Thursday, December 3, 2009

Module 5 Curriculum Connections for Assistive Technology

I like the lesson plan that introduces students to different disabilities by requiring them to do some research. It really made me think about how little I learned about physical and cognitive disabilities when I was in primary and secondary school. What I know about different disabilities I have basically learned through my experiences by interacting with people with disabilities. I think that all health teachers should be requiring their students to learn about people's differences so that through knowledge students will be more compassionate and understanding of the challenges that some people face.

I still have much to learn about how to help student with disabilities but am thankful that this course and the CSLA modules have made me aware of the assistive technology that is available to level the playing field for students with disabilities. It is amazing how far we have come at helping all students achieve, and I am glad that technology is making life easier for those with disabilities.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Module 4 Disabilities Etiquette and Awareness

After reviewing the information from Module 3 on proper etiquette when meeting people with disabilities, I thought the information could be summed up very simply. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.

The section on hidden disabilities reminded me of my experiences with my ex-boyfriend who is an amputee due to a motorcycle accident. He has a "C-leg," and when I met him I noticed that walked a bit different, but many people often didn't notice and thought that he had both his legs. For the longest time, I thought a C-leg which mean computerized leg, was a sea-leg. Hee, hee, I thought that it was a waterproof leg like aquaman would have. I learned a lot about amputees and just about people with disabilities in general from my experience with my ex.

One of the most profound things I learned is that even though people knew that my ex was an amputee, they acted like he was "good as new" because of his amazing prosthetic. The truth is that it is a daily struggle both mentally and physically for him, and he really could only walk about a mile or so without discomfort, mainly because the friction from the prosthetic is hard on the skin. Of course, it seems that men/boys with a physically disability often have a hard time acknowledging their hardships. Also, I think many students (but, of course, not all) are uncomfortable being forthright about their learning challenges.

I guess what I am getting at is that it is important to keep in mind that many disabilities are hidden ones. Of course, I think the easiest thing to do is treat everyone with kindness and be observant. If a student is struggling, it is the right thing to ask if they are okay or if they need help just like you would for anyone. I think some people are afraid to address such things, but I see people with disabilities as being just like everyone else. I think everyone has different challenges in life.

Here are some websites on Assistive Technology that I think are useful. I was unable to get them to link in Blogger. This seems to be a consistent problem with this application.
“Teacher Tap,” professional development resources for educators and librarians, is an awesome website with tons of information/links on technology and special needs. This is a must bookmark site in my opinion!
Information and resources for children and adults with disabilities
SCATP (South Carolina Assistive Technology Plan) is federally funded by the US Department of Education of South Carolina. This is a well organized site with links to some great resources. I think this site is managed by a Janet Jendron who is Assistive Technology Program Coordinator at USC School of Medicine.
This webpage created by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory has tables that list the most commonly used AT devices for K-12 students. The table is divided into five AT categories: vision, communication, access, hearing, and learning/studying. NCREL is a nonprofit whose goal is “ improving our nation's schools to make them safe and productive places where children can learn and grow.” They specialize in the educational applications of technology.
Of course, Wikipedia provides a good introduction and has sections on hardware and software.

Module 3 Evaluating AT Software

Here is my comparison of three AT Software programs:

Software name: Inspiration

Company: Inspiration Software, Inc., founded in 1982, mission is to provide software that increase visual thinking and learning

Cost: Ranges from $70 for a single license to $895 for 20 licenses

Features: Allows students to plan assignments by graphic organizers, concept maps, webs, and idea maps

Pros:Has on-demand training videos, improves writing proficiency, helps students visualize difficult concepts

Cons: This technology would not be helpful to the blind or visually impaired.

Software name: Kurzweil 3000,a comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners.

Company: Kurzweil Educational Systems, leading developer of reading technology for people with learning difficulties and those who are blind or visually impaired.

Cost:$395-$2695 (1-5 learning stations)

Features:can access any information, reads to students in a human-like voice, provides visual and auditory feedback, includes highlighting, text circle tools, bookmarks, voice notes,has audible spell checker

Pros: can access info. whether it is printed, electronic, or on the web,increases reading fluency, and teaches study skills

Software name: ICommunicator

Company: Interactive Solutions, Inc. (ISI), a subsidiary of Teltronics, Inc. since 1999.

