Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The sweet smell of a summary completed!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I love a good treasure hunt. The Web 2.0 activities have been like a fun treasure hunt using technology and tools.

Overall, I loved the content, pace, and quality of this project's resources and activities. I feel like this class should be a class that new library students, versus taking it later in their course study. There were many tools that would have helped me better plan, prepare, research, and organize, a number of tasks and assignments I did in library school 2 years ago. I detest writing citations, but had I had citation helpers (like Zotero) my life would have been much more enjoyable for other classes. If I had known more about plug ins, I could have shaved time off many projects by downloading free software that would take some of the workload off my desk. I feel that all librarians should consciously and continuously look for ways to help make their patrons information goals easier to achieve. These activities have made me fully realize this
concept as I have found ways to share, communicate, and work more efficiently and easily with other classmates and professionals by using skills learned in this class such as Google Tools and Lync.

I enjoy and find it meaningful to use tools that are helpful to me professionally and for possible patrons. As an MLS who is hoping to earn her school library media certification, I would like to have explored more options and strategies that will specifically help children use and appreciate web 2.0. I think that adding activities to the Learning 2.0 site that targets educators would be very useful.

Another way I would improve these activities would be to encourage more discussion among classmates as to how they use these technologies, their practical purposes, and discuss actual good and bad applications of these tools. I felt like many of these tools were explored in a sort of bubble. Some of them I may have even been using incorrectly or not to their most useful extent. However, I would not know this because I too worked in my own bubble, despite visiting several classmates blogs a week. The readings and activities were useful, but I am not sure if I have mastered all the skills I had to learn.

Although I was familiar with some of tools we learned about for this class, it was overall a useful and valuable experience to take part in the web 2.0 process. I was able to revisit and sharpen skills using familiar gadgets and see how they may have been improved and upgraded. I was also able to learn and explore new tools that I may choose to incorporate into future library instruction or lessons. I would recommend this activity for future students!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Discovering Tools to Keep in my Library Tool Belt

I am on a treasure hunt....searching for some of the best Web 2.0 tools out there. For this class I have uncovered some real treasures. I think in order to find tools that really fit your needs, you have to look far and wide just as if you were on a real treasure hunt. You have to talk to friends and colleagues, read reviews, sign up for free trial offers, check out blogs - you know, dig deep. Based on the Best Web 2.0 Tools found at SEOmoz , I found some great tools that will help me manage my personal and professional life.

As I am learning about code (for web design) and building databases, I am very curious about forms and tools that can make creating forms easier. This one I found at Wufoo.
Tadah - It's an Online form builder! It allows you to gather information for surveys, for example, and then you can organize the data. You can create simple or complex forms to meet your needs. It does have a cost, but it just maybe worth it.This could be used in a library to evaluate resources, programs, and services. All the data would be kept in one place and no one would have to return forms or remember to use a #2 pencil. And....the librarian would not have to create the database. This is a time and aggravation saver for sure.

I visit several sites to find out what is going on in the area I live. One great event planning site mentioned on SEOmoz is Upcoming.org . The site is powered by Yahoo and is pretty comprehensive. On my first try, I found several events going on within a 30 min. drive from my house. I was able to log in with my Yahoo account and shazam..........I was off and event planning. Schools, churches, community centers, & sports arenas can all use this site to solicit visitors to their events. It is a keen social networking tool for adults who want to find out more about the area where they live and play. I found out about a music showcase that is coming up and it's only 5 minutes from my house. I can make my own calendar and add events for others to see. I am curious to see how I can use this site and if I can recommend it to friends and maybe help them learn to use it? It has a lot of options and you can even browse by events or distance. The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are both connected to this site. Very cool indeed!

So many tools, so little time. I am really turned on by all this great new Web 2.0 technology! I would love to offer workshops in my school (future school ) to introduce teachers to tools that might interest them. The more helpful and relevant my library remains, the more important my library will continue to be. Sometimes people just need a little direction as to where to go to look for new tools. This is a great list I will be sure to refer to in the future.