Monday, December 7, 2009


What one thing did you learn, and what will you do differently as a result?

I learned that there is a lot of non intrusive technology out there that can help children with disabilities with their schooling and everyday life. I also learned that I should not modify the way I interact with a person just because they are disabled (unless they specifically ask me to do so).

Do you plan to recommend this tutorial? If so, please elaborate.

I would recommend this tutorial to everyone. It is beneficial for people with disabilities and for people without. People should always be open to learning about people who are different from themselves. That is what makes the world go around!

Do you plan to read or recommend some of the Recommended Reading books or add them to your collection? Will you link our LibraryThing list to your blog? If you have a book recommendation or have read one of the books that does not include a review, please send us your own review so we can share it.

I plan on reading a lot of the recommended books. I will then think about who would benefit from a recommendation (I never recommend books without reading them). I have already read three of them, The Child Called It, The Giver, and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I would be happy to send a review when I am finished with the other ones I have selected.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I do not work in a school (even if I did I would not have time to complete this task). However, I would like to share a story about a girl that was in my second grade class. Her name was Gretchen and she had a mobile disability. She was very small, her legs weren’t developed correctly and she had to wear full leg braces and used crutches. One day I was playing outside at recess. I had a ball and Gretchen came and took it off of me without asking. I told the teacher and she said I shouldn’t be so mean and should let Gretchen have the ball even if she didn’t say please. Even at this very young age, I knew this was wrong. None of the children liked Gretchen because of this special treatment she received. Gretchen needed to be taught manners just like every other child. By giving her want she wanted, the adults in her life were doing her a huge disservice. I often wonder what type of adult Gretchen became. Just like the etiquette states, people with disabilities want and should be treated equally.

I took the quiz and got one wrong. I am not sure I agree with the “correct” answer. Why would I extend my right hand if I clearly see that they would need to shake my left hand? I don’t understand this. This is the same curtsy I would extend to anyone, disabled or not, like if someone was holding their coffee in one hand.

When I read about finding an independent living center I immediately thought of Clelian Heights, This is a school for the developmentally disabled and also has residential apartments for men, women and children. In my special education undergrad class, we designed a lesson plan for the children at Clelian Heights and got to go there and teach it. The residential program
“provides life skills training, community recreational and leisure activities, structured therapeutic activities and numerous opportunities for individual involvement in community events”. Clelian Heights is run by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

These are the websites I found: This website is geared toward families that have a child that could benefit from assistive technology. It is very informative and gives examples of how assistive technology has helped other children in the past. Also, it provides many other resources for parents that may be looking for assistive technology devices, training and/or funding. This is the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) website. It is operated through a collaboration of people with disabilities, family members, and professionals in related fields. Their mission is to supply all people that need assistive technology with education and the know how to get it. RESNA stands for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. The promote research and education of everything related to assistive technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities. It is a bit expensive for a membership, $150 but would seem to be well worth it for all the network benefits. Their mission statements is “for persons with cognitive, sensory, and/or physical disabilities to reach their highest potential at home, school, work and play through the addition of appropriate assistive technologies to their lives.” I see that they help with getting people and companies funding for assistive technologies. I thought this was a really cool site. The AgrAbility Project supports people with disabilities that are working in the agricultural field. They assist with obtaining grants, on-farm assessments, training and technical assistance (just to name a few services).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Implementing assistive technology into your library should be a very thoughtful process. If I worked in a school library, I would analyze the student population and try to fill any assistive technology needs that they may have. For the visually impaired, I would want screen enlargement software and Braille translation software. I would look into obtaining mp3 players that could be used with audio books. For those students with mobility disorders I would look into voice recognition software and microphone head set. I would also make sure that my library has wide spaces to accommodate wheelchairs and also computer desks that can be raised and lowered. For those students with learning disabilities that involve difficulty with reading, I would budget for software that reads text aloud. All of my proposed hardware and software would, of course, go into an assistive technology plan. So, summing it up into steps, first I would analyze, then I would do research and chose my technology and then I would formulate a plan. I also liked how California advertised their assistive capabilities. I think this is important because a patron might have been looking for this at one time and it wasn’t available. Letting the population know that you can help them brings people to the library that might normally feel alienated.

