Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Bloglines Account: HotStuff 2.0

I like to look at statistics, either inherent to the technology or placed there on purpose, available with various 2.0 technologies. I use LibGuides statistics to see which of my guides are most popular, when guides are being accessed (in conjunction with instruction or during midterms & finals), if they are used more during the fall, spring, or summer term (it varies), what links garner the most interest, and if guides used for presentations are used after sessions are complete. My YouTube channel lets me see the number of times each uploaded video has been viewed and an approximate last viewing date; since I know where they are embedded, I also have basic knowledge of the audience. So yes, it follows that I look at statistics for my blogs as well.

This blog has a StatCounter code embedded for simple web hits and analysis and I set up a FeedBurner account (before and after they became part of Google) for comparison of the same. But one of the more interesting - read fun - statistics for this blog is something I came upon quite by accident that is now a part of my Bloglines account; HotStuff 2.0.
HotStuff 2.0″ is an automatically updated blog developed by Dave Pattern (Library Systems Manager, University of Huddersfield, UK).

A daily blog post is generated using a single word that has seen a marked increase in usage over the last few days. A “Word Wheel” image shows the strength of the links between that word and other words that have also recently seen an increase in usage. This can sometimes help to put to the words into context, but mostly it’s just an excuse for some eye candy! -- About HotStuff
Library Cloud is one of the 800 library blogs included and some days we are hot, we hit top ten several times, and others we are definitely not, today we are #409. February 11th the word of the day was "etech" and several conference posts were featured. Each blog has its own page with a word cloud generated by blog content, recent blog posts, blogs with similar content, an emotional analysis, and a Google map plotting places mentioned within posts. These blogs are recommended as having like content:
A quick look shows some of them do have like content and others ... not so much. I was interested in Holly Hibner's post on a seminar she attended and that the Flemish Librarian blog is done in her native language (I'll need to translate). The similar content lists vary appear to change with content of each blogs post, so it is always fun to peruse other librarian blogs. As often as I have posted about weeding my Bloglines account, this is one of the ways I add to my blog collection. Now I have to go check the blocking cookie on StatCounter so this post is not counted in the blog statistics!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Library of the Future In Plain English

Making it's way through cyber-space today via tweets, Google alerts, Facebook, and blogs, is Library of the Future in Plain English.

If you are a fan of the Common Craft Explanations In Plain English videos, this production by Mal Booth, Sophie McDonald and Belinda Tiffen, from University of Technology, Sydney, Library, cleverly presents their view of a future library utilizing "ideas and concept for the video format that were borrowed from the Common Craft website" Plenty of food for thought and discussion exhibited here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Listening to students

Wired Campus, The Chronicle of Higher Education, has great post and accompanying video featuring the use of technology in the classroom created by group of students at the University of Denver.
"The video was inspired by a recent survey of classroom technology use at the university. Over all, the survey found that while many students wish for more technology, others would be happy with less, considering it a distraction. And while some professors are Luddites, others have eagerly jumped on board and wish their students would catch up." - Class Produces Parody, 2/9/10
After the eTech conference earlier this month, I have a plethora of new resources and technology ideas for both classroom and library. But using technology simply for the sake of using technology is not right for anyone. There needs to be reason, focus, and purpose; finding that technology balance is an ongoing process.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weather for the Birds

Adding to Diane's recent post of her snowy views from her office, I have to say I have had my share, too.

This morning, I watched a flock of robins decimate the berries that were hanging on a tree right outside my window. Within two hours or so, the robins cleaned the tree completely of the berries.

I imagine that they felt they hit the all-you-can-eat buffet motherload!

It was interesting to watch the teamwork (and occasional fighting) that took place. Some would perch in the tree and knock berries off; other would simply pluck and let them drop. Friends below scurried around the tree, grabbing whichever one they could reach; sometimes there was a tussle between two if they both grabbed for the same one.

