Saturday, September 11, 2010

On line videos

Online videos such as YouTube or Teacher Tube are great learnig opportunities. There is so much information to be found that can be beneficial to students. The key is too making sure that anything shown to students is previewed for accuracy, since just about anyone can post to these sites. I think the videos are beneficial because sometimes someone who has a different way of teaching or talking about a concept might be the one that connects with a particular student. Teachers all have different styles and not all students learn the same way their teacher teaches. For example, some math concepts that might be difficult can be taught different ways.

I know there is so much to learn on these video sites. The other day my daughter came and showed me how she had painted a "french manicure" on her nails. I asked her where she learned how to do that and she said, "YouTube!"

Converting and downloading vidoes is time consuming, so I am glad that our firewall now lets You Tube through.


I think that wikis are a great thing to use at school for both the teachers and the students. Wikis are a collaborative way to learn, discuss, and collaborate on  ideas and concepts. They are simple to use and don't require a great deal of technical knowledge. They are very educational friendly in that the teacher has control over the wiki space that is created. She can monitor, edit and delete posts. The students find the wiki very easy to use.

I think Cy Fair has really embraced the wiki. I know that I belong to at least 5 wikis that are Cy Fair based. I am thinking about creating a wiki for my school that will have technology ideas and how to intergrate them into different curriculums. Using a wiki will allow others to share as well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

RSS feeds

I love the idea of the RSS being the new paperboy. It is so true. To be able to have all the blogs I subscribe to available in one spot is so convienent. I personally have been using Google reader for about 6 months and I am still learning new things that it can do. The share feature and also the email feature are great. I subscribe to the Mental Floss blog and I am constantly sharing posts with my husband via email.

The blogs that I subscribe are so varied, so it is nice to have them in one place. I could probably set up a RSS feed for just school stuff.

I think Google Reader would also be a good RSS to use at school. It is easy to use and has very helpful tutorials for all levels of users.

1st time blogging

This is not my first time blogging, but I do remember when I started I thought it was a great way to share my thoughts and ideas. I was nervous because it is important to remember that once something is out on the web, it is out there forever! When I started my book review blog I was nervous that I wouldn't have any readers. I now have about 20 followers and now I am nervous about making sure my posts are interesting enough to keep people reading. 

The other day I had a friend of mine who is a mom of 4 kids tell me that she had her daughter look at my blog to pick a book to read. The daughter read Jekeyl Loves Hyde and now wants to read more books by that same auther. Another friend read Shiver because of my recommendation and loved it!

I think that my blog helps others on their life-long learning journey.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I was lucky enough to be able to inteview Mary Ellen who works with a virtual library. She works at Hess, which is an oil company. Her duties include maintaining virtual technical library collection, provide technical reference to geotechnical communt; manage information resource orientations and training for new employees; collaboration with internation team members on research and reference topics and projects; support development of content management and image capture project and maintain vendor relationships.

Mary Ellen has no physical library space beyond a few shelves in her cubicle. There are some books available, but not place to put them for easy access for the researchers. Her job is mostly negotiaion. Negotiation with researchers such as: "Find me anything you can on ..." She finds abstracts and sends them to the researcher, and they contact her back and say yes or no. She also spends time in negotiation with vendors.

Mary Ellen stated that while being in a virtual library is new to her, she enjoys it. She finds that many of the newly highered researchers straight from college are not used to the virtual library. The company is moving into a new building and she is hoping to be able to set up a place where researchers can physically browse the books she does have.

When asked about if she thinks her job will become unnecessary, she replied, "As long as the people who make the money by finding the oil need me, I'll be there." Her number one priority is making sure her value is noticed. She stated, "If I become obselete, it is my fault."

She always makes sure to pass on whatever information she finds along with the phrase, "I didn't find this by Googling!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pros and Cons

A virtual or digital library offers users access anywhere there is an internet connection, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This allows users to research and find information when needed to complete a particular task or purpose.

A virtual library also allows different formats of information to be obtained. Users can find print, audio and video information all in one place. This allows users to use the information in a way that best suits their needs. Virtual libraries are more accessible for the disabled. Voice output, closed captioning and large buttons are tools that are easily integrated into a virtual library.

Virtual libraries often contain more up-to-date information. A source of information is more readily available and does not need to ordered, received, processed, and then put on the shelf.

If there is not internet connection, there is no library.

Users still need training and explanations on what databases would best meet there needs.
Sometimes a face-to face refernece interview will give greater userstanding of the users needs.
There is a great need for detailed directions on how to search databases or other online resources that may be new to users. One way this is being addressed is by adding a "Chat" feature to the virtual library. Users also need help evaluating information and resources they find. It is important to teach the value of quailty vs. quantity.

Another con for users is language, especially in the sciences. It is important to aid users in finding information in their native language.


Church, A. (2005). Virtual school libraries--the time is now. MultiMedia & Internet@Schools, 12(2), 8-12. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Iswerarn, A. (2009). Virtual libraries for Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Bioinformatics. Annals of West University of Timisoara, 18(1), 1-6.

King, D.L. (2009). Creating community at the digital branch. Library Techonology Reports, 45(6), 30-33.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

User Centered Service

The topic that I have chosen to work on is "virtual libraries". There are many people (non-librarians) out there who think that the internet, e-books, and Google will put an end to libraries and put librarians out of jobs. I am going to discuss virtual libraries.

A virtual library, also known as a digital library is a library without walls. A virtual libraries goal is that of any other library, to create an environment for gaining information. Access to information is key in a user's experience in any library From a user standpoint a virtul library offers many pros and cons.