Monday, September 24, 2007

A 23 Thing Summary

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

My favorite exercise was the creation of a blog and the exploration of blogs written by others about something of interest to me. I enjoyed the community and the creativity blogging allows. I would continue to use this as a tool for self-expression and networking. I don't know how much of a podcast listener or YouTube viewer I will be, but I very much enjoyed exploring these two forms of media.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

I liked that the program was self-pacing but that we students had the support of coworkers and other 23 Thing learners. The feedback and encouragement through email, Passport and on my blog kept me motivated when I was distracted by other assignments or less enchanted with one of the 23 Things. The program content and presentation was very well constructed and monitored. It required the skills and passion of many talented techno-explorers and, in my opinion, made this learning program rich and varied in the best possible way.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I was impressed with the format, concept and feedback tied to the 23 Things.
The video and audio tutorials were well produced and interesting. Tips were abundant and the mp3 player was a nice carrot. Having a starting and ending date encouraged me to keep my eye on the calendar and the prize. The only recommendation I would offer is to keep the assignments updated. Some of the sites were no longer accessible to those of us who started the assignments late in the summer. All things considered-- this was a worthwhile learning opportunity. To answer the next question, yes, I would gladly do it again.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?
See above.

How would you describe your learning experience in a few words or a few sentences, so we can share our successes and promote this program?

23 Things, a user-friendly program, gave this late bloomer, the encouragement needed to play (and learn)about technology. I made it to the twenty-first century.

Out and About with Overdrive

I've used NetLibrary a few times and it seemed to me to be rather intuitive. Overdrive seems to be fussier-- or I'm having a bad day. I like that you can download video, audio and ebooks. Sounds good. But I've tried searching for a few of my favorite nonfiction topics: Knitting, Zen and Voluntary Simplicity. No hits for either knitting or V.S. Only seven for Zen. I tried an advanced search too.

Can you search by reader? Seems that you can. I don't see that there is a link to reads of similar interest. It some ways it was easier to click on the category and skim through the entire list. In the case of music videos, as of today, there are 68 hits. TV shows-- 30 something.

Will explore more but first impression-- tedious and overrated.

Podcasts for Dummies

First I want to note that Yahoo Podcasts is closing down their site on September 30. So, I'll just bypass that site and head over to the others listed in Exercise #21.

I decided to explore and hoped to locate a RSS feed about Voluntary Simplicty. There was one but the podcasts dated back to 2005. Next, I search under the keyword "ZEN" and found a feed that I would like to listen to at my leisure. There are over 100 entries. Seems like plenty to sink my zen-want-a-be brain into in the future. Check out Zen Mountain Monastery.

Now getting down to library business. I found a Jane Austen feed: the Jane Austen Podnovel. For those who love Austen, her words, and anything that can possibly come out of works, try Jane Austen Podnovel.

The above two podcasts are those I found interesting. There is so much out there to explore and that's perhaps the most fascinating piece about this exercise. For those fans who want a little more about a favorite topic then chances are there's a podcast for the taking. Podcastalley and were helpful tools if you want to see some of the top pod picks or you like browsing by keyword or topic.

Chances are if you know what topic you want in podcast format you can get there with a simple google search.

Friday, September 21, 2007

You Tube

I've seen a few videos from You Tube that have made it to television for various reasons. Now, because of Assignment or Thing #20 I'm really going to explore it for the first time. (I know, what a late bloomer.) So, I select one of my favorite topics, knitting (what else). Check out the interesting 3-D animated video The Last Knit. I couldn't get the link embedded into my blog. So just type the title of the video in the search box. This is a masterful piece and animation with pulsing music that show what can happen when knitting becomes an obsession. I can't even go there in my mind. But do notice the beautiful miles and miles of scarf the knitter creates with what must be a self-striping yarn. Lovely shades of reds and pinks.

I like that you can quickly search by categories including top rated, most discussed, and most linked. I appreciate that I can check out news and Politics with a click of a mouse.

Of interest to librarians and library users might be a search for authors. I came upon video of Neil Gaimam and Christopher Hitchens. Try a search for children's authors as well.

From the Web 2.0 Awards List

Exercise 19 was so much fun. In fact, that's what this assignment was all about- having fun online. I selected Real Travel from the list of award winning web sites. Sometimes we don't have enough information in hard copy for the traveler in need. I thought this might be a worthwhile piece of support for library users who want honest commentary about issues related to travel.

Real Travel offers a free travel blog and a free travel planner. There lots of real photos posted by real travelers. This site was voted one of "twelve essential travel sites" by Forbes AND "Best of web for trip planning" by Business Week.

I searched "Portland, Oregon" since I am planning a trip there soon- a first timer. What I enjoyed most about this web site was reading the first hand accounts of several recent visitors to this area. One poster mentioned a not-to-be-missed cheese factory and another poster displayed some gorgeous photos of the natural wonders of this region.

Check this site out. Even if you are not going anywhere soon, it might be fum living someone else's trip through "Real Travel".

To a Student

Dear Student,

There's no cause to fret when it's time to write your report for class and you are stranded at your friend's place and  you must get it started immediately so that's you still have time to finish it when you do finally get back home. Ask your friend, "Do you have a computer?" and "Can you get me on the internet?". If this friend answers yes to both questions then you are in luck.

Quickly type "Zoho Writer" into your browser and set up an account. Now, dear student, you can start writing your report.  Notice how familiar the toolbar looks. Use this handy and free online word program, save what you have and access it later from your internet at home.  Or from another computer with internet if you get stranded somewhere else on your way back home.Just return to Zoho Writer and log in to your free account and pick up where you left off.  

You can even tell your folks that you were doing your homework after all.



                                                    A Concerned Parent laughing

Wikiing with Knitters

As I continue to work on the wiki assignment, I found one wiki I especially wanted to explore from the Maryland Libraries Sandbox web page. It's called "Rather be Knitting". I added a post. Scroll down the page to Hey Knitting Friends. That's mine.

I checked out PB Wiki Tips and frankly setting up a new wiki looked involved and tedious. Probably worth it though. So, we'll see.

I did post a link to my blog to Blog Favorites on the Maryland Libraries Sand Box site.