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Preview: Training Wheels

Training Wheels

Join me as I go on the road to learn more about library and educational technology.

Updated: 2018-03-06T01:04:15.506-08:00


Engaging Generation Y(ouTube)


Creating Video for Instruction

Ben Archer, Linda Zehr, and Mary McGlasson from Chandler Gilbert Community College created a web page for their session that includes sample videos.

A faculty colleague, Matt Fisher, has filmed YouTube accounting lecture videos shot with a Flip video camera. They have tested video quality using a range of basic and more advanced Flip cameras and haven't noticed a large difference. They advised buying the least expensive Flip model.

Archer uses Camtasia to create instructional videos for online classes and discovered students have responded better to these than the narrated PowerPoints he previously used. Why? He includes an inset video of himself talking in the upper right corner of the videos. It establishes a human connection. Camtasia allows the scripts for lectures to be imported and converted into closed captions. This supports the college's goal to make online courses accessible.

Mary, aka mjmfoodie on YouTube, writes scripts, creates storyboards, and draws pictures on large index cards. She scans the cards in a receipt scanner and then uses MovieMaker to create her movies. Washington State University has asked permission to use her videos and agreed that their Open Course Library Project would create closed captioned versions.

Mesa Community College's video library is compiled at They used an OpenSource system provided by MediaCore.

Mary has assigned students to create video posters with Pluster. She shows them how to access Creative Commons-licensed videos on Flickr for these projects.

Mary's Delicious site with links to resources she has bookmarked is here.

OER (Open Resources)-- What, Where, Why and How


Donna Gaudet and Roberto Ribas, mathematics instructors from Scottsdale Community College, introduced Open Educational Resources (OERs) using a Mindomo mind map Donna has been compiling. Most of the resources -- including textbooks, labs, videos, animations, learning resources, graphics -- are licensed so they can be redistributed and repackaged.

Another good source for OERs is the OER Commons.

Gaudet's and Ribas' motivation was to find free resources so students would not need to purchase expensive textbooks. SCC is starting to note courses that don't require a textbook in the schedule of classes as are other colleges.

Ears and Hands-On Learning


The Library iTour for Developmental Education Students

Candace Komlodi, a GateWay Community College reading instructor in Phoenix, Arizona, and GateWay librarian Lili Kang use Sansa Fuze media players with developmental education students. They have designed the iTour, an interactive library tour to introduce the library and build information literacy skills through hands-on activities. The tour is preloaded on the player and is used in combination with a printed worksheet.

The iTour offers an alternative, self-paced delivery method. A key goal is to reduce research anxiety. The worksheet incorporates basic reading and critical thinking components beyond information literacy. Some of the activities require summarization.

The iTour has been used with students in a number of classes, including ESL classes.

As the program was in the planning process, a couple of students volunteered to be recorded for the iTour and offered to contribute their sound editing skills.

The project was funded with an Innovation Grants mini-grant from the Title V Grant Administration. Lili developed the goal and objectives for the project, researched the players, collaborated with faculty, IT staff, and the students and staff who did the recording and editing.

iTours began during fall semester in 2010. Ten classes participated in the pilot -- six RDG, one CPD150, and two ENG091 classes were involved in the iTour as an outside classroom assignment. An ENG071 class comprised predominantly of ESL students completed the iTour during class time with the instructor and librarian to help.

The iTour offered a solution to the frustration students experienced when more than one of their developmental class instructors scheduled library introductions. Instructors agreed the iTour would take the place of a traditional introduction.

Lili visited classes during the final ten minutes to introduce the iTour using a Prezi presentation to minimize student anxiety about the assignment. Lili also has created an iTour page on the library's website. One student provided feedback saying he would have liked the tour to be more difficult. There were several positive comments.

Circulation staff at the library resisted this program because it added to their workload. Equipment needs to be checked out and in and charged to be ready for the next student.

Lessons learned:
  • Add a library jargon glossary.
  • Have two versions of the worksheet available to accommodate different student reading levels.
  • Order enough earbud covers. They are replaced for sanitary concerns. Students are encouraged to use their own earphones.
  • Increase communication with library colleagues to discuss the extra workload.
  • Offer handheld equipment assistance to ESL students.
In the future, Lili wants to expand the iTour to CPD/AAA students by collaborating with the counseling faculty. When the new library at GateWay opens, a video tour will be added.


