Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thing 47~Evaluation

I can't believe that I have complete all of the More Things on a Stick project. Thank you to all that have set up the program and giving me more tools to make my Media Center a more improved 2.o Media Center. THANK YOU!!!!!

I am still going to continue to explore the More Things on a Stick. I will continue to share the websites with students and staff.

I have had lots of great experiences with the Web 2.0 tools. I have struggled with some of the Web 2.0 tools. I promised myself at the beginning of the project that I would complete them all and work hard at making my Media Center a more improved 2.0 Media Center. Have I completed my goal? No, I am going to continue to work on making the Media Center a better place with lots of tools to improve students projects and experiences in the Media Center.

I hope that who ever reads my blog will be inspired to work hard on improving their Media Centers for the students.

Once again, THANK YOU to all who have set this up and worked hard to improve library skills. You not only improved my Media Center, you will have improved many Media Centers.

Is this the end? No, it is a new beginning.

Thing 46~ WebJunction Minnesota

I joined WebJunction Minnesota!!!! I have spent time exploring WebJunction in the past and thought about signing up but left it at a thought. I am now a member and am looking for friends. The hard part about finding friends is that everyone seems to have their profile hidden. I am not sure if this person is the person I am looking for because there is no information about that person. That makes it a little frustrating.

I did send out a friend request to Ruth Solie, who is the person that introduced me to WebJunction at an inservice. I hope she wants to be my friend. I looked for several other people and came up empty handed with the lack of information available to find them.

I did send out a help me with collecting overdues. I need some creative ideas on how to collect overdues. Things that I have tried include: sending them to teachers, visiting with individual students, and putting them on lockers. At the end of the year, I put a list of all the students that have overdues on a wall, which seems to get a little better response but still lose many over the summer.

I looked through some of the courses available and wanted to sign up for them but I will have to spend more time looking to see which of the classes will best fit in with my media center.

WebJunction is nice because it has other people to exchange ideas with on a professional level. I like that there are workshops offered on a later date if you are unable to be catch the first webinar.
I like that you can also use them for continuing education credits for your license. WebJunction Rocks!!!!!!

Thing 45~ Cloud Computing

I have used Google Docs for a while now, since the 23 Things on a Stick.  I like that my documents are backed up and not lost.  Our server at the school had crashed and they had to go to the backup files and I lost a lot of information but Google Docs had saved the day.  I was able to go on my retrieve the files and save them to my staff file later on.  

I find that Google Docs is just awesome.  If you have a presentation out of town, you can have the documents on your Google Docs and ready to go.  I do use my flash drive for important information as a backup but it is really nice to have several backups.  I like to email my files to my hotmail account for another backup.  I didn't think that I was so into the Cloud Computing until I read the articles.  

I looked through the Web OS links.  I still find myself using my Yahoo account to link my favorite websites for access anywhere.  I have set up files for Teaching Materials, Library Websites, Professional Development, and Personal Sites (like Nascar, JcPenny's, Kohls, etc).  I like being able to access my favorites from any computer.  

The advantages of having Cloud Computing is mainly you can access your information from anywhere.  Does this mean your information is private?  No, it does mean that people who are really good at hacking into sites will get your information.  Does that make me nervous?  Yes and no.  I guess if the information really needs to be keep private you had better not put it on the web.  

The disadvantage is if you Internet is not working, your information is not available to you.  Do you need to plan ahead?  Of course, everyone should have backup because you never know when you are going to need it the most.  

Thing 44~ The Economy

This thing is one that has directly impacted my family.  My husband has been unemployed for the last 4 months, with little end in site.  We have changed our spending considerably; we no longer do some of the fun things that we used to do such as eating out as much, going to a movie, or buying unnecessary items.  A year ago, when things started going bad, I secretly thought, there is no way this is going to hurt my family.  Boy was I wrong.  

I looked at the Clearcheckbook site and found lots of interesting things.  I found a place where you can set up your spending limits and explore your options for how to save money.  I didn't want to set up an account at this time.  I will come back to this site later to explore more of the options.

