Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why I Need my High School Library

I remember the first time I'd heard of YouTube. I was working on my second Bachelor's Degree for Social Studies Education at Fredonia State and I was involved in a great discussion on the Global Economy. Our teacher routinely showed us videos made by his professor friends at UCLA. One day as he's ready to show us a video, he talks about pirating videos and how his friend doesn't want his video to be stolen and put on YouTube. I had no idea what YouTube was. I was a meager college student, without cable or Internet, and most of my time was dedicated to working, studying, and trying to have a social and professional life. I raised my hand to ask about YouTube and people actually laughed at me. Well, I've come a long way baby. As an self-described information junkie or 'infomaniac' , I love to search the web for topics as they pop into my head. This includes: 'I wonder how George Washington died?', 'Does anyone else remember the cartoon Jem?', 'Did the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs in the last ten years?' goes on and on. Well, I actually needed a clip for a class I was teaching. I wanted School House Rock. Low and behold, it was just a couple clicks away and I could show the class 'how a bill becomes a law'.

Whether it is for research, school, or fun, video sharing is pretty cool. Yes, yes, yes I am aware of copyright issues. I took a class all about it. I never, ever, watch pirated videos, movies, etc. I am strongly against that. Seriously, I am. However, I can still use lots of great free videos on the Internet from video sharing sites that will benefit students in my library and school. There's alot of original book talks, lessons, and other educational videos I can use to make my library a better learning center. There's also of junk, which I can teach my students and fellow staff members to avoid. (That's a whole other blog post.) The bottom line is that video sharing has great uses and it's users and producers need to be responsible.

I love this video because its a student created video about how great high school libraries are now and forever. It's quirky, original, and fun. Yayy for students who did this and yayy to ALA for recognizing their talents.

Hunger Games Book Talk

The Hunger Games Book Talks from Jack Norgren on Vimeo.

This is an amateur video for the fantasy/science fiction book The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins. I found this video on I searched for "book talk + hunger games" . I then copied the videos html and pasted it onto my (not sure what this is called in technical terms) blog tableau.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pods to be Cast

My first experience with Podcasting in a school setting for my social studies education undergrad. While looking for great teaching tools on the Internet, I came across a teacher who taped all his lessons and put them ONline for students and parents to have access to them. What a novel idea! Four years later, (now), I think web 2.0 technologies, especially PodCasting, is making communication, faster, easier and more convenient than ever. Faster - because a person can instantly download a file once it's made available on the Internet: Easier, because you can play it on your comptuer, MP3 player or phone: and easeir, because you can take it with you wherever you go and listen to it whenever it is convenient. The podcasts I listen to are usually from National Public Radio and deal with news, current events, popular culture, and an array of other quirky topics the Buffalo and national stations offer. But, I am still a big fan of listening/watching the news each day, but I LOVE the flexibility a Podcast offers for many of us "on the go, information junkies/". On my drives to night class in Buffalo, I will sometimes download lectures and other important news bits onto my MP3 player, but not all time. As a teacher, I see this as a useful teaching tool for my students and a way to preserve my lessons for further instruction, reflection, and improvement. I also love that it's pretty much cheap or free. I'm a bargain hunter, and Podcasting gives everyone great bang for the buck!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flickr and Photos on the Web

It's faster than ever now to upload images to share to share with the Online world of friends....and strangers. I recently got married and was eager to share my images with far away friends, but, I really don't want students and unwanted guests seeing my images. I know, as should everyone else, that all images and posts that hit the web are permanent. So to be honest, many of my friends have yet to see my pictures because they are private and not available to the Whole World on the web. Why? - I value my privacy. I want to be able to control who sees my personal 'stuff'. But, if I want to share things so easily, I know I have to give a little of my privacy to use some great, free services.
The Photo I chose to post is a photo of me completing a story hour at a rural, local library where I live. The photo does not have me looking at the camera, nor does it have an image of the child I'm reading to. It does show me hard at work in the library, but it does not have a tag on my image or the child's . I know my blog speaks to those who also value their privacy, but I think people get so excited with technology they get sort of 'techno-drunk' and don't realize for example - 'wait a minute, did I just post a naked picture of my son in the bathtub for EVERYONE to see?"
I do recognized that there is a tremendous value in regards to photo sharing, but I also think that librarians especially need to become better versed in issues concerning privacy, copyright, and good netiquette before they dive face first into teaching lessons about photo sharing. Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned, but even posting this image on the Web made me a bit weary.

