Tag Archives: Blog

Bringing it all together . . .

While on my Work Placement at a P-12 college, I noticed that most ‘handout’ and booklet material had included some attribution to the creator.  I decided to go back and have a closer look at Creative Commons and learn how to do that on my own work.  So . . . I now have the symbols on the home page of my blog site and plan to use it on any future work I create. Will discuss this concept with colleagues at our face-to-face TL Network meeting this Thursday and add a similar widget to the TLsConnecting Blog.

Ideas connect and build . . .

Ideas connect and build . . .

Having gone into my ‘Dashboard’ to add a Creative Commons licence to my right sidebar (long overdue), I also noticed that the last 6 blog posts have been completed through my social book-marking connections. Namely – Scoopit and Pinterest.  Both active and visually appealing places where I have RSS feeds finding me links based on topics I’ve chosen.  Every other day I check the links that have been collected together for me and check out the ones I believe warrant closer inspection and then save some of the links and images to my own sites (boards and topics).  Adding the link to my blog site was made easy earlier this year when Scoopit added a ‘pop-up’ that allowed me to send out a tweet about my find and/or place it directly onto my blog site.  I like the idea – seems an efficient and effective way of saving and sharing the things I’ve found.  What these links do lack (since they are placed quickly) is the categorisation and tagging I usually give to my posts.  I need to check in and do that ‘little thing’ – to include them in my ‘searching system’ – as an item within my collection, each is desperately in need of ‘description’ – so I can later find them through their access points!  So, the concepts I’m learning in ETL505 I am able to apply to my own digital collection. Wow, I feel like I am bringing it all together?!*

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Filed under Digital Citizenship, Digital Tools, Learning, School experience, Social Media, Technology Web2

Social Networking experience expands:

Prior to this summer session at CSU (readINF506), my online networking experiences were limited and contained within pockets of academic necessity – forums for subjects, wiki and GoogleDocs for a collaborative assignments and occasional tentative comments on blogs.  (Oh, did I mention a dash of NeatChat and Skype).  Then suddenly I was on Facebook (FB) and Flickr for the first time, mentally juggling accelerated ‘catch-up’.  Even the Delicious account I had quietly hovering needed a rethink due to the changes they’d recently effected and sending links to other collections wasn’t intuitive for me.  The podcast made by one student was quite helpful and initiated my foray into PodOmatic.  Of the three, FB’s push to activate ‘friends’ I found the most intrusive and annoying.  So much of what I read seemed to refer back to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and getting maximum exposure – usually related to the ability to make money out of the site.  I was happy to keep this platform just for the ‘study group’ and asked other ‘friends’ to wait until March when my focus would alter again.  Did I believe then I would go back to pre-Facebook involvement?  No – always thought I’d keep using FB – but I’d have more personal content and contacts.  Now that I feel familiar with my fellow students, I’m keen to keep in contact with this INF506 group – it becomes another established link with like-minded people who’ll each provide glimpses into their own PLN.

 Face of Social media

Face of Social media

My established MEd (TL) study reflection blog was then supplemented with another blog (Teacher-Librarians Connecting) as part of a project.  Though the physical group existed – how it would ‘develop’ as an online presence became a work in progress and an interesting challenge.  The content of both blogs is definitely supported by the access to ideas and artifacts through all the Web 2.0 networks and sites to which I’ve connected.  Oh! and Twitter!  I think of it as ‘snippets with links’ – usually visually filtered for the occasional ‘gem’.  This microblogging tool is well suited to what Watkins (2009, p160) describes as the emerging ‘mobile-media lifestyle’.  Apparently ‘we digest bits and pieces of an ever-sprawling narrative universe’ (esp. YouTube) and we are ‘constantly consuming’.  He believes we have ‘evolved from a culture of instant gratification to one of constant gratification’.  Have we?  My own RSS feeds and Scoopit! links keep me busy enough each day – and I have limited topics.  So I do see some evidence of how that ‘digital constancy’ can creep into a life.  With the New Year (resolutions!) this concern produced plenty of online articles on topics associated with the management of one’s time, collection of links and online activity to retain a balance in life – both real and online.  Some comments I agree with about the superficiality of ‘Like’, ‘Retweet’ and ‘Rescoop’ as not always being quality curation.  It was a reminder that we need to interact with information, connect it to our existing knowledge and experience and add to it for further dissemination.  Though we have now experienced the very influential effect of the Twitter platform in politics and during natural disasters.

The majority of my online life is academic – where I’m building my PLN and capacity to step up and establish myself in a career with the potential to influence a wider sphere of colleagues.  My few ‘virtual world’ experiences limit how I think I can make use of that environment as a teaching and learning space.    I’m planning to attend two SecondLife events this week that should give me some ‘food for thought’ – though I keep returning to the niggling feeling that the teachers and young students in my circle have a very great need to focus in other areas that require less ‘tool mastery’.  Perhaps when I know more of its uses and I’m more adept within a game environment I’ll value its desirous problem solving attributes more.

Web address

@ Flow

Will I ever be the same?  I hope not and I know not! Though ‘befuddling’ to begin with – the jump  into the Web 2.0 water has made me feel part of a future where the current is strong and wide.  It’s empowering to be part of the @ flow.

