Sunday, February 28, 2010

Off Topic

It's back! The annual Peeps contest. For any fans of the chewy marshmallow chicks, a must see.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Importance of Cover Art revisited

Feeling somewhat shallow, but nevertheless firm, in my defense of the importance of book covers, I felt vindicated by this post on Chasing Ray reviewing cover art (and pointing me toward some good reads). I do love this blog!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shelfari Safari

After cruising around the three shelf sites I couldn't resist Shelfari's interface. Like my students, I like to see a book's cover! No-no or not, we often choose (or are initially drawn to) books because of their cover art. Or are too put off by cover art to open the book.

Shelfari makes it easy to see who is reading or has read what I'm interested in, to find alternate reviews, and get a feel for how titles are being received. An interesting addition to the tools I currently use to make choices - School Library Journal, Hornbook, Booklist, Bulletin - but what weight to give it? I think there is a possibility that, over time and assuming due diligence, this might be a more personal and trustworthy resource.

And it's fun!

Diigo or Delicious?

I don't like Yahoo. At all. And had major problems with the requirement that I set up a Yahoo ID to access a Delicious account. Since doing so, I also find it clunky and confusing to log in. I opted for Diigo instead, which seems more Google friendly, and am trying both. Delicious seems better put together, but both seem to offer the same features.
These tools offer great things - organization, sharing, peeking at others' lists - but the ultimate question remains: will I use it?

Google Reader

Setting up Google Reader was fun, and easy. Organizing some of the blogs I read, or would like to be reading, into one place felt good, though whether I actually use this tool to keep up is another question. On some level it is a bit much to be faced with a dozen posts I have not yet read in multiple blogs rather than taking that one at a time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twits Revisited

My first impression of tweeting and of Twitter was underwhelming, to say the least. But after reading the short piece by Kate Messner in December's School Library Journal I think I may have (once again) jumped the gun. Her use of a Twitter account to enable a class of 7th graders to follow a discussion between an author they had just read and that author's editor was inspiring.

So, play and explore more but don't jump to conclusions, positive or negative, too quickly, seems to be my new lesson.

And how does one make these Twitter connections? Arrange to blog with a class in Idaho?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Maybe not . . .

Maybe I have jumped the gun. After giving people permission as members to edit a wiki, one does not get advance warning and the ability to screen edits, correct?
Perhaps the blog offers a more controlled environment for younger students and their teachers to avoid potentially inappropriate content. The wiki may require pretty vigilant oversight and a robust contract and discussion with students before getting started.

Wiki, Wiki, Wiki!

Wow! I (finally) did the reading and started playing with creating my first wiki. What a great tool!

I feel lucky to have an actual, live, teacher with a specific project in mind as I look at these tools as it focuses my mind as I learn about their potential and pitfalls with an eye toward what we might want the students to learn from the unit.

So, to blog or to wiki a book project? Both tools share many features - controlling membership and posts, ability to post multiple categories of content, collaboration and discussion, development of writing, analytical, and collaborative skills, attention to audience - so how to decide?

I am leaning toward the wiki . . . but I am not at all sure why.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Tech journey part 2 - Twittering!

I have now tweeted. And signed up to follow some tweeters. Not sure how I feel about tweeting.

In attempting to see if my new blog is searchable on the www, I tried to find it by googling with no success. Time lapse? Some incompetent setting? Further investigation is required.

And we're off . . .

With help from Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, frequent peeks at a family member's blog, and distant memories of playing with these tools before, I created this blog. When I logged into my Google account, I found I had already created a (pretty poor!) one and so decided to learn to edit a blog along the way instead of starting with creating from scratch. I am sure this will serve me well as I try and personalize this space over time.

I am trying to keep all of what I have read, as well as a proposed collaboration to create a blog for 8th graders, in mind as I go.

And now, on to Twitter!