Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thing #14

Technorati is cool! I found things I never knew I was looking for! What a great way to boost readership for your blog. Tagging websites and blog posts allows for a different kind of searching.

I searched for blog posts about knitting and found all the information about how to purchase this pattern for this dissected frog. I would have enjoyed this much more than a real frog back in biology.

Thing #13

How many times do you find yourself looking for something online, knowing that you have seen it before but no clue where to find it? It seems like every time I start a new unit in class I am searching for some online resource that I never can seem to find. Why didn't I come up with social bookmarking?!? This is so cool. I have been using Diigo for a few months so I have more experience with it than Delicious. I was surprised to see Diigo has so few users (compared to some of the others) according to this list.

The idea of "tagging" sites, or even pictures as we checked out on flickr is fabulous. It is quick and easy organization. Now I quickly tag sites whenever I find a good source. With Diigo I organized even more by making lists. Each unit for the year has a list. I save resources which can be used to that list, then tag for more details. My lists can very easily be shared with my team members or students who are researching. Diigo even lets me highlight and annotate information!

You can create an educator account through Diigo to easily share with students.

This is a great research assistant. I have admittedly searched public tags to find resources. The time I have saved piggy backing off of the work of others. Let's all help each other and tag tag tag!

Check out my Diigo profile here.

Thing #12

Hmmmm . . . commenting. I have a tough time with this one. Admittedly I am part of that 90% of blog readers who lurk and never comment. I have a hard time feeling like I am adding to the conversation. Now that I have been blogging it is really nice to get comments and know that people are paying attention to what I am doing. We always want feedback on how we are doing and with a blog comments are pretty much the only way to get that feedback.

This presentation "Bling your Blog" was presented at TCEA. You can find it and more on the presenter's library blog. It has some great ideas about how to boost your readership and get more comments from students.

Cool Cat Teacher's "How to Comment like a king (or Queen)" had some good tip. You definitely see a lot of "Darth Commenters" out there. Thankfully you have all been nice so far! I don't understand how people can be so mean!

I have been following I Hate Green Beans for a few years now. It is always an entertaining read. Come to think of it's really the only reason I started watching The Bachelor. Another blog I now enjoy is Free Book Friday. They also have a teen blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Group Work??

Fun new site we started using tonight. PrimaryPad is a web based word processor that allows groups to work together in real time. You type on your computer and it updates everyone else's screen! Work can even be color coded based of off who writes what. Fun fun! Great for collaboration and team work.

Favorite New Site

Have you heard about Edmodo yet?

It is the coolest thing ever! In short, it is facebook for school.
You create groups (basically your classes) students then join those groups. You can send out assignments, have students turn stuff in, and grade it all through this site. It automatically updates a calendar for students, and you can even set it up to recieve text alerts!

The best part - my students are enjoying it and actively using it!

view original video posting here
image courtesy of edmodo.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thing #11

I had never heard of LibraryThing before this list. For the past couple years I have used WeRead, mainly because I could attach it to my Facebook account. I have several friends that use GoodReads. After a discussion in class the other night I checked out Shelfari and it is now my favorite.

Shelfari is easy to use and it just looks cool. I also enjoy that Shelfari includes when you read each book with your review. Sometimes it is nice to look back and see when you read something.

All four sites allow you to make bookshelf widgets to display on your blog.
All four connect to Amazon for easy book purchases.
WeRead and Shelfari both connect to Facebook.
Librarything and Shelfari allow you to "tag" books.

No matter which site you choose to use I think personal cataloging is a great idea. It gives a great outlet for discussion and gathering of new ideas. Students who wouldn't necessarily recommend a book in front of the class might be more comfortable posting one to a group bookshelf. There is something very gratifying about looking back over a shelf and knowing you have read everything on it.

Now if only they will make one that connects to my Kindle and allows me to write a review right when I finish . . .

Google Apps

Great Presentation on different Google Applications.

Thing #10

Image generators allow for hours of fun. There are many uses for image generators in the classroom and library. Imagine a Wordle created about a book, or using the titles of several books in a specific genre.
Photo Fun
Dumpr - Photo Fun

Take pictures of different events in the school, or library and use online generators to display them in fun and different ways.

Check out this slideshow I made for my sisters upcoming wedding shower. She thinks I spent a long time working on it, took me about two minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Widgets!

From Random House Publishing
Read the first chapter of a book right from your blog!
Some publishers have audio widgets too!


Still processing everything from this weekend at TCEA. A great weekend AND library2play was mentioned in one of my sessions. I'll post some of the different blogs mentioned, and online session notes later. I'm excited about all the new ideas!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thing #9

I used to just have a few blogs in my reader and could catch up once a week, now I am checking in multiple times a day! I added all the blogs from our class and the blogs we discussed in class on Thursday. Then I started having fun. I like the "explore" feature in Google Reader. I'll admit that some of the stuff it recommends isn't for me, but I have found a couple enjoyable/informative reads that way.

Topix has way too much going on. I was distracted before I even tried to search.

One "search" I have found useful is checking out what other people are following. I added a blog roll so you can use my blog as a search too.