Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Week 9 - Podcasts, Video and Downloadable audio

And now it comes down to YouTube, second only to MySpace with complaints from patrons (and some staff) concerning the content that is viewed. Again, I find YouTube to be entertainment, some of the clips and collages of video are very entertaining. The clip I added is a Weird Al Yankovic style song with clips from the Star Wars movies. If you're a fan, then you will understand the lyrics and humor of the clip.

The ask a ninja series is great, I have seen several of the videos and they are very "creative", and less informative.

What's next? What no step to create our own MySpace accounts? We don't get to become each others friends and see who can collect the most friends? Seriously, MySpace did have some bad PR and rough beginnings, but the site has become very mainstreamed and removed a great deal of the garbage. Several friends have asked why I don't have a MySpace page, and I had been using this exercise as an excuse, explaining that the library is doing a technology excercise and I thought we would create one. Oh well, maybe this could be included in a later version.

Week 8 - Online Applications and Tools

Online applications or freeware applications have been growing in popularity for several years. I have some experience using OpenOffice as an alternative to the Microsoft or Corel Office Suites. Like OpenOffice, the online applications are free and provide many of the same functionalities of the costly software. The user must have Internet access and no installation, updates, patches, or downloads are necessary to use. This is a big plus if you have an older computer without the capacity to run newer software, or just don't want to spend money for the software. The creators of these products have designed them using similar terminology and icons so that users who are familiar with the Microsoft products can fairly easily adapt to these new tools. One feature that I particularly like is the ability to create pdf files without the installation and expense of adobe acrobat writer.

Week 7 - Wikis

I am a big fan of Wikipedia, and have used it often when looking for answers to questions or more information on a specific topic. I find it interesting that the public has the ability to change the information on the site. This creates an obvious potential problem which has created some problems with their content, but overall the information is typically very good. That being said it cannot be relied upon and total fact, and must be verified by another source for accuracy.

In the library world, this would be beneficial in training areas and departmentally for information and procedures. Each department can share issues and / or problems encountered and how they were resolved, patron problems, and any procedural information that may need to be referenced for things that are not common.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week 6 - Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

Del.icio.us is an interesting concept. The ability to categorize bookmarks and then compare bookmarks with others to find additional or relevant information can be very helpful. The tutorial for the site was poor. The video size was very small and if you download the video and view in a larger window the video is of poor quality.

Technorati acts as a search engine for blogs and based on the excercises for this week will return different results on the same search depending upon which area is being searched (blog posts, tags, blog directory).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Week 5 - Play Week

It's play week! The Generator Blog website had many many fun toys to play with and I could easily spend a great of time with the various imaging tools or create a gangsta, pirate, or prison name for myself. I created the avatar and enjoyed spending some time to play with things that I have not spent the time to learn about or play with previously.

I created an account with Library Thing and added some books to my shelf. My books can be found at http://www.librarything.com/profile/iseibert and are a mix of things I have on the shelves at home. The direction again were a little vague with this task. The instructions said to link my catalog to this blog but there is not a button or tab to do so. After a few minutes I found that my URL is listed in the "your profile" tab.

The Rollyo website seems like a good idea to limit search to known sources or sources which others have recommended. It weeds out a lot of the google garbage if you are doing some research or dont' want to sift through all the returns from a generic search. Again, the instructions on posting a link to your blog are vague because Rollyo does not have an option to do so easily. I sent myself an email link from the tools option and received the following link which doesn't seem to list the searchroll I created, http://rollyo.com/iseibert/ians_searchroll/.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Week 4 - Bloglines

I have seen and used RSS feeds previously, but not with the bloglines website. If you frequent a site for news or current info, then RSS feeds are very time saving. I would recommend subscribing to the local weather as well. Everyone talks about the weather, this is an easy way to get that information.

I found the directions this week a little confusing. Our instructions said to write a blog post about this experience and make it public if you wish to. I was unclear whether the blog entry was to be done here, as part of our weekly progress report, or actually on the bloglines website. The instructions did show how to make the blog public with screenshots from the bloglines website. Writing a blog to both locations seems a little redundant.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Week 3 - Anything about Technology

Author Peter Senge, Director of the MIT Sloan School of Managment, once wrote “organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to learn together will maintain a sustainable competitive advantage."

Learning is important. Business places an emphasis on continually learning (Library Learning 2.0). Our school systems are designed to maximize the ability to teach children the concepts necessary to become a contributing member of society. Technology is their "new" tool.

The subject of technolgy and computers in the classroom is an interesting topic. At what age should a child be introduced to technology? When are you too young to use the Internet? Should children be required to have their own computer, and at what grade level should they be proficient at accessing information using technology?

I was in fourth grade when I was introduced to the computer, an Apple IIe installed in my classroom. It was like a new toy and during free time, we were allowed to play games which were mostly history and math based. I don't remember using a computer or technology ever feeling foreign or difficult. My parents purchased our first home computer in the next year and I spent a great deal of time "playing" with it.

I now have two kids and the oldest is 4 years old. She loves the computer. We have a laptop on which she has her own login and links to approved websites that help her with the alphabet, counting, and beginning reading. She seems very comfortable using technology and the self-paced lessons keep her attention with the sounds and graphics explaining the concepts being presented. So this leads me to wonder, is there an age at which children should be introduced to technology that will promote a future comfort level and begin to develop a understanding of how technolgy can help?

I am fortunate in that I am comfortable with technology and have the means and desire to accept technology and continue to "play" with it when new technologies are introduced. Technology, however, is expensive and not all families can afford to provide access to technology at home. Schools are requesting more computer work be done at home. By middle school some students are expected to have computers of their own so they can finish assignments.

Technolgoy as a learning tool is still a fairly new concept. School systems are still learning how technology can be applied and in some cases it replaces the teacher in the classroom. If this trend increases, what happens to children and adults who have not been exposed to technology and do not have a working understanding of how to use it? With the emphasis placed on lifelong learning and the coupling of this with technology to deliver this product, will this create an increasingly large gap between those who are proficient in the use of technology and those who never created that relationship?