Below is my rubric. It looks like a table in Word but when I paste it in here, it destroys the formatting.

Software Name

Software Comany
Inspiration Software, Inc.

1 license - $69
5 license - $310
10 license - $550
20 license - $895

Create graphic organizers such as concept maps, webs and idea maps

Built in symbol library
Import QuickTime movies and sounds
Switch between diagram and outline view
Covers five broad subjects

Only recommended for 6th grade or higher
Toolbars are fixed rather than floating
Application menus aren’t very logical
Software name
Kurzweil 3000

Software Company
Cambium Learning

Single Black & White - $1095
Single Color - $1495
Lab Pack B&W - $1995
Lab Pack Color - $2695

Read aloud text program with highlighters, voice notes, dictionaries and online reference

No software download
Can be accessed from any Windows computer
Immediate access to saved work and settings

Can be cumbersome to scan books

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Needs Assessment - Hardware

Metzgar Elementary School
Assistive Technology Plan - Hardware

I. Targeted Population

Students with mobility disorders (MD) such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, cerebral palsy and congenital abnormalities may have difficulties accessing computers and/or completing classroom tasks. Providing assistive technology in Metzgar Elementary School for this population would allow them the same opportunities that their peers have to succeed in school.

II. Why do you want to use technology

The proposed technology will bring more independence to students with mobility disorders. Technology would also decrease the time it takes for them to complete a task.

III. For what activities will you be using technology?

Technology will be used to assist students when they are using the computers in the library lab.

IV. How are you completing these activities now?

Currently, library aids are assisting the students. Complications have occurred when aids were not available.

V. When and how often would you use technology throughout a typical day?

This technology would be used during library instruction and any free library time. That constitutes about 2-3 hours daily.

VI. What goals do you plan on achieving by using technology?

By utilizing this technology, our goals are to bring more independence, confidence and competence to our MD students.

VII. Are these environments accessible for technology?

The library computer lab is highly accessible for all of the proposed technology.

XIII. Hardware

Logitech – Webcam Pro 9000 – $79.00

Justification: A webcam that is hooked up to a computer can be used to track a user’s head motion that will in turn move the mouse thus making this task hands-free. Our MD students with limited hand movement will not have to wear uncomfortable headgear or manipulate a foot mouse thereby making this option more discrete and attractive to hesitant students. There are many types of head/eye control software that will work with a common webcam. Webcams can also be used for many other tasks thereby making it an economic and practical piece of hardware. Also important, it does not require a complicated setup process.

Cyber Acoustics Speech Recognition Stereo Headset - $44.99

Justification: This piece of hardware, when used with any number of speech recognition software will allow the user to dictate documents and manipulate the keyboard with voice commands. It cancels out background noise which is always a concern in a busy library. The user will not have to raise his or her voice above a normal speaking level. No elaborate setup is required.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I must say that is a really extensive site for assistive technology. I found so many devices that used technology that I didn’t even know was developed and available yet. While looking through the site I was reminded of a girl I went to elementary school with. She had mobility problems and was in a wheelchair. Her movements could be very spastic at times. I found three devices that I think would be very helpful for students with these same mobility problems. First, I would invest in the Clearview Head Pointer. This is a great device that lets students with mobility issues independently type. Another device that I would recommend using with the Clearview Head Pointer is a Waterloo Adjustable Keyboard tray. This would allow the keyboard to be tilted toward the user and therefore make it easier for them to use the Head Pointer to type. Another device that could be successfully used with the Head Pointer is the SofType 4.2 On-Screen Keyboard. With this software, one could make a customized word list. The librarian could construct a word list containing commonly used words and post the key-combination on the side of the computer for all users. Also, with SofType you can change the keyboard layout, color and size. Making the keys larger would help with accuracy when using the Head Pointer. In fact, SofType would benefit all types of learners thereby making it an economically pleasing choice for all school budgets.

