Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thing #12

Creating Community through Commenting: I will admit that I am a more of a lurker than a contributer while I'm reading blogs. Darren Rowse gave his readers some great tips in his blog post titled "10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog" that I will remember to use, such as asking questions and writing open-ended comments in my posts. I also enjoyed reading Meredith Farkas's post about sharing your knowledge and your personal experiences with others, which can be done as sharing your wisdom on your blog as well as posting comments on other people's blogs. It was interesting reading my classmates' blogs to see how far they are in the "23 Things" and to learn what's in store for me when I encounter the upcoming "Things" on the list. I posted my comments to let them know I appreciate their insight. I also left comments on my high school classmate's recipe blog and on The Book Whisperer's blog. My high school classmate is very creative, and I wish I was that talented in the kitchen. The Book Whisperer always has great advice for other teachers and librarians. I plan to become more of a contributor than a lurker so that I can share my knowledge and learn from others while reading blogs.

Thing #11

LibraryThing: I really think this website is such a great way to share your personal reading lists with others! It is also a great resource to use to read book reviews to add to your "must read" list. I created my LibraryThing account last weekend, and I have been adding more books to my list as I look on my bookshelves at home and in my classroom. I checked out some of the groups on LibraryThing, and I joined the Read YA Lit group. I teach junior high school students, and I also have one "tween" and one teenager at home, so I like to keep up with the latest books in young adult literature. LibraryThing will be one of the Web 2.0 applications I would like to implement when I become a librarian so that students and teachers can share their reading interests with each other.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thing #10

Online Image Generator: I enjoyed working on this "Thing!" Wordle and Glogster are popular online image generators with my students. My older son gave me some pointers on how to make the words in various sizes and using different layouts and colors while I was playing on Wordle. Students like to use Wordle for their vocabulary homework assignments by including the vocabulary word, definition, synonyms, antonyms, and situations in which one would use the vocabulary word. Glogster can be used for a variety of assignments: vocabulary reviews, chapter reviews, and book reviews. I thought the Comic Strip Generator was pretty cool. I tried to save my Captain Jack Sparrow comic strip, but somehow I ended up saving the entire page instead of the comic strip image. Go figure. (I am using a MacBook Pro without a mouse, so I couldn't right click on the image to save it.) Comic Strip Generator can be used by students to post vocabulary words in context or post favorite character quotes. The one I will share with you is my trading card that I created on Trading Card Maker. Students, teachers, and librarians can create trading cards to introduce themselves at the beginning of a new school year. It can also be used for character analysis or chapter summaries for a novel unit. I created a trading card of my two labs. Check it out!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thing #9

Useful Library -Related Blogs and News Feeds: After using all of the search tools recommended on Library2Play, I thought the Google Blog Search and the Edublogs' award winners were the easiest ones to use. I subscribed to The Book Whisperer's blog as well as the Reading Countess's blog. My READ 180 supervisor, who is also a good friend of mine, has sent these blog posts to the READ 180 teachers to keep us motivated and offer good advice to help us in our classrooms. I wasn't able to open School Library Blogs on Suprglu, but I still made a hyperlink to see if you have better luck opening it! I found some interesting blog posts on Technorati. I learned that the SXSW event is not just about music, but it also includes film and technology. I also found an interesting post about how Facebook was used to help track down a burglar in Massachusetts! The topics are endless!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thing #8

RSS Feeds and Readers: I always wondered what RSS meant, and now I know it stands for "Really Simple Syndication". After viewing the RRS in Plain English videoclip, I realize what an useful tool this can be for teachers and librarians. By subscribing to Google Reader, I am able to follow my favorite blogs and websites much easier. I have subscribed to the following blogs: Never Ending Search (The School Library Journals' blog) , Blue Skunk (Doug Johnson's blog), 2 Cents Worth (David Warlick's blog), Goddess of YA Literature (Teri Lesesne's blog), and A Library By Any Other Name (Vaughn Branom's blog :-)
I can use RRS and Google Reader to help me keep up with the latest book reviews and current events without the hassle of opening up numerous websites or using a search engine. I think of it as an updated version of Bookmarks!

Thing #7

Cool Google Tools: WOW! I never knew Google has so many functions!! I have always used it as a search engine, but its applications are endless. One of my friends uses Picasa Web Albums to share his vacation photos, and my older son uses iGoogle as his computer homepage. I know the Google Earth application is available on the Katy ISD computers, and I like how it can be used to view galaxies, historical images, and ocean floors. I have only used it to view my neighborhood! LOL
I wish I would have discovered the Google Scholar application earlier when I was working on my professional reference list for Dr. Claes's class earlier this month! However, I did find some interesting articles to help me with my final group presentation for Dr. Bishop's class :-) I also explored Google Advanced Search and found a really good powerpoint that I can use in my upcoming novel unit in my academic reading classes, Where the Red Fern Grows. All of these Google applications are wonderful tools to help students locate various resources to help them with their studies.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thing #6


Astros Box Seats--An once in a lifetime experience!

Mashups & 3rd Party sites: I have heard of mashups before, but now I have a better understanding what this term means. I really enjoyed exploring all of the different things you can do with your pictures using the Big Huge Labs application. Students can use this application as an alternative way to give a book report. I can use the motivator application to create posters using different school related pictures and displaying them around the library. I also enjoyed playing with the FD Toys' Trading Card Maker. This application would be a great way for students to write a character analysis from a novel we are currently studying in class.