Wednesday, November 25, 2009

JStor Tutorial

Check out our subscription to JStor, a digital archive database that indexes over 1,000    academic and scholarly journals.

Click on the link below to see a tutorial video:

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Lost Symbol

Finally received our copy of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol.
Can't wait to read it!

Here's the summary:

"Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, at the U.S. Capitol Building to deliver a lecture, is drawn into a desperate search through the hidden tunnels and temples of Washington, D.C., when his mentor Peter Solomon, a prominent Mason and philanthropist, is kidnapped and the only clue to Solomon's whereabouts lies in an ancient invitation to a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom."

This Week in Rap

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Google Image Swirl

I found the following today on  Free Technology for Teachers
Google Swirl is Like Wonder Wheel for Images

Google announced a new image search option called Image Swirl. Image Swirl is similar to Wonder Wheel which I've previously written about here and here. To use Image Swirl, just enter your search term as you would in the regular image search service. The results of your search will be displayed in a grid similar to that with which you're probably familiar. Click any image in the grid a web of more, related, images will appear. Click an image in the web and another web of images will appear.

Applications for Education
Image Swirl, like Wonder Wheel, could be useful for students who need a little help diversifying their Internet searches."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Reflecting on my role as a technology leader...

Teachers and other staff members turn to me to help them use technology including that which goes beyond the media center and information technology.

I'd doing alright with finding new tech tools but I'd like to implement and integrate them more into the curriculum. I do feel overwhelmed at times, trying to keep current.

I'd like to establish more of a leadership role in my building. The Director of Technology has a committee to set goals for integrating and implementing technology. I'm going to ask her if I can join it. Also, I'd like to start providing regular teacher in-services for Web 2.0 tools.

I've established a good relationship with my teachers, and I'm open and flexible, but I need to be more persistent. I need to show the teachers what all I can do for them in meeting their curricular needs.

I need to put myself "out there" more and take on more challenges.

This Week in Rap

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reflecting on Change

A class that I'm taking through the University of Wisconsin has really brought home the fact that our roles as teacher/librarians are constantly changing.
Goodbye to the days of working with an actual card catalog and printed material; hello to OPAC, digital databases, and Web 2.0 tools.

To keep up with our digital native students with their hypertext minds, I make as many resources as I can accessible remotely.  My website and Blackboard course are accessible from anywhere any time.  We must promote new technologies that enhance learning.  Creative and interactive tools like Glogster and Voicethread appeal to today's kids.

In these hard financial times, becoming a digital pioneer and adapting to change makes us LMS less vunerable to staff cuts. We need to shed the "Marian the Librarian" old lady stereotype and dive into the information ocean!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bars on Books!

Bars on Books Jar Harvard Students

Here's something sad- Harvard just placed bars across the bookshelves in their Dunster House  Library.  Is this part of a trend of "turning printed literature into an artifact, instead of a resource"?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Things That Keep Us Up at Night

Leave it to Joyce Valenza, again she came up with a powerful article on keeping library programs relevant in today's digital world.  It's all about responding to change.  Brava Joyce!!

Things That Keep Us Up at Night

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shift Happens

Here's an eye opening video from YouTube, emphasizing the information explosion and its exponential growth.  Thanks to my husband and my instuctor, Mary Alice from UW Stout for sharing this with me...

Monday, September 28, 2009

50 Best Websites 2009

Here's Time Magazine's list of the best sites:
Full List - 50 Best Websites 2009 - TIME: "50 Best Websites 2009"

Now, if only I had time to investigate them all thorougly!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Free Guide (PDF) Tips for Teaching With New Media

Check out this great tip I just got from Free Technology for Teachers

 Free Guide (PDF) Tips for Teaching With New Media

"Edutopia has created a new guide for the new school year. Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media is a free PDF download that offers some very solid advice. If you're just beginning to explore the uses of social media in your classroom, this guide is well worth downloading. If you're in an technology integration leadership role, this guide is worth distributing to your colleagues."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lost Symbol by Dan Brown is released!

Dan Brown delivers action-packed if familiar 'Lost Symbol'
Grab your history books, conspiracy theories and decoder rings:
The long wait for a new novel from Dan Brown is over.
To see the full review, click on the link below:

Dan Brown Lost Symbol

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is this really happening?

As of October 2nd, all the branch, regional, and central libraries of the City of Philadelphia are closing due to lack of funding.

What does this say about our country's priorities?

Man Booker Shortlist is Here!

Here are the five novels up for this prestigious prize to be announced October 6th.