Keynote 2011 Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference


EdTech Transmissions: We Control the Vertical and HorizontalJim Groom, Instructional Technologist and Adjunct Professor at the University of Mary Washington, introduced blogging at UMW. Now there are 5109 UMW Wordpress blogs posted by 6656 users at this small university in Virginia. It's a community of students and faculty working together.They used a blog to distribute student research on Civil War markers and realized how the community could be reached with this approach. They didn't dictate how students could use their blogs and Groom appreciates the creativity and the ability to capture and aggregate what has been happening at his institution. It's important to give students their own space -- "a domain of one's own" -- that they can take with them when they graduate.Examples include an online exhibit, History of American Technology, has aggregated student research blogs on different aspects of the topic. Other blogs include documentation of the struggle to offer a women's studies program at UMW. Student travel blogs are aggregated in Study Abroad Blogs because over 35 students responded to the invitation to add their travel blogs' URLs to the site. Art students have used blogs as portfolios of their work. Some students are using their blogs to document all of their academic work. They post their research, writing, resumes, etc. The blog is a consistent space that can then be transferred to a post-graduation domain. Faculty who move to other institutions do this as well.UMW analytics track visits, page views, and average time spent on the site. It's obvious from this data that the content the UMW community has created is generating hits.Groom challenges MCCCD not to invest in Blackboard but rather to invest in people. It's a bigger institution and could really control the vertical and the horizontal!The great Wikipedia project involved a faculty member whose students did library research to improve Wikipedia articles. The got involved.An Asian American literature class started using the UMW Wiki to share resources for the class. Blog content can be moved into wikis to serve as an ongoing resource.How are we thinking of the classroom itself as a space for revolution?#ds106 is a digital storytelling course Groom has taught for three semesters. The last class was completely open. Anyone could submit assignments. It was available as an open online noncredit class. 150 people who were not students participated. He wanted to put students in a position of power. Students were told to obtain their own domains. They added their work to a central site. MOOC Students could submit their own assignments. Over 800 students submitted work. An assignment regarding iTunes playlists was permutated and appeared in various places online.Take iconic media images from a movie or TV show. This became a dynamic repository to which many contributed.DS106 Radio was an attempt to get away from Elluminate, which was dismissed as follows: "It's a box." They used a Nicecast server to broadcast from computers and used it to tell stories and play music. People from around the world could participate.The next step was DS106TV for live broadcasting. Old media can be used in new ways. We need to imagine new uses for old tools that can be changed and reimagined.Twitter offered a way for former students to participate in the class.No one dropped the class. "They were in for life." This is a class about consistent engagement over time, not just a couple of papers and a final exam.Minecraft, an online sandbox building video game, also was utilized.This summer he'll teach the class as a character. When the instructor and students are all playing characters isn't that the ultimate digital storytelling class?#4life - DS106 isn't necessarily a class. It's an experience, a way to share. Education is packaged but it should be a process, an experience.You can listen to Jim Groom's keynote here.Come In We're Open image:[...]

Retronym Contest: What Do You Call a Non-Internet Librarian?


Last year, Information Today, the organizers of the Internet Librarian conference, held a contest to find a "retronym" for a non-Internet librarian. A retronym is the revision of a word or phrase necessitated due to technological advances. For example, acoustic guitars were just guitars until the electric guitar came along. Other examples of retronyms are rotary-dial telephone, snail mail, nonfat milk, and analog watch. Information Today's President and CEO Tom Hogan announced the winner of the contest this year as he presented the list of finalists in reverse David Letterman style.

10. Shelf pointer librarian
9. Analog librarian
8. Legacy librarian
7. Librarian unplugged
6. 3x5 librarian
5. Internot librarian
4. Retrobrarian
3. (Insert the name of your supervisor here) librarian
2. Wallenda librarian (flying high without the net)
1. Librarian 1.0 - the winning entry!

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Digital Marketing: Successful Plans and Organizations


Presenters: Sarah Houghton-Jan, Digital Futures Manager, San Jose Public Library andAaron Schmidt, Director, North Plains Public Library, OregonThe goal is to connect users with librarians. Libraries want and need to transform lives but this requires the establishment of relationships.When serving people online, we’re serving everyone, even people who aren’t carrying one of our library cards. Serving all digital inquiries should be a cooperative arrangement between libraries like interlibrary loan service.What Are You Marketing? Snake Oil or Substance?Make your library website two-way. Can people register for cards? Share their opinion? Have an identity? People expect these possibilities today.Be good! This is crucial. It’s imperative to have great content online. Develop a plan to get it, update it, and make it relevant to your community. It’s the number one thing you can do to get people to your website and engaged. Once that happens, they’ll return.Free Is Nice!Take advantage of library directory listings using LibDex, MapMuse, Libraries411,, and Libraries on the Web. Make sure the information on these sites is correct. Many offer links to your catalog.Blog Search EnginesFeed Submitter submits your RSS feed to 15 sites at once. Good for posting your programming calendar. Consult Robin Good’s list of where to submit your blog and feed. RSS Specifications provides a list of where to submit your feed. Enter your feed URL and your email address and you’re done.Blog Geo-Search EnginesList your library blog on geographic blog search engines such as Frapper, Feedmap, Blogwise, and gFeedMap. Sarah finds these get used a lot and brings people to her site.Wikimapia is like Wikipedia but with a map. Add locations for your libraries and other community features of interest by drawing a box and adding a link. It's great to bring in visitors to the community.Search Engine FindabilitySearch for variations and mispellings of your library’s name. Try minor non-Google search engines and metasearch engines, too. Buy AdWords from Google. (The words libraries need are inexpensive.).Search Engine Optimization (SEO)This is a professional service that will cost money but is well worth the expense. They will help you get noticed and give you a plan to keep their efforts updated. Get teaser information out in as many places as possible.Wi-Fi ServiceGet your library listed in Wififreespot, Wifihospotlist, Wifi411, Wifinder, Jiwire, and Wi-fi zone. These listings will get people to your website as well.Community Website,,; Eventful, and LibraryThing Local. The latter catalogs local collections. You can click on the Do You Work There? link and prove your relationship. They’ll let you update your library information regularly. Be sure you’re listed on Yelp! and other community ratings sites. You can use positive Yelp! quotes -- short and pithy -- on your marketing materials. If you get five 5-star Yelp reviews, you'll get a sticker to put on the front door.What Are They Saying?Searh link:yourlibraryURLhere in Google or Altavista to find sites that mention your library.Social Review Websites What are your customers saying about you? Be there, compliment good comments, and initiate conversations. Offer explanations and apologies for bad experiences. Use negative comments to plan changes in service.Where Are People Looking for Phone Numbers?For many, they're not consulting a printed phone book! They look online. Make sure you’re listed in AskCity, Yahoo! Local, Google Maps, and MSN. Tiy can add photos to your entry and harvest Yelp reviews and reviews from similar rating services. It can take a long time -- up to two months -- to get information corrected.Make Your A/V Content FindableMake sure your podcasts and videocasts are listed in YouTube, Google Video,, Blinkx, Singingfish, Yahoo Podcast,,[...]

