Monday, June 16, 2008

Thing# 11

Tagging can be useful when you are dealing with many examples of similar pages or references. This reminds me of an electronic thesaurus. Instead of see also, it will pull up all items with similar tags. Very much more user friendly than the Library of Congress Subject headings. Uses "human" language/slang.

Delicious is fabulous. I'm not sure if I want others knowing exactly what I'm bookmarking and tagging, but it is very handy to be able to access your bookmarks from any computer. I will definitely be adding my most used to delicious.

Thing# 10

I'm not a big wiki fan. As an educator, I most certainly wouldn't let my students use a wiki as a legitimate source for research. They may be useful for professionals to put together ideas of resources or answer reference questions, but the user must still determine whether the information posted is credible. It's too easy for my comfort level.

I also agree that a wiki is only as good as the people adding to it. Unless the information is relevant and organized (as our 23 Things wiki wasn't) it can become just a jumbled mess of useless information.

I also found it interesting that during the trivia contest this year a team was discovered changing a wiki so that the answer was not available for other contestants. Too much ease in causing trouble is my thought.

Thing 9

Although I was unable to edit the public document from the 23 Things site, I have used Google Docs in the past to assist with the spreadsheets used in keeping track of who completed which Things with the coaches and multitype directors during the first round of 23 Things. This was very handy when people were in multiple locations throughout the state. It was difficult to work with when more than one person was using the site at a time. I think there would have to be some guidelines set up before editing began. One person may like to sort and change color, etc while another person may like the document set up in a different way. It is nice that changes are documented however. The other problem I see is when multiple users are editing, there needs to be a deadline set when the document can be redownloaded as a final version. There is the potential that changes could be missed if someone brings the document down to their desktop and reloads it if others continue to make changes on the google doc online.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing# 8

I developed a poor slide show presentation using Thumbstacks. After producing the document, it said I had to log in to save or load. Once I created my account, I was unable to go back to my original document so I had to create it anew. Perhaps, I should have read the site directions first! I was able to save the slide show to my desktop, however when I tried to post it here, it said their was an error. I could see how this would be a very effective tool for presenters who travel to many locations. Most locations do not have the exact same software and many presentations are too big for flash drives, etc. It would be nice to have another backup copy available wherever you are. I will try to work with this a little later. I really have no need for it at this time.


Of course, we have all used most of the communication tools listed in this "thing". Email has become the greatest time saver/time waster of all time. When I was first offered an email account, I didn't see the use for it. I didn't know anyone with an email address that I wanted to communicate with. WOW, have things changed! I do not believe I could do my job without the use of email. Almost all of our requests come through email. I also appreciate being able to reply on "my time" rather than by phone where you are interrupted. I also appreciate having written documentation of memo's sent. It is also detrimental with the amount of spam and forwards. The amount of information we receive is often overwhelming.

IMing is a means of instant communication but seems less effective for work use. I don't like having to set up more accounts to IM with people.

I initially thought text messaging was useless. Why not email or call? I do occasionally use text messaging with my daughter because we have prepaid cell phones and it is cheaper to text. I also like the fact that I can text something for them to read after school when they can turn their phones on again. It is very dangerous while driving!

I have taken several MINITEX webinars. These are very useful in that it is very difficult for many educators to get release time and/or substitutes. With the rising costs of fuel, it is nice to be able to sit at your desk rather than driving to specific locations. I'm not certain you get as much out of this content as person to person interaction, but it is very useful. As far as OPAL and other groups, I have seen them in action but never participated in meetings this way.
I posted my trading card using a picture of the 23 Things on a Stick participants at the MEMO Mid-winter conference. This was easy to generate too. I'm not sure I really like having open access to all of my photos however. I believe I will set my Flickr account to private after all of the 23 Things projects. I think kids may really enjoy this for History Day projects and/or biography studies. I would say there would have to be a lesson on copyright and posting images before this could be used.

This was really cool. I remember my Grandmother always made puzzles of our school pictures. It is nice to be able to purchase these if you choose too. This is a picture of my daughter in Canada. I bet she would actually enjoy getting this as a puzzle. I think many of these mashups are neat and can apply in various library settings. If only one had a creative mind! I will certainly look into more of these free sites.