Friday, August 22, 2008

Thing #12. Do You Digg?

The answer is yes, I do. I have for a while, and I will likely continue to do so. But this tool is more of a time-waster for me than anything. I get my news headlines on my internet start page and my rss feeders from various news sites. Those that I am interested in, I will read more about. What I've found Digg to be useful for is similar to the reuters "oddly enough" news - the news that isn't really news, but it's interesting, pop-culture-ish, humorous, or different. I take a look a few times a week to see the top stories, watch the funny videos, see the amazing pictures. That's how I utilize Digg.
I like the fact that people are coming together, sharing these stories (for whatever reason), and commenting on them. But it is what people are commenting on that I find this not to be an arena for in-depth dialogue (although it could be!), but rather just an interesting site.
As far as comparing Digg to any other "user-generated" news site, I prefer Digg for its user-friendliness. It is visibly appealing and very easy to sort through news stories - I can definitely get through a lot of stories in 10 minutes spent there.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thing #11. Tagging and

I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate (which I can now access simply at now!) This has been a time saver as I have been traveling all over the state and using many different computers to access various websites this summer.
I appreciate being able to make the decision of whether or not to share certain links - this allows me to have all of my private links in one place as well, and I do not mind logging on to use those. I've even used the network links to share some great websites with my colleagues who also use delicious.
I will be able to use this so efficiently between my home and school computers this coming school year - how did I ever live without this tool? I only have to remember ONE web address - my delicious username.
I can see so many uses for this tool in research assistance - I use it to search through my own websites. Imagine the ease of use this would provide for someone looking for great websites to utilize on any given topic. Perhaps this could even be used in conjunction with a wiki - others can contribute websites they have found to be useful on a given topic, but that does happen, to an extent, on the delicious site, where you can search others' bookmarks by tag. But to have good solid resources tagged by reference librarians - that would most definitely be a wonderful use of this tool.

Thing #10. Wikis

I really do like the idea of a wiki, but I am having a hard time truly identifying the "good" wikis from the "bad" wikis. There are some that are just so much more user-friendly than others; they are easier to search, and information is much more accessible.
I can really only wrap my head around creating basic ones - the example of the camping trip supplies in the Common Craft video, or one for the members of my book club to use for figuring out a date to meet and borrowing books from each other. I have so much more to learn on wikis - and I'm just interested enough in it to keep on learning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing #9. Online Collaboration Tools

I thoroughly enjoy the Zoho office suite! Since reading about it and using it with 23Things, I have read great reviews about Zoho on several other websites.

I like the fact that I can upload all of my presentations (because of the great compatibility options) and finally have them in one place. I also appreciate that I can so easily embed these into my blog - good to know as I plan on using pretty much all of these tools from 23Things in my classroom this included. There really are too many wonderful things to say about this tool.

I can foresee all of the tools Zoho provides becoming fast favorites in the high school library and with other teachers. It is definitely a hit with me.
I see that next up is learning about wikis - another opportunity to use Zoho!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thing #8. Share Your Creations

I can see endless opportunities for these creation tools in my classroom (and my school library!) I shared my WWI Movie List created with Lazybase. I enjoyed the opportunity to create an editable, easily accessible database, but I have to admit that I was frustrated with Lazybase - it is not as user-friendly as many of the other tools I have used. I guess I'm just getting spoiled with the ease of other tools out there!

Thing #8. My Shared Creation

Lazybase: WWI Movies

Thing #7. Web 2.0 Communication Tools

All right! Here's where I feel like I really know something about Web 2.0. I have been using IM and Email for years. I absolutely fell in love with gmail, but I rarely chat using the service provided by Google. I regularly (daily) use Microsoft Messenger to communicate with friends and family across the state.

I would love to see these tools implemented at our K-12 institution, but because these sites are restricted and/or blocked, this limits the extent to which I can actually use them in my classroom. If they were not blocked, I would try to use them as a discussion guide when we have an Internet-search activity, or for help when working on projects in the library or computer labs - much like the "IM chat with a librarian."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thing #6. Online Image Generators

Wow! I did not think I would enjoy this task as much as I did. From creating a bathroom pass for my students this year to creating some examples of small projects for my students this year, I had fun with these tools. I can see myself wanting to assign these tasks (and there are definitely plenty of options) for every topic we cover in history class - and, more importantly, I can really see my students getting involved with these projects.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thing #5. More Flickr Fun

While I love the idea of being able to use and credit others' photos so easily, I am nervous about the idea of posting my own online. This is pretty difficult, as I have not yet purchased a digital camera, and I do not have the patience this summer to scan pictures and then upload them to a photo-sharing service like Flickr.
I am approaching Flickr as an educational tool, as with most of the Things that I am learning about. I am not really thinking of them as fun tools for personal use. As you can see, I've found other items for fun and posted them here!

Spell with Flickr:

H I for information S T O McElman_071126_2031 Pewter Ransom Font y

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thing #4. Photosharing with Flickr

I can definitely see Flickr becoming a valuable resource for finding images to use in my classroom - which I do quite a bit. I thought this image was particularly interesting, and I know I will be using this in my classroom next year. I look forward to filtering through other images in this woman's collections. They can be found at:

I appreciate the convenience of posting directly from Flickr to a blog, something that be much more beneficial when I have my classroom blog set up and want to share photos with my students and their parents.