2.0 Learning and 1.8 Users: Bridging the Gap


This session was presented Rudy Leon, who is the Learning Commons Librarian at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Colleen Harris, a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.Myths about College StudentsAll students are skilled online searchersThey are at ease with new gadgetsThey are always connectedStudents are effective multi-taskersThey require constant stimulationThey must be entertainedThey learn by doingIn reality, our generation is the one that doesn’t read the manual and is cyber-connected.Myth BustingStudent do use the stuff, but in a dummy box way. They don’t understand the information environment. For example, they don’t know the difference between Google and the library. They don’t understand how Google works. They don’t have a mental map and don’t realize the tools they are using. We have to build the mental map for them.Student don't have transferable skills. They can’t remember resources or apply research skills learned in previous classes.The Digital Divide Is Alive and WellStatisticsOnly 61.8% of U.S. homes have computers, while 99% of U.S. schools have computers. Newer schools have newer equipment and software while older schools have older machines and students are trained by drills.Class83% of those with a household income of $75,000+ have a computer at home.62% of households with an income of $25,000-35,000 own a computer.31% of households with an income under $15,000 own a computer.Persistent EffectsIn colleges, the expectation is that everything will be done online. Course syllabis, corrections to those syllabis, term papers, wikis, class work, etc. However, there is little training in the use of these technologies. “Welcome to Blackboard. Click on what you want.”Statistics issued by the National Science Board indicate computer science BAs show racial issues. More Caucasians and Asians, fewer blacks and Hispanics.Faculty IssuesWhat faculty know (or don’t) - Chicken burrito syndrome - focused on one type of research style, which is what they and their predecessors didBelief about students: they’ll figure it out. Sink or swim! But students need context just like everyone else. We need to break professors of this belief. Get students away from using technology as equipment. They need to build their skill set.Equipment - Teaching faculty to fishChallenges - Faculty IIFaculty not highly trained in teaching, but they’re hostile to the implication.Tech training is also Educational Tech training. Who does it? How do we discuss tech as teaching? How can we implement these technologies as educational technologies?We can make a huge difference on campuses by sharing our skill and love of technology as a tool.If we spend the time upfront, we won’t have to spend a ton later on working with students.Getting Faculty on BoardOwning our own expertise - don’t think profs know everything. They’re experts about their subjects. We know about organizing and accessing information. We need to evangelize about this expertise.Competitive processes for course development. Faculty seminars and workshops to improve their courses. An exemplary one is a 3-day session with lots of one-on-one time with librarians. Free lunches and a stipend are offered.Getting out there to make connections. Embedded librarian programs with librarians as part of departments. Coffee works wonders. Make a personal connection. Let faculty see you as an intelligent person.Faculty attend class instruction with their class. Single most useful tool ever! Ensures students show up and prof. is trained, too. Afterwards, when prof. is raving, say “I’ve got more!” Word of mouth starts working for you. Especially effective if you’re a good instructor.Leveraging reaccreditation processes. Get on committees and inject yourself and technology and the library into future programs. Best way to force people to de[...]

