Saturday, May 7, 2011

Week 14 ~ Cataloging Comparison

"Top 10 Things Teachers Should Know About Technology"

When I started this course in January, one of our assignments was to make a list of  the top ten things teachers in your school (real or imagined) should know about technology? 

This week we were asked to Revisit our list of “Top 10 Things Teachers Should Know About Technology” and edit it based on what we learned in this course and post it to our blog. Below is my revised & updated list! Enjoy!

  1. That technology changes, and sometime with upgrades comes a learning curve, and the LMS is there to support teachers, students, staff and administration. 
  2. Use the marketing and Web 2.0 tools available to you to create a vibrant learning commons for your school. 
  3. Use and incorporate technology (i.e. Web 2.0, SmartBoards, iPads, ereaders, laptops etc.) in the LMC or classroom. 
  4. How to use basic software applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Email, and integrate the applications with each other. How to use pathfinders and incorporate them into their teaching/classroom. How to use blogs and wiki’s incorporating them into their teaching/classroom. 
  5. Explain Web 2.0 and the features available. 
  6. That there are subscription databases and free databases available to them and that they know how to use online research tools. Blog, post on the school website or send out an e-mail reminder from time to time about what’s out there for use. 
  7. Using an RSS feed, email or post on the school blog a “Technology Tip of the Day” or “How to of the Day” or anything that would be appropriate. 
  8. Informally interview the teachers during the school year and ask them what their needs are, get copies of their lesson plans and keep them on-line. When you find something of interest show them or show them the latest technology advances available to them n their subject matter. 
  9.  Create a training schedule of classes you can offer that provide teachers with PDP’s so they know what technology and training is available to them through their LMC. Offer to run a class at staff meetings, especially if you have breakouts during the staff meetings 
  10. Know how to back-up their work (frequently) and have backup plans ready if their technology fails.

The second part of our blog assignment was to kindly write about what was the most and least valuable to us during this course.

Valuables ~ Least & Most

  • I loved this class, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring and expanding their technology background.  
  • The most valuable part of this class was learning about Web 2.0!  There's still so much to explore and learn about ~ now that I have "the Web 2.0 bug."
  • The least valuable parts for me were weeks 12 & 13 and that's only because I'd taken a cataloging and classification class. 
  • If possible I'd try to split week 5, that was a killer but also a very interesting week.
  • The only other critique would be to cross check the assignments on the module doc and the weekly doc, a few times they were out of sync and I always had to double check both documents and once and awhile I missed something only to go back and add it.  My personal preference is a checklist type of sheet with check boxes.
  • I had a feeling this was going to be a very good and practical class - it was.  It was probably one of my most favorite library classes of all time!
Thank you for a great learning experience, I truly enjoyed this class!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week 13 ~ Online Public Access Catalogs

This week our instructor has asked, how am I going to reward  myself for doing so well in this course!  Hmmm, I guess that's a good thing!  Well, it's a matter of budget.  If money were not an object I'd have my yard completely landscaped, a new roof on my home, new siding, and a three season sun room built, topped off by a four week summer trip to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with my husband!

Big Ben - London, England

Irish Castle

St. Andrews Golf Course - Scotland

Thatch Home - Wales
However, since none of the above is in my budget, and photography is a hobby, I've decided that the best thing to do is to make a sensible selection and buy myself photo-shop software!  LOL!!!


The second part or the first part of this assignment, depending on how you look at it and what your priorities are was to interview a library media specialist and blog about it.  Below is a recap of my conversation with my cooperating teacher whom I did my practicum with.

~ ~ ~ OPAC INTERVIEW ~ ~ ~

For my LMS interview, I interviewed the the LMS where I did my library practicum last semester. I knew we used Alexandria a library system that I wasn't familiar with. As a library aide I had worked with another system. During my interview the LMS told me that while she wasn't 100 % satisfied with her OPAC she wouldn't replace it. She also felt that the students seem to have success with it.

One change she would like to have changed is the default, it is set to search for books in the entire district - if
you want to only search the high school you must manually set it to do so. Needless to say, when kids are searching from their own computers they forget this step.

Another problem is if you don't put in the exact term it won't give you the results. For example, if you search for "Lowell mills" you get one result; "Lowell mill" returns five. It doesn't allow you to use wildcard operators to search. It's possible that this has been corrected in the latest version, as there is a new one available.
The cataloging component system is MARC21 compatible, however it doesn't display on the OPAC. The system also supports Z39.50 standard communications protocol.