As I stated above, EnableMart is a one-stop wonder store for all things that fall under the assistive technology category. They should advertised more and make themselves known. Many teachers, parents and business owners could benefit from all the software and hardware available on this website.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


In my Google Reader, I subscribe to a blog named Library Stuff. I thought it was very interesting that I read this post right before I started to explore The National Federation of the Blind’s website. The following article is about a school that will not invest in Kindle until it develops a way that visually impaired students can easily turn the “read aloud” function on.

After reading the article I thought, wow, here I figured that Kindle would be the greatest new invention for the visually impaired. I never thought of how they would turn it on. I guess that goes to show how much I take my vision for granted. I would have thought that the designers of Kindle would have consulted a visually impaired person to make sure it was fully functional for them.

I found an awesome website called It translates texts and numbers into Braille. You can then print it out. The site suggests putting little drops of glue on the dots so they can be felt. I think that I would get some of those raised dot candies. I think this is a great alternative to buying a brailler (which is like $970.00 for an electric one) because it is free. Of course, when I am a librarian, I will try and convince the powers that be that this would be a good investment. I am not a teacher; however, I would think one of the best ways to teach your students Braille would be to bring in a blind person or ask a blind student to show them how it is done.

The “link for teachers” at the National Center for Learning Disabilities had a lot of information. I didn’t see specific lesson plans the address the different issues that students with LD have. That would be nice. I am not a teacher, but I do know many people that have learning disabilities (my brother for one). My neighbors are Mexican and their youngest son has trouble with the English language (not speaking it, but learning the grammar rules). If I were a teacher, I would keep these types of learners in mind and try and modify my lessons to include and benefit them as well. As they said on the website (and this is important to remember) many people with learning disabilities are very intelligent, they just process information differently.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

WEEK 9 - THING #23

I made it to the finish line!!!!! Because we learned about so many new tools, I just took some time to go back through the 23 things. What I enjoyed most (and will continue to enjoy) is my Google Reader account. I didn't think it would be something that I would appreciate so much. It is like my own personalized morning paper. It keeps me up-to-date on world news and specific blogs. I also really like LibraryThing and will continue to use it to build my personal library. These are tools I will use for personal use. Some tools I will use in my profession are wikis and Flickr and mashups. I learned a lot of new uses for Wikis (booktalks and reviews). I will use Flickr to make interesting, eye-catching posters and signs for my library.

This program made educating myself about new technology less daunting. I can do this and have fun doing it at the same time. It is not as insurmountable a task as I once thought. I would love to be a part of other programs such as this. I would definitely recommend these types of online programs to any lifelong learner.

They could improve this program by making sure that their recommended links are current and working.

The one word I would choose to describe this program is INNOVATIVE!!

WEEK 9 - THING # 22

I am not a big ebook fan. I don't really like reading a lot off of a screen. I usually end up getting a headache. I did check out I browsed through Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts collection and saw one of my favorite Twain tales, Huckleberry Finn and a favorite Poe tale, The Cask of Amontillad. I also saw Dracula, which I have never read before. I browsed through the Classic Literature Collection and recognized many children's books such as Journey to the Center of the Earth.

If someone bought me a Kindle, I would probably use it every once in a while but I really like the feel of paper books. Plus, I like to read in the tub and I don't think electronics and water go together very well. I am sure electronic readers will be more popular when their prices decrease.