Cost: $6500 with significant cost for annual support and upgrades

Features: Converts speech to text, speech/text to video sign language and speech/text into a computer-generated voice for those who are hard of hearing or deaf, built-in dictionary/thesaurus

Pros: enables the deaf to attend regular classes without a translator and independently communicate with others, encourages increased literacy, etc.

Con: very expensive

How can I implement technology in my school or library?

From working on my tech plan, it is apparent that implementing technology in a school library or in any setting should involve thorough planning. Collaboration and leadership are key to the process of implementing AT. I don't think that a SLMS should try to do this on their own, but need support and input from many different people. This idea is suggested in Jurkowski when the process of forming a tech planning committee is discussed. I would do a lot of research, visit other schools who are using AT, and discuss the needs of the district with many teachers, IT specialists, and with representatives from hardware and software companies. I think that to implement AT effectively, I would adopt hardware and software a little at a time and on a trial basis before purchasing a bunch of equipment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Assistive Technology, Module 2

This is a pic of my chosen hardware, the Sara Reader/Scanner...

I am always inspired by the accomplishments of people like Leigh-Ann Tompkins who has been able to run her own graphic design company, despite the fact that she is wheel chair bound and can only speak through the use of a computer due to cerebral palsy. People who have to overcome such obstacles in life are truly amazing, and it always makes me feel fortunate and like I should never let anything get me down.

I just reviewed the Tapped In session from this week, and one idea mentioned was the cost of assistive technology. After looking at the adaptive keyboards, mice, and touch screens featured in Module 2, the cost doesn't seem too outrageous. Some of the keyboards ranged from $160-175 with the Intelli-Keys being on the expensive side at $345. The HeadMouse is $995,and the Magic Touch Add-on Touch screen $170-$439.

I think there are many less expensive ways for teachers to aim for universal design in their lessons, and I really like Jurkowski's suggestions for instructional handouts and online materials as a supplement to classroom instruction. Pathfinders and webquests do a good job of appealing to students with different abilities as do Powerpoint presentations that include audio and graphics.

In the Tapped In session, some of mentioned other techniques including using larger fonts, different color backgrounds, Smartboards, and interactive handheld devices. I think those "clickers" that teachers are starting to use to get students to be able to respond, provide their input to questions simultaneously are really cool. This form of getting student input/feedback would be greatly appealing to shy students, students who have speech or oral communication difficulties and can input their answers to the teacher's questions without having to verbally respond.

I would be interested in hearing more ideas about inexpensive ways to help level the playing field for students who have disabilities from classmates!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Module 1 Universal Design

Image by Bill Browning

Recently, I realized that my training program for my student assistants here at the library was not catering to different learning styles and multiple intelligences. My wheels starting turning as to how I could reach students who are more visual learners, and thus, make their training experience here more positive and effective.

I have always believed in hands-on practice whenever possible and that is still my main way of teaching students to checkout (and in) books, DVDs, laptops among a zillion other things that they need to learn (assisting patrons with lamination, checking in/out books from other libraries, and navigating our library catalog). The list of duties is a long one and can be overwhelming for the poor, underpaid college students especially the incoming freshman. ;)

Of course, I immediately recognized that in my circumstance here that my training program needed a redesign so I am hoping that I am moving towards a universal one that any student can become a knowledgeable and helpful student assistant. Certainly, I haven't had a student with a serious disability, but I do see all people as being different with different preferences, learning styles, and problems. As an effective student manager, I am always trying to find what motivates my students and realize how different they all are (even though several have the same major!). Okay, so I am going off on a rant, but basically, I am in the process of creating video how-to tutorials and other tech tools with the help of one my student assistants to strengthen my training methods.

I did explore the website that listed famous people with their corresponding disability. In fact, all of the websites and thinking about the concept of universal design basically made think that we are all so much more alike than different. Most people learn best with hands-on activities that appeal to a variety of senses. I also looked at the Job Accomodation Network and The National Center for Learning Disabilities website, but thank goodness that teachers have special ed teachers who create IEPs because I sometimes realize that some students are having difficulties, but I haven't always been able to figure out how best to help or what the underlying issue is. The JAN site is great for employers whereas the NCLD site has great guidance for teachers.

As for how I would teach introduce Braille to a class...I would get 5 or 6 of those Braille label makers and have students work in groups to labels items around the classroom. It would probably only take a class period or two to make labels for the blind student. Besides random classroom items, some students could work on label a skeleton, a map, or other models. Students could also create models out of common objects that could be used by the blind student (and the ones who aren't blind!) to understand different learning objectives.