I guess happiness for a robin in the winter is finding a tree of berries. At least someone saw some joy in all this chaos of snow!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

eTech Ohio Conference: Keynote Videos

Thanks to Peter Murray at OhioLINK for commenting on my eTech Ohio Conference: Wednesday post.

"The video of David Weinberger making his keynote presentation will be available on the Ohio iTunesU site sometime soon."

One of the great things about the eTech Conference is the opportunity to use my hall pass and review presentations I attended, and those I did not have a chance to see. Friday afternoon I spent time compiling a few technology trend links on my delicious account; I was familiar with many, but some were new to me. Feel free to check out my delicious eTech tags/bookmarks @

From my window

Like many areas in the mid-atlantic region, it's snowing in Ashland, Ohio. It is February, after all. I'm lucky to have window views in the resource center, my office, and the library in general. As the snow continues to fall, I've seen olympic worthy snow-pile-hurdling from students going to class and talked with an increasing number of smiling faces working in library as late afternoon and evening classes are cancelled. Here are photos from my little corner of the world.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

eTech Ohio Conference: Presentation

"This session will identify emerging Web 2.0 technologies and the potential applications across the curriculum. The shift to Web 2.0 tools can have a profound effect on schools and learning, causing a transformation in thinking. This session will provide resources for the classroom teacher for meeting the needs of the 21st century learner. 'Students deserve it. The world demands it.'”

Dr. Deanna Romano and I presented at the first eTech Conference session on Wednesday morning. Arriving early to check room technology and pass out business cards with our presentation address (see above), I was both pleased and surprised when attendees began arriving at 7:30 am! It was exciting to present to such a receptive audience and have opportunity to speak individually with several people after the session ended.

Our presentation, Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Meet 21st Century Skills, is available online. Please feel free to contact us or add comments to the guide.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

eTech Ohio Conference: Wednesday

This conference had an unusual morning format, there were open sessions at 8:00 am and keynote speakers took the stage immediately following at 9:30 am. Had I not been presenting during the first block of sessions, I may have been tempted to catch a bit of sleep and start the day later. That would have been my mistake as the morning sessions were as vital and well attended as any other session throughout the conference. Plus, by 8:00 am most of us would be at work anyway!

Keynote Session: David Weinberger
Knowledge in the Age of Abundance

"Many of the properties we've ascribed to knowledge actually come from the limitations of how we've communicated and preserved knowledge: by writing things down on paper. As we increasingly write things down on the Web, some of the basics of knowledge are changing. Knowledge increasingly now includes differences and disagreements. This is unsettling…because knowledge itself is becoming unsettled."

I looked through the conference site hoping this session was online, I even logged in with my hall pass hoping it was maybe only available for conference attendees. Alas, there is no PowerPoint, slide share, or video available. I did find a session he did at another conference last year on YouTube.

Power & Peril of Social Web: Helping Teachers
& Students Create a Digital Footprint
Kathy Lawrence, Cleveland Heights High School

"Participants will be introduced to popular tools of the social web (eg: Ning,Twitter, GoogleDocs, Diigo) and explore how these tools can be leveraged to build your own personal learning network. We will also examine our role in helping our students create and maintain a positive digital footprint with their use of these networks and resources."

This session included interesting links to the social web and resources for assessing your personal digital footprint. I admit to "Googling" myself and at times being surprised at the memory of the Internet (I found a list serv post from grad school). I'd never used Pipl and was more than a little surprised at the results. Other interesting resources were the blog Technology in the Middle, Danah Boyd's blog Apophenia, and the YouTube video Read/Write Web with Will Richardson.

Technology Implementation in Academic Classrooms
David Harms, Penta County

"Participants will learn different strategies and techniques to use existing technology to increase student success in academic content areas. Topics covered will include podcasts, wikis, moviemaking, skype, and creation of an online textbook by a practicing social studies instructor at a career center with a high level of special needs students and traditional non academic students."

I was very interested in the wiki used by Harms, in particular the Mayan Project page. Students took ownership of their projects and created vital information pages that were, in turn, evaluated by experts in Mayan history.