When I asked her if she had any other OPAC experience she told me that she'd worked with TLC and she thought that had a superior OPAC, however the cataloging features of Alexandria are are much better than TLC.

When I asked if she would consider being integrated with the two local libraries (this is a regional school district) she told me that she would not consider inter-library loans with any library, even within the district. The reason for this is that my limited book money* goes for items that are very specific for our curriculum, so I need those books to be available for our kids when they need them. As it is, I have a hard time keeping up with the demand at the high school.

When I inquired about technical support she told me there is a small fee and they (Alexandria) are very responsive to phone calls. She also said she's always had a real live person answer the phone right away.
Additionally, how things are handled depends on the problem. The don't have anyone in charge of the district and They have paras not Library Media Specialists at every library except the high school so there's not the coordination that there should be. Basically she told me they all try to muddle through and help each other.

Finally she told me that she didn't have experience with a lot of systems so it's hard to make comparisons. Alexandria has some strengths, but it has too many features that she found unnecessary and serve only to make the necessary functions more confusing at times.

*The library budget runs between $20,000 to $25,000 dollars annually.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Week 12 ~ Cataloging, Part II

This is our second week focusing on reading about cataloging. We're not only cataloging books, but we are also discussing series, periodicals, equipment, websites and the benefits of using some fields in MARC records.  Below are the questions that our instructor has put on the discussion board to stimulate conversation about a very "dry" topic. She has also told us that we may feel free to come up our own discussions.

K&R refers to our book, CATALOG IT! A Guide to Cataloging School Library Materials (2nd edition) by Allison Kaplan and Ann Riedling.

From our Instructor
Here are some more discussion questions from Kaplan and Reidling - feel free to add your own!

K&R [p.125] talk about the possibility of using the same record for a hardcover and paperback copy of the same book. I have occasionally done this, but it makes my blood run cold. Any library OCD stories of your own you’d like to share?

K&R [p.137] mention how much kids love series books. What has your experience been with them? Any you particularly love/loathe?

K&R [p.139] bring up the point that some people ignore the 5XX tag because they don’t have a use for it now but they might in the future. How important do you think it is to look ahead at what libraries might become?

K&R [p.151] say, “The librarian who skips the 5XX tag is doing a disservice to his or her community.” Do they ever make you feel guilty about the occasional shoddy cataloging? Why do I ask? Oh, no reason…

K&R [p.152] talk about cataloging equipment – do you do this at your school or have you observed it? How does it work? How about magazines? [p. 154]

K&R [p.159] bring up the idea of cataloging websites. Do you think this is feasible? What about a direct link from your catalog to a delicious site? Do you think it is more important at elementary level then secondary?

I think Kaplan and Reidling's book will be a "go-to" book for me for years to come!  I love having good resources to use and I can definitely see this on my personal library shelf!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 11 ~ Cataloging, Part I

This week we're focusing on reading about cataloging. Below are some of the questions that our instructor has put on the discussion board to stimulate conversation about a very "dry" topic. She has also told us that we may feel free to come up our own discussions.

K&R refers to our book, CATALOG IT! A Guide to Cataloging School Library Materials (2nd edition) by Allison Kaplan and Ann Riedling.

From our Instructor
K&R [p.2] say our materials should "accurately reflect the academic and leisure reading needs of our learning community". Do you think with budget slashing, both need should be given the same weight?

K&R [p.13] talk about curriculum mapping - have you seen it in your schools - or schools in which you have observed?

K&R [p.45] mention reading programs like Accelerated Reading. What is your opinion of these?

K&R [p.70] say that YA fiction can be hard to catalog if you haven't read it . What is the LMS's obligation to read the fiction she catalogs?

K&R [p. 89] discuss graphic novels, genre fiction and the like being placed in separate categories for ease. They say, "If we are trying to make independent library users of our students, before messing with assigned numbers, we should ask, 'What is more important, information literacy skills or quick access?'" What do you think?