Monday, November 2, 2009

WEEK 9 - THING #21

Today was my first experience with a podcast. I was looking forward to learning more about a podcast before I began searching for one but the link for Yahoo: What is a podcast? tutorial is broken. So, I struck out on my own and created an account with I subscribed to a podcast called Wicked Decent Learning. I also, due to a recommendation from one of my classmates, subscribed to The ABC Book Reviews: A Beth and Cari Production. I listened to one episode from Wicked Decent Learning but it did not hold my interest. There was too much kidding around and not enough usable information being discussed. Maybe some of the other episodes will be better. I really enjoyed The ABC Book Reviews so much so that I put it into my Google Reader account (by the way, this was so easy to do, no copying or pasting required). This will be a useful tool for me. It will clue me into any new books being released and give me ideas of who would like these books based on their reviews.

For my library, podcasts could be used for my seeing impaired patrons. I could have book review podcasts for them to listen to (in a designated podcast listening area). Then they could decide for themselves whether they would like to check out that certain audio book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WEEK 9 - THING #20

My daughter watches YouTube for music videos so I am pretty familiar with it. It can be very addicting, like the recommended 70s commercials. I went through those for about 45 minutes. I tried to watch Conan the Librarian but a message came up saying it was removed due to terms of use violations. I wonder what that is about. I very much enjoyed the Introduction to the Book. I watched this in my very first MLS course here at Clarion. I really can't find anything particularly negative about the YouTube site. I kind of like the video suggestions on the side and it loads relatively quickly. For libraries, I think YouTube would work well with booktalks. Just think, along with being able to read others' reviews of books wouldn't it be cool to have a YouTube video booktalk to view? I have found that I really enjoy giving booktalks. I think I will video tape them and make them available in my library.

I chose this video because I really liked this book "Dewey". I love cats and books so this was a book made for me. I would love to work in a public library that has a library cat. When I see my cat curled up in a patch of sunlight, it makes me want to grab a book and curl up with him (and I have). I recommend this book to anyone that loves cats!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WEEK 8 - THING #19

I love LibraryThing. It is so easy to add books and edit them. I put my five books for my WebQuest in my "To Read" collection date. I also set about putting some books in my "Favorites" collection. I gave my WebQuest books tags. I sorted all my books by publication date. I love how you can choose from different book covers and how you can see how many people like what you like. As for my five WebQuest books, the most popular one "Indian Chiefs" was in 68 other members' libraries. One of my titles "American Indian Tribes" was only in my library, no one else has it. It is an older book so maybe that is part of the reason. LibraryThing is going to be a big help to me. I read so many books that I can't remember all of their titles so I end up reading up to 50 pages before I get that feeling that I have read it before. Now I can check my LibraryThing account I know for sure. It will take a while to get all of the books that I have read added to my account but it will be worth it. Here is my link:

Friday, October 23, 2009

WEEK 8 - THING #18

I didn't realize that sites like Zoho existed. I am a Word fan so I tried not to judge Zoho to harshly. I created an account and set about playing around in Zoho. Since I love poetry, I typed out one of my favorites by Marge Piercy. I was able to pick a different font and make the title red. I also inserted a picture. There weren't many formating options for images, but the finished result was decent. I wanted to put a boarder around my poem but did not find an option for that (that is not to say it doesn't exist). The real problem came when I tried to post my poem to my blog. The help section said I should click on the "Publish" option on the tool bar. I searched for 30 minutes for the "Publish" button to no avail. This is dissappointing because I thought this was a really nice selling point for Zoho. If anyone figured this out, I would love to know.

Zoho would be useful for me and my school work. Since I do some of my school work on my lunch break, I have to save said homework on a flash drive at home and REMEMBER to bring it to work. With Zoho, you could access it anywhere. Although, I think I might wait a while to try something like this. Homework is precious you know!

Anyway, since I could not post my poem from Zoho, I saved it as a .pdf on my desktop and will try and paste it into this post.

OK, I am not able to post the .pdf file so I will just paste the poem.