Tips for Keeping Up


Steven M. Cohen, who is a senior law librarian at Law Library Management, Inc. and blogs at LibraryStuff, stepped in to pinch hit for Gary Price, who is recovering from surgery. Steven is IL's version of Woody Allen. He is quite articulate and rapid-fire funny.Steven's advice: "Listen to your peeps" -- the people that you’re serving -- and promote yourself as an information professional. Steven works with lawyers and makes sure to conduct his own personal PR campaign daily. The attorneys he serves love his personal touch and he sometimes gets requests to compile a "Cohen book" when he's handed a research project.Why keep up? To market yourself and make your employer happy that you’re there. It's job security! Having fans is very important. They provide an important PR function for you.When does the reference interview end? When the person he’s working with says to stop. Until then, Steven sets up alerts and continuously feeds his attorneys more information as it becomes available. When people pay attention to your needs, you love it and so do the attorneys he serves.How does Steven train attorneys to use RSS? He doesn’t. They’re too busy. That’s his job!The GoalInformation should come to you via RSS and other updating services.What to MonitorNew articles, press releases, and changes to web pages. Steven has set up 200 Google alerts. When he receives an update from these, he checks a research project database to see who needs to receive them.What to Look ForEmployee changes (hires and fires)New products and developmentLook beyond the initial question for additional information that might be relevantA Tool to Get the Job DoneGoogle Reader -- Steven has 1500 RSS feeds that he quickly scans in about an hour and a half every evening. When he finds information that would be relevant for one of customers, he uses Google Reader's email link and types “Dear So and So, I just saw this information, which was published xx minutes ago. [He says including the currency is quite important. It reflects on your skill as a researcher and it makes the recipient believe s/he is in possession of cutting-edge information. He contends lawyers love that feeling.] I recall that you were interested in this topic.”Cohen's allegedly trademarked quote: “It’s not rocket science -- it’s library science!” (Steven, if you can track me down I'll pay you for this use.)Recommended ResourcesWatchThatPage - a free service that monitors pages and extracts new information. Checks pages at an interval that you select -- hour, day, etc. Enter URLs to monitor. Can file in user-specified folders. Can monitor links on web pages.WebSite-Watcher - This desktop-based software costs $30/license. It highlights URLs that have been changed.Page2RSS - Here's a way to get an RSS feed for pages that have stable URLs and are on the open web. Creates a feed for pages that don’t offer one. “Free is as free does” Steven said because this service only has daily updates.ReloadEvery is a Firefox add-on that reloads a web page automatically every minute. It's good for Outlook’s Webmail because you'll never be logged off for lack of activity. Good for getting Southwest Airlines check-in too. Could you use it for eBay?FeedSidebar - Another Firefox add-on for Live Search bookmarks. Pops them up in a box on the left side of the screen. You can specify the frequency of updates.Update Scanner - Yet another Firefox add-on that scans selected web pages for updates. You specify the frequency and level of change so you won't see minor changes such as updating today's date and correcting mispelled words. Changes are highlighted. Update Scanner provides faster notification than Google email alerts.Steven's Favorite Web ToolsPlease email me if you can't find these sites. I'm not providing links because of time and web access limitations.Internet ArchiveScreenGrabCool Iris - [...]

Search Engine Land: What’s Happening Out There?


Danny Sullivan, editor-in chief of Search Engine Land, presented today's keynote address.Danny maintains "there ain’t no Google killer" on the horizon. A new search engine, Cuil, recently played the “biggest is better” card when it was released. Danny said that Google and Yahoo! had agreed to back away from this type of size claim, which is why you no longer see the number of websites in the Google universe listed on its search page. He compared a search for Sarah Palin using both Cuil and Google. It was easy to agree with Danny's contention that Cuil has serious relevancy issues.Danny's contention is that Wikipedia by law has to be at the top of Google search results. Powerset, the Wikipedia search engine that Mary Ellen Bates included on her top list yesterday, has proved that natural language searching isn’t a natural killer. It’s overkill for what most people are doing these days. You don’t need a lot of syntactical analysis for this type of search: hot photos Sarah Palin. Most search engines are matching patterns and have no understanding of concepts.Microsoft has fumbled with Yahoo! and, as a result, Google is more powerful than ever.Pax GooglecanaGoogle has 60+% market share in the United States. It's higher in many other countries (in Germany, 90-95%) but hasn't taken over in China, South Korea, and Russia. Is it all over? Does Google now rule everything?Google KillerettesGoogle isn’t the top tool of choice in everything. Google has nothing to compete with the following:Twitter - hyper real-time tool to see what’s being buzzed about. Danny recently experienced a minor earthquake at his home in Los Angeles and his first thought was "I should Twitter about this!"Urbanspoon - You never need to wonder where to eat again. This iPhone app knows where you are and can randomly select a restaurant based on what type of food you want to eat. It works from a huge database of reviews from newspapers and users. Chowhound offers a similar service.Eventful will tell you what’s going on, from music to community events and more. It's also offers another iPhone app that knows where you’re at. Upcoming, owned by Yahoo!, is similar.Yelp offers local reviews of all types. You know it's a player when you can hire someone to make sure you have a good rating. Google Maps is trying to grow a community of reviewers but it’s not a real competitor.Trulia and Zillow offer information about homes for sale, local real estate-related data, etc. Travel sites such as Kayak (multisite) and Farecast, which is owned by MicrosoftCraigslist - Buy and sell related in your local area. Still a powerhouse compared to Google Base despite being very “web 1.0ish” in appearance. Why hasn't Craigslist mapped its search results?Jobs: IndeedPeople search: Pipl, SpockNews/discovery: DiggVideo: Blinkx and VideoSurfGas prices: GasBuddyKillerette ChallengesIt's difficult to remember all the ones that are out there. People will use a site once and when they don't remember it the second time around, they go back to Google.Bigger Challengers: Yahoo!Yahoo! continues to face uncertainty. They have been innovating with mobile applications, BOSS (Build your Own Search Service), and SearchMonkey, which offers a way for publishers to blend information of their own into their listings.However, uncertainty leads to brain drain. The assumption is that Microsoft will eventually take over Yahoo!, which makes for more uncertainty. The user has to ask "Should I start using Yahoo tools and get comfy with them or will they be going away?"MicrosoftMicrosoft bailed out of non-consumer search services such as Google Book Search.Microsoft has always focused on ads first and search second. Compare this approach to Google, which built a search engine first and then figured out how to make money from it. The soul comes through online.Microsoft has[...]

