Monday, November 19, 2007

Thing 23: Evaluation

1. Favorite discoveries: I think that the discoveries I made are those that I am most likely to use again: RSS feeds; delicious (which I will use to keep track of investment sites); Library Thing (which I will use to keep track of books already read & books I want to read); and podcasts (!)--I really loved finding that it's so easy to find podcasts.

2. Lifelong learning goals: Most of my lifelong learning goals don't have to do with computer....but that being said, I predict that I will be more likely to try new computer functions now that I have worked with the 23 Things online course. So I would say that the course probably added to my lifelong learning goals.

3. Unexpected outcomes: I knew more than I thought I did about Web 2.0

4. What could we do differently? I struggled to complete this course on time (by Thanksgiving) because I took an (previously-planned and paid for) long-ish vacation in the middle of the course completion time. I don't know how this could have been done differently, as it was my personal life that interfered with the course.
This said, I must say that I enjoyed the learning process. The order in which the topics were introduced was excellent! I think that the topics were introduced from more difficult to less difficult, which was a motivating factor. Some of the topics were very foreign, and some less-so. It was a nice mix.
If I could suggest one thing for this course, it would be to add in the social networking sites for us to preview: My Space, LinkedIn, Facebook. The kids around my information desk are using them, and I feel that it would be instructive to know what the differences are and how using them could promote the library.
In general, we were shown the sites and allowed to "mess around" and discover what the site was all about. Little guidance was given in the form of instructions. After a while, I decided that this lack of guidance was the whole point, as the idea was to discover for oneself.

5. Yes, I would participate in other discovery programs in the future

6. 23 Things is an experimental and experiential approach to learning cutting edge Web 2.0 applications that may assist librarians in their work or personal lives. Knowing a little something (or more in-depth, by the learner's choice) about these new technologies will help librarians to commuicate more effectively with their customers, if nothing else.

E-Books: Thing 22

I have spent time while on the information desk exploring these three e-book sites and have walked out patrons through downloading them, which can only be at home. The biggest, most important differences are:
  • Net Library is more focused on supporting academics in the schools, so Cliff's Notes and other academic supports abound, which thrills our students who call from home. There are other types of materials, as well, and all are easily accessible (the most easily accessible of the three types of e-books). Just click on the title, and up comes the contents page and the first page of text. Net Library is supported by OCLC.
  • Project Gutenberg is the oldest e-books effort, having been started in 1971 by Michael Hart, who is still involved in the project. It traditionally has run on volunteer effort, and because there are bids for donations and volunteer help on the homepage, I believe that still holds true. Project Gutenberg has the most eclectic collection of books of the e-books sites, as it carries books in many languages as well as older books and classics.
  • Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium is responsible for Maryland's Digital eLibrary site. This collection contains e-books, videos, both educational and entertainment, and audio books. Downloading is required, so this is the least accessible of the e-books. The downloading must be done at home, as library computers are programmed not to download anything. Most confusion about ebooks surrounds this collection.
Personally, I have used an ebook only once (for LATI), as I prefer to read paper books.


Podcast Searches: Thing 21

Once again, I have already been using podcasting in my personal life. As a fan of Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion, I will sometimes take the time to listen to the show in my own time after its ordinary weekend time. I do this by going to the Prairie Home Companion site.

I had a great time playing around with the podcast search sites. (I will enjoy this even more after I get home tonight and use my MP3 will be great to be able to listen to Prairie Home Companion as I exercise at the gym!)

I found the Yahoo search the most difficult to use, and the other two easier. I wanted to look, for example, for Celtic music. In Podcast Alley, I asked the search site to organize itself categorically, then click on "music." In the search within the category, I typed Celtic, and up came 4 sites, with details about each after I clicked on the text of the name.

This would be a wonderful boon if I were planning children's programs, as I could bring up tunes to suit the programs that I would be planning, download them onto computer, and then use them in the program. The library will benefit from my knowing how to use the podcast search sites so that I will be able to help library customers to download audio from our library computers.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thing 20: You Tube

Now it's my turn to feel with-it, instead of "without-it". I have had a YouTube account for about 6 months now. I learned how to use it because my daughter started sending me links to my grand-baby's videos housed at You Tube. I learned how to use it then, have memorized my password, etc., and could spend a serious amount of time there if I allowed myself to!

Not only are there personal videos on You Tube, but politicians and would-be musicians, actors, etc use You Tube to get their points and their advertising across. And there is lots to learn on the is a painless way to explore (superficially) a new topic.

I enjoy You Tube and find it user friendly.


Web 2.0 Award Winners: Thing 19

I took a look at the Web 2.0 awards and was surprised to find sites that I now know about, since I have checked them out for the 23 Things program. (Which helped me to see how far I've come since I began the program in September!)

For my in-depth examination, I chose Craig's List. My 29-year-old nephew Will talks all the time about what he finds on Craig's, possible rides and traveling partners, romantic interests. But I have never taken a close look at the site.

Craig's list is well-designed for people to search for their many needs according to locale, in my case the Baltimore area. The site resembles a gigantic newspaper classifieds section. The needs covered would most appeal to young people (which is why my nephew is so fond of it). Romantic encounters, ride sharing, house swapping, travel, and job listings cover just a few of the potential opportunities offered by Craig's List. There are also opportunities for older people, but from the tone of the listings, it does seem that young people are the target audience.

Craig's List basically covers the world with the listings on their site. From Manila to Australia and from Ottawa to Hong Kong, there are the same possible opportunities for everyone in the world. The classified listings are the same for all places, but people in foreign counties might participate more or less according to their English skills (the site reads in English, no matter what the country) and according to their internet capability.

I can see myself using Craig's List on occasion and am happy to have had this chance to look at it in depth.


Maryland Libraries Sandbox Wiki: Thing #17

I have spent some time playing around in the sandbox and reading others' blogs and wikis. Fun! Take a look at my blog--Book-elation--while you're there.

The new web tools make a wiki, a blog, and other applications easy to create and fun to do!


Thing #18

I created the text below to test Google Docs, which is in Beta.

Test Document

This is a test document created for 23 Things, an educational online program about Web 2.0.

I am testing the Google Docs online word processing program.

  1. I'll use this opportunity to try different textual functions such as italics, underlining, and color.

  1. Here's a link to the Howard County Library's website. (On second thought, there will be no link, as the link function does not seem to be working. There is no response from the pulldown menu.
  • I found that the numbering system is not perfect either. See above numbers for the three points that I have made so far.
  • Because this program is in Beta status, I am assuming that there will be further work to complete the functionality of Google Docs.
  • I have enjoyed working with the new Google effort and will use this type of program should I find the need created by the desire to collaborate with others who are located at a distance.
Signing off for now,
Jeanie Pfefferkorn