Friday, February 05, 2010

eTech Ohio Conference: Tuesday

I was excited to attend my first eTech Ohio Conference this week! The conference theme, P-20 Conversations: Shaping a Path for the 21st Century Student, was of particular interest to me.

"This year's theme P-20 Conversations: Shaping a Path for the 21st Century Student will address the need to integrate technology throughout a student's career. That is why eTech Ohio is collaborating with the Ohio Learning Network (OLN). Our desire for this P-20 Conference is to foster access to new technology, engage participants in understanding why these technologies are important and progress Ohio's education spectrum." - About eTech Ohio Conference

I was able to find sessions of interest with ease; in fact, it was difficult to find only one session per time slot that I wanted to attend. Luckily many of the presenters included handouts, web sites, and other resources to the Conference Planner and I have been able to peruse sessions at my leisure. Here's an overview of my day and sessions attended.

Moodle Educating Beyond the Classroom
Daniel Studebaker, National Trail Middle School

"Extend the time you can have with your students with Moodle. It's FREE software that allows teachers a variety of options to engage, assess, and stimulate the learning of students. Students can do a variety of activities and tasks that can be monitored, viewed, assessed, stored and even commented on all from any place you get Internet."

There has been discussion concerning Moodle as an alternative to traditional content management systems such as BlackBoard and Angel Learning (we use Angel at AU). It was interesting to see Moodle used in a middle school classroom and learn how compatible it is to systems many in the audience were already using. I appreciated the presenter did not gloss over the key role systems and technology people have preparing Moodle for district and classroom use.

Project F.I.L.M. - Fun Inspiring Learning through Movie Making
Kathleen Frazier, Dan Young, Lindsey Potok

"Project F.I.L.M. (Fun Inspiring Learning through Movie Making) engages elementary and middle school students in 21st Century Learning including: Creativity, Problem Solving, Communication, and Technology. This session includes: a project overview, assessment strategies, student movies, slides of the Academy Awards Ceremony and a brainstorming session to develop a academic movie themes."

This session highlighted movies created by 8th grade gifted students. The presenters took us through their lessons and movie-making process, beginning with storyboards, and shared finished products. Students created projects to fulfill specific curricular lesson needs; time, energy, and sheer fun, put into these films was apparent. We have used simple films and slide shows in the library for fun and information, this made me wonder if it would be interesting to have students more involved in future projects.

Virtual Worlds, Augmented Reality & Social Networks
ans Their Implications for Education
William F. Sams, Ohio University

"Virtual Worlds, Augmented Reality, Social Networks and new Revenue Models offer education unprecedented opportunities and challenges. This presentation will give you an overview of each of the topics and a perspective of how these technologies and trends will affect you over the next five years."

Connecting with students in virtual worlds was key to this session. Sams' provided an overview of virtual words, augmented reality, and a few social networks that students are using - and that educators are integrating into their classrooms. I was interested in the potential use of augmented reality and how it is not just a new reality, but a personal reality to students. There were many links to free digital and social tools included with the presentation. Click on the presentation title to view Sams' presentation on slide share.

Utilizing Skype in an Educational Background
Lori Dray, Galion City Schools
Julie Thogmartin, Galion City Schools

"SKYPE offers the opportunity to bring off-site experts in the field of education right into the classroom. Everyday, individuals use SKYPE to keep in contact with their friends and family, all across the world. Why not use it in an education environment?"

This session featured educational uses for Skype and a Skype demonstration. The presenters had volunteers in the session, in the conference center, and one surprised contact who had returned to her hotel room, providing video conferences for session attendees. Different educational uses highlighted included virtual field trips, having experienced "phone a friends" for lessons, and classroom author visits. As with many 2.0 products, Skype is free up to a point, but with an inexpensive web cam and microphone this could be a valuable classroom tool. Audience questions included important points regarding safety, professional use of the tool, and having permission to record sessions. I have to admit to wondering if this would be a viable tool for libraries focusing on distance education, or possibly reference interviews.