Super Searcher Shares: Search Tips Spectacular!


Mary Ellen Bates never fails to expand my web toolbox. She whittled down her customary 30 search tips to 20 this year so she could spend more time exploring them with us. Since one site apparently has disappeared into limbo, make that 19!Google Translated Search - Why let your monolingualism restrict your web searching? Enter your search terms, then select your language and the language of the pages you wish to search. Google seamlessly translates your search terms into the target language, runs the search, and then retrieves and translates the results into your native language. Wow!Ever tried using Google's date restrictor to get current results only to find your results littered with sites with older dates? Google News Archive Search is new and improved. You can limit your results in a number of ways including those published within the last hour, day, or week.Google Trends offers a way to graph the news. It charts the frequency of the word searched and also its frequency in the news. A search volume graph is presented along with a news reference volume graph. The cities where searchers live, calculated using IP addresses, is shown. You can track when the interest in a topic peaked.Yahoo! Search Assist - Have you ever noticed a small downfacing tab on the upper left side of your Yahoo! search results? Click on it to view suggestions for related or complementary terms to expand or narrow your search.Yahoo!’s brackets are easy peasy. Just enclose two words in brackets [like this]. This signals Yahoo! to retrieve the words in that order but not necessarily next to each other. The first word you enter will precede the second word, which can be located anywhere on the page. Example: [subprime crisis] retrieves "subprime mortgage crisis," "subprime lending crisis," "subprime mortgage industry," etc.Yahoo! Glue is from Yahoo!'s India bureau. It offers a veritable cafeteria line of blended search results that are not displayed linearly. Handles different types of information well. Click on the Glue Page tab in your search results. You'll find Related Pages links along the top. A snippet from Wikipedia will be offered. Quick facts are listed below Wikipedia snap, which can lead you to more information and ways to search your topic. Google Blog search results are included. Your actual boring search results list appears on the left side while images are displayed on the right side. Try searching "United Nations," which was Mary Ellen's’s product reviews are wonderful! Run a search for a specific brand and Live will compiles reviews from other sources. Great for shopping because user reviews of product features are compiled and graphically portrayed. For example, searching for a digital camera shows recommended models for features, size, ease of use, photo quality, screen, affordability, portability, etc. The criteria displayed changes by the type of product searched. Once again -- here's the theme of Mary Ellen's presentation this year -- here's a search service that tries to aggregate results and make sense of them.State your preferences in LiveSearch. Sample search: “hybrid cars” prefer:convertible. Doesn’t drop searches that lack the preferred word but the results that include the preferred word do display at the top. Related searches also are suggested.Searchme has an amazing user interface that detects the different meanings of your search term. Example: Icons appear under the search box when you pause after typing sun. Is your interest astronomy, software, etc.? Click on an area for focused search results. Mary Ellen didn't mention this feature, but you can create Searchme stacks. Here's a link to the demo video. It lets you group sites you select and then scroll through them using an interface reminiscent of iTunes Cover Flow. You can email SearchMe stac[...]

Quotes du Jour


I collect thought provoking, inspirational, and/or humorous quotes about teaching, learning, technology, books, and libraries. Here's today's haul:

“Don’t keep up with the technologies. Keep up with the literacies!” - Howard Rheingold

"It's not rocket science. It's library science!" - Steven M. Cohen

"I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book." - Groucho Marx

"We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn." - Peter Drucker

"In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us how to swim." - Linton Weeks

The last three quotes were collected on bookmarks distributed at the Scholarly Publishers' Collaborative Network booth.

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Smart Mobs and Smart Classrooms


Howard Rheingold appears to cherish individuality -- and color. The lid of his MacBook Pro is slathered with stickers. He was sporting a bright green and purple shirt today. He paints -- yes, paints -- his shoes, which today quite logically had canvas tops.

Rheingold teaches at Stanford and Berkeley and is the author of Social Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, which traces the use of technology to communicate and coordinate human activities. When he noticed Finnish teens sharing smiles and quick looks at a cell phone that belonged to one of them, he asked an adult that had been visiting with the teens about it. The man replied, "Kids today flock like birds." Rheingold traced the development and history of social behavior and communication, which he maintains began when non-related people started hunting together in prehistoric times. He offered several inspirational examples of how people around the world have collaborated for good using the web as a medium.

Most interesting to me was Rheingold's brief description of his brand-new project, the Howard Rheingold Social Media Classroom Notebook. He mentioned a site, Socialtext, which provides information and directions for using different social media, including blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, podcasting, video blogging, chat, digital storytelling, RSS, and mashups, in the classroom to promote "participatory media literacy."

Click here to listen to the podcast of this morning's keynote presentation.