Here's the 7 Principles of Universal Design...
1. Equitable Use
2. Flexibility in Use
3. Simple and Intuitive Use
4. Perceptible Information
5. Tolerance for Error
6. Low Physical Effort
7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

This URL has some great tips...

Definitely something to think about!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 9, Thing 23 My Classroom Learning 2.0 Experience

I Blog, Therefore I Am

Overall, exploring the California School Library Association's 23 Things was a great experience. It forced me to explore some Web 2.0 tools that I hadn't yet explored. Most notably would be my experimentations with Wordle, Flickr, and mashups. Also, it was a great "thing" for me to establish a Google Reader so that I can't keep following all the latest technology. It's something that any great librarian should be doing.

I am considering trying to keep up with my blog here and to focus it on "Using Technology for Improving Student Management." Perhaps I will even have the guts to post my PowerPoint presentation for Access Services 2009. Watch out, Atlanta, here I come! If you're wondering what I'm talking about and are interested, here's a the URL for the conference. ;)

Week 9, Thing 22 E-Books

It's great that there are many books available free through the Gutenberg Project. From the Classroom Learning 2.0 site, the free e-books were a bit difficult to find. I was a little confused at first as the link goes to where it says that it is $8.95 to join. If you click on "Join the Gutengberg Project" on the left, it does ask that you give a donation.

Still, this is a small price to pay to have access to many books, but I imagine that many of the popular items that library patrons are looking for are not available because they are not yet in the public domain. In other words, I guess GP is best for those looking for older works. Unfortunately, I can't download on my computer or I would have liked to download a free e-book. However, I did search for "Dracula" and had 4 results.

Week 9, Thing 21 Podcasts

The three podcast websites that I looked at were,, and Educational Podcast Directory. Of these three, I would strongly recommend PodcastAlley because it has a user friendly search engine and lots of library-related podcasts.

If any of you are are or are going to be Teen Librarians, I would definitely be subscribing to the TeenLibrarian podcast. Also, if you search for "librarians," you get only 12 results, but the "ABC Book Review Podcast" features two public librarians that review books. Following a podcast like this one would be a great way to keep up with what's new. Each podcast features a theme such as Chick Lit, Mystery and Suspense, Movies based on a book, etc.

(Sorry, I can't get this link created. I will try again another day. Not sure why it's being difficult.)

Week 9, Thing 20 YouTube

YouTube is so awesome. Here is an old video of Penn & Teller visiting the Library of Congress to look at Houdini-related artefacts and books. It's especially funny because Penn and Teller look so young, maybe in their 20's? On a side note, I almost visited the Library Congress, but the bus I was supposed to be taking never came because it broke down! Wish I would have made that trip but maybe next time!

YouTube is something I use for all types of purposes especially as a "how to" resource because I often find tutorials on how to do things there. And, who doesn't use it for entertainment either to listen to music or watch funny videos?

Since I am a horse person, it is a good place to check out videos of horses that are for sale or just cool videos of horses jumping or competing. I know this isn't a blog about horses. I am currently working on putting a tutorial on YouTube to use when training my students to work at the Information Services desk here at Schmidt Library. I will post it here when it's finished, but I don't know if it will be done by this semester as it needs to be edited.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week #8 Productivity Tools & Google Spaces

Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom by Shelly & Cashman is a great text for anyone looking for an introduction to all sorts of computer and web terminology. Reading this text has been interesting for me as it is a review of much I already know about how computers work, but then Shelly includes details and an update for me about some "technical" things that I don't have experience with or that I didn't understand fully.

Chapter 3 Application Software Productivity Tools for Educators went along nicely with our 23 Things task this week. I just wish it had some information about scheduling applications as I would like to learn more about what is available on the web for scheduling employees. However, I do realize this is a text for educators and not for student managers like myself. If anyone knows anything about scheduling applications like "When to Work," please drop a line.

That said, I decided not to experiment with Zoho Writer, but instead, to post about my experience with Google Sites. Last year I decided to set out on a mission to put our Information Services book of instructions online so that the library staff could more easily locate information needed while working the desk. Our "literal" book (which everyone called "the black book" as it was a black three ring binder) had an index, and noone could ever locate "how to" docs when they needed them. I enlisted the help of our library systems specialist. After looking at several different options for this project, we decided that the best forum for our book was Google Sites.

