Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thing 24 - Refresh Your Blog

Well, here I am, late, late, late, to more things on a stick, but determined to at least get started before the finish date. I admit that I registered hoping that there would be a second round like there was last summer (hint, hint!) I found it much more relaxing to go through the 23 things during the summer when I am not so busy.

Nevertheless, I have updated my profile and changed my avatar. I changed the look of my page, deleted some gadgets and added a couple of new ones. Actually it was hard to change the look of my blog, and especially my avatar. Mostly, I just changed background and clothing and added a dog. I've been thinking about getting a dog, but will probably have to wait until my cats have passed on. They're 16 years old, and I'm sure they don't want a puppy in the house. I also worry about having to entertain a new canine friend. Cats are so self-sufficient; just right for someone who likes to sit and do crossword puzzles.

I checked to make sure that my blog was listed and that the link worked. So, I am ready to go!

This is the first time I have blogged since I finished Thing 23. I must admit that I really don't spend any time reading other blogs, either. I am sure that I will find some favorites, though, as I progress through the things. I would imagine that most everyone is ahead of me, at this point. I will also admit to being a "lurker." I sit back and read, but very seldom do I comment. I will try to do better this time around. I have enjoyed the occasional comments that others have directed my way.

Watch out world, see me blog!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thing 23 - Final Thoughts

I am pleased and proud to have finished with the 23 Things on a Stick, even if I did have to do it in two rounds. Sometimes I was frustrated with how long it took to complete a thing if I wanted to do a good job of understanding the concepts and then blogging about them. I was always happy when the Thing addressed a concept I was already familiar with, like the assignment calculator and the ELM tools. Sometimes I was familiar with similar tools: for instance, Picasa and Shutterfly instead of Flickr. I like to work with photos so anything to do with photos was a hit.
There was a lot that I didn't know and struggled with. Sometimes the hours went by quickly and other times I had to force myself to do each section of a thing. The idea of RSS feeds seemed like a good one and I subscribed to both some blog feeds and some podcast feeds. I still intend to download the podcasts to my ipod so that I can listen to them on my walk. It's on my list of things to do for this week.
I didn't really care for the social networking sites or Facebook or Myspace. Just not my thing, I guess. YouTube as well seemed like such a waste of time in general, although I have found some good things there (generally not in the "most popular" section, though.)
I really learned to make use of the tabs feature in Safari (not a Thing) so that I could switch back and forth between my blog, the 23 Things on a Stick Blog, and whatever Web site I was looking at, all basically at the same time. My sons have been trying to convince me that tabs are the way to go, and I agree with them now. I also learned to put my thoughts into a blog draft while I was working on each Thing and then just clean it up a little to post. If I waited to blog until I finished a Thing, I couldn't remember what I wanted to say.
At this point, I'm ready to let go for a couple of weeks and work on some photography. Then I'll come back and pick a couple of Things to get really serious about applying to my work life (or home life.) I've also bookmarked Library 2.1 and intend to work through some of their things. 
In closing, this was a great experience. I discovered some new things, was reminded of some old things, and would do it all again--but it was much easier to do during the summer than it was during the school year. 
Thanks so all of your hard work, 23 Things team (and for reading all of these blogs--must have gotten a little repetitive). You have a lot to be proud of, too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thing 22 - What Did I Learn Today

How do I plan to keep up? Well, having started in Round One and finished in Round Two, the first thing I'm going to do is go back through the 23 things on a stick and review all 23. Maybe I'll do some of the challenges. I have some bookmarked items to go through and plan to focus on three or four items  that I find especially interesting. I don't know that I'll continue to blog about my experiences although it does work as a form of notetaking, I guess. I haven't decided where to find the time--maybe on Saturday a.m. instead of reading the paper. 
Thanks for putting this together. I did learn a lot and look forward to learning even more as I trundle along on my own.

Thing 21 - Beyond MySpace

View my page on 23 Things on a Stick

Thing 21 continued - Beyond MySpace

I joined 23thingsonastick.ning. I uploaded a photo that I took while we were on vacation to the North Shore last week and then left a comment for another person who had recently joined. I hope she looks back so that she can read it. As you can see, I added a ning badge to my blog as well.
Truly, I had no idea there were so many ways to connect to other people out there. I just don't know that I have the time, at least not right now. I'm still focused on trying to use the productivity tools that are associated with computing, and I see many of the social networking things as diverting me from goals that are more important to me.
I do belong to WebJunction and a couple of listservs. Guess that'll have to be enough for now.

Thing 20 - Libraries and Social Networks

I established an account on Facebook and joined the following groups: Childrens/YA librarians, 23 Things on a Stick, and Library 2.0 Interest Group. I chose those groups because they are in my area of interest. I also wrote on the wall of the 23 Things on a Stick group.
I can see where young people like MySpace and Facebook. It allows them to maintain friendships regardless of their physical location. I thought that MySpace was a little easier to navigate than Facebook. For some reason I seemed to have trouble grasping the interface.
I enjoyed looking a Hennepin County Library's MySpace page. I thought that they were very creative in modifying the layout of MySpace to accommodate the needs and interests of a library setting. Young people could link directly from the Denver MySpace page to online databases--I thought that was cool as well. I am ambivalent about whether I would want a library presence on MySpace, but it's something to think about.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thing 19 - Podcasts

I  looked at MPR's podcasts and also at the podcasts listed on the Educational Podcast Directory. I subscribed to MPR's Grammar Grater podcast using iTunes and also to Learn Spanish, Spanish Pod 101 from the EPD. The subscription process was very easy on both. Now I just have to learn how to load them on my ipod so I can listen to them there. I could either listen to them while I walk or in the car.
In terms of using the directories, mostly it's just a matter of adjusting to the interface. I don't like a lot of advertising, I like to be able to browse by category, and it helps if there is some sort of rating, although I don't always go by that either.
I have downloaded Audacity, but have not used it. We have used GarageBand for podcasting at school and that is quite easy once you get the hang of it. My students did some nice podcasts about our school, but we are still struggling with posting them on our Web site.