Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing #3

As long as the school library has sufficient bandwidth to carry a Skype (or Skype-like) conversation without audio blips or video stutter, it can be a hub for all the wonderful opportunities for learning 'extra muros' that are outlined in the articles (esp. 50 Awesome ways to use Skype in the classroom ) .

In fact, with travel costs rising and school budgets shrinking, using Skype et al. can be the best way to expose our students to the Big World through visual field trips, author conferences, class-to-class exchanges, and the like.

My favorite idea is performing live for another group, like having the High School drama kids acting out a scene for the elementary students across town. Imagine the savings in bus costs, time, etc, as well as the potential for the big kids to watch the littlies perform in turn!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thing #2

Enjoying Wordle, of course but in comparison, Wordsift's results seem rather staid. The Wordsift related images and potential links are okay, but after Wordle-ing, it would be boring to have so little control over layout & color of the word cloud in Wordsift.

I think that VoiceThread may have a slight edge over Glogster for student projects, because it allows comments from viewers/listeners and is more linear than the all-on-a-screen layout of Glogster. It is cool that video & audio can be embedded on either one.

Animoto wins easily in the next pair of tools, since students could concentrate on selecting the best photos and the arrangement that conveys their story/text/presentation best, accented by nifty music and professional appearance. Not sure how much educational value there is in Voki after the novelty of changing accents and the animated-paperdoll features of changing the avatar's appearance wears off.

Bookr is seriously fun! I can well imagine the searching practice that students could get by finding the best flickr photo to illustrate a set of terms, define colors in foreign language, and so on.

I like kangaroos...

Thing #1

Of course, you could substitute the term "school librarian" for "teacher" in the Networked Student video. (that's why "teacher-librarian" is the preferred term in Australia, etc)

Helping students learn how to discern authoritative information sources, to use the best tools for capturing and keeping up with their info, and to create knowledge products appropriate to the source, focus and audience - these are all tasks which fill the days of secondary school librarians - WHEN their administrative teams allow such learning strands to exist and thrive in the school library.

We must prepare our students to be learners-in-community - no one will have skills or knowledge enough to go it alone in the future (or even now). As the saying goes, "All of us is smarter than each of us."

Give a look at what Elvis says about learning and knowing (not that Elvis...) related to music

Will it turn out that our students have left the building to learn what they need to succeed in the info world, or will school librarians give them the knowledge tools that transcend the walls?