Google Sites is a very basic webpage publishing application. However, what makes it better than Zoho Writer and other apps is that you can create a bunch of pages (probably over 60 documents for our library desk procedures!) and then you can search your webpage to find what your looking for. Since it is created by Google, it works just like it. For example, I have a couple of pages that cover how to check in and out laptops and what to do with laptops that are damaged. The staff member need only search laptop, and those one or two documents will show on a list. It is really easy to use and is a major improvement to what we doing...thumbing through a notebook looking for a page that we needed.

Google Sites also reminds me of a wiki without the collaboration factor. All staff members have access to our Google Sites pages, but I am the only one who can edit them. I did this so as to keep page maintenance at a minimum, and I didn't have anyone jumping up and down at work for a collaborative effort.

Another web publishing application I have used is a Geocities space through Yahoo. Yahoo is no longer supporting webpages so I will have to find a new place for the Gettysburg Riding Club page for which I am the "webmaster." Well, I hope this post was not too long or boring. I am signing off for now. ~Steph

Week 8: Library Thing

Here's my Library Thing link that goes along with my WebQuest on evaluating websites:

My experience with Library Thing is that it is easy to use, and from a social networking aspect, I like how you can see others' libraries. I imediately noticed that David Loertscher had one book tagged "finding and locating information." It turned out that the book in his library seemed like a good one to add to mine since my WebQuest teaches students to evaluate web content critically. Here's a pic of it:

I chose other books that could be used for high schoolers or college freshman to guide them with choosing resources for research.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I found this Voki application on Martha Nelson's blog and had to check it out. Thanks, Martha, for sharing. It's fun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week #7 Wikis and my Webquest link

Wordle: wikis

Wow, I really liked exploring the links on Wikis this week! The only problem with me and exploring links is I get totally sidetrack! I mean first I found some really cool things. One of my first treasures was found on the Library Success: Best Practice Wiki at:

As a LIS student (or whichever acronym we are supposed to use for someone pursuing a degree in librarianship...MLIS, LS, etc.), I was immediately drawn to the resources on this wiki under the heading Training and Development for Librarians. After clicking on the Resources link, I was able to find online flashcards for studying cataloging!

I know this might not sound that exciting to some of you, but the idea of being able to create flashcards online was something I just never thought about. What a cool idea! Now, I did glance at these cataloging flashcards, and they weren't the greatest, but this would be a cool way to study for our upcoming Cataloging and Classification midterm. (Hint, hint...You all make the flashcards, and I'll use them to study.)

Okay, so we are supposed to be talking about wikis here, not flashcards, but this is my blog and I am pretty excited about making some flash cards. On a wiki note, I have used PBwiki and do think it is an awesome cataloging tool and know that my classmates (Martha, Erin, and Sarah) can attest to that from our experience in LS532.

So, back to my treasure finding theme here...I am totally going to have to edit this post at another time when it isn't 2am...Another great resource especially for school librarians is the teacherlibrarianwiki at:

This is where I got totally sidetracked. I explored this wiki and found a PowerPoint on copyright. I have been keeping a lookout for copyright information because one of my co-workers here at Schmidt Library just took over doing our e-reserves. So, that's when I went to my e-mail to send her the link and PowerPoint...Anyways, this post became a time consuming process. So, in conclusion I must conclude that WIKIS ARE COOL because they can be used for so many different purposes, foster collaboration, and even if you are not a collaborator, you can benefit from the fruits of others' labors. Cool! And, here is a link to my Webquest assignment which is a lesson on Evaluating websites for high school or college students:

(Just cut and paste this into a new window to view.) Does anyone know if you can make this a direct link? I couldn't figure it out.)

Week 6 Technorati

I promise this is my last post for my Week 6 experience (unless I decide to come back and edit this post). I played around with searching Technorati and know I will get back there to explore some more and add some blogs to the ones I am already following using Google Reader. Someday I would like to have time to browse more of the Top 100 Blogs list, but I did find one that I saved that is great for librarians or anyone trying to keep up with technology especially all of the tools available on the web. Here's a description of TechCrunch and the url if you want to read up on the newest technology trends or add it to whatever reader you might be using:

TechCrunch was founded on June 11, 2005, as a weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. In addition to covering new companies, we profile existing companies that are making an impact (commercial and/or cultural) on the new web space.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Week 6 Ch. 2 Looking Toward Catalog 2.0

Library 2.0 and Beyond is a great text for learning all about these technologies, and I love how this text gives further readings, additional resources, and websites at the end of each chapter.

