Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0

Frustrated by endless email threads that result from even the simplistic scheduling process?  Finding a meeting time for as few as three people can be more work than it should be. It gets worse if phone tag is part of the problem.  As several of us often do, send a Doodle!

Doodle’s Scheduling option makes setting a meeting time as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Log in to your free account
  2. Enter a list of options,
  3. Send a password free email to colleagues or friends

Recipients need only select the link and check the times the work.   You, the originator of the invitation, can view results in a convenient visual format and announce the meeting date.   If 5 of 6 people are available at 10:00 Tuesday that’s when you meet!

Need to schedule a group of volunteers?  Enter the time slots and job descriptions; send the link to the group, asking them to indicate their choice and add an optional comment.

Doodle is efficient for planning large group or classroom activities.  Teachers who give students a choice of project options can ask students to check their choice from a list.  The choices can be limited to one or several participants.

Doodle Poll is free and practical.  Make a Choice and MeetMe Requests are other options.  The premium version includes additional options such as email reminders.
Check it out at Doodle.Com to see what else you can do.
You really will wonder how you got along without Doodle!!

“Mary Alice can take care of the e-newsletter; she has the tech skills.”   The skills I have acquired continue to be valuable in so many ways — creating e-newsletters or databases, helping others, teaching online classes and working on education related  projects.    

It’s all relative!  There is always someone who knows more than us, can do more than us and there is always something new to learn.  My newest experience was using a computer cash register, a skill I never needed until now. My transferable skills made it easy.

A great resource for helping us be one of those who knows is  A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet created by New Jersey Media Specialist Julie Greller.   Julie generously shares her good and creative ideas frequently. Take a look at her recent postings about photo apps, citation generators and web 2.0 screencasts.  Thanks, Julie!

Questions about facilities design abound in discussion groups. Will media centers, as we know them, be built twenty years from now? Will trends of classroom and mobile technology make physical space irrelevant? Continuing and rapid changes in program staffing, program delivery and technology are a given; making it challenging to design a facility to meet future program needs.  Design Concepts for the Next-Gen Media Center,  a new experience based article on facilities design is in the March/April Internet @ Schools. (Visit  my Facilities design page for the full article)

If you are planning a new facility consider using Floorplanner. A tech savvy media specialist just shared her Floorplanner media center designs and made them avaialable for Flickr sharing here. Take a look at her drawing and 3D version.

What a great tool for planning or  for showcasing the layout of a media center on your media center web site or blog.   One of the highlights of online teaching is learning from the sharing that goes on.  Learning about Floorplanner is one more wonderful example.  It would have been a fantastic alternative to graph paper and the post-it notes used in the past.

Learning from the students always adds to the pleasure of online teaching.  Yesterday a student in a class I’m teaching for the Library Media Education Department at Minnesota State University-Mankato  introduced us to Tagexdo.   It took just seconds to create the star cloud by submitting the URL for this blog.  I explored color, font, orientation, layout and shape options for another few minutes.     There are options for creating your own theme, saving the image in various graphic formats and sizes.  A variety of pre-set cloud shapes  (including animals) and no registration required make it a fun tool to use with younger students. Students (and adults!) can create their own shapes by adding an image.

Tagexdo is currently in Beta. The developer promises a free version will continue with choices in fonts, colors and shapes.

A new year; a new batch of resolutions about all the new things we will learn about technology and web 2.0.

We media specialists seem to do a pretty good job of being hard on ourselves for the things we don’t get done or the things we don’t learn.  I’ve been struggling with Dreamweaver .css and smiling about using Google Docs forms to create a survey.   It was so easy it almost wasn’t fun

It’s all relative.  One media specialist wrote,

I have many feelings of inadequacy. In some districts I was really tech savvy and then in others I was way behind everyone else. I always feel like I’m treading water with technology. I love what it does and I want to learn more, but I find there are usually few opportunities for this.

There is always someone who is a step ahead, and always someone a step behind.   Become the person who feels like you are a step ahead by:

  • Learn how to do one new thing each month
  • Keep a list of what you’ve learned and can do
  • Take a fresh look at something you were unsuccessful with; time to digest might be all that’s needed
  • Teach one other person the same thing; teaching others is always one of the best ways to learn
  • Use your expertise to provide real staff development for the staff in your school
  • You can eat an entire elephant if you cut it into small enough pieces

Glogster is emerging as a new favorite tool for students in the primary sources class.  This fun easy to use tool for creating interactive posters and collaborative class projects is yet another way to enhance the use of primary sources and engage students.  Monica, a media specialist in Georgia created a glog about Agirama, Georgia’s Agriculture Museum.   The enticing glog features a photos of primary source artifacts  and a You Tube video about a steam train. Take a look; you will want to want to take a trip to Georgia.

More ideas about The Power of Primary Sources and Web 2.0

Take an online course!
Teaching Information Literacy with Primary Sources

More  Multimedia & Internet @ Schools articles
The Power of Primary Primary Sources
Power of Primary Sources: Build your Own Professional Development


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