All over America women are burning dinners. It's lambchops in Peoria: it's haddock in Providence; it's steak in Chicago: tofu delight in Big Sur; red rice and beans in Dallas. All over America women are burning food they're supposed to bring with calico smile on platters glittering like wax. Anger sputters in her brainpan, confined but spewing out missiles of hot fat. Carbonized despair presses like a clinker from a barbecue against the back of her eyes. If she wants to grill anything, it's her husband spitted over a slow fire. If she wants to serve him anything it's a dead rat with a bomb in its belly ticking like the heart of an insomniac. Her life is cooked and digested, nothing but leftovers in Tupperware. Look, she says, once I was roast duck on your platter with parsley but now I am Spam. Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.

By: Marge Piercy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Here is my WebQuest. The template was easy to follow and helped me get my thoughts in order. Like others have stated, it kind of messed up your numbering (which is strange because it actually states to make sure you number your instructions). I also wish you were able to do a little more customizing but overall I think WebQuests are very useful. Here is mine. The Native American project is for a 5th grade social studies class. I could not get it to post a link so I just copied and pasted it!

Subject: Social Studies
Professor: Ms. Ruble

Introduction: With Thanksgiving Day coming next month, now would be the perfect time to learn about Native Americans. The Native Americans lived on the North America continent long before Columbus "discovered" America. It was the Native Americans that helped the English settlers survive their first harsh North American winter. Let's have fun learning about these amazing groups of people.

Task: For this project, you will be writing a one to two page report on a Native American Tribe. You may chose a tribe from the North, South, East, West or the Plains. Your report should described the type of housing, clothing, food and crafts that pertain to your tribe. You will also be constructing a Kachina doll.

Process: 1. You will use the Rollyo website provided to conduct your research. 2. A "research notes" page will be passed out. You will search for information on your tribe's housing, clothing, food and crafts and write your information on your notes page. 3. You will use these notes to construct your first rough draft (Don't forget to use your own words and not the websites). 4. I will check each rough draft and will let you know if you can start on your final paper. 5. After your paper is completed, you will start on you Kachina Doll. Please read about what a Kachina Doll is and search for instructions on how to make a Kachina Doll on the Rollyo site. 6. After you have printed your instructions, you may go to the craft corner and create your Kachina Doll. 7. After your doll and paper are finished you will present both to the class.

Resources: I have created a Rollyo site title "Native Americans". This is where you will be doing all of your research.
Native American Rollyo

Evaluation: Your paper will be graded on content (did you include housing, clothing, food and craft information), grammar (no typos and correct punciation) and construction (must have clear introduction, body, and conclusion). Your presentation will be graded on your delivery (speak loud enough to be heard and clear enough to be understood).

Conclusion: To celebrate our new knowledge of Native Americans, we will have a "Thanksgiving Feast". You will be asked to bring in a poster decorated with the types of foods that your tribe eats. These posters will be put on displayed around the classroom. Snacks and drinks will be provided for our "feast".

Monday, October 19, 2009

WEEK 7 - THING #17

I went to the sandbox provided in the California classroom 2.0 curriculum connections wiki and edited the page with my comment about origins of old sayings. I enjoyed reading others random thoughts some of which were quite entertaining. I also went to the section about the 23 things and learned about a voki talking avatar. I have to experiment with that! Taking the idea I saw in the sandbox, I think having students collaborate on a class story would be fun and interesting. As a class you could decide on a topic and each student would contribute maybe 4 or 5 paragraphs to the story. This could be blown into a really big project by having them create illustrations for the story and actually making it into a book to put in the classroom library!

Friday, October 16, 2009

WEEK 7 - THING #16

I like Wikis. I think they are easy to use and practical. I had some experience with PBwikis in one of my courses. I remember having to put a library budget on the wiki. We used a table copied from word. The formatting was tricky but I think that just for basic word processing a wiki is a sufficient tool.

I looked through the websites and can I just say, is Meredith Farkas everywhere? She created the Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. I have read her name numerous times since I started this LS program. She is definitely a mover and shaker in the library technology world. Anyway, I really liked the her wiki and added it to my Google Reader. I also need to look through the list of library blogs available on Library Bloggers Wiki. The list is extensive! In the TeacherLibrarian Wiki I read about a librarian that offers a Books ala Carte services. That is an idea I will tuck away and hopefully use someday.