Reading this material has been a great refresher for me since I took cataloging a few years ago.  One thing I use as a cross check when I'm stuck is the Library of Congress, after all, they are the Grandaddy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 10 ~ Annotated Bibliography on Cyber-Safety

 1. Oleck, Joan. "Internet Safety Moves into "Top Ten" Concerns of Parents with Kids." Library Journal: Library News, Reviews and Views. 8 May 2007. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. 
This article discusses the Internet Safety as being one of the “Top Ten” concerns of parents.  It actually came in at number “7” as being their top child-rearing problem.  32 percent of women vs. 21 percent of men were more likely to call Internet safety a big problem and a major area of concern.  The article also points out that this poll was conducted before the Virginia Tech shootings.

This article discusses how educators using technology has created a need for responsible citizenship.  The author discusses that we need to start web usage education as soon as students are on the computer.  The article states that educators feel insufficiently prepared to handle the responsibility of internet safety with their students.  Part of the problem is because of the internets ever changing landscape and how quickly tools or sites become out of date.  Within the article there are eight websites identified as providing resources for internet safety, only two are subscription based.  The article also suggests enlisting Web 2.0 tools to teach Internet safety, security and ethics, buy using tools such as wiki’s and Ning .  The author quotes author Will Richardson who says for teachers and parent to be truly effective in discussing Internet security they need first hand experience.

3. Davis, Matthew. "Parents Seek Internet Safety." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. University of Michigan. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. 
In this video, Dr. Matthew Davis discusses how technology is used to threaten, harass or target another person.  The video also discusses how it has become an increasing problem for children because they have access to the internet, social networking sites, cell phones and e-mail.  Dr. Davis asks, “What can parent, kids and schools do about it?”  Davis also mentions that parents aren’t confidant that schools alone can handle this and says that parents need to start the conversation with their kids about the possibility of cyberbullying and to make sure that their kids feel safe.  The video concludes by suggesting that schools, parents, teens and preteens who are affected by bullying get to them early, to preserve their self-esteem of the victims.

4. Cellan-Jones, Rory. "BBC News - Children Learn about Internet Safety." BBC News - Home. 8 Dec. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. 
I selected this video because I like to explore what other countries are doing in the areas such as Internet safety for children.  Zip it, Block it, Flag it, is an Internet Safety Program targeted at primary school children in the United Kingdom that will be implemented by 2011. The reporter discusses how the children are given basic informal Internet safety education.  The teacher, Massimo Bonnadeao suggests that if children are on the internet that parents be in the same room.  They go on to discuss that it’s not a fixed part of the curriculum and that it will be easy to introduce and it will make it safer for children.

5. Millis, Tara, and Jim Gamble. "BBC News - Children Learn about Internet Safety." BBC News - Home. 23 Apr. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. 
Tara Mills of the BBC interviews Jim Gamble, the head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, about ways to keep children safe on the Internet.  As a member of the Virtual Global Alliance Task Force (Can, Aus, US, UK, Interpol) their number one concern is keeping children safe.  Gamble discusses how putting information on line is unsafe and that pedophiles go fishing to take advantage of vulnerable children.  He talks about during investigations he’s seen 40+ chats logs going on a pedophile computer.  During the interview he discusses that having the computer in the front room does not necessarily make your child safe.  Children have access to the Internet on their cell phones; make sure your children understand the nature of the risks.  He continues his interview by discussing how parents need to talk to their children and discuss social networking; inquire how many of their friends do actually know. This is also a starting point for parents and children to discuss.  Gamble discusses the CEOP website ( )that contains videos that parents should watch with their children to keep them safe.   He also discusses the CEOP “Report Abuse” button and how easily they can follow up abuse reports by children and he gives examples.  The button is real, and it has real child protection professionals behind it.  He would like to see frameworks that require websites to have the button and a relationship with CEOP.

 6.  Netsmartz Workshop Wal-Mart. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. 
What I liked about this website was the organization.  The home page is nicely organized, especially the “Choose an Issue” section.  There are seven options to choose from; when you make a selection each option contains “Tips” to keep children safe and “Discussion Starters” for parents to begin conversations with their children.  There are also videos on keeping your child safe; each video is grouped age appropriately. Within each option there is also a “Learn, Teach, Watch,” section and selections within each option.  Additionally the website is organized by Parents & Guardians, Educators, Law Enforcement, Teens, Tweens and Kids with abundant information. Within the Educators screen there are teaching materials, presentations, and promotional items – all free. 

