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.