I looked through Craigslist.  I explored some of the jobs that are available in the Fargo/Moorhead area and some of the items that are for sale.  I got lost in some of the items and exploring this site.  I will not set up an account on this site because of the latest news with the Craigslist murders.  That has me a little nervous as to if I would send any information over the website.  

I looked through Feed the Pig site.  I like the 360 Degree of Financial Literacy.   I went through the Tax Information and the Retirement set up.  Interesting how much money a person will need for retirement if you want to live the same way or better.  I do have a lot of money to start saving.  I am not really a saver so this is something to think about and start doing.

Yard Sale Treasure Map was really interesting.  I have a yard sale buddy who likes to find the best deals in town and surrounding areas.  We like to plot our sales and get the best buys.  I did not find any sales for this weekend.  I will have to check it out for next weekend.  

U of M Extension Gardening Information was awesome.  I found lots of information on the best plants to buy and put in my garden.  My mom is an avid gardener so this is a sit that the both of us can use.  I really like the information that is available on the plants for Minnesota.  I gave this link to one of my teachers to use in her classroom for her plant unit.  She was really exited that the information was for Minnesota plants.  

The one that I got lost in the most was the Gardening Information.  My husband and I are setting up a garden in our yard.  I found the perfect plants to go in locations around our house.  I found plants for the shade and the sun.  This is an awesome site.  I will be going to the local garden center and start collecting my plants.  

Thing 43~Online TV and Video

I explored both Hulu and Joost and found both to be very interesting.  Lots of shows are offered through both but nothing that really interested me enough to set up an account.  I like to have the shows TiVo my shows at home.  I did watch a couple of episodes of Two and a Half Men on Joost.  

I spent a lot of time looking for Brothers and Sister which is on ABC, Sunday nights.  Could not find any current shows on either Hulu or Joost.  I was a little disappointed with not finding my favorite show but thought maybe I didn't search enough or should have searched differently.  

I think it could be useful in a classroom if you could set up the movie to show just a clip or two for supportive material.  I don't see that this will change the way that my family watches television.  I do enjoy sitting on my couch, after a long hard day of work, and channel surf.  I know that it isn't considered a sport but it can be a sport in our house.  With the race to the remote and the victory dance. 

If I would have recommended a video to a friend it would have been Two and a Half Men to my brother.  He likes to watch the show as much as I do.   


Monday, May 4, 2009

Thing 42~Music 2.0

I spent a lot of time searching my favorite music on  I love that I can just say find this artist or song and then bam it shows up.  How great is that.  You can select music that you want to listen to and then come back later and listen to the same songs or listen to a song that you didn't have the opportunity to listen to.  

My coworker went to an Elton John/Billy Joel concert this last weekend and it had been a long time since I had heard any of their songs so I selected them to put in my account.  They are awesome.  I had an English college profession, that came into a music class that I was taking and played the Billy Joel Piano Man song.  He was awesome.  To this day, I still think about how awesome that teacher could play the song.  It is amazing the talent that people have that you don't always know about.  

I tried to get Wild 104.1 and the River 102.3 to play on the Internet but both were not working from my computer.  The Wild 104.1 said that it was not available on the computer.  The River 102.3 wouldn't play for whatever reason.  

I did experience a few times when the song had to load because my computer couldn't keep up but this is awesome.  I will definitely use this on my personal computer when working on my other job.  I love that it is so flexible.  

I added a widget with just Billy Joel because he is sooooo awesome!!! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thing 41~Mashup Your Life

I started out by setting up an account in FriendFeed. I added Ruth Solie and Linda Wadman to my friends. I searched out some of my friends and none of them were subscribed to FriendFeed. I haven't used it very long so I will just give my perspective for now. I think it makes it easier to go to this page and see what is going on then to go to a whole bunch of pages to see what is going on. I like that I can see if someone responded to a comment that I made on Twitter or on my blog. I like the format of the page it is easy to navigate through. I think a person could spend hours playing around with this page and not get anything done.
Overall, a good social networking tool but not a work productive tool for me, at this time. I am still trying to find the use for my media center. I will continue to play around with this site to see if it can be more utilized in my work or personal life.
Along the side, I set up a feed to my FriendFeed page.