Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Craiglist Scam - Please Read!

This is a letter that I wrote to to alert them of a scam I encountered when trying to sell an item on their website.

I posted a change table for sale on anchorage/mat-su craigslist. I received an offer from He offered to pay $220 for the change table even though I was only asking $200. When the certified check (or so he claimed) arrived, it was made out for $2450. He said that the bank made an error and asked if I would deposit the check into my bank account, take $250 as payment for the change table and my trouble, and western union him the remaining balance of $2200. I called my bank immediately as I was weary about the transaction. My bank advised me NOT to cash the check and send the money western union as the check could bounce and then I would be out the $2200.

I googled the email address ( and found four results of other scams that this person has tried to pull on craigslist shoppers prior to me. I believe that I was targeted as I posted a for sale item (change table) that may have led this scam artist to think I was a trusting, caring, new mom and thus an easy target. During our email conversations this person also claimed that he was honeymooning in Hawaii and that he was hearing impaired in an attempt to appeal to my softer side and trick me.

I am alerting you of this problem as I DO NOT want any other HONEST craigslist shopper to be scammed in this way!!! I find craigslist to be a helpful and popular site however if scammers such as this person continue to perform fraudulent activities it may lose its credibility with the general public. Is there any way you can let all craiglist shoppers know about this kind of SCAM or find this crimminal and put an end to his misuse of craigslist?

I would appreciate a prompt reply of your action concerning this problem.
Thank you for your help.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chp. 4: new tools in schools

I decided to read this chapter because it covered cool schools, classroom applications, using the tools for learning, teaching content, and other tools and models. This chapter stated that web 2.0 tools "offer new opportunities for students to learn, explore, and present their knowledge." Since I began this online discovery of web 2.o tools I am constantly searching for new ways to integrate the web 2.o tools with the technology tools I have in my classroom to enrich students learning experiences so that they learn to connect, collaborate, and contribute within the global community.

Some good ideas I found in this chapter that I would like to adapt and use with my first grade students:

1. Curriculum area of Social Studies: the objective is for students to conduct oral histories with family members and create a presentation of the interviews. I envision students drawing pictures of their family members uploading them to Voicethread and then having family members comment on the Voicethread to provide the oral history.

2. Curriculum area of Geography: the objective is for students to understand and appreciate other countries and cultures. I envision using Google Earth and planning a treasure hunt for my students. Some interesting treasure that would be fun to search for... the foods that Mem Fox includes in her book Possum Magic (for example, mornay from Melbourne, pavlova from Perth, and lamingtons from Hobart) that are served in different parts of Australia.

3. Curriculum area of Science: the objective is to make science more visual for students. I envision enriching my teaching of the ASD science kit The Power of Water by creating a keynote presentation to introduce the unit that visually represents the water cycle model. The keynote will be interactive so that each part of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection) will be linked to a Discovery Streaming video clip that describes that specific scientific part of the process.

As I neared the end of this chapter I read, "One thing is certain, we are at the very beginning of this evolution and many of you reading this book will be creating new ideas and projects that others will want to hear about." This statement made me feel validated in the way I chose to reflect upon this chapter and also caused me to secretly hope that other web 2.0 class members would post some lesson ideas that I could add to my collection of things to try.

Chp. 9: new schools

I have read the Marc Prenksy article Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants as a requirement for other tech classes this year. As we discussed the article in class, there were teachers who found the article offensive and derogatory toward the teaching profession and all teachers in general. However I think Marc Prensky offers a fresh view that could revitalize teachers and enable students to succeed. I find the article to be inspiring, encouraging, and a reminder of what is important when in the position of educating students in today's society.

This chapter explains (just as Mark Prensky does in the article mentioned above) that students "are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach." This profound statement must shape how educators design curriculum and reach out to students if we expect to increase achievement. Instead of teaching in the way we have always taught, we as teachers need to be ready to make a shift. Students need to be provided with tools that motivate them to participate, enrich their learning experiences , and empowers them to comprehend in a more profound way.

Of course in order to teach in this way, educators require the following...
1. A Positive Attitude - teachers must be willing to grow and learn new things
2. Time - learning new things takes time and patience
3. Effort - new challenges can be hard work
4. Availability of Tools - teachers need to be able to get their hands on technology tools
2. Professional Development - teachers need to be trained on how to use the tools
3. Student Enrichment Ideas - teachers need to be trained on how to best infuse the technology tools into daily instruction

The above requirements are often seen as road blocks by teachers. However, I have had the experience this past school year of participating in a grant program that I believe removes the barriers and helps teachers cross over into the realm of becoming a 21st century educator. I am speaking of the Anchorage School District's Technology Teacher Leader program.