I can see that one of the most obvious uses for a wiki in a library would be for book discussion and reviews. As far as the classroom, I would setup one like the Westwood Schools teacher, Vicki Davis has (one of the samples posted in week #7). Her wiki is not just for special projects that are here today and gone tomorrow. She definitely has a lot going on in her wiki and makes it an active part of her classroom. It has won many awards.

Monday, October 12, 2009

WEEK 6 - THING #15

I found an example of a modification of this program. Below is a link to a Power Point presentation created by Allen County Public Library located in Fort Wayne, IN. The presentation shows how they modified the 23 things to make it their own. Also shown is how they pitched it to the board and how it was implemented. Very interesting!

Would you believe a friend of mine admitted to me she doesn’t use the library because it intimidates her? That said, I think that Library 2.0, among other things, needs to be about making patrons see that the library is there for them and not some information warehouse that they don’t, or are not permitted to have the key to. The latest technology should be implemented only if it improves the patrons experience in the library, not to make it more confusing. Michael Stephens wrote in The OCLC Newsletter, that librarians need to be careful of technolust. He also mentioned that it is important that the library be transparent. Including the patrons in new projects and getting their feedback would be a good start. So that is what Library 2.0 means to me, a library with a logical balance between user-centered and technology-friendly atmosphere.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

WEEK 6 - THING #14

When I first opened Technorati, it looked like a difficult site to navigate through. Thing 14 instructions said to check out popular blogs, searches and tags. If they didn't have the link right there, I don't think I would have been able to find it in their website. Looking past that, there is quite a lot of info on this site. I did search "School Library Learning 2.0" and "Classroom Learning 2.0" and found many blogs and blog posts relating to these topics. However, when I searched tags I got no hits for either of them. I really enjoyed searching the popular blogs. Boing Boing was really interesting. I can't believe that they have editors, senior editors and whatnot. Is this a business for them? If not, when do they find the time to keep up with all the latest info that is available there?

I guess I didn't really understand the concept of tagging until I read chapter 8 in Nancy Courtney's book. The advantages that I find to be most important regarding tagging is inclusiveness, currency and low cost. With inclusiveness, people can find those rare allusive topics that controled vocabulary may not allow. For example, if you practice shamanism, thereare many buzz words that only shamans would know. Currency is important too. It takes minutes to update and create tags. It takes a lot longer to update "a large taxonomy". Low cost seems to be the biggest advantage for obvious reasons. Some disadvantages are the lack of hierarchy and gaming which is like spamming. There are no relationships in tagging. With gaming, anyone can just make many many tags for any content. This is a serious tax on the tagging system.

Tagging for personal reasons may not be a good idea for me. At work, I file a lot of information and I find that what I file stuff under depends on the mood I am in. I am a very inconsistent person for which tagging probably wouldn't be helpful.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WEEK 6 - THING #13

Delicious is pretty cool. I checked out the SJLibraryLearning2 account. I clicked on a bookmark named TweepSearch. It had a Twitter tag, so I clicked on that. Then I saw a bookmark called 100 Ways to Use Twitter in Your Library. I do not know much about Twitter, so I thought this would be a cool site to check out. This lead me to wanting to save the site which lead me to making a Delicious account for myself. Once there, I imported all my favorites from my computer, which was very easy. I don't know if this is the kind of thing I will keep up with for a month and then forget about it. Regardless, in the meantime, I like it.

I am curious about people putting bookmarks in their accounts that might have a virus associated with them. Does something in Delicious prevent this from happening? My daughter just recently put a virus on my home computer so I would be leary of clicking on just anyones bookmarks.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

WEEK 5 - THING #12

I love the practical use of Rollyo. It would give students direction when completing an assignment for a teacher. Instead of aimlessly searching the Internet, they will be able to focus on only the websites that you trust and that are relevant to their report, project, etc..