Man Booker Shortlist is Here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A library without the books - The Boston Globe

Here's a new trend. Hard for me to fathom a library without books...

A library without the books - The Boston Globe:

"“It makes me sad,’’ said Vezina, who hosts a book club on campus dubbed the Off-line Readers and has made a career of introducing students to books. “I’m going to miss them. I love books. I’ve grown up with them, and there’s something lost when they’re virtual. There’s a sensual side to them - the smell, the feel, the physicality of a book is something really special.’’"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Picturing the 1930s

In this teaching resource, learn about the 1930s through eight exhibitions: The Depression, The New Deal, The Country, Industry, Labor, The City, Leisure, and American People.' Features artwork, photos, newsreels, and other material about 1930s history, with which users can create a documentary movie. Includes a FAQ, movie-making tutorial, and other help documentation. From the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sharing on Facebook more popular than sharing through e-mails

Sharing posts on Facebook at 24% outnumbers e-mail sharing at 11.1% and Twitter at 10.8%.
Take a look at the graph to see what's popular now...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I'm trying to keep up with my young adult fiction reading this summer. I just finished Anderson's (author of Speak) newest title: Wintergirls.

Six years after Cassie and Lia pledge to become the skinniest girls in their school, Cassie dies. Unable to bear the sadness and guilt after her friend's death, Lia spirals downward into her own eating disorder.

Although not a pleasant read, this book let me peak into the mind of an anorexic...

Learning to embed a Youtube video in blogger

Yeah! I just learned how to embed a Youtube video in Blogger.
Here's an example how an unknown couple has exploded on the scene! Over 5 million views!

Prezi- an alternative to the tired old Powerpoints...

I'd forgotten about this snazzy presentation tool until I saw a blog post using it.
It's a blank canvas where you can easily post text, pictures, etc. You can zoom in and out on the objects.

As they say: "Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin. It's visualization and storytelling without slides."

Check it out-you can learn it in a matter of minutes.

Google Voice

Here's something handy for teachers: Google Voice-it allows you to keep some of your phone numbers private.

Check out the Youtube explanation...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Social Media Sparks School Policy Debate

Here's a great article that discusses schools' dilemma on what to do with social media. This includes a video of MIT media guru Henry Jenkins who states that media rich kids are being "de-skilled and de-tooled when the walk in the classroom." I agree...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AASL's Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

American Assoc. of School Librarians came up with 25 best websites for educators.
They're divided into 6 categories: Organizing, Content Collaboration, Curriculum Sharing, Media Sharing, Virtual Environments, and Social Networking.

Wonderful Web 2.0 stuff!

See the following link:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wow! Jing and Screencast are so cool!

I love these tools! They are so user friendly. Here is a first attempt, and I mean a rough one, of showing how to use Discovery Education's Steaming service. Being loquacious, I went over the five minute time limit, so didn't get much into the explanation. Also, I noticed that on playback, it didn't show the video that I was seeing at the time of recording. It must be a copyright issue for Discovery Ed... Also, I noticed some of the screen was cut off when shown in Screencast but was all there during the Jing replay. Will have to do a lot more experimenting and editing before I use this in a real situation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Library Book Cart Competition

OK, so even though we no longer have cat eye glasses and wear our hair in a bun, we librarians still can be a little odd. Just see for yourself in this Demco book cart competition video:

Free Webinar 7/23 on Cell Phones in the Classroom

Here's something worth considering. If you can't beat 'em join 'em! Why not use the technology that most teenagagers have on hand?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Virtual Author Vists via Skype

Joyce Valenza is spearheading an effort to set up a network of young adult and childrens authors who would be willing to virtually visit classrooms via Skype.

Is this a great idea or what?!

Five Filters

Here's a handy one: Five Filters lets you convert your blog's RSS feed into a PDF printable format.

I also like the PDF to Word Converter that's available free on-line!

Official Google Blog: Google accounts on Twitter

How neat! Twitter now has Google accounts!

Official Google Blog: Google accounts on Twitter

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Gravity Keeper by Michael Reisman

Kim Given, a colleague of mine, suggested this fun middle school title.
Thanks Kim!
Sixth grader Simon Bloom can't believe his luck when he finds a book that enables him to control the laws of physics. This is a very creative story about a facet of science that usually isn't the focal point of a novel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What-Section 3 Reading

Dana Boyd's article really struck a chord with me.
Teenagers today don't really worry about on-line privacy. When asked if they knew that anyone could access their profiles on-line, they replied "but why would they?" That concerns me because they don't realize that invisible audiences look up profiles of job or college applicants, lurkers might follow friends of friends to find juicy gossip, etc. What you say or post sticks around, it never goes away. Also, anything on-line can be copyable and searchable. Today, I came across an AP article Researchers Claim They've Cracked the Social Security Number Code which told how Carnegie Melon researchers could predict SS #'s by looking at the birth dates and hometowns listed on Facebook profiles.