I was an ASD TTL 6 grant recipient and I believe that the program addresses all of the problem areas that I mentioned above. Teachers who have the desire to learn more about technology and who are willing to put in the time and effort, recieve money to purchase technology tools to enhance instruction and enrich their students' learning experiences. Throughout the TTL process, grant recipients are provided with numerous training opportunities to learn how to best use the tools they received, as well as how to use them in an enriching way in order to increase student achievement.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chp. 7: online safety and security

I believe that "lurking online threats" are what deter some parents and teachers from allowing students to interact with the web; in my mind keeping students and their data safe and secure is an essential priority, as is legal and ethical use of online resources.

I especially like how this chapter outlined a five step avoidance plan for copyright problems (I am listing the five steps below so I can revisit my blog anytime to recall the process):

1. Create and implement a technology policy that includes a code of ethics and set of procedures.
2. Review the entire policy with your educational community: students, teachers, and parents.
3. Appoint a technology manager to conduct audits and maintain a log of licenses and registration materials.
4. Teach ethical and legal behvior for technology use.
5. Thank employees and students for supporting these steps.

*This five step process was taken from the book entitled Web 2.0 New Tools, New Schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum.

This chapter also covers security solutions and safeguards to put in place in order to protect students. At our elementary school we have some of the security solutions that are listed in this chapter in place already. For example, we have an internet filter, students and staff have been instructed on internet safety, parents are provided with information on safe student use of the world wide web, and our district has purchased school licenses for safe search engines (i.e. netTrekker and Discovery Streaming). However, even with all of that in place, students have still found ways (most of which I believe are chance encounters) to interrupt the system and cause the safeguards to fail. Therefore I believe strongly that the answer is not to totally lock down the tool but rather teach students to use it in an ethical and responsible manner.

I have found the Net Smartz Workshop website to be an awesome resource for students, parents, and educators. The website aids in the process of keeping all parties involved aware and up to date on what is important to know when considering how to keep children and teens safe online.

Chp. 1 Reflection: new world, new web, new skills

Something that really stuck with me from this chapter was the following statement...

"As educational leaders, we should understand changes in the Web and how they reflect changes in the world around us. We should provide these new tools to our students so that they are prepared for new challenges."

I feel that this web 2.0 course has better prepared me to educate students so that they will be able to face future challenges head on and be successful. This class has also taught me that the internet is no longer just a place to search out information but rather a limitless resource to interact with.

Another powerful quote from this chapter that really resonated with me was...

"In the future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate them."

Even as a primary teacher, I deal with the "how we educate" vs the "how much we educate" issue. Often I run head on into this issue when a parent wants to increase the homework load of their first grade son or daughter. At times it can be hard to get parents to understand that it is not the amount of work the child completes that makes the biggest impact on their education but rather whether or not the activities the child is engaging in are enriching and result in quality learning experiences.

I am glad that this chapter included and defined the 21st century skills that students need to be equipped with in order to lead a successful life in today's changing society. I think there are times when we get caught up in all of the tech tool craze and forget that the tools by themselves will not yield proficient results. I have found the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Website to be an excellent resource.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Very Last Thing

Dear Raven Web 2.0 Team,

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to complete this journey. I have learned a great deal and used what I have learned to make a difference in the way that I teach. Your thoughtful comments have been helpful and encouraging and I have recommended this online credit course to many of my colleagues. At the beginning of this adventure I had no idea there were so many educational Web 2.o tools that I could use to enhance curriculum and now that my journey is nearly over, I am a little saddened that it is all coming to an end. This course has really reignited the spark within me to show my students that I too am a lifelong learner.

My sincere Thanks,

Week 9: "Thing 23" Continued...

I like that Creative Commons provides an easy way for anyone to safeguard work and/or allow others to use what has been created; the copyright power is put into the hands of the creator and because the website is user-friendly, obtaining a copyright license is no longer a daunting or cumbersome task.

I thought the You Tube video A Fair(y) Use Tale was very clever, plus I love Disney so it was fun to watch. It also served as a good reminder about how easily copyright laws are broken and how important it is for everyone to join the cause and respect copyright laws. I have to admit though, I found myself thinking more about the Disney movies a couple of times than the copyright message. Can you blame me? It was a fun walk down memory lane.