7. Stay Safe On-line National Cyber Security Alliance. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. 
This website is nicely categorized by In The Home, In the Classroom, Higher Education, For Business, Tools and Resources and Cyber Awareness Month.  In the Classroom explains the “Three Key Pillars” or Cybersecurity, Cybersafety, and Cyberethics. Additionally there are Lesson and Teaching Materials, within this screen there are additional links to help protect students as well as information provided by Homeland Security. What I liked about the In the Home section was the quiz and the information on how to protect your children and yourself. The Tools contained a “Stop, Think, Connect” lesson which was very similar to the UK’s   Zip it, Block it, Flag it.  Additionally there were tips and advice on keeping you and your computer safe.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 9 ~ Professional Development

This week I'm learning about professional development and working on creating a presentation for professionals who are interested in learning about some Web 2.0 Tools! I've decided to focus my presentation on "Organization Tools for the Professional."   The goal of my presentation will be to show teachers and other professionals how to organize information they locate on the web to make their teaching life easier.  I will post my presentation later.  In the meantime I hope you enjoy the Washington University Librarians/Faculty & Library Students "Do Gaga" show!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week 8 ~ E-Readers & My Top 5 Tools

When I think of a Kindle, this is the image that comes to my mind.  I think they are great if you are going on a long trip and won't have room to pack a suitcase full of books.  However, my personal preference is the touch, the feel, the smell of a book.  Books are sexy, Kindle's are not.  

I can't imagine myself falling asleep reading a Kindle.  Have you ever done that?  Have you fallen asleep while reading?  Only to wake-up to find your book on the floor.  The nice thing about that is, it's still in one piece.  So I have this fear that if I fall asleep while reading my Kindle I'll wake it to a million little pieces (maybe not a million) on the floor.  

Strangely enough I own a Kindle.  I own it because my bank was giving them out, otherwise I would never have bought one.  

Sony Vaio Netbook
My bank also gave us a Sony Vaio Netbook, which I love. Nice bank huh?  I think we'll continue banking with them!  They give great electronics! But I digress . . . let's get back on track!

When it's all said and done, I see the value in the using e-readers, but I'm not fond of them.  I think they are a good tool for students who may be computer/technical savvy and not so good readers.  I think they can be less intimidating for students, especially when you think of the size and thickness of a book compared to the thickness of an e-reader like Kindle. 

Imagine if you had a stack of Harry Potter books that you assigned to a student for summer reading.  Most likely your student would freak, especially if they are a reluctant reader.  Now, imagine that same stack of books on an e-reader/Kindle, which do you think the student would choose?  They wouldn't even realize how many books are on the e-reader, LOL, they'd be like the Ever-Ready Bunny, they'd just keep on reading, and reading and reading!

I'm going to bet on the Kindle/e-reader. It's portable, and easy to manage.  It can be read on the beach because of the anti-glare screen.  It can easily be put in a carry-on suitcase for travel.  It does not take up much space in the family camper, and maybe it will inspire mom and dad to read Harry Potter, which would make for great family discussions!

My Top 5 Tools

During weeks 2 through 8 in Module Two, we looked at a variety of tools. Listed below in no particular order are my "Top 5" picks!

(1) Animoto - One of my favorite applications was Animoto. Animoto can bring photographs to life by creating a beautiful visual presentation set to music. Animoto also gives you the ability to incorporate video within your presentations.

(2) Google Reader - I think I'm in love with this feature! I love being able to view my blogs easily and in one location without going through blogger dashboard. This is fantastic. I've also taught my husband how to use this feature, he's really enjoyed using it. It's like one stop shopping! If you would like more information on Google Reader you can click on "Help" from within Google Reader and there are many tips on using this tool. You will find topics on "Recommended Articles" and "Learn More about using Google Reader," each of these topics have sub-topics for you to explore.

(3) Google Calendar - An electronic calendar in which you can share information with others or keep private. I especially like the To-Do list, Reminder, and Repeat event features. I would suggest that you review the "Help" screen and read the "Getting Started" section if you need assistance.

(4) YouTube - is a great site to find video on a plethora of topics, from the normal to the absurd. You can find videos on pop-culture, current event or education. If you are fortunate enough to use it in the classroom it can be a great tool for students and teachers.

(5) Delicious - I really like the idea of having all of my links in one location. I also like the idea that I can access my favorites from where ever I am. Additionally adding the "tags" for organization really makes access a breeze!