I also located this video Rheingold created to introduce his Social Media Classroom project.


Welcome to Internet Librarian! Did You Expect Web Access, Too?


Once again we're fighting a lack of web access at Internet Librarian. I can't connect in the San Marco Ballroom in the Marriott -- the very hotel I'm paying $9.95/day for Internet access in my room.

It was announced before the keynote this morning that every meeting room at the conference -- with the exception of the Ballroom -- had wireless access. So far I've only connected once!

The $10/day connection in my hotel room failed when I raced in to upload the keynote recording during our lunch period today. I phoned iBahn, the company that supports the service for the hotel. I hung up without web access. In a few minutes, there was a knock on the door and a fellow handed me a new Ethernet cable. He couldn't leave fast enough! No offer to come in and see if it worked. By then, however, I'd fiddled around and restarted my computer and was online. But there was only enough time to quickly scan my email before the next session started.

I'll attempt to post this. Blogger keeps informing me that the web is down and saving and publishing might not be successful. 

More later tonight after the conference -- maybe!

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Introducing the Book


Here's a fun video from TeacherTube that we viewed this week in my Blogs, Wikis, and Other Tools of Web 2.0 class at tech camp.


Here's a link if the embedded video isn't operating.

The video parodies how many of us have been dragged into an understanding of how new technologies work. Viewing it might be comforting to some of us who occasionally get overwhelmed by how to make all this new-fangled gear work in our daily lives.

Greetings from Tech Camp!


(image) I'm attending Camp Plug and Play 3.0 in Tucson this week. It's a rigorous week-long training session -- held at a 5-star resort! -- that's conducted by the Arizona K-12 Center.

Yesterday all of the campers went on field trips in the area. I visited Biosphere 2 in Oracle. The University of Arizona is leasing it from the real estate developers who now own the property.(image)

We toured the biomes, which include a rainforest, savannah, desert, and ocean under the glass. We went underground and walked through the basement filled with pipes and interesting signs such as "Upper Savanna Basement" and "South Lung." We left with some insights about how the eight "terranauts" lived (and suffered) during the two-year self-sufficiency experiment in the early 1990s.

We returned, downloaded our photos, made a slide show in iPhoto, converted it into a QuickTime movie, and uploaded it on TeacherTube. Here's a link to my hastily created movie. I shot over 250 photos (as well as shooting video and recording audio files to make into podcasts). However, we were encouraged to upload short videos because we're suffering the bandwidth blues this week as 133 campers and their instructors all try to search, use online tools, and upload content.

#23! Is This Really the End?


I've reached item #23 -- the final one! -- in the Learning 2.0 training. This is the opportunity to reflect about the training. The following questions were provided to aid in this activity.

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
There weren't that many new discoveries among the 23 items. I enjoyed exploring the 2007 Web 2.0 award winners. There were new discoveries on that list that I'll be exploring. I also revisited several services that I had not focused on and decided to adopt several of them into my online activities.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I am an enthusiastic lifelong learner! I enjoyed the way this program was organized because I could work on it at home when I had the time to focus, explore, and blog about my discoveries and thoughts. I consider this preferable to being away from my duties at Palomino to sit in a more structured training session.

Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

This is a good way to learn -- as long as the learner is self-motivated (or otherwise incentivized) and believes that learning is fun. The incentive provided by offering an MP3 player to those who complete the program is a good perk and it's motivated many staff members. I plan on advocating for and adapting this type of program for teaching teachers (and perhaps a few librarians, too) about new technology.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

Learning 2.0 and its list of 23 Things date back to August 2006 when Helene Blower initiated the program with the staff of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Web 2.0 tools continually are proliferating. Newer, better tools have been introduced for several of the items. The training needs to be frequently updated and the learner offered the opportunity to compare several tools.
I also would like to see ability level options for each item. I quickly lost patience with the podcasts, which were designed for beginners.

And last but not least…

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again choose to participate?
Absolutely! Count me in.

The Greater Phoenix Digital Library Meets the Digital Divide


You might imagine that someone who is an avid podcast listener would also enjoy listening to audio books. Absolutely! I check out audio books on CD and transfer them onto my iPod shuffle, which I listen to while I'm commuting.

Unfortunately, I'm on the wrong side of the digital divide when it comes to downloading audio books from the Greater Phoenix Digital Library.

The Overdrive console is Windows-only and my family are die-hard Mac users. "Yes, but Mac users are such a small segment of the computer market," you might reply. Look again. Windows Vista and the popularity of the Apple iPod have doubled Mac's market share during the past year.

The books will not play on iPods, which have cornered approximately 75% of the market for MP3 players.

I don't understand how libraries and many librarians have been wooed and won by Overdrive when we are the people who have been spanning the digital divide.

If it's any consolation, I'm going to help a friend learn how to download books from the GPDL on her Plays for Sure MP3 player next week. Maybe some day I'll be able to do the same from the library's public computers!