These social networking sites are great and a big part of teen life. As educators, we need to teach students media literacy, on-line safety and responsibility. -quite a challenge!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blue Skunk Blog

Hey! I found Will Richardson mentioned in The Blue Skunk blog, another one of my favorites!

Small world!

Free Technology for Teachers

I find a lot of gems reading this blog. Here's a posting from the NECC Conference-Week in Review, the most popular items:

I especially like to get new ideas from Glogster and find out what's coming soon...

Social Networking Changes Everything

Joyce Valenza, my library goddess heroine, has a great blog, The Never Ending Search, that I've been following for the last three years. In a recent post, she comments on Twitters finest hour.

The Last Dickens: A Novel by Mattew Pearl

I loved Pearl's book, and if you're a Dickens lover like I am, you will too!

Title Detail: "Full-Text Reviews
Booklist (January 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 9))
Pearl’s latest literary historical mystery aligns perfectly with his two previous works, the widely applauded Dante Club (2002) and the equally esteemed Poe Shadow (2006); like its predecessors, the novel is a brilliant, exciting thriller exactingly set in past times and involving mysterious aspects of the lives of famous writers. This compelling yarn opens with a—yes, mysterious—scene set in 1870 India, in the wilds, when a mounted policeman invokes the name of Dickens while chasing a robber. Zoom off to Boston on the same day, when a clerk at a publishing house, who was sent to take into his own hands, for his boss, the advance sheets of the next installment of the recently deceased Charles Dickens’ novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is run down by an omnibus on his way back to the office, and the pages go missing. This situation necessitates the publisher’s going to England to attempt to ascertain how Dickens intended to end his novel. Just what do the seemingly disparate parts of the story have to do with one another? What the publisher becomes embroiled in, in London, is far more complicated than simply manuscript detection. A whole world of life-and-death nefariousness awaits both him and the reader, who will be well rewarded."

White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

It's been cold in Traverse City this week- 60 as a high...seems only fitting that I should be reading a book about Antarctica. I can't fathom why anyone would want to visit this white wasteland, but McCaughrean's book was a good read, winner of the Printz Award (ALA's Best Book for Young Adults)

I've been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now--which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years, I'll be dead too, and the age difference won't matter. Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates, from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears. But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed--and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves. In her first contemporary young adult novel, Carnegie Medalist and three time Whitbread Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean delivers a spellbinding journey ino the frozen heart of darkness. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Library Humor

As a librarian and a blonde (with a little outside help), I enjoy this video.

I think you will too!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wow! I can see why this young adult novel was listed by ALA as one of the best books for 2009.
Collins gripping, suspensful novel tells the story of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, who inadvertently becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grisly, televised survival competition where young boys and girls are forced by the Government to fight each other to the death.--Talk about Survivor on steroids! Sounds bleak, but it's a pretty exciting read.

This futuristic genre is very popular with teens- Similar titles I'd recommend is Scott Westerfeld's series: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras.

Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson

David Guterson is one of my favorite authors. I've enjoyed his Snow Falling on Cedars, and his
East of the Mountains. His provocative Our Lady...tells of a pill popping teenage runaway's visions of the Virgin Mary in a Washington forest. Campers hear of her visions and soon through their texts and tweets, summon hoards of religious fanatics who see the girl as an instrument of devine grace. The young priest doesn't know what to believe. Are her visions real, or drug induced? Guterson made me wonder...

People of the Book: a Novel by Geraldine Brooks

Brook's novel traces the life of an actual book: the Sarajevo Haggadah, a Jewish codex, or prayer book. This exquisitely illuminated manuscript originated in medieval Spain. A present day book conservator, Hannah Heath is summoned to Sarajevo to restore the book. In it's pages, she finds several clues to its 500 year old history: a butterfly wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair. The reader is trasported back in time to the book surviving the Spanish inquisition, anti-semitic 17th century Venice and 19th century Vienna, and the Nazi book burnings.

This is a culturely rich saga-such a wonderful read based on a true life literary puzzle!