Week 9: "Thing 23"

I was first introduced to the concept of Creative Commons in a one credit class entitled 21st Century Tools for 21st Century Schools taught by Martina Henke. She played the following Teacher Tube video for us...

Week 9: "Thing 22"

I explored the World eBook Fair site and I found the collection to be severely outdated. I spent quite a bit of time in the children's collection and I knew some of the title's such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, and Bambi. However, I could not see myself or my students putting this resource to good use unless it is updated and offers more recent titles and authors.

An eBook option that is available to educators that I put to good use is Tumblebooks! My students love it!

This is not a free site but I think it is well worth the money to buy a school subscription. Some of the features I love most about the site are:
-the eBooks target childrens' interests
-the eBooks can be read aloud to the student
-the eBooks are recent and by popular authors
-there are eBooks for ELL students (French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Russian)
-after listening to an eBook a student can take a comprehension quiz
-there is a pre-made template to help students when writing a book report
-there are educational games and puzzles that are extensions of the eBooks
-the eBooks are leveled to target the students' reading ability
-book reviews are available for each eBook
-accelerated reader information is available for each eBook
-there is an excellent educator's resource section and lesson plans that accompany some eBooks
-students and/or teachers can create a favorites list and a playlist

The image below shows a variety of Tumble options available to students.
The following image (click to enlarge) displays the useful tools that accompany an eBook.

Week 9: "Thing 21" Continued...

Some podcasts that I am interested in after searching...

(I need to get better at answering random quiz questions correctly - I know the 'king of trivia' and he rubs in the fact that I have a severe deficiency in this area. I added this one to my RSS Feed.)

(What a great way to track the 'last great race' with your class!)
(I especially am interested in the Shark Week and Dirty Jobs podcasts)

As I mentioned below, I am new to podcasts but excited to start taking advantage of them and their convenience.

Week 9: "Thing 21"

The video embedded below entitled Podcasting in Plain English was very helpful in explaining what exactly a podcast is. The 411 on podcasting is an interest of mine as of late because I am required to create a podcast with my Kincaid TTL 6 team to report the findings of our grant results.

Week 9: "Thing 20" Continued...

I have had a Teacher Tube account for over a year now but I have not made good use of it. After spending some time searching the site a little I have a better idea of how to use it. I could...
-play a video linked to curriculum we are studying to grab my students attention and get them to engage
-embed video on my class blog to educate parents
-enhance curriculum and make it come to life by playing video that touches on the topic we are learning about
-revisit the site often to get fresh ideas on how to infuse technology into my daily lesson plans in an enriching way

I chose to embed the video entitled Did You Know? on my blog to serve as a constant reminder to me that there is a shift occurring in education due to the rapid evolution of technology and as a teacher I must embrace this and prepare my students for the future.

Week 9: "Thing 20"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week 8: "Thing 19.1"

I was introduced to the Alaska Digital Pipeline last year at ASDSA when I began my training process as a TTL grant participant. It looked like a great tool at that time but I did not have much of an opportunity to check it out.

As I explored the Digital Pipeline this time, I found it somewhat hard to navigate but I realize that I am still learning how to best put it to use.

I found it easy to create an EBSCO account, do a search (I searched the iditarod), and save some of the articles to my folder.

I had trouble creating a search alert and a journal alert, even after examining the EBSCO support link provided.

As I searched the database for professional journals I found many that I recognized such as NEA Today, Education Canada, and Education Digest.

As I looked at the differences between the Kids, Middle, and High School Interfaces I found:
-all three interfaces had a facts for learning link
-all three interfaces had some sort of search option
-all three interfaces had a NoveList
-all three interfaces had live homework help

However as I searched the three interfaces I noticed that they incrementally offered more choices as the grade level increased which makes sense as older students are able to critique information found on the internet in more appropriate and safe ways.

When I explored the Consumer Health Pamphlets I did a search on picky eaters as I have a 19 month old daughter who just happens to fit that description and the following three resources were offered. When I have more time to dedicated to this task I am hoping these resources will help me better understand my daughter's eating habits.
When I checked out the Consumer Health Images and Diagrams I found an awesome diagram of the eye. I think this link could be of great use to the health teachers within the Anchorage School District. I will definitely be passing it on to our school health teacher.
When I explored the Consumer Health Videos and Animations I discovered a video called Helping Overweight Children.