Of Podcasts and Podcasting


Item #21 in the Learning 2.0/23 Things training focuses on podcasts. I'm quite the fan of both audio podcasts and video podcasts, also known as vodcasts or vlogs.At the Microcomputers in Education (MEC) conference in March 2005, I attended a session about podcasting conducted by ASU's Guy Mullins. I returned to Palomino Library and told Krissy, my colleague and future TACkies leader, that podcasting was a technology to watch. When iTunes debuted a podcast directory in June 2005, we went to our supervisor, Ted, and asked him to find a way to get the gear we'd need to start podcasting.Ted located the funding, we bought the gear, and in late October 2006 the DMHS PodSquad, an informal student group that meets in the library after school, recorded and edited their first podcasts. The PodSquad is listed in the iTunes Store's Podcast Directory.We've learned that podcasting is easier to do on Macintosh computers, although Audacity, a free Open Source audio editing program, is cross platform. We've learned that the fancy USB mics we bought aren't as convenient as either the portable Edirol R-01 MP3 recorder with a 2 GB SD card or the inexpensive Belkin Stereo TuneTalk mics that plug into student iPods. We've taught students all about broadcasting and copyright and Creative Commons licenses.After two years of extracurricular podcasting, I've lined up funding that will buy a mobile Mac lab so we finally can do, among other nifty Learning 2.0 activities, curricular podcasting. We plan on recording podcasts of conversations our DMHS Spanish students will be having with English students in Chile -- if the technology there will support it.In the past, I have recorded podcasts of conference presentations and posted them on this blog.But it's not just about recording, editing, and posting podcasts. I'm an avid listener (and viewer)!Sorry to veer away from the directions, but I use the iTunes Podcast Directory to track down new ones. Here are SOME of the podcasts I download either regularly or intermittently:This American Life -- I enjoy this whimsical radio program but usually miss it when it airs on Saturday afternoon. Yes, podcasts of radio shows are rather TiVOesque, but this is a perfect for public radio junkies who can't always catch the shows.The Writer's Almanac -- Garrison Keillor's daily podcast covers today in literary history and includes a poem that is usually short, accessible, and enjoyable.Future Tense is another American Public Media production billed as a "daily journal of the digital age."The Tech Chicks podcast is a bit amateurish but these two tech teachers help me find great ed tech sites and services that I occasionally blog about on my Information Goddess blog.TED Talks -- "inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers" -- really amp up my brain. They provide some of the best content out there because the speakers are all very accomplished in their respective fields and do have "ideas worth spreading." I think the audio version of this podcast has been discontinued, but the vodcast is alive and kicking.Library Geeks -- This is one of the intermittent podcasts I download. It's not regularly updated and it's too long in my opinion. However, "library geeks" I respect such as Gary Price and Jessamyn West are interviewed so I cherry pick the episodes. I learned about Zotero from a Library Geek podcast.RocketBoom -- Watching this wacky program on my video iPod Nano in bed just before I doze off is one of life's guilty pleasures.DMHS PodSquad -- OK, I might be a bit biased about this one!Other podcasts I enjoy include Slate V, Unwired, The Thomas Jeff[...]



I've arrived at item #20 of the Learning 2.0/23 Things training, which is the exploration of YouTube.

I have the perfect YouTube video to embed! It's Mike Wesch's The Machine Is Us/ing Us, which most likely is the best commentary of Web 2.0 available on YouTube.

(object) (embed)

"Who will organize all this data? We will. You will."
"We Are the Web."
"We are teaching the Machine" with all of our searches and our tags. "The machine is us."
"Web 2.0 is linking people....people sharing, trading, and collaborating."

Web 2.0 Toolbox


I explored the winners of the 2007 Web 2.0 Awards for this item. Many are sites I've already discovered such as Craigslist, One Sentence, Picnik, Flickr, Pandora, Podomatic, Zillow, Etsy, StumbleUpon, iGoogle, Twitter, etc., etc.

When I saw Statsaholic, I hoped it would help me collect visit statistics for a podcast I post. I entered the URL as directed and was disappointed to discover it only tracked statistics for the entire domain and not my site on it.

I found other interesting sites on the awards list and will spend some time exploring them.

Google Docs


I explored Google Docs for #18 in the SPLS 23 Things/Learning 2.0 training. I've used Google Docs for a while now. I appreciate the simple interface and the fact that I can access a document from any computer that has web access.

The following is a document I created in Google Docs and posted to this blog.

More Vacation Snaps

(image) Also on Galiano Island, we spotted these colorful star fish in the water along a dock.

(image) This black slug was heading in the opposite direction on the Pebble Beach trail on Galiano Island.

(image) There were quite a few farm stands scattered around the Gulf Islands. This one, on Salt Spring Island, had delicious cookies for sale and was operated on the honor system. After a while, however, a black dog came trotting down the drive to inspect us.

PBwiki Post


Item #17 in SPLS's 23 Things/Learning 2.0 training gives students the opportunity to try posting in the "sandbox" of a wiki. I added a rave about my favorite vacation destination. It was very easy to do!

Wandering Around Wikis


Item #16 of the 23 Things/Learning 2.0 training focuses on wikis. I'm planning on building a wiki from scratch soon for an educational project so I enjoyed looking at some other wikis.

However, I noticed a few drawbacks:

1. The design of most of the wikis linked to in the Discovery Resources are visually stark. Templates need to be developed that are more visually appealing.