The only thing I didn't like about Rollyo is that it is really slow. I used Internet Explore and I would still have to get up and finish some chores while the pages were loading. I found that the earlier you go on Rollyo, the faster it is. Not sure why this is so. Anyway, I created a Rollyo on Native Americans. I would think this would be a good topic for fourth or fifth graders. There are a lot of erroneous website concerning Native Americans so I am glad I was able to pick out reliable ones. Here is the link

Saturday, September 26, 2009

WEEK 5 - THING #11

I enjoyed browsing the Web 2.0 award winners. There are many interesting sites some that I have never even heard of. First off, I though Last-fm was amazing. It is kind of like Pandora (see Pandora post) but it has options to watch videos and talk with others about your favorite music. Since I am a huge music lover, I signed myself up right away. I also liked LuLu which is a self-publishing site. This is for all of us who are planning on writing a book someday (at least I know I am). I saw an old friend in the awards list, PBwiki. I can remember using this with a group of classmates for a class assignment. I was so much easier than e-mail files back and forth.

If I were to pick a site that could be useful for a library it would be WuFoo. It helps you design online surveys. Not only that but it organizes and analyses your data, creates reports and builds graphs. This would be a useful tool for a school library (taking a survey on what new technologies the students would like to see in there schools) or a public library (what type of book discussion interest you). I was a psychology major and I know how time consuming and sometimes mind boggling raw data can be. This site does everything for you.

I tried to sign up with library 2.0 and classroom 2.0 but they have to approve me first. The amount of info they wanted was impressive. I guess they don't let just and rift raft on their Ning.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WEEK 5 - THING #10

I went to and spent about an hour there trying to decide what picture to use. This was a lot of fun. I can definitely see why the directions for this "thing" said to keep it in good taste. I think a teacher could use this tool to make reminders and print them out and post them around the classroom or post them on the classroom website (if he or she has one).


Subscribing to more feeds in Google reader was really easy. I was able to search for feeds by topic or search term. So now, in addition to my classmates blogs, I have:

KDKA Pittsburgh News
Library Stuff
Crockpot Recipes
Free iTune Downloads

I am going to attempt to put my public library into my reader as well. A RSS feed is like free publicity for libraries. The community will be informed of any new library developments and events. My library also has book sales (that I habitually miss). It will be nice not to miss another one!


I created an RSS account in Google Reader. I didn't even try Bloglines because once I was in Google Reader, I saw that it had imported all of my classmates blogs that I follow. That was a big time saver and I was sold! I love having a RSS reader. I can keep track of everyone's blog here and it is so much easier then clicking on each individual blog (especially when I would forget whose blog I looked at already!). I read all the "helps" and "abouts" and I really liked these two RSS analogies:

RSS reader is like TiVo for your computer.
An aggregator collects all of your subscriptions in one place like a magazine rack in your home.

I will definitely use my RSS Reader (even after this course is finished). There are many websites that I frequent and subscribing to them will make my life easier and more efficient.

Friday, September 18, 2009


One of the first classes I took at Clarion introduce me to Pandora. It has been a match made in heaven ever since. If you have never experience Pandora, I highly recommended you click on this link I absolutely love music. Something is always playing at my house whether it be the radio, a CD or a music station on the TV. At first, Pandora seemed like it would be a sort of on-line radio station that played certain genres of music. For instance, if you like Jazz there would be a station for you. But once you really learn about Pandora you come to see that it is not just different genres, it is all the music that you like, whatever genres they might be. Since Pandora appeared in 2000, musicians there have been hard at work analyzing thousands and thousands of songs to pick up musical similarities between them. This means that when you type in a song that you like, Pandora will play it along with every other song that has similarities to it. I have discovered countless new artists that I never would have given a chance if it wasn't for Pandora. If I were a music teacher, I would utilize Pandora in my lessons. It would be especially useful for professors that teach music theory. With Pandora, you can create 100 unique "stations" for yourself. I have built a reggae station that plays not just any reggae music but the kind that contain the beats that I enjoy. I like to call it the soundtrack of my mind! I just can't say enough good things about Pandora. If you are a music fanatic, you don't want to wait another day to check this out! (and I am not even getting paid for this endorsement!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I went to BigHugeLabs, a third party tool, and there are so many things you can do with your pictures. This is one of my daughter. I love how it divides up into frames. This was a lot of fun and it took me forever to settle on a format. I was hoping that it would post the picture right on my blog, but, alas, I guess I have to make due with a link. I really tried to get the picture directly on my blog but I believe it said something about meeting my picture quota. Not sure?