Chapter 2 really made me ponder the idea of how much library websites and catalogs have and will continue to change. The academic library where I work does not seem close to adopting a catalog that allows our patrons to tag library materials within our collection. I also feel that being able to tag items in our catalog or write reviews about books we have is not "high priority" for many of our college students. Our text does mention that the University of Pennsylvania library has created its own tagging system called PennTags so tagging does seem to be making headway at academic libraries, just not so much at my library.

However, here at Schmidt Library, the way we search our OPAC will soon be getting much more user friendly as we will be getting a new search engine called Summon. Dartmouth has Summon and basically it is like Google search for libraries. If you have some time and want to check it out, you can test drive it at Dartmouth's site.

If you take a look at this site, notice how "streamlined" Dartmouth's library website looks, and if you try some test searches, let me know what you think. I am really excited about this new way of searching our catalog that will be coming next semester!

Week 6 Bookmarking and Metatagging

I love these Lee Lefever videos that explain different web applications. (Dr. Farmer shared one with us for our previous lesson on RSS.)

I have to say that my favorite Web 2.0 (or Library 2.0) application is social bookmarking, and my preferred social bookmarking site is Diigo. I also have used (now just Delicious) but converted to Diigo because it has some extra features that I like. I currently have about 80 different tags, and I honestly can't tell you how many sites bookmarked.

If you choose to experiment with Diigo and join, try searching for "Delicious," and you will find lots of useful websites there on the topic of social bookmarking. I also have tagged my Clarion courses and will eventually have all of the useful websites accumulated through these Masters courses saved there. It will be a wonderful resource and my own little "key" to the web when I add the rest of what I have on my Favorites list. The cool thing is as long as I can always access the internet, I won't ever loose track of these useful online resources!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hi, all.

Here's my Rollyo. It could be used as a lesson in Information Literacy on how to evaluate websites for high school or college students. I had a crazy time with the Rollyo site and probably won't use it again. I would actually prefer Diigo or Delicious sites for this purpose as I like both interfaces better. I know it is not exactly the same concept but would certainly serve the same purpose...grouping webpages together under one tag so you can share them with a class.

I will certainly add more later, but I think a need a "technovacation" right about now. ; ) ~Steph

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thing #8 (Week 4) RSS Feeds

Here's a screenshot of my Google Reader. RSS Feeds is a technology that I have been meaning to do since last summer. It is great to finally be able to follow some technology blogs/sites (blites or slogs?) using RSS since it is already the end of THIS summer! Keeping up with what's new with computers in general is important so one of the first sites I subcribed to was PC Magazine's feed.

I am also a huge fan of Meredith Farkas who writes a technology column for Library Journal. I was excited to see that she also has a blog, and I like how her writing highlights her knowledge about both technology and library stuff (especially academic ones). Of course, I am also trying to follow all of your blogs so I have a separate folder for "23 Things."

I was amazed by the link of 100 Best Blogs for Future Librarians that Dr. Farmer shared with us. I am sure I will be adding more to my reader once I get to peruse the whole list.

I look forward to sharing technology news from my Google Reader with everyone as I get to explore all my feeds.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Teambuilding mashup?

I originally wanted to focus my blog on the theme of using technology to improve student management. One aspect of student management that I have found challenging was to get my students to think of each other as a "team." This can be especially hard at the beginning of Fall semester when I usually have 3 to 5 new student assistants who are meeting their coworkers for the first time at our scheduling meeting.

Also, the idea of being a team is particularly difficult with my desk staff because they never overlap shifts and only see each other during shift changes. However, the idea of being a team is an important one because I want them to want to help each other when someone needs their shift covered and also with the idea of pitching in equally to complete tasks that need to be done on a daily basis (shelving books, stamping due date cards, clean the desk area, cleaning white boards in our group study rooms, etc. etc.). Besides encouraging them to help each other out, I try (on a meager budget) to have a couple of social gatherings each semester.

That said, I wanted to see what you think of the idea of using the jigsaw application at my scheduling meeting. I thought I could print it out and give the pieces to the students and have them collaborate to put it together. Here's the puzzle I created from my most recent pic of my student staff (Three of my new student were not available for the pic so I missing a few, and the date is incorrect.) I am thinking this would be great "team building" exercise especially for a library that has a larger staff. Let me know what you think.