After watching the Flash Movie explaining the upcoming changes to the EBSCO Host interface I am excited about the following upcoming features and changes to the site...
-the simplified search screen
-the breadcrumb trail
-being able to limit searches by date
-images related to searches being offered
-the ability to quickly preview related images

Lastly, I had to check out the small engine repair category. Now the next time I talk with my brother who lives in Canada and works at a John Deere factory I can "WOW!!!" him with my knowledge of how to repair a John Deere 1050 engine and clutch system.

(Displayed above (click to enlarge): Page 1 of 9 of the light reading I recently required on how to fix a John Deere 1050 engine and clutch system. Yeah... I will get right on that!)

Week 8: "Thing 19"

I loved LibraryThing. It was easy to sign up for a free account and get started searching for some of my all time favorite books to read aloud to my students.

On my blog library shelf you will see...

Charlotte's Web - I love to read this book aloud to my class. It is a book of true friendship, life lessons that can be hard to swallow, and fun times on the farm.

Frindle - I have not read this book aloud to my first grade students but I remember it being one of my favorites to listen to. I love the way this book shows students just how powerful words can be.

Julia Donaldson's (my newest favorite author) books...

Gruffalo- a fun book about a tricky mouse who outsmarts three woodland creatures, and one not-so-imaginery Gruffalo, who want to gobble him up.

Gruffalo's Child- a book to follow the one listed above with a little twist, this time the Gruffalo is not the big and bad one, instead the mouse fills those shoes.

The Snail and the Whale- a book about a snail who feels small and insignificant in relation to the rest of the world but finds out he is capable of making a very big impact.

The Fish Who Cried Wolf- a fun story about a little fish who tells big tales and one day finds himself in over his head without help because of the tales he spins.

Room on the Broom- an enjoyable story where a witch and her animal friends help one another and find that true friends stick together through good times and bad.

The Spiffiest Giant in Town- a heartwarming story that shows children if you are kind to others kindness will come back to you.

I can't wait to add this Web 2.0 tool to my class blog. I think it would be a powerful way to keep parents up to date as to what we are reading aloud as a class and then parents could check them out of the library and provide these familiar books to their child to read at home. We could also use our library shelf on our class blog as a way to display our top ten favorite class read alouds!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Week 8: "Thing 18" My First Zoho Experience

My First Zoho Experience

This is my first time using  Please pardon the extreme formating - I am having fun playing with Zoho's features!  I have heard a great deal about online word processors in the tech circles that I dabble in as of late, especially Google Docs, however I have not yet had time to satisfactorily explore these web 2.0 tools.

I am excited to be working in Zoho for the first time; it is extremely user-friendly and has a nice amount of formatting options.  I am creating this document as a requirement of an online course that I am a taking called "Raven About Web 2.o Tools."  I have found this class to be extremely beneficial in introducing me to a number of useful Web 2.0 tools that I can use as a teacher to enhance my students' learning experiences.

I am aslo in the middle of taking a class entitled "Digital Media and 21st Century Students, Creating Engaged Learners."  During our next class session we will be exploring Google Docs and one of the class projects will require that we collaborate and create a Google Doc with a number of other class participants.

I have enjoyed using Zoho and after this fun and easy experience, I will definitely use it again, as well as promote its use to other educators!   (Translation: I have enjoyed using Zoho and after this fun and easy experience, I will definitely use it again, as well as promote its use to other educators!)

Until next time,
Joni Matthews

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week 7: "Thing 17"

I am so glad that one of the discovery exercises for this class was to explore the Learning 2.0 Sandbox.

I found it to be an extremely useful resource as it is a place to go for cutting edge ideas I can use in my classrooom, collaboration with other tech savvy educators, and professional development to continue my journey as a life long learner.

I added my own personal experiences with Blogger in the blogging section of the sandbox. I felt it was important to pass on my experiences with Blogger as it has dramatically affected student motivation and parent communication in my classroom this year.

Week 7: "Thing 16"

Before this Discovery Exercise I knew very little about wiki's.
My first attempt to view a wiki resulted in the below image.

