A gold mine of gadgets for your web page or blog can be found on the Google Gadgets page. I looked through six pages of everything from calendars to games, clocks, weather forecasts and more and still didn't come to the end of all Google has to offer.
At the risk of perpetuating the myth (for those of you who might be reading this south of the 49th) I have awakened to see frost on the windows of the cars outside. I travelled north to Prince George last night with 3 colleagues to present a workshop on using the Internet in the classroom. The plane was small, just 50 seats, and the descent to the tarmac would have rivalled any Disney attraction.
My time spent on TeacherLibrarianNing has been very rewarding. Today I explored the possibilities of del.icio.us and created a list of bookmarks. The librarian in me was not satisfied with one long list so I learned how to make bundles (categories) to better organize my list. I also explored the lists of other people who had similar interests and found very useful sites such as libSite.org which is a recommendation service for library-related websites. One thing leads to another...
I learned from the "New This Week" bulletin at lii.org this morning that the first Sunday in May is World Laughter Day. Seems like a great idea to me. I've added a link to some great humour under Mystery Spoots (This is not a typo, see my earlier posting "R is for Resources" for an explanation.) I was reminded of a great April Fool's joke I pulled on the kids a few years ago. I announced on the PA that library fines would be levied on all overdue books at the rate of $1.00 per day per book. The kids came flying in the door waving their books! Check out the link to Laughter Foundation. I notice there are no events listed for Canada, have we no sense of humour? I've also added some links such as DwarfUrl (a service for supplying short URLs similar to TinyURL) and Book Review Finder. Thanks to the wonderful teacher librarians at TeacherLibrarianNing who are such an amazing wealth of information. You really should check it out!
I have too many passwords. As the summer holidays approach I always promise myself I'm going to write down all my log-ins and passwords but somehow I never manage to do that. Come September I will be fuming and wracking my brain as I try to log into Blogspot, or file a work order for computer repairs. Be creative they tell you. Choose an original password, one that no one, not even you, will be able to remember in ten days time let alone over the summer break. I have abandoned memberships all over the place because I can't remember the password. I know, I should establish one email account that I use solely for memberships, but then it would require a new log-in name and password wouldn't it?
Finding time to explore all the wonderful things Web 2.0 has to offer is a challenge but well worth it. This week I discovered a great new teacher librarian ning. (Don't ask me what a ning is, haven't figured that one out yet.) I joined TeacherLibrarianNing as it seems a great place to learn with like-minded people. Signing up was simple and I have even managed to join in a few discussions. Once you are logged in you can post comments, ask questions or generally exchange information with teacher librarians from all over the U.S. and a few from Australia and Canada. The best thing I have learned there so far is that if you want your community (staff/school) to embrace new technology you have to use it yourself and provide them with great examples. Sort of like dangling the old carrot in front of their noses. Take a look at TeacherLibrarianNing, you can read all the posts without signing up, but what why not join?
April 22 is Earth Day. I've been walking to work this past month, a given when gas prices jump close to 25 cents a litre. It's a good time to set the day in order before I walk through the door. And it seems to impress the kids. Next year we're focussing on some grassroots greening projects, making it a school-wide focus.
The name of this blog has changed to better reflect what it is I do in my professional world. During the past 3 weeks I have immersed myself in the world of blogs and learned so much my brain is bulging. There's a fine line between taking in useful information and total overload. I wish I had a mentor sitting with me to explain all that new terminology. But I haven't done too badly. It's good to feel the utter frustration I felt yesterday when trying to add a video clip to this blog. The template was there, the video loaded but with it came three other clips I did not want. The upside is that now I have a focus and a plan for implementing some meaningful Pro. D. Next year I'll be responsible for logging 15 hours of Pro. D. time independently. My plan is to use sites like PLCMC's Learning 2.0 - 23 Things to tap into some of the powerful teaching resources out there.
A friend sent a little humour my way today in the form of a rap version of Wordsworth's I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". Now for the 'new' part. I'm going to try loading it on to my blog. Off to find some help. When I loaded it on to my site I got the video I wanted plus 3 others I didn't in a 'filmstrip'. Hmmm, any fellow bloggers out there able to help? I'm removing the video until I can figure this out. In the meantime go to Wordsworth Rap
Just discovered this great site thanks to Marylaine Block. LibriVox states that "volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and publish the audio files on the Internet." You can listen or read selections and search or browse the collection. A sampling of selections includes "A Little Princess", "Twas the Night Before Christmas", "Frankenstein", "Aesop's Fables", O. Henry short stories, Shakespeare and much, much more. They are also looking for volunteers to help with this wonderful project.
I've just added my two favourite links for books in a series to the side bar under Links to Great Reading. The first is from Mid-Continent Public Library and the second comes from Bettendorf Public Library. Now back to "The second life of Linus Hoppe" companion to "The Destiny of Linus Hoppe" which I am enjoying every bit as much as the first book. Both are set in a dystopic future.
I was inspired today by the cool-reads website in the UK. (See side bar for link.) This amazing site was started six years ago by two kids when they were 11 and 13 years old. It has reviews "for 10-15 year old readers by 10-15 year old reviewers". Quite an accomplishment. Who could resist their lead-in for fantasy titles: "Huge battles, wily witchcraft and mysterious magic. Not to mention vast moving cities." They have a large selection of other booklists all with brief descriptions to get you hooked as well as links to reviews. Watch for a display of their fantasy suggestions in the library soon.
Not sure what book to pick up next? Drop by the library for some good recommendations or check out the different genre areas in the library such as science fiction, mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, books for guys or short stories. Look for our brochures on themes like "That Crazy Little Thing Called Love" or "Wanted: Criminal Elements". Use NoveList which can be found through the North Vancouver District Public Library link under Reference Links in this blog. Check out the "Links to Great Reading" on this blog page.
Visit WorldCat to find books in libraries near you. Simply enter the title of any book, CD, movie or article you want to find and your postal code. WorldCat will tell you which libraries in your area carry that title. You can click on the library link to access that library's online catalogue. I tried a few samples and got results back from the Vancouver Public Library as well as local university libraries. An added bonus is the "Cite This Source" feature which gives you the citation in five different styles.
If you have visited this blog and would like to post a comment please consider the following: What information would you like to see posted on this blog? Read a good book lately? Tell us about it. What parts of this blog have you found useful?
If you are a dedicated Google user you might want to try using their Cheat Sheet (see Reference Links in the side bar). It has lots of great ideas for making your searches more effective. I recommend branching out and trying a few new search engines as well. Have a look at Quintura or try a directory such as Internet Public Library.