Pop Art Posters via

I spent some time late last night (well, actually, early this morning!) checking out my classmates blogs and was really impressed with some of the posters and other cool stuff my classmates were creating. I think it was Melissa that had mention, and I decided to check out that site. Here's some of my creations using the pop art posters app.

This is my kitty, Cindy Lou Who.

My dog Denver in her princess outfit
with jack o'lanterns.

My sister's horse, Charlie.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mashup experiments

So, this is what I come up with when I am playing around with some mashup applications at almost 2:30am...This is a pic that my mom took from my parents' garden on their farm. Of course, I added this amazingly creative slogan that I am sure the beef industry would not appreciate me stealing.

I think this application is called Postermaker, and I can see how teachers would love it to create their own inspirational posters. Of course, this would be a great activity to have students create one of these as a sort of "goal setting for the year" kind of introductory activity at the beginning of school year. You could hang them up around the classroom or on a bulletin board.

On a separate note, one of my friends posted one of these posters on his facebook page. I was wondering how he created it. (Now I know!). Well, I was going to just tell you about it, but let's just say a picture is worth a thousand words....I found it to be quite entertaining and figured that you wouldn't recognize him with that fake mustache.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 3: Flickr & Mashups

Wow, I just had a terrible time remembering my logon and password for this site. I hope everyone else is doing better with this than I have!

I was excited to experiment with Flickr this week as it is one of those tasks that I always wanted to "get around to doing." I absolutely love taking and sharing photos and years ago, before all these photo-sharing sites came along, I purchase a software program for managing pics called Jasc AfterShot. I would like to eventually convert my many, many (yes, I said, MANY!) pics to an online application (most likely, Flickr). My Flickr URL is:

I have a few photos that I am sharing publicly that you can check out and hope to add more soon. I am a member of a horseback riding club so I have added a few albums (called "sets" in Flickr) of pics that I will share with the members of the club. I can't wait to add pics from my family's Labor Day picnic and some other picnics that we have had this summer.

So, I guess I should say I have jumped right into this social photo sharing application, but I am still contemplating how I can use this app at work as a Student Manager. I personally like the mappr mashup where you can combine pics of locations and put them on a map, but I am thinking I would like to create a virtual tour of our Schmidt Library using Flickr. I did a quick search and really like how Michigan State University Libraries (MSU) are using Flickr for their libraries. Check it out their Flickr page:

or you can view a slideshow library tour at:

The pic above is from a set of pics they have called "What not to do to a book." I will do a separate post once I experiment with mashups and have more time to think about how I could use Flickr and mashups for student management.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thing 1 and Thing 2 of "23 Things"

Yahoo! Avatars

As the current student manager at a college library, I hope to use this "23 Things" experience to explore ways to use Web 2.0 application to improve student management. My Technology for Educators course through Clarion has come in good time as I will be doing a presentation at a national conference in the fall. My presentation is using technology to improve student management.

Habit 1: Begin with the end in mind
Habit 2: Accept responsibility for your own learning
Habit 3: View problems as challenges
Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7: Teach/mentor others
Habit 7 ½: Play

Looking at these 7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learners, I have to say that the hardest ones for me to follow are numbers 3 and 4. Sometimes I get frustrated when something doesn't go the way that I had hoped so I don't always see problems as challenges at first. I do come around usually, and I do like to problem solve once I get over the initial disappointment. Though my confidence in myself has improved, number 4 would be my second hardest.

I am interested in seeing what others find easy/difficult. The rest of the habits are things that I feel I do naturally as I have always had a love of learning. Therefore, I find it most easy to accept responsibility for my own learning. As a student manager, I put prime importance on teaching and mentoring my student assistants and like them to feel that they can come to me for professional advice. I also like to help are student patrons with becoming familiar with our library's resources and troubleshooting their technical problems.

My learning contract goal is to follow some technology blogs or other technology site using RSS feeds. This is one of those things I have been meaning to do but just haven't got around to. My obstacles are time and stress, but I WILL be making the time. I really shouldn't have a problem achieving this goal as my only necessary tools will be the internet and my e-mail account, and I have plenty of resources including the internet (YouTube), our Systems Librarian and System Admistrator here at the library who will definitely be able to suggest some good ones to follow, and my many textbooks.
I will let you know how I achieve my goal and what sites I choose to follow.