I was a little confused as to how peanut butter and jelly sandwiches connected to the wiki world but I came to the conclusion that the above image was just a global wiki update alert. A quick google search helped me to understand that "PeanutButterWiki or PBwiki is a commercial wiki farm started by three graduates of Stanford University: David Weekly, Ramit Sethi, and Nathan Schmidt." However it is still a mystery to me as to why the three graduate students chose to create a wiki farm named after a popular type of sandwich enjoyed by small children (maybe it was the only thing they had to eat as once poor college students).

After visiting the BookLoversWiki I found out that "The term Wiki comes from the Hawaiian word wiki wiki which means quick. A wiki is a kind of website that is written collaboratively and that multiple people can edit easily and quickly."

The website entitled Library Successdefined a wiki as a collaborative catalyst and stated...
"A wiki allows a group of people to collaboratively develop a Web site with no knowledge of HTML or other markup languages. Anyone can add to or edit pages in a wiki -- it is completely egalitarian. Anyone can create new wiki pages simply by creating a new link with the name of the page. Pages are connected not hierarchically, but by hyperlinks between pages.

According to the creator of Wiki, Ward Cunningham, wikis can be identified by the following characteristics:

* "A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons."
* "Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and by showing whether an intended target page exists or not."
* "A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape."

I found the above definition helpful because with all of the Web 2.0 tools I have been exploring as a requirement of this class, it is my goal to identify the specific purpose of each tool and then learn how to use it in collaboartion with the other Web 2.0 tools I have already learned about.

I am currently addicted to Blogger and maintain a class blog for my first grade students and parents in an attempt to motivate students to do their best work, as well as keep parents well-informed. As I explored the usefulness of wiki's, I could quite easily brainstorm curriculum connections for using a wiki with my students and linking it to my class blog.

For example:
* Idea #1: A collaborative project on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln - In honor of President's Day our class has been studying the lives of Washington and Lincoln. Every student could add something that they learned about each former President to our class wiki.
* Idea #2: Create a "Top 10" List - Our class could brainstorm and come up with a list of our favorite "Top 10" books to read aloud and post it to our wiki. We could update the list as it changed throughout the school year.
* Idea #3: Mission Trading Cards - Each student in my class could create a trading card from Big Huge Labs at the beginning of the school year, upload it to the class wiki, and then share it with their peers in order to get to know one another better and build community and foster friendships within the classroom.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week 6: "Thing 15"

After reading the articles, Away From Icebergs and To a Temporary Place in Time, I must agree that the days of cuddling up with a good book in front of a big library window are over. Instead, these days you see people at the book store sipping on specialty coffees and typing furiously on their laptops.

The Away From Icebergs (written by Rick Anderson) article was surprisingly interesting and upbeat; the article title lead me to believe that the content would be a little bit more "icy" and undesirable. The message that I received after considering Rick Anderson's viewpoint though was not that libraries will soon be extinct but rather that libraries and librarians still have a place in this world, there are just some changes that need to be made.

Anderson explains that there a three main icebergs that libraries and librarians need to stay away from in order to remain afloat.

Iceberg 1 - there is no longer a need for the "just in case" collection. Anderson explains that "It no longer makes sense to collect information products as if they were hard to get. They aren’t. In fact, it may no longer make sense to “collect” in the traditional sense at all. In my library, we’ve seen a 55 percent drop in circulation rates over the past twelve years, making it harder and harder to justify the continued buildup of a large “just in case” print collection. As a Web 2.0 reality continues to emerge and develop, our patrons will expect access to everything – digital collections of journals, books, blogs, podcasts, etc. You think they can’t have everything? Think again. This may be our great opportunity."

Iceberg 2 - library success is reliant on user education. Anderson says that "Libraries are poorly equipped and insufficiently staffed for teaching. Ask yourself what your patron-to-librarian ratio is (at the University of Nevada it’s about 680 to 1) and then ask yourself how you’re going to train all those patrons. We need to focus our efforts not on teaching research skills but on eliminating the barriers that exist between patrons and the information they need, so they can spend as little time as possible wrestling with lousy search interfaces and as much time as possible actually reading and learning."

Iceberg 3 - the "come to us" model of library service must change. Anderson suggests that "There was a time, not very long ago, when libraries exercised something close to monopoly power in the information marketplace. During the print era, if you wanted access to pricey indexes or a collection of scholarly journals, you had no choice but to make a trip to the library. It wasn’t a good system, but it worked. Sort of. That is to say, it worked moderately well for those privileged with access to a good library. In the post-print era, libraries no longer have the monopoly power that they had in the days before the Internet. We have to be a bit more humble in the current environment, and find new ways to bring our services to patrons rather than insisting that they come to us—whether physically or virtually."

