Thursday, October 20, 2011

Content Collaboration and Google Docs

Google Docs is an effective content collaboration tool that allows it users to simultaneously view and edit a document and save it in the "cloud" space of the Internet.  I can think of a number of ways Google Docs can be used among students, teachers, and staff/administrators, including having them use this tool whenever there is a group project that requires collaboration to write/type a document and/or report.  This may seems like a very basic concept, but it is not always thought of when groups are working together to complete a project; many groups still waste time trying to get together to write everything down on a piece of paper.  That's not to say the social interaction of physical collaboration is overrated, but when you're trying coordinate 4+ people's schedules to complete a project, etc., then maybe you should consider Google Docs.

Another idea for using Google Docs, which I will admit to "stealing" from Mrs. Michele Babbie, the LMS at the Sauquoit Valley High School, is while showing a class of students databases (for example) for a new class project, have your students think about and then add to a Google Docs some of the "key words or phrases" they will use to search for their projects on those databases.  While this is going on, have the Google Docs page up on the projector screen of everyone to see and then everyone will see simultaneously what their peers are thinking!  Mrs. Babbie tried this a couple of weeks ago and it was interesting to see some of the responses, although I think we decided that it would have worked a little more efficiently if the document had some more organization (like Team #1, write their thoughts under "Team #1", etc.), instead of students just typing all over the place.  There was also a problem with students erasing the words/phrases of some other students and then more students were just typing funny stuff like "Hello, everyone!", so establishing the ground rules are important as well.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thoughts on Websites for the Visually Impaired

This week we took a look at, which is an online digital library that provides books to people with print disabilities.  It is free to for individuals and organizations provided you can provide proof of your disability.  The organization seems to constantly be updating its books and materials (newspapers, etc.) and the website is pretty easy to use.

I also checked out, which I like, because it gives volunteers to the opportunity to create audio files of books, newspaper, etc. for the visually impaired, which gives it more of a personal touch other than the material being read by an text-to-audio machine.  People can then download those files online and listen to them; however, there is a charge for it, unlike the program.

Are there any other programs/website that you know of and/or would recommend?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Exciting News to Share

My apologies to everyone for my overall activity waning over the weekend, but I have some very exciting news to share ...


That's right!  Shawn, my boyfriend of 3 years, proposed to me on Saturday and naturally, I accepted :)

I have to admit that my pinkie finger is feeling a little naked right now, since I dropped it off at the jewelers to be re-sized; it was a little small as you can see from the picture, so I had been wearing it on my pinkie for the past 3 days :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RSS and Google Reader

Thanks to this week's topic in IST611, I've rediscovered my Google Reader account where I had subscribed to a number of sites, including Archaeology Magazine and Library Journal News.  I can't pinpoint exactly why I stopped using it, since the sites I chose to subscribe to all hold an interest for me, but I've never been one for staying on top of the latest news either.

That being said, I find the RSS technology to be extremely useful and believe that it should be taught/shown to students as an option for them to choose from if nothing else.  Students should be made aware of what RSS is and does and what it can do for them.  I don't remember where I read it, but the scenario of a girl working on a team science project comes to mind, where she is doing research on the computer and "oh, this looks like a good site; I will save it and click on the RSS to get instant updates for me and my project members."  So, being instantly updated with information is just one example of its usefulness.  Also, I enjoy having all of the websites/information from those websites that you would normally look at (and that are usually updated) right in front of you to view and then click on if you would like to go to the site for more information.

I'm curious to know, if this is not your first time using RSS feeds, how did you come about using them and why?  What are some of your favorite sites to subscribe to?

Millsap and Stripling To Vie for ALA 2013-14 Presidency

Just happened to see this article as I was going through my RSS feeds on Google Reader ... Vote for Barbara Stripling!!!

Millsap and Stripling To Vie for ALA 2013-14 Presidency

Welcome to My Blog

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!  For a 21st century learner and librarian, I have never dealt much with blogs, but it's high time that I give it a try.  I am currently a student at Syracuse University's Certificate in Advanced Studies, School Media program (I already have my MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh) and this week we are discussing blogging, vlogging, and RSS feeds.  I will delve into this further in my next post, which will hopefully spur some discussion with my fellow classmates!