2. Some libraries are not taking advantage of the participatory nature of wikis. I noticed only librarians can edit St. Joseph County Public Library's Subject Guides. We don't have the market cornered on information. Why not devise a moderation system and let users add great resources?

3. Too often library users are not taking advantage of the participatory nature of wikis. The Butler WikiRef is a ghost town.

How can a wiki be effectively used in a library setting?

For staff, a wiki could be a useful way to replace local information files. It also seems more effective than Google Docs for "today in the library" communication because information can be categorized for quick access.

When I attended the University of Arizona back in the Paleozoic era, David Laird was the University's Library Director. He had a bulletin board in the main library's lobby for Q&A about the library's policies, services, and collection. Quite low tech, but I often stopped to read the cards on it and I learned a bit about the library this way.

Why not share our customer comments with the community? If these could be moderated so inappropriate comments could be screened, we could share answers with all who are interested. The questions/comments could be solicited on the page where they will be posted with the staff response. There also could be a page for purchase suggestions where the selectors could note what has been ordered and why vetoed suggestions were not.

MySpace and Facebook


#12 in the 23 Things/Learning 2.0 training focuses on the two preeminent social networking sites, MySpace and Facebook.

I've explored both sites. MySpace allows the unregistered visitor greater access than Facebook. I tried searching for Desert Mountain High School students and alumni. I found up-to-date news in MySpace on a number of DMHS grads. I also learned more than I wanted to about some of them!

Students in the library where I work seem especially drawn to MySpace, although school administration prohibits the use of social networking sites during the school day. I wonder how many of them would find visiting a library's MySpace a draw? I checked Denver Public Library's MySpace for eVolver, the teen program. The profile claims eVolver is single, female, 18, and a Capricorn. "Lite" rap music played as I perused the page.

Sorry, but this is L-A-M-E! Most of the friends are either authors promoting their books or other libraries trying to pass as fellow cool entities. I connected to "nobody's home because this was a phishing attempt" error messages when I tried to link to the Find a Good Book or Good Music or Movie Reviews by Teens pages. The page hasn't been updated in five weeks and the program links are outdated.

At the Internet Librarian conference, Aaron Schmidt has promoted libraries having MySpaces and Facebook accounts. He recommended having a teen design these pages to add authenticity and design chaos. He poohed-poohed concerns about online safety by claiming teens realize the difference between real friends and MySpace "friends." However, I know that MySpace has been used by students to harrass and embarrass other students.

If one of the coolest teen programs in LibraryLand looks lame there, it doesn't bode well for the rest of us. Are libraries on MySpace the online equivalent of the person who attends a party only to make contacts and pass out business cards? Or perhaps they're the middle-aged person who's trying to be cool by wearing teen fashions. Will teens give us credit for trying -- or avert their eyes? I'd be interested in knowing how many teens frequent the library pages on these services, but I haven't encountered any counters yet.

What Is Library 2.0?


#15 of the 23 Things training focuses on Library 2.0. What does this term mean? I've explored several of the OCLC articles in the Discovery Resources and found interesting ideas and resources to explore.Rick Anderson's words resonate with me:"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....If our services can’t be used without training, then it’s the services that need to be fixed—not our patrons. One-button commands, such as Flickr’s 'Blog This,' and easy-to-use programs like Google Page Creator, offer promising models for this kind of user-centric service."Most Web 2.0 applications are intuitive and easily mastered. Why do we have classes to teach customers how to use the library catalog and databases? Why are they needlessly complex? Why can't cookies be used to speed logins? Amazon offers one-touch ordering of a computer that costs $1000, but to access an article on a library database I have to expertly guide and diligently click my mouse and enter a 13-digit library card number and a 4-digit PIN. Is it any wonder my students would rather use Google and Wikipedia?Michael Stephens (pictured with his ever-present Mac notebook!) writes about Librarian 2.0 who "uses the Cluetrain Manifesto."I visited and checked out the 95 Theses. Although these are directed at commercial businesses, I found many concepts in the list that librarians can easily embrace. I found the focus on the power of the human voice very meaningful at this time when my colleagues and I are being informed that our own words are ineffective in ensuring customer satisfaction:"Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies. No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or unwilling to speak as they do."But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about 'listening to customers.' They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf."Stephens also addresses our need to be more flexible and spontaneous:Librarian 2.0 "recognizes how quickly the world and library users change with advancing technology. Project timelines that stretch on for months simply do not work in Library 2.0 thinking. Perpetual beta works well for the library’s Web presence. This librarian redesigns for ease of use, user involvement and easily added/re-configured pieces."Michael Stephens' contention that Librarian 2.0 embraces Web 2.0 tools demonstrates that SPLS still has room to grow in our services:"This librarian uses Instant Messaging to meet users in their space online, builds Weblogs and wikis as resources to further the mission of the library, and mashes up content via API (Application Program Interface) to build useful Web sites."I chuckled when I reached the end of Dr. Wendy Schultz's article. She follows the library far into the future when the latest incarnation will be called Library 4.0:"Library 4.0 revives the old image of a country house library, and renovates it: fr[...]