Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teacher uses of social media professionally

WGBH recently did a study of how teachers currently use social media in a professional context and projected uses in the future. Through these focus groups they found that teachers want to find high quality materials for their lessons. They see three main purposes for social media:
  • "Finding appropriate rich media resources, activity ideas, and lesson plans more efficiently.
  • Learning from and communicating with other educators.
  • Storing, organizing, adapting and sharing rich media resources and related materials in one place."

WGBH Teachers' Domain Pathways Stage II Evaluation: Focus Group Report

The Unquiet Library 2009-2010

Buffy Hamilton, a school librarian in Georgia, has posted a mindmap of her library for the next year. Many of the technologies we talked about in class, plus quite a few more appear on her map. She sees the following roles for the library media specialist:
  • Change agent
  • Information sherpa (I interpret this as a guide)
  • Learning architect
  • Learning concierge (gatekeeper, chief assistant)
  • Innovator
  • Inspiration agent
  • Ambassador of information fluency
If we want to introduce valid uses of these technologies in teaching and learning, we need to take on all these roles.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pulling it all together

It seems overwhelming to keep up with all the sources of information on web2.0. A post in Musings about librarianship by Aaron Tay entitled Aggregating Sources for Academic Research in a Web 2.0 World looks at this issue for academic research and offers a wide range of tools. While he talks about researchers in higher education, many of the same tools could be used by teachers and librarians for their own professional development and eventually by their students. I need to check out FriendFeed to see how it can pull things together.

Communicating with "Your Tribe"

In the blog Social Media Schools (November 19, 2008) , Darren Alff talks schools and social media. See the exerpt from his posting below as we think about our role as school library information specialist. He describes the role of leader of the school tribe of students, administrators, teachers, and community. This sounds like an appropriate role for use as we help others learn about these technologies as well as support the curriculum.

Should Your School Be Using Social Media?


"... I first of all need to be able to communicate with my tribe and reach them in a way that is both comfortable and convenient for them. I need to be able to reach my tribe when, where, and how they want to be reached.

For this reason, I don’t want to rely solely on one means of communication. Instead, I want to be everywhere and anywhere my tribe might be. This might mean that I communicate with my tribe via my website, my blog, my local newspaper, my community websites, magazines, email, postal newsletters, RSS, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Plurk… and anywhere else my tribe might be found."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Library Web Services

In an all-day workshop on APIs and mashups, Karen Coombs of the University of Houston offered numerous examples of how libraries can enhance their catalogs and websites. Her materials can be found at While I don't see school librarians doing coding in PHP and XML, I do see using some of the widgets on a library webpage and even playing around with creating really simple ones on their own. There were also interesting suggestions for linking from an online catalog to resources elsewhere (e.g., book covers in Amazon or LibraryThing), reviews, etc.

Yahoo Pipes is a simple way to find some already created mashups as well as find some and modify them to meet your needs. Try out creating a mashup from multiple RSS feeds on specific keywords.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Facebook and libraries

Will Richardson put out a question about use of Facebook in K-12 and got no examples. I think in most cases it is blocked and/or there are issues with using it with younger students. David Lee King created a screencast of how public libraries might use Facebook with his library as an example. At the same time there was a recent study that seems to indicate the biggest new group of users of Facebook are over 30, especially those in the 50+ age group.

Do you see a role for Facebook in K-12 education? Do you see Nings as providing some of the same features in a constrained environment? Is it the environment or the connection with friends (including those geographically remote) that is most appealing?

Move to online

While this article is talking about academic journals, I think digitization and online online is definitely the move for academic information. The question is how far behind is K-12 nonfiction? If that is the case, how will school libraries support users of information in a largely online environment?

Check out some of these posts

Joyce Valenza is encouraging bloggers to share their favorite posts. Check out the ones she has chosen at

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Music editing online

I'm not a musician, but Jam Studio looks like it has possibilities for creating soundtracks for multimedia projects. All you need to do is be able to pick chords that seem to go together and you're started on composing a piece. Give it a try.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tips for Teachers

101 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teaching Students about Social Media is really for teachers who need to learn about it themselves. While it is geared to higher education, there are useful resources in Internet safety and managing one's online presence along with links on blogging and using Twitter.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Podcasting and cell phones

Check out this site for a method to create MPG3 files using a cell phone. This could be another method to create those files for podcasting.


I found using the NECC Ning a bit confusing, but there were a few useful things about the conference. You might want to look at the wiki they created. It has presentations from several leaders in the field. I thought David Loertscher's ideas on the school learning commons to spark some ideas.

Sixth Sense

You may have watched the movie by this name, but here's a new technology that changes how we might interact with technology. Think about what this could mean for how we interact with the world in the future. Think about where the information is coming from.

Animoto and free / licensed media resources

After looking at Animoto as Nancy suggested, take a look at the Children's Crusade example ( I think it is a good example of how we might teach media literacy by focusing on the power of carefully selected images and limited text.

Related to that, you might want to look at some free media resources. Sounds Aboundz is a great tool to purchase for royalty free music and GarageBand loops offer the ability to create original music, but there are other sources on the web you might want to check out.

Creative Commons Search ( does the same type of searching as the search box in Firefox for CC. It searches multiple sites. provides links to music under Creative Commons licenses.

FreePlayMusic ( has free MP3 music downloads.

The Internet Archive ( has video and audio in the public domain or under different types of licenses.

BlipTV ( has video, some with Creative Commons licenses (largely TV shows).

FindSounds ( is a search engine for audio.

Stock.xchng ( has over 350.000 quality stock photos by more than 30.000 photographers.

SoundSnap ( has sound effects that can be downloaded for a monthly fee.

Are there any others that you use?