Baer J. (2011) Five Reasons Social Media Measurement is Making You Lie to Yourself. Retrieved from:  http://bit.ly/x1g7TW

Watkins, S. C. (2009) The Young and the Digital.  Beacon Press, Boston.

Image: ‘There’s an App for That‘    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24055822@N02/4940964936

Image 2: Personal photo from local library.

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Filed under Digital Tools, Library/Librarians, Social Media, Social networking, Study response, Technology Web2

‘TLs Connecting’ Blog Project

The report is in!  The social media project required me to ‘design and implementation of a unique social networking community to support the information, learning, social and/or organizational needs of a group of people’.  I could see the long-term value in creating a blog that could become the additional and virtual, networking place for an existing physical (real) group of people with similar professional interests.  The Teacher-Librarians Connecting blog was created!  As a group of specialists we are isolated within our individual schools (though there are 3 at St Andrews P-12 campus!) and an online option is current practise!  The ‘blogging’ platform was chosen for the ideal attributes it provides through a digital medium. Klamma and others (2006) identify those attributes under the headings of functionality, usability, interactivity and naturalness (cite in Uden & Eardley, 2010).  The whole process was much more time-consuming than I’d thought it would be at the outset.  Considerably more forethought and planning should have gone into the whole project before it got underway.  The whole project included: the Blog content; initial exposure timing for the target audience; goal of survey questions at the beginning and the end of the 4 week period, and the ongoing commitment to keep a worthwhile ‘virtual community’ viable with interaction.  Inspite of these challenges, the feedback received from participants was positive and my goal will be to persist with this blog as a personal ‘project’.

Perhaps the challenges may not have been as great , had I not also been expected to have my first foray into Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, an altered Delicious bookmarking platform and SecondLife (among others!). . . and had I not also chosen to set up the Scoopit! aggregator to feed me links of interest each morning! My PLN has mushroomed through Warlick’s (2009) three main catagories: Synchronous connection (Skype, SecondLife), Semisynchronous connections (mailing lists, Twitter, blog comments) and Asynchronous connections where the information is coming to me (RSS feeds, Scoopit!).  This latter category involving curation, stresses the filtering process that we practice on a daily basis to select, organise and manage information for ourselves and others to access through their connections with us.  It’s becoming easier all the time to ‘collect the connections’ – but we must give time to quality interactions with the people at the end of the link.  Could be a ‘Catch 22’ situation: the more we link and read the more we need to pause and give time to internalising the information – to formulate our own ideas and opinions then connect again to share in a continual learning process.  These same processes are what we need to involving students in so they gain the transmedia literacy they’ll need for their future connections.

Uden, L., & Eardley, A. (2010). The Usability of Social Software. In T. Dumova, & R. Fiordo (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends (pp. 574-584). doi: 10.4018/978-1-60566-368-5.ch050

Warlick, D. (2009) cited in  Lee, M. & Finger, G. (2010). Developing a networked school community: A guide to realising the vision. Victoria, Australia: ACER. Cht 13  p.205

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Social Media Stats

Still thinking about the traffic I’m not getting to my ‘project blog’ for the TL Network, and came upon the article (link below) about Social Media statistics.  Having done a lot of ‘lurking’ myself, I identified with the ‘silent majority’ that were spoken about and understand one’s reticence to ‘commenting’ – you realise this is going to reveal you to all readers!  When the medium is new to many, they hesitate to expose their vulnerabilities and possible ignorance.  Although my ‘project’ blog isn’t very sophisticated, I keep reminding myself that each time a new link is posted, there is also the possibility that another colleague learns something new and builds the confidence to participate in the experience themselves. The Three Most Dangerous Social Media Metrics.

It’s about QUALITY, not quantity!

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School Library Management

School Library Management.  This is a blog site managed / operated (?) by Karen Bonanno that I have been alerted to via our INF506 facebook group.  Worth signing up for the free report –  “How to have a Successful School Library Blog”.

I’ll also add it to the TL Network blog I’m managing as part of my project.

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Random people – surfing for a word!

Some random person made a has made a comment (I’ve trashed it) about my last post completely based around the word ‘poetry’. Hoping – I’m sure – to get me to go to their site about poetry. I re-read my post involving James and his interest in that subject, and realise, that although I’d used that word in the title – I’d hardly made mention of his interest within the message that followed. The random comment I got was completely out of proportion to the level of ‘poetry content’ within the actual post. Having done some reading of “Outsmarting Google” by Evan Bailyn, I feel this person has set up an automatic alert to ‘hone in on’ that particular word – and then sent a generic comment! Are they trying to get site traffic and hits or ‘likes’? We really do have to make some quick value-judgements to avoid wasting our own time!  I’ve consciously decided to document this incident because it will remind me at a later stage in INF503, that there are going to be some ‘drawbacks’ to going public with this social networking.

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Other people’s lives – James & poetry

 

James Herrings Blog.  I was going back through saved ‘study’ emails and came upon a link to James Herrings blog.  I hadn’t visited it for quite a while – so I did!

Would like to add him to my ‘Blog roll’  – just need to revisit the instructions so I can add him to Heyjude. I enjoy his non-work related snippets and Northern Hemisphere images.  he creates some useful links too. He has made reference to The School Library Journal Blog – so I’m going to create a link to it too. You really could spend a lot of time ‘splashing’ in the surf  and forget exactly where you’ve been – if you don’t organise the information.  (Back to Heyjude for some advise I think!!)

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