Thursday, November 1, 2007

Think 23 Summary

My favorite discovery and exercise was using "meez" to create an animated gif (Thing 10).This magical computer game reminded me of the colorforms of childhood.
Working on these 23 Things has opened my eyes to a vision of computers as "fun" and not just work-related drudgery. It's surprising, but I'm looking forward to continuing to learn new technology and eventually to use my MP3 player.These are unexpected outcomes from an older woman who has difficulty understanding technology.
Many library staffers learn most effectively when working with another person. Learning might be better retained if two person teams were formally assigned and given a schedule of meeting times and dates. These partners could share and teach each other. Currently, the above vision is not happening. Most libraries are too busy and too short-staffed for tech people to answer more than a simple question from a novice.
I would choose not to participate in another similar program because completing this program required so much time. The result is neglected projects and being behind in other areas.
Learning by myself and self-directed learning can be successful if visual and verbal images are combined with input from real people. The best learning tool for me in this package was the tutorial by NetLibrary combining photos of catalog screens with audio explanations.

Thing 22 Overdrive, NetLibrary and Project Gutenburg

This is so frustrating. I have viewed the guided tours and introductions to Overdrive, NetLibrary and Project Gutenburg for two days and the information I search for is not found. I searched for author Adriana Trigiani and for title "Kite Runner" and got no hits using the pages provided through this training. Now a search in our HIP catalog shows they are not yet available.
On a more positive note, the Overdrive guided tour on our HIP catalog under category "e resources"( called the MD Digital eLibrary Consortium) is the same as the the My Digital Library tutorial for 23 Things. The customer is warned that the downloadable audio or electronic book is playable only on a pc or MP3 player, not on an iPod. Everything from installation to download to burn audio to CD is included in clear instructions for the customer. This HCL digital library tutorial is easily found and requires little input from the librarian. The download advantage of no overdue fines and of no return trip to the library are mentioned as selling points to use this feature. I found titles searched for in our HCL Horizon catalog by searching by call number for "downloadable audio" and for "electronic book".
The NetLibrary tutorial on how to transfer files was easier to understand because they showed screens from their catalog and moved the curser to appropriate places. The narrator had a nice friendly voice and the screens were clear. The narrator offered many tips for novice users, such as save to a disk. She also had strong graphics about not to attempt to download to iPod, palm or Mac. I read somewhere that HCL no longer subscribes to NetLibrary for audio books, only for eBooks., and an employee confirmed this.
Project Gutenburg tutorial was offensive to me in their clumsy attempts to get money. They seem to specialize in classic fiction and texts. Of their "Top 100 Books", number one was a manual for surgery, number twenty six was Adventures of Hucklebury Finn. I was not able to locate a title I wanted to download.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thing 21 Podcasts

These audio or video feeds are great because no iPod or MP3 player is needed to access them. The directory conducted a really good search on "tea", yielding 11 sites. My favorite was 122 episodes of Tea Lover's Room Teacast. These were also sites located in Japan and Formosa. Some sites were bands and chat groups. The cutest title was"Tboy's Tea Time" with disco and ambient music. This directory was easy to use with good results.
Yahoo Podcasts search for "book review" had many sites, but one good one was the News Hour with Jim Lerner. This discussed the cutbacks in book reviews by newspapers because of the poor economy. This site had good links.
MERLIN podcasting learning link lists how libraries are using podcasts as stories for kids, library news, public programs and staff training.

Thing 20 Activity #1 :You Tube

You Tube, Yahoo Videos and Google Videos all are video sites. I used You Tube to search "tea production" and found 7 pages of videos listed. The first one listed was the best-5 star rating and detailing the tea production in Sri Lanka. It has been up for 9 months and has 459 viewers. Other sites searched just "tea" and came up with Lipton commercials, Broadway productions, etc. It was fun to see real tea production and to view the Lipton commercials. I like the ability to search for almost anything. I dislike the poor quality of most videos I viewed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thing 19 Sites from Web 2.0 Awards List

This is amazing-over 200 Web2.0 sites in 41 categories. Category of books had two
for out of print books and for what to read next and lots more. My exploration of library thing revealed such features as good recommendations on what to read next as well as "unsuggestions" of books I would not like. I created a catalog of books by list and by cover art, by author, title subject and rating. Site encourages tags and blogs. I disliked the persuasive language they used to attempt to get users to post a profile and to join or form groups.
In a library setting, this could to useful to book discussion groups.

Thing 18 Zoho Writer and Google Docs

Both of these software productivity tools were easy to log into and to use.