Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wrapping Up

It's getting close to the end of the semester and it is an exciting and busy time. Although I'm not currently planning on going into a school library when I graduate I thought that this course was really helpful. What stands out to me now as being the most helpful part of this course was the powerpoint presentation. I think that this skill is important for all fields of library science. It is important to be able to develop a presentation that is both interesting and informative that will benefit your audience. I also loved learning about tools that are available on the web that can be used in the field. Additionally the information on copyright was also beneficial.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This week we are discussing ebooks. I've been reading a lot about ebooks are eReaders, particularly Apple's new iPad. There are a lot of advantages such as text-to-speech, text searches, built in dictionary, etc. I really want to own an eReader but haven't managed to find one that I love and can afford at the moment. But when I get the chance (and hopefully once the price goes down) I will get an iPad. I want to see for myself what it is like to read an ebook so that I can help patrons to have a better experience with it. But I don't see myself totally giving up a printed book. It was one of my first loves.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Google Resources

I was really excited to see the links that were posted for this week. They all focused on using Google in the classroom. This is really helpful because my powerpoint presentation is about how to use Google in the classroom. Now off to continue working on the presentation!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Online Conference

This week I watched a bunch of videos from an online conference on technology in schools. I thought there was a lot of valuable information to be learned from the different presentations. But I also was frustrated because for some reason the videos would stop in the middle and I had difficulties trying to get them to play the end. I don't have much experience with conferences and I think that they can be a little intimidating. However, I thought this online conference was a nice introduction to them. I will definitely be looking for more.

Friday, March 5, 2010


This week we looked at some presentations and demos on how to effectively use PowerPoint. It was a little difficult for me because I use a mac. So although I am running the latest version of PowerPoint it's layout is similar to the older version of Windows PowerPoint. Some tools were moved around and it took me an extra minute or two to locate them and figure out how they work on my version.
I did find the information on using master slides to be very helpful, specifically when designing your own look for your presentation. I still like to use the pre-designed backgrounds to be more professional looking. In order for my previous presentations to stand out I would look for consumer-designed layouts that are available for download from Microsoft's website. Particularly in the last summer session I took Health Science Librarianship, and I found presentation templates with a medical theme.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I was a little hesitant this week about working in groups. In another class I just finished a group assignment and it wasn't the smoothest work group I have been in. I was very happy to see that my worries were for nothing after getting in contact with my group members this week. It has been a much more positive experience.

In our groups we are looking at school library websites. I have to say that the more examples I look at the more I realize that there is no perfect library website. I can see myself picking and choosing different elements of the websites I visit to create my own ideal website. At times I question what has been done to some library websites. Particularly with the Springfield Township High School website. Their main page is very visually pleasing ( But when I click on a link I feel that the beauty and organization have been replaced with a jumble of links ( Hopefully this was taken into consideration when designed and has been found to work for their users.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Thoughts on Copyright

This week our discussion was focused on copyright. I find copyright to be somewhat intimidating, particularly in school setting. I wish that teachers were given more courses or information on copyright because it is something that really effects them. I don't think that school librarians should have all the responsibility placed on them. If we, as school librarians, can inform teachers about copyright laws and be available as resources to them. By providing knowledge and information to teachers we can hopefully remove the stereotype of being seen as the copyright police.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Search Tools

There are a lot of search tools out there. I like that because it gives people different ways to search for information. This week I was reminded of a search tool that I used when I lived in Albany, NY while completing my undergrad degree. I fill in love with the Guilderland library, a part of the Albany Public Library system. When you searched for information on their catalog, a web appeared. It provided you with alternate key words, spelling, similar topics, author links, and more to help you find what you were looking for (or even find stuff you didn't know you were looking for but wanted anyway).
Another search tool that I have fallen in love with is the one the the International Children's Digital Library uses as their "Simple Search" ( I think this is a great example of how we should design a search tool for younger users. Their are bright icons that form a square around the search results. This allows you to never have to leave this page to see search results, it only refreshes as you narrow down your search options. It gives users the chance to find books based on their content, length, color of the cover and more. Your search results are formed like a math formula by adding different options, such as red and green covers that are picture books. The results themselves are the cover of the book, the title, and the country of origin.
I really think we can learn a lot from this search tool.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Prior to this class I have not heard of Webquests. But through the Webquest we read for class and viewing a few additional ones online I can see the many opportunities for learning that they provide. My mom works at Kenmore East as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher. I was able to find a bunch of sites that offer Webquests specifically for her subject. I think that Webquests are a great tool to use in teaching and I hope she finds these useful. I wish that my teachers had used webquests when I was in school because I think it would make some topics more interesting.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Assistive Technology

I spent time this week working on my school newsletter on Assistive Technologies. I learned a lot about the various tools and resources available for users and institutions. I think the coolest thing I found was the Awesome Talking Library. ( Although I haven't downloaded and played with the web browser myself I think that this is a great tool for both public and SLMS librarians.
As described on their website the Awesome Talking Library: "Awesome Talkster combines a browser, directory, search engine, and a text-to-voice technology. This allows you to select online text and have it read to you." This resource can help individuals with impaired vision, young children learning to read, or even individuals learning a new language. And best of all - it's FREE to download and only $10 for a CD-ROM. As for prices of other assistive technologies I was shocked at how expensive they could be. It could cost thousands of dollars for one piece of equipment!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week 2

This week we began to use our discussion board. Most of my previous experience with discussion boards has been on the UB Learns page. I used to really dislike using that discussion board but now I have experience with this board I have to reconsider.

I found it really difficult to respond to specific individual's posts because my response would be added on to the end of the discussion thread. And because I thought I was going to be leaving responses after individual posts I made multiple entries. This did not work out because I ended up making multiple responses at the end of the thread.

This week was definitely a learning experience with the discussion board on the course website and hopefully I will find it a smooth experience this week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Looking Back on the First Week

This is my second/third online class. I am currently taking two online class (with International Publishing being the other class). I will admit that this class seemed a little overwhelming at first. Last week I started in a new department at work as well as four new classes so my brain was full of new information.

As for this class I really like the layout of the WetPaint site. I like that the information is broken up into weeks and filed in a list. It allows me to easily see what I need to do for that week.

During the past week I started a bunch of activities that I haven't done before, just as set up a Diigo account. Additionally I haven't used a blog recently. I RSS-feed a bunch of blogs that relate to my interests but I haven't personally written one since my undergrad years. During that time I blogged on MySpace, but now I only use Facebook and I don't like their blog feature. It will be interesting to use one again.

I did have a few difficulties in setting up iTunes subscription to the podcasts. I use iTunes frequently but have rarely used the podcast feature. It took me two or three tries in order to subscribe to the correct page so that the podcast would download. I tried listening to the podcast directly from the site but also had difficulties. For whatever reason, the podcast would stop after a few minutes and would start from the beginning. It would not allow me to try to find where I left off and I would have to begin again. It was rather frustrating when it happened again. However, now that I have the kinks from the iTunes subscription ironed out I have had no problems.

Although I am not a SLMS student I'm really looking forward to this class. The technology and information that we are going to be learning and using will be great experience for my future.