Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vital #4: Online Professional Development

I have had the opportunity of currently seeking employment to "play" around (without the need to prepare for a new job or current library job) with all different types of online tools both for students and for professionals with this blog and the professional development blog included!  I have checked out webinars, which in my opinion is a great way to get professional development without having to leave the comfort of my home and "jammies" as well as having attended some great classes through BOCES.  I have gotten involved in Google+ as a means to have a social learning network devoted to professional connections only.  I believe trying to keep a Facebook and Google+ page would be crazy and too timeconsuming if I added more than a professional connection to Google+!  In addition, I am trying out Twitter as a means of professional information although that has been a bit slower in going. 

One of my favorites right now is the Google Reader with the RSS feeds that we learned about with this class!  I continue to add blogs that I believe will benefit my Personal Learning Network.  Again, I have a luxury right now with not having my own library although I cannot wait to be working in my own library in the future!!!

I am also planning on checking out some of the tutorials and videos that are offered through Gale to learn more about that product as most schools seem to use Gale as a database.  In addition, I was intreged by the TeachingBooks.net, which seems to have a lot to offer both librarians as well as classroom teachers. 

I do have to admit that I can feel overwhelmed by all the information coming my way and have to keep a close eye on management of my time as I could do this all day long with so much more to go.  Overall, I think that the way to go for me would be to try out any new things that come my way and after trying, decide whether or not it is worth the extra time to continue using it. 

As a librarian, I hope to utilize and have a strong online presence with a webpage, blog, possibly Twitter but again, it will take time to assess what will be the most useful and time efficient.

I truly enjoyed working with everyone on this online professional development class and felt that it was very informative.  A big shout out and thank you to Amy and Diane for planning and executing this summer program!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vital 3: Cool Tools

I had seen/tried out a lot of the tools already listed so I tried out ones that I was more unfamiliar with,which were Blabberize, bighugelabs and voki.  The biggest problem that I found was figuring out how to embed these onto the blog.  If you check out my blog, you will find a voki and a talking dog (bottom of the page) that I created.  Not the best, but it was fun! 

I can really see how a lot of these could be helpful and fun to use with students!  Blabberize would be a blast with elementary age in particular although I could easily see secondary students loving it as well!  It could be used as part of a history lesson with pictures of famous people explaining what they had to do with history or a science lesson such as species.  The students could find a picture of their species and have it explain about "itself". 

I think voki avatars could be used as presentation tool.  This could be especially helpful if the students were shy about talking to the class.  This way, they could create an avatar to "talk" for them!  It was easy enough even for the elementary level students.

As far as bighugelabs, I did have a bit more difficulty with this tool as I often learn by doing with a project in hand and just couldn't get my mind wrapped around these tools.  It could be a very useful tool for teachers to present photos of the students throughout the year in various ways.  There are ways to use the tools with the students, and it certainly was fairly easy to use!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Virtual Vitals: Blogging

Wow!  Had I known how easy it was to use Google Reader I would have been using it already!  I found that a lot of the RSS feeds that I would subscribe to would be on my "Favorites" under "Feed", which I didn't find useful enough.  It seems like Google Reader will be an easy way to keep track of feeds!  My only concern is using Google too much as there is always the worry that Google will use the information in some way.  I was looking at the other reader, Bloglines, I thought it seemed a little more complicated to use so I opted for Google.  Other than that, I have put in a number of the feeds that were recommended by the course plus some that I have had on my Favorites bar for a long time.  In addition, I played around a bit more with this blog to see how to use other features.  Some I didn't like such as adding a photo at the top of the page (way too big!) as well as adding a gadget like a calendar at the bottom, which didn't seem like it would even be seen so the blog stands as is for the time being.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Virtual VItals: Blogging

Hi Everyone!

Was just thinking about the ways in which folks have talked about what they want to get out of the blogging, ie:  Library information, book club, book reviews, etc.  I was wondering if you have thought about ways to incorporate the students with the blog?  I know at Shen, the librarians do not allow the students to post on the blog (they can comment), but they are encouraged to write up and email a blog post to the librarians.  This way, the librarians can read the blog post to make sure that it is appropriate both to the library and appropriate in language, etc. 

Do any of you have any ideas of ways to utilize blogging for students of each level?  I would be very interested in hearing your ideas!

Stay cool folks!  It's gonna be a hot one today! 

Alison

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Virtual Vital: Blogging

Hello Vitual Learners!

My name is Alison Lattimore.  I'm a recent graduate of SUNY Albany and newly certified to work as a school media specialist in NYS!  This is my first summer without any classes, and it definitely feels very weird!  I was offered this course and thought that it would be a great way to keep up with a new technology and learn new things while I have the summer free especially since my children are working at summer camps and are not at home the entire week!  I currently work in Shenendehowa HS East/West library as a typist but am looking for employment as a school media specialist in the area.

Ironically, both my wonderful mentors are a part of this course!  I feel honored to be participating with such wonderful folks and look forward to virtually meeting everyone who is participating!