personally worth seeing... Looks like a pretty good deal for 8.95/year.

Librovox, perhaps not so much, but Google's eBook search worked well on the "philosopher" test. (Did I mention Google and world ownership earlier in this blog??)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 21, Podcasts

Interesting that I was able to find numerous knitting podcasts (actually, I sometimes think of things other than knitting!), but few concerned with reviewing books. I did find the "Hennepin County TeenLinks Podcasts", featuring reviews of books, movies, and other interesting tidbits done by teens. Hennepin County strikes again! Every contact I've had with their teen programming has been an eye-opener. You can find them here Check out in particular the "Eden Prairie Library You Tube Contest". I plan to see my video teacher as soon as I can corner him!

In the end, I did find the New York Times Book Review Podcasts and included it on my Google Reader. Now to find the time to listen!

Interesting note: talked to my tech person today and was describing this class. He has lots of questions, and has been thinking about trying to set up RSS feed for our school. I don't remember that we "learned" how to set them up, but I will return to that "Thing" to find out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 9, Thing # 20, YouTube

YouTube, as we all know, contains tons of interesting video. Fun stuff, educational stuff, other... well. I don't know if it is my computer, cookies, cache, or what, but it seems excruciatingly slow to me. I don't get the buffer things where the vid stops for a few seconds to get a second wind. Explain, please. I found a fun video illustrating a knitting machine made entirely of Legos. Not really useful in terms of the knitted fabric created, I would think, but extremely interesting. Here it is embedded from YouTube...

The librarians' 2.0 manifesto was very thought-provoking. I have bookmarked it to easily return during the coming year. Living up to it may prove difficult...especially the part where others may "resist".

Exploring the other sites, looking for "high school library tour" or "library tour" brought very little of use. Either the Quick Time videos didn't work, or the "tour" was deadly boring! Still I persevered to finally find two possibilities:
one by students...

and one by Nick Baker, who made "March of the Librarians" (which was very fun, by the way)... Williams College Welcome Video

Nick also had a very fun video introducing the library staff:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Week 8, # 19, Library Thing

I explored Library Thing while checking out the Web 2.0 Awards. Just went back and looked some more, including librarians' blogs. They are also interesting.

Perplexing note: I went back to "older posts" to see what week, etc. I had commented on Library Thing. I had put a tag cloud into the post for Week 5, which showed when this post was not "older", but does not show now. Then I clicked on the title to show just that post, and there was the tag cloud again. I assume this is to save space on the page?

Also, I experienced the desirability of tags, which I had NOT put on earlier posts!

Week 7, Thing # 18, Zoho Writer, etc.

Somewhere in my explorations of Zoho, I saw a comment to the effect that this is an ambitious undertaking. I would certainly agree! So much power in one place... And if we are talking about creating documents, is this not a better venue than a wiki, as it can be formatted into final form here? I look forward to exploring the possibilities with the rest of our district library staff.

BTW, the "meeting" section completely lost me. Much that is here deserves more exploration time.

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