I agree with Anderson and the viewpoint he expresses in his article. I think that the life span of the traditional library is almost up but that libraries can remain strong and prosperous, it is just a matter of changing the way things have been done in the past to better fit the needs of the future reader.

The article entitled To A Temporary Place in Time (written by Dr. Wendy Schultz) was helpful as it provided a basic definition for the traditional library but also went on to explain how the library has changed as the world wide web have evolved.

I found it interesting to reflect on the ways Dr. Wendy Schultz explained the value of the library as well as its life stages...

Dr. Schultz proposes "Libraries are not just collections of documents and books, they are conversations, they are convocations of people, ideas, and artifacts in dynamic exchange. Libraries are not merely in communities, they are communities: they preserve and promote community memories; they provide mentors not only for the exploration of stored memory, but also for the creation of new artifacts of memory." As well as that "Librarians today are not just inventory management biobots: they are people with a unique understanding of the documents they compile and catalog, and the relationships among those documents."

Stage 1: Traditional Library
Dr. Schultz asks "What was the library of the past? A symbol of a society that cared about its attainments, that treasured ideas, that looked ahead multiple generations. Librarians were stewards, trainers, intimate with the knowledge base and the minds who produced it."

Stage 2: Library 1.0 - Commodity
Dr. Schultz maintains that in the beginning libraries were just a source of commodity, for example, "The library from Alexandria to the industrial era: Books are commodities, collected, inventoried, categorised and warehoused within libraries. Libraries represent a resource base, contributing to educating the labour force, to supporting innovation processes fueling growth, and to informing the present and the future—whether in the neighborhood, in academia, or in business."

Stage 3: Library 2.0 - Product
Dr. Schultz believes that commodity then leads to product distribution and that librarians need to consider "How should the library package its commodity—books—as products in an environment which disintermediates, dematerialises, and decentralises? Chad and Miller’s essay, and the debates and conversations around it, raise this question and answer it with the characteristics of our emerging information infrastructure: the library is everywhere, barrier-free, and participatory."

Stage 4: Library 3.0 - Web 3D to Library 3D - Service
Dr. Schultz explains that we wil "arrive at virtual collections in the 3D world, where books themselves may have avatars and online personalities. But the avalanche of material available will put a premium on service, on tailoring information to needs, and on developing participatory relationships with customers. So while books may get in your 3D face all by themselves, people will prefer personal introductions—they will want a VR info coach. Who’s the best librarian avatar? How many Amazon stars has your avatar collected from satisfied customers? This could create librarian “superstars” based on buzz and customer ratings. People will collect librarians rather than books—the ability not just to organise, but also to annotate and compare books and other information sources, from a variety of useful perspectives."

Stage 5: Library 4.0 - The Neo Library - Experience
Dr. Schultz then predicts that this stage "will be the library for the aesthetic economy, the dream society, which will need libraries as mind gyms; libraries as idea labs; libraries as art salons. But let’s be clear: Library 4.0 will not replace Libraries 1.0 through 3.0; it will absorb them. The library as aesthetic experience will have space for all the library’s incarnations: storage (archives, treasures); data retrieval (networks—reference rooms); and commentary and annotation (salon). Available as physical places in the library “storefront,” they will also be mobile, as AR overlays we can view (via glasses, contacts, projections) anywhere. Both virtual and augmented 3D reality will enable us to manipulate data via immersive, visual, metaphorical, sculptural, holographic information theatres: the research and analytic experience will merge with drawing, dance and drama."

I found the detailed descriptions that this article offered explaining the ways in which traditional libraries have already morphed as technology has evolved within our society to be interesting and accurate. I appreciated Dr. Schultz's predictions for the future of the library and now feel motivated to keep up to date on this topic in order to best be able to meet the needs of students in the future of education.

As Dr. Schultz wraps up her article she ends with an invitation, "I'll meet you there." I have always loved the library (as a small child and even now as an adult) and I am excited for the changes that will occur. I look forward to many rewarding library experiences as the world continues to change throughout my lifetime.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Week 6: "Thing 14"

Technorati was not as user-friendly or helpful as I had hoped. After an ample amount of exploration time at the site I grew a little frustrated and a lot disappointed.