BigHugeLabs: Do fun stuff with your photos

Monday, September 14, 2009


Vic' Falls (00380)
Originally uploaded by giamplume

Flickr is a lot of fun. I could see myself getting lost in all the photos. This one is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It has been a dream of mine to travel to Africa. Someday...........

I made myself an account and it was really easy to blog this picture straight out of Flickr. I learned what tags are. I like this tool because I can give my pictures keywords so that I can locate them later. Also,I would like to try my hand at creating a group. Maybe a "Trips to Africa" group :-) Anyway, even though I'm not a blogger, I can see myself getting hooked on Flickr. I love to look at interesting pictures.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

WEEK 2 - THING #3 & #4

This is the second time I have created a blog, the first being in a course I took last year about copywriting. I like making things look just so and enjoy fine tuning all my blog details. I must admit though, I do not keep a personal blog nor do I follow anyone else's blog. I just don't have the time to make it a personal mission. However, when it is a class project, I do enjoy it. Perhaps I will try making it a personal journal activity.

This was my second attempt at making an avatar. I made one on Second Life for a class project. The Yahoo avatar was much easier to understand and modify. I think it looks a lot like me. It took me forever to get the avatar from the Yahoo site on to my blog. Once I finally did it I felt so accomplished! There are still some modifications I would like to make so this blog will be a work in progress.

Oh, and I registered my blog also.


I read all about the 23 Things. Here is the list in order:

1 About
2 Life Long Learning
3 Create your own blog
4 Register your blog
5 Explore Flickr
6 Flickr fun and mashups
7 Blog about technology
8 RSS feeds
9 Education feeds
10 Image generators
11 Web 2.0 Award Winners
12 Roll your own search tool
13 Tagging and
14 Technorati and Tags
15 Copyright, Creative Commons, What's Coming
16 Wikis
17 CL2.0 Wiki - curriculum connections
18 Online productivity tools
19 Library Thing
20 YouTube and video
21 Podcasts
22 eBooks and audio books
23 Summarize your thoughts


I believe that I am a lifelong learner. I definitely started later in my life for I was not interested in learning when I was in high school. I missed so much information because I wasn't paying attention. Now, I can't stop being curious about the world around me. I am always thinking of non-credit classes I want to take at my community college such as astronomy, finances and automobile maintenance. I now enjoy learning for the sake of learning not because I have to.

Out of the 7 1/2 habits mentioned, I think I am best at setting goals. What I am really good at is breaking down large projects. This means that if I set a goal for myself, I can piece it up so that I get closer to my goal every week, month or however I wish to divide it up. I love this because you can celebrate the mini-goals which gives you continued determination and confidence to keep going until you complete the whole goal. I also write my goals down and all the steps that need to be taken to get there. Just the simple act of crossing an item of the list gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Much like my classmates, I have a hard time perceiving my problems as challenges. At first I freak out and get all upset that there is no way to get past this problem and that I am never going to reach my ultimate goal (master's degree). However, usually, after getting a goodnights sleep, I am more optimistic and can see the problem as a challenge and not a insurmountable problem. I have also noticed that the more "challenges" I face head-on, the less anxious I get about the next "challenge" that comes along. I guess what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.