Libraries as Digital Learning Spaces

Creating Digital Learning Spaces
These are a couple key objectives I jotted down while watching Building Academic Library 2.0 on YouTube:
-how can computer labs act as learning spaces
- can a librarian help create more meaningful interaction for web/library users and if so how?
-how do we turn consumers of the web into knowledgable users
- how can we as librarians create services that users REALLY want, breaking out of Net Genereation stereotypes

I think these are all meaningful questions that librarians should ask themselves when they are creating programming for their patrons/users, whether they are children, adult, or octegenarian students. Great teachers, and librarians, must teach with purpose and be knowledgeable about past, present, and upcoming digital and web 2.0 technologies that impact their students' lives. If you do not know who the "Internet generation" or "net. gen ", find out and learn more. Maybe even book mark a digital dictionary about web and technology lingo. How do we create programming.....How about communicating with others and seeking good examples.
Librarians love information and we need to set a good example for our users to love it, digest, and become active and meaningful Internet citizens.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Life Long Learning ...That 's Totally Me

By the age of 22 I had a BA in history, a minor in African American studies, and I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I worked hard to achieve a BA in social studies education and became a licensed teacher in 2007. I graduated with honors and high hopes, but I am still not working as a full time teacher. I love learning, it runs hot and fast in my veins, but I would first and foremost like to be gainfully employed as a librarian. I will have my MLS this December from the University of Buffalo and will shortly thereafter have my permanent teaching license for school libraries, grades K - 12. For 9 years all I've done is to do well in school, land the man of my dreams, manage a full time serving job and still have time for community service work...yet, I'll always be this way. I am driven to be a public servant (aka school librarian) because I crave knowledge and information; teaching it, sharing it, manipulating it, and learning how new technologies can further its progress. I didn't get my first e-mail until I was a freshmen in college. I taught my mother how to send e-mail after I graduated from college (she was stubborn, but eventually saw its usefulness).
I bring my passion and knowledge into the library and classroom, even if it can be exhausting. Why? Because it's worth. If you're not hungry to learn, you shouldn't be a teacher, and you definitely shouldn't be a librarian. In the future, it see libraries as a active force in our lives, racing towards the information and technology horizon as a leader, coach, and exhibitionists of new technology and information processes. As a dedicated life long learner, I hope to be on that ship, sailing at the forefront of the horizon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

7 1/2 Habits - Strength & Weakness

Information professionals need so many valuable tools to be able to do their effectively. After watching the video on '7 1/2 Healthy Habits' I can see distinct weaknesses and strengths in my approach to learning. One big weakness for me lies in the notion that sometimes (Not Always!) I do get caught in the trap of seeing a challenge as a problem. I forget that I"m not an expert, I need to learn new things, and that the learning process is valuable AND fun! Instead I just see that road sign in my mind "Danger, Hazardous Materials Ahead...Watch OUT!" As an older grad student, I've embraced my ability to adapt and learn new things, but having to pay bills, work full-time and go to school can be troubling. YET, as a student in this program, I've learned to find balance and am more at peace with my progress than ever before. My strengths far outweigh my worries and weaknesses. I am great at teaching and mentoring others and I am an eager learner, especially through socializing, reading, and using various social media. My life skills have made learning here at UB very positive and fun for me, despite the demand and time constraints of this Graduate program. I've been teaching for several years, and have mentored teens for over 10!! - which I am very proud of. I hope my web 2.0 skills will soon catch up to my teaching/mentoring skills.