The first thing I did on the Technorati site was create an account. I was immediately put off because I had to create a member name that would be different than the standard username I try to maintain for simplicity purposes, it has an underscore and Technorati policy will only allow a username made up of letters and numbers.

The second thing I attempted to do was claim my blog. However, I kept getting the following error message...
Click the above image to enlarge it; the message is somewhat comical. "Backend issues" sounds like a personal problem.

After three failed attempts at claiming my blog, I decided to search for a blog on one of my failed passions... knitting (so many things change after you have a baby). I thought finding an interesting knitting blog might help me be bitten by the knitting bug again. However, after searching and scrolling between at least five pages of results, I didn't find much that caught my eye. The experience was not a total loss though as I did manage to find a few knitting blogs of interest. I am guilty of juding a blog by its name and the ones mentioned below I found enticing...
1. Too Many Scarves (this blog had really interesting crafting ideas)
2. Yarn Harlot (this is a blog one of my good friends follows and now I can enjoy it too)
3. Knitting Pirate (the author of this blog is witty and I enjoy her sarcasm)

In closing, I have decided that I will give Technorati a second chance to display its usefulness to me and attempt to claim my blog once more.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Week 6: "Thing 13"

The social bookmarking site came into my life just at the right time... my firefox bookmark toolbar and sidebar were completely full and I was getting pretty annoyed with scrolling through and attempting to find the link I desired.

Three days ago while attending a technology conference, I overheard two teachers talking about and after about a half an hour of exploring (I admit it - I was totally off task during the tech conference presentation), I was hooked.

I created an account and I even figured out how to add tags to my bookmarks and bundle my tags into tag clouds!

Just to show off I am including a screen shot of my beautifully organized toolbar.

Thank you; you help me keep my O.C.D tendencies in check.

Click on the screen shot to enlarge it and view the beauty of pure and honest organization.

As I explored the SJLibraryLearning2 link I found an interesting article written by Sean P. Aune on a site called Mashable that claims it is 'all that's new on the web'. The title of the article is "35 Tools for Teachers, Tutors, and Students" and it is a wonderful resource for educators; I cannot wait to share it with my colleagues. Out of the 35 tools that Aune listed and described, I am most interested in further exploring... a site where I can network with other educators and hopefully attain fresh new lesson plan ideas.
a site that has a vast amount of useful teacher tools, including a Family of Tools feature that includes links to Quizstar and Rubistar which are online quiz and rubric generators.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 5: "Thing 12"

I did not have to create an account in Voicethread for this discovery exercise; I have had one for the past year now. I find Voicethread to be a powerful teaching tool as it provides my students the opportunity to publish their work, comment on their peers' work, and learn to give as well as receive compliments and constructive criticism. I appreciate that Voicethread offers the option of keeping the students' work private but that parents, grandparents, other extended family, and friends can be invited to view the work and even record comments.

Below is a sample of our first class Voicethread project. The objective of this project was for each student to illustrate a letter of the alphabet in order to create an alphabet book and then I recorded each letter name and sound.

My class and I are currently working on a unit of instruction focusing on Alaskan Animals. It is our goal to complete our research and illustration of each animal, upload the animal photos to Voicethread, and then have each student comment on the animal they studied.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Week 5: "Thing 11" #3

Travel Challenge

Harder Than I Expected

Hopeful 'Vacuous Digressions' Author Skips This Post

His Score Phenomenal

My Score Embarrassing

The Ball Has Been Dropped

Will Update When Achieve Better Score

Don't Hold Your Breath

Week 5: "Thing 11" #2

Since I became a TTL (Technology Teacher Leader) grant participant I have been immersed in professional development opportunities.

I am currently taking a class from my dear friend Martina Henke. I first met her when I was interviewing for my teaching position; she was a member of the hiring committee that brought me on board with Kincaid Elementary School. We taught together for five years before she decided to move onto bigger and better things and is now a professional development provider for the technology department within the Anchorage School District.

The class that I am taking and that Martina is teaching, is entitled '21st Century Tools for 21st Century Learners - Kincaid Technology Class' and as a requirement of the class I am an active member of a Ning (for proof click here).

After attending the Anchorage School District TTL Spring Training Opportunity this week and speaking with many other teachers who are at the K - 2 level within the Anchorage School District, it is my goal to set up a Ning for primary teachers to share ideas and support one another district-wide.

I think I should ask my dear friend Martina to help me with this.