Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week #8 ♦ Thing #19 ♦ Library Thing

This is such a cool concept! I love to read, so this is a great way to keep track of what I have read, what I want to read, and exchange book ideas with my friends and colleagues. I added titles to my library for my career exploration lesson. ( Although the books I chose weren’t the most popular, it was great because they are some of the books I actually use in my class for this project. I have also chosen Library Thing for my final presentation, so I am anxious to really dig in and get creative with its capabilities!

Week #8 ♦ Thing 18 ♦ Online Productivity Tools

I have never used Zoho Writer, but I am fairly experienced with Google Docs. They look to be pretty similar, although Zoho seems to encompass a lot more than just documents and is a bit more user-friendly. Last year my principal has us write a scope and sequence for each class that we teach and publish it through Google Docs. It was really simple to do, and it allowed all of the teachers that shared the same course to access it and make changes. Online productivity tools allow us to be more efficient, because let’s face it, we all have more to do, but no one is giving us more time. I have also found these other productivity tools to be helpful and really cool! For the ultimate list-maker and trust me, I am a list-maker! Kind of like bookmarks, only they allow you to note why you marked a particular webpage. This is great for me because I often have a hard time remembering why I bookmarked a particular page.

And, by the way, if you are reading this, then my Zoho blog post worked out! I really like the blogging feature!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week #7 ♦ Webquest

Here is a link to my career exploration Webquest. I designed it for my 7th grade public speaking class. I use this opportunity to collaborate with the school guidance counselor to introduce career exploration in the form of an informative speech. Career Exploration Webquest

Week #7 ♦ Thing #17 ♦ Sandbox Wiki

My contribution to the Classroom 2.0 Sandbox Wiki (Located under Your Award Winning Websites)- I have learned so many cool things during my exploration of Classroom Learning 2.0’s 23 Things. I was so excited about these new tools, and I have been able to share a lot of what I am learning with my colleagues. I wish Rollyo would run a little faster because that is such a great concept! We have had tons of fun with the image generators and avatars, and I can think of tons ways to use blogs and wikis in the classroom and/or library. But, my favorite thing so far was a little website called The Traveler IQ Challenge. It is great! We have smartboards in our classrooms at school, so I pull the website up on the board and the kids LOVE playing it! –Becca (Hatalowich) Bazzar, LS589.W2

Wikis are fantastic tools! I would love to try the wiki book club idea, even if it was something informal for my English class. Since it would be school-related, I would have to be careful to monitor all of the information posted on the wiki daily. I think I would also have to keep it on a voluntary basis because not all of our students have Internet access outside of school. I can wait to see how technology continues to evolve and how it will enhance education!

Week #7 ♦ Thing #16 ♦ Wikis

I went to an in-service training yesterday on facilitating a school book club and it gave me some really cool ideas for integrating technology into the traditional book club. I did a Google search for book club wikis and I was shocked to find just how many there were! The first one I found was the Cortland's "We Rock" Book Club Wiki ( Although it hasn’t been updated in a while, it was a great example of how wikis can be used to facilitate book clubs. Students could post their thoughts about a book, makes notes about a favorite book, or suggest books for future meetings. The Tween2Teen Book Club Wiki ( is a facilitator resource. It is a place for people to post discussion questions or activities they have used for book club selections for others to use during their meetings. The third type of book club wikis I found were actual book clubs held completely online via wikis. For example, anyone who enjoys James Bond novels can join the James Bond Book Club ( and participate in the discussions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using wikis for education. Educators are doing really cool things, and I’m so glad I get to be part of it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week #6 ♦ Thing #15 ♦ Copyright, Creative Commons, & The Web 2.0 Road

I see the Library 2.0 tools as new ways for people to communicate and problem solve creatively. Creative Commons is a vehicle for this kind of communication. I visited CC and found a cool idea from a woman named Michele Martin ( She took the idea of the 23 Things and “remixed” it to suit the needs of non-profit organizations. She created a wiki for the project We as educators constantly need to be pro-active when it comes to providing our students with the tools they need to be successful, responsible, problem-solving members of their local and global communities. The Library 2.0 tools allow us to communicate with our students and with each other effectively and creatively. Technology is the pulse of today’s society, and we have to keep our finger on the pulse.

Week #6 ♦ Thing #14 ♦ Technorati & Tags

I had explored Technorati for another class, and I’ll be honest, I’m not in love with it. I guess I just never really have time to sit and read other people’s blogs (unless it is for this class! Heehee!) When I search the web I am usually looking for factual information quickly, and blogs are the last place I look. For the sake of this task, I spent some time exploring again and I was shocked to find that I got 0 hits out of 825402 blogs for both classroom learning 2.0 AND school library learning 2.0! I am a sucker for gossip, so the blog and peaked my interest.

I can definitely see the value in tagging. I just joined the Facebook craze, and you can tag photos, videos, and even posts and comments. It is great if you are looking for someone with the same hobbies or interests, but it can be a problem if you wish to remain anonymous in cyberspace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week #6 ♦Thing #13 ♦

I visited the SJLibraryLearning2’s bookmarks and found some interesting sites. However, it wasn’t until I did a search for library cataloging that I found some really useful information. With a busy schedule every second counts, so anything that can make Internet searching more efficient and my life easier helps! My simple search returned over 5,000 bookmarks- some of my favorites as well as new sites I have never used. It was cool to see that my favorite sites were also the favorite sites of other library professionals.

This is one of those things that I knew existed, but never really took the time to explore and utilize. I often bookmark things at work and then become irritated when I can’t find the sites later when I am working at home. would obviously solve this problem. I also think it could be a useful tool for libraries- both public and private. Librarians spend so much time carefully choosing print materials for their collections, but can’t always assist patrons with their web searches. I know I have seen my students settle for second rate information because the better information isn’t readily available. could provide a workable solution to the problem. Librarians could post credible, reliable sites for easy patron access, keeping the library in the technology loop. I found a really good Library Journal article discussing this idea. Check it out at:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week #5 ♦ Thing #12 ♦ Rollyo

After my experimentation with Rollyo I have a couple of thoughts.

1. It is a great tool! Recently, we lost access to Nettrekker, a great resource that allowed students to search credible, reliable websites that had been reviewed for content. With all of the junk out there on the free web, it is often challenging for students to find good information. With Rollyo, my students still have the benefit of using the web, but I have control over where they search.

2. There has to be something wrong with the site. I tried different browsers and different computers and to no avail. It took FOREVER for the pages to load, and sometimes they wouldn't load at all. This is definitely a deterrent. Middle school students are notoriously impatient, so this would be a problem.

That being said, here is my Rollyo website for career exploration. I designed it for my 7th grade public speaking class.

Their assignment is to research a career for an informative speech. I chose websites that were informative and age appropriate. Their speeches should contain the following:

Introduction- attention getter, thesis statement, & preview
Body- job responsibilities, education/ training, salary, job availability, skills required

Their speeches will be evaluated on content, organization, & delivery using a rubric. Students will also complete a self-evaluation.